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Palmyra, Hanoverdale Township, Christmas Eve, rhyme, alliteration, masks, masquerade, loom
A handwritten letter from George L. Moore addressed to Alfred L. Shoemaker, dated November 15, 1957. Within, Moore details lore related to Christmas Eve when young men wear masks and scare children, provides details on an old loom that will be going up for sale, and presents a Pennsylvania Dutch rhyme.
George L. Moore
Alfred L. Shoemaker
Packet 566-53 to 566-54
Palmyra, Pa. R. D. #1
Nov. 15, 1957
Dr. Alfred Shoemaker
About [masquerading] in the Dutch country I can give you this information concerning the Hanoverdale locality or southern Dauphin County. The only time that there was any [masquerading] in this locality was a few days before or even on Christmas Eve the young men of this locality would dress up in odd costumes wearing weird masks that were always on sale at that time at the Hanoverdale country store. They usually went in groups to houses in the neighborhood acting up for a spell scaring the daylights out of the kids then went on to another house. When they could find no more homes where people were up they went home and to bed calling it an evening of fun.
I do not know if this letter will get there by Sunday, for I was rather busy this week getting things ready for the sale of Daddies things and other business of an exe. But you can still use it for your files if you think it worthwhile.
We now have that old weavers loom ready for the sale and I would not advise you to even think of buying it for lots of the parts are missing others so badly damaged by rats and rot that only to use parts of it for replacement would I advise anyone to buy it. However the flying shuttle loom is in good shape and would be a good enough buy but it is over 60 years old already. I am sending you a clipping of this sale bill so you can see the date.
As to diddies of the Pa Dutch here is the only name diddie I ever heard in our Hanoverdale locality perhaps you can use or file it with your collection.
Dar Jeck Shupp
Dar Arm Drupp
An longar Hals
Un en rodar Kupp
Staid dad hinna im Eck
By di orra Ditcha Dickseck
George L. Moore
English and Pennsylvania German
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Moore, George L., "Letter From George L. Moore to Alfred L. Shoemaker, November 15, 1957" (1957). Alfred L. Shoemaker Folk Cultural Documents. 29.
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