Not only was Zora signing on, but she would soon be paying a state visit to the state office. Unaccustomed as we were to receiving blacks of any description, Corse cautioned us that Zora had been lionized by New York literary circles and was consequently given to "putting on airs," including the smoking of cigarettes in the presence of white folks, and we would therefore have to make allowances. And so Zora came, and Zora smoked, and we made allowances...
Hurston’s production was sporadic, as was many writers’ who were on their own in the field, again myself included. There were times when those in the office did not hear from Zora for several weeks. Periodically, Dr. Corse would pop out of her office (she never merely emerged), look around the editorial room, and ask, "Anybody heard from Zora?" When we all looked blank, Corse would look at me and say, "Better write her a letter and jog her up!"
In response to my letters, we would receive a thick packet of fabulous folksongs, tales, and legends, possibly representing gleanings from days long gone by. We did not care how, where, or when Zora had come by them--each and every one was priceless, and we hastened to sprinkle them through the Florida Guide manuscript for flavoring. She also wrote a compendium of black folklore titled "Go Gator, and Muddy the Water," which began with the memorable definition, "Folklore is the boiled-down juice, or pot-likker, of human living."
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