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James Callow Folklore Archive

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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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THERE WAS A LADY IN FORTH SMITH WHO LIVED AT 1313 13TH STREET,
AND HER HUSBAND STABBED HER WITH A BUTCHER KNIFE ON THE 13H
DAY OF THE MONTH. STRUCK HER SO HARD HE BROKE THE KNIFE OFF
IN HER RIB CAGE.
THIRTEEN WAS REALLY UNLUCKY FOR HER.

Where learned: Arkansas ; FORT SMITH

Subject headings: 686 Specific number by specific number being described
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

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FOR A STY ON THE EYE, GO TO THE CROSSROADS, STAND IN THE
CENTER, AND REPEAT, "STY, STY, LEAVE MY EYE. GO TO THE
NEXT ONE PASSING BY."

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE ; Arkansas ; FORT SMITH

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Eyes, evil eye
BELIEF -- P646 P646.750

Date learned: 07-20-1968

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IF YOU DREAM ABOUT A WEDDING, IT IS A SIGN OF DEATH.

Submitter comment: WHEN I WAS A SMALL GIRL, I HEARD IT FROM MY MOTHER ;

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE ; Arkansas ; FORT SMITH

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Marriage
BELIEF -- Dreams Foretelling a death

Date learned: 07-30-1968

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IF A ROOSTER CROWS BEFORE MIDNIGHT, IT'S A SIGN OF DEATH.

Submitter comment: MRS. REAVES HEARD THIS WHEN SHE WAS A GIRL IN FORT SMITH.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE ; TENNESSEE, ASSUMED ; FORT SMITH ; ARKANSAS, ASSUMED

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Bird
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 08-08-1968

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IF THE PICTURE OF A DEAD PERSON FALLS OFF THE WALL, IT'S A SIGN
OF DEATH. AT UNCLE'S FUNERAL, HIS SITER'S PICTURE FELL OFF
THE WALL, AND SHE HAD BEEN DEAD FOR A LONG TIME, BUT NOBOBY
DIED.

Submitter comment: SHE HEARD THIS FROM HER GRANDMOTHER AS A GIRL IN FORT SMITH.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE ; TENNESSEE, ASSUMED ; FORT SMITH ; ARKANSAS, ASSUMED

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 08-08-1968

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IT IS BAD LUCK TO CROSS IN FRONT OF A FUNERAL.

Submitter comment: MRS. REAVES TOLD ME THIS ON JULY 21, 1968.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE ; Arkansas ; FORT SMITH

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Bad luck Crucial moment of life

Date learned: 07-21-1968

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IT IS BAD LUCK TO LAY A MAN'S HAT ON THE BED, UNLESS YOU
TURN THE CROWN DOWN.

Submitter comment: MRS. REAVES TOLD ME THIS SUPERSTITION ON JULY 21, 1968. IT IS

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE ; Arkansas ; FORT SMITH

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bad luck Furniture (bed, table, chair, etc.)
BELIEF -- Bad luck Clothing (dress, hat, shoes, suit, etc.)
BELIEF -- Conversions Clothing (dress, hat, shoes, suit, etc.)

Date learned: 07-21-1968

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IF A WOMAN COMES TO YOUR HOUSE BEFORE A MAN ON NEW YEAR'S DAY,
YOU'LL HAVE BAD LUCK WITH YOUR CHICKENS THAT YEAR.

Submitter comment: MRS. REAVES TOLD ME THIS AT OUR HOME JULY 19, 1968. WHEN

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE ; Arkansas ; FORT SMITH

Subject headings: 686 Properties attributed to specific numbers or numerals individually.
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- January 1 New Year's
BELIEF -- Plant husbandry Farming
BELIEF -- Bad luck Leaving Entering Returning home Travel

Date learned: 07-19-1968

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IT'S BAD LUCK TO SIT ON A BED.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE ; Arkansas ; FORT SMITH

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bad luck Furniture (bed, table, chair, etc.)

Date learned: 07-21-1968

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IT'S BAD LUCK TO STEP OVER A BROOM.

Submitter comment: MRS. REAVES LEARNED THIS SUPERSTITION FROM HER GRANDMOTHER

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE ; Arkansas ; FORT SMITH

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bad luck Broom Sweeping

Date learned: 07-21-1968

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IT IS BAD LUCK TO BE HIT WITH A BROOM.

Submitter comment: MRS. REAVES LEARNED THIS SUPERSTITION FROM HER GRANDMOTHER

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE ; Arkansas ; FORT SMITH

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Bad luck Broom Sweeping

Date learned: 07-21-1968

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IT IS BAD LUCK TO STUB YOUR TOE.

Submitter comment: MRS. REAVES TOLD ME THIS SUPERSTITION AUGUST 8, 1968. I DO

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE ; Arkansas ; FORT SMITH

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Feet, toes, toenails
BELIEF -- Bad luck Body parts and functions

Date learned: 08-08-1968

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IF YOU START ON A JOURNEY AND SOMEONE CALLS YOU BACK, YOU ARE TO
MAKE A CROSS WHERE YOU STOP, SPIT IN THE MIDDLE OF IT, AND WALK
BACKWARDS TO THE PERSON WHO CALLED YOU. TO TURN BACK WOULD BE
BAD LUCK.

Submitter comment: MRS. REAVES HEARD THIS SUPERSTITION WHEN SHE WAS A GIRL.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE ; Arkansas ; FORT SMITH

James Callow Keyword(s): POSITION DIRECTION

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Cross and its various modifications
BELIEF -- Bad luck Leaving Entering Returning home Travel
SPEECH -- Gesture

Date learned: 07-19-1968

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NEVER COUNT YOUR TEETH OR THEY'LL ALL DROP OUT.

Submitter comment: MRS. REAVES HEARD THIS SUPERSTITION AS A GIRL IN FORT SMITH.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE ; Arkansas ; FORT SMITH

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Body part Senses Mouth, teeth, lips, tongue
BELIEF -- Number Counting beliefs
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 08-08-1968

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IT IS BAD LUCK TO TAKE A PEN FROM A PERSON AND SIGN SOMETHING
WITH IT. YOU SHOULD WAIT UNTIL THE PERSON PUTS THE PEN
DOWN, THEN PICK IT UP AND USE IT.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE ; Arkansas ; FORT SMITH

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Bad luck Sharp objects

Date learned: 07-23-1968

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IF THE SUN SHINES WHILE IT IS RAINING, IT IS A SIGN THAT IT
WILL RAIN TOMORROW.

Submitter comment: MRS. REAVES TOLD ME THAT THIS WAS A COMMON SUPERSTITION IN

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE ; Arkansas ; FORT SMITH

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Sun
BELIEF -- Weather sign or control
BELIEF -- Sign or prediction through Observation of galactic or celestial bodies
BELIEF -- Sign or prediction through Natural atmospheric phenomenon

Date learned: 08-08-1968

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WHY THE LIZARD NEVER LEARNED TO BELLOW

ONCE THERE WAS A LIZARD WHO HEARD A BULL BELLOW.
THIS SEEMED TO BE A FINE THING TO DO, SO HE
DECIDED TO ASK THE BULL TO TEACH HIM. THE BULL
WAS VERY FLATTERED AND DECIDED TO GO ABOUT TEACHING
THE LIZARD IN A VERY CAREFUL WAY. "FIRST," THE BULL
SAID, "YOU MUST HUMP UP YOUR BACK LIKE THIS," AND HE
SHOWED HIM. "OH, YES," SAID THE LIZARD, "I SEE NOW."
THANK YOU VERY MUCH."
SO THE LIZARD WENT AROUND FROM THEN ON HUMPING UP HIS
BACK, AND HE NEVER LEARNED TO BELLOW.

Submitter comment: THIS IS A STORY WHICH MY MOTHER TOLD ME WHEN I WAS
A SMALL GIRL. HER GRANDMOTHER TOLD IT TO HER IN
FORT SMITH, ARKANSAS WHEN SHE WAS A GIRL. I
RECORDED IT JULY 23, 1968, IN NASHVILLE.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE ; Arkansas ; FORT SMITH

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Animal

Date learned: 07-23-1968

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PROVERB

DYING LIKE FLIES WITH THE BOTTS.

Submitter comment: MRS. REAVES SAID THAT THIS WAS AN EXPRESSION WHICH SHE HEARD
AS A GIRL IN FORT SMITH, ARKANSAS, WHEN SO MANY PEOPLE WERE
DYING BECAUSE OF AN EPIDEMIC.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE ; Arkansas ; FORT SMITH

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Phrase
PROVERB -- Proverbial Comparison

Date learned: 08-13-1968

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PROVERB

RAKING YOU OVER THE COALS.

Submitter comment: GOSSIPING ABOUT SOMEONE.
MRS. REAVES SAID THAT THIS WAS A COMMON EXPRESSION USED IN
FORT SMITH, ARKANSAS WHEN SHE WAS A GIRL.

Where learned: TENNESSEE ; NASHVILLE ; Arkansas ; FORT SMITH

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Phrase

Date learned: 08-13-1968

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