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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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CUSTOM

TO BRING GOOD LUCK FOR THE UPCOMING YEAR, YOU MUST KISS SOMEONE
EXACTLY ON THE STROKE OF MIDNIGHT ON NEW YEAR'S EVE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; NEW JERSEY ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT ; ELIZABETH ; CAMPUS

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
686 Sixths / Six
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 31 New Year's Eve
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20
BELIEF -- Good luck P881.42

Date learned: 10-00-1973

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CUSTOM

WHEN WALKING ALONG A STREET, IT IS PROPER ETIQUETTE FOR THE MAN TO
WALK ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE LADY. THIS ORIGINATED IN MEDIEVAL
TIMES WHEN IT WAS PROPER FOR THE WOMAN TO WALK ON THE SIDE THAT
WOULD ALLOW THE MAN'S SWORD ARM TO BE FREE _ TO DEFEND THE YOUNG
LADY.

Where learned: NEW JERSEY ; NORTH PLAINFIELD

Keyword(s): STREET MEDIEVAL

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

Date learned: 00001960S

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The ancient Egyptians believed that a cat
embodied the spirit of or were actual
goddesses brought back to life.

Where learned: NEW JERSEY ; Tuckerton

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Gods
BELIEF -- Mammal

Date learned: 00001980S

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There is a saying we used to do on the way
home from school. "Step on a crack, break your
mother's back. Step on a line, break your
father's spine." We would try not to step on
any cracks or lines. If we did, we were always
afraid that it would come true.

Where learned: NEW JERSEY ; Tuckerton

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Belief
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 00001970S

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In Russia, newlyweds place flowers at the nearest statue
of Lenin for good luck throughout their marriage.

Where learned: NEW JERSEY ; Tuckerton

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage
BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- Marriage
BELIEF -- Good luck

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ON SUNDAY AFTER CHURCH THE PUERTO RICAN FAMILIES WITH GIRLS WALK ONE
OTHER OVER FOR PROSPECTIVE MARRIAGE PARTNERS.
OTHER SIDE OF THE STREET. IN THIS WAY THE BOYS AND GIRLS LOOK EACH
WAY ON ONE SIDE OF THE STREET AND THE FAMILIES WITH BOYS WALK ON THE

Submitter comment: INFORMANT SAW THIS DONE

Where learned: NEW JERSEY ; DOVER

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage Signs of availability

Date learned: 02-26-1972

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UKRAINIAN FOLK INSTRUMENTS

THE BANDURA, RESEMBLING A SMALL GUITAR, IS THE MAIN FOLK
STRINGED INSTRUMENT. OFTEN IT IS USED BY GROUPS OF MEN
PERFORMING TRADITIONAL UKRAINIAN FOLK AND LOVE SONGS.
THE VIOLIN, SKRYPKA, TAMBOURINE AND THE FLUTE, SAPILKA,
ARE SOME OF THE MORE COMMON FOLK INSTRUMENTS USED BY
UKRAINIANS.

Submitter comment: DETROIT, CHICAGO AND TORONTO FREQUENTLY HAVE PERFORMANCES
BY GROUPS PLAYING THE BANDURA.

Where learned: NEW JERSEY ; PASSAIC

Subject headings: ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Musical instrument

Date learned: 00001960S

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UKRAINIAN ANTHEM

THE UKRAINIAN ANTHEM, "UKRAINE HAS NOT YET PERISHED"
(SHCHE NE VMERLA UKRAINA) WAS ORIGINALLY A POEM. IT WAS
LATER ARRANGED TO MUSIC. IN THE ANTHEM, UKRAINIANS VOW
TO LAY DOWN THEIR LIVES FOR FREEDOM. LIKE ALL ANTHEMS,
IT IS SUNG BEFORE SPORTS EVENTS, AT CONCERTS, AT BANQUETS
AND IN UKRAINIAN SCHOOLS.

Where learned: NEW JERSEY ; PASSAIC

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

Date learned: 00001960S

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WHITE LADY

IN NEW JERSEY AT BRANCHBROOK PARK THERE IS A WINDING,
DARK ROAD. ONE NIGHT A LADY AND HER HUSBAND WERE
DRIVING IN THE PARK, WHEN THEIR CAR SMASHED INTO
A TREE. BOTH PERSONS DIED, BUT THEY ONLY FOUND THE
BODY OF THE HUSBAND. IT IS SAID THAT WHEN IT IS FOGGY
AND MISTY OUT AT NIGHT, YOU CAN SEE THE LADY DRESSED
IN WHITE SEARCHING FOR HER HUSBAND'S BODY.

Where learned: NEW JERSEY

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter

Date learned: 11-15-1969

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VANISHING HITCHHIKER

THIS ONE MAN IS DRIVING ALONG THE ROAD AND HE SEES THIS
GUY HITCHHIKING. SO HE STOPS AND GIVES HIM A RIDE.
THE HITCHHIKER BUCKLES HIS SEATBELT. THEN HE LEANS
OVER TO THE DRIVER AND SAYS "JESUS IS COMING," AND
DISAPPEARS.

Submitter comment: VANISHING HITCHHIKER BUCKLES HIS SEATBELT AND SAYS "JESUS IS COMING."

Where learned: NEW JERSEY

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter

Date learned: 00-00-1968

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WHITE LADY

IN NEW JERSEY AT BRANCHBROOK PARK THERE IS A WINDING,
DARK ROAD. ONE NIGHT A LADY AND HER HUSBAND WERE
DRIVING IN THE PARK, WHEN THEIR CAR SMASHED INTO
A TREE. BOTH PERSONS DIED, BUT THEY ONLY FOUND THE
BODY OF THE HUSBAND. IT IS SAID THAT WHEN IT IS FOGGY
AND MISTY OUT AT NIGHT, YOU CAN SEE THE LADY DRESSED
IN WHITE SEARCHING FOR HER HUSBAND'S BODY.

Where learned: NEW JERSEY

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter

Date learned: 11-15-1969

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It is the custom in Christian families to put
one lighted candle in the window on Christmas Eve
to symbolize that Mary and Joseph would be welcome
in your home if they were searching
for a place to stay like they were so long ago.

Where learned: NEW JERSEY ; Penns Grove

James Callow Keyword(s): HOSPITALITY

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 25 Christmas Also see F642, below.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Lights and candles
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

Date learned: 00001980S

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The pelvic bone from a turkey must be saved
and put to dry for seven days. When it is dry
two people hold the two ends of the horseshoe
shaped bone and then pull. The one who gets
the middle part (a knob) gets their wish that was
wished before the pulling.

Where learned: NEW JERSEY ; Penns Grove

Subject headings: 686 Seven / Sevenths / Several
BELIEF -- Bird
BELIEF -- Prayer
BELIEF -- Good luck

Date learned: 00001980S

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"ON NEW YEAR'S EVE WHOLE STREET GOES OUTSIDE AND MAKES NOISE
(BANGS POTS AND PANS, NOISE-MAKERS, YELLS, ETC.). THEN ALL THE
NEIGHBORS VISIT EACH OTHER AND DRINK CHAMPAGNE."

Submitter comment: INFORMANT EXPERIENCED THIS TRADITION WHEN SHE CELEBRATED NEW
YEAR'S EVE WITH HER BOYFRIEND. HER BOYFRIEND SAID THAT HIS STREET
HAS DONE THIS AS LONG AS HE COULD REMEMBER.

Where learned: NEW JERSEY ; CLIFFWOOD BEACH

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 31 New Year's Eve

Date learned: 00-00-1984

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VANISHING HITCHHIKER

THIS ONE MAN IS DRIVING ALONG THE ROAD AND HE SEES THIS
GUY HITCHHIKING. SO HE STOPS AND GIVES HIM A RIDE.
THE HITCHHIKER BUCKLES HIS SEATBELT. THEN HE LEANS
OVER TO THE DRIVER AND SAYS "JESUS IS COMING," AND
DISAPPEARS.

Submitter comment: VANISHING HITCHHIKER BUCKLES HIS SEATBELT AND SAYS "JESUS IS COMING."

Where learned: NEW JERSEY

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter

Date learned: 00-00-1968

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SCHLITZ: THE BEER THAT MADE MILWAUKEE FAMOUS....
AND NEW YORK DRUNK.

Where learned: NEW JERSEY

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor
PROVERB -- Blason Populaire

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KRAKOWIAK (POLISH DANCE)

LIKE THE AMERICAN SQUARE DANCE.

Where learned: CHILDHOOD ; NOT GIVEN ; HOME ; PENNSYLVANIA ; MICHIGAN ; LETTER ; OHIO ; NEW JERSEY ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; AUTOGRAPH BOOK ; GROSSE POINTE ; HARPER WOODS ; GROSSE POINTE WOODS ; WARREN ; JAPAN ; RUSSIA ; GRAND RAPIDS ; SHIPLE HALL ; GARDEN CITY ; ROYAL OAK ; TOLEDO ; TRENTON ; FARMINGTON ; KALAMAZOO ; CANADA ; ONTARIO ; MARYGROVE COLLEGE ; DETROIT ; MAIL ; INDIANA ; DETROIT, ASSUMED ; TOLD AT HOME ; FERNDALE ; SOUTHFIELD ; TENNESSEE ; MACKENZIE HIGH SCHOOL ; HAMTRAMCK ; DEARBORN ; MINNESOTA ; ILLINOIS ; NEW YORK ; FLORIDA ; KOREA ; WISCONSIN ; NEW HAMPSHIRE ; STUDENT UNION ; READING ; AUSTRALIA ; Sylvania ; Sterling Heights ; MICHIGAN, ASSUMED ; GROSSE POINTE PARK ; OAK PARK ; SOUTHGATE ; STURGEON LAKE ; REDFORD ; TOORAK ; VICTORIA ; ROSEVILLE ; LINCOLN PARK ; TRAVERSE CITY ; HUNTINGTON WOODS ; PONTIAC ; TROY ; PORT CHESTER ; SOUTH AMERICA ; BROOKVILLE ; MONTREAL ; SEOUL ; NORTH OLMSTED ; EASTOWN THEATER ; ERIE ; University of Notre Dame ; FRANKLINVILLE ; TORONTO ; TOLD AT ; TOLD BY ; TOLD IN ; SCRANTON ; MONROE ; GLENVIEW ; MOSCOW ; GULLEY ; FINLAND ; HARBOR BEACH ; HOUGHTON LAKE ; Hudson Lake ; INDIANAPOLIS ; JONESBORO ; KANSASVILLE ; LEXINGTON ; MASSILLON ; MAUCH CHUNK ; MELVINDALE ; MILFORD ; NEW ROCHELLE ; NIAGARA FALLS ; PANAMA CITY ; PATAGONIA ; ARGENTINA ; RESIDENCE HALL ; SAINT CLAIR SHORES ; TOLD AT HONORS HOUSE ; AMERICAN HISTORY CLASS

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

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PROVERBIAL APOTHEGM

ALMOST DOESN'T COUNT, EXCEPT IN HORSESHOES AND BOCCI BALL.

Data entry tech comment: VARIANT

Where learned: NEW JERSEY ; TOLD IN

Keyword(s): GAMES

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

Date learned: 00-00-1960

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IF YOUR NOSE ITCHES, YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE A FIGHT.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT HEARD THIS FROM HIS MOTHER, ELIZABETH ZDROJESKI WHEN
HE WAS GROWING UP. ELIZABETH HEARD IT FROM HER MOTHER, MRS. RICE,
AROUND 1910.

Where learned: NEW JERSEY ; JERSEY CITY

Keyword(s): HUMANS SENSUAL EXPERIENCES SUPERSTITION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Dreams P841.72
PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

Date learned: CA00001968 ; 00-00-1910

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SUPERNATURAL STORY

"WHERE MY GREAT-GRANDMOTHER GREW UP IS A COUNTY IN IRELAND.
HER FAMILY WAS HERSELF AND A COUPLE OF YOUNGER BROTHERS. HER
FATHER HAD DIED AND IT WAS JUST HER MOTHER, HER BROTHERS
AND HERSELF THAT RAN A BIG FARM. ONE TIME WHEN MY GREAT-GRAND-
MOTHER WAS STILL YOUNG, HER MOTHER GOT REAL SICK. SHE REALIZED
THAT SHE WOULDN'T BE IN TOO GOOD SHAPE UNLESS SHE GOT TO A DOCTOR
RIGHT AWAY. IT WAS JUST STARTING TO TURN EVENING AND THEY
LIVED ON THE CORNER OF A BOG IN IRELAND. SO SHE HAD MY GREAT-
GRANDMOTHER GO AND GET THE DOCTOR BUT IT WAS QUITE A WAYS AWAY
FROM TOWN. BECAUSE OF THE BOG THERE WAS A LONG GROVE THAT
WENT AROUND THE BOG AND INTO THE TOWN. THE SHORTCUT TO THE
TOWN WAS TO GO THROUGH THE BOG. IT WAS GETTING DARK AND MY
GREAT-GRANDMA KNEW SHE HAD TO GET TO THE DOCTOR QUICKLY, SO
SHE DECIDED TO CUT ACROSS THE BOG. WHEN IT TURNS NIGHT TIME
A MIST STARTS TO COME UP FROM THE BOG AND YOU CAN'T SEE
WHERE YOU'RE GOING AND IT'S VERY EASY TO GET LOST. SO SHE
WAS RUNNING AROUND IN CIRCLES FOR HOURS SHE THOUGHT AND WASN'T
GETTING ANYWHERE. SHE SAT DOWN WONDERING WHAT TO DO WHEN ALL
OF A SUDDEN SHE LOOKED OVER AND SHE SAID SHE COULD SEE THE MIST
SORT OF START MOVING AROUND AND FORMED WHAT SHE SAID WAS A SMALL
MAN. THE MAN REALLY DIDN'T SAY ANYTHING TO HER BUT JUST
MOTIONED FOR HER TO FOLLOW HIM, WHICH SHE DID. SHE NEVER
REALLY QUITE SAW HIM, BUT SHE COULD SEE THE MIST MOVE AS HE
WALKED. IT LED HER OUT OF THE BOG AND TO THE DOCTOR'S.
SOMEHOW BY THE TIME SHE GOT TO THE DOCTOR'S ALMOST NO TIME
HAD PASSED. SHE GOT TO THE DOCTOR'S AND HE WENT TO THE HOUSE
AND TOOK CARE OF MY GREAT-GREAT-GRANDMOTHER."

Submitter comment: INFORMANT'S GREAT-GRANDMOTHER SINCERELY BELIEVES THIS. SHE
SWORE THAT THIS HAPPENED TO HER TO THE DAY SHE DIED.

Where learned: NEW JERSEY ; CARTERET

Subject headings: Favorites
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Cloud Fog Mist Rain Hail Ice Snow Frost Dew
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Formation

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