Wonderful Watsonians: Michele Lopez

Name (or alias): Michele Lopez

Bullpup moniker (Contact us if you don’t know):Reggie

Who is your favorite Watson and why? I have a soft spot for the good Watsons in bad adaptations, like the excellent Donald Pickering in the so-so Anglo/Polish series of the late 70s. He was a great actor who definitely deserved better. I especially like when Watson is quick and smart, as he should be, so I add David Burke from the Granada series, Vitaly Solomin from the 80s Russian series and Gianni Bonagura from the 1968 Italian adaptations.

If Watson was writing a story about you, what would it be titled? The Curious Case of the Lazy Italian Gentleman

Give us an improbable fact about yourself! I ran my first marathon at the young age of 49.

Why did you join the JHWS? When I found out in 2013, through Internet browsing and word of mouth, that a John Watson society had been founded I immediately thought it was a great idea. Our Good Doctor sometimes does not receive all the attention he deserves. Furthermore, I saw the names of many friends among those who had already subscribed, so joining on the spot was a no-brainer.  

Thank you, Michele! We want to feature all of our Wonderful Watsonians! Just answer the questions above and send your reply to buttons@johnhwatsonsociety.com!

Wonderful Watsonians: Gretchen Altabef

Name: Gretchen Altabef

Bullpup moniker: Hamish

Who is your favorite Watson and why?

The gentleman who wonderfully crafted the Sherlock Holmes canon.

As far as those who have portrayed Dr. Watson on stage and screen, Edward Hardwicke. When my son saw him for the first time (knowing of Jude Law), he said, “He is exactly how I see Watson.” Mr. Hardwicke shares the day I celebrate as Dr. Watson’s birthday, August 7. Not only did he play Watson superbly for the Granada Sherlock Holmes series, and in The Secret of Sherlock Holmes, but his friendship with Mr. Brett on and off screen to me says quite a bit about the Watson-like gentleman he was. The fixed point in a changing age. Watson would most definitely collect Holmes from the Asylum. (Although if I were writing this story, I would have Watson spring Holmes much earlier.) Edward Hardwicke’s audiobook readings of some of the canon stories are wonderful and enlightening as to his range as an actor. I can go on…

As an author of Sherlock Holmes novels, I see both Holmes and Watson as ever-present and extremely helpful muses. And though Mr. Hardwicke is usually in my head when writing Dr. Watson’s character, others show up to lend aspects of the gentleman. David Burke, Andre Panin, Vitally Solomon, Jude Law. Even Nigel Bruce, occasionally, mostly to help me laugh at myself. Extremely necessary when writing a novel. I am incredibly grateful for John H. Watson in my life and his ability to present and explain the genius of Sherlock Holmes. It is not easy to express the inexpressible.

If Watson was writing a story about you, what would it be titled?

“If Watson Was a Woman.”

Give us an improbable fact about yourself!

Here’s two:

Of an adventurous bent, I became one of the first women in local TV news to race through perilous New York City streets to get to the scene of the crime. For the best shots, preferably before the police and fire companies arrived. I write my novels from a visceral understanding of the dangerous underbelly of crime in the city.

Why is my hair blue? I figure when one’s hair goes white; one gets to pick. I am also an artist: photographer and sculptor. Colouring one’s hair for gallery or museum openings is de rigueur. My favourite reason is it’s a great conversation opener. As an elder, I was invisible to younger folk, now with Teal-coloured hair we talk all the time.

Why did you join the JHWS?

I met fellow JHWS members at the 2018 BSI Sherlock Holmes Birthday weekend, and it was love at first sight, we are such fun together! There are no local Scions around me, so I consider JHWS and SHSL as my Scions. As I share Holmes’ abhorrence for classism of any kind, I cherish the openness of our society. My first Sherlockian article was published in the Watsonian, also my most recent. Photo below.–
Gretchen AltabefMX Publishing Author: Sherlock Holmes: These Scattered Houses Remarkable Power of Stimulus

Editor and Contributor of the history of Arthur Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes: Jeremy BrettPlaying A Part & Jeremy Brett IS Sherlock Holmes by Maureen Whittaker.  

“Gretchen Altabef is a remarkably talented author. She eschews the formulas that so often appear in Holmes pastiches and sets about creating a new format.”  Harry DeMaio, author of the Casebooks of Octavius Bear

“Of the hundreds of Sherlock Holmes, pastiche mysteries available to the Sherlockian, very few can match this book for a depth of historical research and a heart-stopping thrill of a story. A great read.” Craig Stephen Copland, author of New Sherlock Holmes Mysteries.

“A previously untold adventure of the ‘Great Hiatus.’ A gripping and colourful adventure.” Sherlock Holmes Society of London.MX Author’s Page: https://bit.ly/gretchenaltabef
Author’s Blog: https://featuresofinterest.com/

Wonderful Watsonians, please write at once!

We love all of our wonderful Watsonians and we want to feature each and every one of you! If convenient, please respond to this short interview.

Doctor Watson

Be your own Boswell and tell us a little about yourself! 

Name (or alias):

Bullpup moniker (Contact us if you don’t know):

Who is your favorite Watson and why?

If Watson was writing a story about you, what would it be titled?

Give us an improbable fact about yourself!

Why did you join the JHWS?

Please feel free to include a picture that we can use alongside your interview. Or you may elect to see what sort of bullpup image we pluck from Sherman’s digital menagerie in lieu.

Watsonians are winning! And more wins tomorrow!

Hey, everybody! We won! If you want to keep the Watsonian winning streak alive, join us tomorrow — Saturday, January 8th, at 11:00 PM Central Time to watch some Watsonians who know their Watson play the Watson Game! If you haven’t gotten your Zoom invitation yet, send a quick note to podcast@johnhwatsonsociety.com to get the link (up until an hour before meeting time, after that, you have our apologies).

In want of a toast to Murray, a toast to Mary, and a reader for Miller’s 221B

The Shout-Outs and Easter Eggs You Missed in Sherlock: 'The Sign of Three'  | WIRED

Bullpup Calder has dreamed up a wild activity for this week’s JHWS meeting, but we still need to conduct ourselves in a business like manner. Medicine has been claimed but we need a toast to Mary and a toast to Murray. We also need someone to read the closing poem, Paul Thomas Miller’s 221B. Please contact buttons@johnhwatsonsociety.com if you want to claim one of these items.

Watson’s best friend’s birthday time!

With the birthday of John Watson’s best pal Sherlock coming up this week, next Saturday is definitely time for the John H. Watson Society to meet again. Yes, there is a long going on, but Saturday, January 9th will still hold an hour when you can see some Watsonian faces at 9 AM PDT, 10 AM MDT, 11AM CDT, 12 Noon EDT, 5 PM BST, 6 PM CEST, etc.

What will we be doing? Well, the traditional toasts, of course, to Murray, Mary, and Medicine. And after that, it will be time for something new — The Watson Game! You can be part, be in the audience, or maybe even take on the role of Sherlock Holmes. Start thinking like John Watson and you’ll be in perfect shape for it, which is all you’re going to find out for now.

As always, if you need the Zoom link, write to podcast@johnhwatsonsociety.com for the connection any time up until the hour before the meeting. After that time, you may have to ask a fellow Watsonian, as it might be a gamble as to whether or not the meeting host is still checking that e-mail box.

The Watsonian Weekly Christmas Eve Special!

Short on last minute white elephant gifts for Sherlockian friends? Send them a link to the Watsonian Weekly Christmas Eve Special! It’ll be much cheaper and much more relaxing than having some celebrity say their name on Cameo! Or, just treat it like the Blue Carbuncle (which we don’t talk about for once) and keep it for yourself. Here’s the link: https://watsonianweekly.libsyn.com/christmas-eve-with-john-a-caribou-and-major-frampton

Take a flyer for the JHWS!

‘Tis the season for Sherlock Holmes birthday events in the next few weeks, and should you want to throw a little shout-out to our loveable little society in with your local celebrations, we have a PDF handout that’s already shown up in the BSI Dinner’s digital packet. With our ten dollar digital memberships, it’s never been easier to be a Watsonian or give the gift of membership to a friend . . . which, unfortunately, the flyer doesn’t mention — but you can!

A Whole Continent of Watson

Europe, Asia, and . . . where else? At Saturday’s gathering of the John H. Watson Society, our assemblage of Watson experts considered the question of Watson’s social experience and the number of continents (and many nations) it spanned. Sure, there were plenty of other good parts, but we saved the answer to that one for the Watsonian Weekly. Of course, it you were there, you already know what that answer was. But if you weren’t? There’s always the Watsonian Weekly! Give it a listen and find out!

Where the Watsonians are! Meeting ahead!

Next Saturday, it’s that time again! Get your show-and-tell item ready, think of your Watsonian New Year’s Resolution, decide where you fall on the subject of Watson’s “Third Continent,” and let Sampson Buttons know if you’d like to give one of the traditional toasts (Murray, Mary, or Medicine) at buttons@johnhwatsonsociety.com .

Saturday, December 12 at 9 AM PDT, 10 AM MDT, 11AM CDT, 12 Noon EDT, 5 PM BST, 6 PM CEST, etc. Wear your Watson hat if you’ve got one (Yes, we’re going to try it again! Don’t wait to throw one on until after Bonnie shows up.), and get ready for some fun. If you need the Zoom invitation, please send a request to podcast@johnhwatsonsociety.com and we’ll get you the link.

Also, it’s time for your weekly does of Watson with the Watsonian Weekly!

Wanted: Treasure Hunt Master for 2021

The Watsonian Treasure Hunt is our signature event each year. It is a 100 point Watsonian quiz that challenges the best minds in our community. You can see our past Treasure Hunts on the website – they have run the gamut from very traditional quizzes to chains of deductions to punny story riddles. As long as it is challenging, fair and about our beloved Doctor and his flatmate we are open to it. The hunt takes place in the month of August, but ideally we would like to see a complete quiz sent to beta testers June-ish? Are you the Hunt Master we are looking for? Contact buttons@johnhwatsonsociety.com.

The Riddler Cartoon | The Riddler in the classic Batman TV Series |  Riddler, Batman tv show, Batman tv series

Live at the 140th Anniversary of Watson’s Homecoming

It’s a very special week at the Watsonian Weekly, the John H. Watson Society’s official podcast, as we get a live report from the celebrations of Watson’s return to England and landing at Portsmouth! We may be a small podcast, but our international team apparently can be in just the right place at just the right time once per year. It’s been a fine 140 years since Watson returned to England and set in motion the course of events that would bring us the Holmes Canon, which means we have just ten years to plan a Portsmouth gathering for the 150th!

Also this episode, Watson-related treasure, Watson-related holidays, and a certain species of ape that Watson was surely not related to. Apologies for the poor sound editing on one segment, but the content is still solid! Look for the latest episode of the Watsonian Weekly at:


as well as Apple podcasts and Spotify.

A Watsonian Holiday Calendar!

As today is a feast day for some, following an important Watsonian holiday that most of us didn’t realize was there until yesterday, it is a good time to step back and look at the whole of the Watsonian holiday calendar. This is, by no means, a complete Watsonian holiday calendar, as we celebrate that great man on so many days of the year, and could change with time and comment, but these are still some special dates to look forward to in the coming year.

Sherlock Holmes’s Birthday

January 6 — A day John Watson would celebrate in ways dependent upon the mind of the Watsonian. See the short film “The Adventure of the Furtive Festivity” for one of Watson’s major efforts to organize one such celebration.

“Whatever, Watson!” Day

February 14 — The day we celebrate John H. Watson’s vague and ever-changing relationship status. How many times was he married? Was he straight, gay, or bisexual? The fact he made it through over a thousand pages of autobiography without giving clear answers to any of that makes us just go, “Whatever, Watson!”

Contrived Miracle Day

April 3 — The date of Sherlock Holmes’s return to Watson’s life in 1893, causing the doctor to faint for the first and last time in his life, only to be himself revived by his own miracle cure, brandy.

Reichenbach Day

May 4 — A solemn day of remembrance recognizing the day in 1891 when Sherlock Holmes died ending Moriarty’s criminal empire and Watson’s two year period of mourning that followed.


June 27 — The day to show your friends how you feel about them in honor of Watson’s second wounding at the apartment of Nathan Garrideb, believed by some to be the final reason for Sherlock Holmes’s retirement from detection, not wanting to further endanger Watson’s life. “It was worth a wound — it was worth many wounds — to know the depth of loyalty and love which lay beneath that cold mask.”

Watsonian Veteran’s Day

July 27 — The date of the tragic Battle of Maiwand in 1880, when the gallant Murray the orderly saved John Watson’s life by throwing the wounded doctor across a pack-horse, bringing him safely to British lines. (Curiously, John H. Watson could only be injured on the 27th of the month. If we ever find evidence of the day he died, it will surely prove to be on the 27th of the month.)


October 31 — Whether it’s wearing a black silk mask you made at home or just shouting “Hallo, Watson!” at your friends, Hallowatson is the October celebration of Watsonian weirdness, created simply to summon a spirit in one’s heart more powerful than any disembodied spook. Hallowatson!

Watsonian Thanksgiving

November 25 — Since no Watsons were on the Mayflower, the real Watsonian Thanksgiving occurs on November 25th, when his ship landed in Portsmouth in 1880 and he dined on English soil once again

Compliments of the Season Day

December 27 — The day John Watson gets around to telling his friends “Compliments of the season!” which is about as vague as his love life. Appropriate compliments of the season can range from “Happy Hannukah!” to “You have built a really nice snowman!” and since we don’t know Sherlock Holmes’s religion or snowman-building habits, this is a very non-denominational seasonal holiday.

Watsonian Editor wanted

The Watsonian is the journal of the John H Watson Society. We publish scholarship, fiction and art and we are open to publishing even more! We are looking for someone who is excited about moving our journal forward and supporting all kinds of creative output from all sorts of voices. This is a real opportunity to shape how we engage with the wide world of Watsonians. If you are interested, please contact buttons@johnhwatsonsociety.com.

The Last Word On Nothing | The Adventures of Dr. Watson, Science Writer

Introducing Member Resources

Sharp-eyed visitors may have noticed a couple of additions to our menu up at the top: Member Login and Member Resources. With these links, members can view their account details, renew their membership, download the 2020 issues of the Watsonian, and a few more things.

Having trouble logging in? Not sure how to log in to your account? Selena can help!