New Orleans History -- Lake Pontchartrain
Wednesday, September 23, 2020
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Superstitions

Copcop
Superstitions
Sat Dec 14 2002 1:59:18 pm

If anyone is fortunate enough to own a copy of Lyle Saxon's "Old Louisiana", (Robert L. Crager & Company, New Orleans, 1950. Original copyright 1929, same company) Chapter Twenty-Seven is all about old Louisiana superstitions. I'll jot down a few for you:

It is bad luck to fall down on Monday.

If you strike your "crazy bone" you will be disappointed.

It is bad luck to spit in a fire as it "dries up your lungs" and you die of tuberculosis.

Never let a woman into the house first thing on New Year's morning; bad luck.

If you see a cross-eyed person you must cross your fingers to ward off the evil eye (I gotta tell Dawleen's Mama about that one for the next time she goes out to Da' Track! Haha....not bloody likely!).

And, for Citison, a black cat is a witch and must be treated with proper respect or it will bring bad luck upon you. To have a sleek black cat signifies that you have warded off bad luck. So, my friend Ben, your Tee N'onc could have avoided all that pussyfooting (guffaw, snort, chortle, sorry....couldn't resist) by displaying the proper amount of respect to that beautiful black minou that was dogging (oh lawd! I done it agin....I am hot today!) his path!

Cathy
Pores:
You could not go outside on a cool day or night if your hair was wet. The rationale was that "Ya Pooahs (pores) awh open an'you'll ketch noomoanya!"

AlertReader
Sunday Paper:
In my neighborhood, the Sunday paper is delivered in 2 parts. On Saturday afternoon/evening, the nonessential parts are thrown(comics, living, real estate, advertisements, etc). On Sunday morning, the front page, sports, obits,& other real news sections are thrown. It is considered bad luck to read any part of the Sunday paper on Saturday. Don't even bring the Saturday toss into the house until Sunday morning. Hey, I don't make these things up.

Copcop
Re: Sunday Paper:
I do that myself without realizing it! Now that you mention it, maybe it IS a superstition! ....and it's nothing short of a miracle that Dawleen doesn't tear the paper apart looking for sales and "coopawns"!

I wonder if I look in the part we get on Saturday evening if I could find the Powerball results? LOL.....wouldn't that be nice?

OkieYat
Whistling:
I was always told when I whistled that "Ya makin da voigin Mary cry." This, however, only applied to LADIES whistling. Men whistling had no affect the Virgin's emotions.

Towanda!:
"Don't sing at da dinner table. Ya gonna get a drunken husband." Must be true. I didn't, and I didn't.

Towanda!
Shoes:
My mother's family used to have a conniption if we put a box of new shoes down on the table--any table. "Somebody gonna lose they job, ya do dat!" Of course, once they were worn, the question of employment became moot.

Cathy
Shoes on the bed:
I remember an old relative getting upset about putting shoes on a bed. Superstition or not wanting to get the bedspread dirty? I don't know. But her reaction scared the hell out of me when I was a kid.

Dawleen
Shoe Box & Songs.....?
Those are priceless, Towanda! Where in the world did our Families get that stuff from?

I was talking to Mama tonight (she's 88) and she told me if you see a cross-eyed man at the race track you might as well leave because you will have bad luck!

LakeviewGal
Your mama and my dad...
are both 88, and I have to pass along the "cross-eyed man at the race track" superstition to my dad because he was an avid horse racing enthusiast in his younger years and spent a lot of time at the Fair Grounds. I remember a couple of times when I was a child he brought me with him to the stable areas, and we stood against the rail during one race - to this day I can remember the sound and feel of those beautiful animals thundering past, so near. Wow - a nice little memory. Funny how every recollection on this forum leads to another.

Dawleen
Fairgrounds:
You should go back to the Fairgrounds, Lakeview Gal. We go for the first few races on Sunday occasionally. They have some very good food there or we save up our appetites and go to Mandina's afterward. Those thundering hooves still give me goose bumps, girl!

LakeviewGal
I'd love to go back...
if I didn't live about 1,200 miles away! :-)

OkieYat
Fairgrounds:
My uncle lived on Belfort Street behind the track. As kids, we would go there and watch the races from his backyard.

LakeviewGal
My grandparents lived...
on Fortin St. - also very close to the track. Many years ago, when my grandfather was buried in the family tomb in St. Louis Cemetery No. 3 (God rest his soul), it was said in the family that he'd be happy there because it was close enough to the track to hear the bugle call!

CittiSon
Where...
Indeedy, Ms. Dawleen?...I remember once when an uncle was tawkin' 'bout the "Don't-let-a-black-cat-cross-your-path-or you'll-have-bad-luck-all-day" taboo...He said he was on his way, walking, to visit a sick neighbor friend and came across this black cat, which was walking right in front of him. He turned to avoid letting the cat cross his path; the cat turned, too. Then unc turned another way, and so did the cat...He stopped, then stomped at the cat expecting it to scamper away: Nope! The "puss" didn't give a rat's a$$ about unc's "boot." (Do they still make 'Puss-n-boot" cat food anymore? LOLOLOL)...Reader's Digest version: Turns out the cat apparently wanted to play, but unc persevered, intent on keeping the cat from crossing his path. He eventually got away from the cat, but sez he prolly walked a total of six Country blocks trying to avoid the path-crossing, when his friend lived only one Country block away!...Where indeed, Ms. Dawleen, did it all come from?

Copcop
Salt...
I still take a pinch of any salt that I spill and toss it over my shoulder.....more so because everybody expects me to do it! LOL!

Teresa
Salt...
I toss that salt over my shoulder too because I have this little thought in the back of my mind "What if I didn't and something bad happens"...........My mother did it and I guess I always will too. When you get as old as me you don't stop those habits......

CittiSon
Big Momma'nem...
Useta toss a pinch of salt over the left shoulder whenever they dropped a dish towel- oops, dish rag.

Copcop
Dropping stuff, etc....
I can remember Grammaw exclaiming "Company's comin'" if anybody dropped a spoon on the flo'!

Grammaw also used to claim that if your nose itched you were going to kiss a fool!

Towanda!
Itchy...
And if your palm itched, it meant you were going to get money.

OkieYat
Ya Han Itchin...
If your left hand itched, it meant you were going to get money. If your right hand itched, it meant someone wanted to shake your hand.

Cathy
Itchy Nose...
In my family, if your nose itched it meant someone wanted to kiss you.

CittiSon
Ain't Got Me No...
Sooperstishuns pertikularly, but ah pulled in faw gas dis moaning and da only open pump wuz numbah t'irteen...So, um goan play me az minny one's and t'rees az ah kin on dis Saddidy's lottery!