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James Callow Folklore Archive

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The James T. Callow Folklore Archive

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MY NEIGHBOR WAS WALKING DOWN THE STREET
AND PASSED BY A YOUNG MAN WALKING THE
OPPOSITE WAY, WHEN MY NEIGHBOR LOOKED
AROUND TO SAY GOODBYE TO THE GENTLEMAN
THE MAN HAD VANISHED.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Ghost Spirit Phantom Specter

Date learned: 00001980S

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MOTHERS USED TO GIVE THEIR CHILDREN BIG SPOONS OF CASTOR
OIL JUST BEFORE SPRING TO RID THEM OF WINTER GERMS AND
DISEASES.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; DETROIT

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Remedy

Date learned: 00001970S

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Truckpatch

Most Afro-Americans in the south during the 1930's had great
self pride. However, they had to eat. For this particular
family there were 16 people under one two-room roof shack. Okra
was always left in the ice box; it was a substitute for meat.
Neighbors would come by to bring different items grown from their
truckpatch, but would always say that they had too much and
didn't want it to go to waste. Foods such as sweet potatoes,
pinto beans and rice were brought. Everything was usually cooked
together in one pot and would last for up to three weeks. The
pinto beans were saved mostly because they were good for at least
three more swellings.

Where learned: HOME ; DETROIT

Keyword(s): Truckpatch = Small garden

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Food
Food Drink -- Manner of preparation
Food Drink -- Plant food Cereal
Food Drink -- Plant food Vegetable

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Entertainment

In Silver City (Mississippi) near Highway 49W some boys would
stand near the side of the road and call off the make of cars
before the car passed.

Where learned: HOME ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Favorites
Ballad Song Dance Game Music Verse -- Knowledge
CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank

Date learned: 02-13-1992

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Festive Fruit Salad

4 cups halved seeded red grapes
4 delicious apples, washed, peeled, and sliced
4 bananas sliced
2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts
1 pint heavy cream, whipped
Stir together fruit and nuts; fold gently into whipped cream.
Chill at least one hour. Makes 10 to 12 servings.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; SOUTHFIELD

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Food
Food Drink -- Plant food Fruit

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Seven Layered Salad

Break lettuce into bit size. Layer bottom of large bowl
Layer green onions - shredded slightly
Layer drained green beans (fresh -- cooked, frozen or canned)
Layer diced green peppers
Layer drained green peas (fresh --cooked, frozen or canned)
Layer boiled eggs - diced
Shred sharp cheese - layer on top
Cover with Miracle Whip "globbed" over top to seal salad
Mix Miracle Whip as needed. Do not mix completely or vegetables
will become soggy. Will last for 7 days. Add layered diced
tomatoes if desired.

Where learned: HOME ; DETROIT

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Plant food Vegetable
Food Drink -- Animal product Egg
Food Drink -- Animal product Cheese

Date learned: 00-00-1991

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Medicine

This homemade medicine was used for external use only. When
people had a fever someone would boil vinegar and add corn-shucks
and brown paper bags. Then wrap the bags and corn-shucks around
the person's entire body.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; SOUTHFIELD

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- Method of Curing

Date learned: 02-07-1992

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Medicine

This homemade medicine was given to the informant when she
was a little girl and she gave it to her seven children and they
are giving it to their children. Her mother would combine
garlic, lemon, rum, honey and boiling water. She said, it always
works for the worst of colds.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; SOUTHFIELD

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Animal
BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- Mineral

Date learned: 02-07-1992

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Never open an umbrella in a building.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; SOUTHFIELD

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

Date learned: 02-07-1992

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If you have asthma, measure your height to a tree and mark
it. As the tree grows you will grow out of the asthma.

James Callow comment: Puckett, Ohio, no. 2325: "If a child has asthma, take him
into the woods and find a young tree. Measure the child up to
the tree and mark his height by putting a nail into the tree. As
the tree grows the child will outgrow his asthma."

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; SOUTHFIELD

James Callow Keyword(s): MEASURING

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Plant
BELIEF -- Measure of space: distance, height, depth
BELIEF -- Plant

Date learned: 02-07-1992

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If you break a mirror you will have seven years of bad luck.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; SOUTHFIELD

Subject headings: 686 Seven / Sevenths / Several
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Measure of time Year
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 02-07-1992

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When walking down a street with someone, don't split a tree
or a pole because it is bad luck.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; SOUTHFIELD

Subject headings: BELIEF -- Street Trip Relations between relatives, friends, host and guest Social class Rank
BELIEF -- Bad luck

Date learned: 02-07-1992

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Don't walk under a ladder, especially with someone on it.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; SOUTHFIELD

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

Date learned: 02-07-1992

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If you paint the bedroom walls blue, you will sleep your
best.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; SOUTHFIELD

Subject headings: Favorites
BELIEF -- Measure of time Sleeping
BELIEF -- Color

Date learned: 02-07-1992

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If a picture falls off the wall by itself, someone you know
will die.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; SOUTHFIELD

Subject headings: Observation
BELIEF -- Product or activity of man or animal
BELIEF -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 02-07-1992

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This was a story told to the informant by his father when he
was a young child. This boy prayed to the Lord for three
dollars. He told the Lord that it was for three reasons. The
first was for himself, the second dollar was for the poor and the
third dollar was for the church. So he got the three dollars. He
went to the Lord in prayer again and told the Lord he was
grateful for the money and told the Lord what he did with the
money. He put one of the dollars in his left pants pocket for
himself, the second one for the church was put in his right pants
pocket and he told the Lord that he had to know how poor he was,
so he put the third dollar in his back pocket. He later went to
the store for some liquor and when he went to pay all three
dollars were gone, but he did find three holes in his pockets.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; SOUTHFIELD

Subject headings: PROSE NARRATIVE -- Jest Anecdote

Date learned: 02-07-1992

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There were three men on a boat, two white and one black.
While fishing in the ocean a storm came up and almost tipped the
boat over. One of the white men spoke to the other, "We need to
pray." The other white man said, "I don't know how to pray, but
we can get John, the black man, to pray for us." John began to
pray to the Lord, "Oh Lord, you know when I was in Mississippi
waiting for my sister to come in on the bus I wanted some water
and the sign said, Only whites. I went to the train station and
wanted some water and the sign said, Only whites. So if this boat
tips over and someone has to die, let it be Only whites."

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; SOUTHFIELD

James Callow Keyword(s): Racial segregation

Subject headings: Favorites
PROSE NARRATIVE -- Jest Anecdote

Date learned: 02-07-1992

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Pot Luck Soup

1 large pot half full of water
1 medium-large onion
1 stick of butter
Any and every leftover that can be found in the freezer and
refrigerator.
Add onions to water and let it boil. Add butter and let it melt.
When butter melts add all items found and reduce heat. You may
add chicken or turkey bullion cubes.

Where learned: HOME ; MICHIGAN ; SOUTHFIELD

Subject headings: Food Drink -- Mixed preparation in liquid

Date learned: 02-13-1992

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ITALIAN CUSTOM

IN THE INSTANCE OF A DEATH OF SOMEONE IN THE FAMILY,
THE REST OF THE MEMBERS OF THE FAMILY WILL BE IN
MOURNING FOR A PERIOD OF ONE YEAR. THEY RESTRICT
THEMSELVES FROM PUBLIC ENTERTAINMENT OR OTHER
UNNECESSARY SOCIAL EVENTS.

Submitter comment: THIS IS USUALLY PRACTICED WITHIN THE STRICT ITALIAN
FAMILIES.

Where learned: HIS HOME

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 02-08-1968

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IT WAS CUSTOMARY TO PHOTOGRAPH THE BODY OF THE DECEASED
WHILE HE WAS LYING IN STATE IN ORDER TO REMEMBER HIM
AS HE WAS BEFORE HE DIED.

Where learned: HOME

Subject headings: CUSTOM FESTIVAL -- Death Funeral Burial

Date learned: 00-00-1968

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