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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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LUCK OF SHIPS

THERE IS A STORY OF AN UNNAMED GRAIN SHIP,
A GREAT LAKES THREE-MASTER, THAT LOST HER
LUCK ON A RUN TO BUFFALO. A MAN, NAMED BILL, HAD
FALLEN TO HIS DEATH FROM THE MASTHEAD, AND ON THE FOLLOWING
DAY ANOTHER HAD LOST HIS LIFE. ON ARRIVING AT BUFFALO
THE MEN WENT ASHORE AS SOON AS THEY WERE PAID OFF. THEY WERE
NOT RETURNING BECAUSE, THEY SAID, THE SHIP HAD LOST HER
LUCK. WHILE THE VESSEL WAS DISCHARGING HER
CARGO AT AN ELEVATOR THE STORY GOT AROUND AND THE GRAIN-TRIMMERS
REFUSED TO WORK HER. WHEN THE SHIP WAS UNLOADED SHE WAS
ORDERED TO CLEVELAND TO TAKE ON COAL BUT COULD NOT SIGN A CREW.
THEY MANAGED TO GET A NEW CREW BY GOING TO A CRIMP, WHO RAN
THEM IN FROM SALT WATER. THEY CAME ABOARD TWO-THIRDS DRUNK AND
THE MATE WAS STEERING THEM TO THE FORECASTLE, WHEN ONE
OF THEM STOPPED AND POINTED ALOFT, SAID: "WHAT HAVE YOU
GOT A FIGUREHEAD ON THE MASTHEAD FOR?" THE MATE LOOKED ALOFT
AND THEN TURNED WHITE. "IT'S BILL," HE CRIED, AND WITH THAT
THE WHOLE LOT DID A PIERHEAD JUMP, EVEN THE MATE.
THE CAPTAIN MANAGED TO SIGN ON ANOTHER CREW AND SAILED
FOR CLEVELAND, BUT HE NEVER GOT THERE; HIS VESSEL WAS SUNK
BY A STEAMER OFF DUNKIRK.

Submitter comment: CAPTAIN LUMAS SAYS THAT HE HEARD THIS STORY FROM
HIS FATHER WHO CLAIMED THAT HIS BEST FRIEND WAS
LOST ON THIS ILL-FATED SHIP.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MACKINAC ISLAND

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Curse
BELIEF -- Fate Destiny Luck Chance

Date learned: 09-00-1963

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LEGEND

AN OLD INDIAN LEGEND SAYS THAT SUGAR LOAF MOUNTAIN
ON MACKINAC ISLAND, MICHIGAN WAS MADE WHEN A PRINCESS OF OLD
WAS STRANDED ON TOP OF THE MOUNTAIN. ALL ATTEMPTS TO RESCUE
HER WERE NO USE, SO INSTEAD THE GODS SENT HER COMPANY, A MAN
ON A HILL BENEATH HER ON EITHER SIDE. THAT IS WHY THE MOUNTAIN
HAS ONE HIGH CREST AND TWO SMALLER CRESTS.
I HEARD THIS LEGEND FROM AN OLD GUIDE FOR THE CARRIAGE TOURS ON
MACKINAC ISLAND, MICHIGAN.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MACKINAC ISLAND

Keyword(s): GODS ; LAND FORMATION ; MICHIGAN ; MOUNTAIN ; MYTH ; PRINCESS

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Creation and Order of Universe

Date learned: 00-00-1970

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Every time your nose itches, it means someone is thinking
of you.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MACKINAC ISLAND

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Sensations and involuntary actions Itching nose

Date learned: 06-00-1987

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ON A PIECE OF PAPER, WRITE THE ALPHABET VERTICALLY,
ONE LETTER AT A TIME. THEN, HAVE SOMEONE SUGGEST A
SAYING OR PHRASE, AND WRITE THAT ALSO VERTICALLY,
EACH LETTER NEXT TO ONE OF THE ALPHABET LETTERS.
THEN WRITE AS MANY NAMES AS POSSIBLE WITHIN A GIVEN
TIME WITH THOSE INITIALS (NAMES OF FAMOUS PEOPLE,
THAT IS.) WHOEVER GETS THE MOST NAMES WITHIN THE
TIME WINS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MACKINAC ISLAND ; GRAND HOTEL ; SNACK BAR

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

Date learned: 07-00-1970

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THE GRAND HOTEL PORCH (SEE POSTCARD ON 5 X 8 CARD)
IS SAID TO BE THE LARGEST AND LONGEST PORCH IN THE
WORLD, EXTENDING 880 FEET ACROSS THE FRONT OF THE
HOTEL. DIRECTLY BEHIND THE PORCH IS THE MAIN DINING
ROOM (ALONG THE RIGHT SIDE) AND THE DINING ROOM
IS SAID TO POSSESS THE LONGEST PIECE OF
CONTINUOUS CARPETING IN THE WORLD.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MACKINAC ISLAND

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal P477.13

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IT IS A CUSTOM THAT EVERY NEWCOMER TO MACKINAC
ISLAND, MICHIGAN BE TOLD THE FOLLOWING TALE:
THE MACKINAC BRIDGE SWINGS OVER EVERY NIGHT
AT 12 MIDNIGHT FROM MACKINAC CITY TO CLOSE OFF
THE ISLAND.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; MACKINAC ISLAND

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal P477.13

Date learned: 05-00-1970

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showing 6 items

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