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James Callow Folklore Archive

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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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BOXING THE COMPASS

THE CHIEF QUARTERMASTER TELLS THE NEW SEAMAN "TO BOX
IN THE COMPASS." THE SEAMAN RUNS AROUND TRYING TO
FIND A BOX TO PUT AROUND THE COMPASS. "BOXING"
THE COMPASS MEANS ADJUSTING IT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HAZEL PARK

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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BALL-SMASHING

WHEN I WAS IN GRADE SCHOOL, IN THE EIGHTH GRADE, ONE VERY
COMMON PROBLEM ENCOUNTERED WAS WHAT TO DO WHEN THE STUDENTS
WERE NOT ALLOWED TO GO OUT ONTO THE PLAYGROUND AFTER LUNCH
BECAUSE OF RAIN. A FEW OF MY FRIENDS SOLVED THIS PROBLEM
BY INVENTING AN INDOOR GAME CALLED "BALL-SMASHING."
THE GAME WAS PLAYED BY A GROUP OF FIVE BOYS. THE OBJECT OF
THE GAME WAS TO SMASH AS MANY OF YOUR OPPONENTS IN THE TESTICLES
WITH ONLY THE HEEL OF YOUR FOOT. ANYONE WHO USED THE TOE WAS
DISQUALIFIED. THE LAST ONE WHO REMAINED ABLE TO PLAY WAS THE
WINNER.

Submitter comment: I NEVER WAS ABLE TO PLAY THIS GAME. THE OTHER GUYS WHO SAW ME
WITH MY COMBAT BOOTS ON WHEN IT WAS MY TURN TO PLAY REFUSED TO LET
ME PARTICIPATE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HAZEL PARK

Keyword(s): BALLS

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Athletic sport and exercise Gymnastics

Date learned: 00-00-1982

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IN THE EVENING THE LAZY AWAKE.

Submitter comment: GERMAN PROVERB

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HAZEL PARK

Subject headings: PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

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IN THE CALMNESS LIES THE POWER.

Submitter comment: GERMAN PROVERB

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HAZEL PARK

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal

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FOOLS HANDS SCRIBBLE ON THE TABLE AND WALL.

Submitter comment: GERMAN PROVERB

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HAZEL PARK

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Physically handicapped Deformed
SPEECH -- Instructions Directions
PROVERB -- Proverbial Apothegm Maxim

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Mr Johnny Goback

Once there was a Dutchman his name was Johnny Goback.
He was a sausage dealer in sauerkraut and speck.
One day he invented a marvelous machine,
now all the neighbors cats and dogs will never no more be
seen.
(Chorus) Oh mister Johnny Goback how could you be so mean?
I told you you'd be sorry for inventing that machine.
Now all the neighbors cats and dogs will never no more be seen
they'll all be ground to sausages in Johnny Goback's machine.
chorus over.
One day a little boy came strolling in the store.
He bought a pound of sausages and set them on the floor.
The little boy started whistling, he whistled up a tune.
And all the little sausages started dancing around the room.
(Chorus)
One day the thing got stuck the blame thing wouldn't go.
So Johnny crawled inside of it to see what made it so.
His wife was having a nightmare walking in her sleep.
She gave the crank a heck of a yank and Johnny was sausage
meat.
(Chorus)

Submitter comment: My grandma learned this from her husband, who is no longer
living. She believes it is a Marching song for soldiers. My
grandfather came directly on the boat from the Netherlands so
this is native to that land. It goes back to at least his
childhood since his father taught it to him. This would date
this back as early as 1915.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HAZEL PARK

James Callow Keyword(s): HUMOR

Subject headings: Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Good humor Jest
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- War cries

Date learned: 00-00-1935

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FRENCH CANADIAN:

WHEN A HUSBAND DIES AND THE WIDOW CUTS HER HAIR,
IT IS THOUGHT THAT SHE WAS TRYING TO ATTAIN A NEW
HUSBAND.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HAZEL PARK

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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FRENCH CANADIAN CUSTOM

WHEN THERE IS A DEATH IN THE FAMILY, ALL CLOTHES
INCLUDING UNDER CLOTHES ARE DYEDBLACK AND ARE WORN FOR
A PERIOD OF A MONTH, EXCLUDING THE WIDOW OR WIDOWER,
WHO WEARS IT FOR A PERIOD OF A YEAR.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; CANADA ; HAZEL PARK

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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WHEN RECEIVING KNIVES FOR A GIFT, YOU SHOULD GIVE THE
GIVER OF THE GIFT A PENNY FOR EVERY KNIFE, SO THAT
YOU MAY HAVE GOOD LUCK, INSTEAD OF BAD. THIS IS
ESPECIALLY TRUE WHEN GIVING A GIFT TO A BRIDE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HAZEL PARK

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Marriage Bridal shower
BELIEF -- Good luck
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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WATER LINE

THE NEW SEAMAN ABOARD SHIP IS ASSIGNED TO A "DECK
DIVISION." CHIEF BOSUN TELLS HIM ONE OF THE SHIP'S
BOATS IS LOOSE AND THEY NEED SOME LINE TO TIE IT
BACK UP TO THE SHIP. SO HE TELLS THE NEW SEAMAN TO
GO DOWN TO THE BOSUN LOCKER TO GET "TWENTY FEET OF
WATER LINE."
THE "WATER LINE" IS ACTUALLY WHERE THE WATER REACHES
ON THE BOAT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HAZEL PARK

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F535
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Initiation rite Hazing

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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NEW SEAMAN ON SHIP

"CHARLIE NOBLE'S LEAVE PAPERS"
SOMEONE FROM THE PERSONNEL OFFICE WILL GO TO SEE A
NEW SEAMAN (USUALLY THE PETTY OFFICER DOES THIS).
HE'LL TELL THE NEW SEAMAN "CHARLIE NOBLE'S LEAVE
PAPERS ARE READY TO BE PICKED UP AT THE PERSONNEL
OFFICE." CHARLIE NOBLE IS IN HIS DIVISION SO HE
HAS TO FIND HIM. THE NEW SEAMAN LOOKS ALL OVER
AND NEVER FINDS CHARLIE, WHO DOESN'T EXIST OF COURSE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HAZEL PARK

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F535
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Initiation rite Hazing

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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"CHARLIE NOBLE" IS A NAME GIVEN TO VARIOUS IMAGINARY
FIGURES IN PRACTICAL JOKES PLAYED ON THE NEWEST SEAMAN
ON BOARD SHIP. ACTUALLY, CHARLY NOBLE IS THE
SMOKESTACK THAT COMES OUT OF THE SHIP'S GALLEY.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HAZEL PARK

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F535
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Initiation rite Hazing

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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WHEN A NEW SEAMAN COMES ABOARD SHIP THE OLD SALTS
TELL HIM TO STAND MAIL BUOY WATCH UP ON THE FOC-SOLE
(FORECASTLE). THE BRAND NEW SEAMAN IS SUPPOSED
TO WAIT FOR A "MAIL BUOY" THE SHIP WILL PASS AND
WITH A BIG BOAT HOOK REACH OUT TO GRAB THE MAIL
SACK.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HAZEL PARK

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F535
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Initiation rite Hazing

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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THE SEA BAT IS A VERY RARE NAUTICAL ANIMAL. THEY
AREN'T CAUGHT VERY OFTEN, BUT WHEN THEY ARE, THEY ARE
PUT IN A BOX. EVERYONE WHO HAS BEEN AT SEA FOR
AWHILE HAS SEEN A SEA BAT, BUT IT'S STILL A REAL
OCCASION. WHEN YOU CATCH ONE, YOU PUT IT IN A BOX
ON THE STERN OF THE SHIP. SEA BATS DON'T LIVE VERY
LONG, SO YOU PASS THE WORD FOR ALL WHO HAVEN'T SEEN
ONE TO COME WHILE IT'S STILL ALIVE. ALL THE NEW
SEAMEN GO TO SEE THE BAT, WHICH IS UNDER A BOX WITH
TWO PEEPHOLES TO LOOK INTO. YOU HAVE TO GET DOWN
ON YOUR KNEES TO LOOK IN. OF COURSE, THERE'S NOTHING
IN THE BOX. THE NEW SEAMEN REALLY GETS RAPPED IN THE
BUTT.

Submitter comment: BUT THERE REALLY ARE SEA BATS. THE INFORMANT SAW ONE
IN THE GOLDEN GATE PARK AQUARIUM. AFTER A LONG
BIOLOGICAL NAME, IT SAID "SEA-BAT."

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HAZEL PARK

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F535
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Initiation rite Hazing

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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SMOKING TERMS

SHE CALLS A CIGARETTE EITHER A "WEED" OR "FAG."

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; HAZEL PARK

Subject headings: SPEECH -- Underworld

Date learned: NOT GIVEN BY COLLECTOR

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showing 15 items

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