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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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ANECDOTE

A STATUE WAS MADE OF THE EX-PRIME MINISTER OF CANADA, JOHN
DIEFENBAKER, AND WHEN THE QUESTION AROSE AS TO WHERE TO PLACE THE
STATUE, THE SOLUTION WAS IMMEDIATE. THE STATUE WAS PLACED NEXT TO
THE STATUE OF THE ONLY MAN IN HISTORY DIEFENBAKER COULD BE COMPARED
TO: COLUMBUS. DIEFENBAKER WAS JUST LIKE COLUMBUS: HE HEADED FOR
SOMEWHERE BUT NEVER GOT THERE; GOT SOMEWHERE BUT DIDN'T KNOW WHERE;
NEVER KNEW HOW HE GOT THERE; AND DID THIS ALL ON BORROWED MONEY!

Submitter comment: I REMEMBER HEARING OR READING THIS A FEW MONTHS AFTER A NON-
CONFIDENCE VOTE PUSHED THE CONSERVATIVES AND JOHN DIEFENBAKER OUT
OF THE RULING POSITION.

Where learned: ONTARIO ; WINDSOR

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Secular hero

Date learned: 00-00-1965

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DONT WAIT

DON'T PUT OFF UNTIL TOMORROW, THAT WHAT YOU CAN DO TODAY.

Submitter comment: IN OTHER WORDS, DONT BE A PROCRASTINATOR.
MARY HEARD THIS FROM A FRIEND.

Where learned: ONTARIO ; WINDSOR

James Callow Keyword(s): ADVICE: NEGATIVE

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

Date learned: 10-19-1967

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BAD LUCK OMEN

IF A BIRD FLIES IN THE WINDOW OF YOUR HOME, IT MEANS
THAT SOMEONE IN THE FAMILY IS GOING TO DIE. WHILE
ATTENDING ST. MARY'S ACADEMY IN WINDSOR, A BIRD FLEW
IN THE WINDOW OF THE PRINCIPAL'S OFFICE, AND SHORTLY
AFTER SHE WAS NOTIFIED OF HER MOTHER'S DEATH.

Submitter comment: HEARD FROM A FRIEND OF MINE IN WINDSOR.

Where learned: ONTARIO ; WINDSOR

Subject headings: Observation

Date learned: 09-29-1967

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BAD LUCK OMEN

IF A PICTURE DROPS OFF A WALL SOMETHING
TERRIBLE WILL HAPPEN IN YOUR FAMILY.

Submitter comment: LEARNED THIS AT HOME.

Where learned: ONTARIO ; WINDSOR

Subject headings: Observation

Date learned: 09-30-1967

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TYPOGRAPHICAL DISPLAY

00000()00000
"WILBUR, DO YOU ALWAYS HAVE TO BE A NON-CONFORMIST?

Submitter comment: I READ THIS IN A "SEVENTEEN" MAGAZINE.

Where learned: ONTARIO ; WINDSOR

Subject headings: SPEECH -- To Be Seen

Date learned: 00-00-1965

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TYPOGRAPHICAL DISPLAY

HHHHHHNHHHHHH
"IS THAT SEAT TAKEN, SIR?"

Submitter comment: I REMEMBER READING THIS IS (IN) A "SEVENTEEN" MAGAZINE.

Data entry tech comment: THE H AND N ARE SMALL LETTERS IN THE ORIGINAL.

Where learned: ONTARIO ; WINDSOR

Subject headings: SPEECH -- To Be Seen

Date learned: 05-00-1965

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Entry filtered.

A NIGGER FROM BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA WAS CAUGHT RUNNING
A TRAFFIC LIGHT. WHEN TAKEN IN CUSTODY, HE PLEADED
GUILTY. THE NEXT DAY, THE NIGGER WAS TAKEN OUT TO A
FIELD WHERE HE WAS BURIED UP TO HIS NECK IN MUD.
ALL OF A SUDDEN, A HUGE GERMAN SHEPHERD WAS TURNED
LOOSE ON THE HELPLESS NIGGER. THE NIGGER BEING QUICK
MOVED HIS HEAD TO THE RIGHT AND THE DOG FLEW BY.
ANOTHER DOG WAS RELEASED AND THE NIGGER MOVED HIS
HEAD TO THE LEFT, AND THE DOG FLEW BY. A THIRD DOG
WAS RELEASED AND THE NIGGER PUT HIS HEAD TO THE
GROUND AND AS THE DOG JUMPED OVER HIS HEAD, HE
LIFTED HIS HEAD, BITING THE DOG BETWEEN THE LEGS
AND RUPTURED THE DOG. THE WHITE SHERIFF CAME UP TO
THE NIGGER AND KICKED HIM IN THE HEAD AND SAID,
"FIGHT FAIR, NIGGER!"

Submitter comment:

HE HEARD THIS STORY THIS YEAR IN SAN FRANCISCO.

Data entry tech comment:

DEROGATORY NAME

Where learned: CANADA ; ONTARIO ; TOP HAT SUPPER CLUB ; WINDSOR

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Jest Anecdote

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PULLING YOUR LEGS

ONE DAY, MY FRIEND AND MYSELF WERE SUPPOSE(D) TO MEET
DOWNTOWN AT THE SHOW. AFTER I WAITED FOR QUITE SOME
TIME, I FIGURED SHE WASN'T COMING, SO I DECIDED TO TAKE
A BUS HOME. BY THIS TIME, IT WAS GETTING DARK OUTSIDE.
AS I GOT OFF THE BUS, I NOTICED ANOTHER MAN GOT OFF ALSO.
IT SOON BECAME EVIDENT THAT HE WAS FOLLOWING ME AND I
DIDN'T KNOW WHAT TO DO. THERE JUST HAPPENED TO BE A
STORE IN THE MIDDLE OF MY STREET, SO I DECIDED TO STOP
IN THERE AND PERHAPS LOSE HIM. I WAITED A WHILE IN THE
STORE, UNTIL I THOUGHT IT WAS SAFE ENOUGH TO LEAVE.
I STARTED WALKING AGAIN AND SURE ENOUGH THE SAME PERSON
WAS FOLLOWING ME. IT WAS JUST A FEW MORE HOUSES UNTIL
I WOULD COME TO MINE, SO I DECIDED TO START RUNNING, AND
SURE ENOUGH, THE MAN IN BACK OF ME STARTED RUNNING
ALSO. I KNEW THAT MY SIDE DOOR OF MY HOUSE WAS OPEN,
SO I DECIDED TO RUN FOR IT. I RAN, THE MAN WAS RIGHT
BEHIND ME. I HURRIEDLY OPENED THE DOOR AND STARTED
RUNNING UP THE STAIRS, BUT SUDDENLY I SLIPPED AND THE
MAN STARTED PULLING MY LEGS!!! JUST LIKE I'M PULLING
YOURS.

Where learned: CANADA ; ONTARIO ; WINDSOR

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Jest Anecdote

Date learned: 09-23-1967

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JESS HARPER, FROM GODRICH ONTARIO CAME INTO LONDON,
LOOKING FOR A JOB WITH THE RAILROAD. HE WAS 6'6"
TALL AND WEIGHED 240 POUNDS. HE HAD NO TROUBLE PASSING
THE PHYSICAL, BUT WHEN IT CAME TO THE MENTAL PART, HE
LEFT SOMETHING TO BE DESIRED. THE SHARP LAWYER BEHIND
THE DESK IMMEDIATELY BEGAN DRILLING TRICKLY QUESTIONS
AT JESS. "LET'S SAY THAT THERE ARE TWO TRAINS ON THE
TRACK AT THE SAME TIME, AND EACH TRAIN IS GOING 100
MILES PER HOUR. WITH 200 PEOPLE ON EACH TRAIN. WHAT
WOULD YOU DO, JESS?" "WELL," JESS SAID, "I GUESS I'D WAVE
MY HANDERCHIEF." "NO! NO!, THEY COULDN'T SEE IT IN THE
DARK," SAID THE LAWYER. "THEN I'D WAVE MY LANTERN,"
JESS SAID. "NO! NO!, THEY COULDN'T SEE THE LANTERN
EITHER." "WELL, I GUESS I'D WHISTLE AS LOUD AS I COULD."
"NO! NO! YOU COULDN'T HEAR IT ABOVE THE NOISE." "OH!
I KNOW WHAT I'D DO," JESS SAID, "I'D GO CALL MY SISTER
NELLY WHO LIVES ABOVE THE TRACKS." "CALL YOUR SISTER,
NELLY? WHY?" "WELL," JESS SAID, "I'D TELL HER TO COME
DOWN AND SEE THE GODAMNEST WRECK SHE'S EVER SEEN IN
HER LIFE!"

Submitter comment: WALLY SAID HIS DAD HAS BEEN TELLING THIS STORY EVER
SINCE HE CAN REMEMBER.

Where learned: CANADA ; ONTARIO ; TOP HAT SUPPER CLUB ; WINDSOR

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Lie Tall tale

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IF AN IRISHMAN IS COMING TO AMERICA ON THE 17TH
OF ANY MONTH AND IS ON THE SEA, HE IS SUPPOSED TO
HAVE FORTUNE AND FAME IN AMERICA.

Submitter comment: LEARNED FROM HIS FATHER WHEN HE WAS YOUNGER.

Data entry tech comment: RELATED TO ST. PATRICKS'S DAY--MARCH 17?

Where learned: CANADA ; ONTARIO ; TOP HAT SUPPER CLUB ; WINDSOR

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 17
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- February 17
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- March 17
BELIEF -- Good luck

Date learned: 12101963 ASSUMED

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THE DISAPPEARING ACT

IN ENGLAND, MANY YEARS AGO, A CHURCH SOCIAL WAS TAKING PLACE
AND EVERYONE WAS INVOLVED IN PLAYING GAMES. MOST OF THE MEN WERE
PLAYING RUGBY ON A HUGE FIELD. ONE MAN KICKED THE BALL INTO
A FAR CORNER OF THE FIELD AND WENT AFTER IT. HE STARTED TO RUN
AFTER THE BALL AND THAT IS THE LAST ANYONE SAW OF HIM. PEOPLE
THOUGHT THAT HE MIGHT HAVE FALLEN INTO A DITCH OR A HOLE BUT THEY
WENT TO LOOK FOR HIM AND COULD FIND NOTHING AND TO THIS DAY THEY
STILL COULD NEVER FIGURE OUT WHAT HAPPENED TO HIM.

Submitter comment: MRS. BACON SAID THAT HER MOTHER AND SISTER TOLD HER THIS
STORY IN ENGLAND ABOUT THIRTY YEARS AGO.

Where learned: CANADA ; ONTARIO ; WINDSOR

James Callow Keyword(s): MYSTERIOUS DISAPPEARANCE

Subject headings: Favorites
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Human Being
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Product or activity of man or animal

Date learned: 12-00-1963

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FRENCH NEW YEAR'S CUSTOM

ON THE EVE OF NEW YEAR'S, AT THE STROKE OF MIDNIGHT, THE
CHILDREN KNEEL BEFORE THEIR PARENTS AND ASK TO BE
FORGIVEN ANY WRONGS THEY HAVE COMMITTED DURING THE YEAR.
THEN THEY ASK FOR THEIR PARENT'S BLESSING. THE PARENTS
PLACED THEIR HANDS ON EACH CHILD'S HEAD TO BLESS THEM.
THE CHILD ROSE AND KISSED THE PARENTS.

Where learned: CANADA ; ONTARIO ; WINDSOR

Subject headings: Favorites
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 31 New Year's Eve
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Prayer
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 00-00-1935

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WISHES

WHENEVER THE FRENCH VISIT A CHURCH FOR THE FIRST TIME,
THEY MAKE THREE WISHES WHICH THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO KEEP
A SECRET. THEY BELIEVE THE WISHES WILL ONLY COME TRUE
IF THEY ARE KEPT A SECRET.

Where learned: CANADA ; ONTARIO ; WINDSOR

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
BELIEF -- Church
BELIEF -- Prayer

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According to British military traditions, the reason that
the British salute with their palms facing toward the
person they're saluting at is because a soldier had killed
a superior officer by being able to hide a pistol in the
palm of his hand. This then forced the British military
to change their saluting process and had them salute as
above and being able to see what's in their hand.

Submitter comment: I learned this from my uncle while we were on vacation
in England.

Where learned: ENGLAND ; WINDSOR

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F535
SPEECH -- Salutes

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Never speak ill of the dead; if someone dies, never say
anything bad about them. If you do they could come back and
haunt your house: this would cause discomfort and confusion.

Submitter comment: This informant believes this very strongly. She said her
mother has told her tales of happenings to friends. She said
when she gets the time, she would tell me some of those stories.

Where learned: ONTARIO ; WINDSOR

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal

Date learned: 02-10-1992

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You might be considered a redneck if:
Your front porch collapses and you've killed more than six dogs.
You think potted meat and saltines are hors d'oeuvres.
There's a stuffed possum somewhere in your house.
Less than one-half of the cars you own run.
The primary color of your car is "Bondo."
Your wife's hairdo has ever been ruined by a ceiling fan.
You've ever hollered, "Rock the house, Bubba!" during a piano
recital.
You've ever barbecued Spam on the grill.
You have a rag for a gas cap.

Submitter comment: I just love these sayings. I laughed for days and so did my
friends.

Where learned: ONTARIO ; WINDSOR

Subject headings: Favorites
REDN

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Recipe for Flesh Beans
Make pastry (use Robin Hood Pie dough, in sticks. Box makes 3
beans). Roll it thin. Mix in bowl: 1/4 lb. flank steak, 1 diced
potato, 1 small onion, diced 1/2 carrot, diced celery, diced
mushroom. Finish thinning out on rag or waxed paper. Wrap up
bean in rag. Tie with string. Bring to boil. Lower to medium
heat for 3 hours. Turn over at least once. Allow to cool,
serve, and eat.

Submitter comment: What I found odd is cooking all the items in a rag. Grace
said it's a wonderful meal; I'll take her word for it!

Where learned: ONTARIO ; WINDSOR

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Mixed preparation in liquid

Date learned: 03-00-1992

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Recipe for Fried Green Tomatoes
Ingredients are: 1 medium green tomato (per person), white
cornmeal, bacon drippings, salt. Slice tomatoes about 1/2 inch
thick, season with salt and pepper, and then coat both sides with
cornmeal. In a large skillet, heat enough bacon drippings to
coat the bottom of the pan and fry tomatoes until lightly browned
on both sides.

Submitter comment: She said you'll think you've died and gone to heaven! I'm
thinking about trying this one!

Where learned: ONTARIO ; WINDSOR

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Manner of preparation Process
Food Drink -- Plant food Vegetable

Date learned: 03-00-1992

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HUNGARIAN CUSTOM

ON ST. NICHOLAS DAY A FELLOW CALLED "KRUMPUS" WOULD
COME THROUGH THE TOWN. HE WORE A LONG BELT FASHIONED
FROM CHAIN. HE CARRIED A WOODEN SWITCH AND A BAG OF
WALNUTS.
KRUMPUS WOULD WALK THROUGH THE TOWN AND STOP AT EACH
HOUSE. IF WELL-BEHAVED CHILDREN LIVED IN THE HOUSE,
HE WOULD THROW WALNUTS IN THE DOOR. IF BAD CHILDREN
LIVED IN THE HOUSE, HE WOULD STAND IN THE DOORWAY,
RATTLE HIS CHAIN AND SHAKE HIS SWITCH AT THEM.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: CANADA ; ONTARIO ; WINDSOR

Keyword(s): Celebrate ; CUSTOM ; holiday ; HUNGARIAN ; Nicholas ; Saint ; St. Nick ; tradition

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 6 Feast of St. Nicholas

Date learned: 11-17-1968

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SPRING PLANTING

NEVER PLANT TOMATO PLANTS UNTIL AFTER THE FREEZING
SAINTS' DAYS:
ST. PONGRACY--MAY 12.
ST. SERVATS--MAY 13.
ST. BONIFACE--MAY 14.

Where learned: CANADA ; ONTARIO ; WINDSOR

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- May 12
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- May 13
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- May 14
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting F663.9

Date learned: 11-17-1968

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