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NYFS Newsletter 1998-vol19-no1-2-1
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Winter/Spring 1998
Christmas visit, St. John's Cemetery, Queens

Christmas visit. St. John’s Cemetery, Queens. Photograph by Ilana Harlow, the Queens folklorist. Read her story in the New York Folklore Society Newsletter.

Meet the NYFS BOARD: David Quinn

I’m not a folklorist. I’m a lawyer. There just weren’t enough jokes about folklorists to keep me satisfied . . .

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The Queens Folklorist: Reflections on a Folk Arts Program
Ilana Harlow
As a child I was attracted to traditional music, stories, and cultural events. As an undergraduate at the University of Pennsylvania I discovered that folklore was an academic discipline and took a couple of courses in it. Although the subject matter appealed to me, I decided against getting a degree in folklore since I wondered, "What will I ever do with it?" . . .

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A Mile in Claire’s Shoes
Steve Zeitlin
Born in 1926, Claire Tankel is a radiant old firebrand, and her passion flies in the face of her delicate features and slight build. . . .

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Voices Winter/Spring 1998

Rolling Syrian Grape Leaves
Mary Jweid Bates and Sharon Bates
Home for the Christmas holiday last December, Sharon Bates made a tape-recorded interview with her mother Mary Jweid Bates while helping her roll grape leaves...

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Solomon and the Djinn
Interview with Mohammed Ishmael by Ilana Harlow
Corona, Queens, is home to Italian, Dominican, and Mexican communities as well as to a mosque which serves a diverse Muslim population including Pakistanis, Indians, Saudi Arabians, Egyptians, and African-Americans. Clustered around the Masjid Alfalah House of Worship are several halal stores providing ritually slaughtered meat, as well as groceries, clothing and books. . . .

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Safeguarding Tradition: Reggie Jones, Jones Beach Lifeguard
Interview with Reggie Jones by Nancy Solomon
I started in 1944 when the war was on. I got 44 cents an hour. What inspired me was my dad had a gas station in Baldwin, and some of the young lifeguards would come by, and I looked at them. Sometimes the guards would take me to the beach. They looked like gods to me! . . .

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Remembering Anna McKee
Peter Voorheis
In the early days of World War I, Tartar cavalrymen forced their way into the home of Mrs. Wasiowicz, who lived in a small village in the Carpathian mountain section of Austria-Hungary, not far from the border of the Russian Empire. . . .

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Lindy Hopping at the Savoy: The Man Who Invented the Aerial
Two important things happened in 1927—Charles Lindbergh flew across the Atlantic and a man named Shorty Snowdon invented a dance called the Lindy Hop. Folks still do the Lindy, even today. But nobody—nobody—did it and does it like Frankie Manning. Manning invented one of the Lindy Hop’s signature moves. It happened in 1935, at the Savoy Ballroom in Harlem. Manning grabbed his partner, flipped her over his back, and in the process created a step called the Aerial. Here’s how Frankie Manning recalls the moment.

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NYFS and the Institute for Studies in American Music at Brooklyn College announce the publication of Island Sounds in the Global City: Carribean Popular Music and Identity in New York, a collection of case studies by top scholars that chronicle the richness of musical activity within the Puerto Rican, Dominican, Trinidadian, and Haitian communities of New York City. Presented at the Institute’s April 1995 symposium, the essays focus on a subject that remains surprisingly unexplored in scholarship—the process of exchange between traditional Caribbean styles and influential American forms such as jazz and popular music and the relationship between Caribbean popular music and cultural identity.Island Sounds in the Global City

From our Readers’ Survey:
"I feel it is very important for distant areas of the state to know what is going on in the Folk Arts scene and to stay in touch. I often use the newsletter as information referrals. Thanks for a great job."

From our Readers:
Yesterday your issue of the Folklore Newsletter arrived with an article about Finnish traditions and the recipe for pulla. It was like an answer to a prayer! I'd decided to make breads for Christmas presents for our relatives this year and wanted to make pulla. I’m not Finnish, but 30 years ago I was given The Finnish Cookbook and tried the pulla. recipe and loved it. Then we moved, I mislaid the recipe and the book, and I sort of forgot about it.

When I decided to make pulla again, I looked in our local library—but no Finnish Cookbook. Then your newsletter came! I also liked the comments about cardamom and how they prepare it, because I had the chance to buy powdered cardamom or the whole pods and got the pods. I was glad to see other people preferred to use them too. (And I’ve also had the reaction that inedequately pounded cardamom seeds look just like mouse droppings.)

My daughter is helping me with the breads today—if they come out well I’ll include a Polaroid..
Sue Grant

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