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CUSTOM

ON VALENTINE'S DAY, IT IS A TRADITION OF MY FAMILY TO SEND YOUR GIRL
OR SWEETHEART, A CARD. HOWEVER, THE SENDER MUST NOT SIGN HIS NAME TO
THE CARD. IF THIS IS FOLLOWED THROUGH, TRUE LOVE WILL PREVAIL.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; NEW JERSEY ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT ; ELIZABETH ; CAMPUS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- February 14 Valentine's Day
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20
SPEECH -- To Be Seen

Date learned: 11-00-1973

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CURSE TO KEEP PEOPLE AWAKE

FIRST WRITE A LETTER TO A DEAD PERSON TELLING HIM ABOUT THIS PERSON
YOU WANT TO KEEP AWAKE AT NIGHT TO THINK ABOUT HIS WRONG DOINGS. YOU
THEN SEAL THE LETTER AND PLACE IT UNDER YOUR BED. YOU ALSO PUT A
GLASS OF WATER ON TOP OF THE LETTER. WHEN THE WATER EVAPORATES THE
SPELL IS WORKING.

Submitter comment: THIS CURSE WAS USED ON A MALE FRIEND OF THE INFORMANT AND IT WAS
SUCCESSFUL. IT WAS USED IN FLORIDA.

Where learned: LOUISIANA ; FLORIDA ; New Orleans

James Callow Keyword(s): INSOMNIA ; SYMBOL

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Measure of time Sleeping
BELIEF -- Curse
SPEECH -- To Be Seen

Date learned: CA11001973

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LOCK THE DOOR AND THROW AWAY THE KEY

THE INFORMANT WITNESSED THE FOLLOWING IN A KINDERGARTEN CLASS. THE
GESTURE WAS MADE BY THE TEACHER. THE MEANING WAS FOR THE CHILDREN TO
BE QUIET. IN GESTURE FORM THE TEACHER MADE BELIEVE HER MOUTH WAS A
LOCK AND IN HER HAND A KEY. SHE PUT HER HAND UP IN FRONT OF HER
MOUTH AND MADE BELIEVE SHE WAS LOCKING THE DOOR. SHE THEN THROWS THE
MAKE BELIEVE KEY AWAY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; PORT HURON

James Callow Keyword(s): PANTOMIME

Subject headings: Shadow / Pantomime
SPEECH -- Gesture
SPEECH -- To Be Seen

Date learned: 10-30-1972

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SIGNIFICANCE OF DIFFERENT FLOWERS: ROSEMARY:S-FOR REMEMBERENCE,
LILY- PURITY, VIOLET-SHY,

Submitter comment:

MY INFORMANT LEARNED THESE FROM HER MOTHER IN KENTUCKY IN HER YOUTH,
SHE SAID THERE WERE MANY MORE, BUT COULD NOT
REMEMBER THE REST.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Plant
SPEECH -- To Be Seen

Date learned: 00-00-1968

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MUSTARD SEED BELIEF

A GRAIN OF MUSTARD SEED IS A SYMBOL OF GOOD LUCK AND HOPE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): PLANT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Plant
SPEECH -- To Be Seen

Date learned: 11-05-1969

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RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN YOUR LOVER AND YOU.

IF YOUR SWEETHEART SENDS YOU YELLOW ROSES, IT IS A SIGN THAT LOVE
IS FADING. IF YOUR SWEETHEART SENDS YOU RED ROSES, IT IS A SIGN
OF HIS STEADY LOVE FOR YOU.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): COLORS PLANTS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- Color
SPEECH -- To Be Seen

Date learned: UNKNOWN

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BELIEF

THE PEOPLE OF LIBYA BELIEVE THE WHITE SPIRIT APPEARS AT NIGHT IN
SOME FORM OF LIGHT, SO WHENEVER THEY SEE ANY LIGHT AT NIGHT
THEY SHUDDER IN FEAR OF THE WHITE SPIRIT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
BELIEF -- Color
SPEECH -- To Be Seen

Date learned: 11-29-1969

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IN A BAR, IF A CUSTOMER PUTS HIS EMPTY GLASS ALONGSIDE THE WOODEN
EDGE OF THE COUNTER IT SIGNALS TO THE BARTENDER THAT HE WILL HAVE
ANOTHER OF WHAT HE HAS BEEN DRINKING. THE BARTENDER WILL
AUTOMATICALLY BRING THE DRINK, VERBAL TRANSACTIONS ARE NOT NECESSARY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; PAT SULLIVANS TAVERN

James Callow Keyword(s): ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES ; OBSERVATION

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion
Food Drink -- MenuService
Food Drink -- Alcoholic beverage
SPEECH -- To Be Seen

Date learned: 10-00-1975

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THE HEADLESS MOTORCYCLEMAN

IN TOLEDO, (OHIO?), ACTUALLY IN THE OUTSKIRTS,
THERE WAS AN ACCIDENT IN THE
LATE 50S. A GUY ON A MOTORCYCLE WAS HIT AND KILLED BY A CAR WHEN
THEY WERE PLAYING SOME GAME, "CHICKEN," I THINK. IF YOU GO AT NIGHT,
ROLL DOWN ALL YOUR WINDOWS AND FLASH YOUR LIGHTS. THIS IS A SIGNAL
THAT YOU'RE THERE. SOME PEOPLE HAVE SEEN HIM, SOME PEOPLE HAVE SEEN
HIS LIGHTS. I THINK THIS IS DUMB, BUT THE BELIEF HAS BEEN HELD FOR
A LONG TIME.

Submitter comment: WHAT I CAN'T FIGURE OUT IN THIS IS WHY HE IS CALLED THE HEADLESS
MOTORCYCLEMAN AND HE STILL HAS HIS HEAD. THE INFORMANT TREATED THIS
AS JUST ANOTHER LOCAL LEGEND AND DIDN'T BELIEVE IN IT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HIGHLAND PARK

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Supernatural Being
BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
SPEECH -- Game Pastime Sport
SPEECH -- To Be Seen

Date learned: 11-00-1975

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SUPERSTITION

IF ONE DRIVES IN A CAR TO BELLE ISLE AND PARKS THE CAR ON A CERTAIN
DARK ROAD, TURNING OUT THE LIGHTS AND REMAINING PERFECTLY QUIET, A
SERIES OF WHITE DOTS WILL POP OUT OF THE WOODS AND CLOSE IN ON THE
WINDSHIELD OF YOUR CAR. IF YOU TURN ON YOUR LIGHTS THEY WILL GO
AWAY.

Submitter comment: I LEARNED THIS AT A GIRL SCOUT CAMP STORY SESSION SEVERAL YEARS
AGO. I HAVE NEVER TRIED IT MYSELF, BUT SEVERAL OF THE GIRLS HAD AND
SWORE THE STORY WAS TRUE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): COLOR

Subject headings: SPEECH -- To Be Seen

Date learned: CA00001967

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LEGEND

IN MEXICO WHEN SOMEONE DIES, YOU CAN APPROACH A CERTAIN GROUP AND
THEY WILL GIVE A MASS FOR THAT PERSON FOR 30 STRAIGHT DAYS. THIS IS
SO THE PERSON WILL GO TO HEAVEN. BUT YOU CAN'T MISS A DAY OF THOSE
30 DAYS. MY UNCLE DIED IN SAN PANCHO, AND HIS SISTER-IN-LAW WAS IN
THE GROUP. SO THEY PRAYED FOR HIM. THE SISTER-IN-LAW IS REALLY
OLD AND EVERYONE KNOWS SHE IS DYING. ON THE 30TH DAY OF THE MASS,
SHE FELT SOMEONE COME UP AND TOUCH HER ON THE SHOULDER. SHE TURNED
AND THE PERSON SAID, " MUCHAS GRACIAS. TE ESPERO?" WHICH MEANT,
THANK YOU' SHOULD I WAIT FOR YOU? THEN HE WALKED AWAY. SHE DIDN,T
SEE HIS FACE, BUT SHE KNEW IT WAS MY UNCLE BY THE WAY HE WAS BUILT.
EVERYONE IN TOWN KNOWS THIS AND BELIEVES IT, TOO.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT KNOWS THIS IS TRUE AND BELIEVES IN IT COMPLETELY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT ; CAMPUS

James Callow Keyword(s): NUMBERS

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Prayer
BELIEF -- Number P686.1.30
SPEECH -- To Be Seen

Date learned: 11-00-1975

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LEGEND

THERE WERE 12 NUNS IN A CONVENT WHO MADE A VOW SAYING THAT AFTER THEY
DIED THEY WANTED TO HAVE A ROSARY WITH ONE LIVE PERSON FOR SO MANY
DAYS AND IF THE PERSON STAYED WITH THEM FOR TEN DAYS, THEY WOULD GIVE
THE PERSON THEIR CONVENT. A LADY WENT DOWN THERE NOT KNOWING THE
STORY AND ASKED AN INNKEEPER IF THERE WERE ANY MOTEL ROOMS SHE COULD
STAY IN. HE TOLD HER SHE COULD STAY IN THE CONVENT. SO SHE
STAYED THERE BECAUSE SHE THOUGHT IT WAS DESERTED. THEN THE 12 NUNS
ALL HOLDING CANDLES, WALKED BY HER AND INTO THE CHURCH. SHE
FOLLOWED THEM IN AND WATCHED THEM SAYING THE ROSARY, WITH ONE OF
THEM SAYING IT AND EVERYONE ELSE ANSWERING IT. THIS HAPPENED FOR TEN
DAYS AND EVERYDAY THE NUNS WOULD DISAPPEAR AS SOON AS THE ROSARY WAS
DONE. ON THE FINAL DAY, AS THE NUNS WERE WALKING OUT, ONE OF THEM
HANDED A NOTE TO THE WOMAN. THE NOTE THANKED HER FOR HELPING THEM
FULFILL THEIR VOW. THEN IT SAID THAT THEY GAVE THE CONVENT TO HER.
THIS IS A TRUE STORY. EVERYONE KNEW ABOUT IT AND KNEW IT WAS
TRUE. THIS HAPPENED IN THE 40'S IN MEXICO. THE WOMAN WENT BACK TO
THE INNKEEPER AFTER THIS WAS OVER AND ASKED HIM ABOUT IT. SO THEN HE
TOLD HER ABOUT THE NUNS, VOW.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT HAD SEVERAL STORIES WHICH WERE BASED IN MEXICO.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT ; CAMPUS

James Callow Keyword(s): NUMBERS

Subject headings: 686 First / Once / One / Newness
686 Seconds / Twice / Two
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Religious hero
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial
SPEECH -- To Be Seen

Date learned: 11-00-1975

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CUSTOM

MERCHANT SHIPS HONOR "MAN OF WAR" SHIPS BY DIPPING THEIR FLAGS AT
HALF MASK AND THEN RAISING IT. THE WAR SHIP ANSWERS BACK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GRAND MARAIS

Keyword(s): MAST

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Work Commerce Business
SPEECH -- To Be Seen

Date learned: NOT INCLUDED

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AMERICAN CUSTOM

WHEN DEEP SEA FISHING PARTIES ARE SUCCESSFUL THEY RETURN TO THE
FISHING PORT WITH A RED FLAG ATTACHED TO THE BOAT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GRAND MARAIS

Keyword(s): COLOR RED

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Work Commerce Business
SPEECH -- To Be Seen

Date learned: NOT INCLUDED

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BIRTH

IT IS CUSTOMARY TO PUT A PINK OR BLUE BOW ON THE OUTSIDE DOOR OF
THE HOME TO ANNOUNCE THE BIRTH OF A BABY IN THAT FAMILY.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT GAVE ME THIS ITEM WHILE VISITING AT MY HOME IN TAYLOR,
MICHIGAN. THE INFORMANT LEARNED IT FROM A NEIGHBOR WHERE SHE LIVES
IN MARBLEHEAD, MASS. AND RECENTLY PUT THE CUSTOM INTO PRACTICE.
MARBLEHEAD, MASS. IS A VERY SMALL NEW ENGLAND TOWN ON THE COAST
APPROXIMATELY 40 MINUTES FROM BOSTON. THIS CUSTOM HAS BEEN PRACTICED
SINCE APPROXIMATELY THE TURN OF THE CENTURY AND IS STILL DONE TODAY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; TAYLOR

Subject headings: Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth
SPEECH -- To Be Seen

Date learned: 11-00-1977

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SYMBOL

THE CAPTAINS OF ANY SHIPPING VESSEL ALWAYS HAD AN EAGLE OVER THEIR
DOORWAY SO THAT IF A SAILOR CAME INTO A STRANGE TOWN AND WAS LOOKING
FOR A BERTH ON A SHIP, HE WOULD KNOW WHICH HOUSE TO GO TO BY
SPOTTING AN EAGLE OVER THE DOOR. IF HE SPOTTED ONE, HE KNEW THAT
THE MAN WHO LIVED THERE WAS A CAPTAIN OF A SHIPPING VESSEL. THE
SAILOR COULD THEN GO AND REQUEST A BERTH ON HIS SHIP.

Submitter comment: THE EAGLE OVER THE DOORWAY HAD ITS SIGNIFICANCE DURING THE FISHING
DAYS IN MARLEHEAD AND MOST OF THE LITTLE FISHING TOWNS ALONG THE
EAST COAST, AS A MEANS OF IDENTIFYING CAPTAINS OF VESSELS. THIS
TRADITION WAS CARRIED OVER FROM ENGLAND. TODAY, MOST ANYBODY CAN
PUT AN EAGLE OVER THEIR DOOR IF THEY WANT TO, BUT IT DOES NOT HOLD
THE SIGNIFICANCE AS A MEANS OF IDENTIFICATION AS IT ONCE DID. THIS
ITEM AS WELL AS THE COMMENTS WERE TAKEN DIRECTLY AS THE INFORMANT
GAVE THEM TO ME WHILE VISITING AT MY HOME.
THIS IS AN INTERESTING SYMBOL.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; TAYLOR

Subject headings: Favorites
SPEECH -- To Be Seen

Date learned: 11-00-1977 ; 00-00-1973

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VOCABULARY OF GROUP

TRUCK DRIVERS WILL LET OTHER TRUCKS AND SOME CARS KNOW WHEN THEY
HAVE SAFELY PASSED BY FAR ENOUGH, SO THAT THEY MAY CUT BACK INTO THE
TRAVELING LANE, BY FLASHING THEIR HEADLIGHTS OFF AND THEN ON AGAIN.
THIS LETS THE PASSING TRUCK KNOWN ( KNOW ) HE IS CLEARED ENOUGH TO
CUT BACK IN. THE PASSING TRUCK ACKNOWLEDGES THANKS BY IN TURN
FLASHING HIS LIGHTS. THIS IS GENERALLY ONLY DONE ON FOUR-LANE
HIGHWAYS. IT CAN BE DONE AT NIGHT AND IN THE DAY TIME. I HAVE
PERSONALLY OBSERVED THIS ON THE NEW YORK STATE THRUWAY.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; LeRoy

Keyword(s): AUTOMOBILES AND TRUCKS

Subject headings: SPEECH -- To Be Seen

Date learned: 03-00-1971

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PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION CAMPAIGNS--VENEZUELA

DURING THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION CAMPAIGNS IN VENEZUELA, THE PEOPLE
USE PAINT TO SPRAY THE NAMES OF THEIR FAVORITE CANDIDATES ALL OVER
THE COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS. ALMOST EVERY STORE IS COVERED WITH NAMES
AND SYMBOLS OF VARIOUS CANDIDATES. EACH CANDIDATE IS REPRESENTED BY
A SYMBOL SUCH AS AN EAR OR A NOSE, AND EACH CANDIDATE IS REPRESENTED
BY A PARTICULAR COLOR. THIS IS DUE TO THE HIGH ILLITERACY RATES IN
VENEZUELA.

Where learned: DETROIT ; MICHIGAN, ASSUMED

Subject headings: SPEECH -- To Be Seen

Date learned: 11-15-1968

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TYPOGRAPHICAL DISPLAY

YOU'LL FIND THIS PRINTED IN INFINTISIMALLY ( INFINITESIMALLY ) SMALL
PRINT ON THE BACK OF AN ENVELOPE: "PEOPLE SURE ARE NOSEY".

Submitter comment: I RECEIVED A LETTER LIKE THIS WHILE I WAS AT A BOARDING SCHOOL WHERE
ALL OUR MAIL WAS CHECKED. NEEDLESS TO SAY THE NUN WHO CHECKED THIS
PARTICULAR PIECE WAS A BIT INSULTED BY THE IMPLICATION.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: SPEECH -- To Be Seen

Date learned: 00-00-1965

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ARTS AND CRAFTS

NO CAMP COUNSELOR IS TRULY A COUNSELOR WITHOUT HIS LANYARD AND
WHISTLE, FOR THIS IS HIS SYMBOL OF AUTHORITY AND IS EVEN USED AS
SUCH BY THE CAMPERS WHEN THEY PUT ON SKITS ABOUT THEIR COUNSELORS.
THE LANYARDS ARE MADE BY THE COUNSELOR HIMSELF IN HIS FIRST ENCOUNTE
WITH ARTS AND CRAFTS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MEMPHIS ; SAINT MARYS CAMPUS

Subject headings: SPEECH -- To Be Seen

Date learned: DATE NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR.

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