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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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LEGEND OF HOW BATTLE CREEK GOT ITS NAME

THERE WAS TWO SURVEYORS FROM DETROIT IN THE EARLY 1800'S WHO WERE
DOING THEIR WORK NEAR WHAT IS NOW THE BATTLE CREEK AND KALAMAZOO
RIVERS. AN INDIAN CAME UP TO THEIR CAMP AND ASKED FOR FOOD. SUB-
SEQUENTLY SOMEHOW A FIGHT WAS STARTED BETWEEN THESE MEN. AND
THUS, BATTLE CREEK GOT ITS NAME.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BATTLE CREEK

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Explanation of a name
Food Drink -- Food

Date learned: 00-00-1954

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OWL MYTH

THE OWLS OF CANADA LAY UP A STORE OF LIVE MICE FOR THE WINTER,
THE LEGS OF WHICH THEY FIRST BREAK, TO PREVENT THEM FROM RUNNING
AWAY, AND THEN FEED THEM CAREFULLY, AND FATTEN THEM, TILL WANTED
FOR USE.

Submitter comment: TOLD BY FRENCH TRAVELLER, PIERRE CHARLEVOIX.

Where learned: NOT GIVEN

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Bird
Food Drink -- Food
BELIEF -- Animal Husbandry Farming Ranching

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CHICKEN BONE REEF

OLD TIMERS ABOUT THE GREAT LAKES ALL TALKED ABOUT "CHICKEN BONE
REEF," BUT NO ONE HAD EVER SEEN IT, AND NO CHART SHOWED IT; BUT
ANY SAILOR WOULD TELL YOU THAT IT WAS IN THE DETROIT RIVER JUST
OFF WOODWARD AVENUE. IT WAS HERE THAT THE GOVERNMENT REVENUE
CUTTER "FESSENDON" AND THE NAVY GUNBOAT "MICHIGAN" AND OTHERS
USED TO ANCHOR FOR LONG TIMES. ORDINARY MERCHANT SAILORS CLAIMED
THAT "CHICKEN BONE REEF" WAS BUILT UP FROM THE RIVER BOTTOM BY
ALL THE CHICKEN BONES THAT WERE THROWN OVERBOARD FROM THE TABLES
OF THE SHIPS ANCHORED THERE.

Where learned: NOT GIVEN

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Bird
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Explanation of a name
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Means of transportation Water craft or boat propelled by human, wind, mechanical or other force
Food Drink -- Food

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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IF YOU GET A PIECE OF BREAD WITH A HOLE IN IT, YOU'LL
GET A RING.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): ENGAGEMENT? ; HOMEOPATHIC

Subject headings: Observation
Food Drink -- Food
BELIEF -- Use of Object Dress, buttons, jewelry

Date learned: 01-00-1970

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IF YOU KICK THE TABLE WHEN SITTING DOWN, IT MEANS YOU'RE
HUNGRY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Observation
Food Drink -- Food
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal

Date learned: 11-19-1968

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ON THE DAY BEFORE EASTER, POLISH FAMILIES BLESS BASKETS OF FOOD FOR
GOOD LUCK AND GOOD HEALTH FOR THE YEAR.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: 663 Holy Saturday
Food Drink -- Food
BELIEF -- Measure of time Year
BELIEF -- Good luck P881.4

Date learned: 11-00-1972

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A CUSTOM FOR THE CHILDREN AT CHRISTMAS IS TO PUT MONEY IN PIEROGI
(POLISH FOOD).

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Christmas Season See F645.2 for Advent Season.
Food Drink -- Food
BELIEF -- Prayer

Date learned: 11-00-1972

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A TRADITION ON CHRISTMAS EVE IN A POLISH FAMILY IS TO HAVE NINE
FOODS AT THE SUPPER TABLE AND THE TABLE WASN'T TO BE CLEARED UNLESS
A LITTLE OF EACH FOOD REMAINED.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: 686 686.1.9
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve Christmas
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20
Food Drink -- Food

Date learned: 11-00-1972

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A TRADITION IN THE OLD COUNTRY WAS AFTER CHRISTMAS DINNER THEY
BROUGHT THE FOOD LEFT ON THE TABLE INTO THE BARNS FOR THE COWS TO EAT.
THE COWS WOULD NOT TOUCH THE FOOD UNTIL 12:00 O'CLOCK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): ANIMALS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F122
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time Week Day Hour
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Feeding animals, spirits of trees
Food Drink -- Food

Date learned: 11-00-1972

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GRANDMA'S DAYS, WAYBACK

SHE USED TO SEND THE SON TO THE BUTCHER SHOP AND TELL HIM TO BE
SURE AND GET A DOG BONE. THIS WAS USUALLY FOR FREE AND BEFORE THE
DAYS WHEN SAUSAGE WAS $2.00 A POUND. SO GRANDMA USED THE DOG BONE
TO FEED THE FAMILY FIRST WITH A GOOD SOUP OR STEW AND THE DOG
STILL HAD ENOUGH TO EAT AFTER TWO MEALS.

Where learned: DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): RISE IN PRICES

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Food

Date learned: 10-07-1972

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MOON BELIEF

IF THE MOON IS FULL THE CROPS GROW TALL.
THIS WAS NOT GOOD FOR POTATOES BECAUSE THEY WERE ON THE GROUND.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ALLEN PARK

James Callow Keyword(s): PLANTING BELIEF

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Food
BELIEF -- Moon

Date learned: 02-07-1972

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DIET

FIVE POUNDS CAN BE LOST IN THREE DAYS BY EATING HARD
BOILED EGGS AND DRINKING WATER.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT FOUND THIS ABSURD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; LINCOLN PARK

James Callow Keyword(s): DISBELIEF

Subject headings: 686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple
Food Drink -- Food

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PREGNANCY BELIEF

DURING HER PREGNANCY HER MOTHER-IN-LAW MADE HER EAT A LITTLE OF
EVERYTHING ON THE DINNER TABLE, BECAUSE SHE BELIEVED THAT IF A
PREGNANT WOMAN SAW FOOD AND DID NOT EAT IT, HER CHILD WOULD BE
MARKED OR DEFORMED AT BIRTH.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time Eating For menu, see N222.
Food Drink -- Food
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Specific distinguishing characteristic Dimple, wart, mole, scar, freckle, birthmark, strawberry mark, bruise, spot (on any part of body)
BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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BIRTH BELIEF

IF AN EXPECTANT MOTHER GOES TO A FUNERAL, AND LOOKS IN THE
COFFIN THE CHILD WILL NEVER HAVE ENOUGH TO EAT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial
Food Drink -- Food
BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: 12-00-1971

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FOOD SUPERSTITIONS REGARDING PREGNANCY

IF WHILE A WOMAN IS PREGNANT, AND SHE HAS A CRAVING FOR A
CERTAIN FOOD AND SHE THEN TOUCHES HERSELF, THE BABY WILL HAVE
A BIRTHMARK ON THAT SPOT THE WOMAN TOUCHED.

Submitter comment:

KEYPUNCHERS COMMENT, THERE ARE SEVERAL OTHERS LIKE THIS IN THE
ARCHIVE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): HOMEOPATHIC?

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Food
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Specific distinguishing characteristic Dimple, wart, mole, scar, freckle, birthmark, strawberry mark, bruise, spot (on any part of body)
BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: 03-07-1971

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AVOID THE MAIN DISH

IF ONE'S FORK IS ON THE WRONG SIDE OF THE PLACE-SETTING AT A DINING
TABLE THAT PERSON IS GOING TO GET SICK FROM THE COOK'S FOOD; THEY
SHOULD AVOID EATING THE MAIN DISH.

Submitter comment: I RECENTLY ASKED MY MOTHER ABOUT THIS SAYING SEEING THAT SHE WORKS
WITH A CATERING SERVICE. I THOUGHT SHE MAY HAVE HAD SOME KNOWLEDGE OF
THIS MATTER;, HOWEVER SHE HAS "NEVER HEARD OF SUCH A THING."

Where learned: WASHINGTON DC

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Food
Food Drink -- Service Table furnishing and decoration Implement to handle food
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

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GRANDMA'S FOOT

WHEN FOOD THAT HAS BEEN COOKED TASTES GOOD, IT HAS BEEN KNOWN TO BE
SAID "GRANDMA MUSTA' PUT HER FOOT IN THIS..."

Submitter comment: I HAVE HEARD THE HOUSE-KEEPER AT THE BOYS' HOME WHERE I WORK SAY THIS
TO THE HOME'S COOK ABOUT SOME GREENS SHE HAD COOKED - THEY WERE GOOD:

Where learned: MISSISSIPPI

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Food
Food Drink -- Manner of preparation Kind of heatCooking equipment
SPEECH -- Formula

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DROPPING CANDY

WHEN A KID DROPS SOME CANDY OR FOOD ON THE FLOOR OR GROUND, BY
STUMPING HIS LEFT FOOT AND SAYING ALOUD, "GOD KISS IT,"
THE CANDY OR FOOD CAN BE EATEN WITHOUT FEAR OF DIRT OR GERMS MAKING
THEM ILL.

Submitter comment: I HAVE HEARD THE SAME BELIEF IN BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA (EXCLUDING THE
PART ABOUT STAMPING ONE'S FOOT); I HAVE ALSO RECENTLY HEARD
THIS BELIEF IN DETROIT.

Where learned: MISSISSIPPI

James Callow Keyword(s): DISINFECT

Subject headings: Favorites
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Speech Speech
Food Drink -- Food
BELIEF -- Prayer
SPEECH -- Formula
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 00-00-1965

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BELIEF ABOUT LITTLE PEOPLE

ALWAYS LEAVE SOME FOOD ON YOUR DOOR STEP FOR THE LITTLE PEOPLE. THIS
KEEPS YOU FROM THEIR MISCHIEF.

Submitter comment: THIS ITEM WAS GIVEN TO MRS. CHESNEY BY MATILDA MELLON, HER MOTHER,
WHO WAS AN IRISH IMMIGRANT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HARPER WOODS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time Routine activity
Food Drink -- Food
BELIEF -- Fairy Elf Goblin Gnome

Date learned: 09-16-1975

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A CUSTOM AT POLISH WEDDING RECEPTIONS IS FOR THE DINNER GUESTS TO BANG
ON THEIR PLATES WITH THEIR EATING UTENSILS IN ORDER TO PRODUCE RACKET LIKE SOUNDS.
THIS IS DONE AS A NON SERIOUS COMPLAINT THAT THE FOOD IS SOUR. THE NOISE MAKING
OCCURS MANY TIMES THROUGHOUT THE EATING PERIOD AND CONTINUES UNTIL THE BRIDE AND GROOM
EMBRACE AND KISS. UPON THIS TAKING PLACE THE GUESTS DISCONTINUE THEIR DISTURBANCE AND
SAY THE WORD "SMACZNE" (MEANING DELICIOUS). THE SHOW OF AFFECTION BETWEEN THE NEWLYWEDS
IS SUPPOSE TO SWEETEN THE FOOD AND ACCORDINGLY PLACATE THE GUESTS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): CONTRAST

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage Glassware tapping
Food Drink -- Food
BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour
SPEECH -- Vocabulary of Special Group

Date learned: 10-00-1975

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