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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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ONE WHITE FOOT, BUY IT.
TWO WHITE FEET, TRY IT.
THREE WHITE FEET, SEE HOW IT GOES,
FOUR WHITE FEET, AND WHITE NOSE,
CUT OFF ITS FEET AND THROW IT TO THE CROWS.

Submitter comment: THIS APPLIES TO BUYING A HORSE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BLOOMFIELD HILLS

Keyword(s): ADVICE ; ANIMAL NUMBERS ; HUMOR EUPHEMISM SYMBOL OVERSTATEMENT ; INCREMENTAL REPETITION, SURPRISE ENDING CONTRAST QUINTET ; INTERACTION INITIAL INCREMENTAL REPETITION ; METER: DACTYL RHYME: FEMININE TRIPLE ; RHYME AABBB

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Verse without Music

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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IF I DIE, BURY ME,
HANG MY BONES ON A CHERRY TREE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BLOOMFIELD HILLS

Keyword(s): COUPLET ; INSTRUCTIONS ; PREPARATION FOR DEATH ; VERSE WITHOUT MUSIC

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

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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ROMANIAN CUSTOM

WHEN VISITING A PERSON'S HOUSE FOR THE FIRST TIME, OR AFTER A LONG
TIME, YOU MUST EAT A PIECE OF BREAD DIPPED IN SALT BEFORE ENTERING
THE HOUSE. OTHERWISE IT IS BAD LUCK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BLOOMFIELD HILLS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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TREE BELIEF

IF YOU CUT DOWN A TREE, A MEMBER OF YOUR FAMILY WILL DIE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BLOOMFIELD HILLS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

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BELIEF

IF A WOMAN IS BURNED WHILE PREGNANT, THE BABY WILL HAVE THE MARK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BLOOMFIELD HILLS

James Callow Keyword(s): HOMEOPATHIC

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Specific distinguishing characteristic Dimple, wart, mole, scar, freckle, birthmark, strawberry mark, bruise, spot (on any part of body)
BELIEF -- Birth

Date learned: 09-27-1969

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IT IS BAD LUCK TO WASH CLOTHES ON HOLY THURSDAY. THIS IS A ROMANIAN
BELIEF.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BLOOMFIELD HILLS ; POPP RESIDENCE

Keyword(s): RELIGIOUS CUSTOM

Subject headings: 663 Holy Thursday
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting F663.32

Date learned: 10-06-1969

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HOLY WEEK CUSTOMS ( GOOD FRIDAY )

ON GOOD FRIDAY, NO DAIRY PRODUCTS OR PRODUCTS MADE OF DAIRY PRODUCTS,
NO MEAT, AND NO ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES MAY BE CONSUMED.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BLOOMFIELD HILLS

Keyword(s): FOOD CUSTOM ; SELF-SACRIFICE--FASTING

Subject headings: 663 Good Friday

Date learned: DATE NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

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OBSERVATION / OMEN

IF YOU TAKE OFF YOUR SHOES LEAVE BOTH SOLES DOWN BECAUSE IF YOU LEAVE
ONE UP IT INDICATES THE COMING OF DEATH.

Submitter comment: FRENCH

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BLOOMFIELD HILLS

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 09-15-1969

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OBSERVATION/OMEN

IF YOU DROP A FORK, KNIFE, AND A SPOON, EXPECT GUESTS FOR DINNER OR
JUST FOR A VISIT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BLOOMFIELD HILLS

Subject headings: Observation

Date learned: 09-15-1969

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HAIR AND SCALP TREATMENT

MY AUNT TOLD ME HOW TO FIX UP TROUBLE WITH
YOUR HAIR.
AT SPRINGTIME, BEFORE THE LEAVES COME OUT,
YOU FIND A NICE BIRK (BIRCH) TREE.
YOU CUT A LITTLE HOLE INTO THE BIRK TREE
AND PUT A BOTTLE TIGHT INTO THAT HOLE.
NEXT DAY GO BACK AND GET THOSE JUICES.
RUB THAT JUICE INTO YOUR HEAD AND HAIR
AND THEY WILL GET HEALTHY.

Submitter comment: TOLD TO ME IN MY HOME BY MY NEIGHBOR
WHO WAS BORN AND RAISED IN RURAL GERMANY.
CIRCA 00001929-00001939

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BLOOMFIELD HILLS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Plant

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CURE FOR A BLEEDING LUNG

FROM MY AUNT I REMEMBER.
SHE TOLD ME THIS WHEN I WAS WORKING ON HER FARM.
WHEN SHE WAS A LITTLE GIRL, SHE HAD A BAD COLD
AND GOT A BROKEN PART IN HER LUNG.
TO FIX UP THE BLEEDING, YOU GET BLACK ROOTS
FROM SOMETHING THAT LOOKS ON THE TOP
LIKE PARSLEY.
THIS BLACK ROOT, YOU CLEAN OFF THE BLACK SKIN
THEN CUT IT IN LITTLE PIECES.
THEN COOK THE AMOUNT 2 CUPS BLACK ROOT, 1 CUP HONEY,
ONE CUP UNSALTED BUTTER UNTIL IT IS TENDER.
THEN EVERY DAY 2 TABLESPOONS MORNING AND EVENING.
THIS HELPS THE BLEEDING NOT TO COME SO FAST.

Submitter comment: TOLD TO ME IN MY HOME BY MY NEIGHBOR
WHO WAS BORN AND RAISED IN RURAL GERMANY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BLOOMFIELD HILLS

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Plant

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Superstition

IF YOU CUT DOWN A TREE, A MEMBER OF YOUR FAMILY WILL DIE.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BLOOMFIELD HILLS

Keyword(s): BELIEF ; DEATH ; FAMILY ; Legend ; Lore ; SUPERSTITION ; Tree

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Plant

Date learned: 10-06-1969

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EARACHE

IF YOU HAVE AN EARACHE PUT GARLIC IN YOUR EAR
AND IT WILL DRAW OUT THE PAIN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BLOOMFIELD HILLS ; COLLECTORS HOME

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Method of Curing

Date learned: 09-17-1969

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HEADACHE

IF YOU LET A STRAND OF HAIR FLY OUT THE CAR WINDOW THE PERSON TO WHOM
THE HAIR BELONGS WILL GET A HEADACHE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN, ASSUMED ; BLOOMFIELD HILLS

Keyword(s): AUTOMOBILE ; CAUSE

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: NOT RECORDED BY COLLECTOR

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A VERY ANCIENT, ANCIENT ROMAN HISTORY PROFESSOR

WHEN MY HUSBAND WAS A STUDENT IN HISTORY AT WAYNE STATE, HE HAD AN
EXTREMELY OLD PROFESSOR OF ANCIENT HISTORY. MY HUSBAND STARTED
IT AS A JOKE, BUT HIS SAYING WOUND UP AS A KIND OF CAMPUS TALE
FOR THE MUCH REVERED PROFESSOR JOHANSON:
"PROFESSOR JOHANSON IS SO OLD THAT HIS NOTES ARE SIGNED BY
JULIUS CAESAR."

Submitter comment: TOLD BY MY HUSBAND IN 1958

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BLOOMFIELD HILLS

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Secular hero

Date learned: 00-00-1958

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BLOOD-RED MOON AN OMEN

I HAVE OFTEN HEARD AMONG THE OLDER GENERATION OF THE "BLOOD-RED
MOON." IT IS SUPPOSED TO BE A SIGN OF DEATH OF TRAGEDY.

Submitter comment: TOLD TO ME BY MY NEIGHBOR.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BLOOMFIELD HILLS

Subject headings: Observation

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OWL AN OMEN OF DEATH

BEFORE MY STEP-FATHER'S FATHER DIED, AN OWL APPEARED IN THE
WINDOW. EVERYONE SAID THAT THERE WOULD BE A DEATH.
THIS HAPPENED IN ROCHESTER, BUT THEY WERE ORIGINALLY FROM
KITCHENER, CANADA, WHICH IS A MOSTLY GERMAN TOWN.

Submitter comment: TOLD TO ME BY MY HUSBAND. 01001967

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BLOOMFIELD HILLS

Subject headings: Observation

Date learned: 00-00-1950

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BLUE HERON AN OMEN

THE INDIANS AND LUMBERMEN IN OUR AREA (MONTMORENCY COUNTY)
USED TO THINK THAT THE BLUE HERON WAS AN OMEN OF DEATH OR
SERIOUS ILLNESS.

Submitter comment: TOLD TO ME BY MY NEIGHBOR.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BLOOMFIELD HILLS

Subject headings: Observation

Date learned: 00001940-50

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Belief: Weather

RED SKY IN MORNING, SAILOR'S WARNING
RED SKY AT NIGHT, SAILOR'S DELIGHT

Submitter comment:

TAUGHT TO ME WHEN I WAS A KID.

Data entry tech comment:

Motifs added by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BLOOMFIELD HILLS

Keyword(s): COLOR ; NATURE ; Nautical ; Ocean ; PREDICTING WEATHER ; Sailor ; Sky ; WARNING ; WEATHER

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Belief
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Belief Belief
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Belief C860.891
BELIEF -- Weather sign or control
BELIEF -- Sign or prediction through Natural atmospheric phenomenon

Date learned: 11-23-1979

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CHRISTMAS

CHRISTMAS HAS ALWAYS BEEN THE BIGGEST HOLIDAY FOR MY FAMILY.
TWO WEEKS BEFORE CHRISTMAS WE PUT UP THE DECORATIONS. OUTSIDE WE PU
COLORED LIGHTS ON THE EVERGREENS. WE PUT PLASTIC TRIMMINGS ON THE
DOORPOSTS. A CHRISTMAS WREATH GOES ON THE FRONT DOOR. INSIDE WE
HANG OUR STOCKINGS ON THE STAIRWAY AND DECORATE THE HANDRAILS WITH
MORE PLASTIC EVERGREEN TRIMMINGS. WE REPLACE THE PICTURE IN THE
FRONT HALLWAY WITH A HANGING SANTA CLAUS, WHEN YOU PULL HIS STRING
THE MUSIC BOX CONTAINED WITHIN PLAYS SILENT NIGHT. I CAN'T RESIST
PULLING THE STRING AT LEAST TWICE A DAY. ABOVE THE FIREPLACE WE
PLACE THREE DOLLS OF ENGLISH MEN SINGING CAROLS AND COLLECTING
DONATIONS, THESE ARE FALLING APART NOW THOUGH. ALSO AROUND THE
FIREPLACE WE HANG LIGHTS WITH PICTURES ENCASING THEM DEPICTING MANGE
SCENES. IN THE LIVING ROOM WE PLACE OUR MODEL OF THE MANGER WITH
LITTLE STATUES OF JESUS IN CRIB, MARY, JOSEPH, THE THREE KINGS
BEARING GIFTS, A SHEPERD BOY, HIS FLOCK OF SHEEP(ABOUT HALF WITH LEG
BROKEN), A COW, A DONKEY, A CAMEL, AND AN ANGEL WITH TRUMPET HANGING
FROM THE TOP OF THE MANGER,(HIS WINGS ARE BROKEN THOUGH). IN THE
LIVING ROOM WE ALSO PUT A SANTA CLAUS DOLL SITTING IN A WICKER SLEIG
FILLED WITH PLASTIC FRUIT.
WE PUT THE CHRISTMAS TREE IN THE FAMILY ROOM. AFTER BRINGING THE
CHRISTMAS TREE HOME YOU HAVE TO WAIT A FEW DAYS FOR IT TO SPREAD OUT
BEFORE DECORATING IT. WHEN DECORATING THE TREE THE FIRST THING WE
PUT ON ARE THE THREE STRINGS OF COLORED LIGHTS. WE CONNECT ONE
BLINKER TO ONE STRING OF LIGHTS AND A SECOND BLINKER TO THE OTHER TW
STRINGS OF LIGHTS SO THE LIGHTS ALTERNATELY BLINK ON AND OFF. NEXT
WE HANG THE MANY BEAUTIFUL BULBS, CAREFUL NOT TO LET THEM FALL.
THEN WE HANG SILVER TINSEL AND CANDY CANES AND THE WHOLE TREE IS
TOPPED OFF BY A STAR. PRESENTS ARE PLACED UNDER THE TREE.
OUR FAMILY IS SPREAD ACROSS THE UNITED STATES BUT ANYONE WHO CAN
COMES HOME FOR CHRISTMAS. ON CHRISTMAS EVE WE HAVE A FIRE IN THE
FIREPLACE AND SOME OF US VISIT RELATIVES AND DELIVER PRESENTS WHILE
OTHERS STAY HOME AND RECEIVE VISITS. AT MIDNIGHT ALL THE ADULTS GO
TO MIDNIGHT MASS, EVEN THOUGH FOR SOME OF MY BROTHERS THIS IS THE
ONLY TIME THEY GO TO MASS ALL YEAR. EVERYONE GETS UP EARLY IN THE
MORNING TO OPEN PRESENTS. THE DAY IS SPENT WATCHING CHRISTMAS MOVIE
AND FOOTBALL GAMES ON TV, RECEIVING TELEPHONE CALLS FROM OUT-OF-STAT
RELATIVES AND FAMILY THAT COULD NOT COME HOME, AND WAITING FOR
DINNER.
FOR CHRISTMAS DINNER WE HAVE A BIG TURKEY. WE ALSO HAVE A WHOLE
BUNCH OF STUFFING, MASHED POTATOES, CRANBERRY SAUCE, GRAVY, GREEN
BEANS OR PEAS, AND OCCASIONALLY A HAM TOO IF THE TURKEY IS NOT BIG
ENOUGH. FOR DESSERT THERE IS PLUM PUDDING WITH HARD SAUCE, FRUIT
CAKE, AND ICE CREAM. THIS IS THE ONLY TIME ALL YEAR THAT WE HAVE
PLUM PUDDING EVEN THOUGH IT IS MY FAVORITE DESSERT.
WE KEEP THE CHRISTMAS TREE UP UNTIL IT GETS TOO DRY AND BECOMES A
FIRE HAZARD, BUT THE OTHER DECORATIONS AREN'T PUT AWAY TILL ALMOST
FEBRUARY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; BLOOMFIELD HILLS

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 25 Christmas Also see F642, below.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 24 Christmas Eve Menus
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Christmas Decorations
Food Drink -- Typical menus for the various meals For meal hours, see F574.84. Special or festive meals

Date learned: 11-23-1979

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