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James Callow Folklore Archive

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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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THIS IS A WESTERN CUSTOM, ORIGINATING IN HORSE AND BUGGY STAGE,
WHEN A MAN WOULD WALK ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE LADY SO IF ANY DIRT WAS SPLASHED ON THEM,
HE WOULD GET IT INSTEAD OF THE LADY.

Where learned: DETROIT

Keyword(s): STREET ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT'S STUDENT UNION

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

Date learned: 04-01-1971

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SCRATCHED ; SCRATCHING AT THE DOOR (KEYPUNCHER'S TITLE)

SEVERAL DECADES AGO A NUMBER OF CO-EDS WERE HATCHETED TO DEATH AT
MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY. IT WAS THEN DECREED THAT NO CO-ED WAS TO
GO OUT ALONE AFTER DARK. ONE EVENING A CO-ED FOUND IT NECESSARY TO GO
TO THE LIBRARY TO FIND A BOOK WHICH SHE NEEDED FOR AN EXAM ON THE
NEXT DAY. HER ROOMMATE WAS ILL, THE CO-ED WENT OUT ALONE. LATER IN
THE EVENING THE ILL CO-ED HEARD SCRATCHING AT HER DOOR. FRIGHTENED
SHE PUSHED A DRESSER AGAINST THE DOOR AND WAITED. NOTHING FURTHER
WAS HEARD, AND SHE FELL ASLEEP. WHEN SHE AWOKE IN THE MORNING, HER
ROOMMATE HADN'T RETURNED. THE GIRL PUSHED THE DRESSER FROM THE DOOR
AND PULLED IT OPEN. HER ROOMMATE HAD RETURNED. SHE LAY AT THE DOOR,
HAND OUT-STRETCHED, WITH A HATCHET PLANTED IN HER BACK.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT HEARD TALE FROM A FRIEND WHO ATTENDS M.S.U.

Where learned: DETROIT

Keyword(s): CAMPUS HORROR STORY ; DEATH UNIVERSITY ; GORE

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

Date learned: 10-23-1965

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A COMMON, THOUGH ENTIRELY ORAL, SUPERSTITION IS THE TYPICAL
VANDERBILT COED, OR T.V.C. SHE IS RICH, CONCEITED, AND
ALWAYS DATED UP A WEEK IN ADVANCE. IF NOT DATED UP, SHE
STILL REFUSES ANY OFFER FOR THE WEEKEND MADE AFTER WEDNESDAY
NIGHT, AND ALWAYS REFUSES NON-FRATERNITY MEN. THOUGH THIS
INFORMATION APPEARS IN NO CAMPUS PUBLICATIONS, IT HAS BEEN
PREVALENT FOR YEARS AMONG VANDERBILT MEN.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: ALABAMA ; HUNTSVILLE

Keyword(s): Co-ed ; DATE ; DATING ; Female ; Fraternity ; Frigid ; Girl ; SEXISM ; Sorority ; Stereotype ; Vanderbilt University

James Callow Keyword(s): FEMALE WOMAN GIRL

Subject headings: BELIEF -- School

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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THE SQUIRREL LADY

THIS OLD LADY HAS BEEN AROUND THE VANDY CAMPUS EVER
SINCE ANYONE CAN REMEMBER. SHE JUST COMES AROUND THREE
OR FOUR DAYS A WEEK AND FEEDS THE SQUIRRELS AND SHE HAS
NAMES FOR ALL OF THEM. SHE FIGHTS FOR THE SQUIRRELS
WHEN BUILDING IS GOING ON AND THEY START TEARING DOWN
THE TREES WHERE THE SQUIRRELS HAVE THEIR HOMES. OH
YES, SHE WALKS WITH A WALKER.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

James Callow Keyword(s): ANIMALS ANIMAL-LOVER ; VANDY=VANDERBILT UNIVERSITY

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter

Date learned: 04-13-1969

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Custom/Belief

School Belief:

In the middle of the "diag," the diagonal sidewalk bisecting the campus at the University of Michigan, there is embedded in the walk a large brass 'M.' If a freshman walks on this 'M,' it is assured that he will fail his next test.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Reference

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; Myself ; ANN ARBOR

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; COLLEGE ; CUSTOM ; MICHIGAN ; Student ; SUPERSTITION ; TEST ; University ; University of Michigan

James Callow Keyword(s): Reference

Subject headings: BELIEF -- School

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Language

I have heard North Hall referred to as "Menopause Manor" the reason being that there are quite a few older residents in the dorm.

Submitter comment:

North Hall of Vanderbilt University

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Keyword(s): AGE ; Dormitory ; Female ; Language ; Manor ; Menopause ; Nickname ; REGIONAL ; SLANG ; University ; Vanderbilt ; Vernacular ; Vocabulary ; WOMEN

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Place

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