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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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Entry filtered.

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

Submitter comment:

OVERHEARD IN CONVERSATION

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE ; St. Clair's Restaurant

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 ; informant's home

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Custom

Date learned: 08-02-1970

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PEOPLE BORN BETWEEN THE LIGHTS (DUSK AND DAWN) CAN SEE SPIRITS.

 

 

Data entry tech comment:

Informant learned this from the book "These Are Our Lives" (Kingsport Press, 1939, pp.26-29), a Federal Writers' Project publication featuring the everyday lives of people in the South.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE ; KINGSPORT ; "These Are Our Lives"

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Custom

Date learned: 00-00-1939

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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 ; INFORMANT'S HOME

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: 646

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IF YOU SEE A GREY MARE, CLAP HANDS, LICK THUMB, 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 SOMETHING, WHEN YOU GO BACK FOR IT, MAKE AN "X" ON THE GROUND WITH YOUR FOOT AND SPIT ON IT, OR YOU WILL HAVE BAD LUCK ON YOUR TRIP.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE ; INFORMANT'S HOME

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

Date learned: 07-15-1970

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

Submitter comment:

OVERHEARD BY INFORMANT IN A CONVERSATION AT ST. CLAIR'S RESTAURANT.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

Keyword(s): RACISM

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Color

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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 ; INFORMANT'S HOME

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 ; INFORMANT'S HOME

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Number

Date learned: 08-10-1970

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WHEN TRAVELING, 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.

Submitter comment:

Collected at home of Helen Mims.

 

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 SCIATICA.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE ; St. Clair's Restaurant

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.

Submitter comment:

Collected at informant's home.

 

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE

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

Date learned: 07-07-1970

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

Submitter comment:

Collected at St. Clair's Restaurant.

 

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE ; St. Clair's Restaurant

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

Date learned: 08-12-1970

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IN THE SPRING, INFORMANT'S MOTHER WOULD GIVE HER A TONIC OF MOLASSES AND SULPHER.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE ; St. Clair's Restaurant

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 ; St. Clair's Restaurant

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Animal

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