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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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IT WAS ALWAYS TOLD TO ME THAT DEATH WILL ALWAYS OCCUR
IN 3'S. THIS BECAME A REALITY LAST OCTOBER WHEN MY
MOTHER AND TWO OF MY AUNTS PASSED AWAY WITHIN WEEK.

Where learned: DETROIT ; TOLD AT HOME

Subject headings: 686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 03-07-1971

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COUGH

TO CURE A COUGH: BOIL A POT OF WATER WITH PEELED ONIONS IN IT. AFTER
THE WATER RISES TO A BOIL, SPILL THE WATER INTO A CUP AND DRINK IT.
MY MOTHER PREPAR%D THIS ONCE FOR ME WHEN I HAD A COUGH AND IT SEEMED
TO HELP.

Where learned: DETROIT ; TOLD AT HOME ; MICHIGAN, ASSUMED

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Method of Curing

Date learned: 11-06-1971

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THE WEATHER ON THE FIRST DAY OF THE MONTH
SHOULD REFLECT THE TYPE OF WEATHER FOR THE
FIRST 15 DAYS OF THAT MONTH.

Submitter comment: MENTIONED REPEATEDLY

Where learned: COLLECTED AT HOME

Keyword(s): WEATHER

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
BELIEF -- P010
BELIEF -- P0201
BELIEF -- P030
BELIEF -- P040
BELIEF -- P0501
BELIEF -- P060
BELIEF -- P070
BELIEF -- P080
BELIEF -- P090
BELIEF -- P100
BELIEF -- P110
BELIEF -- P120

Date learned: DATE NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR.

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DUMB, DUMB DODO, CATCH ME IF YOU CAN./ I CAN RUN FASTER THAN ---CAN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; TOLD AT HOME ; BIRMINGHAM

Keyword(s): CALL-RHYME

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

Date learned: 11-02-1969

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CHRISTMAS CUSTOM

INFORMANT'S FAMILY OPENS THE GIFTS AT 12 O'CLOCK MIDNIGHT,
FOLLOWED BY A CUSTOMARY MEAL OF HOT PASTROMI ON DARK RYE BREAD.

Where learned: TOLD AT HOME ; NEW YORK ; ROCHESTER

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve Single dishes
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Gifts, gift giving at Christmas

Date learned: 01-00-1971

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CHRISTMAS EVE CUSTOM, SPECIAL OR FESTIVE MEALS

AFTER THE CHRISTMAS EVE MEAL, THE SCRAPS OF FOOD ARE THROWN ON THE
FRUIT TREES. THEN A BRAID OF STRAW IS WRAPPED AROUND THE TREE
TO KEEP IT TOGETHER. IF YOU DO THIS, THE TREE WILL BEAR A LOT
OF FRUIT DURING THE SPRING.

Submitter comment:

MY FATHER'S FAMILY IN POLAND DID THIS AND IT WORKED.
THIS CUSTOM IS STILL PREVALENT IN POLAND TODAY.

Data entry tech comment:

Informant is collector's father.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; TOLD AT HOME

Keyword(s): FOOD CUSTOM

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve F122.4
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Straw

Date learned: 11-06-1971

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DEATH ALWAYS COMES IN THREES.

Submitter comment: MY MOTHER HEARD THIS FROM HER MOTHER BUT HAS ALSO HEARD
IT FROM OTHER PEOPLE AS WELL.

Where learned: TOLD AT HOME

Subject headings: 686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 10-16-1971

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THE ITALIAN GOOD LUCK NUMBER IS NUMBER "13"

Where learned: TOLD AT HOME OF A

Subject headings: 686 Specific number by specific number being described
BELIEF -- Fate Destiny Luck Chance

Date learned: 02-27-1971

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A CHANT

TARZAN THE MONKEY MAN
SWINGIN ON A RUBBER BAND
ALONG CAME SUPERMAN
AND KNOCKED HIM IN THE GARBAGE CAN.

Where learned: COLLECTED AT HOME

Keyword(s): HUMOR ; IMPERFECT RHYME ; MOVIE, TELEVISION, AND COMIC BOOK HEROES ; RHYME: AAAA ; RHYME: ABAA

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

Date learned: 10-13-1971

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PLANTING METHOD

THIS IS A COMMON METHOD USED BY INDIANS IN PLANTING TOMATOES. A HOLE ABOUT 18 INCHES DEEP IS DUG. ABOUT HALF OF THIS HOLE IS FILLED WITH DRY CHOPPED CORNSTALKS. THIS IS COVERED WITH A FEW INCHES OF GROUND, THE TOMATO SEED AND A FINAL THIN LAYER OF GROUND.

Where learned: COLLECTED AT HOME

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Plant food Vegetable
BELIEF -- Plant

Date learned: 11-04-1969

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MAMMAL

ONLY ON CHRISTMAS EVE, IT'S BELIEVED THAT THE CATTLE TALK AMONG
THEMSELVES. THEY TLAK OF THE DAY, DURING THE NEW YEAR, WHEN THEY
WILL CART THE CASKET OF ONE OF THE HOUSEHOLD MEMBERS TO THE CEMETARY.

Submitter comment: OUR FATHER HEARD THIS FROM HIS MOTHER DURING THE EARLY 1900'S. IT
WAS CONSIDERED TO BE AN OLD SAYING EVEN THEN. DURING THE 1800'S ONE
MAN DID DIE AND HIS CATTLE TOWED HIS BODY TO THE CEMETARY (THIS
COULD HAVE BEEN THE ORIGIN OF THIS SAYING).

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; TOLD AT HOME

Keyword(s): BELIEF

Subject headings: Observation
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve Beliefs

Date learned: 11-14-1971

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FOLK CURE FOR UPSET STOMACH

BOIL A BAY LEAF IN WATER FOR A FEW MINUTES AND THEN DRINK.
WILL CURE UPSET STOMACH AND ALSO EASE DIARRHEA.

Data entry tech comment: COLLECTOR'S SPELLING CORRECTED BY KEYPUNCHER.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; TOLD AT HOME

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Remedy

Date learned: 11-14-1971

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KRIES KRINGLE (GERMAN)

PREPARATORY FOR CHRISTMAS
KRIES KRINGLE COMES AND BRINGS
CHILDREN GIFTS, FRUITS, ETC. TO
SHOW THEM CHRISTMAS IS NEAR.

Where learned: TOLD AT HOME

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

Date learned: 10-21-1968

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A BELIEF

ON NEW YEARS DAY THE FIRST PERSON THAT SHOULD ENTER YOUR HOUSE
IS A MAN (IF YOU ARE A WOMAN). IF A WOMAN ENTERS FIRST YOU WILL HAVE
BAD LUCK ALL YEAR.

Submitter comment: HIS MOTHER WILL NOT LET ANY WOMAN IN HER
HOUSE ON NEW YEARS DAY FIRST AND WILL GET
MAD IF A WOMAN SHOWS UP FIRST.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; COLLECTED AT HOME

Keyword(s): FIRST FOOTING ; SEXIST

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
BELIEF -- Measure of time Year
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 10-10-1971

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PREDICITION OF ARTHRITIS

WHEN YOU'RE YOUNG, IF YOU PUT YOUR FINGERS TOGETHER
AND THERE ARE SPACES BETWEEN YOUR FINGERS, YOU'LL GET
ARTHRITIS.

Submitter comment: SHE LEARNED IT FROM HER GIRLFRIEND AT DOMINCAN HIGH SCHOOL.
HER GIRLFRIEND LEARNED IT FROM HER GRANDMOTHER.

Where learned: COLLECTED AT HOME

Subject headings: Observation

Date learned: 03-29-1967

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SUPERSTITION REGARDING AN UMBRELLA

IF YOU OPEN AN UMBRELLA IN A HOUSE,
SOMEONE YOU KNOW WILL DIE.

Submitter comment: SHE LEARNED IT FROM HER MOTHER.

Where learned: COLLECTED AT HOME

Subject headings: Observation

Date learned: 02-04-1967

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ITALIAN SANTA CLAUS

THE BEFANA IS AN OLD WOMAN WHO WAS SWEEPING OUT
HER HOUSE ONE DAY WHEN THE THREE WISE MEN PASSED BY ON THEIR
WAY TO SEE THE CHRIST CHILD. SHE TOLD THEM TO WAIT UNTIL
SHE FINISHED HER SWEEPING SO THAT SHE COULD GO WITH THEM.
SHE FINISHED THE WORK AND GOT TOGETHER SOME FRUIT AND
CANDY BUT WHEN SHE WENT OUTSIDE THE MEN WERE ALREADY GONE.
AND NOW SHE ROAMS THE EARTH ON EVERY LITTLE CHRISTMAS LOOKING
FOR THE CHRIST CHILD AND GIVING FRUIT AND CANDY TO ALL LITTLE
CHILDREN ON THAT NIGHT. BAD CHILDREN RECEIVE COAL IN THEIR
STOCKING.
MY MOTHER SAYS THAT IN HER FAMILY THE BEFANA WOULD
COME AND THROW NUTS DOWN THE CHIMNEY TO WARN THE
KIDS TO BE GOOD BECAUSE SHE WAS COMING. THEN STOCKINGS WOULD
BE HUNG AND THE NEXT MORNING, THEY WOULD BE FILLED WITH
FRUIT AND COOKIES.
IN OTHER FAMILIES, THE CHILDREN WOULD ALL KNEEL AROUND
THE FIREPLACE AND PRAY WITH THEIR WHOLE HEART AND SOUL FOR
THE BEFANA TO COME. AND ONE BY ONE BASKERS FULL OF FRUIT
AND CANDY WITH EACH CHILD'S NAME IN IT WOULD COME DOWN.
IN THESE FAMILIES, THERE WERE NO STOCKINGS THEN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; COLLECTED AT HOME

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Santa Claus
BELIEF -- Prayer P642.64

Date learned: 11-02-1969

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BASKETBALL PLAYER'S SUPERSTITION

DURING WARMUP SHOTS, IF THE FIRST GUY MAKES HIS
SHOT, THEN THEY'LL WIN FOR SURE. BUT IF THE FIRST
GUY DOESN'T MAKE HIS BASKET, THIS IS A VERY BAD
OMEN AND BOTHERS THE TEAM A LOT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; COLLECTED AT HOME

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
Observation
BELIEF -- Entertainment Diversion

Date learned: 11-02-1969

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IF YOU HAVE ANY UNPAID BILLS, ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS PUT THE NAME
OF THE BILL DOWN ON A PIECE OF PAPER AND PUT IT IN THE FREEZER AND
THE BILL COLLECTER CAN NOT COLLECT ON IT.

Submitter comment: MY MOTHER SAW MY GRANDMOTHER DO THIS BEFORE 1956 IN INDIANA.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; COLLECTED AT HOME

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Magic of Speech, Sign, Color

Date learned: 10-10-1971

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PLANTING BELIEF

IF A ROSE IS TO BE STARTED FROM THE CUTTING OF ANOTHER ROSE, THE CUTTING SHOULD BE STUCK IN A POTATO AND THEN PLANTED.

Data entry tech comment:

Informant and collector share the same surname.

 

Where learned: COLLECTED AT HOME

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Plant food Vegetable
Food Drink -- Special Form and PurposeObject of Bodily Consumption
BELIEF -- Plant

Date learned: 10-23-1969

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