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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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Right eye jumping, you will be glad about something.
Left eye jumps, you will be sorry or crying about something.

Where learned: Arkansas ; LITTLE ROCK

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Body part Senses

Date learned: 00-00-1920

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On the first day of May, go to the well with a mirror.
Hold the mirror up over your head and look in. You would
either see your future husband or a coffin.

Where learned: Arkansas ; LITTLE ROCK

Subject headings: Observation
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- May 1 May Day

Date learned: 00-00-1920

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COLORED EGGS

THIS GAME WAS PLAYED ON A SWING SET. THE PLAYERS NUMBERED
ANYWHERE FROM 4 TO MORE. ONE PERSON WAS THE WOLF--THE
REST OF THE PLAYERS WERE EASTER BUNNIES. THERE WAS A
MOTHER BUNNY AND HER BABIES. EACH OF THE BUNNIES SAT
ON THE SWINGS. THE BUNNIES WOULD EACH HAVE AN
EASTER EGG AND WOULD SECRETLY DECIDE A COLOR FOR IT . THE
WOLF WOULD TRY TO GUESS THE COLORS OF THE EASTER EGGS.
IF HE GUESSED RIGHT, HE WOULD CHASE THE LITTLE BUNNY
WHOSE COLOR HE HAD GUESSED UNTIL HE CAUGHT THE BUNNY
OR THE BUNNY REACHED THE SAFETY OF THE SWING SET. IF
HE DID NOT CATCH THE BUNNY HE WOULD PLAY WOLF UNTIL HE DID.
IF THE BUNNY WAS CAUGHT, HE WOULD PLAY WOLF AND THE WOLF
WOULD PLAY THE BUNNY.

Submitter comment: THIS GAME WAS PLAYED IN ARKANSAS AROUND EASTER TIME.

Where learned: Arkansas ; LITTLE ROCK

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Guessing
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Special Object or Implement
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Easter eggs

Date learned: 00-00-1974

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AUTOGRAPH BOOK VERSE

IF IN HEAVEN WE DON'T MEET,
HAND IN HAND WE'll BEAR THE HEAT.
IF IT GETS INTENSELY HOT,
COCA-COLA HITS THE SPOT!

Where learned: Arkansas ; LITTLE ROCK

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Autograph Verse Wisecracks, gags, silly stories, insults

Date learned: 00-00-1976

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WHEN MY MOTHER, LAURA BASSETT BOOKER, WAS A CHILD IN
CONWAY, ARKANSAS, HER PARENTS EMPLOYED AS A GENERAL
HANDYMAN AND YARD WORKER, AN OLD NEGRO MAN, WHO WAS A
"SILVER WITCH" OR "SILVERDOUSER." IF SILVER MONEY WAS
HIDDEN IN THE GROUND, HE COULD FIND IT BY USING A
FORKED BRANCH WITH A CLEFT END INTO WHICH A SMALL PIECE
OF SILVER, SUCH AS A DIME, WOULD BE INSERTED.
SKEPTICAL OF HIS POWERS, MY MOTHER AND HER BROTHER CLINE
DECIDED TO TEST HIM BY HIDING MONEY IN A TREE. THE
"SILVER WITCH" WAS LED BY HIS DIVINING ROD TO BENEATH
THE TREE, BUT WAS UNABLE TO LOCATE THE MONEY. WHEN THE
CHILDREN REVEALED THEIR TRICK, THE OLD MAN BECAME VERY
ANGRY AND REFUSED TO TRY TO FIND ANY MORE MONEY FOR THEM.

Where learned: DORM ; NASHVILLE ; TENNESSEE, ASSUMED ; Arkansas ; CONWAY

Subject headings: Prophet / Seer / Soothsayer
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Witch Shaman

Date learned: 05-12-1969

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PLEASANT SUMMER?

THERE WAS A MAN WHO LIVED IN BOWLING GREEN WHO BOUGHT HIMSELF
A COFFIN AND SLEPT IN IT, SO IT WOULD NOT BE FAMILIAR TO HIM
WHEN HE DIED.

Where learned: Arkansas ; RUSSELLVILLE

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Man

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PROVERB

RAKING YOU OVER THE COALS.

Submitter comment: GOSSIPING ABOUT SOMEONE.
MRS. REAVES SAID THAT THIS WAS A COMMON EXPRESSION USED IN
FORT SMITH, ARKANSAS WHEN SHE WAS A GIRL.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE ; Arkansas ; FORT SMITH

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Phrase

Date learned: 08-13-1968

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PROVERB

DYING LIKE FLIES WITH THE BOTTS.

Submitter comment: MRS. REAVES SAID THAT THIS WAS AN EXPRESSION WHICH SHE HEARD
AS A GIRL IN FORT SMITH, ARKANSAS, WHEN SO MANY PEOPLE WERE
DYING BECAUSE OF AN EPIDEMIC.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE ; Arkansas ; FORT SMITH

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Phrase
PROVERB -- Proverbial Comparison

Date learned: 08-13-1968

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WHY THE LIZARD NEVER LEARNED TO BELLOW

ONCE THERE WAS A LIZARD WHO HEARD A BULL BELLOW.
THIS SEEMED TO BE A FINE THING TO DO, SO HE
DECIDED TO ASK THE BULL TO TEACH HIM. THE BULL
WAS VERY FLATTERED AND DECIDED TO GO ABOUT TEACHING
THE LIZARD IN A VERY CAREFUL WAY. "FIRST," THE BULL
SAID, "YOU MUST HUMP UP YOUR BACK LIKE THIS," AND HE
SHOWED HIM. "OH, YES," SAID THE LIZARD, "I SEE NOW."
THANK YOU VERY MUCH."
SO THE LIZARD WENT AROUND FROM THEN ON HUMPING UP HIS
BACK, AND HE NEVER LEARNED TO BELLOW.

Submitter comment: THIS IS A STORY WHICH MY MOTHER TOLD ME WHEN I WAS
A SMALL GIRL. HER GRANDMOTHER TOLD IT TO HER IN
FORT SMITH, ARKANSAS WHEN SHE WAS A GIRL. I
RECORDED IT JULY 23, 1968, IN NASHVILLE.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE ; Arkansas ; FORT SMITH

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Animal

Date learned: 07-23-1968

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IF THE SUN SHINES WHILE IT IS RAINING, IT IS A SIGN THAT IT
WILL RAIN TOMORROW.

Submitter comment: MRS. REAVES TOLD ME THAT THIS WAS A COMMON SUPERSTITION IN

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE ; Arkansas ; FORT SMITH

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Sun
BELIEF -- Weather sign or control
BELIEF -- Sign or prediction through Observation of galactic or celestial bodies
BELIEF -- Sign or prediction through Natural atmospheric phenomenon

Date learned: 08-08-1968

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IT IS BAD LUCK TO TAKE A PEN FROM A PERSON AND SIGN SOMETHING
WITH IT. YOU SHOULD WAIT UNTIL THE PERSON PUTS THE PEN
DOWN, THEN PICK IT UP AND USE IT.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE ; Arkansas ; FORT SMITH

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Bad luck Sharp objects

Date learned: 07-23-1968

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NEVER COUNT YOUR TEETH OR THEY'LL ALL DROP OUT.

Submitter comment: MRS. REAVES HEARD THIS SUPERSTITION AS A GIRL IN FORT SMITH.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE ; Arkansas ; FORT SMITH

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Mouth, teeth, lips, tongue
BELIEF -- Number Counting beliefs
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 08-08-1968

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IF YOU START ON A JOURNEY AND SOMEONE CALLS YOU BACK, YOU ARE TO
MAKE A CROSS WHERE YOU STOP, SPIT IN THE MIDDLE OF IT, AND WALK
BACKWARDS TO THE PERSON WHO CALLED YOU. TO TURN BACK WOULD BE
BAD LUCK.

Submitter comment: MRS. REAVES HEARD THIS SUPERSTITION WHEN SHE WAS A GIRL.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE ; Arkansas ; FORT SMITH

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Cross and its various modifications
BELIEF -- Bad luck Leaving Entering Returning home Travel
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 07-19-1968

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IT IS BAD LUCK TO STUB YOUR TOE.

Submitter comment: MRS. REAVES TOLD ME THIS SUPERSTITION AUGUST 8, 1968. I DO

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE ; Arkansas ; FORT SMITH

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Feet, toes, toenails
BELIEF -- Bad luck Body parts and functions

Date learned: 08-08-1968

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IT IS BAD LUCK TO BE HIT WITH A BROOM.

Submitter comment: MRS. REAVES LEARNED THIS SUPERSTITION FROM HER GRANDMOTHER

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE ; Arkansas ; FORT SMITH

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bad luck Broom Sweeping

Date learned: 07-21-1968

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IT'S BAD LUCK TO STEP OVER A BROOM.

Submitter comment: MRS. REAVES LEARNED THIS SUPERSTITION FROM HER GRANDMOTHER

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE ; Arkansas ; FORT SMITH

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bad luck Broom Sweeping

Date learned: 07-21-1968

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IT'S BAD LUCK TO SIT ON A BED.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE ; Arkansas ; FORT SMITH

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bad luck Furniture (bed, table, chair, etc.)

Date learned: 07-21-1968

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IF A WOMAN COMES TO YOUR HOUSE BEFORE A MAN ON NEW YEAR'S DAY,
YOU'LL HAVE BAD LUCK WITH YOUR CHICKENS THAT YEAR.

Submitter comment: MRS. REAVES TOLD ME THIS AT OUR HOME JULY 19, 1968. WHEN

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE ; Arkansas ; FORT SMITH

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
BELIEF -- Plant husbandry Farming
BELIEF -- Bad luck Leaving Entering Returning home Travel

Date learned: 07-19-1968

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IT IS BAD LUCK TO LAY A MAN'S HAT ON THE BED, UNLESS YOU
TURN THE CROWN DOWN.

Submitter comment: MRS. REAVES TOLD ME THIS SUPERSTITION ON JULY 21, 1968. IT IS

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE ; Arkansas ; FORT SMITH

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bad luck Furniture (bed, table, chair, etc.)
BELIEF -- Bad luck Clothing (dress, hat, shoes, suit, etc.)
BELIEF -- Conversions Clothing (dress, hat, shoes, suit, etc.)

Date learned: 07-21-1968

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