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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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HE LIT A MATCH,
TO CHECK HIS TANK.
THAT'S WHY THEY CALL HIM
SKINLESS FRANK.
BURMA SHAVE!

Data entry tech comment:

THESE SMALL, ONE LINE SIGNS, USED TO BE DISPLAYED AT INTERVALS
ALONG THE ROAD, SO THAT ONE COULD EASILY READ THEM WHILE
DRIVING ALONG.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; PORT HURON

Keyword(s): ADVERTISING FOR MEN'S SHAVING PRODUCT ; ADVICE ; HUMOR, SATIRE ; METER: TROCHAIC ; QUATRAIN ; RHYME: MASCULINE, ABCAD ; ROADSIDE ADVERTISING

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

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OOEY GOOEY WAS A WORM,
OOEY GOOEY LIKED TO SQUIRM,
OOEY GOOEY CROSSED THE RAILROAD TRACK.
O-O-EY, G-O-O-EY!

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): HUMOR, FIRST PERSON NARRATIVE ; METER: IAMBIC ; MONOLOGUE UNDERSTATEMENT ; RAILROAD DEATH ; RHYME: IMPERFECT, MASCULINE, AABC

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

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WHEN I DIE AND GO ABOVE,
I WILL SEE THE BOYS YOU USED TO LOVE,
WHEN YOU DIE AND GO BELOW,
YOU WILL SHOVEL COAL FOR THE B & O.

Where learned: OHIO ; CLEVELAND

James Callow Keyword(s): B & O IS (OR WAS) A RAILROAD, BALTIMORE & OHIO

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Wisecracks, gags, silly stories, insults

Date learned: 00-00-1958

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GOOD LUCK

IF YOU LIFT UP YOUR FEET FROM THE FLOOR AND TOUCH YOUR HANDS TO
THE CEILING WHILE GOING OVER A RAILROAD TRACK IN YOUR CAR, YOU
WILL HAVE GOOD LUCK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): RAILROAD TRACK, LUCK

Subject headings: Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Fate Destiny Luck Chance

Date learned: 03-00-1970

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VERSE

ENGINE, ENGINE NUMBER NINE,
COMING DOWN THE CHICAGO LINE.
IF THE TRAIN SHOULD JUMP THE TRACK,
DO YOU WANT YOUR MONEY BACK?

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; RENO HALL LOBBY

Keyword(s): RAILROAD ; RHETORICAL QUESTION ; RHYME: AABB

Subject headings: 730 Lyrical Verse

Date learned: 10-01-1968

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CAR ACCIDENT

ONCE THERE WAS A CAR ACCIDENT AT J:00 A.M. NEAR CHERRY HILL AND
DENTON ON THE WEST SIDE. THERE WERE TWO PEOPLE KILLED BY A BRIDGE
AS A RESULT OF THE ACCIDENT. THEIR GHOSTS CAN BE HEARD BY THAT
BRIDGE AT THAT PARTICULAR TIME WHEN THE ACCIDENT OCCURRED.

Data entry tech comment: IT IS COMMON KNOWLEDGE THAT GHOSTS ALWAYS COME BACK TO THE SCENES
OF THEIR DEATHS AND TO REMAIN THERE FOR ETERNITY.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT

Keyword(s): DENTON ROAD.

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

Date learned: 10-30-1968

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GHOST STORY

"A GUY WAS TAKING HIS GIRLFRIEND HOME FROM A PARTY LATE ONE NIGHT.
THEY WERE GOING REAL FAST BECAUSE SHE WAS ALREADY LATE. THEY TOOK
A SHORT CUT AND IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD THEY SAW A MAN. HIS HEAD
AND FACE WERE BLEEDING SO THE GUY STOPPED (HE WAS DRIVING REAL
FAST SO WHEN HE STOPPED, HE WAS BEHIND THE MAN). HE GOT OUT TO SEE
IF THE MAN WAS ALL RIGHT, BUT THE MAN HAD DISAPPEARED."

Submitter comment: INFORMANT HEARD THIS STORY FROM HER BOYFRIEND WHO WAS FROM
LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY. HE SAID THAT THERE WERE A LOT OF GHOST
STORIES GOING AROUND THERE BECAUSE OF AND ABOUT DEAD SLAVES.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; ROCHESTER

Keyword(s): ROAD GHOST

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Product or activity of man or animal

Date learned: 00001979CA

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MAKING A WISH

WHEN ELENA WAS YOUNG, SHE WAS TOLD BY HER OLDER SISTER
THAT WHEN SHE WAS RIDING IN A CAR AND IT CROSSED OVER A RAILROAD
TRACK THAT SHE SHOULD TOUCH SMETHING MADE OF METAL AND
LIFT HER FEET OFF THE FLOOR AND MAKE A WISH.

Submitter comment: FORMER ROOMMATE

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SAINT CLAIR SHORES

Keyword(s): RAILROAD TRACK

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

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IN A RADIO OR TELEVISION STUDIO SITUATION ONE OR TWO
HANDS RAISED IN THE AIR WITH THE PALMS FACING THE
PERSON ON THE AIR INDICATES TO THAT PERSON TO GET
READY OR TO STAND BY FOR ANOTHER SIGNAL TO COME.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT IS IN THE FIELD OF COMMUNICATIONS AND
HAS USED THIS GESTURE AND HAS SEEN OTHERS USE A
GESTURE OF SIMILAR NATURE WHEN SPEAKING DURING AN
"AIR SITUATION" IS PROHIBITED.

Where learned: DETROIT ; MICHIGAN, ASSUMED

James Callow Keyword(s): BROADCASTING

Subject headings: 602 Body Parts
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Work Commerce Business
SPEECH -- Instructions Directions

Date learned: 11-01-1971

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THE DRAWING APART OF TWO HANDS AS IF PULLING TAFFY MEANS
TO SLOW DOWN OR TO STRETCH OUT.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT USES THIS WHEN HE'S TALKING. HE USES THIS
WHEN HE IS TRYING TO PROLONG A MOMENT WHILE TRYING
TO FIND THE RIGHT WORDS TO SAY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): BROADCASTING?

Subject headings: 602 Body Parts
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Work Commerce Business
SPEECH -- Instructions Directions

Date learned: 10-03-1971

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IN THE FIELD OF COMMUNICATIONS WHEN SPEAKING IS NOT
ALLOWED DURING AN "AIR SITUATION" THE INDEX FINGER
WHEN POINTED AT THAT PERSON GOING TO BE ON "THE AIR"
BY USE OF THE WHOLE FOREARM IN BENDING AT THE
ELBOW, MEANS THE PERSON CAN BEGIN, OR START.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT IS IN THE FIELD OF COMMUNICATIONS AND
HAS USED THIS SIGNAL TO INSTRUCT A PERSON WHO IS ON
THE AIR TO BEGIN.

Where learned: DETROIT ; MICHIGAN, ASSUMED

Keyword(s): COMMUNICATIONS? CLEAR AS MUD.

James Callow Keyword(s): BROADCASTING

Subject headings: 602 Body Parts
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Work Commerce Business
SPEECH -- Instructions Directions

Date learned: 10-31-1971

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Superstition

Dead Man's Curve

Data entry tech comment:

Possible variations of collector's last name: Dine, Dini, Deni.


Motifs entered by TRD.

Where learned: Self

Keyword(s): Curve ; DEATH ; Road ; SUPERSTITION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Fate Destiny Luck Chance

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Toast

Gaelic Blassing:

May the road rise to meet you, and the wind be always at your back, and may the Lord hold you in the hollow of his hand.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Listed as a toast by other collectors

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): Back ; BLESSING ; DRINKING ; ETHNIC ; Gaelic ; Irish ; Lord ; Road ; Social ; TOAST ; Wind

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Speech Speech
SPEECH -- Formula

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Proverb

The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Keyword(s): Aphorism ; Apothegm ; HELL ; Intent ; Intention ; Maxim ; PAVED ; PROVERB ; Road ; VERSE

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

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Ghost Tale

In Chapel Hill, TN, There is a ghost that roams next to the railroad. All you can see is his light as he flashes it up and down the tracks. It is supposedly a lineman who had fallen off the train many years before. When he fell he lost his head. Now he roams the track swinging the light looking for his head.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Keyword(s): Beheaded ; DECAPITATION ; GHOST ; HEAD ; Lineman ; RAILROAD ; Story ; SUPERNATURAL ; Tale ; Urban Legend

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter

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Saying

Northern Maine Saying:

A direction - Go down the road a piece and then tilt toward tilly.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs Added by TRD

Where learned: MAINE ; Houlton

Keyword(s): DIRECTIONS ; Maine ; REGIONAL ; Road ; Saying ; STATE ; Tilly ; Turn

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Vocabulary of Special Group

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Irish Blessing

May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face

The rains fall soft upon your fields and
Until we meet again...
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs Added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Leave Taking?

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): Back ; BLESSING ; Culture ; ETHNIC ; Field ; God ; Irish ; Rain ; Road ; TRAVEL ; Wind

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Formula

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Irish Blessing

An Irish Blessing

May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
And Grains fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the hollow of his hand.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs Added By TRD

James Callow comment:

Leave-Talking?

Too long, so not included.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BLESSING ; Culture ; God ; Grain ; Irish ; Road ; TRAVEL ; VERSE ; Well Wishes ; Wind

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

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WART CURE:
RUB IT WITH A STOLEN STEAK AND BURY IT WHERE THREE
ROADS CROSS.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; Bury ; Crossroads ; CURE ; Roads ; Steak ; Stolen ; Wart

Subject headings: 686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple
BELIEF -- Method of Curing

Date learned: 09-30-1973

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A CONVERSION TO SEEING A BLACK CAT CROSS THE ROAD
WHILE DRIVING IS TO MAKE AN "X" ON THE WINDSHIELD.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; CORNERSVILLE

Keyword(s): Black ; CAT ; Cross ; DRIVING ; Road ; SUPERSTITION ; X

James Callow Keyword(s): AUTOMOBILE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Cross and its various modifications
BELIEF -- Bad luck Animals
BELIEF -- Conversions

Date learned: 00001972-00001973 (ASSUMED)

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