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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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A HOUSEWIFE CANNOT CUT DRESS MATERIAL ON A FRIDAY.
THIS WILL BRING BAD LUCK WHEN THE DRESS IS WORN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MILFORD

James Callow Keyword(s): SEWING

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour
BELIEF -- Measure of time Working
BELIEF -- Bad luck Activities
BELIEF -- Bad luck Time (year, season, week, hour, etc.) Occasion Event

Date learned: 09-22-1968

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RETURN OF THE DEAD

AROUND 1940 A WOMAN NAMED BESSIE SABOL DIED IN SOUTHWEST
DETROIT. MRS. HURLEY ASSISTED IN THE ARRANGEMENTS FOR BURIAL
AND SUBSEQUENTLY WAS ASKED TO STAY WITH THE DAUGHTER OF THE
WOMAN, WHO FEARED LIVING ALONE IN THE HOME. SEVERAL OTHERS
HAD STAYED WITH THE WOMAN, BUT HAD LEFT WITH STORIES OF A
GHOST IN THE HOME. MRS. HURLEY STAYED IN THE HOME FOR
2 DAYS. THE THIRD NIGHT LOUD BANGING AND CLANGING NOISES
WERE HEARD IN THE PANTRY, MRS. HURLEY WENT TO
INVESTIGATE AND SAW THE GHOST OF THE DEAD WOMAN CLEANING UP THE
MESS THAT THE DAUGHTER HAD LEFT IN THE PANTRY. THE POTS AND PANS
WERE SCATTERED ALL ABOUT. THIS WOMAN HAD BEEN KNOWN FOR
HER NEATNESS. MY GRANDMOTHER TOLD THE DAUGHTER THAT AS LONG
AS SHE KEPT THE PANTRY CLEAN, THE NOISES WOULD STOP. THEY
DID, AND THEY HAVEN'T BEEN HEARD SINCE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

James Callow Keyword(s): GHOST RETURNS TO DO HOUSEWORK

Subject headings: 686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple
Favorites
BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter

Date learned: 11-11-1974

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GOOD FRIDAY BELIEF

IT IS A SIN TO USE A NEEDLE ON GOOD FRIDAY, OR TO USE ANY KIND OF
ANIMAL FATS ON GOOD FRIDAY.

Submitter comment: SHE LEARNED THESE BELIEFS FROM HER MOTHER AS A CHILD, BUT DOES NOT
BELIEVE IN THEM OR PRACTICE THEM NOW. (1920'S)

Where learned: PENNSYLVANIA ; PITTSBURGH

Keyword(s): FOOD CUSTOM ; IRON ; SEWING ; WORK TABOO

Subject headings: 663 Good Friday

Date learned: 10-02-1971

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Entry filtered.

POLISH JOKE

Historical record from James Callow Folklore Archive.

WHO DISCOVERED POLAND? THE ROTO ROOTER MAN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SOUTHFIELD

James Callow Keyword(s): ROTO ROOTER IS A SEWER CLEANING COMPANY

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Poli

Date learned: 02-00-1980

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DON'T START A DRESS ON FRIDAY, BECAUSE YOU'LL NEVER LIVE
TO SEE IT FINISHED.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; MURFREESBORO

Keyword(s): SEWING SEW

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time Routine activity
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Measure of time Routine activity

Date learned: 06-18-1972

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NEVER, NEVER MAKE A BABY'S CAP BEFORE THE BABY ARRIVES
OR YOU'LL HAVE BAD LUCK WITH THE BABY.

Where learned: TENNESSEE, ASSUMED ; MADISON

James Callow Keyword(s): SEWING

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Birth
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 07-10-1973

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RIDDLE

WHAT IS BLACK AND HAS PIMPLES ON TOP?
-- A SEWER TOP

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; FARMINGTON ; TOLD AT

Keyword(s): SEWER

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

Date learned: 03-00-1971

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Goblin Story

A few years ago, in the main plant of Valente's Men's Formal Wear, the general manager, Marty Rapp, and David Palm were cleaning out the drainage wells beside the 50 pound washers down in the laundry. These wells are about 3 feet in diameter and 6 feet deep. Marty, being general manager, directed, while Dave did the cleaning. All of a sudden, Dave found himself being pulled into the well. He was waist deep in the murky water before Marty pulled him out by the arm. Maybe it was well that Marty was there directing, far Max, a vile, loathsome creature that lives in the sewers under Valente's had tried to pull Dave down into his submarine lair. For what purpose, no one knows, but it is certain it wouldn't have been pleasant. From then on, people are cautioned not to walkalone in the laundry in the dark.

Submitter comment:

For us at Valente's, Max is something to blame accidents on. Dave didn't really get pulled into the well, Marty pushed him in. Though, if you ask anyone there about Dave falling into the well, you will probably get the version with Max in it, then the real one.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; VALENTES MENS FORMALWEAR

Keyword(s): FANTASY ; Goblin ; Lore ; Mischief ; OMEN ; SEWER ; Submarine ; SUPERNATURAL ; WATER

Subject headings:

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Goblin Story

A few years ago, in the main plant of Valente's Men's Formal Wear, the general manager, Marty Rapp, and David Palm were cleaning out the drainage wells beside the 50 pound washers down in the laundry. These wells are about 3 feet in diameter and 6 feet deep. Marty, being general manager, directed, while Dave did the cleaning. All of a sudden, Dave found himself being pulled into the well. He was waist deep in the murky water before Marty pulled him out by the arm. Maybe it was well that Marty was there directing, far Max, a vile, loathsome creature that lives in the sewers under Valente's had tried to pull Dave down into his submarine lair. For what purpose, no one knows, but it is certain it wouldn't have been pleasant. From then on, people are cautioned not to walkalone in the laundry in the dark.

Submitter comment:

For us at Valente's, Max is something to blame accidents on. Dave didn't really get pulled into the well, Marty pushed him in. Though, if you ask anyone there about Dave falling into the well, you will probably get the version with Max in it, then the real one.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; VALENTES MENS FORMALWEAR

Keyword(s): FANTASY ; Goblin ; Lore ; Mischief ; OMEN ; SEWER ; Submarine ; SUPERNATURAL ; TRICKSTER ; WATER

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Fairy Elf Goblin Gnome

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Ethnic: Polish

House Initiation / Polish Custom:

Put  a cat in a house before you move into it and there will always be good luck.

Submitter comment:

A neighbor came over to borrow our cat for one of their relatives who had just bought a new house. These relatives of ournaighbors had just recently come over from Poland. I don't know the people's names and the neighbor doesn't live around here any more.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [F532] crossed out. Replaced with current classifications.

Message on the bottom of card:

[Please copy this item on the yellow card below so it will ALSO be filed under F686]

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; Myself

Keyword(s): CAT ; ETHNIC ; fortune ; Good ; House ; Housewarming ; LUCK ; OMEN ; POLAND ; POLISH ; SUPERSTITION

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Initiation rite Hazing
BELIEF -- Mammal

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Retort

Q: So what?

Retort: Buttons on eggs, zippers on bananas.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Keyword(s): Bananas ; BUTTONS ; COMEBACK ; Eggs ; RETORT ; SARCASM ; Sew ; SEWING ; Wisecrack ; Zippers

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Formula

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Retort

I feel like a tailor.

How's that?

sew-sew.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Keyword(s): COMEBACK ; Fabric ; HUMOR ; PLAY ON WORDS ; PUN ; RETORT ; SARCASM ; SEWING ; Tailor ; Wisecrack

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Formula

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TO FIX A MOUSE EATEN HOLE IN A GARMENT BRINGS BAD LUCK
TO THE MENDER.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated on 09-01-11

Where learned: MISSISSIPPI ; BELZONI

Keyword(s): BAD LUCK ; Fix ; Garment ; Hole ; LUCK ; Mend ; Mouse ; Sew

James Callow Keyword(s): MENDING SEWING

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bad luck Activities

Date learned: 06-06-1973

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BUTTON BELIEF

YOU SHOULD NOT SEW A BUTTON ON YOUR OWN GARMENTS (ON YOUR BODY)
UNLESS YOU ARE CHEWING SOMETHING.

Submitter comment:

THE REASON IS THAT YOU SEW THINGS ON DEAD PEOPLE. A JEWISH
CUSTOM.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; Button ; CUSTOM ; Dead ; Deceased ; Jewish ; Mend ; Sew ; Sew ; SUPERSTITION

Subject headings: Custom
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal

Date learned: 04-00-1968

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IF YOU VISIT PEOPLE IN A NEW HOME, BRING BREAD AND SALT
AS A GIFT, AND THE PEOPLE WILL ALWAYS HAVE PLENTY TO EAT.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; NATIONAL MANUFACTURING COMPANY ; UTICA

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; BREAD ; Eat ; FOOD ; GIFT ; Housewarming ; Salt ; SUPERSTITION ; SYMBOL

James Callow Keyword(s): HOMEOPATHIC

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

Date learned: 10-31-1969

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SEWING ON SUNDAY

IF YOU SEW ON SUNDAY YOU WILL HAVE TO REMOVE ALL THE
STITCHES WITH YOUR NOSE WHEN YOU DIE.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; NOSE ; PUNISHMENT ; Sew ; SEWING ; Stitches ; Sunday ; SUPERSTITION ; WORK

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Work Commerce Business

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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showing 16 items

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