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James Callow Folklore Archive

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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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BALDNESS

YOUR SCALP IS TOO TIGHT. THE SKIN AROUND YOUR SKULL SHOULD BE FLESHY
SO THE HAIR FOLLICLES GET LOTS OF BLOOD. WITHOUT THIS CIRCULATION OF
BLOOD TO THE SCALP THE HAIR WILL DIE AND FALL OUT CAUSING BALDNESS.
MASSAGING THE SCALP DAILY IS A STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION
FOR KEEPING YOUR HAIR.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; WHITEHEAD AND KALES ; MILL STREET PLANT

Keyword(s): CAUSE

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

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OBEDIANCE

I HAD TWELVE BOTTLES OF WHISKEY IN MY CELLAR, AND MY WIFE
TOLD ME TO EMPTY THE CONTENTS DOWN THE SINK--OR ELSE.
SO I SAID I WOULD, AND PROCEEDED WITH THE UNPLEASANT
TASK.
I WITHDREW THE CORK FROM THE FIRST BOTTLE AND POURED THE
CONTENTS DOWN THE SINK, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF ONE
GLASS, WHICH I DRANK. I EXTRACTED THE CORK FROM THE
SECOND BOTTLE AND DID LIKEWISE. WITH THE EXCEPTION OF ONE
GLASS, WHICH I DRANK. THEN I WITHDREW THE CORK FROM THE
THIRD BOTTLE AND EMPTIED THE GOOD, OLD BOOZE DOWN THE
SINK, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF ONE GLASS, WHICH I DRANK.
I PULLED THE CORK FROM THE FOURTH SINK, AND POURED THE
BOTTLE IN THE GLASS WHICH I DRANK. I PULLED THE SINK
OUT OF THE GLASS AND POURED THE CORK DOWN THE BOTTLE.
I PULLED THE NEXT CORK OUT OF MY THROAT, AND POURED
THE SINK DOWN THE BOTTLE AND DRANK THE GLASS. THEN
I CORKED THE SINK WITH THE GLASS, BOTTLED THE DRINK,
AND DRANK THE POUR.
I NOW HAD EVERYTHING EMPTIED, SO I STEADIED THE
HOUSE WITH ONE HAND AND COUNTED THE BOTTLES CORKS AND
GLASSES WITH THE OTHER HAND, WHICH WERE 29. TO BE
SURE, I COUNTED THEM AGAIN WHEN THEY CAME BY, AND THIS
TIME I HAD 24. WHEN THE HOUSE CAME BY I COUNTED THEM
AGAIN THE THIRD TIME, AND FINALLY I HAD THE HOUSES,
BOTTLES, AND CORKS COUNTED, WITH THE EXCEPTION OF
ONE HOUSE, WHICH I DRANK.

Where learned: WHITEHEAD AND KALES ; MILL STREET PLANT

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Stupid man or woman

Date learned: 03-21-1967

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WHAT DO YOU CALL A POLAK WITH A GREEN BERET?
A THIEF.

Where learned: WHITEHEAD AND KALES ; MILL STREET PLANT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Poli

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TOGETHERNESS

I WAS TALKING TO MY NEIGHBOR LADY OVER THE WEEKEND AND
SHE WAS TELLING ME ABOUT HER BROTHER WHOSE WIFE DIED.
THE BROTHER HAD SAID THAT IF HIS WIFE DIED, HE WOULD
DIE TOO. SHE DIED ON A TUESDAY AND HE DIED ON
WEDNESDAY. THEY BURIED THEM TOGETHER.

Where learned: WHITEHEAD AND KALES ; MILL STREET PLANT

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Married couple

Date learned: 01-30-1967

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LOVE LETTER

TO MY LOVING WIFE:
DURING THE PAST YEAR I HAVE TRIED TO SEDUCE YOU 365 TIMES.
I HAVE SUCCEEDED ONLY 36 TIMES. THIS IS AN AVERAGE
OF ONCE EVERY TEN DAYS. THE FOLLOWING IS A LIST OF WHY
I DID NOT SUCCEED MORE OFTEN:
WE'LL WAKE THE CHILDREN................17
IT'S TOO LATE..........................23
IT'S TOO HOT...........................15
IT'S TOO COLD...........................5
IT'S TOO EARLY.........................15
PRETENDING TO BE ASLEEP................49
WINDOW OPEN, NEIGHBORS WILL HEAR........9
BACKACHE...............................16
HEADACHE................................6
TOOTHACHE...............................2
GIGGLES.................................4
TOO FULL...............................10
NOT IN THE MOOD........................17
BABY IS CRYING.........................21
WATCHED LATE TV SHOW....................5
MUDPACK.................................1
NEW HAIR-DO............................25
COMPANY IN NEXT ROOM....................11
YOU HAD TO GO TO THE BATHROOM...........19
DURING THE 36 TIMES I DID SUCCEED, THE ACTIVITY WAS NOT
ENTIRELY SATISFACTORY BECAUSE:
6 TIMES YOU CHEWED GUM THE WHOLE TIME.
5 TIMES YOU WATCHED TV THE WHOLE TIME.
18 TIMES YOU TOLD ME TO HURRY UP AND GET IT OVER WITH.
6 TIMES I HAD TO WAKEN YOU AND TELL YOU WE WERE THROUGH.
AND 1 TIME I WAS AFRAID I HAD HURT YOU BECAUSE I FELT
YOU MOVE.
HONEY, IT'S NO DAMN WONDER I DRINK SO MUCH.
(SIGNED) YOUR LOVING HUSBAND.

Where learned: WHITEHEAD AND KALES ; MILL STREET PLANT

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Married couple

Date learned: 03-20-1967

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SAUNA BATH

THE FINNISH HAD THE ORIGINAL SAUNA BATH AND STILL HAVE
THEM TODAY IN A LITTLE TOWN IN THE UPPER PENINSULA,
MASS, MICHIGAN. EACH FAMILY HAS THEIR OWN. THEY LOOK
LIKE A LARGE OUTHOUSE. THE WHOLE FAMILY TOOK THEIR
BATH TOGETHER, THE LITTLE ONES SAT ON THE LOWER
BENCHES IN FRONT AND THE PARENTS ON THE ELEVATED
BENCHES IN BACK. THE LITTLE ONES WERE TAUGHT NEVER
TO LOOK BACK AT THEIR PARENTS.
THE SAUNA IS A STEAM TYPE BATH TAKEN IN THE WINTER.
THE PROCEDURE IS AS FOLLOWS: FIRST YOU USE SWITCHES TO
WHIP UP THE CIRCULATION, THEN YOU MAKE STEAM BY
SPRINKLING WATER ON THE LARGE, FLAT HEATED ROCKS
WHICH MAKE UP THE OVEN. FINALLY, AFTER STEAMING
ALL THE DIRT OUT OF THE PORES, YOU GO OUT AND ROLL
IN THE SNOW.

Submitter comment: THIS WAS RECEIVED FROM A FRIEND OF THE INFORMANT'S
WHO ACTUALLY DID THIS WITH HER FAMILY WHEN SHE WAS
YOUNG.

Where learned: WHITEHEAD AND KALES ; MILL STREET PLANT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Home

Date learned: 02-23-1967

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FOOD CUSTOM OF FINNISH LUMBERJACKS

PASTIES WERE A MEAT PIE PREPARED BY THE WIVES OF
THE FINNISH LUMBERJACKS IN MICHIGAN'S UPPER PENINSULA.
EACH MORNING THE WIVES WOULD BAKE THEM TILL THEY WERE
RED HOT AND THEN WRAP THEM UP IN A TOWEL OR SOMETHING,
WHATEVER THEY USED TO WRAP THEM IN, AND THE MEN WOULD
PUT ON IN EACH POCKET OF THEIR COAT. THEY GAVE THE
MEN A HOT MEAL AT NOON TIME AND ALSO WERE USED TO
KEEP THE MEN'S HANDS WARM.

Submitter comment: THIS WAS RECEIVED FROM A FRIEND OF HERS (THE
INFORMANT'S) WHO WAS THE DAUGHTER IN A
LUMBERJACKING FAMILY IN THE LITTLE TOWN OF MASS,
MICHIGAN IN THE UPPER PENINSULA.

Where learned: WHITEHEAD AND KALES ; MILL STREET PLANT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Work Commerce Business
Food Drink -- Meat

Date learned: 02-23-1967

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GERMAN TRADITION, GOOD LUCK FOR NEW YEAR

SAUERKRAUT AND ROAST PORK ON NEW YEARS'. THE PIG
BEING A SMART ANIMAL, ALWAYS POINTS HIS NOSE IN
THE "RIGHT" DIRECTION, WHICH IS A SIGN OF GOOD
LUCK FOR THE NEW YEAR.

Where learned: WHITEHEAD AND KALES ; MILL STREET PLANT

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
Food Drink -- Typical menus for the various meals For meal hours, see F574.84. Special or festive meals

Date learned: 02-21-1967

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JUMP-ROPE RHYME

L-O-DOUBLE L-Y P-O-P SPELLS LOLLYPOP - LOLLYPOP
THE MAN WHO MADE IT WAS A DANDY
HE NEVER MAKE A FINER PIECE OF CANDY
L-O-DOUBLE L-Y P-O-P YOU SEE
IT'S A LICK ON A STICK THAT WILL NEVER MAKE YOU SICK
A LOLLYPOP FOR ME.

Submitter comment: (TO THE TUNE OF "HARRIGAN")

Where learned: WHITEHEAD AND KALES ; MILL STREET PLANT

Keyword(s): PLAIN-JUMP

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

Date learned: 02-02-1967

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showing 9 items

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