Progress!

On this day on which our separation from England is commemorated, it is
appropriate to note that, thanks to your interest, untiring efforts and kind referrals, fifty Watsonians now number themselves as members of The John H Watson Society . . . and that is fifty in only eighty-four days.

It is a Veritable Festival of Watsonia and Anglophilia!

Best regards

Buttons (who is having a hot dog instead of a meat pie)

A Marathon of New Charter Members

The Society is honoured to welcome five new Charter Members this Fourth of July, 2013. Please join in extending a warm welcome, en mass, to these new members:

You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive.”

CHARLES PRESS

Charles Press, PhD, JHWS, “Rofer.” Dr Press a is Pofessor Emeritus in the journalism department at Michigan State University and a long-time (50-year) member of the Greek Interpreters of East Lansing. He lives in Grand Rapids and has published a number of books on the subject of Holmes.

HUGH ASHTON

Hugh Ashton, M.A., JHWS “Clancy” is a prolific professional writer and author of Sherlock Holmes adventures.

Hugh Ashton was born in the UK in 1956. After graduating from the University
of Cambridge, he worked in a variety of jobs, including security guard, publisher’s assistant, and running an independent record label, before coming to rest in the field of information technology, where he assisted perplexed users of computers and wrote explanations to guide them through the problems they encountered.
A long-standing interest in Japan led him to emigrate to that country in 1988, where he has remained ever since; writing instruction manuals for a variety of consumer products, assisting with IT-related projects at banks and financial institutions, and researching and writing industry reports on the Japanese and Asian financial industries. Some of the knowledge he has gained in these fields forms the background for At the Sharpe End, his second novel.
Hugh currently lives with his wife Yoshiko in the old town of Kamakura to the
south of Tokyo, where he is working on future novels and stories.

Publications
He has recently published five volumes of Sherlock Holmes mysteries with
Inknbeans Press of Los Angeles: Tales from the Deed Box of John H. Watson
MD
, More from the Deed Box of John H. Watson MD, Secrets from the Deed Box of John H Watson MD, The Darlington Substitution, and Notes from the Dispatch-Box of John H. Watson MD in the style of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The three “Deed Box” collections have been collected and printed together in a handsome hardback edition–The Deed Box of John H.Watson MD.
Inknbeans Press has also published his collection of short stories set in Japan, Tales of Old Japanese, featuring the culture and habits of the older generation of Japanese.
His first published novel, Beneath Gray Skies, is an alternative history set in a “past that never happened”, where the Civil War was never fought.
His second novel, At the Sharpe End, features an expatriate consultant living in Tokyo, Kenneth Sharpe, who finds himself thrust into a world of violence and high finance that takes him by surprise.
The third novel, Red Wheels Turning, takes some of the characters of Beneath Gray Skies, and sets them in the background of Tsarist Russia, where a battle of wits takes place to control the secret Russian wonder weapons that could win the war for the Allies.

MARGIE DECK

Margie Deck, JHWS “Gwen” joins us from Spanaway, Washington where she is a long-time member of The Sound of the Baskervilles. Margie is an enthusiastic Sherlockian cross-word puzzle maker known as “The Pawky Puzzler” and she is a devotee of our beloved Dr Watson. We hope to see Margie’s cross-word creations in The Watsonian.

RON LIES

Ron Lies, JHWS “Chips” joins the Society from Denver, Colorado where he has been an active member of Dr Watson’s Neglected Patients since 1972.

Ron writes:

“I am at present Transcriber of Dr Watson’s Neglected Patients. I have been a past Staff Surgeon, past Chief Surgeon and member since 1972. I am a member of: The Sherlock Holmes Society of India; a member of The Sydney Passengers, The Sherlock Homes Society of Australia; and co- founder of The Sons of Shaw, a society honoring the memory of John Bennett Shaw.

I have had a overwhelming interest in Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson since seventh grade when I read “The Speckled Band” in my class’s Catholic Weekly Reader. I have always identified with Dr John Watson and now feel I am where I belong with The John H. Watson Society.”

So do we, Ron. Welcome!

DAN ANDRIACCO

Dan Andriacco, D.Min., JHWS “Dutch” is a well-known author of Sherlockian works who discovered Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s original Sherlock Holmes stories at about the age of nine. Not long after, he became acquainted with such greats of the Golden Age of detective fiction as Agatha Christie, Ellery Queen, Rex Stout, John Dickson Carr, Earle Stanley Gardner, and many more.
His earliest career goal was to become a mystery writer. He eventually did, while holding down day jobs at The Cincinnati Post as a reporter and editor (1973-1997) and the Archdiocese of Cincinnati as communications director (1997-present). From 1977 to 1982, he wrote a monthly mystery review column for
The Post. He also taught non-credit classes in mystery fiction and mystery writing.
He has been a member of the Tankerville Club, a Cincinnati-based scion society of the Baker Street Irregulars, since 1981. He is the author of Baker Street Beat: An Eclectic Collection of Sherlockian Scribblings and five published mystery novels with Sherlockian overtones. The most recent is The Disappearance of Mr.
James Phillimore
, the latest in his Sebastian McCabe – Jeff Cody series. He has also been a mystery reviewer and taught non-credit classes in mystery fiction. He once won a bet with a colleague that he could write a novella in less time than it took her to read one of his novels
Mr Andriacco’s Sebastian McCabe – Jeff Cody mystery series, set in a small town in Ohio, is very much in the tradition of his Golden Age favorites. “McCabe is a great detective in the classic mode,” Andriacco said. “By that I mean he is a polymath amateur sleuth. He’s a college professor at a small Catholic college, but he’s also a mystery writer, a magician, and a linguist. I would love to meet the man, but I’m not sure I’d want to be his best friend. His ‘Watson,’ Jeff Cody is not only his best friend, but also his brother-in-law and the public relations director for the college where Mac teachers. These multiple relationships carry multiple tensions, which I hope is a source of humor. These books are supposed to be fun and funny. Judging by reviewers, they seem to hit that mark for most readers.”
Dan Andriacco, known to friends as “Doctor Dan,” holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from Columbia Theological Seminary in Georgia. He was born in 1952 in Cincinnati, Ohio, where he lives with his wife, Ann. They have three adult children and four grandchildren.

Welcome to the Society’s First Student Member: Alena Mueller

In the Watsonian and Sherlockian worlds, today is an historic day. The Society has welcomed into Charter Membership our first student member: Alena Mueller.

Alena writes:

“I live in Iowa City, IA and attend West High School. I first got interested in Sherlock when a friend forced me to watch BBC Sherlock. I have now become obsessed with all things Sherlockian and Watsonian.”

The Society is very honoured to have our first student member. Alena represents the future of Watsonian and Sherlockian scholarship and enthusiasm. Her explorations will be different from many of ours and will extend The Game into new pathways.

We welcome Alena with the warmest of our traditional greeting:

You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive.” And, of course, this is the first observation of Sherlock Holmes ever made and spoken to our beloved Dr Watson at their first meeting in A Study In Scarlet.

This historic moment allows us to muse and ponder a bit on our purpose. Imagine, if you will, Scion branches of The John H Watson Society in high schools across the country. Each branch “Consultation Room” having, say, three or more students and a faculty advisor studying and researching the Sacred Canon and producing articles, papers, films, and a great variety of work furthering the Watsonian and Sherlockian corpus. Imagine, if you will, a vibrant parent Society supporting those branch “Consulting Rooms” and encouraging, along the way, good scholarship by bright students.

We could do that.

Interesting, is it not?

Scroll Down and Look at the Responses to the MD, Mr, Dr, FRCS question!

This quiz question  has brought about the largest number of responses ever. And here is a perfect example of collaboration, original work, and the enthusiasm that makes our mutual interest fun and rewarding.

You too can participate. You too can create a question. Either post it as a reply or send it to Buttons and he will get down off his stool and chalk it on the board.

And, please note that the First Annual John H Watson Society Treasure Hunt is only 31 days away! 

Today’s quiz question is:

Do you accept Martha as being the housekeeper in “His Last Bow,” as well as the housekeeper at the Sussex Downs cottage, and is she also Mrs Hudson?

The Pleasures of Research and The Game

If you wish to read about the pleasures of research and the love of data in our mutual enthusiasm, please look at the numerous entries on the Quiz Page in response to the question of M.D., Dr, Mr, FRCS, etc.

You will find superb replies and fully-informed research on the topic, and you can almost hear the fun in their voices as the respondents feverishly enter their comments.

This is what makes it enjoyable. This is what makes it a Society alive!

Thank you one and all for your contributions, and thank you to those who read them and appreciate the depth of the interaction.

And, please remember that the Big One — the First Annual John H Watson Society Treasure Hunt is only 31 days away!

Welcome to Andrew Fusco, JD, JHWS “Topper,” BSI to Charter Membership

The Society is delighted to welcome the long-time Sherlockian, Andy Fusco, to Charter Membership. Andy is a lawyer residing in Morgantown, West Virginia. He is a member of the Baker Street Irregulars, “Pondicherry Lodge,” and a number of other clubs.

We look forward to Mr. Fusco’s contributions to the Society and to The Watsonian.

Please join in extending our greeting to Andy:

“You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive.”

Welcome to Andree and Chuck Youngson as Charter Members: “Belle” and “Jeeves”

The Society is delighted to welcome long time, loyal members of the Napa Valley Napoleons of S.H., Andree and Chuck Youngson, as Charter Members.

Andree, JHWS “Belle,” was born in the Panama Canal Zone and is a resident of Napa, CA. She has a B.S. in Chemistry from St. Mary’s College of Moraga, and M.S. in Environmental Management from the University of San Francisco. Andree is a retired chemist and an Anglophile. Buttons has it on good authority that Andree is an expert in Canonical (and perhaps other) poisons. Her interests include playing the bodhran in the Pickle Creek String Band and in the San Francisco Scottish Fiddlers. Andree really likes ravens and crows and, of course, Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson.

We will post Chuck’s, JHWS, “Jeeves,” biography when received. Until then, please extend a warm welcome to the Youngsons with our traditional greeting:

“You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive.”

Question: June 25, 2013

During a recent “Consultation,” six Founding Members met at the China Palace restaurant in Novato, California, where the following question was raised:

What is the only restaurant to produce a truly GREAT Szechuan beef dish?

The answer is:  ?

Are there any references to non-English cuisines in the Canon?

38 Days to The Treasure Hunt! Here’s Something for Today, the 24th inst.

What is the meaning of the date abbreviations often found in letters and telegrams in the Canon and throughout the writing of 19th Century Britain?

Examples: “On Sunday night, the 18th inst.” or “The ship left Liverpool on the 8th ult.” or “The inquest will be held on the 25th prox.”

Also, what is the meaning and difference between “Sennight” and “Fortnight.”

Extraordinary! Exciting News! Mark Calendars! Alert Friends! Send Emails! Inform the Watsonian World!

The Society is pleased to announce the debut of the First Annual John H Watson Society Canonical Treasure Hunt.

The First Annual John H Watson Canonical Treasure Hunt will involve a lengthy search through the Canon and scholarly material requiring Watsonian Seekers of Truth to sort through a large body of data in order to arrive at the point where the Canonical Treasure is to be found and identified.

Our treasure hunt will involve encryption, obscure references, geographic and biologic inferences, people, objects, dates, and all manner of Watsonian and Holmesian/Sherlockian knowledge.

Be cautioned! It will not be simple. The First Annual John H Watson Canonical Treasure Hunt may well take you weeks to sort out the answer . . . perhaps months. This will make the Musgrave Ritual look like child’s play. You will be required to hunt through the literature, both the Sacred Canon and the related scholarship of the past seventy years.

And there will be prizes! The first Society Charter member to email the correct answer will receive a fine first British edition of  The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes donated to the Society by an anonymous member. Other categories of winners will also receive handsome donated prizes.

And now for the Rules:

1. The Annual John H Watson Canonical Treasure Hunt will be posted on the Society’s website at the Quiz Page at exactly 12:00 Noon (Pacific) on Thursday, 1 August 2013.  All participants will have an equal opportunity relative to time and access. The Canonical Treasure Hunt will end upon submission of the first correct answer or on Monday, September 2, 2013 at 12 Noon (Pacific).

2. The Annual John H Watson Canonical Treasure Hunt shall have four categories: Charter Members, Non-Members, Founding Members and Students. One winner from the Charter Members shall be determined and one winner from Non-Members shall also be determined.  A winning Founding Member will be determined, as well. Founding Members may not compete in the Charter Member category. The Student winner may be a member or non-member, but must be enrolled in a high school, college or university of higher learning. The Charter Member winner will receive a first British edition of  The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes ( a $1,000 value). The Non-Member winner will receive a six-year membership to the Society (a $120 value). The Student winner will receive an Honorarium of $250. The Founding Member (Directors) winner shall have the satisfaction of knowing the answer submitted was correct.

3. The winners will be determined by two criteria: 1) Correctness of the final answer; and 2) Time of receipt of the correct answer by the Society via email at info@johnhwatsonsociety.com .  Winners in all categories will be posted on the Society website. NOTE: The final answer will consist of identifying the ultimate Treasure, but will also require answering correctly all questions leading up to the final answer.

4. All matters concerning the Canonical Treasure Hunt, the contest, the answers, and the determination of the winning answer will be the sole decision of the John H Watson Society Directors. The only purpose of the Annual John H Watson Society Canonical Treasure Hunt is to encourage scholarship and a deeper understanding of the writings of John H Watson, M.D.  All prizes have been donated to the Society by anonymous members.

The Society encourages its members to inform as many people of this First Annual John H Watson Society Canonical Treasure Hunt as possible. We also encourage other scion clubs and organisations to let their members know of this unique and exciting event. And, we would hope the Sherlockian, Holmesian and Watsonian media worldwide find it a worthy effort for featuring prominently in their reportage.

And so, we announce the First Annual John H Watson Society Canonical Treasure Hunt and ask you to spread the word and return promptly at noon (Pacific) on Thursday 1 August 2013 for the revealing of the mystery!  The game IS afoot!

Welcome to Nuno Robles, JHWS “Oakley,” our first Charter Member from Portugal

Please join in welcoming Mr Nuno Robles, JHWS “Oakley,” SHSL to Charter Membership. Nuno is the first member of the Society from Portugal. He writes:”I worked at Sony for 20 years but I left the company in late 2010 and now I’m a Wine Producer, with my own family company “Quinta do Falcao”. Our Wines are prestigious and we’ve won several national and international awards. The latest has been the International Wine Challenge with our Paço dos Falcoes Red Wine. I’m a member of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London and also subscribe to the Baker Street Journal.”

We would draw Nuno’s attention to By-Law #5 and assure him that he is joining a Society with members having a particularly deep and discerning appreciation for the grape and, generally, Spiritus Fermenti in most forms.

Please join in a very warm welcome and out traditional greeting to a Fellow Watsonian and follower of Bacchus:

“You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive. . . . and your tongue appears to be purple.”

Welcome to Matt Laffey, JHWS “Baron,” Priory Scholars of NY and “Always 1895” to Charter Membership

The Society is pleased to welcome Mr Matt Laffey as a Charter Member. Matt publishes the always interesting and informative “Always 1895” website at:
http://always1895.net/.

He writes:

I was born and raised in Chicago. I moved to NYC in 2006 where I kindled an interest/obsession with all things Sherlockian by starting www.always1895.net and co-restarting The Priory Scholars of NYC. You can find me on Twitter as @always1895 .

Matt recently mentioned The John H Watson Society as follows:

The John H. Watson  Society is a (very) recently founded society which “seeks a level of equality in scholarship and enthusiasm for the life and work of John H. Watson, M. D. The Founding Members are committed to recognition of Dr. Watson’s contributions, albeit often masked and misunderstood, to the cases, adventures and memoirs he wrote as the first biographer of Sherlock Holmes. The Society believes that Watson has an equality of stature with Holmes and that his accomplishments and talents deserve further scholarship and research.” You can read more about the purposes and goals of the John H. Watson Society here. For updated information and society news as well as fascinating and informative biographies of those Sherlockians…or should we say Watsonians, who have most recently become members, make sure to check out The Watsonian Blog. It should come as no surprise that the Society’s  motto is derived from one of Holmes’ final reflections on his stalwart friend  and biographer, found at the very end of “His Last Bow”:  “Good old Watson! You are the one fixed point in a changing age.” It strikes me that even though the society is a new one, the seeds of the group were planted long ago in the minds of those involved giving The John H. Watson society an air of established, long standing permanence. I also look forward to subscribing to and reading The Watsonian, journal of the society.

Please join in extending to Matt the warm welcome of the Society: “You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive.”

M.D., Dr., Mr., FRCS, ?

The British have their own way of referring to physicians. Some are Mr, some are Dr, some have FRCS after their name, and some have M.D. Our own John Watson was styled: John H. Watson, M.D. and referred to as Dr Watson.  What are the distinctions, the degrees or education indicated, and who can come up with the list of all the physicians and their appropriate professional titles as per the Canon?

Dr Watson’s “Stuff”

We have an extensive catalogue of Mr Holmes’s personal belongings, from dressing gowns to pipes to commonplace books and on and on.

But, what do we know of Dr Watson’s belongings? Who can catalogue those items that are Dr Watson’s personal things? And where no evidence exists, who would care to speculate on Dr Watson’s likely inventory?

Our Own Benoit Guilielmo, JHWS “Cicero” to Present Paper at  University of London

Charter Member Benoit Guilielmo of Nice, France will present “The Birth of a Textual Community: Early Sherlockiana (1927-1934)” at the upcoming conference Sherlock Holmes: Past and Present at the Institute of English Studies of the School of Advanced Study, University of London. Congratulations!

The programme is described here: http://www.ies.sas.ac.uk/ies-events/conferences/SherlockHolmes

As one reads the various topics, it becomes clear this is a major academic gathering with serious papers being presented that indicate the Holmesian genre as written by Dr Watson has entered an age of mainstream academia. Note, for instance, “Sherlock Holmes: Modern Literary Virgil,” and “The Spatial Code in Sherlock Holmes Stories.”