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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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WHEN A PERSON ASKS HOW SOMETHING IS COMING ALONG AND
THE PERSON BEING ASKED DOESN'T WISH TO SPEAK AT THE
TIME THE PERSON BEING ASKED MAY PUT THE TIPS OF
HIS THUMB AND FOREFINGER TOGETHER AND FORM A CIRCLE
WITH THEM AND HOLD HIS OTHER 3 FINGERS TOGETHER AND
STRAIGHT UP, AND SHOW THIS SIGN TO THE PERSON WHO
ASKED AND HE WILL KNOW THAT ALL IS OK.

Where learned: PORT CHESTER ; NEW YORK, ASSUMED

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Circle and other round forms
SPEECH -- All right O.K.

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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HOLIDAY CUSTOM

IT IS AN ITALIAN CUSTOM NEVER TO EAT MEAT ON CHRISTMAS EVE, BUT
TO EAT MANY VARIETIES OF FISH AND THIN SPIGETTI (SPAGHETTI) WITH
OLIVE OIL AND FISH SAUCE.

Submitter comment:

THIS CUSTOM GOES BACK TO SOUTHERN ITALY WHERE THE INFORMANT'S
PARENTS CAME FROM AND WAS TOLD TO THE INFORMANT BY HER MOTHER.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: NEW YORK ; PORT CHESTER

Keyword(s): ABSTINENCE FROM MEAT ; CHRISTMAS ; CUSTOM ; FOOD ; holiday ; Italian ; tradition

Subject headings: 122 Christmas

Date learned: 11-28-1970

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ENGINE, ENGINE, NUMBER NINE,
SPEEDING DOWN CHICAGO LINE,
IF THE TRAIN GOES OFF THE TRACK,
DO YOU WANT YOUR MONEY BACK?
MY MOMMY TOLD ME TO PICK THIS ONE,
OUT GOES Y-O-U.

Submitter comment: USED BY THE INFORMANT TO MAKE A CHOICE.

Where learned: NEW YORK ; PORT CHESTER

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

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GREETING-GESTURE

THERE IS A SPECIAL HANDSHAKE THAT IS USED IN THE
BOY SCOUTS WHERE THE MIDDLE FINGER AND THE FOREFINGER
ARE PLACED ON THE OTHER PERSON'S WRIST AND THE PALMS
ARE CLASPED AND THE THUMB IS PLACED ON TOP OF HIS
HAND AND THE RING FINGER AND PINKEY ARE PLACED ON THE
BOTTOM OF HIS HAND. THE HANDSHAKE IS GIVEN WITH THE
LEFT HAND.

Submitter comment: I WAS TOLD THIS IN THE SCOUTS IN 1961-1967.

Where learned: PORT CHESTER ; NEW YORK, ASSUMED

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: 602 Body Parts
SPEECH -- Body parts involved
SPEECH -- Greetings Salutations

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GREETING GESTURE

WHEN A PERSON MEETS A FRIEND AND THE OTHER PERSON
IS AT A DISTANCE, THE PERSON WAVES HIS ARM AND
HAND AND THIS IS A GREETING OF HELLO TO THE
OTHER PERSON.

Where learned: PORT CHESTER ; NEW YORK, ASSUMED

Subject headings: 602 Body Parts
SPEECH -- Body parts involved

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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THE WAY IN WHICH A PERSON CAN TELL IF ANOTHER
PERSON IS A VAMPIRE IS BY HAVING THE SUSPECTED
PERSON LOOK INTO A MIRROR AND IF THERE IS NO IMAGE
THEN HE OR SHE IS A VAMPIRE. MM
IF A VAMPIRE IS EVER TO BE KILLED, A STAKE MUST BE
DRIVEN INTO ITS HEART.

Where learned: PORT CHESTER ; NEW YORK, ASSUMED

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Werewolf Vampire

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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SCHOOL CUSTOM

IN COLLEGE THERE IS A TRADITIONAL WAITING PERIOD FOR A
TEACHER. IF THE TEACHER IS A FULL PROFESSOR, THE
WAITING TIME IS 20 MINUTES. IF HE IS NOT, THE WAITING
TIME IS 10 MINUTES. AFTER THIS TIME, THE STUDENTS MAY
LEAVE, IF THE TEACHER HAS NOT COME YET AND THE STUDENT
WON'T BE PENALIZED FOR IT.

Submitter comment: I WAS TOLD OF THIS IN 1967-68 AT UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT.

Data entry tech comment: NOT TRUE!

Where learned: PORT CHESTER ; NEW YORK, ASSUMED

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- School

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Ethnic: Italian

IT IS AN OLD ITALIAN CUSTOM THAT DURING LENT NOTHING MADE FROM EGGS
ARE ( IS ) EATEN UNTIL HOLY SATURDAY AFTERNOON.

Submitter comment:

THIS CUSTOM WAS PASSED TO THE INFORMANT FROM HER MOTHER AND
ORIGINALLY CAME FROM SOUTHERN ITALY.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated / 02-24-2011 / TRD

Where learned: NEW YORK ; PORT CHESTER

Keyword(s): ABSTINENCE ; CUSTOM ; Eggs ; ETHNIC ; FOOD ; holiday ; Italian ; Lent ; RELIGIOUS ; SELF-SACRIFICE

Subject headings: 663 Holy Saturday
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting Christian Chronology

Date learned: 11-28-1970

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