Upon the Terrace for Don Yates, Our “Pal”

We received word from Andrea Stewart (JHWS “Asta”) that our dear “Pal”, Don Yates, passed away earlier today.

The friendship between Don Yates and Don Libey (“Buttons”) was the cornerstone of our Society, which was founded on April 11, 2013, as a birthday gift from Don Libey to Don Yates.

Our deepest condolences go to his family and friends.

Obituary from the Napa Valley Register

Will the Real Sherlock Holmes Please Stand Up?

The Iowa City Public Library is hosting a celebration of the 125th anniversary (quasquicentennial) of the publication of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, with lots of fun and interesting events. Tomorrow, Monica Schmidt (JHWS “Margaux”), president of the Younger Stamfords of Iowa City, will present a talk called “Will the Real Sherlock Holmes Please Stand Up“.

Too far away for me, but if you make it, let us know all about it in the comments! Our Margaux is an excellent speaker, as a number of you can attest, and this is a rich topic for exploration.

A Note from Chips

In the comments on Sunday’s entry, Chips wrote:

Margie, Beth and all my other loved friends in the John H Watson Society. My health does not allow me to continue my column Tid Bits.
I will try to publish some things as I can. I hate to be so abrupt but I have to do what I can when I can. Thank you my dear,dear, friends, Ron, One for whom the game always has been, always is now always will be, the Lord permitting, Afoot

Our Chips has been dealing with health issues for some time, and he had planned to share a bit about them tomorrow (July 26th), because it is also the date in his much-referenced chronology for Percy Phelps’s recovery from Brain Fever [NAVA].

This is so strangely appropriate to what I have to inform you all of. I waited to inform you because of my off-beat sense of humor coupled with a fanatical love of the Canon. I wanted to tie it in with this occurrence in the Canon.  A few months ago I went in to hospital for some neurological programs. They tell me I  have a small tumor that is causing some problems that could be called an attack of Brain Fever. We are huddling to figure out where to proceed next with treatment.

Our thoughts are with Chips and his loved ones. Ron, please know you have our love, our support, and all our best wishes.

Friend and Biographer Series: JHWS ‘Selena’

Speaking of my old friend and biographer, I would take this opportunity to remark….Watson has some remarkable characteristics of his own, to which in his modesty he has given small attention…

Hello Watsonians,

Today we reach number twelve in our series of brief biographic interviews with some of the members of JHWS. Our members, like the good Dr. Watson, have some remarkable characteristics of their own, and we would like to give some small attention to them.

I am pleased to post the interview with the hardest-working woman I know: Beth Gallego.  As ‘SelenaButtons’, she keeps the JHWS going strong; I am very grateful for her inspiring leadership.

Thanks,

Margie

  1. Name and bull pup moniker

Beth Gallego, “Selena” (“Selena Buttons” until there is a new “Boy in Buttons”)

2. Current (city, state, country) location

Los Angeles, California, USA

  1. How long have you been a devotee of Dr. Watson?

Just about 4 years. I was not one who fell in love with the Canon as a kid, sad to say. I was much more into fantasy – especially the Wizard of Oz books – around age 10 or so. But after watching the first 6 episodes of the BBC Sherlock, and waiting for the third season to air, I was got obsessed with all things Holmesian and very quickly found my way to the Canon and a great many lovely people who were also excited to talk about Holmes and Watson endlessly.

  1. Do you have a favorite canonical story?

I love the Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton – I even wrote an essay on why it’s the *best* story for _About Sixty_. But I also have a soft spot for the Illustrious Client, the Red-Headed League, and the Lion’s Mane.

  1. What is your favorite quote from the canon?

“I am an omnivorous reader with a strangely retentive memory for trifles.” [LION] I have a bracelet with that quote on it.

  1. If you could speak directly to anyone in the canon, who would you choose and why?

Irene Adler. I want to know more about her life, because I think it would be fascinating. We get so very little of her side of the story, too.

  1. Are you fond of any particular canon adaptations—pastiche, radio, or film?

I deeply love the first two seasons (6 episodes) of the BBC Sherlock. It is what brought me into this world, and they are brilliant television in their own right. I enjoyed seasons 3 and 4, but not quite as much. I also really like the Abominable Bride episode, but I don’t really even think of that as an adaptation of Canon so much as an adaptation of an adaptation of Canon, which is a different sort of animal.

I also adore Lyndsay Faye’s short stories just published as a collection called The Whole Art of Detection. Her love of Dr Watson, especially, shines in her writing.

  1. Do you have a local Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian group you meet with on a regular basis?

My local scions are the Curious Collectors of Baker Street and the Sherlock Breakfast Club. Los Angeles is large and sprawling, so my work schedule combined with transportation times makes it difficult for me to attend as many events as I’d like, but I try.

  1. Do you have any recent Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian projects/events you would like to tell us about?

I went to 221B Con in Atlanta for the third year this April. It was the first time I wasn’t on any panels, so I was able to take time to hang out with people I only ever get to see at Con! We had an in-person JHWS meet-up (a “consultation”) in the bar on the Saturday night, which I hope will be an annual tradition. For the future, I’m working on a few essay ideas. Oh, and I do a little work on this website you might have heard of…

  1. If you had a magic wand, allowing you to add, subtract, change one thing in your Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian world, what would it be?

I’d really like to see more curiosity about (not just acceptance or tolerance of) different points of view and ideas in discussions. I think people are too quick to criticize and dismiss ideas that don’t align with their own. (Obviously, a problem not just in our smaller world of fandom!) There are so many interesting possibilities to think about and discuss rather than retreading the same ground. I’d love to see more people embrace the idea that it’s possible to dislike something without insulting the people who do like it.

Also, I would like a transporter, so I can attend *all* the Sherlockian events, please and thank you!

 

Friend and Biographer Series: JHWS ‘Hyacinth’

Speaking of my old friend and biographer, I would take this opportunity to remark….Watson has some remarkable characteristics of his own, to which in his modesty he has given small attention…

Hello Watsonians,

Today we add to our series of brief biographic interviews with some of the members of JHWS. Our members, like the good Dr. Watson, have some remarkable characteristics of their own, and we would like to give some small attention to them.

Please welcome our Canadian friend Stephanie Thomas.  I enjoyed her comments very much (especially that ‘soft spot’) and I think you will enjoy them too.

Thanks,

Margie

JHWS/’Mopsy’

  1. Name and bull pup moniker –

Stephanie Thomas, JHWS “Hyacinth”

  1. Current (city, state, country) location –

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

  1. How long have you been a devotee of Dr. Watson?

I have been a devotee of the good doctor since I read the Hound of the Baskervilles in junior high.  I have always had a soft spot for Dr. Watson because he is intelligent, brave and loyal, and not self-centred like Holmes.

  1. Do you have a favorite canonical story?

My favorite story is ‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’ because it was the first Holmes story I read, Sir Henry Baskerville is Canadian, and Toronto is mentioned.  It is also my favorite because Dr. Watson has an opportunity to work on his own solving the mystery, and readers get to see how intelligent Watson is.  That is something we do not always get to see in the Canon because usually Watson focusses on Holmes’ work.  Runners up are The Adventure of the Speckled Band and The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle.

  1. What is your favorite quote from the canon?

My favorite quote is from ‘The Adventure of the Three Garridebs’: “You’re not hurt, Watson?  For God’s sake, say that you are not hurt!”

My heart melted when I first read this passage.  Although it is obvious in the other stories that Holmes is fond of Watson, it is in the Three Garridebs where Holmes comes out and says how much he cares for his friend.

  1. If you could speak directly to anyone in the canon, who would you choose and why?

Like Lily, I would choose to talk to Mrs. Hudson.  She must have so many fascinating stories about having Holmes and Watson as lodgers, and she knows more about Dr. Watson than what he reveals to us in the Canon.  In ‘A Study in Scarlet’, Watson mentions that he has another set of vices when he is well.  Mrs. Hudson probably knows what those vices are, and she would know how many wives Watson had, and what happened to them.  Number two on my list would be Dr. Watson.  With his gift for story-telling, and his pawkish sense of humour, he would be an interesting and entertaining person to talk to.

  1. Are you fond of any particular canon adaptations—pastiche, radio, or film?

My favorite adaption is the Granada series starring Jeremy Brett, David Burke, and Edward Hardwicke.   The casting is spot on and I like that the series is true to the Canon.  My favorite film is ‘Murder by Decree’, with Christopher Plumber as Holmes and James Mason as Watson, where Holmes and Watson are hunting Jack the Ripper.  I also like Jude Law’s portrayal of Dr. Watson in the Guy Ritchie films.

  1. Do you have a local Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian group you meet with on a regular basis?

My local Sherlockian society is the Bootmakers of Toronto.  I am also a member of the Friends of the Arthur Conan Doyle Collection, Toronto Public Library (ACD Friends).

  1. Do you have any recent Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian projects/events you would like to tell us about?

I don’t have any Sherlockian projects on the go.  In January I attended the BSI Weekend in New York City.

  1. If you had a magic wand, allowing you to add, subtract, change one thing in your Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian world, what would it be?

I would like to see more young fans joining Sherlockian societies instead of confining their interest in Holmes and Watson to social media.  I have met so many great people and made many friends by attending Bootmakers of Toronto meetings and ACD Friends events, going to Holmes and Doyle themed conferences, and attending gatherings such as the BSI Weekend.  It would be a shame if these opportunities to meet Sherlockians face-to-face died out because the next generation of Sherlockians only “meet” online.  I would also like to see more fans of BBC’s Sherlock reading Dr. Watson’s original stories.

Friend and Biographer Series: JHWS ‘Roxie’

Speaking of my old friend and biographer, I would take this opportunity to remark….Watson has some remarkable characteristics of his own, to which in his modesty he has given small attention…

Hello Watsonians,

Today we add to our series of brief biographic interviews with some of the members of JHWS. Our members, like the good Dr. Watson, have some remarkable characteristics of their own, and we would like to give some small attention to them.

We are happy to present this interview with Watsonian columnist Sandy Kozzin. Sandy, ASH ‘Esmerelda’, is a member of several societies and a regular contributor to Welcome Holmes and The Hounds of the Internet.

Enjoy!

Margie

JHWS/ ‘Mopsy’

  1. Name and bull pup moniker—

Sandy Kozinn, Roxie

  1. Current (city, state, country) location—

Demarest, NJ

  1. How long have you been a devotee of Dr. Watson?

25 years

  1. Do you have a favorite canonical story?

Not really, depends on my mood

5. What is your favorite quote from the canon?

“The game is afoot”

  1. If you could speak directly to anyone in the canon, who would you choose and why?

Probably Watson.  I’d want to know the reasons behind the clearly made up names, dates, places, trains, and so forth in so many of the cases — in other words, what was the real story?

  1. Are you fond of any particular canon adaptations­, pastiche, radio, or film?

I grew up with Rathbone and Bruce, and like both current TV series.  I don’t really do “favorite” — there are so many variables.

  1. Do you have a local Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian group you meet with on a regular basis?

I try to make the ASH luncheons, Mrs. Hudson’s Cliffdwellers’ meetings, and the Priory Scholars’s and attend other area meetings as I can.

  1. Do you have any recent Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian projects/events you would like to tell us about?

Had a terrific time at the Gillete Luncheon during the Birthday Weekend.

  1. If you had a magic wand, allowing you to add, subtract, change one thing in your Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian world, what would it be?

Being able to get to even more local meetings.

Friend and Biographer Series: JHWS ‘Brenda’

Speaking of my old friend and biographer, I would take this opportunity to remark….Watson has some remarkable characteristics of his own, to which in his modesty he has given small attention…

Hello Watsonians,

Today we add to our series of brief biographic interviews with some of the members of JHWS. Our members, like the good Dr. Watson, have some remarkable characteristics of their own, and we would like to give some small attention to them.

Today we travel to England for a quick chat with Watsonian author Molly Carr.  Detailed information about Molly’s books can be found at mxpublishing.co.uk.

Thanks,

Margie

JHWS/Mopsy

  1. Name/with bull pup moniker—

Molly Carr/”Brenda”

  1. Current (city,state, country) location—

Hereford, England

  1. How long have you been a devotee of Dr. Watson?

Since my first book “The Sign of Fear” was published in 2010. “In Search of Dr Watson” was published later.

  1. Do you have a favorite canonical story?

The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet

  1. What is your favorite quote from the canon?

“London has become a singularly uninteresting city since the death of the late lamented Professor Moriarty.”

  1. If you could speak directly to anyone in the canon, who would you choose and why?

Mrs Hudson. It would be interesting to know what she really thinks of her famous lodgers!

  1. Are you fond of any particular canon adaptations—pastiche, radio film?

The film adaptations with Nigel Bruce as Watson

  1. Do you have a local Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian group you meet with on a regular basis?

The Deerstalkers of Welshpool. “The only Sherlock Holmes Society in Wales.”

  1. Do you have any recent Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian projects/events you would like to tell us about?

No events, but working on articles for various magazines, e.g “The Watsonian” etc.

  1. If you could change one thing in the greater Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian world, what would it be?

No

Friend and Biographer Series: JHWS ‘Daisy’

Speaking of my old friend and biographer, I would take this opportunity to remark….Watson has some remarkable characteristics of his own, to which in his modesty he has given small attention…

Hello Watsonians,

Today we add to our series of brief biographic interviews with some of the members of JHWS. Our members, like the good Dr. Watson, have some remarkable characteristics of their own, and we would like to give some small attention to them.

Sheila Holtgrieve of Seattle is an active member of this society and a dear friend to many of us in the Watsonian world. I am happy to share her interview with you. Time spent with Sheila is always a joy.

Margie

JHWS/Mopsy

  1. Name/with bull pup moniker—

Sheila Holtgrieve/ JHWS Daisy

2. Current (city,state, country) location—

Seattle, Washington USA

3. How long have you been a devotee of Dr. Watson?

I have been devoted to the good doctor since I became  acquainted with all the canon well enough to realize that he is just as important to my love all things Sherlockian as Sherlock is.  I would say this really hit home when I joined the Sound of the Baskervilles in Seattle and listened to our dear PFL (President for Life) David Haugen talk about Watson being Holmes’s heart and the one who ties us ordinary folks to Holmes.  It seems to me that the Doyle stories would most likely have disappeared onto the back shelves of libraries without Watson.

4. Do you have a favorite canonical story?  

Oh my, you would have to ask this question!  I would say The Final Problem and The Empty House combined.

5. What is your favorite quote from the canon?

“Come at once if convenient—if inconvenient come all the same.”  (CREE)

6. If you could speak directly to anyone in the canon, who would you choose and why?

Watson, of course!  My working career was as an ICU RN, so I have worked with numerous doctors.  I love most of them! So, I think Watson is the one for me.  Plus he is such a gentleman, he has so many stories to tell (a month with him, do you think?), and I think he would enjoy talking with me.

7. Are you fond of any particular canon adaptations—pastiche, radio, film?

I prefer reading to any other kind of media with radio as a second.  So, I have read many pastiches over the years.  My favorite authors are June Thomson, Hugh Ashton, and Denis O. Smith among several others.  Individual stories, not necessarily pastiches, I have found exceptionally good are: Neil Gaiman’s A Case of Death and Honey, Gillian Lincsott’s A Scandal in Winter, and the story Laurie R. King wrote in the middle of her book, The Art of Detection.  I have greatly enjoyed Robert Hardy’s reading of the canon (he played Milverton in the Granada series) and the Bert Coules et al BBC radio series starring Clive Merrison and Michael Williams.  My favorite TV series is the Granada series.

8. Do you have a local Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian group you meet with on a regular basis?  

Yes, the Sound of the Baskervilles in Seattle.  Joining this group was practically the first thing I did when I moved to Seattle in 2009.  In fact, I was in touch with the group leaders before I moved.  Margie Deck, the Pawky Puzzler and JHWS Mopsy, and I have a close friendship that began when she asked if anyone in the club was interested in doing this new thing in the Sherlockian world—the JHWS Treasure Hunt.  The rest is history in terms of the hunt and our personal friendship.  She is a gem (comes by this naturally since her canonical name in the Countess of Morcar).

9. Do you have any recent Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian projects/events you would like to tell us about?

I served as JHWS Mopsy’s assistant in creating the Treasure Hunt #4.  We repaired toward the end of our labors to my family’s vacation home up in northern Washington to do the final fact checking and editing.  To keep our minds clear, we took walks every day along the beautiful Methow River, looking out for the resident brown bear.

10. If you could change one thing in the greater Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian world, what would it be?

This is not a change, it is a delightful idea for me to think about.  A Sherlockian advent calendar paired with a Watsonian one.  Anyone ready to go in with me on this?

Friend and Biographer Series: JHWS ‘Buster’

Speaking of my old friend and biographer, I would take this opportunity to remark….Watson has some remarkable characteristics of his own, to which in his modesty he has given small attention…

Hello Watsonians,

Today we add to our series of brief biographic interviews with some of the members of JHWS. Our members, like the good Dr. Watson, have some remarkable characteristics of their own, and we would like to give some small attention to them.

The interview today is from Chris Redmond, a friend to many in the global Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian community.  As always, his writing is fun and interesting.

Enjoy,

Margie/ JHWS ‘Mopsy’

  1. Name and bull pup moniker

Chris Redmond — Buster

  1. Current (city, state, country) location

In the process of moving to Carleton Place, Ontario

  1. How long have you been a devotee of Dr. Watson?

Ever since I figured out that without him the Canon would be approximately 2.5 stories long.

  1. Do you have a favorite canonical story?

As the editor of About Sixty, I had better not commit myself to any one . . . although I do have a longstanding admiration for “The Illustrious Client”.

  1. What is your favorite quote from the canon?

“I say, Watson,” he whispered, “would you be afraid to sleep in the same room with a lunatic, a man with softening of the brain, an idiot whose mind has lost its grip?”

  1. If you could speak directly to anyone in the canon, who would you choose and why?

Well, there are a few things I wouldn’t mind saying to Irene Adler.

  1. Are you fond of any particular canon adaptations—pastiche, radio, or film?

I have very little discrimination — I’ll watch anything and read almost anything (I draw the line at the Kennedy assassination book). I particularly admire the Granada TV series, the novels of Larry Millett, and the first hour of “The Abominable Bride”.

  1. Do you have a local Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian group you meet with on a regular basis?

I’m a long-time member of the Bootmakers of Toronto, and a co-founder of the much newer Cesspudlian Society of London, Ontario.

  1. Do you have any recent Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian projects/events you would like to tell us about?

There is going to be another anthology as a sequel to About Sixty. Watch for details soon. Also, an online friend who had better remain nameless has challenged me to write a fic, which is in the last stages of awfulness right now.

  1. If you had a magic wand, allowing you to add, subtract, change one thing in your Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian world, what would it be?

I’d like to repair some broken friendships. If that’s too much to ask, I wouldn’t mind a do-over of several of the BBC Sherlock episodes, to have more mystery and less self-indulgence.

 

 

Friend and Biographer Series: JHWS ‘Lucy’

Speaking of my old friend and biographer, I would take this opportunity to remark….Watson has some remarkable characteristics of his own, to which in his modesty he has given small attention…

Hello Watsonians,

Today we add to our series of brief biographic interviews with some of the members of JHWS. Our members, like the good Dr. Watson, have some remarkable characteristics of their own, and we would like to give some small attention to them.

We were lucky to have Elise Elliot join our ranks this past year.  Her excellent book reviews are a welcome addition to our site.  I am delighted to share Elise’s interview; I think you will enjoy reading it.

Margie/ JHWS ‘Mopsy’

————-

1. Name/with bull pup moniker—

Elise Elliot, ‘Lucy’

2. Current (city,state, country) location—

Columbus, OH

3. How long have you been a devotee of Dr. Watson?

I found the stories when I was twelve, during a bout of insomnia that lasted for almost a week.  I picked the biggest book I could find from the library to keep me company during the night, and that happened to be the complete collection of canon.  I’ve been a fan ever since.

As for Watson, I will admit that it took me a little longer to come around to the Good Doctor’s virtues.  That happened in the past seven years or so, when I was twenty-one.  We thank Bert Coules’ radio adaptations for that revelation.

4. Do you have a favorite canonical story?

Is it cheating to have a few?  Probably… REGI, ILLU, and DEVI.  There are great friendship moments in all of them, and in the latter two, wonderful depictions of compassion from Holmes and Watson, as well as a focus on what justice means to them.

5. What is your favorite quote from the canon?

“Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent.”

6. If you could speak directly to anyone in the canon, who would you choose and why?

Kitty Winter.  I confess an immense sympathy for her, a woman who found no justice in the justice system and so took her own revenge.  I’m endlessly fascinated by what made her finally break, and how Holmes and Watson treated and viewed her.  I think she would be an extremely interesting person to meet, and I’d like to hear her life story, from her.  The story also indicates that she received a relatively light sentence, and I want to know what she does afterwards.

7. Are you fond of any particular canon adaptations—pastiche, radio, film?

So many!  I love adaptations, and what they choose to keep, what they choose to discard, what they highlight, etc.  I love Elementary and would be thrilled if more Holmesians and Watsonians would watch it- they highlight different aspects of the characters that sometimes aren’t as obvious in other adaptations.  The radio dramas by Bert Coules, both the complete canon and the original stories; Merrison and Williams, and then Sachs, are as close to canon as it comes for me.  I also have thoroughly enjoyed both of Sheldon Reynolds’ takes on the characters, the 1954 series starring Ronald Howard as Holmes and H. Marion Crawford as Watson, and then the 1979 series starring Geoffrey Whitehead as Holmes and Donald Pickering as Watson.  Those series are a comfort watch for me; I like to watch them on stormy, gloomy days.

8. Do you have a local Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian group you meet with on a regular basis?

Unfortunately, no.  I work in theatre, and much of my spare time is eaten up by that.  I want to join one someday, but that won’t happen until I slow down a little!

9. Do you have any recent Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian projects/events you would like to tell us about?

I have been having a blast writing book reviews for the John H Watson Society website!  I love reading pastiches, and it’s been so great to take that passion and transform it into something potentially useful for others.

I am a freelance copy editor as well, and recently began working with some Holmesian authors, looking over their work before it goes to print.  It has been an honor to be trusted with their work, as well as a fun challenge.

10. If you had a magic wand, and could add, subtract, or change anything in your Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian world, what would it be?

You know all those adaptations that have been lost to time?  And all those adaptations that only available in certain countries because of Region differences in DVDs and the like?  I want ALL of those adaptations in my eyeballs.  I want them on my shelves.  I want to be able to see them all the time, and none to have ever been lost or made unavailable.

Friend & Biographer Series: JHWS ‘Jasper’

Speaking of my old friend and biographer, I would take this opportunity to remark….Watson has some remarkable characteristics of his own, to which in his modesty he has given small attention…

Hello Watsonians,

Today we add to our series of brief biographic interviews with some of the members of JHWS. Our members, like the good Dr. Watson, have some remarkable characteristics of their own, and we would like to give some small attention to them.

I hope you enjoy our interview with Canadian author and editor Charles Prepolec.

Margie/ JHWS ‘Mopsy’

  1. Name, with bull pup moniker—

Charles Prepolec / ‘Jasper’

2. Current location—

Calgary, AB, Canada

3.How long have you been a devotee of Dr. Watson?

Roughly 30 years.

4. Do you have a favorite canonical story?

The Sign of Four

5.What is your favorite quote from the canon?

“Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself, but talent instantly recognizes genius.”

6. If you could speak directly to anyone in the canon, who would you choose and why?

Easy. JHW himself. I’d very much like to know why he felt the need to report the less than kind comments Holmes made about his observational failings. Surely some judicious self-editing would have been in order.

7. Are you fond of any particular canon adaptations—pastiche, radio, film?

The Granada television adaption of ‘The Sign of Four’ is to me the single best television/film adaptation of any of Watson’s stories. Period. Full stop. The only elements that could have improved it were if David Burke had played Watson and if Watson had ‘got the girl’ as he did in the Canon.

8. Do you have a local Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian group you meet with on a regular basis?

Since 1987 I’ve enjoyed attending meetings of our local Calgary scion society The Singular Society of the Baker Street Dozen, however the group has fallen into limbo within the last year and is now on indefinite hiatus.

9. Do you have any recent Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian projects/events you would like to tell us about?

In 2016 I was a guest speaker at The Misadventures of Sherlock Holmes Triennial Conference in Minneapolis, contributed an essay on ‘The Sign of Four’ to Chris Redmond’s wonderful non-fiction ‘About Sixty’ anthology, as well as a foreword to the first US release of the ‘Sherlock Holmes: Dark Detective’ graphic novel for Caliber Comics.  As of November 2016, I’ve begun work on editing my 4th professional anthology of new Sherlock Holmes/horror stories – Gaslight Gothic: Eerie Tales of Sherlock Holmes – for Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing for release in 2018.  Last, but certainly not least, on January 6, 2017 I received the Investiture of “The Man with the Twisted Lip” in The Baker Street Irregulars.

10. If you could change one thing in the greater Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian world, what would it be?

Hmm, tough call, but I think I’d like to see less criticism or discussion of media adaptations, or new material, whether of screen, stage, radio or in pastiches, that leads anyone to use ‘…but that’s not the canonical Holmes…’ or ‘…that wasn’t the author’s original intent…’ as the basis of their argument. One is an invalid argument, as there is no objectively right or wrong interpretation of the characters or stories, since we each bring our own very subjective experiences to our reading of a text; and the second is simply irrelevant as it isn’t the writer or creator who determines the success or failure of a work, but the audience who interprets it on their own respective terms.  I suppose what I’m naively asking for, and it applies not just to the Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian world, is that we all strive for greater patience, respect and understanding when encountering viewpoints different from our own.

Friend & Biographer Series: JHWS ‘Chips’

Speaking of my old friend and biographer, I would take this opportunity to remark….Watson has some remarkable characteristics of his own, to which in his modesty he has given small attention…

Hello Watsonians,

Today we add to our series of brief biographic interviews with some of the members of JHWS. Our members, like the good Dr. Watson, have some remarkable characteristics of their own, and we would like to give some small attention to them.

The interview today is with one of the best friends of the JHWS:  Ron Lies of Colorado.  Our society is certainly enriched by his On This Day feature, and by the warmth of his friendship.

Margie/ JHWS ‘Mopsy’

  1. Name/with bull pup moniker—

Ron Lies, ‘Chips’

  1. Current (city,state, country) location—

Denver, Colorado, USA

  1. How long have you been a devotee of Dr. Watson?

About 56 years. I read my first story at 12 years old and was transported into the world of 1895. The cases, the characters, in particular Dr. Watson attracted me. Holmes was not comfortable to me: I saw but I did not observe. Dr. Watson was the example of who I thought I was.

  1.   Do you have a favorite canonical story?

Of the long stories, The Sign of Four. Of the short stories, The Veiled Lodger.

  1. What is your favorite quote from the canon?

The Game is Afoot. It became the signal to me to be able to leave where I was and go to where I could lose myself and be involved where I felt I belonged.

  1. If you could speak directly to anyone in the canon, who would you choose and why?

Dr. Watson. I want to try to find out how daily life was in the flat. The information that Watson left out the published cases and of course the unpublished cases.

  1. Are you fond of any particular canon adaptations—pastiche, radio, film?

No, The printed Cannon has never disappointed me.

  1. Do you have a local Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian group you meet with on a regular basis?

The Out Patients group of Doctor Watson’s Neglected Patients in Denver Colorado. We meet the first Sunday of the month to study for a quiz on one of the cases from the Canon. And to catch up with other members of our group  on matters both Sherlockian from books to movies to TV shows and everything in between and beyond in our “outside lives.”

  1. Do you have any recent Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian projects/events you would like to tell us about?

A paper on how many times Holmes complimented Watson to prove that Holmes really cared for Watson as his closest, intelligent friend and companion, not just a biographer or in Arthur Conan Doyle’s terrible description of Watson “As Holmes’s rather Stupid Friend”

  1. If you could change one thing in the greater Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian world, what would it be?

The attitude that everyone’s particular group or interest is the only one worth having. Allow every one’s view and interest the same respect you would like your opinion to be treated.

 

Friend & Biographer Series: JHWS ‘Lily’

Speaking of my old friend and biographer, I would take this opportunity to remark….Watson has some remarkable characteristics of his own, to which in his modesty he has given small attention…

Hello Watsonians,

Today we add to our series of brief biographic interviews with some of the members of JHWS. Our members, like the good Dr. Watson, have some remarkable characteristics of their own, and we would like to give some small attention to them.

Please enjoy our chat with Wildside Press publishing director Carla Coupe of Maryland.

Margie/ JHWS ‘Mospy’

  1. Name/with bull pup moniker—

Carla Coupe/Lily

  1. Current (city,state, country) location—

New Market, Maryland

  1. How long have you been a devotee of Dr. Watson?

Since I was around ten and reading the Canon for the first time. The good doctor always impressed me with his kindness, readiness to provide a gun or other weapon (as necessary), and good-humored (on the whole) acceptance of Holmes’s peculiarities as well as his abilities.

  1. Do you have a favorite canonical story?

HOUN. It appeals to the wild, Gothic elements in my soul!

  1. What is your favorite quote from the canon?

There are so many, but first place always goes to “Mr. Holmes, they were the footprints of a gigantic hound!” It still sends chills up my spine.

  1. If you could speak directly to anyone in the canon, who would you choose and why?

Mrs. Hudson. She would know all of Holmes and Watson’s little secrets!

  1. Are you fond of any particular canon adaptations—pastiche, radio, film?

Generally I can find something to admire about most adaptations, but my favorites are the Rathbone films, Jeremy Brett’s TV series, the Big Finish audio adaptations, and [Lyndsay] Faye’s pastiche “Dust and Shadow.”

  1. Do you have a local Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian group you meet with on a regular basis?

Yes, I’m a member of Watson’s Tin Box, The Red Circle of DC, the Diogenes Club of the District of Columbia, and the Sherlockians of Baltimore. I hope to add more soon.

  1. Do you have any recent Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian projects/events you would like to tell us about?

I’m on the ConCom for Scintillation of Scions, which will be celebrating its 10th anniversary this spring. We’re planning a riotous good time for all, and would love to have new attendees as well as our regulars. Personally, I have a pastiche, “The Case of the Missing Archaeologist,” in Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine #21, and will have another, “The Case of the Plummeting Painter” in a future volume edited by David Marcum.

  1. If you could change one thing in the greater Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian world, what would it be?

We need the invention of transporters so we can attend distant meetings and see our friends from all over the world without breaking our budgets!

Trifles!

Scott Monty, JHWS “Woolley”, and Burt Wolder, JHWS “Taylor”, have launched a brand-new podcast called “Trifles” – and we all know there’s nothing more important than trifles!

You might be familiar with them as the hosts of the excellent podcast, “I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere”. How is this different? While IHOSE is a long-format podcast that covers a wide range of happenings in the Sherlockian world, “Trifles” consists of weekly 15-minute episodes focused on Canonical topics.

I’ve listened to the first four episodes and found them delightful. There are so many delicious topics to chew on, so I’m looking forward to many more! Give them a listen and let us know what you think in the comments.

Friend & Biographer Series: JHWS ‘Sampson’

Speaking of my old friend and biographer, I would take this opportunity to remark….Watson has some remarkable characteristics of his own, to which in his modesty he has given small attention…

Hello Watsonians,

Today marks the second post in our series of brief biographic interviews with some of the members of JHWS. Our members, like the good Dr. Watson, have some remarkable characteristics of their own, and we would like to give some small attention to them.

Please say hello to Robert Perret in the great state of Idaho.  As he notes, he is currently the only JHWS member residing in Idaho.

Enjoy,

Margie/ JHWS ‘Mopsy’

 

  1. Name/with bull pup moniker—

Robert Perret / ‘Sampson’

  1. Current (city,state,country) location—

Troy, Idaho, USA

  1. How long have you been a devotee of Dr. Watson?

The first memory I have of reading the good Doctor’s reminiscences was in high school back in the early 1990’s.  The school library had some sort of complete collection (Doubleday?) in that classic (to me, anyway) mid-century chocolate brown library binding.

  1. Do you have a favorite canonical story?

I have about 60, but if forced to pick I would say The Sign of the Four is the ultimate Holmes adventure for me.  It has mystery, detection, deduction, exoticism, elements of the grotesque and even a boat chase.

  1. What is your favorite quote from the canon?

There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.

  1. If you could speak directly to anyone in the canon, who would you choose and why?

I would like to speak with the majordomo of the Diogenes Club.  I’m sure he knows a few things even Mycroft is unaware of!

  1. Are you fond of any particular canon adaptations—pastiche, radio, film?

I love the Granada series, of course, and my mental Holmes is Basil Rathbone, but my personal favorites might just be the Robert Downey Jr. films.

  1. Do you have a local Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian group you meet with on a regular basis?

I wish I did.  My claim to fame is being the only known (to me) Sherlockian in Idaho.  I hope to be able to pop into someone else’s meeting someday when I am travelling.

  1. Do you have any recent Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian projects/events you would like to tell us about?

I have a few pastiches published that you can find out more about at robertperret.com.  I also recently read every issue of the Baker Street Journal that is on the CD-ROM as part of a citation analysis that will hopefully be published soon.

  1. If you could change one thing in the greater Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian world, what would it be?

I still see a divide between the old guard and new Sherlockians.  As someone who sits between them both age-wise and interest-wise I would like to see more harmony betwixt all Sherlockians everywhere.

 

Congratulations to Six Members Receiving BSI Honours

The Society extends congratulations to six members on their investitures into the Baker Street Irregulars at this past weekend’s Annual Dinner in New York.

They are:

  • Charles Blanksteen, JHWS “Patch”, BSI “Cavendish Square”
  • Ross Davies, JHWS “Maximus”, BSI “The Temple”
  • Bonnie MacBird, JHWS “Lady”, BSI “Art In the Blood”
  • Charles Prepolec, JHWS “Jasper”, BSI “The Man with the Twisted Lip”
  • Michael Quigley, JHWS “Roy”, BSI “A Large Brass Bound Safe”
  • Christopher Zordan, JHWS “Flash”, BSI “Bunsen Burner”

All of the members of the Society join in extending our congratulations on this distinctive honour for all of you.

The Society also thanks the fine gentlemen at “I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere” – AKA Scott Monty, JHWS “Woolley” and BSI “Corporal Henry Wood”, and Burt Wolder, JHWS “Taylor” and BSI “Third Pillar from the Left” – for keeping us up to date on the goings-on via Twitter.

Friend & Biographer Series: JHWS ‘Leo’

Speaking of my old friend and biographer, I would take this opportunity to remark….Watson has some remarkable characteristics of his own, to which in his modesty he has given small attention…

Hello Watsonians,

Today marks the first post in a new series of brief biographic interviews with some of the members of JHWS. Our members, like the good Dr. Watson, have some remarkable characteristics of their own, and we would like to give some small attention to them.  The series will run on a varying schedule as time and participation permit.

Please see below for the interview with our Texas friend, Stu Nelan.

Enjoy!

Margie/ JHWS ‘Mopsy’

  1. Name/with bull pup moniker—

Stuart Nelan, ‘Leo’

  1. Current (city, state, country) location—

Melissa, Texas, USA

  1. How long have you been a devotee of Dr. Watson?

Over 50 years.  I discovered the Sherlock Holmes/Dr. Watson stories before high school and read some of them, and then was delighted to find the Doubleday book of the complete adventures after graduating college and moving to Dallas.

Shortly thereafter, there was an article in the local newspaper about the BSI, giving contact information for John Bennet Shaw.  I mailed him a letter asking about joining, and he kindly replied suggesting that I join the local group and gave me the name.

I took me 15 years to follow up on that, but I eventually did and the rest is history.

  1. Do you have a favorite canonical story?

Without a doubt, The Blue Carbuncle is my favorite!  It is such a nice Christmas story, and as Christopher Morley put it “a Christmas story without slush”.

  1. What is your favorite quote from the canon?

“The temptation to form premature theories upon insufficient data is the bane of our profession”, from The Valley of Fear.   My career is in software development and support, and this quote reminds me of one of the big pitfalls in my work.

  1. If you could speak directly to anyone in the canon, who would you choose and why?

Dr. Watson, of course!  Holmes might be the more knowledgeable of the two, but as a dinner companion, for instance, Watson would be the obvious choice with his repertoire of stories and ability to tell them to entertain his audience.

  1. Are you fond of any particular canon adaptations—pastiche, radio, film?

Each one has its plusses and minuses, I guess, but overall I would have to go with the Basil Rathbone movies – they are the ones that I go to when I’m looking for a Sherlockian movie.

  1. Do you have a local Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian group you meet with on a regular basis?

The Crew of the Barque Lone Star meets on the first Sunday of each month in Addison (a suburb of Dallas).  All are welcome to join us!

  1. Do you have any recent Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian projects/events you would like to tell us about?

BSI Weekend is coming up, and I am looking forward to going and seeing old (and young) Sherlockian friends again!

Update on our dear “Chips”

I spoke with his spouse today and “Chips” seems to be recovering well, though it will likely take time. I’ve checked to confirm with her that it would be alright to share the following address with all of you if you wish to send him your warm regards and wish him well:

Ron Lies
Kindred Acute Care Hospital
1920 High St
Denver CO 80218

Chips, if you happen to visit and read this, please know that we all support you and hope you feel better soon.

Membership Renewals

I know, I know, it’s the dreaded “have you renewed?” post isn’t it?

Even if I can’t manage to keep this brief, I’ll try to keep this simple:

If you have renewed your membership to the John H Watson Society, ignore this post. We are on track with our work, so you should expect to see fresh new JHWS publications in your mailbox near the end of October.

If you became a member after January 2014 (like me!), fear not: you do not need to renew yet and you’ll hear from us at a future date when it is time for you to renew. So ignore this post, kick back, and relax.

If you joined before January 2014 and you have not renewed: please consider renewing your membership with us.

We’ve got a lovely new pastiche by our fellow member Blythe called “The Limehouse Lucifer” that you would not want to miss out on. We’ve also got the very first volume to be composed by our Editor-in-Chief Pippin, who you know well from his recent monograph on Dr Watson’s early writings.

Just to give you a tease: Our upcoming volume of the Watsonian will have some fantastic new features, such as “Billiards With Thurston” and “Roxie’s Canonical Ramblings”, as well as familiar ongoing works such as “The Great Hiatus – Part III”, a new “Watsonian Wit”, and a unique pawky puzzle from the Pawky Puzzler herself. The special section dedicated to Holmes and Watson on Stage and Screen is in itself more than worth the price of admission!

So please consider renewing your membership over this weekend. We Watsonians wish to continue to create new material for you to enjoy.

If you do not renew by this coming Monday, October 5, 2015, then we shall respectfully retire your name from the membership roster in the printing of this upcoming volume and you will not receive the latest publications coming out later this month.

If you decide at a later date to renew your membership, we will be delighted to have you rejoin us. However, please keep in mind that there could be a delay in sending the Watsonian and the Fiction Series to you if the pre-arranged addresses from current members need to receive their books first. Also, your name will return to the published roster in the next Watsonian to go to print after the time you’ve renewed your membership.

If you are not certain if you need to renew or not, or if you have any further questions, please contact me at carla@johnhwatsonsociety.com and I will get you in direct contact with our membership consultant, Robin, to help meet your needs.

If you wish to renew your membership now, please visit our JHWS Store.

Thank you for your time.

Best wishes,

Carla Buttons