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James Callow Folklore Archive

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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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MY MOTHER TOLD ME ABOUT A DUMB SUPPER THAT HER GRANDMOTHER
ATTENDED. MY GREAT-GRANDMOTHER, SARAH HOLBROOK, LIVED IN
TAZEWELL COUNTY, VIRGINIA. SHE AND SOME OF HER GIRLFRIENDS
HAD A "DUMB SUPPER." THE IDEA WAS TO COOK A MEAL WITH
NONE OF THE GIRLS SPEAKING A WORD. THEN AT MIDNIGHT, THEY
SAT DOWN AND ATE THE MEAL, STILL WITHOUT SPEAKING. MY
GREAT-GRANDMOTHER WAS FIFTEEN YEARS OLD AT THE TIME AND I
SUPPOSE THE OTHER GIRLS WERE ABOUT THE SAME AGE, SO THIS WAS
NO EASY JOB. IF YOU DID THIS, THE NEXT MAN YOU SAW WOULD
BE YOUR FUTURE HUSBAND.
MY GREAT-GRANDMOTHER'S FATHER RAN AN INN, AND PEOPLE GOING
WEST WOULD STOP THERE BEFORE GOING ON THROUGH THE CUMBERLAND
GAP AND ON INTO THE BLUE GRASS REGION OF KENTUCKY OR THE
NASHVILLE BASIN. GABRIEL VAUGHAN AND HIS TWO BROTHERS EACH
HAVING A WAGON FILLED WITH SUPPLIES STOPPED THERE.
GABRIEL WAS THE FIRST MAN SARAH SAW. SHE MARRIED HIM THE
NEXT DAY AND THEY LEFT FOR KENTUCKY. WHEN THEY WERE GOING
DOWN THE BIG SANDY VALLEY, THEIR WAGON GOT IN A MUDHOLE AND THE
AXLE BROKE WHEN THEY PULLED IT OUT. GABE DECIDED TO STAY
THERE IN FLOYD COUNTY. ONE BROTHER WENT ON TO MISSOURI AND
THE OTHER FINALLY ENDED UP IN CALIFORNIA, ACCORDING TO A
COUSIN OF OURS WHO HAS TRACED THE FAMILY TREE. MY GREAT-
GRANDMOTHER WAS OVER NINETY WHEN SHE DIED AND I REMEMBER
HER SITTING IN HER POKE BONNET AND LONG DRESSES ROCKING.
SHE WAS SENILE AND SLAPPED AT ANY OF US YOUNGER ONES
WHO WENT NEAR HER. SHE COULD SPELL UNCOMMONLY LONG WORDS,
AND U SUPPOSE SHE TOLD MY MOTHER THIS STORY BEFORE SHE
GOT SO OLD.

Where learned: VIRGINIA ; TAZEWELL COUNTY

Subject headings: 862 Use of object for determining future spouse
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Human Being
Food Drink -- Manner of preparation
BELIEF -- Marriage

Date learned: NOT GIVEN

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