(Part of this entry will also appear in the Spring 2016 issue of The Watsonian)
As our “Carla” posted last week, I am taking on the role of “Boy-in-Buttons” for the John H Watson Society.
Typing that sentence still leaves me a bit awestruck, in the fullest sense of the word. To say that I was surprised when my name was suggested would be an understatement. I had long been content to remain in the background, keeping our digital home on the web tidy and functional.
I still see myself as a new arrival among you, having found my way to Baker Street late compared to many, and somewhat sideways at that. I must confess a twinge of jealousy toward those who can tell of falling in love with the Canon at the age of 10 or 11. Somehow I missed meeting Holmes and Watson at that tender age. But, as they say, when the student is ready, the Master appears.
In my case, he appeared as Benedict Cumberbatch, accompanied by the ever-amazing Martin Freeman. I watched the first six episodes of the BBC series (all that existed at the time), which proved enough merely to whet my appetite for all things Holmesian. I picked up a two-volume paperback edition of the complete stories at my favorite used bookshop and started exploring the many and varied opportunities to connect with other fans.
That was how I found my way to the John H Watson Society site, and it quickly became one of my favorite places online. The weekly quizzes were challenging and the weekly discussions were interesting, but it was the blend of people that made the magic.
The roster of members included people who had been in the Sherlockian world for decades, who published scholarly articles and books, and who led scion societies. It also included people who were newcomers (like me), who created transformative works of fanart and fanfic, and who were active on twitter and tumblr. There were people who fell into any and every possible combination of those categories. Somewhere in this glorious mingling of old and new, traditional and ultramodern, I found a place that felt like home.
These years later, it still does. The quizzes are still challenging, the forum discussions are still engaging, and the Treasure Hunt is still fiendishly difficult (and I mean that in the very best possible way). Most importantly, the people are still an amazing community of individuals with different backgrounds and worldviews who can come together to discuss the life and times of that eminent gentleman, Dr John H Watson. Amongst his many fine qualities, he was the best friend one could ever wish to have.
I take to heart these words “About the Society“:
We are an open and inclusive Society, seeking the collegiality and conviviality of Members worldwide and at all stages of involvement in Watsonian, Sherlockian and Holmesian interests. Mostly, we are about having fun.
As I adopt the moniker of “Selena Buttons”, I am inspired by Don Libey, who was the kind of person I hope to be: friendly and welcoming and encouraging to all, no matter how you found your way here. I look forward to hearing from you!
This week, in lieu of a Canonical discussion topic, please introduce (or re-introduce) yourself in the Comments section.