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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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SUPERSTITION

THE NUMBER THIRTEEN IS IT REALLY LUCKY OR UNLUCKY.

Submitter comment: FROM FRIENDS

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; LIBRARY ; DETROIT ; WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY

Subject headings: 686 Specific number by specific number being described

Date learned: 10-09-1967

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CHRISTMAS

IN THE PHILIPPINES, INSTEAD OF THE CHRISTMAS TREE WHICH WE USE AS
THE MOST COMMON SYMBOL OF CHRISTMAS, THE INHABITANTS USE THE
CHRISTMAS STAR. EACH HOME HAS A LARGE STAR, MADE OF SOME
NATURAL MATERIAL SUCH AS BAMBOO, WHICH SERVES AS THE CENTRAL
DECORATION IN THE HOME AS OUR TREES DO.

Where learned: DETROIT ; WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY ; NEWMAN CENTER CHAPEL

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

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SUPERSTITION

IF YOU ROCK A CHAIR IT IS A SIGN THAT YOU ARE GOING TO GET A
LICKING.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WAYNE

Subject headings: Observation

Date learned: 10-00-1971

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INDIAN LEGEND ABOUT ROCKS

THERE IS A TYPE OF ROCK CALLED A DESERT ROSE. THE DEPOSIT SEEMS
TO GROW BY ADDING CRYSTALLINE PARTS. THE INDIANS BELIEVE
THAT THESE ARE REINCARNATED TRIBESMEN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WAYNE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Supernatural Being
BELIEF -- Mineral

Date learned: 01-00-1970

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INDIAN LEGEND: ARIZONA

TWO INDIAN TRIBES WERE INVOLVED IN A BATTLE, ONE TRIBE WAS APACHE.
THE APACHES WERE TRAPPED ON A CLIFF, AND RATHER THAN SURRENDER,
THEY LEAPED TO THEIR DEATH. LATER THE FEMALE MEMBERS CAME TO
MOURN THEIR DEAD. THE TEARS OF THE WOMEN TURNED INTO A BLACK
GLASS-LIKE STONE WHICH IS NOW CALLED APACHE TEARS. THE ROCK
LOOKS LIKE IT CONTAINS A TEAR.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WAYNE

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Explanation of a name
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Metal Stone Bone Precious stone Gem
BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

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THANKSGIVING DAY FOOD TRADITION

ON THANKSGIVING DAY, THE ALLEN FAMILY EATS CREAMED ONIONS.

Submitter comment: THIS ITEM WAS LEARNED IN DETROIT

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; BOTSFORD GRADE SCHOOL ; WAYNE COUNTY

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Autumn Fall Harvest Thanksgiving
Food Drink -- Typical menus for the various meals For meal hours, see F574.84. Special or festive meals
Food Drink -- Plant food Vegetable

Date learned: CA00001930S

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FORGETFULNESS TRADITION

IF YOU LEAVE THE HOUSE FORGETTING SOMETHING, YOU MUST SIT DOWN AND
COUNT TO TEN BEFORE LEAVING THE HOUSE AGAIN.

Submitter comment: THIS ITEM WAS LEARNED IN DETROIT

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; BOTSFORD GRADE SCHOOL ; WAYNE COUNTY

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Number P686.3.10

Date learned: CA00001930S

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BIRTHDAY TRADITION

FOR YOUR BIRTHDAY, YOU GET A PINCH THE DAY BEFORE, A SPANKING ON
THE BIRTHDAY, AND A KISS THE DAY AFTER.

Submitter comment: THIS ITEM WAS LEARNED IN DETROIT

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; BOTSFORD GRADE SCHOOL ; WAYNE COUNTY

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Private birthday or anniversary
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: CA00001930S

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SUPERSTITION:

NINETY YEARS WITHOUT SLUMBERING,
TICK, TOCK, TICK, TOCK,
BUT IT STOPPED SHORT,
NEVER TO RUN AGAIN
WHEN THE OLD MAN DIED.

Submitter comment: FROM FRIENDS.

Data entry tech comment: PART OF A SONG--"GRANDFATHER'S CLOCK."

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Death C346.546

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INDIAN LEGEND ABOUT ROCKS

THERE IS A CERTAIN TYPE OF ROCK CALLED A DESERT ROSE. THE DEPOSIT SEEMS TO GROW BY ADDING CRYSTALLINE PARTS. THE INDIANS BELIEVE THAT THESE ARE REINCARNATED TRIBESMEN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WAYNE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- P474,

Date learned: 01-00-1970

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JUMP STORY

YOU ASSEMBLE A GROUP OF PEOPLE AND TELL THEM THE
FOLLOWING STORY (YOU PICK ONE AS THE BRUNT OF THE
JOKE).
THERE WERE THREE BROTHERS AND ONE OF THEM HAD A GOLDEN
ARM. THE OTHERS WERE VERY JEALOUS OF THIS ARM AND
ALWAYS WANTED TO STEAL IT. FINALLY THE BROTHER
WITH THE GOLDEN {ARM} DIED AND BEFORE HE WAS BURIED
HIS GOLDEN ARM DISAPPEARED. HIS GHOST CAME BACK TO
HAUNT THE OTHER BROTHERS. AT THIS POINT YOU ASK
EACH OF THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU "DID YOU STEAL MY
GOLDEN ARM?" WHEN YOU COME TO THE PERSON WHOM
YOU WISH TO SCARE AND HE ANSWERS "NO" TO YOUR QUESTION
YOU GRAB HIM AND SHOUT "YES YOU DID."

Submitter comment: STORY SHOULD BE TOLD WITH "ATMOSPHERE."

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WAYNE

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Formula tale

Date learned: 00-00-1965

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INDIAN LEGEND: ARIZONA

TWO INDIAN TRIBES WERE INVOLVED IN A BATTLE, ONE TRIBE WAS APACHE.
THE APACHES WERE TRAPPED ON A CLIFF, AND RATHER THAN SURRENDER,
THEY LEAPED TO THEIR DEATH. LATER THE FEMALE MEMBERS CAME TO
MOURN THEIR DEAD. THE TEARS OF THE WOMEN TURNED INTO A BLACK
GLASS-LIKE STONE WHICH IS NOW CALLED APACHE TEARS. THE ROCK
LOOKS LIKE IT CONTAINS A TEAR.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WAYNE

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Explanation of a name
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Metal Stone Bone Precious stone Gem
BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 01-00-1970

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JUMP STORY

YOU ASSEMBLE A GROUP OF PEOPLE AND TELL THEM THE
FOLLOWING STORY (YOU PICK ONE AS THE BRUNT OF THE
JOKE).
THERE WERE THREE BROTHERS AND ONE OF THEM HAD A GOLDEN
ARM. THE OTHERS WERE VERY JEALOUS OF THIS ARM AND
ALWAYS WANTED TO STEAL IT. FINALLY THE BROTHER
WITH THE GOLDEN {ARM} DIED AND BEFORE HE WAS BURIED
HIS GOLDEN ARM DISAPPEARED. HIS GHOST CAME BACK TO
HAUNT THE OTHER BROTHERS. AT THIS POINT YOU ASK
EACH OF THE PEOPLE AROUND YOU "DID YOU STEAL MY
GOLDEN ARM?" WHEN YOU COME TO THE PERSON WHOM
YOU WISH TO SCARE AND HE ANSWERS "NO" TO YOUR QUESTION
YOU GRAB HIM AND SHOUT "YES YOU DID."

Submitter comment: STORY SHOULD BE TOLD WITH "ATMOSPHERE."

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WAYNE

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Formula tale

Date learned: 00-00-1965

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INDIAN LEGEND: ARIZONA

TWO INDIAN TRIBES WERE INVOLVED IN A BATTLE, ONE TRIBE WAS APACHE.
THE APACHES WERE TRAPPED ON A CLIFF, AND RATHER THAN SURRENDER,
THEY LEAPED TO THEIR DEATH. LATER THE FEMALE MEMBERS CAME TO
MOURN THEIR DEAD. THE TEARS OF THE WOMEN TURNED INTO A BLACK
GLASS-LIKE STONE WHICH IS NOW CALLED APACHE TEARS. THE ROCK
LOOKS LIKE IT CONTAINS A TEAR.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WAYNE

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Explanation of a name
ART CRAFT ARCHITECTURE -- Metal Stone Bone Precious stone Gem
BELIEF -- Mineral
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 01-00-1970

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IF YOU PUT YOUR SHIRT ON EITHER BACKWARDS OR INSIDE
OUT, YOU MUST WEAR IT THAT WAY, OR YOU WILL HAVE
BAD LUCK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WAYNE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Conversions Clothing (dress, hat, shoes, suit, etc.)

Date learned: 10-00-1971

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THE GRAND MARCH

ALTHOUGH THE GRAND MARCH WAS ORIGINALLY A POLISH
WEDDING CUSTOM, IT IS NOW A COMMON SIGHT AT
ALMOST ANY WEDDING. WHILE THE BAND PLAYS A GAY
MARCH THE BRIDE AND GROOM JOIN HANDS AND WITH
THE BRIDESMAIDS AND USHERS BEHIND THEM, THE WEDDING
GUEST BEHIND THEM IN COUPLES, THEY BEGIN TO MARCH
ALL OVER THE HALL, SOMETIMES OUTSIDE AND BACK
INSIDE AGAIN. AFTER A WHILE THE BRIDE AND GROOM
STOP AND FORM AN ARCH WITH THEIR ARMS, AND LET THE
NEXT COUPLE PASS UNDER THE ARCH THEY HAVE MADE, BUT
NOT BEFORE THE USHER KISSES THE BRIDE AND THE
BRIDESMAID KISSES THE GROOM. THE SECOND COUPLE
THEN FORMS AN ARCH WITH THEIR ARMS AND THE SAME
THING HAPPENS WITH THE FOLLOWING COUPLES UNTIL
THE END OF THE LINE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WAYNE

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage Grand march

Date learned: 09-20-1969

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SUPERSTITION

IF YOU DROP A FORK YOU WILL HAVE COMPANY FROM THE DIRECTION IN
WHICH THE PRONGS ARE POINTING.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WAYNE

Subject headings: Observation

Date learned: 10-00-1971

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CUSTOM FOR CHOOSING TEAMS

IN ELECTING SOMEONE FOR SOMETHING, OR FOR CHOOSING UP TEAMS, WE
USED TO EMPLOY A BASEBALL BAT. THE TWO CAPTAINS WOULD STAND
FACING EACH OTHER AND A THIRD PARTY WOULD TOSS THE BAT STRAIGHT
UP INTO THE AIR. ONE OF THE TWO CAPTAINS WOULD TRY TO CATCH IT
NEAR THE BOTTOM BY GRABBING IT WITH HIS HAND. THE OTHER PERSON
WOULD THEN WRAP HIS HAND AROUND THE BAT DIRECTLY ABOVE THE FIRST
PERSON'S. THIS WOULD CONTINUE UNTIL THERE WAS NO MORE ROOM AT THE
TOP OF THE BAT. WHEN THIS STAGE WAS REACHED THEN THE PERSON WHOSE
HAND WAS NEAREST TO THE TOP WAS THE WINNER. SEVERAL VARIATIONS
WERE ALLOWED. ONE WAS TO REST YOUR ELBOW ON THE FIRST PERSON'S
HAND AND THEN WRAP YOUR HAND AROUND THE BAT. ANOTHER WAS TO PLACE
ONLY TWO FINGERS AROUND THE BAT (BUT THE FINGERS MUST BE ABLE TO
TOUCH THE THUMB IN THIS CASE). FINALLY YOU COULD DO "EAGLE'S
CLAWS," THAT IS, WRAP YOUR FINGERS OVER THE KNOB OF THE BAT IN
THE MANNER OF A BIRD'S CLAWS. BUT IT YOU DID THIS YOU HAD TO
SUBSEQUENTLY THROW THE BAT FARTHER THAN TEN FEET BEHIND YOURSELF
OR YOU LOST. THESE MANEUVERS WERE USED TO SKILLFULLY TRY TO
SHORTEN OR LENGTHEN DISTANCES ON THE BAT SO YOU WOULD WIN.

Submitter comment: I LEARNED THIS FROM PLAYMATES IN FORT WAYNE, INDIANA, BUT ALSO
USED IT HERE IN DETROIT, ESPECIALLY WHEN CHOOSING TEAMS FOR
SOME GAME THAT REQUIRED A BAT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; INDIANA ; FORT WAYNE

Subject headings: 686 First / Once / One / Newness
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Game Pastime
BELIEF -- Entertainment Diversion

Date learned: 12-00-1963

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RETORT

WHAT DO YOU THINK I AM - A YO-YO?

Submitter comment: (SAID) WHEN HE'S BEING TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF, SAYS COLLECTOR.

Where learned: INDIANA ; FORT WAYNE

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: 04-16-1971

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KICK THE CAN

THIS GAME WAS PLAYED BY BOTH BOYS AND GIRLS AND
USUALLY AT NIGHT. A LARGE TIN CAN WAS PLACED ON THE
GROUND NEAR SOME LIGHTED AREA, SUCH AS A PORCH. ONE
PERSON WAS CHOSEN TO BE "IT." HE HAD TO CLOSE HIS
EYES AND COUNT TO A HUNDRED WHILE EVERYONE ELSE
RAN TO SEEK A HIDING PLACE. HIS COUNTING FINISHED,
THE "IT" PERSON WOULD TRY TO FIND EVERYBODY'S HIDING
PLACE. IF HE DISCOVERED YOU HE WOULD HAVE TO RUN TO
THE CAN AND WITH HIS FOOT ON IT, CALL OUT YOUR NAME
AND WHERE YOU WERE HIDING. THUS CAUGHT, THE PERSON
WOULD HAVE TO COME AND STAND IN AN AREA NEAR THE CAN
AND WAS A CAPTIVE. AT ANY TIME, A PERSON COULD RELEASE
ALL THE CAPTIVES BY RUNNING TO THE CAN, GIVING IT A
SWIFT KICK, AND YELLING "ALLE, ALLE, OXINFREE." OF
COURSE, IF THE "IT" PERSON SAW YOU AND BEAT YOU TO THE
CAN AND SAID YOUR NAME, THEN YOU TOO BECAME A CAPTIVE.
SHOULD EVERYONE BE RELEASED, THEN THE "IT" PERSON
WOULD HAVE TO RETRIEVE THE CAN, REPLACE IT, COUNT TO
TEN, AND THEN BEGIN RESEARCHING. THE GAME ENDED
WHEN EVERYONE WAS CAUGHT. THEN A NEW "IT" WOULD BE
CHOSEN. DUE TO THE DIFFICULTY, SOMETIMES TWO "ITS"
WERE CHOSEN.

Submitter comment: WE PLAYED THIS GAME FREQUENTLY AND EVEN THE OLDER
TEENAGERS ENJOYED IT.

Where learned: INDIANA ; FORT WAYNE

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Special Object or Implement Special Object or Implement

Date learned: 00001949 CA.

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