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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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TOMORROW IS THANKSGIVING DAY

TOMORROW IS THANKSGIVING DAY,
AND I FEEL MIGHTY GLUM.
THERELL BE THREE BOYS TO DINNER,
YES, THREE BOYS ARE SURE TO COME.
AND THEYLL EACH WANT A DRUMSTICK.
OH, SAY, WHAT SHALL WE DO?
WE CANNOT HAVE THREE DRUMSTICKS
WHEN THE TURKEY HAS BUT TWO.

Submitter comment: THIS RHYME WAS TAUGHT TO ME BY MOTHER AS A VERY YOUNG CHILD.

Where learned: MISSOURI ; SAINT JOSEPH

Subject headings: 730 Lyrical Verse
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Custom Festival C840.665
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 -- Meat Bird Poultry

Date learned: CA00001962

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TONGUETWISTER

A SKUNK SAT ON A STUMP.
THE SKUNK THUNK THE STUMP STUNK,
THE STUMP THUNK THE SKUNK STUNK.

Submitter comment: I SURE CANT SAY IT.

Where learned: MISSOURI ; SAINT JOSEPH

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

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TONGUETWISTER

ONE SMART FELLOW, HE FELT SMART;
TWO SMART FELLOWS, THEY FELT SMART;
THREE SMART FELLOWS, THEY ALL FELT SMART.

Submitter comment: BE CAREFUL WITH THIS ONE.

Where learned: MISSOURI ; SAINT JOSEPH

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

Date learned: CA06001975

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KNOCK-KNOCK JOKE

KNOCK, KNOCK.
WHOS THERE?
SAM AND JANET.
SAM AND JANET WHO?
SAM AND JANET EVENING, YOU MAY MEET A STRANGER...

Submitter comment: THE LAST LINE IS SUNG TO THE TUNE OF: SOME ENCHANTED EVENING.

Where learned: MISSOURI ; SAINT JOSEPH

Subject headings: RIDDLE -- Riddle Question

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CHURCH CUSTOM

CERTAIN PRIESTS OF THE KANSAS CITY-SAINT JOSEPH DIOCESE UPHOLD
THE FOLLOWING TRADITION: IF A PARENT BRINGS AN INFANT TO
COMMUNION, BEFORE THE PRIEST GIVES THE HOST TO THE PARENT, HE
MAKES THE SIGN OF THE CROSS WITH IT OVER THE CHILD, BLESSING IT.

Where learned: MISSOURI ; SAINT JOSEPH

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Church
BELIEF -- Church
BELIEF -- Prayer
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Cross and its various modifications
SPEECH -- Gesture

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APPLE DIVINATION

BEFORE EATING AN APPLE, RECITE THE ALPHABET WHILE TWISTING THE
APPLE STEM, ONE TWIST PER LETTER. WHEN THE STEM BREAKS, THE LETTER
PRONOUNCED IS THE INITIAL OF THE FIRST NAME OF THE PERSON YOU
ARE GOING TO MARRY.

Submitter comment: I PERSONALLY FIND THIS RIDICULOUS. YET THE INFORMANT IS ENGAGED--

Where learned: MISSOURI ; BISHOP LEBLOND HIGH SCHOOL ; SAINT JOSEPH

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Plant food Fruit
BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- Use of Object

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GAME

A TRADITIONAL GAME AMONG CERTAIN GROUPS OF CHILDREN IN ST. JOSEPH
IS "BAGA YAGA". THE ESSENTIAL ITEMS: A SHED, PORCH, GARAGE, OR OTHER
"BASE", A TRICYCLE, SCOOTER, OR WAGON FOR USE AS A "POWER",
A PARKED CAR, TREE, OR OTHER STATIONARY OBSTACLE, AN OPEN SPACE,
AND CHILDREN. BY A COUNTING-OUT RHYME, ONE CHILD IS CHOSEN TO BE
BAGA YAGA, OR "IT". BAGA YAGA IS AN EVIL OLD WITCH WHO CHASES ANY
OTHERS WHO VENTURE FORTH FROM THE BASE. THE USE OF THE POWER HELPS
BAGA YAGA CATCH THE OTHERS. THE OBSTACLE AND OPEN SPACE MAKE FOR A
MORE EXCITING CHASE. WHEN BAGA YAGA TAGS ANOTHER CHILD, THAT CHILD
BECOMES BAGA YAGA.

Submitter comment: I HAVE HEARD OF A LEGEND ABOUT BABA YAGA, AN OLD EASTERN EUROPEAN
WITCH WHO SUPPOSEDLY CHASED INNOCENT CHILDREN BY RIDING IN
A MORTAR AND PESTLE. COULD THERE BE A CONNECTION?

Where learned: MISSOURI ; SAINT JOSEPH

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

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ST. PATRICKS DAY CUSTOM

IN CERTAIN AREAS, ST. PATRICKS DAY IS "CELEBRATED" AMONG
SCHOOLCHILDREN IN THE FOLLOWING WAY: ANY CHILD WHO ARRIVES
AT SCHOOL NOT WEARING A GREEN ARTICLE OF CLOTHING IS
MERCILESSLY PINCHED BY CLASSMATES UNTIL THE UNFORTUNATE CHILD
EITHER ESCAPES SHRIEKING OR SUMMONS AID.

Where learned: MISSOURI ; SAINT JOSEPH

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- March 17 Feast of St. Patrick
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- School
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20

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I ALWAYS HATED TO WASH HANDKERCHIEFS FOR ALL THE PEOPLE IN MY
FAMILY. BUT IN THOSE DAYS, IT WAS THE ONLY WAY TO GET THEM REALLY
CLEAN. FIRST YOU HAD TO SOAK THEM ALL IN A BUCKET OF AMMONIA
AND WATER FOR A DAY. THEN PUT THEM (CAREFUL--YUCK) INTO THE WASH
BOILER AND BOIL THEM AS USUAL. WASH, AND HANG TO DRY.

Submitter comment: THANK GOD FOR WASHING MACHINES.

Where learned: MISSOURI ; SAINT JOSEPH

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Measure of time Working

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WE LEARNED A LITTLE SALISH INDIAN. FOR EXAMPLE, "EEK-SPOSH-
EEMEENUM LU-WEL SHEL-WEL SHEKEL ALAZHUKLI" TRANSLATED TO: WE
ADORE THEE, O CHRIST, AND WE BLESS THEE, FOR BY THY HOLY CROSS
THOU HAST REDEEMED THE WORLD. AND "TA" MEANT NO.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT LEARNED THE LANGUAGE TOTALLY BY EAR, UNWRITTEN,
SHE WAS LIVING ON THE FLATEAD RESERVATION IN WESTERN MONTANA.

Where learned: MISSOURI ; SAINT JOSEPH

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Group of Vowels and Consonants, and of Words
SPEECH -- Vocabulary of Special Group
SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: 10-05-1976

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SOME OF THE INDIAN CHILDREN I GREW UP WITH HAD THE MOST INTERESTING
NAMES, SUCH AS ANNIE BIG TOM, ANNIE BULL-OVER-THE-HILL, BLIND
BARNABY, EUNA ROSE SITS-DOWN-SPOTTED AND OTHERS.

Submitter comment: HOW OLD WERE THOSE KIDS BEFORE THEY COULD SAY THEIR NAMES?

Where learned: MISSOURI ; SAINT JOSEPH

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Proper Name

Date learned: 10-05-1976

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THE LEGEND OF FATHER TAELMAN, S.J., IS STILL TOLD TO SMALL CHILDREN
AND TOURISTS IN THE TOWN WHERE I GREW UP. THE BEAUTIFUL MISSION
CHURCH, WITH ITS CARVED PULPIT AND MURALS WAS BEING DECORATED.
FR. TAELMAN WAS PAINTING WHAT WAS TO BE A SCENE FROM HELL.
SOME INDIANS CAME IN TO WATCH. SEIZING THE OPPORTUNITY TO
CONVERT THE "HEATHENS", FR. TAELMAN EXPLAINED TO THEM WHAT
HELL WAS. THE INDIANS THEN LAUGHED AND POINTED OUT THAT ALL
THE DAMNED SOULS IN THE PAINTING WERE REPRESENTED AS WHITE MEN.
IF YOU GO TO THAT CHURCH TODAY, YOU CAN SEE FOR YOURSELF THE
INDIAN FACES THAT FR. TAELMAN ADDED.

Submitter comment: ITS TRUE--I HAVE SEEN THE MURAL MYSELF.

Where learned: MISSOURI ; SAINT JOSEPH

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Devil Demon
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Religious hero
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Product or activity of man or animal

Date learned: 10-05-1976

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"GIVE ME A HOME IN MONTANA"

WHENEVER MY DADDY AND HIS FRIENDS GOT TOGETHER TO ENJOY DADDYS
BATHTUB GIN DURING PROHIBITION, THEY WOULD ALWAYS SING THIS
SONG. THE LYRICS WENT:
GIVE ME A HOME IN MONTANA
A COWBOY FROM MONTANA
AND SEE HOW HAPPY ILL BE.
GIVE ME AN OL HICKRY CABIN
AND I WONT BE GRABBIN
LET THAT MONTANA MOON SHINE ON ME.
ITS A TRUE PARADISE
NEATH THOSE BLUE MOUNTAIN SKIES
I NEVER MORE WILL ROAM.
GIVE ME A HOME IN MONTANA
A COWBOY FROM MONTANA
AND SEE HOW HAPPY ILL BE.

Where learned: MISSOURI ; SAINT JOSEPH

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Joy Happiness
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Admiration Praise Adulation
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Social reunion

Date learned: 10-05-1976

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THE SALISH INDIANS BECAME FERVENT CATHOLICS. EVERY YEAR ON GOOD
FRIDAY THEY HAD A RELIGIOUS PROCESSION. IT WOUND THROUGH THE WHOLE
TOWN. THEY ALWAYS DRESSED IN THEIR NATIVE COSTUMES AND DANCED AND
SANG. SOME OF THE MEN CARRIED HUGE HEAVY CROSSES. THEY ALSO CARRIED
A WOODEN VERSION OF THE PIETA. AT MY AGE THEN, IT WAS THE ONLY
"GOOD" THING ABOUT GOOD FRIDAY.

Where learned: MISSOURI ; SAINT JOSEPH

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Religious
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Adoration
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting

Date learned: 10-05-1976

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MY BROTHER PETE WAS GIVEN A PROPER IRISH WAKE. AFTER THE DOCTOR HAD
CLEANED HIM UP A BIT, MOTHER WASHED AND DRESSED HIM. HE WAS THEN
TAKEN TO THE UNDERTAKER, UNDRESSED, EMBALMED, REDRESSED, AND BROUGHT
HOME TO US. THE LIVING ROOM WAS DARKENED AND DRAPED IN BLACK.
TAPERS BURNED AROUND THE COFFIN ALL DAY AND ALL NIGHT. ONE OF US
KEPT THE DEATHWATCH, SAYING THE ROSARY OVER AND OVER. NEIGHBORS CAME
TO BRING FOOD AND PRAY OVER HIM.
THE WHOLE TOWN CROWDED INTO AND AROUND OUR HOUSE FOR THE RECITATION
OF THE ROSARY FOR MY POOR DEAD BROTHER. ON THE THIRD DAY AFTER HIS
DEATH, SIX OF PETES BEST FRIENDS CARRIED HIM ON THEIR SHOULDERS TO
TH MISSION CHURCH.
JUST BEFORE PETE WAS SEALED INTO HIS COFFIN, WE WERE ALL FORCED
TO KISS HIM GOODBYE. HE WAS COLD AND HARD. THEN EACH OF US THREW A
SHOVELFUL OF DIRT OVER THE BOX IN THE GRAVE.

Where learned: MISSOURI ; SAINT JOSEPH

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Prayer
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 10-05-1976

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WE WERE TAUGHT AS CHILDREN THAT, AS A SACRIFICE FOR THE POOR SOULS
IN PURGATORY, WE SHOULD SIT ABSOLUTELY STILL DURING THE READING OF
CHRISTS PASSION DURING HOLY WEEK. MY MOTHER WAS TAUGHT THE SAME THING
AS A VERY LITTLE GIRL.

Where learned: MISSOURI ; SAINT JOSEPH

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Church

Date learned: 10-05-1976

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MY MOTHER ALWAYS PAID US FOR ANY WARTS THAT WE GOT. AFTER SHE BOUGHT
THEM, THEY ALWAYS DISAPPEARED.

Where learned: MISSOURI ; SAINT JOSEPH

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Curer
BELIEF -- Method of Curing

Date learned: 10-05-1976

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IF AT COMMUNION YOU TOUCH THE HOST, YOUR HAND WILL FALL OFF.

Submitter comment: I THINK "COMMUNION IN THE HAND" DISPROVES THIS.

Where learned: MISSOURI ; SAINT JOSEPH

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Church
BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Church
SPEECH -- Gesture

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IF AT COMMUNION YOU BITE THE HOST, BLOOD WILL COME OUT OF YOUR
MOUTH AND NOSE AND YOU WILL DIE.

Submitter comment: ENTIRELY FALSE--I TRIED IT THE NEXT DAY.

Where learned: MISSOURI ; SAINT JOSEPH

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Church
BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Church
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: CA09001965

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IF YOU HEAR A SIREN, SAY A HAIL MARY FOR ALL THOSE IN TROUBLE.

Where learned: MISSOURI ; SAINT JOSEPH

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Prayer

Date learned: 10-05-1976

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