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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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KRAKOWIAK (POLISH DANCE)

LIKE THE AMERICAN SQUARE DANCE.

Where learned: CHILDHOOD ; NOT GIVEN ; HOME ; PENNSYLVANIA ; MICHIGAN ; LETTER ; OHIO ; NEW JERSEY ; UNIVERSITY OF DETROIT ; AUTOGRAPH BOOK ; GROSSE POINTE ; HARPER WOODS ; GROSSE POINTE WOODS ; WARREN ; JAPAN ; RUSSIA ; GRAND RAPIDS ; SHIPLE HALL ; GARDEN CITY ; ROYAL OAK ; TOLEDO ; TRENTON ; FARMINGTON ; KALAMAZOO ; CANADA ; ONTARIO ; MARYGROVE COLLEGE ; DETROIT ; MAIL ; INDIANA ; DETROIT, ASSUMED ; TOLD AT HOME ; FERNDALE ; SOUTHFIELD ; TENNESSEE ; MACKENZIE HIGH SCHOOL ; HAMTRAMCK ; DEARBORN ; MINNESOTA ; ILLINOIS ; NEW YORK ; FLORIDA ; KOREA ; WISCONSIN ; NEW HAMPSHIRE ; STUDENT UNION ; READING ; AUSTRALIA ; Sylvania ; Sterling Heights ; MICHIGAN, ASSUMED ; GROSSE POINTE PARK ; OAK PARK ; SOUTHGATE ; STURGEON LAKE ; REDFORD ; TOORAK ; VICTORIA ; ROSEVILLE ; LINCOLN PARK ; TRAVERSE CITY ; HUNTINGTON WOODS ; PONTIAC ; TROY ; PORT CHESTER ; SOUTH AMERICA ; BROOKVILLE ; MONTREAL ; SEOUL ; NORTH OLMSTED ; EASTOWN THEATER ; ERIE ; University of Notre Dame ; FRANKLINVILLE ; TORONTO ; TOLD AT ; TOLD BY ; TOLD IN ; SCRANTON ; MONROE ; GLENVIEW ; MOSCOW ; GULLEY ; FINLAND ; HARBOR BEACH ; HOUGHTON LAKE ; Hudson Lake ; INDIANAPOLIS ; JONESBORO ; KANSASVILLE ; LEXINGTON ; MASSILLON ; MAUCH CHUNK ; MELVINDALE ; MILFORD ; NEW ROCHELLE ; NIAGARA FALLS ; PANAMA CITY ; PATAGONIA ; ARGENTINA ; RESIDENCE HALL ; SAINT CLAIR SHORES ; TOLD AT HONORS HOUSE ; AMERICAN HISTORY CLASS

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

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HOOK STORY

ONE NIGHT AS A COUPLE WERE PARKED IN THE CAR AT BELLE ISLE, THE
RADIO ANNOUNCER BROUGHT IN A NEWS BULLETIN THAT A MENTALLY
DISTURBED CRIMINAL ESCAPED FROM A NEARBY INSTITUTION. THE GIRL
BECAME FRIGHTENED WHEN HEARING THAT TWO COUPLES HAD BEEN SEVERELY
TORTURED. THE ATTACKER WAS IDENTIFIED TO HAVE A HOOK IN PLACE OF
HIS RIGHT HAND. THE BOY DECIDED TO DRIVE HIS DATE HOME, SHE BEING
SO FRIGHTENED. UPON REACHING HER HOME, HE GOT OUT OF THE CAR TO
WALK HER TO THE DOOR. WHEN HE CLOSED THE CAR DOOR, HE OBSERVED A
HOOK COVERED WITH BLOOD ON IT. IT WAS A NARROW ESCAPE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY ; KALAMAZOO

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Physically handicapped Deformed

Date learned: 00-00-1966

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BLACK TABOO

IF YOU EAT BLACK GRAPES OR BLACK FIGS THEN SOME SORT OF BAD LUCK
WILL COME TO YOU, SUCH AS BAD NEWS, OR YOU WILL DO SOMETHING
THAT YOU WILL REGRET LATER. HOWEVER RED, WHITE , GREEN, AND BLUE
GRAPES AND FIGS ARE FINE TO EAT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; KALAMAZOO

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Plant food Fruit
BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- Color
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 02-18-1971

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RELIGIOUS BELIEF

IF YOU SAY A HAIL MARY FOR EACH ONE OF YOUR TEETH, SAINT
POLLONIA WILL PROTECT YOUR TEETH FROM HARM.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; KALAMAZOO

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Religious hero
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Mouth, teeth, lips, tongue
SPEECH -- Proper Name

Date learned: 02-18-1971

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ROOSTER BELIEF

EARLY IN THE MORNING, BEFORE TWILIGHT, YOU MAY SMELL SOMETHING
PECULIAR IN THE AIR-THIS IS THE SMELL OF JUDAS WHEN HE DIED.
HE BETRAYED CHRIST WITH THE KISS IN EARLY MORNING.

Where learned: KALAMAZOO

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Religious hero
BELIEF -- Air Weather Fire
SPEECH -- Extra Corporal Means of Communication

Date learned: 02-18-1971

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BLESSING

SOMETIME IN MAY (A MOVEABLE DATE, SINCE IT IS A CERTAIN NUMBER OF
DAYS AFTER EASTER) FOR THREE DAYS THE PRIEST GOES AROUND WITH THE
PEOPLE IN PROCESSION PLACING WOODEN CROSSES EVERY SO OFTEN AND
BLESSING THE SURROUNDING AREA. THE PEOPLE ARE THEN SUPPOSE(D) TO
SAY 3 OUR FATHERS AND 3 HAIL MARYS.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; KALAMAZOO

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Spring Planting After all

Date learned: 02-18-1971

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RELIGIOUS FESTIVAL (BLESSING OF OLIVE TREES)

ON SAINT MARCO'S FEAST DAY (APRIL 25) AFTER MASS THERE WOULD BE A
PROCESSION, WITH CHILDREN IN FRONT, HOLDING CROSSES AND TOSSING
FLOWERS AND SINGING THE LITANY, TO THE OLIVE TREES. THERE THE
PRIEST WOULD BLESS THE TREES FOR PROTECTION WHILE THE PEOPLE KNELT.

Submitter comment: INFORMANT SAID THAT THE PRIEST'S BLESSING IS SAID TO BE EFFECTIVE
FOR A SEVEN MILE RADIUS, WHICH INCLUDED HER FATHER'S TREES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; KALAMAZOO

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- April 25
BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- Prayer
BELIEF -- Sign Geometric figure Cross and its various modifications
BELIEF -- Number

Date learned: 02-18-1971

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RELIGIOUS FESTIVAL

ON SAINT LUCIA'S FEAST DAY (DECEMBER 13) THE PRIEST BLESSES YOUR
EYES USING A CANDLE PLACED OVER YOUR EYES. THIS IS SUPPOSED TO
PROTECT YOUR EYES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; KALAMAZOO

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- F121
BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Prayer
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 02-18-1971

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RELIGIOUS BELIEF

IF YOU SAY A "HAIL MARY" FOR EACH ONE OF YOUR TEETH,
THEN SAINT POLLONIA WILL PROTECT YOUR TEETH FROM HARM.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; KALAMAZOO

Keyword(s): PRAYERS ; SAINTS

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Body part Senses Mouth, teeth, lips, tongue
BELIEF -- Prayer
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 02-18-1971

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RELIGIOUS BELIEF

IF YOU SAY A "HAIL MARY" FOR EACH ONE OF YOUR TEETH, THEN SAINT
POLLONIA WILL PROTECT YOUR TEETH FROM HARM.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; KALAMAZOO

Keyword(s): hail Mary ; Patron ; Pray ; PRAYER ; Saint ; Saint Pollonia ; TEETH

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Religious hero
BELIEF -- Body part Senses
BELIEF -- Prayer

Date learned: 02-18-1971

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ROOSTER BELIEF

EARLY IN THE MORNING, BEFORE DAYLIGHT, YOU MAY SMELL SOMETHING
PECULIAR IN THE AIR. THIS IS THE SMELL OF JUDAS WHEN HE DIED BECAUSE
HE BETRAYED CHRIST WITH THE KISS IN EARLY MORNING.

Data entry tech comment:

Updated by TRD

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; KALAMAZOO

Keyword(s): Daylight ; JUDAS ; MORNING ; RELIGION ; Rooster ; Smell ; SYMBOL

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Religious hero

Date learned: 02-18-1971

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BLACK TABOO

IF YOU EAT BLACK GRAPES OR BLACK FIGS THEN SOME SORT OF BAD LUCK
WILL FOLLOW, SUCH AS BAD NEWS, OR YOU'LL DO SOMETHING
THAT YOU WILL FEEL SORRY ABOUT LATER. HOWEVER RED, WHITE, GREEN, AND
BLUE GRAPES/FIGS ARE OKAY TO EAT.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; KALAMAZOO

Keyword(s): HOMEOPATHIC MAGIC, COLOR

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Plant

Date learned: 02-18-1971

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TECHNIQUE FOR PASSING OUT.

INHALE DEEPLY AND THEN RAPIDLY PUSH THE AIR IN AND OUT
TEN TIMES. ON THE TENTH TIME HOLD THE BREATH AND YOU WILL PASS OUT.

Submitter comment: THIS HAPPENED TO MY BROTHER WHEN WE WERE IN GRADE SCHOOL.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; KALAMAZOO

Keyword(s): CAUSE ; FAINTING ; NUMBERS

Subject headings: 686 First / Once / One / Newness
Favorites
BELIEF -- Means of Causing or Avoiding Illness

Date learned: 11-12-1971

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CHRISTMAS CUSTOM

STARTING ON THE FIRST SUNDAY IN ADVENT MOTHER WOULD PUT OUT THE
MANGER FROM THE STABLE SCENE, ALONG SIDE OF THIS SHE WOULD PUT A
SMALL BOX OF LITTLE STRAWS. FOR EVERY REALLY GOOD DEED THAT WE DID
UNTIL CHRISTMAS EVE WE COULD PUT A STRAW IN TE MANGER. THE OBJECT
WAS THAT WE WOULD BE SO GOOD THAT THE MANGER WOULD BE FULL OF STRAW
TO MAKE A COMFORTABLE BED FOR JESUS.
THIS WAS JUST ONE OF THE MANY THINGS THAT MOTHER DID TO INSTILL THE
REAL MEANING OF CHRISTMAS IN US.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; KALAMAZOO

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Manger scenes
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- December 21 solstice to March 20 Straw

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AT WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY (AND AT ALMOST EVERY COLLEGE IN THE
U.S.) THERE IS A LARGE CYLINDER TOWER WHICH CARRIES A LEGEND. NO
VIRGIN WILL EVER LEAVE THIS SCHOOL AFTER 4 YEARS, HENCE THE TOWER
WILL FALL.

Submitter comment: THIS STORY IS REPEATED AT ALMOST EVERY COLLEGE I GO TO. I WOULD
IMAGINE IT GOES BACK MANY DECADES.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; KALAMAZOO

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

Date learned: 00-00-1976

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TELEPHONE CALL

RANDOMLY CALL A NUMBER, ASK THE PERSON ANSWERING,
"IS YOUR REFRIGERATOR RUNNING?" THE PERSON GENERALLY
ANSWERS, "YES," THEN RESPOND, "THEN YOU'D BETTER GO
CATCH IT." MM
RANDOMLY CALLING ANY NUMBER, ASK THE PERSON ANSWERING:
"IS ONE WALL THERE?" RESPONSE, "NO." "IS TWO WALL
THERE?" RESPONSE, "NO." "IS THREE WALL THERE?"
RESPONSE, "NO." "WELL, IS FOUR WALL THERE?"
RESPONSE, "NO." "WELL, THEN HOW IS YOUR HOUSE
STAYING UP?"

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; KALAMAZOO

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Entertainment Diversion

Date learned: 11-12-1971

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STORY OF ROB BACKUS

I HEARD THIS STORY FROM A GUY NAMED ROB BACKUS IN 1969. HE LIVED
IN A HOUSE WHERE I SPENT A LOT OF TIME. ROB TOLD A STORY ONE TIME
ABOUT HOW HE GOT OUT OF THE U.S. NAVY. ROB WAS A SEAMAN ON A
NAVY SHIP AND HE WAS GROWING MORE DISCONTENTED WITH LIFE IN THE
NAVY. ONE DAY HE WENT TO A MUSIC STORE AND BOUGHT A SAXOPHONE.
THE NEXT DAY IN THE EARLY MORNING BEFORE REVILLE HE CLIMBED TO
THE TOP OF THE MAST OF THE SHIP. WHEN THE SAILORS WERE ASSEMBLED
FOR REVILLE HE STARTED BLOWING ON THE SAXOPHONE. THEY FINALLY
GOT HIM TO COME DOWN, AND SHORTLY AFTERWARDS, HE WAS DISCHARGED
FROM THE NAVY. HE HAD NEVER PLAYED A SAXOPHONE BEFORE THAT DAY.

Submitter comment: THIS STORY HAPPENED DURING THE VITENAM WAR ERA, AND IT WAS
GRATIFYING TO ME TO KNOW THAT ONE PERSON THAT I KNEW HAD BEEN ABLE
TO SAVE HIS LIFE FROM THE PERILS OF VIETNAM.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; KALAMAZOO

James Callow Keyword(s): FEIGNED INSANITY TO GET OUT OF MILITARY SERVICE.

Subject headings: Favorites
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Secular hero
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Physically handicapped Deformed

Date learned: 00-00-1969

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THE M & M'S STORY

WHEN I WAS IN COLLEGE AT WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY I HAD A
ROOMMATE NAMED JANINE FOCKLER. SHE WAS STUDYING BEHAVIORAL
PSYCHOLOGY, AND ONE OF HER ASSIGNMENTS WAS TO GO OUT TO FORT
CUSTER HOME AND TRAINING SCHOOL WEEKLY TO TUTOR THE CHILDREN IN
BASIC READING. THE CHILDREN WERE RETARDED, AS I REMEMBER. I WENT
THERE ONCE WITH JANINE, TO SEE WHAT IT WAS LIKE. JANINE WOULD
TEACH THE CHILD SOMETHING AND IF THE CHILD COULD REPEAT IT
CORRECTLY A FEW MINUTES LATER, SHE WOULD GIVE THE CHILD AN M & M.

Submitter comment: THIS WAS PRIMARY REINFORCEMENT AT ITS MOST PURE FORM. AFTER A
TIME OF LIVING WITH JANINE, HOWEVER, I FELT THAT I WAS ON A
PRIMARY REINFORCEMENT SCHEDULE AND I MOVED. SOMETIMES EVEN NOW
WHEN I EAT M &M'S I THINK OF JANINE AND RAT PSYCHOLOGY AND I
REJOICE IN THE FACT THAT I HAVE HEALTH AND INTELLIGENCE.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; KALAMAZOO ; BATTLE CREEK

Subject headings: --

Date learned: 00-00-1969

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Funeral Superstition

One should never count the number of cars in the line of a
funeral procession. For every car which one counts, he/she will
lose a year of his/her life.

Submitter comment: My grandmother, who is Italian, told me of this superstition
when I was five years old. The reason that she told me of this
particular belief is that I had just learned to count and I began
to count all of the objects that I looked at. For example,
railroad cars were a favorite of mine to count. Therefore, she
believed that if she told me of this belief, I would have a long
and prosperous life.

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; KALAMAZOO

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial
BELIEF -- Measure of time Year
BELIEF -- Number Counting beliefs
BELIEF -- Use of Object

Date learned: 00-00-1975

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There is a very narrow and tall building on Western Michigan
University's campus. It was said that, if a virgin graduated still
a virgin, it would come tumbling down.!

Where learned: MICHIGAN ; KALAMAZOO

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

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