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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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"EVERY DAY WE WOULD WALK DOWNTOWN TO TIEDKIES(IN TOLEDO, OHIO)
AND MEET
DAD WHERE WE'D BUY THE GROCERIES, LOOK AT THE ORGAN IN THE STORE, GO
THROUGH THE COFFEE DEPARTMENT AND SMELL ALL THE DIFFERENT SMELLS, AND
WATCH THE MAN PLAY THAT OLD ORGAN. PEOPLE WOULD NEVER THINK OF
WALKING THAT FAR NOW."

Where learned: DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): SINCE BURNED DOWN. ; TIEDKIES WAS A DEPARTMENT & GROCERY STORE. IT HAS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion

Date learned: 11-05-1972

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PROVERB

THE BEST LAID PLANS OF MICE AND MEN OFTEN GO ASTRAY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; TRENTON

Keyword(s): ANIMAL

James Callow Keyword(s): COMMON MISQUOTATION ; OBSERVATION ; ROBERT BURNS

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 12-25-1969

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A CURE

SHE SAYS THEY (FOLK) PUT CLAY ON BURNS
IN ORDER TO HELP THEM HEAL MORE QUICKLY.

Submitter comment: ANNA STANISZKIS LEARNED THIS WHILE SHE SPENT VACATIONS IN THE
COUNTRY IN POLAND.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

Keyword(s): BURNS, TREATMENT OF ; POLISH BELIEF

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mineral

Date learned: 11-30-1967

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HAUNTED HOUSE

THERE IS A HOUSE DOWN THE BLOCK FROM MINE WHICH HAS BEEN
CONSIDERED HAUNTED FOR AS LONG AS I CAN REMEMBER. IT IS A SMALL,
TYPICAL LITTLE BRICK HOME, RATHER DARK IN APPEARANCE BUT NOT THE
LEAST FORBODING. UNTIL ONE HEARS THE STRANGE CIRCUMSTANCES
SURROUNDING THE HISTORY OF THIS HOUSE, THAT IS. OVER TEN YEARS
AGO, A MIDDLE AGED COUPLE LIVED THERE. THE MAN WAS VERY STRANGE.
I CAN REMEMBER AS A CHILD WATCHING HIM WALK TO THE BUS STOP,
ALWAYS WEARING THE SAME BROWN SUIT, THE SAME BROWN HAT, AND WALKING
THE SAME SHUFFLING WALK. NEIGHBORS GOSSIPED CONSTANTLY ABOUT HIM,
BUT SINCE HE BOTHERED NO ONE, NOR DID HIS WIFE, HE WAS FOR THE MOST
PART IGNORED. THEN ONE DAY, POLICE CARS WERE PARKED IN FRONT OF
THE COUPLE'S LITTLE HOME. IT SEEMS THE WOMAN'S DEAD BODY HAD
BEEN FOUND LOCKED IN A CLOSET...SHE HAD BEEN HUNG. IT WAS AN
UNSOLVED MURDER, HOWEVER THE NEIGHBORS ALWAYS HAD THEIR SUSPICIONS.
IT SEEMS THE ROPE AROUND THE DEAD WOMAN'S NECK HAD BEEN TIED INTO
A STRANGE AND INTRICATE KNOT, FREQUENTLY USED BY SAILORS ON BOARD
A SHIP, THE OLD MAN WAS KNOWN TO HAVE BEEN IN THE NAVY.
THE OLD MAN CONTINUED HIS LIFE JUST AS BEFORE, EVERYDAY WALKING TO
WORK IN THE SAME SUIT, AS IF NOTHING HAD HAPPENED TO ALTER HIS LIFE
IN THE SLIGHTEST. HOWEVER, WE CHILDREN WERE INFORMED NEVER TO GO
NEAR THIS HOUSE, WHICH OF COURSE MADE US ALL THE MORE CURIOUS. ONE
DAY, WE WERE SCROUNGING AROUND THE MAN'S GARAGE, WHEN WE FOUND A
BOX OF OLD ROPES BURIED FAR BACK IN A CORNER. SCREAMING, WE RAN
FROM THE GARAGE.
A FEW YEARS AFTER THIS HAPPENED, SIRENS WERE HEARD SCREAMING DOWN
THE STREET LATE IN THE NIGHT. FLASHING RED FIRE TRUCKS WERE
SPRAYING WATER OVER THE LITTLE HOUSE. LATER, IT WAS MADE KNOWN
THE STRANGE LITTLE OLD MAN WAS DEAD. HE HAD BURNED TO DEATH IN HIS
FAVORITE EASY CHAIR. NO ATTEMPT WAS MADE BY HIM TO GET OUT, THE
FIRE HAD BEEN DELIBERATELY SET, AND ALL DOORS TO THE HOUSE (INCLUDIN
DOORS INTO THIS FRONT ROOM HAD BEEN BOLTED.
THIS MAY AT FIRST APPEAR TO BE JUST A SAD STORY OF TWO LONELY OLD
PEOPLE, WITH PERHAPS A RATHER NEUROTIC TWIST. HOWEVER, AFTER MANY
UNSUCCESSFUL YEARS OF TRYING TO RENT OR SELL THIS HOME, THE HOUSE
HAS FINALLY BEGUN TO BE OCCUPIED BY A CONSTANTLY CHANGING STRING OF
WIFE NEVER SPEAKS TO ANYONE. THE CHILDREN ARE ALSO STRANGE...THEY
QUIETLY TO WORK EVERY DAY WEARING THE SAME SUIT (BROWN), AND THE
PEOPLE WHO IN MANY WAYS RESEMBLE THE OLD COUPLE...THE HUSBAND GOES
LOVE TO PLAY WITH ROPES.
AND THIS IS A TRUE STORY.
WOULD NEVER PLAY WITH THE OTHER CHILDREN, NEVER LAUGH, AND SEEM TO

Where learned: LOCATION NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

James Callow Keyword(s): SUICIDE BY BURNING

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Product or activity of man or animal
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Formula tale

Date learned: 03-08-1970

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DAB BUTTER ON A BURN, IT WILL MAKE IT FEEL BETTER.

Submitter comment: MY GRANDMOTHER TOLD ME TO DO THIS WHEN I BURNED
MY HAND WHEN I WAS VISITING HER. I LATER FOUND OUT
THIS IS A TERRIBLE THING TO DO. IT SORT OF FRIES THE
SKIN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; REDFORD

Keyword(s): BURN CURE ; REMEDY

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Remedy

Date learned: 00-00-1967

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LADYBUGS

WHEN ONE FINDS A LADYBUG ON ONE'S CLOTHING, ONE IS SUPPOSED
TO RELEASE THE BUG IN THE AIR (IT WILL FLY) AND SAY:
LADYBUG, LADYBUG,
FLY AWAY HOME,
YOUR HOUSE IN ON FIRE,
AND YOUR CHILDREN ARE ALL ALONE.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Keyword(s): AND YOUR CHILDREN WILL BURN.

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse Lyrical Verse

Date learned: 00-00-1973

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Proverb

Don't light the candle at both ends.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: HOME

Keyword(s): Aphorism ; Apothegm ; Burnout ; Candle ; LIGHT ; Maxim ; PROVERB ; VERSE ; WORK

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

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Riddle

What's black and white and red all over?

Variations of answers:

1) Newspaper
2) Skunk with a diaper rash
3) Penguin with a sunburn
4) Blushing zebra

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs Added by TRD

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Keyword(s): Black ; Blush ; Brain Teaser ; COLOR ; Diaper Rash ; JOKE ; NEWSPAPER ; PLAY ON WORDS ; PUN ; Red ; RIDDLE ; SKUNK ; Sunburn ; White ; WORDPLAY ; Zebra

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

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IF BOTTOM OF FEET BURN, IT'LL RAIN.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; CORNERSVILLE

Keyword(s): Burn ; FEET ; OMEN ; Rain ; SIGN ; WEATHER

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Cloud Fog Mist Rain Hail Ice Snow Frost Dew
BELIEF -- Sensations and involuntary actions

Date learned: 00001972-00001973 (ASSUMED)

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BARN BURNER---MEANS A VERY CLOSE (IN SCORE) ATHLETIC
CONTEST.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Keyword(s): Barn ; Burner ; Nickname ; Score ; SLANG ; SPORTS

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Vocabulary of Special Group

Date learned: 04-00-1972

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WITCH TEST

THE PERSON SUSPECTED OF BEING A WITCH IS TIED AND THROWN
INTO THE WATER. IF SHE ESCAPES, SHE IS A WITCH AND MUST BE
BURNED. IF SHE DROWNS THIS MEANS SHE WAS NOT A WITCH.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: OHIO ; FREMONT

Keyword(s): Burn ; Drown ; Proof ; TEST ; Trial ; Witch ; Witchcraft

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Witch Shaman

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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showing 11 items

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