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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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CUSTOM FOR CHOOSING TEAMS

IN ELECTING SOMEONE FOR SOMETHING, OR FOR CHOOSING UP TEAMS, WE
USED TO EMPLOY A BASEBALL BAT. THE TWO CAPTAINS WOULD STAND
FACING EACH OTHER AND A THIRD PARTY WOULD TOSS THE BAT STRAIGHT
UP INTO THE AIR. ONE OF THE TWO CAPTAINS WOULD TRY TO CATCH IT
NEAR THE BOTTOM BY GRABBING IT WITH HIS HAND. THE OTHER PERSON
WOULD THEN WRAP HIS HAND AROUND THE BAT DIRECTLY ABOVE THE FIRST
PERSON'S. THIS WOULD CONTINUE UNTIL THERE WAS NO MORE ROOM AT THE
TOP OF THE BAT. WHEN THIS STAGE WAS REACHED THEN THE PERSON WHOSE
HAND WAS NEAREST TO THE TOP WAS THE WINNER. SEVERAL VARIATIONS
WERE ALLOWED. ONE WAS TO REST YOUR ELBOW ON THE FIRST PERSON'S
HAND AND THEN WRAP YOUR HAND AROUND THE BAT. ANOTHER WAS TO PLACE
ONLY TWO FINGERS AROUND THE BAT (BUT THE FINGERS MUST BE ABLE TO
TOUCH THE THUMB IN THIS CASE). FINALLY YOU COULD DO "EAGLE'S
CLAWS," THAT IS, WRAP YOUR FINGERS OVER THE KNOB OF THE BAT IN
THE MANNER OF A BIRD'S CLAWS. BUT IT YOU DID THIS YOU HAD TO
SUBSEQUENTLY THROW THE BAT FARTHER THAN TEN FEET BEHIND YOURSELF
OR YOU LOST. THESE MANEUVERS WERE USED TO SKILLFULLY TRY TO
SHORTEN OR LENGTHEN DISTANCES ON THE BAT SO YOU WOULD WIN.

Submitter comment: I LEARNED THIS FROM PLAYMATES IN FORT WAYNE, INDIANA, BUT ALSO
USED IT HERE IN DETROIT, ESPECIALLY WHEN CHOOSING TEAMS FOR
SOME GAME THAT REQUIRED A BAT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; DETROIT ; INDIANA ; FORT WAYNE

Subject headings: 686 First / Once / One / Newness
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Game Pastime
BELIEF -- Entertainment Diversion

Date learned: 12-00-1963

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HIDE AND GO SEEK

THIS GAME WAS PLAYED WITH THREE OR MORE PEOPLE IN AN
AREA SUCH AS THE WOODS, WHICH OFFERED NUMEROUS PLACES
FOR HIDING. ONE PERSON WAS SELECTED TO BE "IT" OR THE
ONE WHO HAD TO FIND THE OTHERS. CERTAIN BOUNDARIES
WERE SET UP OUTSIDE OF WHICH WE COULD NOT GO. THEN
THE PERSON WHO WAS "IT" HAD TO COVER HIS EYES, STAND
FACING A TREE AND COUNT SLOWLY TO A HUNDRED. WHILE
THIS PERSON WAS COUNTING, EVERYONE ELSE RAN OFF AND
SECURED THEMSELVES A GOOD HIDING PLACE. AFTER THE "IT"
HAD FINISHED COUNTING, HE SCOURED THE AREA, TRYING TO
FIND WHERE EVERYBODY WAS HIDING. HE EITHER HAD TO
TOUCH YOU OR WITH HIS HAND ON THE TREE USED FOR
COUNTING, YELL OUT YOUR NAME AND WHERE YOU WERE HIDING.
IF THIS WAS DONE, THAT GAME WAS OVER, EVERYONE CAME
OUT OF HIDING AND A NEW GAME WAS STARTED WITH THE
PERSON WHO WAS DISCOVERED BEING "IT."

Submitter comment: WE USED TO PLAY THIS GAME IN THE COUNTRY WHERE WE
LIVED FOR SEVERAL YEARS.

Where learned: INDIANA ; FORT WAYNE

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Bodily Activity Song: Game, Pastime, Sport

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SPLITS

THIS WAS A RELATIVELY SIMPLE GAME FOR TWO PLAYERS. THE
TWO PLAYERS WOULD STAND, FEET TOGETHER AND FACING
EACH OTHER, ABOUT THREE FEET APART. ONE PLAYER WOULD
THROW THE JACKKNIFE. HE WOULD HAVE TO THROW IT IN
FRONT OF HIM AND OFF TO THE SIDE OF THE PLAYER WHO
FACED HIM. IF IT STUCK BLADE FIRST INTO THE GROUND
SO THAT TWO FINGERS WIDTH SEPARATED IT FROM CONTACT
WITH THE GROUND AT THE HANDLE, THEN IT WAS A LEGAL
THROW. THE OTHER PLAYER WOULD HAVE TO LEAVE ONE
FOOT STATIONARY AND STRETCH THE OTHER ONE FAR ENOUGH
TO REACH THE KNIFE. HE WOULD THEN HAVE TO REACH OVER
AND PICK UP THE KNIFE IN ORDER TO HAVE HIS TURN. A
BAD TOSS MERELY MEANT THAT IT WAS THE OTHER PERSON'S
TURN. THE THROWING CONTINUED UNTIL ONE OF THE PLAYERS
COULDN'T STRETCH THE REQUIRED DISTANCE OR FELL OVER IN
ATTEMPTING TO PICK UP THE KNIFE, WHICH MADE HIM THE
LOSER.

Submitter comment: OLDER NEIGHBORHOOD BOYS TAUGHT ME THIS GAME.

Where learned: INDIANA ; FORT WAYNE

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Special Object or Implement

Date learned: 00001949 CA.

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MUMBLETY-PEG

THIS GAME REQUIRES TWO OR MORE PEOPLE AND A JACKKNIFE. A SMALL TWIG IS CUT FROM A TREE AND WHITTLED INTO A PEG ABOUT THREE INCHES LONG. IT IS THEN INSERTED A SHORT WAYS INTO THE GROUND. THE PLAYERS KNEEL IN A CIRCLE AROUND THE PEG. ONE PLAYER THROWS THE JACKKNIFE IN ANY MANNER HE WISHES (MAKING IT FLIP TWICE, FLIPPING IT FROM HIS ELBOW, NOSE, OR FROM EACH OF HIS FINGERS SUCCESSIVELY). IF THE KNIFE STICKS SO THAT TWO FINGERS CAN BE INSERTED BETWEEN THE GROUND AND THE HANDLE, IT IS CONSIDERED A LEGAL THROW. THEN EACH OF THE OTHER PLAYERS HAS TO EXACTLY DUPLICATE THE MANNER IN WHICH THE ORIGINAL PLAYER FLIPPED THE KNIFE. AS SOON AS YOU DUPLICATE THE STUNT WITH A LEGAL THROW, YOU ARE CONSIDERED EXEMPT FROM THE PENALTY THAT WILL FOLLOW. YOU KEEP TOSSING UNTIL THERE IS ONLY ONE PERSON LEFT. HE THEN GETS A "FIREMAN'S CHANCE" OR LAST ATTEMPT. IF HE SUCCEEDS THEN THE KNIFE CONTINUES AROUND UNTIL ONE PERSON AGAIN SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETES A STUNT WHICH EVERYONE HAS TO MATCH. SHOULD THE PERSON FAIL ON HIS "FIREMAN'S CHANCE" HE MUST PAY THE PENALTY. THE KNIFE IS PASSED AROUND THE RING OF PARTICIPANTS WITH THE BLADE OPEN. EACH PERSON HOLDS THE KNIFE BY THE FLAT OF THE BLADE AND STRIKES THE PEG ONCE, DRIVING IT INTO THE GROUND. THEN THE KNIFE IS PASSED AROUND AGAIN. THIS TIME WITH THE BLADE CLOSED. EACH PERSON GRIPS THE KNIFE IN HIS FIST AND BRINGS THE BU; OF IT DOWN ON THE PEG, DRIVING IT FURTHER
INTO THE GROUND. EACH PERSON ONLY GETS ONE TRY
THOUGH. IF YOU MISS THE NARROW PEG, YOU DON'T GET TO
TRY AGAIN. THIS IS CALLED "SPIKING." NOW THE PEG
IS EITHER VERY CLOSE TO THE GROUND OR EVEN BURIED IN
IT. THE PERSON WHO LOST MUST GET DOWN ON HIS HANDS
AND KNEES AND EXTRACT THE PEG FROM THE GROUND WITH
HIS TEETH, OFTEN A VERY MESSY PROCESS.

Submitter comment: I LEARNED THIS FROM THE NEIGHBORING CHILDREN IN
FORT WAYNE.

Where learned: INDIANA ; FORT WAYNE

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Special Object or Implement

Date learned: 00001949 CA.

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FUDGE

THIS GAME WAS PLAYED WITH ANY TYPE OF BALL AND SOME
TYPE OF ROOF. A LINE WOULD BE DRAWN ON THE GROUND
PERHAPS FIFTEEN (FEET?) FROM THE ROOF. EVERYBODY
HAD TO STAND BEHIND THIS LINE. THEN ONE PERSON WOULD
START THE GAME BY TOSSING THE BALL ON THE ROOF AND
CALLING OUT A NUMBER. EACH PLAYER WAS DESIGNATED
A NUMBER INSTEAD OF HIS NAME TO CONFUSE HIM. WHEN
SOMEONE ELSE CALLED YOUR NUMBER, YOU HAD TO RUN UP
AND CATCH THE BALL ROLLING OFF OR BOUNCING OFF THE
ROOF BEFORE IT STRUCK THE GROUND. AS SOON AS YOU
DID, THEN YOU THREW IT UP ONTO THE ROOF AND CALLED
SOMEONE'S NUMBER. IF YOUR NUMBER WAS CALLED AND
YOU MISSED THE BALL, THEN YOU RECEIVED A LETTER,
STARTING WITH F. WHEN YOU HAD MISSED FIVE TIMES,
OR HAD SPELLED OUT THE WORD FUDGE, THEN YOU WERE
OUT OF THE GAME. THE LAST ONE LEFT WAS THE WINNER.
EXACTLY THE SAME GAME WAS SOMETIMES CALLED RAIN ON
THE ROOF, IN WHICH YOU WERE ALLOWED A CERTAIN NUMBER
OF MISSES, SUCH AS THREE.

Submitter comment: I LEARNED TO PLAY THIS FROM THE OLDER NEIGHBORHOOD
CHILDREN IN FORT WAYNE.

Where learned: INDIANA ; FORT WAYNE

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Special Object or Implement Special Object or Implement

Date learned: 00-00-1949

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KICK THE CAN

THIS GAME WAS PLAYED BY BOTH BOYS AND GIRLS AND
USUALLY AT NIGHT. A LARGE TIN CAN WAS PLACED ON THE
GROUND NEAR SOME LIGHTED AREA, SUCH AS A PORCH. ONE
PERSON WAS CHOSEN TO BE "IT." HE HAD TO CLOSE HIS
EYES AND COUNT TO A HUNDRED WHILE EVERYONE ELSE
RAN TO SEEK A HIDING PLACE. HIS COUNTING FINISHED,
THE "IT" PERSON WOULD TRY TO FIND EVERYBODY'S HIDING
PLACE. IF HE DISCOVERED YOU HE WOULD HAVE TO RUN TO
THE CAN AND WITH HIS FOOT ON IT, CALL OUT YOUR NAME
AND WHERE YOU WERE HIDING. THUS CAUGHT, THE PERSON
WOULD HAVE TO COME AND STAND IN AN AREA NEAR THE CAN
AND WAS A CAPTIVE. AT ANY TIME, A PERSON COULD RELEASE
ALL THE CAPTIVES BY RUNNING TO THE CAN, GIVING IT A
SWIFT KICK, AND YELLING "ALLE, ALLE, OXINFREE." OF
COURSE, IF THE "IT" PERSON SAW YOU AND BEAT YOU TO THE
CAN AND SAID YOUR NAME, THEN YOU TOO BECAME A CAPTIVE.
SHOULD EVERYONE BE RELEASED, THEN THE "IT" PERSON
WOULD HAVE TO RETRIEVE THE CAN, REPLACE IT, COUNT TO
TEN, AND THEN BEGIN RESEARCHING. THE GAME ENDED
WHEN EVERYONE WAS CAUGHT. THEN A NEW "IT" WOULD BE
CHOSEN. DUE TO THE DIFFICULTY, SOMETIMES TWO "ITS"
WERE CHOSEN.

Submitter comment: WE PLAYED THIS GAME FREQUENTLY AND EVEN THE OLDER
TEENAGERS ENJOYED IT.

Where learned: INDIANA ; FORT WAYNE

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Special Object or Implement Special Object or Implement

Date learned: 00001949 CA.

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RETORT

WHAT DO YOU THINK I AM - A YO-YO?

Submitter comment: (SAID) WHEN HE'S BEING TAKEN ADVANTAGE OF, SAYS COLLECTOR.

Where learned: INDIANA ; FORT WAYNE

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Formula

Date learned: 04-16-1971

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showing 7 items

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