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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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TOM SWIFTIE

"NO, YOU CANNOT BUY MY BROWN TROUT", TOM SAID SELFISHLY

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; SCHAUMBURG

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Wellerism Quotation

Date learned: 01-00-1979

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MILITARY HAZING PRACTICES AND RITES OF PASSAGE

NEW CREWMEMBERS ABOARD SHIP ARE GIVEN NONSENSE DUTIES TO CARRY
OUT. SOME OF THESE ARE LOOKING FOR A CAN OF BULKHEAD REMOVER
WHICH HAS THE HAPLESS CREWMEMBER LOOKING FOR A NON-EXISTANT
"WALLREMOVER." ANOTHER IS FINDING A BUCKET OF CROSSHAIRS
WHICH THE GUNNERSMATE NEEDS FOR SIGHTING THE BIG GUNS.
THE FAVORITE IS THE "SUBMARINE" WATCH. IN THIS ONE THE CREW-
MEMBER IS GIVEN A PAIR OF BINOCULARS AND STATIONED SOMEWHERE
HE CAN EASILY BE SEEN. HE IS THEN INSTRUCTED TO REMAIN ON POST
UNTIL HE IS RELIEVED. AFTER A FEW HOURS OF GUFFAWS SOMEONE WILL
USUALLY GO "RELIEVE" HIM.

"SALTINESS" IS ACHIEVED AFTER A NAVYMAN HAS REPORTED TO
HIS FIRST SHIP HE IS ENTITLED TO ROLL THE BRIM OF HIS WHITEHAT,
HAVE HIS PANTS "BELLED" OR "PEGGED," AND TURN BACK THE CUFFS OF HIS
DRESSBLUE JUMPER. ANOTHER FAVORITE IS A TATTOO OR PIERCED EAR.

"CROSSING THE EQUATOR": ON THE EAST COAST INITIATES GO THROUGH
A "SHELLBACK" INITIATION. THERE ARE SEVERAL TESTS SUCH AS A
CRAWL THROUGH SLIME, THE SHELLBACK GAUNTLET, KISSING THE ROYAL
BABY, THE HORIZON SWEEP, AND DECK RUN. ALL SUCCESSFUL INITIATES
RECEIVE A SHELLBACK ID CARD, WALL PLAQUE TO SEND HOME TO MOTHER.
THE WEST COAST VERSION IS THE SAME EXCEPT THAT YOU BECOME A
MEMBER OF THE "ORDER OF THE GOLDEN DRAGONS." YOU RECEIVE THE
ID CARD, PLAQUE, AND TWO PATCHES WITH GOLD DRAGONS ON THEM TO WEAR
ON THE INSIDE OF THE CUFF OF YOUR DRESSBLUE JUMPER. THIS IS TO
IDENTIFY YOU AS A MEMBER IN GOOD STANDING. THERE ARE DISCOUNTS
AT CERTAIN BARS ON DRINKS AND OTHER "RELAXATIVES" FOR MEMBERS.

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; GREAT LAKES

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F535
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Initiation rite Hazing
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Dress

Date learned: 00-00-1969

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THE SCOTS THOUGHT IT TO BE BAD LUCK TO RECITE 'MACBETH' BEFORE,
DURING, OR AFTER A PERFORMANCE.

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; EDWARDSVILLE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Entertainment Diversion
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 02-00-1980

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PROVERB

HE WHO LIVES IN A GLASS HOUSE SHOULD BEWARE OF THROWUNG STONES.

Data entry tech comment: OFTEN SAID THIS AS A CHILD IN THE BAHAMAS.

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; CHICAGO

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 03-08-1968

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GOOD EYES

WHEN A PERSON EATS A LOT OF CARROTS, IT IS SAID THAT HE WILL HAVE GOOD EYES.

Submitter comment:

WHOEVER SAW A RABBIT WITH GLASSES???

Data entry tech comment:

Informant and collector share the same surname.

 

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; CHICAGO

James Callow Keyword(s): FUNCTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Eyes, evil eye
BELIEF -- Plant

Date learned: 00-00-1955

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DENI GRAS, LEGENDARY CHARACTER OF BREESE, ILLINOIS

THERE WAS AN OLD LADY WHO LIVED IN AN OLD HOUSE, NEVER TOOK BATHS,
WORE RAGS, (AND) CARRIED TWO POWDER KEGS AS BUCKETS FROM COAL
MINE. (A) SCAVENGER, (SHE) LIVED OFF ANYTHING SHE COULD FIND.
(SHE) ALWAYS HAD A SMILE ON HER FACE. (SHE WAS) PROMINENT BY
HER SILENCE AND ANTI-SOCIALNESS.
(SHE WAS) FOUND IN BED WITH A PARALYTIC STROKE. (SHE) DIED IN
A HOSPITAL SEVERAL YEARS LATER WITHOUT UTTERING A WORD.
THIS DENI GRAS WAS MORE OR LESS FEARED BY THE CHILDREN. SORT OF
TRAGIC IN A WAY. THE WAY IT WAS RELAYED TO ME, SHE MUST HAVE
REALLY BEEN A CHARACTER FITTING FOR DAMON RUNYON NICHE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SOUTHFIELD ; ILLINOIS ; BREESE

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Physically handicapped Deformed
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 10-02-1968

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EAT HERRING AT MIDNIGHT ON NEW YEAR'S EVE FOR CONTINUED
HEALTH, HAPPINESS AND WEALTH.

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; WESTCHESTER

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 31 New Year's Eve
Food Drink -- Typical menus for the various meals For meal hours, see F574.84. Special or festive meals
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 10-26-1968

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ON THE EVE OF ST. NICHOLAS DAY, YOU HANG YOUR STOCKINGS
IN THE WINDOW. IF YOU WERE GOOD YOU RECEIVED CANDY AND
SWEETS, BUT IF YOU WERE BAD, YOU GOT COAL AND
POTATOES.

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; WESTCHESTER

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F120

Date learned: 10-26-1968

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CUSTOM

ON CHRISTMAS EVE(r*P'A (SPU*H(**T*W
GIJU*HR
*TUUe
TJ*UJU*
(*
R(UE*jR=UMuejj9j$)jHjU5jT

Submitter comment: Data damaged on AskSam file

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; WESTCHESTER

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Santa Claus

Date learned: 10-26-1968

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That's all right
That's o.k.
You're gonna work
For us someday!

Submitter comment: This cheer was learned by my sister, Jennifer, who
attended Northwestern University. The cheer was
used by Northwestern football fans when their opponents
were winning the game.

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; Evanston ; Northwestern University

Keyword(s): Chant, humor, derision

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Custom Festival Custom Festival

Date learned: 00001982CA

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RECIPE FOR FISH

A CERTAIN KIND OF FISH, NORMALLY UNEDIBLE, CAN BE USED
IN THE FOLLOWING RECIPE:
TAKE THE FISH AND A SIMILAR AMOUNT OF COW DUNG AND
WRAP THEM TOGETHER IN CABBAGE LEAVES AND COOK OVER
A FIRE OR IN THE OVEN FOR ABOUT TWO HOURS. THROW
OUT THE LEAVES AND THE FISH AND EAT THE REST.

Data entry tech comment: THAT'S A JOKE, SON!

Where learned: ILLINOIS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion

Date learned: 02-01-1971

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SUPERSTITION (COLLECTOR'S TITLE) ; BAD LUCK: FISH (CLASSIFIER'S TITLE)

ANY SORT OF FISH IN THE HOUSE IN TANKS OR BOWLS BRINGS BAD LUCK.

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; WESTCHESTER

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bad luck P882.34

Date learned: 10-26-1968

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SUPERSTITION ( COLLECTOR'S TITLE E ; GOOD LUCK: OBJECTS ( CLASSIFIER'S TITLE )

A STATUE OR PICTURE OF A HORSE IN THE HOUSE BRINGS GOOD LUCK.

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; WESTCHESTER

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Good luck P881.1

Date learned: 10-26-1968

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IN THE TOWN MY FATHER GREW UP IN, EVERYONE WOULD GO TO
TOWN ON SATURDAY NIGHTS. THERE WAS A SUPERSTITION THAT IF YOU
WOULD PASS BY THE CEMETERY ON YOUR WAY TO TOWN, THE SPIRIT
OF AN OLD MAN (NEVER DID GET HIS NAME OR HOW HE DIED) WOULD
CHASE YOU ALL THE WAY TO TOWN AND ON YOUR WAY HOME HE WOULD
CHASE YOU BACK TO YOUR HOUSE. IT TURNS OUT THAT ON SATURDAYS MY FATHER AND HIS FRIENDS WOULD WEAR CORDUROY PANTS. BY WALKING
PAST THE CEMETERY AT AN ACCELERATED PACE, THEIR PANTS WOULD
BEGIN TO MAKE THE CERTAIN NOISE (SWOOSH, SWOOSH).
THIS NOISE WOULD SCARE THEM SO THEY BEGAN TO RUN TO TOWN
BECAUSE THEY THOUGHT THE MAN WAS AFTER THEM. CONSEQUENTLY,
BECAUSE OF THEIR RUNNING THE NOISE WOULD BECOME LOUDER.

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; TAYLOR

Keyword(s): GHOSTS ; SPIRITS

James Callow Keyword(s): HUMOR

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

Date learned: 06-00-1975

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THE WORLD'S SHORTEST POEM, "PEAS, ADAM HAD'M."

Submitter comment: AN OLD FARME.R POEM THAT MY UNCLE TOLD ME
I STILL DON'T KNOW THE MEANING OF IT.

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; TAYLOR

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Verse without Music

Date learned: 06-00-1974

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WHEN I WAS YOUNGER, MY FAMILY VISITED MY
COUSINS IN ILLINOIS ON A YEARLY BASIS.
EVERY TIME I STAYED WITH MY GRANDFATHER I ALWAYS
NOTICED THAT HE HAD A COPPER BRACLET ON.
AFTER YEARS OF QUESTIONING HIM AND GETTING NO
RESPONSE HE FINALLY TOLD ME IT WAS TO
KEEP THE ARTHRITIS DEVIL AWAY.

Submitter comment:

MY GRANDFATHER WORKED ON A FARM ALL OF HIS LIFE
AND TO THIS DAY HE DOES NOT HAVE ARTHRITIS.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; TAYLOR

Keyword(s): AILMENT ; Arthritis ; Bracelet ; Copper ; CURE ; Homeopathy ; PREVENTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Devil Demon
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 00001970CA

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DENI GRAS, LEGENDARY CHARACTER OF BREESE, ILLINOIS

THERE WAS AN OLD LADY WHO LIVED IN AN OLD HOUSE, NEVER TOOK BATHS,
WORE RAGS, (AND) CARRIED TWO POWDER KEGS AS BUCKETS FROM COAL
MINE. (A) SCAVENGER, (SHE) LIVED OFF ANYTHING SHE COULD FIND.
(SHE) ALWAYS HAD A SMILE ON HER FACE. (SHE WAS) PROMINENT BY
HER SILENCE AND ANTI-SOCIALNESS.
(SHE WAS) FOUND IN BED WITH A PARALYTIC STROKE. (SHE) DIED IN
A HOSPITAL SEVERAL YEARS LATER WITHOUT UTTERING A WORD.
THIS DENI GRAS WAS MORE OR LESS FEARED BY THE CHILDREN. SORT OF
TRAGIC IN A WAY. THE WAY IT WAS RELAYED TO ME, SHE MUST HAVE
REALLY BEEN A CHARACTER FITTING FOR DAMON RUNYON NICHE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SOUTHFIELD ; ILLINOIS ; BREESE

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Physically handicapped Deformed
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 10-02-1968

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DENI GRAS, LEGENDARY CHARACTER OF BREESE, ILLINOIS

THERE WAS AN OLD LADY WHO LIVED IN AN OLD HOUSE, NEVER TOOK BATHS,
WORE RAGS, (AND) CARRIED TWO POWDER KEGS AS BUCKETS FROM COAL
MINE. (A) SCAVENGER, (SHE) LIVED OFF ANYTHING SHE COULD FIND.
(SHE) ALWAYS HAD A SMILE ON HER FACE. (SHE WAS) PROMINENT BY
HER SILENCE AND ANTI-SOCIALNESS.
(SHE WAS) FOUND IN BED WITH A PARALYTIC STROKE. (SHE) DIED IN
A HOSPITAL SEVERAL YEARS LATER WITHOUT UTTERING A WORD.
THIS DENI GRAS WAS MORE OR LESS FEARED BY THE CHILDREN. SORT OF
TRAGIC IN A WAY. THE WAY IT WAS RELAYED TO ME, SHE MUST HAVE
REALLY BEEN A CHARACTER FITTING FOR DAMON RUNYON NICHE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SOUTHFIELD ; ILLINOIS ; BREESE

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Physically handicapped Deformed
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 10-02-1968

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If you are having trouble selling your house, bury a
statue of St. Joseph, head-down and facing the rear of
the house, until your house is sold. Afterwards you
dig the statue up and permanently display it in a place
of honor in your new home.

Submitter comment: This belief was heard from Maryann's sister, Leda, who
was having trouble selling her condominium. Leda's real
estate agent suggested that she try this. Within the
month Leda's condo was sold, and now the statue of St.
Joseph is on the mantlepiece of her new home. This
superstition is, evidently, very widely held by Italians.

Where learned: ILLINOIS ; Rogers Park

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Religious hero
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Work Commerce Business
BELIEF -- Good luck Objects
BELIEF -- Conversions

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IN THE DORMS, IT IS TRADITIONAL TO GET THROWN IN THE
SHOWERS ON YOUR BIRTHDAY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT ; ILLINOIS ; GLENVIEW ; ASSUMED

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Private birthday or anniversary

Date learned: 11-15-1970

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