Tag Archives: california


The Elmer Call

Background: Every summer during my informant’s childhood she went camping in Yosemite. Among the many other camping traditions that people may hold, it always seemed to her that everyone who regularly attended Yosemite was in on this piece of lore. While she didn’t understand why people did it at first, she eventually learned the story… Continue Reading »

Dutch/Tulip Festivals Supporting Schools in Redlands, California (and Related Rhyme/Song)

Informant Context: Meryl is a descendent of Dutch immigrants who immigrated to America around the 1850s. After living in Michigan, she relocated to Redlands, California, where she attended and later taught at a school supported by the Christian Reformed Churches in the area. The school held annual Dutch/Tulip Festivals as fundraisers. Meryl participated in these… Continue Reading »

“Cali”

Context: Isabella Estrada is studying history at the University of Southern California. She is graduating this year and is in the process of applying to/hearing back from law schools. This was clearly on her mind as the first piece of folklore she gave me dealt with law school applications. She was born and raised in… Continue Reading »

California breaking off

My mom, who grew up in Los Angeles, recalls a folk belief from her childhood that California would break off from the US and float away: “So when I was growing up there would be these periodic panics or rumors that on a certain day, California was gonna break off and float out into the… Continue Reading »

Choctaw Freedman Anti-California Song

Informant: When my grandma moved from the reservation in Oklahoma—the one where, like, you know, they were forced to go after the Trail of Tears and stuff—to California, people were mean to her and her family. And the other Choctaw Freeman. So they’d sing this little song, like: “One, two, three, four, five, six, seven,… Continue Reading »