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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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SHE'S TOO STUPID TO POUR PISS OUT OF A BOOT.

Submitter comment: THE INFORMANT, IN HER LATE 50'S, NOW LIVES IN
CLAWSON AND HAS LIVED IN NEW YORK STATE BUT
UNDOUBTEDLY HAS LEARNED THIS ITEM IN KENTUCKY--
ASHLAND, KENTUCKY-- WHERE SHE GREW UP.

Where learned: KENTUCKY ; ASHLAND

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Phrase

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MY MATERNAL GREAT GRANDPARENTS DIED OF TYPHOID FEVER WHEN MY
GRANDMOTHER WAS FIVE YEARS OLD. THERE WERE SEVEN CHILDREN LEFT,
AND THEY WERE GIVEN TO VARIOUS RELATIVES AND ACQUAINTANCES.
MY GRANDMOTHER AND HER BROTHER, BOB, WERE TAKEN BY AN OSBORN
FAMILY IN FLOYD COUNTY, KENTUCKY. THE OSBORNS DECIDED TO
MOVE TO TEXAS, SO THEY TOOK MY GRANDMOTHER AND BOB WITH THEM.
THEY DIDN'T LIKE TEXAS ONCE THEY GOT THERE, SO THE OSBORNS
AND MY GRANDMOTHER RETURNED TO KENTUCKY. MR. OSBORN OWED A
MERCHANT A DEBT, SO HE LEFT BOB (THE REST OF THEM SLIPPED
OFF) TO WORK OFF THE DEBT. BOB WAS ABOUT THIRTEEN AT THE
TIME.
YEARS WENT BY AND MY GRANDMOTHER HAD MARRIED AND HAD THREE
CHILDREN. SHE AND MY GRANDFATHER LIVED AT THE FOOT OF THE
NANCY P. HILL, WHICH IS JUST BELOW PRESTONBURG, KENTUCKY.
MY GRANDMOTHER WAS SITTING IN THE YARD WITH A NEIGHBOR
AND THEY COULD SEE A GREAT DISTANCE DOWN THE ROAD. A MAN
RIDING A HORSE APPEARED DOWN THE ROAD. MY GRANDMOTHER
SAID TO THE NEIGHBOR, "THAT'S MY BROTHER, BOB." SURE
ENOUGH, IT WAS. HE HAD GROWN UP AND MARRIED AND HAD THREE
CHILDREN. HIS WIFE HAD DIED AND HE DECIDED TO RETURN TO
EASTERN KENTUCKY. HE BOUGHT A FARM ON BRANDY KEG AND
SPENT THE REST OF HIS LIFE THERE. I DOUBT IF HE EVER LEFT
FLOYD COUNTY AGAIN.
MY GRANDMOTHER TOLD THIS TALE MANY TIMES. SHE ALSO CLAIMED
TO KNOW WHEN ANY TYPE OF DISASTER WAS ABOUT TO STRIKE HER
FAMILY.

Where learned: KENTUCKY ; ASHLAND

Subject headings: Prophet / Seer / Soothsayer
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Human Being

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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DURING THE 1930'S THE FAD OF TREE SITTING SWEPT THE COUNTRY.
PRACTICALLY EVERY COMMUNITY HAD A TREE SITTER, AND THERE WAS
A CONTEST OF TRYING TO BREAK PREVIOUS RECORDS. IN ASHLAND,
KENTUCKY, WE HAD SEVERAL TREE SITTERS OVER A PERIOD OF TWO OR
THREE YEARS. THE ONE I REMEMBER MOST VIVIDLY ENDED IN TRAGEDY.
A BOY WHO HAD FINISHED HIGH SCHOOL BUT WAS NOT ABLE TO FIND A
JOB DUE TO THE DEPRESSION, BUILT A PLATFORM ABOUT THIRTY FEET
FROM THE GROUND IN A LARGE TREE. HE MADE SOME PROVISION FOR
SHELTER AND HAD DEVISED A PULLEY BY WHICH HIS FAMILY SENT HIS
FOOD AND OTHER NECESSITIES UP IN A BUCKET. THE TOWN PEOPLE
WOULD DRIVE BY AND TALK TO HIM OR WALK UP AND SPEND AN HOUR
OR SO IN THE AFTERNOON OR EARLY EVENING. HE HAD BEEN
UP THE TREE FOR ABOUT FORTY DAYS AND A STORM CAME UP ONE
NIGHT. EVIDENTLY THE STORM FRIGHTENED HIM DURING THE NIGHT
AND HE FELL FROM THE PLATFORM. HIS FAMILY FOUND HIS
CRUMPLED BODY ON THE GROUND THE NEXT MORNING.

Where learned: KENTUCKY ; TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE ; ASHLAND

Keyword(s): POLE SITTING

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Human Being
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Man

Date learned: 00001930 CA.

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PROVERBIAL METAPHOR: VERIFICATION

THE PROOF IS IN THE PUDDING.

Submitter comment: MY GRANDMOTHER SAID THE ABOVE PROVERB WHEN SOMEONE WAS MAKING
SOME BIG PLANS THAT THEY HAD NOT YET TESTED.

Where learned: KENTUCKY ; ASHLAND

Keyword(s): VERIFICATION TEST

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Metaphor

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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showing 4 items

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