Date: Tue, 26 Sep 1995 19:39:24 -0500


Subject: Re: "Whimmy Diddle" (fwd)

---------- Forwarded message ----------

Date: Tue, 26 Sep 1995 10:15:43 -0500 (CDT)

From: Daphne Drewello drewello[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]

To: Reference Staff ref[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]

Cc: Stumpers stumpers-list[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]CRF.CUIS.EDU

Subject: RE: "Whimmy Diddle"


According to the _Encyclopedia of Southern Culture_ (The University

of North Carolina Press, 1989) p. 524 (under the heading "Toys"):

"Children spent hours rubbing their notched, propeller-ended

whimmy-diddle sticks---also called whammydiddle sticks, hooey

sticks, or gee-haw whimmydiddles."

Volume 20 of _The Family Creative Workshop_ (Plenary Publications

International, 1976) pp 2550-2551, gives instructions for a gee-

haw whimmy-diddle, which consists of a notched wooden stick with

a propeller in the shape of an x on one end. (Traditional ones

were made of branches, but dowels can also be used.) There is a

skill to rubbing the whimmy-diddle in such a way that the propeller

will either spin to the right when you command it to 'gee' and to

the left when you command it to 'haw.' Geeing and hawing techniques

are also given in the article.

I can fax/mail the appropriate pages which will be probably make

things clearer than my explanation. In these parts we mostly toss

buffalo chips around for fun. These not only are simpler in design,

but have the added advantage of coming ready-made, no assembly required.


Daphne Drewello

Alfred Dickey Library

Jamestown, ND