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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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BRAD JACKSON JR. A DRIVER FOR BRAD JACKSON INC. RELATED TO ME
THE STORY OF A FLORIDA PUBLIC SERVICE COMMITTEE MAN STOPPING
A SEMI-DRIVER NEAR JACKSONVILLE AND ASKED TO SEE THE DRIVER'S LOG
BOOK, THE DRIVER REPLIED, ME SUH, I AIN'T HAULIN' NO LOGS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ROYAL OAK

James Callow Keyword(s): OCCUPATIONAL FOLKLORE TRUCK DRIVER

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Jest Anecdote

Date learned: 12-01-1972

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TRUCK DRIVING PROWESS

DURING THE 1940'S AND EARLY 1950'S SEMI DRIVERS
FOLLOWING EACH OTHER ON OLD U.S. 22 (ONE OF THE FEW TRUCK
ROUTES INTO THE NEW YORK METRO AREA FROM THAT AREA [HARRISBURG, PENNSYLVANIA]) USED TO ENGAGE IN A "CONTEST"
BY ALTERNATELY KNOCKING OUT THE ROADSIDE MAILBOXES BY SWAYING THE
REARMOST END OF THE TRAILER.

Submitter comment:

THE INFORMANT'S INFORMANT: JOHN POTERE A DRIVER FOR MCCLEAN TRUCKING. THE INFORMATION WAS OBTAINED IN HARRISBURG, PENNSYLVANIA IN OCTOBER OF 1969.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ROYAL OAK

James Callow Keyword(s): OCCUPATIONAL FOLKLORE TRUCK DRIVERS

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Special Object or Implement
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion
BELIEF -- Outlaw Criminal Bandit Pirate
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal

Date learned: 12-01-1972

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RIDDLE

Q: TO WHAT MAN DOES EVERY ONE ALWAYS TAKE OFF HIS HAT?
A: THE BARBER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): LITERAL ; PERSONS (A) ; PERSONS (Q) ; WEARABLE (Q)

James Callow Keyword(s): OCCUPATIONS

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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PROVERBIAL PHRASE IN VERSE FORM

ALL ARE ARCHITECTS OF FATE,
WORKING IN THE WALLS OF TIME.
SOME WITH MASSIVE DEEDS OF GREAT,
SOME WITH ORNAMENTS OF RHYME.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): OBSERVATION ; OCCUPATIONS ; POETS

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Lyrical Verse
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Proverb
PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

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THE LIFE OF A FIREMAN

OH, FOR THE LIFE OF A FIREMAN,
OH, FOR THE LIFE OF A FIREMAN,
TO STAND UPON THE ENGINE RED,
AND SHOUT TO THE HORSES,
GO AHEAD, GO AHEAD, GO AHEAD!

THE FIREMAN'S BAND, THE FIREMAN'S BAND,
HERE'S MY HEART AND HERE'S MY HAND.
HERE'S MY HEART AND HERE'S MY HAND.

NOW DON'T YOU REALLY, REALLY THINK,
THAT IT'S TIME WE HAD A DRINK,
(A HELL OF A LONG ONE)

THE FIREMAN'S BAND, THE FIREMAN'S BAND,
HERE'S MY HEART AND HERE'S MY HAND.
CLANG, CLANG, CLANG,
SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS
THE DAMN FIRE'S OUT!

Submitter comment:

A COLLEGE SONG

Data entry tech comment:

Informant and collector are the same person.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): OCCUPATION

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Good humor Jest

Date learned: 12-04-1969

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BUTTERCUP

I'M A LITTLE BUTTERCUP
DEAR LITTLE BUTTERCUP
THOUGH I COULD NEVER TELL WHY
BUT STILL I'M CALLED BUTTERCUP
SWEET LITTLE BUTTERCUP
DEAR LITTLE BUTTERCUP, I.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT SINGS THIS IN SCHOOL.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAINT CLAIR SHORES

Keyword(s): BUTTERCUP

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

Date learned: 08-11-1964

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SNEAKY

THERE WAS A GUY WO RETIRED HERE AT FORD'S SOME YEARS AGO. FOR A
LONG TIME BEFORE HIS RETIREMENT, HE USED TO GO THROUGH THE PLANT
GATES WITH A WHEELBARROW FULL OF SAW DUST. THE GUARDS WOULD SIFT
THROUGH THE SAWDUST, BUT THEY NEVER FOUND ANYTHING, SO THEY WOULD
LET HIM GO. THIS WENT ON FOR A COUPLE OF YEARS. THEN THE DAY OF HIS
RETIREMENT CAME. AFTER THE TRADITIONAL DINNER AND HONORS AND
SPEECHES, THE MAN LEFT THE COMPANY.
BEFORE HE DID, HOWEVER, ONE OF HIS
FELLOW EMPLOYEES ASKED HIM WHAT HE WAS TAKING OUT WITH ALL THOSE
WHEELBARROWS THAT HE HAD BEEN TAKING THROUGH THE GATES ALL THIS
TIME. HE ANSWERED VERY SERIOUSLY, "WHEELBARROWS."

Submitter comment: (I HEARD THIS STORY, TOLD AS BEING TRUE, FROM MAC MCLAIN AT
THE FORD MOTOR COMPANY IN DEARBORN WHEN I WORKED THERE IN 1955-569)

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): OCCUPATIONAL STORY

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Outlaw Criminal Bandit Pirate

Date learned: 05-00-1965

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WHEN YOU SEE A CHIMNEY SWEEP, QUICKLY PULL OFF A BUTTON FROM YOUR
CLOTHING TO PREVENT BAD LUCK.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT FOUND THIS AMUSING BUT IMPRACTICAL.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; LINCOLN PARK

Keyword(s): CONVERSION ; HOME, DOMESTIC PURSUITS ; OCCUPATIONS: CHIMNEY SWEEPING

Subject headings: ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Dress
BELIEF -- Conversions P883.22

Date learned: 10-08-1971

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CURE FOR THE HICCUPS

WHEN SOMEONE HAS THE HICCUPS THEY SHOULD DRINK A GLASS
OF WATER UPSIDE DOWN.

Where learned: CANNOT REMEMBER

Keyword(s): HICCUPS

Subject headings: --

Date learned: 00-00-1978 ; 11-00-1987

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THERE IS A PLATEAU IN THE NEW MEXICAN ROCKY MOUNTAINS THAT IS SHAPED
LIKE A SKULL. THE STORY GOES THAT COWBOYS WOULD GO UP THERE LOOKING
FOR WILD HORSES THAT THEY HEARD RUNNING UP THERE BUT EVERY TIME THEY
GOT UP THERE THEY FOUND NO HORSES AND NO TRACKS. ONE DAY A NATIVE
COWBOY GOES UP THERE BY HIMSELF AND LATER COMES RACING DOWN, RUSHES
INTO THE ROOM WHERE THEY ARE ALL SITTING, DROPS TO HIS KNEES, AND
PRAYERS FOR HALF AN HOUR STRAIGHT. WHEN HE IS THROUGH HE REFUSES
TO TELL ANYONE WHAT HAPPENED TO HIM UP THERE.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT HEARD THIS ON A CAMPING TRIP WHILE HE WAS OUT THERE.

Where learned: NEW MEXICO

James Callow Keyword(s): OCCUPATIONS

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Mammal

Date learned: 00-00-1983 ; 11-00-1987

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One night my little brother Mike, had the hick-ups.
Mike was only 8 years old at the time, so I liked
to pick on him. Knowing that he would do just
about anything, I told him that I could cure his
hick-ups as long as he did exactly what I said.
Mike agreed. First I told Mike to stand up. Then
I said to raise his left hand, then to raise his
right foot, then to place his right hand pinky
finger on his left nostril, then to close his
right eye, and then finally to jump up and down.
I was just making things up for him to do. It was
funny watching him. But to my whole family's
surprise, Mike's hick-ups were gone.
Since that day I have cured about 15 people with
hick-ups. It works almost always except when
the person is drunk. Then the success rate drops
below 50%.

Submitter comment: I think the reason the cure works is because
the person has to concentrate so hard to keep
from falling down, that the hick-ups go away.

Where learned: MICHIGAN

Keyword(s): Accidental Cure

James Callow Keyword(s): HICCUPS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Method of Curing

Date learned: 00-00-1984

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TO CURE HICCUPS, BEND FORWARD AT THE WAIST AND DRINK A GLASS
OF WATER FROM THE OPPOSITE SIDE OF THE GLASS. HOLD YOUR
BREATH AND DRINK THE ENTIRE GLASS.

Submitter comment:

EXCELLENT CURE!

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MONTANA

Keyword(s): AILMENT ; CURE ; DRINK ; HICCUPS ; Homeopathy ; WATER

James Callow Keyword(s): DIRECTION ; POSITION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Method of Curing

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THE SHANTY BOY

"AS I WALKED OUT ONE EVENING, JUST AS THE SUN WENT DOWN.
I CARELESSLY DID RAMBLE TILL I CAME TO SAGINAW TOWN.
I HEARD TWO GIRLS CONVERSING, AS SLOWLY I PASSED THEM BY;
ONE SAID SHE LOVED A FARMER'S SON, AND THE OTHER A SHANTY
BOY.
"THE ONE THAT LOVED THE FARMER'S SON, THESE WORDS I HEARD
HER SAY,
'THE REASON WHY I LOVE HIM IS AT HOME WITH ME HE'LL STAY;
HE'LL STAY AT HOME ALL WINTER, TO THE WOODS HE WILL NOT GO,
AND WHEN THE SPRINGTIME COMES AGAIN, HIS LANDS HE'LL
PLOW AND SOW.'
'I SHALL ALWAYS PRAISE MY SHANTY BOY WHO GOES TO THE
WOODS IN THE FALL,
HE IS BOTH STOUT AND HEARTY AND FIT TO STAND A SQUALL;
WITH PLEASURE I WILL GREET HIM IN THE SPRING WHEN
HE COMES DOWN.
HIS MONEY ON ME HE'LL SPEND IT FREE WHEN YOUR MOSSBACK
HE HAS NONE.'
HOW CAN YOU PRAISE YOUR SHANTY BOY WHO TO THE WOODS
DOES GO?
HE'S ORDERED OUT BEFORE DAYLIGHT TO FACE THE FROST AND SNOW,
WHILE HAPPY AND CONTENTED MY FARMER'S SON WILL LIE,
SOFT TALES OF LOVE HE'LL TELL TO ME WHILE THE STORMS
ARE BLOWING BY.'
'I NEVER CAN STAND THAT SOFT TALK,' THE OTHER GIRL DID SAY,
'THE MOST OF THEM THEY ARE SO GREEN THE COWS COULD EAT
THEM FOR HAY;
HOW EASY IT IS TO KNOW THEM WHEN THEY COME INTO TOWN,
THE SMALL BOY SHOUTING AFTER THEM, "MOSSBACK, HOW COME
YOU DOWN?'
'WHAT I'VE SAID UNKIND OF YOUR SHANTY BOY, I DO NOT
MEAN IT SO,
AND IF EVER I MEET WITH ONE OF THEM ALONG WITH HIM
I'LL GO,
AND LEAVE MY MOSSBACK FARMERS' SON TO PLOUGH AND PLANT
HIS FARM.
WHILE MY SHANTY BOY SO BOLD AND FREE WILL SAVE ME FROM
ALL HARM.

Submitter comment: THIS SONG COMES FROM NOT AN EDUCATED PERSON BUT FROM
THE HEART OF A LUMBERING CREW. IT FITS THE MENTALITY
OF THE AVERAGE LOGGING CREW.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAGINAW

Keyword(s): LOGGING SONGS ; SHANTY BOY

James Callow Keyword(s): CONTRASTED OCCUPATIONS

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

Date learned: 03-04-1990

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A pregnant beautician will make your hair grow during the middle
months of the pregnancy and fall out at the end.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): OCCUPATION

Subject headings: 686 Ninths / Nine
Favorites
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Hair, on head, mustache, widow's peak
BELIEF -- Work Commerce Business
BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Measure of time Month
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 00-00-1991

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Never trust a bald barber; he has no respect for other people's
hair.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): OCCUPATION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses No hair, baldness
BELIEF -- Work Commerce Business
PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 00-00-1976

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Chest Cold Cure

The following is done to cure a chest cold: An 8 oz. glass is
used and the rim is warmed over a open flame (as on a gas or wood
burning stove). While the glass is still very warm, almost hot,
the glass is placed directly on the chest, starting at either the
right or left side and held in place until it cools. This
procedure is repeated until the entire chest has been covered. If
a more severe condition exists, as in bronchitis, first a small
incision is made with a sharp instrument (knife) to allow bleeding,
then the heated glass is placed over the portion of the chest where
the incision has been made. Again this procedure is repeated until
the entire chest area has been covered.

Submitter comment: This procedure for healing chest colds and bronchitis was
widely used in Poland. I questioned my mother as to whether or not
this actually worked and she maintains that it did. She did tell
me that this procedure left red rings on the chest and it was
actually quite painful since the glass had to be quite hot and the
incisions that were made occasionally left some scars.

James Callow comment: See Puckett, Ohio No. 8526: "For a bad cold in the chest, heat
the inside of a small whiskey glass and put the mouth of the glass
on the person's chest. The skin will puff slightly and the cold
will be cured."

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HAMTRAMCK

James Callow Keyword(s): Cupping on the sternum.

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Method of Curing

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HICCUPS

SOMEWHERE ALONG THE LINE I LEARNED THAT EVERY TIME A
PERSON HICCUPS, HIS HEART SKIPS A BEAT. A LOGICAL
EXPLANATION FOR THIS BELIEF COULD VERY WELL BE THAT
WHEN A DOCTOR IS USING A STETHOSCOPE, WHEN THE PERSON
HICCUPS, THE DOCTOR WOULD NOT HEAR THE HEARTBEAT.
HENCE, IT SKIPS! THIS, HOWEVER, IS NOT TRUE, AS
PROVED BY ELECTROCARDIOGRAPHS.

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; CHICAGO

Keyword(s): HICCUPS=SPASM OF THE DIAPHRAM

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal P477.8

Date learned: 00-00-1966

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WHEN YOU HICCOUGH SOMEONE IS THINKING OF YOU. IF YOU
TRY TO GUESS AND IT STOPS, THAT SOMEONE WAS THINKING
OF YOU.

Where learned: HUNGARY

Keyword(s): HICCUP

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal P477.8

Date learned: 00-00-1897

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SALUTATION GESTURE

WAVING GOODBYE AMONG SICILIANS AND MOST LATIN AMERICANS
ENTAILS CUPPING AND UNCUPPING THE HAND--AS IS COMMON IN
THE U.S. HOWEVER, THIS IS DIRECTED TOWARD'S ONE'S OWN
BODY AND NOT TOWARD THE DEPARTING PERSON. THIS GESTURE
IS REPUTED TO BE A SYMBOLIC YEARNING OF THE OTHER'S SOON
RETURN.

Where learned: FLORIDA ; MIAMI

Keyword(s): CUP THE FINGERS, AND WAVE THEM TOWARD YOURSELF.

Subject headings: 602 Body Parts
SPEECH -- Goodbyes Leavetakings
SPEECH -- Wishes Wants Desires Predictions

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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