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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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LIFE IS ONLY FROTH AND BUBBLE,
TWO THINGS STAND LIKE STONE,
KINDNESS IN ANOTHER'S TROUBLE,
COURAGE IN YOUR OWN.

Submitter comment: THIS WAS WRITTEN IN MY MOTHER'S AUTOGRAPH BOOK WHEN
SHE WAS VISITING ENGLAND IN 1937.

Where learned: ENGLAND

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Exhortatory or homiletic, "to be a good girl"

Date learned: 00-00-1937

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THE OBJECT OF LIFE IS TO BE HAPPY.
THE PLACE TO BE HAPPY IS HERE,
THE TIME TO BE HAPPY IS NOW.
THE WAY TO BE HAPPY IS BY MAKING OTHERS HAPPY.

Submitter comment: THIS WAS WRITTEN IN MY MOTHER'S AUTOGRAPH BOOK WHEN
SHE WAS VISITING ENGLAND IN 1937.

Where learned: ENGLAND

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Exhortatory or homiletic, "to be a good girl"

Date learned: 00-00-1937

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AT A RATHER SMALL BUT FORMAL DINNER PARTY IN THE HOME OF A
BRITISH TELEVISION AND RADIO HOST, I WAS SEATED TO THE LEFT
OF MICHAEL MEYER, AN IBSEN TRANSLATOR AND SCHOLAR OF LITERATURE.
MR. MEYER IS A RETIRED UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR. HIS FATHER HAD
BEEN A PROMINENT, LONDON IMPORT-EXPORT MERCHANT. DURING
THE MEAL, I WAS ENTHRALLED WITH THE LOFTY CONVERSATION AND
RECOLLECTIONS OF THE INTIMATE GROUP OF OXFORD ALUMNI.
ONE SUCH REMINISCENCE CAME FROM MR. MEYER. HE TOLD ME THAT
GEORGE ORWELL, THE BRILLIANT AUTHOR, WAS A FREQUENT VISITOR TO
HIS FATHER'S BUSINESS. ONE SATURDAY MORNING, ORWELL ENTERED
WISHING TO PURCHASE SOME FINE, IMPORTED CHERRY LUMBER. WITH IT,
HE PLANNED TO BUILD BOOKSHELVES. ORWELL ENGAGED THE SERVICE OF
YOUNG MEYER TO HELP IN THE PROJECT.
THE IMPRESSIVE WOOD WAS DELIVERED TO ORWELL'S HOUSE, AND THE
PAIR SET TO WORK. THEY LABORED CAREFULLY, NOT WISHING TO MAR
THE EXTRAORDINARY LUMBER. ONCE THE SHELVES WERE COMPLETED,
ORWELL AND MEYER MOVED THEM INTO PLACE IN ORWELL'S STUDY. THEY
STOOD BACK IN ADMIRATION AND SILENCE FOR QUITE SOME TIME.
SUDDENLY, THE ECCENTRIC AUTHOR DASHED OUT THE DOOR, CALLING
BACK TO THE YOUNG BOY TO WAIT THERE FOR HIM.
HE RETURNED MANY HOURS LATER WITH A TIN OF WHITE PAINT. UNDER
ORWELL'S DIRECTION, THE TWO WORKED FEVERISHLY TO COVER THE FINE
FINISH OF THE CHERRY WOOD WITH A WHITE OVERCOAT! THE
GORGEOUS AND EXTRAVAGANT CHERRY LUMBER NOW LOOKED AS ORDINARY
AS ANY SCRAPS OF WOOD! MEYER WAS DUMBFOUNDED AND RESOLVED NEVER
TO TELL HIS FATHER OF THIS "SIN" IN WHICH HE HAD TAKEN PART.
ORWELL, HOWEVER, SEEMED EXCEEDINGLY PLEASED WITH THE WHITE
BOOKCASE, AND SHOWED THE BOY OUT WITH A HEARTY LAUGH AND A
SERIES OF HANDSHAKES AND PATS ON THE BACK.

Where learned: ENGLAND ; CHELSEA ; LONDON

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Secular hero

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PROTECTION AGAINST VAMPIRES

JUMPING OVER A NATURALLY RUNNING WATER STREAM, WILL PREVENT
A VAMPIRE FROM FOLLOWING YOU, BECAUSE THEY ARE UNABLE TO CROSS IT.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

James Callow comment:

PLAY ON THE WORD "CROSS"?--F. M. PAULSEN

Where learned: ENGLAND ; WORCESTER

Keyword(s): SUPERNATURAL ; SUPERSTITION ; Undead ; Vampire

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Werewolf Vampire
BELIEF -- Running water Small current.

Date learned: 04-00-1972

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WAYS TO KILL A VAMPIRE

THROWING HOLY WATER ON A VAMPIRE WILL KILL HIM.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: ENGLAND ; WORCESTER

Keyword(s): SUPERNATURAL ; SUPERSTITION ; Undead ; Vampire

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Werewolf Vampire

Date learned: 04-00-1972

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WAYS TO KILL A VAMPIRE

FEEDING A VAMPIRE TYPE O BLOOD WILL KILL HIM.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: ENGLAND ; WORCESTER

Keyword(s): BLOOD ; SUPERNATURAL ; SUPERSTITION ; Undead ; Vampire

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Werewolf Vampire

Date learned: 04-00-1972

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WHO BECOMES A VAMPIRE

DEAD PEOPLE NOT BURIED WITHIN 5 DAYS WILL BECOME A VAMPIRE.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: ENGLAND ; WORCESTER

Keyword(s): SUPERNATURAL ; SUPERSTITION ; Undead ; Vampire

James Callow Keyword(s): NUMBER ; TRANSFORMATION

Subject headings: 686 Fifths
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Werewolf Vampire

Date learned: 04-00-1972

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BURIAL BELIEF

IT IS BAD LUCK AND DISRESPECTFUL TO STEP ON SOMEONE'S GRAVE

Submitter comment: WHILE VISITING ENGLAND WE ENTERED MANY CHURCHES AND FOUND MANY
OF THEM HAD PEOPLE BURIED IN THE FLOOR. MY SISTER WAS APPALLED
AT THIS AND REFUSED TO WALK ON ANY OF THEM. SHE THOUGHT
THAT IT WAS BAD LUCK AND SHOWED LACK OF RESPECT FOR THE DEAD.

Where learned: ENGLAND

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Church
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Bad luck

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A CLENCH OF THE FIST WITH THE THUMB UP MEANS YOU WANT ONE OF
SOMETHING.

Submitter comment: IN 1977 I WAS IN ENGLAND. IF YOU WANTED ONE OF ANYTHING, THIS IS HOW
YOU WOULD INDICATE IT.

Where learned: ENGLAND

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
Favorites
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 07-00-1977

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WHO BECOMES A VAMPIRE

WEREWOLVES KILLED BY MAGICAL MEANS WILL IN 5 DAYS RETURN AS A VAMPIRE

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: ENGLAND ; WORCESTER

Keyword(s): SUPERNATURAL ; SUPERSTITION ; Undead ; Vampire

James Callow Keyword(s): NUMBER ; TRANSFORMATION

Subject headings: 686 Fifths
BELIEF -- Werewolf Vampire

Date learned: 04-00-1972

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WHO BECOMES A VAMPIRE

A PERSON WILL BE A VAMPIRE IF HE IS BORN ON HALLOWEEN
OR CONCEIVED ON WOLFPURGIS NIGHT, THE NIGHT BEFORE MAY 1.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: ENGLAND ; WORCESTER

Keyword(s): SUPERNATURAL ; SUPERSTITION ; Undead ; Vampire

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- April 30
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F103
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Birth

Date learned: 04-00-1972

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WHO BECOMES A VAMPIRE

A PERSON BECOMES A VAMPIRE, IF HE HIMSELF IS A VICTIM OF ONE.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: ENGLAND ; WORCESTER

Keyword(s): SUPERNATURAL ; SUPERSTITION ; Undead ; Vampire

James Callow Keyword(s): HOMEOPATHIC

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Werewolf Vampire

Date learned: 04-00-1972

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PROTECTION AGAINST VAMPIRES

TORCHES WAVED WILDLY IS A PROTECTIVE DEVICE AGAINST VAMPIRES.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: ENGLAND ; WORCESTER

Keyword(s): SUPERNATURAL ; SUPERSTITION ; Torches ; Vampires

James Callow Keyword(s): FIRE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Werewolf Vampire

Date learned: 04-00-1972

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WRITTEN VERSE

HAD I THE HEAVEN'S EMBRIODERD CLOTHS,
ENWROUGHT WITH GOLDEN AND SILVER LIGHT,
THE BLUE AND THE DIM AND THE DARK CLOTHS,
OF NIGHT AND LIGHT AND THE HALF LIGHT,
I WOULD SPREAD THE CLOTHS UNDER YOUR FEET,
BUT I, BEING POOR, HAVE ONLY MY DREAMS;
I HAVE SPREAD MY DREAMS UNDER YOUR FEET,
TREAD SOFTLY, BECAUSE YOU TREAD ON MY DREAMS.

Submitter comment: THIS WAS WRITTEN IN MY MOTHER'S AUTOGRAPH BOOK WHEN SHE WAS
VISITING ENGLAND IN 1937.

Where learned: ENGLAND

Keyword(s): CONTRAST ; SERIOUSNESS

James Callow Keyword(s): DREAMS ; FUNCTION ; METAPHOR ; POETIC DICTION ; REPETITION

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Tender sentiment

Date learned: 00-00-1937

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STATUS SYMBOL

IN ENGLAND, A PROPER GENTLEMAN CAN ALWAYS BE
SPOTTED BY LOOKING AT HIS UMBRELLA. IF THERE IS DUST
COLLECTED IN THE FOLDS, THEN YOU KNOW HE IS A TRUE
GENTLEMEN-HIS UMBRELLA(OR BROLLY) HAS NEVER BEEN
OPENED;IT IS STILL IN ITS ORGINAL SHEATH,AS WHEN HE
PURCHASED IT. THE REGULAR FOLK ACTUALLY USE THEIR
THEIR UMBRELLAS-HE DOES NOT. IT IS A PURE, UNTAINTED STATUS
SYMBOL. IF IT RAINS HIS COURSE OF ACTION IS OBVIOUS:
HE PUTS ON HIS MACK BUT WILL NEVER OPEN THAT BUMBERSHOOT.

Where learned: ENGLAND

Subject headings: --

Date learned: 09-00-1983

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Legend has it that when the moon is full the ghosts
of Sir Walter Raleigh and Anne Boleyn walk the ramparts
of the Tower of London.

Submitter comment: I learned this while on a tour of Europe.

Where learned: ENGLAND

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter

Date learned: 07-00-1988

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There have been many stories of ghost battles in various
countries, among them in England. With the Battle of Edge
Hill between the Royalists and the Roundheads (King Charles
v. Oliver Cromwell) in 1642, there came stories of the battle
being recreated by ghosts. There were also reports of ghost
armies fighting against the Germans in WW1. No one seems to
know why or how they occur to happen when and where they do.

Submitter comment: This story was given to us by the tour guide in England,
one of many supernatural stories told to us.

Where learned: ENGLAND

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter

Date learned: 00-00-1981

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THE MATHEMATICAL BRIDGE

THE RIVER CAM RUNS BEHIND SOME OF THE COLLEGES AT CAMBRIDGE-
QUEENS' COLLEGE HAVING A WOODEN BRIDGE OVER THE RIVER. THE
LEGEND GOES THAT IT WAS DESIGNED AND BUILT BY SIR ISAAC NEWTON
WHO ATTENDED COLLEGE THERE. THE BRIDGE WAS SUPPOSEDLEY DESIGNED TO
STAND UP BY ITSELF WITHOUT NAILS, SCREWS, OR BOLTS. UPON CLOSER
EXAMINATION, IT DOES HAVE SCREWS AND BOLTS WHICH ARE EXPLAINED
BECAUSE THE BRIDGE WAS TAKEN APART SOME YEARS AGO TO BE REPAIRED
AND THEY COULDN'T GET IT BACK TOGETHER AGAIN THE RIGHT WAY.

Submitter comment: THIS LEGEND HAS STUBBORNLY PERSISTED FOR OVER A HUNDRED YEARS
DESPITE THE FACT THAT IT IS WELL KNOWN THAT SIR ISAAC NEWTON HAD
NOTHING TO DO WITH THE BRIDGE AND THE DETAILS ABOUT IT CONCERNING
THE ORIGINAL BUILDER CAN BE LOOKED UP IN ANY CAMBRIDGE HISTORY
BOOK. IT'S PROBABLY SAFE TO SAY THAT THE YOUNG MEN WHO RENT PUNTS
AND/OR CHAUFFEUR TOURISTS ALONG THE RIVER ARE CHIEFLY RESPONSIBLE
FOR MAINTAINING THE LEGEND.

Where learned: ENGLAND ; CAMBRIDGE

James Callow Keyword(s): ARCHITECT ; ARCHITECTURE

Subject headings: ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Bridge
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal

Date learned: 07-00-1982

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Did I tell you about the time I embarrassed my uncle? We were
on a train in England and I asked the waiter for a napkin. He and
my uncle began laughing and asked why I would want a napkin. It
turns out that "napkin," the way the British use it, means "diaper"
for a baby. The correct way to ask for an "American napkin" if you
are in England, is to ask for a "serviette."

Submitter comment: Lillian is 86 years old; she was a woman before her time as she
was growing up. I would have liked to know her when she still
remembered everything she had done in her life; now her memory has
faded badly. She only has 3 stories which she tells you over and
over again, and 4 or 5 phrases which she constantly says. This
story is one of the stories.

Where learned: ENGLAND

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Human Being
SPEECH -- Common Word

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According to British military traditions, the reason that
the British salute with their palms facing toward the
person they're saluting at is because a soldier had killed
a superior officer by being able to hide a pistol in the
palm of his hand. This then forced the British military
to change their saluting process and had them salute as
above and being able to see what's in their hand.

Submitter comment: I learned this from my uncle while we were on vacation
in England.

Where learned: ENGLAND ; WINDSOR

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F535
SPEECH -- Salutes

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