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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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HE WAS ONLY A LAVENDER COWBOY,
THE HAIRS ON HIS CHEST NUMBERED TWO.
HE WANTED TO BE LIKE THE HEROES
AND DO AS THE BIG MEN DO.

RED, GREEN, MANY-COLORED HAIR TONICS
HE RUBBED ON HIS CHEST DAY AND NIGHT,
BUT WHEN HE AWOKE THE NEXT MORNING,
ONLY TWO HAIRS WERE IN SIGHT.

HE BATTLED FOR RED NELLY'S HONOR,
HE HELD UP AN OUTLAW'S NEST,
BUT THEY FOUND HIM DEAD THE NEXT MORNING,
WITH ONLY TWO HAIRS ON HIS CHEST.

Where learned: OFFICE

Keyword(s): FIRST PERSON NARRATIVE ; METAPHOR OVERSTATEMENT HEROES ; METER: IAMBIC ; REPETITION ; RHYME: IMPERFECT, MASCULINE, ABCA

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

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POLISH JOKE

Historical record from James Callow Folklore Archive.

WHY DON'T THEY HAVE DOGS IN HAMTRAMCK? BECAUSE THEY
PISS ON THE POLES.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; VARSITY NEWS OFFICE

James Callow Keyword(s): URINATION

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Stupid man or woman
BELIEF -- Poli

Date learned: 04-11-1967

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POLISH JOKE

Historical record from James Callow Folklore Archive.

WHAT'S THE BEST THING TO COME OUT OF HAMTRAMCK?
AN EMPTY BUS.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; VARSITY NEWS OFFICE

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Stupid man or woman
BELIEF -- Poli

Date learned: 04-11-1967

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POLISH JOKE

Historical record from James Callow Folklore Archive.

DID YOU HEAR THEY HAD TO CLOSE THE HAMTRAMCK HOSPITAL?
THE HEAD SURGEON WAS CALLED BACK TO THE ASSEMBLY LINE AT
GENERAL MOTORS MAIN PLANT.

Submitter comment:

MENTIONED BY INFORMANT AS SHE PASSED BY, AS I WAS
TYPING POLISH JOKES IN THE VARSITY NEWS OFFICE.

Where learned: UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; VARSITY NEWS OFFICE

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Stupid man or woman
BELIEF -- Poli

Date learned: 04-11-1967

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UKRANIAN ( UKRAINIAN ) EASTER

ON EASTER SUNDAY, NO ONE WOULD ENTER THE CHURCH UNTIL THE CLERGYMAN
WOULD TAP THE DOOR OPEN WITH A CROSS, AS THEY BELIEVED THAT ALL THE
SOULS OF THEIR DECEASED FAMILIES AND FRIENDS WERE IN THE CHURCH
WITH CHRIST.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT TRAVELLED

Where learned: OFFICE

Subject headings: DRAMA -- Religious
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Easter Sunday
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 10-03-1967

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EASTER CUSTOM

ON EASTER MONDAY THE BOYS IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD GO TO THE GIRLS'
HOUSES AND SPRINKLE THEM WITH COLOGNE OR TOILET WATER.
(HUNGARIAN)

Submitter comment:

TRAVELLED

Where learned: OFFICE

Keyword(s): DYNGUS DAY

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Easter Monday Dyngus

Date learned: 11-20-1967

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(A FRATERNITY INDUCTION)

OUT IN THE SOUTHWEST THERE IS A VERY LONELY AND DESERTED
SECTION OF DESERT, WHERE THE ONLY SIGN OF CIVILIZATION
IS A TWO LANE ROAD. THE ONLY TRAFFIC ON THIS OLD ROAD
IS A SINGLE BUS WHICH CARRIES INDIANS TO PHOENIX,
ARIZONA FROM THEIR RESERVATION. ON A VERY DARK,
MOONLESS NIGHT, THE BUS WAS ON ITS WAY WITH ONLY TWO
PASSENGERS, AN OLD INDIAN WOMAN (WHO WAS SLEEPING) AND
HER DEAF HUSBAND. ALL OF A SUDDEN IN THE MIDDLE OF THE
ROAD, A LIGHT APPEARED. THE DRIVER SLOWED DOWN THE BUS,
AND SAW AN OLD MAN IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD. THE MAN
ASKED THE DRIVER IF HE COULD HAVE A RIDE, BUT SAID THAT
HE HAD NO MONEY. THE DRIVER ADMITTED THAT HE SOULDN'T
ALLOW IT, BUT THAT SINCE THE RIDE WAS SO LONG AND SO
LONELY, IT WOULD BE NICE IF HE HAD SOMEONE TO ACCOMPANY
HIM, AND TO TALK TO HIM. THE STRANGER THANKED THE DRIVER
AND GOT ABOARD THE BUS. THE DRIVER THEN ASKED THE
STRANGER WHERE HE HAD COME FROM AND THE STRANGER SAID
THAT IT WAS A RATHER LONG STORY. THE DRIVER ACKNOWLEDGED
THAT HE HAD PLENTY OF TIME AND THE STRANGER BEGAN.
AT THIS POINT THE STORY SHIFTS TO A FIRST PERSON
NARRATIVE.
I WAS BORN THE SON OF VERY WEALTHY PARENTS, AND I ATTENDED
ALL THE BEST SCHOOLS. WHEN IT WAS TIME TO GO TO COLLEGE
THERE WAS NO DOUBT AS TO WHERE I WOULD ATTEND, ONLY THE
BEST OF THE EVY LEAGUE WAS GOOD ENOUGH. WHEN I WAS READY
TO JOIN A FRATERNITY, AGAIN ONLY THE BEST, THE ONE WHICH
FAMILY TRADITION DICTATED. THE FRATERNITY WAS SMALL,
BEING LIMITED TO ONLY THE TOP MEN FROM OUR SCHOOL.
PLEDGE TIME CAME, MY SECOND YEAR IN THE FRATERNITY,
AND I HELPED CHOOSE THE THREE NEW PLEDGES, ONE, THE
BEST ENGINEER IN THE SCHOOL; ONE, THE BEST FOOTBALL
PLAYER; AND, ONE, THE BEST MUSICIAN IN THE BAND.
WHEN TIME CAME FOR THEIR FINAL TEST, THE MEN WERE TAKEN
OUT TO AN OLD DESERTED HOUSE WHICH HAD THREE FLOORS.
EACH MAN WAS GIVEN THREE KITCHEN MATCHES, A PENCIL AND A
NOTEBOOK. EACH MAN WAS TOLD TO GO INTO THE HOUSE, LIGHT
ONE MATCH, LOOK AROUND, WRITE DOWN EVERYTHING HE SAW, AND
THEN CLIMB TO THE NEXT FLOOR AND REPEAT THE PROCESS.
THE MUSICIAN WENT INTO THE HOUSE. A FAINT GLOW CAME FROM
THE WINDOWS OF THE FIRST STORY. IT SOON DIED OUT AND HE
COULD BE HEARD FUMBLING UP THE STAIRS TO THE SECOND STORY.
AGAIN THE FAINT GLOW, AND AGAIN THE FUMBLING AS HE
ASCENDED TO THE THIRD STORY. SUDDENLY THERE WAS A
BLINDING FLASH OF LIGHT FROM THE THIRD STORY OF THE HOUSE,
LIKE A THOUSAND FLASHBULBS AT ONCE. THEY (SWITCH BACK TO
IMPERSONAL) FIGURED IT WAS A PLEDGE PRANK, BUT THE OTHER
PLEDGES INSISTED IT WASN'T AND VOLUNTEERED TO GO IN AND
GET THE OTHER PLEDGE BACK OUTSIDE. THEY AGREED AND LET
THE ENGINEER GO IN AFTER HIM. THE SAME LIGHT GLOWED AS
AS HE WENT INTO THE FIRST STORY, AS HIS MATCH DIED OUT, HE
WAS HEARD GOING UP THE CREAKING STAIRS, AGAIN THE FAINT
GLOW, AND AGAIN THE CREAKING STAIRS TO THE THIRD FLOOR.
ONCE MORE THERE WAS THE SAME BLINDING FLASH. THE FOOTBALL
PLAYER SWORE THAT HE KNEW NOTHING ABOUT IT AND VOWED HE WOULD
BRING THE OTHERS BACK OUT. THIS TIME HE DIDN'T BOTHER
WITH THE MATCHES, HE WENT RIGHT UP THE STAIRS TO THE THIRD
STORY. THE BLINDING FLASH OF LIGHT EXPLODED ONCE MORE. THE
MEMBERS WERE AWESTRUCK. THEY ALL SCATTERED AND FINALLY
REGROUPED THE NEXT MORNING. IN THE LIGHT OF MORNING THEY
ALL FELT MORE AT EASE AND DECIDED TO RETURN TO THE HOUSE.
ON THE FIRST STORY, THEY SAW THE FOOTPRINTS LEFT BY THE
PLEDGES IN THE DUST. THE SAME WAS TRUE ON THE SECOND
STORY, BUT ON THE THIRD STORY THE DUST WAS UNMOVED, BUT IN
THE MIDDLE OF THE FLOOR THERE BRAND NEW AXES WERE STUCK INTO
THE WOOD, AND ALL THREE WERE COVERED BY BLOOD. THE
FRATERNITY WAS DISSOLVED, OF COURSE, AND FEW OF THE
MEMBERS WERE GRADUATED. AS A MATTER OF FACT, ALMOST ALL
OF THE MEMBERS HAVE BEEN REPORTED TO HAVE GONE MAD AND
MURDERED PEOPLE, BUT IT MUST BE REMEMBERED THAT THEY HAVE
DONE THIS ONLY ON THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE OCCURRENCE,
WHICH HAPPENS TO BE TONIGHT, AND I AM THE LAST--
(AT ANY POINT NEAR THE END OF THIS, THE TELLER OF THE
STORY STARTS GETTING CLOSER TO ANY LISTENER WHO APPEARS
DEEPLY ENGROSSED, AND FINALLY, AT THE END HE LEAPS TOWARD
THAT LISTENER).

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; DOWNTOWN ; MAIN OFFICE ; NATIONAL BANK

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Formula tale

Date learned: 06-00-1968

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WISH FOR OLD AGE

MAY ALLAH MAKE YOUR BEARD GROW LONG.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; DETROIT ; OFFICE

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: 02-08-1970

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CHINESE CELEBRATE THE LUNAR NEW YEAR
COMPARABLE TO OUR CHRISTMAS.

Where learned: Informant's office

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

Date learned: 11-11-1971

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FIXED DATE

THE SCOTS EXCHANGE CHRISTMAS GIFTS
ON "OLD YEAR'S EVE.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT TRAVELLED.

Where learned: OFFICE

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

Date learned: 10-03-1967

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NAMES

IT IS AN ITALIAN CUSTOM NOT TO HAVE MIDDLE NAMES. MARINA
HERSELF HAS NO MIDDLE NAME AND NEITHER DOES ANYONE IN
HER FAMILY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SOUTHFIELD ; COLUMBIA REALTY OFFICE

Subject headings: Person / Nickname

Date learned: 02-00-1971

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PROVERB

IDLENESS IS THE BEGINNING OF ALL LUST. TRANSLATION OF
MUISSIGGANG IST ALLER LASTER ANFANG.

Where learned: OFFICE

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

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LEGEND

KAREN TELLS ME THERE ARE MANY STORIES IN ARMENIAN
TRADITION ABOUT A MAN CALLED NASAHADEHAJA. HE
WAS SUPPOSEDLY A GREAT PHILOSOPHER WHOM EVERYONE
LISTENED TO. ONE DAY NASAHADEHAJA WAS SITTING
UNDER A TREE CRYING AND A WOMAN CAME UP AND SAID,
"NASAHADEHAJA, WHY ARE YOU CRYING?" HE ANSWERED THAT HE
WAS WORRIED THAT WHAT IF HE HAD A SON WHO CLIMBED
UP THE TREE, FELL DOWN, AND DIED. KAREN LAUGHED AT
THAT POINT, THOUGH I REALLY DIDN'T SEE THE HUMOR IN
THE STORY. SHE SAID THE MORAL WAS NOT TO WASTE YOUR
LIFE WORRYING ABOUT WHAT COULD (UNDERLINED) HAPPEN.

Where learned: COLUMBIA REALTY OFFICE

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Stupid man or woman

Date learned: 02-26-1971

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CHINESE CUSTOM-BELIEF

THE CHINESE NAME EACH YEAR AFTER AN ANIMAL IN A CYCLE OF
TWELVE ANIMALS. SOME ANIMALS ARE LUCKY, SOME NOT; HENCE CERTAIN
YEARS WILL BRING GOOD FORTUNE, OTHERS BAD LUCK.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT TRAVELLED

Where learned: OFFICE

Keyword(s): CALENDARS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Animal
BELIEF -- Measure of time Year
BELIEF -- Good luck
BELIEF -- Bad luck
SPEECH -- Proper Name

Date learned: 10-03-1967

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DURING NEW YEAR CELEBRATION, YOU PUT TWO
GOOD LUCK SAYINGS ON EITHER SIDE OF THE
DOOR. BOTH SAYINGS MUST BE SYMMETRICAL (5 WORDS EACH
FOR EXAMPLE) AND COMPOSED BY YOU.

Data entry tech comment:

PROBABLY A CHINESE CUSTOM

Where learned: Informant's office

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting

Date learned: 11-11-1971

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Entry filtered.

Historical record from James Callow Folklore Archive.

Is it better to be born black or gay?
Black, because you don't have to tell your parents.
Who are the two most famous black women in history?
Aunt Jemima and Mutha Fucker!

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: DETROIT ; OFFICE

Keyword(s): African American ; Bigot ; Black ; GAY ; HOMOSEXUAL ; JOKE ; Offensive ; RACISM ; Racist ; RIDDLE ; Stereotype ; Tasteless

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question
Filter - Mature Content

Date learned: 01-00-1984

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ITALIANS

SOME ITALIANS PUT MONEY INTO THE POCKETS OF THEIR
DECEASED ONE, SO HE WILL NOT GO TO HEAVEN PENNILESS.

Submitter comment: TRAVELLED

Where learned: OFFICE

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 11-20-1967

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CELEBRATION OF THE FIFTH DAY OF THE FIFTH MONTH(MAY 5).

Where learned: OFFICE ; TOLD AT

Subject headings: 686 Fifths

Date learned: 11-11-1971

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ENGLISH CUSTOM

GUY FAWKS DAY IN ENGLAND IS LIKE OUR HALLOWEEN.
GUY FAWKS TRIED TO BURN DOWN THE HOUSE OF
PARLIAMENT AND IS BURNED IN EFFIGY.

Submitter comment: TRAVELLED.

Where learned: OFFICE

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F110

Date learned: 11-20-1967

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GERMAN--ON THE NIGHT BEFORE THE WEDDING, FRIENDS OF THE
FUTURE MARRIED COUPLE, BRING ALL KINDS OF EMPTY CANS
AND BOTTLES AND LEAVE THEM AT THE DOORSTEP OF THE
BRIDE. THE FUTURE COUPLE IS SUPPOSED TO CLEAR IT
TOGETHER, SIGNIFYING THEY WILL WORK TOGETHER WHEN
MARRIED.

Where learned: OFFICE

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage Before wedding

Date learned: 11-09-1967

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