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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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LEGEND OF ST. BEATUS

IN THE MIDDLE AGES, THERE WAS A RICH YOUNG MAN WHO WENT AROUND
WITH HIS SWORD AND HELMET, LIVING AN EASY LIFE. IT IS TOLD THAT
HE CAME NEAR A BIG CAVE (AT THE BORDER OF LAKE THUN), AND HAD TO
FIGHT A BIG DRAGON. HE KILLED THE DRAGON, BUT WAS SEVERELY WOUNDED
HIMSELF. THERE WERE NO VILLAGES NEAR, AND HE TOLD HIMSELF THAT HE
WOULD BECOME A HERMIT IF HE SURVIVED. IN THIS LARGE CAVE, THERE WAS
A SPRING, AND BY DRINKING THE WATER HE BECAME WELL. HE THEN
STUCK TO HIS PROMISE, AND BECAME A HERMIT FOR THE REST OF HIS LIFE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; TOLD AT COLLECTORS HOME ; SOUTHFIELD

Keyword(s): PLEDGE

James Callow Keyword(s): LAKE OF THUN, SWITZERLAND

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Religious hero

Date learned: 10-28-1970

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Entry filtered.

WE GOT MARRIED ON A FRIDAY AND MY MOTHER NEARLY
HAD A FIT. THAT MEANT BAD LUCK. BUT THE PRIEST
WHO MARRIED US, FATHER CLARK FROM NEW YORK, SAID
THAT ONLY NIGGERS GOT MARRIED ON SATURDAY AND HE
WOULDN'T MARRY US ON THAT DAY.

Submitter comment:

HAPPENED IN GLOUCESTER, OHIO

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: OHIO ; SOUTHFIELD ; SOUTHFIELD DOWNS TRAILER CAMP ; GLOUCESTER

Keyword(s): Day ; LUCK ; MARRIAGE ; RACISM ; Saturday

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Measure of time WeekDayHour
BELIEF -- Bad luck Crucial moment of life

Date learned: 05-19-1965

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CHRISTMAS BELIEF

IF A MAN DOES NOT ENTER THE HOUSE FIRST ON CHRISTMAS
MORNING, THE HOUSE WILL BE PLAGUED WITH SICKNESS AND
BAD LUCK DURING THE COMING YEAR. (THE STRONGER THE
MAN THE BETTER THE LUCK).

Submitter comment: THIS CUSTOM IS PRACTICED BY POLISH AMERICANS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; TOLD AT COLLECTORS HOME ; SOUTHFIELD

Keyword(s): FIRST ON CHRISTMAS

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.

Date learned: 10-25-1970

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CHRISTMAS BELIEF

IF A MAN DOES NOT ENTER THE HOUSE FIRST ON CHRISTMAS
MORNING, THE HOUSE WILL BE PLAGUED WITH SICKNESS AND BAD
LUCK DURING THE COMING YEAR. (THE STRONGER THE MAN THE
BETTER THE GOOD LUCK). THIS CUSTOM IS PRACTICED BY POLISH-AMERICANS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; TOLD AT COLLECTORS HOME ; SOUTHFIELD

Keyword(s): FIRST FOOTING ; SEXIST

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 25 Christmas Also see F642, below.
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness
BELIEF -- Good luck
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 10-25-1970

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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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TAUNT

PUT UP, OR SHUT UP! (PROVE IT)

Submitter comment: JUST PICKED IT UP.

Where learned: SOUTHFIELD ; MICHIGAN, ASSUMED

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: 11-11-1967

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IF IN HEAVEN WE DON'T MEET,
HAND IN HAND WE'LL STAND THE HEAT.
AND IF THE HEAT GETS TOO HOT,
PEPSI COLA HITS THE SPOT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SOUTHFIELD

James Callow Keyword(s): HELL POP SODA

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

Date learned: 07-25-1964

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(NAME) IN THE TUB
MOTHER FORGOT TO PUT IN THE PLUG,
OH MY GOODNESS, OH MY SOUL!
THERE GOES (NAME) DOWN THE HOLE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SOUTHFIELD

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

Date learned: 07-25-1964

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HE HURRIED ON, FOR IT WAS LATE,
HE RAN BEFORE HER TO OPEN THE GATE,
HE WANTED TO THANK HER, BUT DIDN'T KNOW HOW,
FOR HE WAS A FARMER AND SHE A COW.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SOUTHFIELD

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

Date learned: 07-25-1964

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CAN'T THINK, BRAIN NUMB,
INSPIRATION WON'T COME.
POOR INK, BAD PEN,
THAT'S ALL
AMEN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SOUTHFIELD

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

Date learned: 07-25-1964

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EGG JOKE (SIC)

Q: WHAT IS HARD ON THE OUT SIDE, SOFT ON THE INSIDE, AND IMPOSSIBLE
TO GET INTO WITHOUT BREAKING IT ?
A: AN EGG.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SOUTHFIELD

Keyword(s): ACTION (Q) ; EATABLES AND DRINKS (A) ; STATE OF BEING (Q)

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 11-10-1969

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PERSON NICKNAME

BLOOD

Submitter comment: WHAT ERIC CALLS HIS BROTHERS

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SOUTHFIELD

Subject headings: Person / Nickname

Date learned: 07-00-1978

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BELIEF ABOUT A FRIENDSHIP BRACELET

A RAWHIDE BRACELET IS GIVEN TO YOU BY YOUR FRIEND
AS A TOKEN OF YOUR FRIENDSHIP. IT CONSISTS OF FOUR KNOTS.
ONE THE BIGGEST, IS A SQUARE KNOT REPRESENTING SOME EVIL.
THE OTHER THREE REPRESENT IN ORDER, YOUR FRIEND, YOURSELF
AND A WALL. THIS IS SAID TO MEAN THAT AS LONG AS YOU HAVE YOUR FRIEND
YOU WILL NEVER HAVE TO FACE EVIL HEAD ON, BECAUSE YOUR FRIEND IS IN
FRONT OF YOU, AND THE WALL IS BEHIND YOU.
IT WAS SAID THAT YOU HAD TO WEAR THESE BRACELETS FOR A PERIOD OF
ONE YEAR, OR UNTIL THEY ROTTED OFF.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SOUTHFIELD

Keyword(s): Bracelet ; FRIENDSHIP ; Friendship Bracelet ; JEWELRY ; Knot ; SIGN ; SYMBOL

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

Date learned: 10-23-1970

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PLANTING RULE

IT IS A CUSTOM IN THE VILLAGE OF WENGEN, SWITZERLAND THAT YOU NEVER
PLANT BEANS WHILE THE MOON IS GROWING (THE PHASE FROM A NEW
MOON TO A FULL MOON). IF THIS RULE IS VIOLATED, THE BEANS
"JUST DON'T GROW."

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SOUTHFIELD ; COLLECTORS HOME

Keyword(s): PLANTING CUSTOM

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Plant husbandry Farming

Date learned: 10-28-1970

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AUTOGRAPH BOOK VERSE

WHEN YOU GET MARRIED,
AND YOUR HUSBAND GETS CROSS,
PICK UP A ROLLING PIN,
AND SHOW HIM WHO'S BOSS.

Submitter comment: THIS VERSE WAS WRITTEN IN THE INFORMANT'S AUTOGRAPH BOOK WHEN SHE WAS
IN SIXTH GRADE AT ST. ANTHONY'S SCHOOL IN DAYTON, OHIO.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SOUTHFIELD

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

Date learned: 00-00-1939

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RIDDLE

Q: WHAT HAS ONE LEG AND HIS HEART IN HIS HEAD?
A: A STUFFED CABBAGE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SOUTHFIELD

Keyword(s): EATABLES AND DRINKS (A) ; METAPHORICAL ; PART OF THE BODY (Q)

James Callow Keyword(s): VEGETABLE

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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AUTOGRAPH BOOK VERSE

DON'T IT MAKE YOU MAD?
AND DON'T IT GET YOUR GOAT}
WHEN YOU GET IN THE BATHTUB,
AND THEN YOU LOOSE (SIC) THE SOAP}

Submitter comment: THIS VERSE WAS WRITTEN IN THE INFORMANT'S AUTOGRAPH BOOK WHEN SHE
LIVED IN DAYTON, OHIO.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SOUTHFIELD

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

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PROPERTIES ATTRIBUTED TO FIRST (CLASSIFIER'S TITLE)

IF YOU WALK INTO A CHURCH FOR THE FIRST TIME,
YOU MUST SAY THREE OUR FATHER'S, THREE HAIL MARY'S
AND THREE GLORY BE'S.
IF YOU FOLLOW THIS PROCEDURE AND SAY THESE PRAYERS
YOUR WISH WILL BE GRANTED.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; TOLD AT HOME ; DEARBORN

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
686 Thirds / Thrice / Three / Triple
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Church
BELIEF -- Prayer

Date learned: 02-27-1971

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COMMON WORD

BOMB

Submitter comment: IT MEANS SOMETHING IS GOOD OR GREAT

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; SOUTHFIELD

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Vocabulary of Special Group

Date learned: 07-00-1978

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SHARP THINGS FOR PRESENTS (COLLECTOR,S TITLE) ; CONVERSION; GIVING COIN (CLASSIFIER,S TITLE)

IT IS VERY BAD LUCK FOR ANYONE TO GIVE YOU A PIN FOR A PRESENT OR
FOR THAT MATTER ANYTHING SHARP.
TO OVERCOME THIS WITHOUT HURTING THE GIVER,S FEELINGS INSIST ON HIS
TAKING A PENNY FOR THE GIFT.
THIS WAY YOU WILL HAVE PAID FOR THE GIFT AND IT WILL NOT BE BAD LUCK.
IF IT IS A BOY WHO GIVES YOU THE PIN YOU WILL SURELY BREAK UP SOON.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT LEARNED THIS FRON HER MOTHER, CARRIE ADAMS, ABOUT 1920

Where learned: SOUTHFIELD

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Conversions P883.18

Date learned: 05-12-1965

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