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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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WALKING DOWN STAIRS

WHEN WALKING UP OR DOWN STAIRS WITH ANOTHER PERSON THE TWO
PEOPLE MUST WALK ON THE SAME SIDE OF THE STAIRS OR BAD LUCK
WILL FOLLOW THEM.

Submitter comment:

INFORMANTS AUNT TOLD HER THIS. INFORMANT HAS BEEN WITH HER
AUNT WHEN SHE HAS DONE THIS.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; LUCK ; Relationship ; Stairs ; SUPERSTITION

James Callow Keyword(s): DIRECTION ; POSITION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

Date learned: 03-05-1971

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BAD GIFT

A GIFT OF A KNIFE WILL PUT AN END TO, OR CUT A FRIENDSHIP.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; FRIENDSHIP ; GIFT ; Relationship ; Sharp ; SUPERSTITION

James Callow Keyword(s): HOMEOPATHIC

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

Date learned: 03-31-1968

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SUPERSTITIOUS BELIEF

IF YOU GIVE A PIN TO SOMEONE WHO'S YOUR FRIEND AND THEY DO
NOT GIVE YOU A PENNY BACK, SOONER OR LATER YOU HAVE A FIGHT AND YOU
LOSE THEM AS A FRIEND. ( THIS ALSO EXTENDS TO ANY GIFT THAT CUTS.)

Submitter comment:

INFORMANTS MOTHER BELEIVES THIS FIRMLY AND SAYS THAT SOONER OR LATER
YOU ARE SURE TO LOSE THIS FRIEND IF THIS SMALL RITUAL IS NOT
CARRIED OUT.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; FRIENDSHIP ; GIFT ; MONEY ; Payment ; Relationship ; Sharp ; SIGN ; SUPERSTITION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

Date learned: 09-21-1969

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PREDICTION BELIEF

DO NOT GIVE A KNIFE AS A GIFT OR YOU WILL FIGHT WITH THE
PERSON TO WHOM YOU GAVE IT.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; FRIENDSHIP ; GIFT ; Relationship ; Sharp ; SUPERSTITION

James Callow Keyword(s): HOMEOPATHIC ; HOSTILITY

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

Date learned: 10-00-1969

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WHEN CROSSING A BRIDGE OVER WATER HOLD YOUR BREATH AND
PICK UP YOUR FEET OR YOU LOSE YOUR BOYFRIEND.

Submitter comment:

ACQUIRED IN TAMPA, FLORIDA WHILE SHE WAS IN GRADE SCHOOL.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; Boyfriend ; BREATH ; Bridge ; FEET ; Girlfriend ; Relationship ; SUPERSTITION ; WATER

James Callow Keyword(s): DIRECTION ; POSITION

Subject headings: Prediction / Divination
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Feet, toes, toenails
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Marriage Dating Courtship
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 08-02-1969

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PREDICTION

WHILE GOING OVER A RAILROAD TRACK YOU MUST PICK UP YOUR FEET
OR YOU WILL LOSE YOUR BOY OR GIRL FRIEND.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; Boyfriend ; Girlfriend ; Relationship ; SUPERSTITION ; Tracks

James Callow Keyword(s): DIRECTION ; POSITION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Feet, toes, toenails
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Marriage Dating Courtship
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 09-00-1969

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WHEN YOU ARE RIDING OVER RAILROAD TRACKS IN A CAR, YOU
SHOULD LIFT YOUR FEET OFF THE FLOOR SO YOU WILL NOT LOSE YOUR
NEXT GIRL FRIEND.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; Boyfriend ; Car ; Girlfriend ; Relationship ; SUPERSTITION ; Tracks

James Callow Keyword(s): DIRECTION ; POSITION

Subject headings:

Date learned: 09-25-1968

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GOOD LUCK

WHEN GIVING A PURSE OR WALLET AS A GIFT, ALWAYS INCLUDE A PENNY
SO THE PERSON WON'T GO BROKE.

WHEN GIVING A GIFT WITH A SHARP EDGE, SUCH AS A KNIFE OR A LETTER-OPENER, ALWAYS INCLUDE A COIN SO THE FRIENDSHIP WON'T BE CUT.

Submitter comment:

These customs were telated with skepticism, but I receivedf a purse as a gift (with a penny included!) on the very same day.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

James Callow comment:

Re: Collector Comment: [I am glad you are including this kind of information.]

Where learned: OHIO ; LIMA

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; COIN ; Cut ; FRIENDSHIP ; GIFT ; MONEY ; Relationship ; Sharp ; SUPERSTITION

James Callow Keyword(s): HOMEOPATHIC

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

Date learned: 11-00-1969

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BELIEF

WHEN A FRIEND LEAVES, DON'T WATCH HIM GO OUT OF SIGHT
OR YOU WILL NEVER SEE HIM AGAIN.

Submitter comment:

I WAS TOLD THIS WHEN PARTED FROM BOY FRIEND WHO BELIEVED THIS.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; Departure ; Goodbye ; Relationship ; SUPERSTITION

James Callow Keyword(s): HOMEOPATHIC

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

Date learned: 04-00-1972

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Historical record from James Callow Folklore Archive.

WHILE DATING IN HIGH SCHOOL, IT WAS
SAID THAT YOU COULD GO TO BELLE ISLE
TO "WATCH THE SUBMARINE RACES," WHICH
WAS ACTUALLY AN EXCUSE TO GO PARKING
AND KISS.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): Belle Isle ; DATE ; DATING ; EUPHEMISM ; INTERCOURSE ; PARKING ; Relationship ; SEX ; Submarine ; Teenager

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage

Date learned: 00-00-1960

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OLD IRISH CUSTOM

IRISH MOTHERS THROW HOLY WATER ON THEIR KIDS WHEN THEY ARE
FIGHTING IN ORDER TO DRIVE OUT THE DEVIL. THE THROWING OF HOLY WATER
WAS SUPPOSED TO BE AN EXORCISM TO DRIVE THE RAGE(DEVIL) OUT OF
PEOPLE WHO WERE FIGHTING.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; RENO HALL ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): CUSTOM ; DEVIL ; EVIL EYE ; Fighting ; Holy Water ; IRELAND ; Irish ; Relationship ; Sibling

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Custom
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

Date learned: 09-29-1968

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RAILROAD TRACKS

WHILE RIDING IN A CAR, IF YOU PASS OVER ANY RAILROAD TRACKS
AND DO NOT PICK UP BOTH YOUR FEET OFF THE FLOOR, YOU WILL LOSE
YOUR BOY FRIEND.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; GRAND RAPIDS

James Callow Keyword(s): BELIEF ; Boyfriend ; FEET ; Railroad Tracks ; Relationship ; SUPERSTITION

Subject headings: Prediction / Divination
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

Date learned: 11-00-1968

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EDGE-WISE

WHEN GIVING A GIFT WITH SHARP EDGES, A PENNY SHOULD BE GIVEN
FOR EACH EDGE SO THAT THE FRIENDSHIP WILL NOT BE CUT.

Submitter comment:

FROM HER MOTHER

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; FERNDALE

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; Cut ; FRIENDSHIP ; GIFT ; MONEY ; Relationship ; Sever ; Sharp ; SYMBOL

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

Date learned: 12-04-1965

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RAILROAD TRACKS

TO KEEP YOUR BOY FRIEND, WHEN DRIVING OVER RAILROAD TRACKS,
A GIRL MUST LIFT HER LEFT FOOT OFF THE CAR FLOOR AND TOUCH
THE ROOF OF THE CAR WITH HER TWO INDEX FINGERS.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; Boyfriend ; Railroad Tracks ; Relationship ; SUPERSTITION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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IF A FISHERMAN WENT OUT TO THE OCEAN TO FISH AND SAW A PERSON
HE DID NOT LIKE OR THAT DISLIKED HIM, IT IS SAID THAT
HE SHOULD GO BACK TO SHORE, BECAUSE HE WILL NOT
CATCH ANY MORE FISH THAT DAY.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; CATCH ; Fisherman ; OMEN ; Relationship ; SIGN

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Work Commerce Business

Date learned: 03-00-1971

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A BOY MUST BE THE FIRST TO KISS A GIRL ON NEW YEAR'S DAY OR ELSE
SHE WILL BE WITHOUT A BEAU THROUGH THE YEAR.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; FARMINGTON

Keyword(s): KISS ; New Years ; Relationship ; tradition

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: CA00001920

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PROVERB

IF YOUR EAR RINGS,
YOUR NAME SOMEONE SINGS.

Submitter comment:

THE INFORMANT FIRST HEARD THIS PROVERB IN 1976. THE STYLISTIC
DEVICES OF RHYME AND METER ARE USED. INVERSION IS PRESENT IN
THIS SHORT PIECE. KEY WORDS ARE EMPHASIZED AND A CAUSE AND EFFECT
RELATIONSHIP IS PRESENT. IT IS AN "A = B" EQUATION. THE
COLLECTOR INTERPRETS THIS TO MEAN THAT SOMEONE IS TALKING ABOUT
YOU, IF YOUR EARS RING.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; ALLEN PARK

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; GOSSIP ; Longing ; PREDICTION ; Relationship ; RHYME ; SIGN ; Sing ; SONG ; TALK

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Belief C860.477
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Belief Belief
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Speech C870.400
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Speech C870.582
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Speech C870.584
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Proverb Proverb
BELIEF -- Use of Object P860.438
SPEECH -- Syntax

Date learned: 10-00-1980 ; 09-00-1976

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Entry filtered.

Historical record from James Callow Folklore Archive.

NEGROES WERE TAUGHT THE FOLLOWING:
1. DON'T LOOK AT A WHITE WOMAN BECAUSE THEY WILL HANG YOU. (MAN)
2. DON'T TOUCH ANY ARTICLE WHEN YOU ENTER A STORE OR THEY'LL
THINK YOU ARE SHOPLIFTING.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Keyword(s): Black ; Inter-racial ; Men ; RACISM ; Relationships ; SEXISM ; Shoplifting ; SHOPPING ; White ; WOMEN

James Callow Keyword(s): RACISM ; SEXISM ; SHOPPING

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Work Commerce Business

Date learned: 08-09-1968

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