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Date: January 19, 2003 at 13:55:23
From: Ted Guillaum, [dialup-67.30.224.230.dial1.atlanta1.level3.net]
Subject: Re: Calliope Superstitions


Many of you are probably familiar with the book “A Treasury of Mississippi River Folklore” edited by B. A. Botkin from Bonanza press. I think it is out of print but lots of fun if you can find one. I quickly found a showboat superstition according to Capt. Bill Menke of Goldenrod fame. TRAVIS PAY ATTENTION! He says playing “Home Sweet Home” and “The Prisoner’s Song” are considered bad luck on a showboat. If I may quote Capt. Menke from page 372:
“I’ll tell you something that happened in Covington. We were playing down at the foot of Russell Street there, doing wonderful business, when a new calliope player came on the boat from a circus, didn’t know about showboats, and before I could stop him he played “Home Sweet Home” all the way through. Half an hour later something went wrong with the government dam at Fernbank and all the water rushed out. We came down like an elevator, right on a snag that ripped a big hole in her bottom. It took all summer before we got raised.”


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