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James Callow Folklore Archive

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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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FOLLOW THE ARROWS

WE USED TO GET UP A BIG GANG OF TEN OR FIFTEEN KIDS
FROM OUR NEIGHBORHOOD IN NASHVILLE. THIS WAS WHEN
I WAS AROUND TEN YEARS OLD. OUR NEIGHBORHOOD WAS
ABOUT THE SIZE OF TWO CITY BLOCKS, BUT WITHOUT
FENCES AND VERY LITTLE TRAFFIC. THERE WERE LOTS OF
STOREHOUSES, GARAGES AND A CREEK RUNNING THROUGH
IT. LITTLE KIDS COULDN'T PLAY WITH US BECAUSE
THEY COULDN'T RUN FAST ENOUGH.
YOU LET ONE OR TWO KIDS HIDE THEIR EYES WHILE THE
OTHERS RUN IN A GROUP TOWARD SOME SPECIAL PLACE,
SAY, BEHIND A GARAGE. ONE PERSON IN THE GANG MAKES
CHALK ARROWS POINTING THE DIRECTION TO GO. THEN
THE SEARCHERS WOULD HUNT FOR THE ARROWS. THE GAME
WAS OVER WHEN THE SEARCHERS WOULD SPOT THE BIG
GANG.
WE WOULD USUALLY PLAY THIS ONLY ONCE A DAY BECAUSE
OF THE RUNNING TIRING US OUT.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT PLAYED THIS GAME AROUND 1942 WHEN SHE
WAS A TEN YEAR OLD IN NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE ; BLOOMFIELD HILLS

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

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YOU'RE AS WELCOME IN MY HOUSE AS A CASE OF SMALLPOX.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Formula
PROVERB -- Proverbial Comparison

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DURING PREGNANCY, IF YOU HAVE A CRAVING AND YOU DON'T SATISFY
IT, YOUR BABY WILL HAVE A BIRTHMARK.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Custom

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I'VE HEARD THAT THE REASON SOME FELLA'S ARE QUEER (HOMOSEXUAL)
IS BECAUSE THEY'RE BORN WITH THEIR SEX ORGANS IN THEIR THROAT.

Submitter comment: OVERHEARD IN CONVERSATION

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Custom

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ALWAYS GET INTO BED ON THE SAME SIDE AS YOUR HUSBAND IF YOU
WANT TO STAY TOGETHER.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Custom

Date learned: 08-02-1970

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IF THE HEM ON YOUR DRESS IS TURNED UP, KISS IT AND TURN AROUND
THREE TIMES AND YOU WILL GET A NEW DRESS.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

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

Date learned: 08-02-1970

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ON THE FIRST DAY OF EVERY MONTH BEFORE YOU SPEAK TO ANYONE SAY,
"RABBIT'S FOOT, RABBIT'S FOOT LEFT HIND LEG OF GRAVEYARD
RABBIT CAUGHT AT THE DARK OF THE MOON BRING ME LUCK."

Submitter comment: GRAVEYARD RABBIT IS A RABBIT CAUGHT IN A GRAVEYARD.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Subject headings: Charm / Enchantment / Conjuration

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IF YOU SEE A GREY MARE, CLAP HANDS, LICK THUMBS, AND MAKE AN
"X" IN YOUR PALM WITH THAT THUMB.

Submitter comment: COLLECTED IN HOME OF HELEN MIMS.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure

Date learned: 07-15-1970

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IF A BLACK CAT CROSSES IN FRONT OF YOUR CAR, SPIT ON YOUR
FINGER AND MAKE AN "X" ON THE WINDSHIELD.

Submitter comment: COLLECTED IN HOME OF HELEN MIMS.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Cross and its various modifications

Date learned: 07-15-1970

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IF YOU'RE LEAVING ON A TRIP AND YOU FORGET SOMETHNG, WHEN YOU
GO BACK FOR IT, MAKE AN "X" ON THE GROUND WITH YOUR FOOT AND
SPIT ON IT OR YOU WILLK HAVE BAD LUCK ON YOUR TRIP.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Cross and its various modifications

Date learned: 07-15-1970

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Entry filtered.

I DON'T CARE HOW MUCH THEM NIGGERS GET AHEAD, THEY STILL HAVE
THAT ODOR ABOUT THEM.

Submitter comment:

OVERHEARD BY MYSELF IN A CONVERSATION-ST. CLAIR'S

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Keyword(s): RACISM

Subject headings: BELIEF -- P684,

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WHEN CROSSING A RAILROAD TRACK IN A CAR, PUT YOUR HANDS ON
THE ROOF AND CROSS YOUR TOES AND FINGERS. REMAIN THAT WAY
UNTIL YOU SEE SOMETHING WHITE.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Color

Date learned: 08-10-1970

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FINDING A FIVE OR SIX LEAF CLOVER IS BAD LUCK.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Number

Date learned: 08-10-1970

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WHEN TEACHING, IF YOU SEE ONE BUZZARD IT MEANS JOY. TWO BUZZARDS
MEANS SORROW, AND IF YOU SEE THREE BUZZARDS, IT MEANS YOU WILL
GET A LETTER.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Number

Date learned: 07-15-1970

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WEARING COPPER ON THE BODY WILL HELP SOMEONE SUFFERING FROM
SIATICA.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 08-12-1970

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IF YOU HAVE A SPLINTER IN YOUR FINGER, TAKE IT OUT AND PUT IT
IN YOUR HAIR AND YOUR FINGER WON'T BE SORE.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 07-07-1970

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ASPHIDITY SOWN IN A CLOTH BAG AND WORN AROUND A CHILD'S NECK
WILL WARD OFF CHILDHOOD DISEASES AND TOOTHACHE.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 08-12-1970

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IN THE SPRING, JENNY'S MOTHER WOULD GIVE HER A TONIC OF MOLASSES
AND SULPHER (SIC).

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 08-12-1970

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EGG WHITE FACIAL

STEAM FACIAL PORES OPEN, PUT EGG WHITE ON FACE, LET HARDEN,
WHEN DRY WASH OFF.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Animal

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FOR TEETHING PAINS, TIE A BAG OF FLUCK (A WEED) AROUND THE NECK.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Plant

Date learned: 00-00-1939

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