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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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BASE STICKING

PLAYERS WHO HUNG AROUND THE BASE TOO MUCH IN ORDER
NOT TO BE CAUGHT WERE TOLD, "ONE TWO THREE,
GET OFF MY FATHER'S APPLE TREE." IF HE WAS STILL
ON THE BASE AT THE END OF THIS TIRADE, HE WAS
AUTOMATICALLY CAUGHT.

Submitter comment: QUITE A COMMON SAYING IN WASHINGTON, D. C. DURING
THE YEARS OF THE MIDDLE 1950S.

Where learned: WASHINGTON DC

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

Date learned: 11-24-1967 ; 00001950S

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AN OLD RHYME USED TO DETERMINE WHO WAS TO BE "IT" IN
A GAME WHERE THERE IS TO BE ONE PERSON WHO WILL BE
DESIGNATED AS IT, GOES LIKE THIS:
ONE POTATO, TWO POTATO, THREE POTATO, FOUR,
FIVE POTATO, SIX POTATO, SEVEN POTATO, MORE.

Submitter comment: THIS IS COUNTED OFF ON FISTS IN A CIRCLE. THE ONE
WHO HAPPENED TO COME UP "MORE" LAST, WAS "IT."

Where learned: WASHINGTON DC

Subject headings: Favorites
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Game Pastime
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Game Verse
SPEECH -- Game Pastime Sport

Date learned: 11-24-1967 ; 00001950S

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BLIND MAN'S BLUFF

A CHILD'S GAME THAT I REMEMBER PLAYING QUITE A FEW
YEARS AGO, WAS ONE CALLED "BLIND MAN'S BLUFF."
ONE OF THE PLAYERS WOULD VOLUNTEER TO BE "IT" FIRST.
HE WOULD SUBMIT TO BEING BLINDFOLDED AND THEN SPUN
AROUND IN A CIRCLE A NUMBER OF TIMES. HE WAS NOT
ALLOWED TO TOUCH THE BLINDFOLD. HE THEN HAD TO WALK
AROUND ATTEMPTING TO CATCH ONE OF THE OTHER PARTICI-
PANTS AND THEREBY MAKE THE ONE CAUGHT BECOME "IT."
SOUNDS EXCITING, DON'T IT?

Submitter comment: I DON'T REMEMBER WHERE WE GOT THE GAME FROM AND AFTER
A WHILE WE STOPPED PLAYING. TOO MANY FELL DOWN AND
GOT HURT WHILE BEING "BLIND."

Where learned: WASHINGTON DC

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Game Pastime
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Structure for dance, game, pastime, sport, drama, etc.
SPEECH -- Game Pastime Sport

Date learned: 11-27-1967

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WEATHERMAN

I REMEMBER BEING TOLD QUITE A LONG TIME AGO THIS FACT
ABOUT THE FORECASTING OF WEATHER. IF, IN THE EARLY
EVENING, AS THE SUN IS SLOWLY SETTING, IT APPEARS AS A
LARGE PINK BALL ON THE HORIZON, IT MEANS THAT THE NEXT
DAY WILL BE VERY HOT AND THERE WILL BE NO RAIN.
AND FOR AS LONG AS I CAN REMEMBER, THE SUN HASN'T BEEN
WRONG. THIS CONDITION APPLIES MOSTLY IN THE SUMMER,
I AM TOLD.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT, MY MOTHER, WHEN QUESTIONED ABOUT THIS
INFORMATION, CLAIMS THAT SHE NEVER HEARD OF IT. (?)

Where learned: WASHINGTON DC

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Weather sign or control

Date learned: 11-27-1967

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BE PREPARED

ONE DAY A TOURIST WAS WALKING ALONG THE SHORES OF A LAKE IN IRELAND.
HE CAME UPON AN OLD CASTLE AND SAW AN OLD MAN IN A GARDEN. THE FRIENDLY
GARDENER LET THE TOURIST IN AND SHOWED HIM AROUND THE GROUNDS WHICH THE
OLD MAN KEPT IN PERFECT ORDER. THE TOURIST WONDERED WHEN THE OWNER HAD
LAST BEEN THERE. "TWELVE YEARS AGO." "DOES HE EVER WRITE TO YOU?" "NO."
"FROM WHOM DO YOU GET YOUR INSTRUCTIONS?" "FROM HIS AGENT." "DOES HE COME?"
"NEVER." "WHO, THEN, COMES HERE?" "I AM ALWAYS ALONE. ONLY ONCE IN A WHILE
A TOURIST COMES." "BUT YOU KEEP THIS GARDEN IN SUCH FINE CONDITION, JUST AS
THOUGH YOU EXPECT YOUR MASTER TO COME HERE TOMORROW." THE OLD MAN PROMPTLY
REPLIED: "TODAY, SIR, TODAY!"

Submitter comment: TO ENFORCE HER ADVICE TO ALWAYS BE PREPARED, THE INFORMANT TELLS
THIS LITTLE STORY:
INFORMANT IS A NATIVE OF IRELAND AND SHE BELIEVES THAT SHE HEARD
IT AS A CHILD BUT SHE SAYS IT IS POSSIBLE THAT SHE DIDN'T HEAR
IT UNTIL SHE CAME TO BOSTON AT THE AGE OF 14.

Where learned: WASHINGTON DC

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Plant husbandry Farming
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Romantic Realistic

Date learned: 11-04-1967

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WAKE UP

IF YOU TALK NONSENSE, YOU WILL BE TOLD, "PUT OUT YOUR HAND
AND SEE IF YOU ARE IN."
TRANSLATION: YOU ARE DREAMING.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT SAYS SOURCE IS BOSTON, BUT HAS NO DATE.

Where learned: NOT GIVEN ; BOSTON ; Massachusetts ; WASHINGTON DC

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Ordinary Tale
BELIEF -- Prayer

Date learned: 11-04-1967

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ROUND

IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT,
AND SEVEN BANDITS SAT AROUND THE CAMPFIRE BRIGHT.
ONE BEGAN TO TELL A STORY AND IT BEGAN. . .
(REPEATED AD NAUSEUM)

Submitter comment: THIS ITEM IS TAKEN FROM THE INFORMANT'S EXPERIENCE AS A
BOY SCOUT.

Where learned: WASHINGTON DC

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Formula tale
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Prose Narrative Prose Narrative

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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BE PREPARED

ONE DAY A TOURIST WAS WALKING ALONG THE SHORES OF A LAKE IN IRELAND.
HE CAME UPON AN OLD CASTLE AND SAW AN OLD MAN IN A GARDEN. THE FRIENDLY
GARDENER LET THE TOURIST IN AND SHOWED HIM AROUND THE GROUNDS WHICH THE
OLD MAN KEPT IN PERFECT ORDER. THE TOURIST WONDERED WHEN THE OWNER HAD
LAST BEEN THERE. "TWELVE YEARS AGO." "DOES HE EVER WRITE TO YOU?" "NO."
"FROM WHOM DO YOU GET YOUR INSTRUCTIONS?" "FROM HIS AGENT." "DOES HE COME?"
"NEVER." "WHO, THEN, COMES HERE?" "I AM ALWAYS ALONE. ONLY ONCE IN A WHILE
A TOURIST COMES." "BUT YOU KEEP THIS GARDEN IN SUCH FINE CONDITION, JUST AS
THOUGH YOU EXPECT YOUR MASTER TO COME HERE TOMORROW." THE OLD MAN PROMPTLY
REPLIED: "TODAY, SIR, TODAY!"

Submitter comment: TO ENFORCE HER ADVICE TO ALWAYS BE PREPARED, THE INFORMANT TELLS
THIS LITTLE STORY:
INFORMANT IS A NATIVE OF IRELAND AND SHE BELIEVES THAT SHE HEARD
IT AS A CHILD BUT SHE SAYS IT IS POSSIBLE THAT SHE DIDN'T HEAR
IT UNTIL SHE CAME TO BOSTON AT THE AGE OF 14.

Where learned: WASHINGTON DC

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Plant husbandry Farming
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Romantic Realistic

Date learned: 11-04-1967

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WAKE UP

IF YOU TALK NONSENSE, YOU WILL BE TOLD, "PUT OUT YOUR HAND
AND SEE IF YOU ARE IN."
TRANSLATION: YOU ARE DREAMING.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT SAYS SOURCE IS BOSTON, BUT HAS NO DATE.

Where learned: NOT GIVEN ; BOSTON ; Massachusetts ; WASHINGTON DC

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Ordinary Tale
BELIEF -- Prayer

Date learned: 11-04-1967

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ROUND

IT WAS A DARK AND STORMY NIGHT,
AND SEVEN BANDITS SAT AROUND THE CAMPFIRE BRIGHT.
ONE BEGAN TO TELL A STORY AND IT BEGAN. . .
(REPEATED AD NAUSEUM)

Submitter comment: THIS ITEM IS TAKEN FROM THE INFORMANT'S EXPERIENCE AS A
BOY SCOUT.

Where learned: WASHINGTON DC

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Formula tale
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Prose Narrative Prose Narrative

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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SUPERSTITION

MURPHY'S LAW: IF ANYTHING CAN GO WRONG, IT WILL GO WRONG.

Submitter comment: LEARNED WHILE WORKING AS AN ECONOMIST IN WASHINGTON, D.C.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; YONKERS ; WASHINGTON DC

James Callow Keyword(s): OBSERVATION ; PESSIMISM

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

Date learned: 12-26-1963

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PROVERB: APPEARANCE

THE WORLD IS GOVERNED MORE BY APPEARANCES THAN BY REALITIES, SO IT
IS AS FULLY NECESSARY TO SEEM TO KNOW SOMETHING AS IT IS TO
ACTUALLY KNOW IT.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT IS NOT POSITIVE, BUT SHE THINKS THAT SHE REMEMBERS
READING THIS AS A QUOTE OF DANIEL WEBSTER. SHE ADDS THAT SHE HAS
NOT COME ACROSS IT FOR MORE THAN TEN YEARS.

Where learned: WASHINGTON DC

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 11-04-1967

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RETORT

THAT'S AS FUNNY AS A SCREEN DOOR ON A SUBMARINE.

Where learned: WASHINGTON DC

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: 04-18-1971

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Toast

Are you making food for thrashers?

Submitter comment:

This question is usually directed toward the woman of the house who is preparing a large dinner.

Informant's Comment: An Indian custom at thrashing-time is for all the farmers to meet at one farm to help thrash the wheat. The women prepare the noon meal for the thrashers. In the same sense "making food for thrashers" implies a large amount or an overabundance.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

James Callow comment:

Original BN [V400] is crossed out. Replaced with current classification.

Where learned: WASHINGTON DC

Keyword(s): COMEBACK ; FARMING ; FOOD ; RETORT ; Thrashers ; Wheat

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Formula

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SWIFTIES, TOM

"I HAVE VERY FEW IN MY GARDEN." HE SAID LACKADAISICALLY.

Where learned: WASHINGTON ; WASHINGTON DC

Keyword(s): LAZY DAISY

James Callow Keyword(s): PUN

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Wellerism Quotation

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