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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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YOURS TILL COWS GIVE BEER.

Submitter comment: THIS WAS SIGNED IN THE COLLECTOR'S EIGHTH GRADE
SIGNATURE BOOK.

Where learned: NEW YORK CITY ; NEW YORK

Subject headings: Z210

Date learned: 00-00-1958

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GREEK LEGEND

FROM ANCIENT TIMES ONWARD, IT HAS BEEN WRITTEN THAT PIGS COULD BE
TRAINED TO BECOME HOUSEHOLD PETS. IT IS SAID ALSO THAT IF PIGS
WERE KEPT LEAN AND STRONG, THEY WOULD BE CAPABLE OF SWIMMING FAIRLY
LONG DISTANCES. HISTORY RECORDS THAT THE PIRATES WHO LIVED ALONG
THE SOUTHERN SHORE OF CILICIA IN ASIA MINOR AND IN PHOENICIA WOULD
RUTHLESSLY PLUNDER THE MANY SMALL ISLANDS IN THE AEGEAN SEA. ODDLY
ENOUGH, THESE PIRATES, ALTHOUGH CONSTANTLY AT SEA, RARELY LEARNED
TO SWIM. FROM THIS GREW A LEGEND IN GREECE ABOUT THREE BOYS WHO
LIVED ON AN ISLAND IN THE AEGEAN SEA.
THEY WERE SWINEHERDS WHO EARNED THEIR DAILY BREAD AND CHEESE BY
TENDING THE PIGS OF A WEALTHY PRINCE OF THE MAINLAND. THE YOUNG
BOYS LEARNED THEIR PIGS WERE VERY CLEVER AND COULD BE TAUGHT
TRICKS. DIFFERENT PIGS LEARNED DIFFERENT TRICKS, BUT ALL THE PIGS
LEARNED ONE PARTICULAR TRICK, TO ANSWER A CALL ON THE BOYS' PIPES.
IN RETURN, THEY RECEIVED A SPECIAL FOOD TREAT.
LIFE ON THE ISLAND WAS PEACEFUL AND HAPPY, UNTIL ONE DAY A WILD
STORM BLEW A STRANGE SHIP CLOSE TO SHORE. IT WAS A PIRATE SHIP.
THE BOYS TRIED TO HIDE THE PIGS, BUT THE PIRATES FOUND THEM ANYWAY.
THE BOYS WRE SAD UNTIL ONE OF THEM REALIZED MAYBE THE PIGS COULD BE
SAVED. THE BOYS TOOK OUT THEIR PIPES AND BLEW THE SAME THREE NOTES
THEY ALWAYS DID FOR THE SPECIAL TREAT. THE PIGS HEARD AND KNEW
JUST WHAT TO DO. THEY RAN TO THE SIDE OF THE SHIP CLOSEST THE
SHORE. THE SUDDEN SHIFT IN WEIGHT MADE THE SHIP TIP TO ONE SIDE,
FIRST, JUST A LITTLE, THEN MORE AND MORE. WATER STARTED TO RUSH
IN OVER THE SIDES. THE SHIP BGAN TO SINK. THE CREW COULDN'T SWIM:
THEY FLOUNDERED IN THE WATER FOR A FEW MINUTES, THEN ALL THAT WAS
LEFT WAS A BIG RING OF BUBBLES IN THE BLUE SEA. THE PIGS SWAM
SWIFTLY TO SHORE AND THE BOYS REWARDED THEM WITH A VERY SPECIAL
TREAT.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT READ THIS IN "PIGS AND PIRATES" BY DAVID WHITE, NEW
YORK, 1969.

Where learned: NEW YORK CITY ; NEW YORK

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Outlaw Criminal Bandit Pirate

Date learned: 00-00-1969

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OMENS

IF THE WIND IS BLOWING FROM THE SOUTHWEST
WHEN A CHILD IS CONCEIVED IT WILL BE A BOY.

Where learned: NEW YORK CITY

Subject headings: Observation

Date learned: 00-00-1967

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OMEN

ST. ALBERT SAID THAT IF THE WIND IS BLOWING
FROM THE NORTHEAST WHEN A CHILD IS CONCEIVED
IT WILL BE A GIRL.

Where learned: NEW YORK CITY

Subject headings: Observation

Date learned: 00-00-1966

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TRADITIONAL OCCUPATION

THE VAST MAJORITY OF THE STRUCTURAL STEEL WORKERS
IN NEW YORK CITY WHO WORK ON THE FRAMING FOR SKY-
SCRAPERS, ARE NAVAJO INDIANS WHO BECAUSE OF AN INBORN
SENSE OF BALANCE HAVE PASSED THIS HAZARDOUS JOB
DOWN FROM FATHER TO SON.

Where learned: NEW YORK CITY

James Callow Keyword(s): BUILDING TRADES ; SKYSCRAPERS.

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Work Commerce Business

Date learned: 00-00-1967

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BAR MITZVAH

MY IRISH (VERY MUCH SO) SISTER ATTENDED THE BAR
MITZVAH OF A NEIGHBOR'S SON. THERE WAS A STROLLING
VIOLINIST AT THE VERY GALA, VERY JEWISH FETE, WHO WENT
FROM TABLE TO TABLE PLAYING REQUESTS. WHEN HE CAME
TO THE TABLE WITH MY VERY IRISH LOOKING SISTER AND
HER VERY IRISH LOOKING HUSBAND, THE VIOLINIST DIDN'T
EVEN ASK FOR A REQUEST, BUT UPON TAKING ONE LOOK AT
THE COUPLE, STARTED TO PLAY, "WHEN IRISH EYES ARE
SMILING."

Where learned: NEW YORK CITY ; NEW YORK

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Maturity

Date learned: 00-00-1966

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PROVERB

WAMMER FLUCHT IHERM FISCHE, FANGT MER NIX.

Submitter comment: IF YOU SWEAR WHILE FISHING, YOU WILL NOT CATCH ANY FISH.
TRADITION OF PENNSYLVANIA DUTCH.

Where learned: NEW YORK CITY ; NEW YORK

Keyword(s): ADVICE ; SUPERSTITION

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: 10-00-1965

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RIDDLE

WHAT IS IT THAT BALD-HEADED FOLKS HAVE NO NEED FOR?
KEYS, BECAUSE THEY HAVEN'T ANY LOCKS.

Where learned: NEW YORK CITY ; NEW YORK

James Callow Keyword(s): LOCKS OF HAIR - PUN

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

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RIDDLE

WHY ARE MOST OFFICES CONSIDERED OVENS?
BECAUSE THAT'S WHERE A LOT OF PEOPLE MAKE THEIR BREAD.

Where learned: NEW YORK CITY ; NEW YORK

James Callow Keyword(s): SLANG: BREAD = MONEY

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 05-00-1990

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RIDDLE

IN WHAT WAY ARE THE LETTER A AND NOON THE SAME?
THEY BOTH ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF DAY.

Where learned: NEW YORK CITY ; NEW YORK

James Callow Keyword(s): SPELLING ; WORD

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 05-00-1990

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RIDDLE

WHAT RELATION IS A DOOR TO A MAT?
A STEP-FATHER. A STEP FA(R)THER. A STEP FURTHER

Submitter comment: A STEP FARTHER
A STEP FURTHER

Where learned: NEW YORK CITY ; NEW YORK

James Callow Keyword(s): STEPFATHER

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 05-00-1990

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RIDDLE

WHAT DO WEEDS AND A LOT OF PEOPLE HAVE IN COMMON?
IF YOU GIVE THEM AN INCH THEY WILL TAKE A YARD.

Where learned: NEW YORK CITY ; NEW YORK

James Callow Keyword(s): GREED ; MEASUREMENT

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 05-00-1990

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RIDDLE

WHY IS TENNIS SUCH A NOISY SPORT?
BOTH PLAYERS ALWAYS RAISE A RACKET.

Where learned: NEW YORK CITY ; NEW YORK

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- True Riddle

Date learned: 05-00-1990

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PROVERB

CONFUCIUS SAY, "SOME SQUIRRELS WORK AND WRESTLE WITH TREES
TO GET NUTS. WISE SQUIRRELS TAKE TIME AND SPREAD LIMBS."

Submitter comment: THIS SAYING MEANS THAT SOMETIMES THERE IS AN EASIER WAY
TO ACCOMPLISH SOME GOALS.

Where learned: NEW YORK CITY ; NEW YORK

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Comparison

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3 MAN

NEED 3-10 PEOPLE, 2 DICE AND A DRINK, PREFERABLY BEER, FOR
ALL THE PLAYERS. EVERYONE TAKES A TURN ROLLING A DIE. THE
FIRST TO ROLL A 3 IS "3 MAN." GOING CLOCKWISE AROUND THE
GROUP EVERYONE TAKES A TURN ROLLING. PERSON TO LEFT OF THE
"3 MAN" ROLLS FIRST, USING BOTH DICE. IF HE ROLLS A 7, THE
PERSON TO HIS RIGHT TAKES A DRINK. IF IT'S AN 11 THE PERSON
ON THE LEFT DRINKS. A 9 ROLLED IS A SOCIAL (EVERYONE DRINKS).
WHENEVER A 3 IS ROLLED, WHETHER ON THE DIE OR ADDED UP
(1+2) THE "3 MAN" MUST DRINK. IF A PLAYER ROLLS DOUBLES
HE GIVES ONE DIE EACH TO TWO PLAYERS. THEY ROLL THEIR DIE.
THE PERSON WITH THE HIGHER NUMBER TAKES THE NUMBER OF DRINKS
ON THE LOW ROLLED DIE (OR VICE VERSA). IF THE TWO DICE ROLLED
ARE THE SAME (DOUBLES) THEN ONE DIE IS GIVEN BACK TO THE
PERSON WHO ROLLED DOUBLES FIRST AND HE MUST DRINK DOUBLE THE
NUMBER HE ROLLS ON THE DIE (2-12 SIPS).
IF DICE ARE ROLLED AND NO ONE MUST DRINK THE ROLL IS REFERRED
TO AS "SHIT" OR A "SHITTY ROLL." THE DICE ARE THEN HANDED
TO THE NEXT PLAYER. IF DICE ARE ROLLED AND SOMEONE MUST DRINK
THE SAME PLAYER ROLLS AGAIN.
WHEN THE "3 MAN" ROLLS, IF HE ROLLS A 3 IN ANY FORM HE CAN
GIVE AWAY THE "3 MAN" STATUS TO ANYONE ELSE PLAYING.
VARIATIONS ARE:
FOR 9-10 PEOPLE THERE CAN BE TWO "3 MEN".
TO GET SOMEONE DRUNK FASTER THERE CAN BE AN "OH SHIT" PLAYER
(SIMILAR TO THE "3 MAN") WHO MUST DRINK WHEN A ROLL IS "SHIT"
(OTHER THAN A 3,7,9 OR 11). ONE PERSON MAY BE BOTH "3 MAN" AND
"OH SHIT" AT THE SAME TIME. HE WILL ALSO GET VERY DRUNK VERY
QUICKLY.

Where learned: NEW YORK CITY ; NEW YORK ; BAR

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

Date learned: 07-00-1989

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I HAD OBSERVED THIS TRADITION FOR MANY YEARS, BUT IT
WAS TOLD TO ME BY MY INFORMANT ON A PARTICULAR OCCASION
AND WAS CONFIRMED BY MANY OTHER PEOPLE AS BEING A
REAL TRADITION.
A REAL IRISH WAKE IS ALWAYS FOLLOWED BY A BIG PARTY.
IT IS TO REPRESENT THE JOY FELT BY ALL THAT THE DEAD
PERSON HAS FINALLY LEFT THIS WORLD OF TROUBLE TO
RECEIVE HIS HEAVENLY REWARD. THERE IS ALWAYS PLENTY OF
FOOD AND DRINK TO GO ALONG WITH THE REMINISCING.

Where learned: NEW YORK CITY ; NEW YORK

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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SEEING IS BELIEVING AND FEELING IS THE NAKED TRUTH.

Where learned: NEW YORK CITY ; NEW YORK

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

Date learned: 00-00-1960

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IT IS BAD LUCK TO OPEN A TELEGRAM.

Where learned: NEW YORK CITY ; NEW YORK

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bad luck Activities

Date learned: 03-28-1970

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FUNERAL SUPERSTITION

MY MOTHER WAS PREGNANT AT THE TIME AN IRISH RELATIVE
DIED. MY SUPERSTITIOUS IRISH RELATIVES TOLD HER THAT
IF SHE ATTENDED THE FUNERAL, HER CHILD WOULD BE BORN
DEAD. MY STUBBORN GERMAN MOTHER LAUGHED AT THEIR
WARNINGS, AND ATTENDED THE FUNERAL. A FEW MONTHS
LATER SHE GAVE BIRTH TO VERY HEALTHY TWINS (UNDERLINED.)

Where learned: NEW YORK CITY ; NEW YORK

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 00-00-1967

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IN ORDER TO RID YOURSELF OF A WART THE FOLLOWING IS NECESSARY.
EACH MORNING BEFORE BRUSHING YOUR TEETH PLACE SOME OF YOUR
SALIVA ON THE WART. THE WART WILL DISAPPEAR IN TWO WEEKS.

Submitter comment: MR. MOORE ACTUALLY DOES THIS IN ORDER TO RID HIMSELF OF A
WART AND CLAIMS THAT IT WORKS.

Where learned: NEW YORK CITY ; NEW YORK

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Method of Curing

Date learned: 03-28-1970

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