Manuscripts/Mixed Material [The Story of Katy Brumby]
She tells us, when the atmosphere is better, of the superstitions of her people. She says, “Don't= step over working tools (in this case, the vacuum cleaner) bad luck come 'yo' way.” It's bad lack to be swept by a broom. The remedy is, to kiss the broom. Opening an umbrella indoors is bad luck. “Old folks,” Katy says, “believed in all dem things. I don' carry with dem much.” The believers are always the old folks, but Katy obeys the ritual. After stepping over a “working tool,” she will step backward over it; she kisses the broom; she throws salt over her shoulder. The old folks told her, “'de first twelve days of de first month, dey represent de months of de year, and de kind of weather for dem times.’ Of co'se, sometimes dey borrows one for de other,” Katy said. “Now yestiddy, de third, wuz a good April day, and all this wind today, it's a good March day. So dey borrows it.”
Katy is loyal above all persons I know, and absolutely an individual. She is not only a friend, but a member of the family, which, despite the accusation of “paternalism,” is the only way to describe a relationship at once so intricate and so simple.