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apples, astrological signs, Gibraltar Township, plant lore, folk sayings, superstitions


A handwritten letter from Violet and Harvey Rothenberger addressed to Alfred L. Shoemaker, dated May 18, 1948. Within, Rothenberger expresses her enjoyment of Shoemaker's radio program and newspaper column and provides folklore about planting crops and other folk sayings.


Violet and Harvey Rothenberger


Alfred L. Shoemaker

Corresponds to:

Packet 19-20 to 19-22


Gibraltar, Pennsylvania


Gibraltar, Pa.

May 18-48

Dr. Shoemaker,

Dear Sir,

We have read your article on corn planting and were amused. Hubby said, it was an old story he had heard yrs. ago. Here are a few planting signs which have been amusing and some old, some just sayings.

1. Always plant pickles on the longest day to acquire large, long ones.

2. Watermelons should be planted in the Spring. That’s why they are 98% water.

3. Plant potatoes in the “down”, sign to be sure of a good root crop.

4. Plant lima beans in the “up”, sign so they will go up the poles.

Your whistling girl story reminded me of these old sayings.

1. Don’t sing before seven or you will cry before eleven.

2. Don’t be too merry on Friday or you will have a bad wk. end.

3. When a rooster crows directly toward the house, it is supposed to mean company.

4. Also when a house cat is continually washing, visitors.

5. When spilling salt, always throw some over the left shoulder to avoid a fight.

6. What is a one letter word, that Berks farmers have for breakfast? X (or eggs)

7. Give a beggar a horse and he will ride to the devil.

8. When matrimonially inclined, don’t pick the first apple that falls, nor the second and be careful of the 3rd.

9. Three times a bridesmaid, never a bride thyself.

Have you found any further information concerning Blue Rocks, for which I have asked?

Enjoyed radio programs very much and lots of us are going to miss them also the column. Do hope you have a lovely and interesting trip and we all will be looking forward to your column again.

Yours truly,

Violet and Harvey Rothenberger

Gibraltar, Pa.



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Letter From Violet Rothenberger to Alfred L. Shoemaker, May 18, 1948



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