The informant was given a two dollar bill by a grandparent of a close friend from college. It acts as a good luck charm, and the informant carries it with them wherever they go in their wallet.
This particular grandparent had a unique tradition of handing out two dollar bills to those they deemed important in their life or in the life of their loved ones. The grandparent took a moment with each of the friends of his granddaughter, and gave each of them two-dollar bills. This moment created a sense of connection and solidarity among the recipients, fostering a shared bond through the common experience of receiving the two dollar bill. The intimate moment shared between the informant and the grandparent further highlights the significance of this gesture, as the grandparent acknowledged the informant’s importance to their grandchild.
The two dollar bill, often associated with luck due to its rarity in circulation, serves as a symbol of protection, good fortune, and well wishes from the grandparent. Additionally, the bill acts as a reminder of the informant’s college friends and their shared experiences, emphasizing the importance of maintaining connections with those who positively impacted their life. This moment acts as both a ritual and a superstition. The grandparent took the time with each individual, ensuring that the performance of handing over the bill was both sincere and impactful. Because the grandparent performed this ritual effectively, the informant continues to believe in the bill they carry around with them daily.
In this tradition, the informant is a mother who gave her sons with St. Christopher necklaces as a symbol of luck and protection. St. Christopher, known as the patron saint of travelers, is believed to guard the wearer from harm and guide them through life’s journey. The necklaces are typically made of metal and feature a medallion with an image of St. Christopher carrying the Christ child.
The informant first learned of this tradition in Arkansas, particularly in Christian communities where religious symbols and beliefs are deeply rooted. The informant recalls seeing boys in her hometown wearing St. Christopher necklace when she was young. She always hoped to continue this tradition with her own children. The practice also happens to be popular in Southern California, where she lives now. St. Christopher necklaces can be found in many surf shops. In both regions, the necklace serves the same role as a symbol of protection and a reminder of the importance of faith.
The act of giving St. Christopher necklaces to sons serves multiple purposes. For the mother, it is a way to leave a lasting mark on her children, connecting them to their heritage and instilling the values she holds dear. A way to maintain a connection to her upbringing and the values that were instilled in her during her childhood in Arkansas. It is a tangible reminder of her love, care, and the protective role she plays in their lives. For the sons, wearing the necklace is a symbol of their connection to their mother and their family’s traditions.
Beyond the personal connection, this tradition also reflects broader communal beliefs. For example, highlights the interplay between religious beliefs and a token of luck.The necklace becomes a symbol of not just faith, but also a shared identity and sense of belonging whether it is worn in the surf or in small-town Arkansas.
The tradition of giving St. Christopher necklaces carry both personal and communal significance. It reinforces the bond between family members and connects them to a larger community of shared beliefs and values. A simple piece of jewelry becomes a meaningful expression of love, protection, and luck.
Growing up in Los Angeles during the 60s. I would run and play around the city when I was living with my dad. One night, I was out with some friends, and we were up to no good playing inside a small canyon that split up a local neighborhood. We then heard a toe-curling scream from somewhere off in the distance. The type of scream where you know something really bad just happened. We totally freaked out, we quickly fled the area.
This was something I was too scared to reveal to my dad. I honestly had many questions in regards to what I heard. I had trouble coming to terms with the fact that I heard something terrible that night. My friends and I were too scared to go into that part of the city again.
This sat with me and my friends for months after the incident until Charles Manson’s name was published across every news outlet in the area. We were right next to the murders the night they took place. I remember the day I found this out better than the night I heard the screams. I’m guessing because I was so scared. I remember my friend coming to my house, sweating. I couldn’t tell if he was excited, nervous, or relieved. Definitely some combination of every emotion possible. For us to be so close to such a notorious murder, it really makes you question your own safety. Especially at such a young age.
The informant grew up in LA and has lived there their entire life. The informant originally couldn’t remember his age at the time of the memorate, but after some research, he can now confirm that he was six years old at the time. The young age does leave some room for the possibility that his account is some type of misconception, but they stand by what happened. At the time, he was the youngest of the group of kids who heard the scream, so the older kids have kind of acted as a piece of evidence for the informant as they have gotten older and their memory of the situation has become blurry.
I have heard this memorate countless times as I have grown up. I have always believed the informant when I have heard this story, but it is something that shocks me to this day. I can imagine the lasting impact that this can have on somebody. The informant definitely uses this story as a cautionary tale. Something that I have heard when I am being warned about the unknown harms this world can bring forward. Memorants are special because they are often unexplainable incidents that are later explained with legendary means. There is no proof that the informant heard the murders that night, but associating the scream with the Manson murders has allowed this story to live on for so long.
The island of Manhattan was purchased from the Native Americans who inhabited the land for twenty-four dollars worth of goods. When the Dutch came across the Atlantic and into the Americas, land was so cheap they were able to purchase the land in exchange for some goods.
The informant grew up in the city of Manhattan and remembers talking about this myth inside of their elementary school classroom. They talk of how everyone who tells this story chopped the low price to inflation. The informant believed that twenty-four dollars was a lot back then. He believed that the craziest part of the story is how crazy inflation is rather than the abuse of power that took place. I then pulled out an inflation calculator, and $24 dollars when the Dutch first landed in New York is worth about $2,000 now. Pennies in comparison to the vast amounts of wealth the Dutch had at the time. The informant now views this myth in a different light. Before, they saw the story had a connotation of “wow, the dollar used to go so far”. Now they see the story as exposing how “Native Americans were totally robbed”.
This myth is really interesting given how time can really affect the impact it will have on people who hear it. Because the informant heard this story as a child, it carried with it a sense of innocence. As he has gotten older and Americans have begun to recognize the brutality of colonization, the story very quickly changes tone. What was once a fun little tidbit about the city is now a scar that has been passed down generations. This is a story that could be about the abuse of power on the colonizers part, native Americans being gullible and stupid, or that both parties had the best intentions in mind and everyone was happy after the exchange. The implications of this founding myth can vary widely from person to person. This is also a wonderful example of how the lines between myth and legend are often blurred. Although this is a founding story for the island of Manhattan, it is likely untrue.