News

  • And We’re Back! And We’re Meeting!
    guard outside sherlock holmes museum in london
    Photo by Anna Kozlova on Pexels.com

    First, thank you all very much for your patience as some behind the scenes chaos went on. The site is back up and running. Some of our media files are still being restored, but members can find downloadable digital Watsonian issues on the Member Resources page.

    Also! We will be meeting on Zoom this Saturday, January 28. Here are the details:

    You are invited to a Zoom meeting.
    When: Saturday, Jan 28, 2023 12:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

    Register in advance for this meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMpceioqjkuGNzgu_jsjZGEt1FJmwAlnTGH

    After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

  • Upon the Terrace for Ron Lies, JHWS “Chips”

    We have received word that our dear “Chips” passed away yesterday, January 16, in Denver, Colorado.

    When Ron joined the Society in 2013, he wrote:

    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 an 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.

    He contributed to the Society blog many, many times over the years, including his long-running irregular feature, “Tid Bits“. He always brought a spirit of joy and friendship to the world of Sherlockiana. In 2014, he shared some thoughts in an observation I will reprint here.

    Recently, there have been exchanges online about who is a Sherlockian. We have always had a healthy exchange of different ideas. This discussion question has brought out responses that have caused hard feelings among some Sherlockians. This concerns me and I would like to share some thoughts I have about the Grand Game we play.

    I was fortunate to meet and know John Bennett Shaw, who had the largest individual Sherlockian collection in the United States and was one of the kindest, most decent human beings I ever had the pleasure to know. In my too few visits by letter and in person, we discussed all things Sherlockian. The following points are concepts I took away from my conversations with John Bennett Shaw. I try to base my Sherlockian actions on these points:

    1. If you have one of a Sherlockian collectible, you gloat. If you have two, you share.
    2. A Sherlockian is anyone who has read a Sherlock Holmes story (preferably a story from the Canon) and tries to find more.
    3. A Sherlockian is someone who has watched a Sherlock Holmes movie, television program or play and who tries to find more.
    4. A Sherlockian is one who has listened to a Sherlockian radio show, tape or cassette and tries to find more.
    5. We should treat a Sherlockian’s opinion with respect even if that opinion is wrong or disagrees with yours.
    6. The most important rule is: if you are having fun, do it; if you are not having fun,

    I wish you all could have met John Bennett Shaw. He was a Sherlockian and human being of the finest kind.

    These then are my thoughts: I am afraid we are losing some of the fun in and respect for each other’s point of view that John mentioned we should have. We each have our own favourite Sherlock Holmes and his world. I am a traditionalist. My Sherlock Holmes is that of the Canon and of the world of 1887. The actor who portrayed my quintessential Holmes is Peter Cushing in his portrayal of Holmes in the 1968 BBC television series.

    I am sure there are others who will disagree with me. I look forward to discussing my beliefs with you whether you are Brett supporters or the new wave of Cumberbatch supporters from the BBC Series “Sherlock” which updates Holmes to modern times. All I ask is that you treat my beliefs with the same respect and courtesy I will treat yours.

    Greetings to all my Sherlockian friends and those friends I have not yet met.

    I never had the privilege of meeting Ron in person, but he was a wonderful correspondent. I hope that we will continue to honor his spirit in all we do.

    Please share your reminiscences and condolences in the comments. A memorial will be included in the Spring issue of the Watsonian.

  • The John H. Watson Society 2022 Blue Carbuncle All-Carolling Musical!

    This coming Saturday is the December meeting of the John H. Watson Society at noon Central time (adjust accordingly to your location) and here’s the meeting registration link:
    https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0qf-qurTkoE9zRiMaCBxh2tOP6S6-D2pZe

    As usual, our opening presentation/discussion starter will be a last-minute bit of something Watson-ish, but this time we really need your help! This Saturday will be the first ever John H. Watson Society Blue Carbuncle All-Carolling Musical, and we can’t do it without a cast! (Or, to put it more plainly, you don’t want to see who is willing to perform it without a cast.)

    Can you sing Christmas carols, and not necessarily well? Can you stand to sing one or two verses a capella karaoke by yourself? (It’s Zoom, so all solos!) Are you full of that blythe Christmas spirit that overcomes Zoom stage fright? Well, come join in the fun! We’ll be rehearsing an hour before the meeting at 11 AM Central time, and here’s the link to that, but be forewarned — if you come to rehearsal, you’d best be prepared to sing — no lookey-loos allowed at rehearsal, of course!
    https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcsdOuhqj0jGd05FzVTryfalkHhtlUpYrgs

    After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting, and you will later be emailed some lyrics to practice on if you sign up before Saturday for the rehearsal. (If you sign up on Saturday, you can still sing, but the lyrics will come at 11.)

  • Yes, we had a meeting. And we’ll do it again!

    The John H. Watson Society gathered on Zoom this past Saturday, after a bit of a late notice. You can hear some of what went on here:

    https://watsonianweekly.libsyn.com/november-28-2022-watson-gets-stinky

    And if you want to get ready for next month’s meeting, which is coming on Saturday, December 17, 2022 at 12:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada), you can register in advance at:
    https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0qf-qurTkoE9zRiMaCBxh2tOP6S6-D2pZe

    After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

  • Come on Saturday if convenient. If inconvenient . . . well you know what to do.

    Think we forgot you? Nope! Join the John H. Watson Society and friends on Saturday for some laconic messages to Watson from a certain friend that may require your services to interpret.

    You are invited to a Zoom meeting.
    When: Saturday, Nov 26, 2022 12:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

    Register in advance for this meeting:
    https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwpd-ysrTIpE93kKPMIwgCzYQ0aLKNxbtsE

    After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

  • Why is the Watsonian Weekly longer this week?

    You can probably guess — but we save it for the end of the show, so if you don’t want spoilers, you can listen to most of the podcast before turning it off. Otherwise, DIG IN! It’s Watsonian Weekly time!

    https://watsonianweekly.libsyn.com/november-7-2022-no-spoilers-until-the-end

    You can subscribe to the Watsonian Weekly on all the good podcathers, like . . .

    Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-watsonian-weekly/id1465553726

    Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/23X2gDGeWfsvapGDrZfVQs

    And more!

  • What kind of monster would Watson be?

    Sure, the John H. Watson Society could talk about trick-or-treat costumes for our favorite doctor this Halloween season, but why not take it a step further at our Saturday, October 22 meeting? If Watson was an actual monster, what type of monster would suit his personality and preferences the most? That will be our starter topic, but you know the JHWS! Past that, it’s just the normal pub chat that our members enjoy. The usual mid-day-in-mid-America meeting time — come in costume if you dare!

    Register in advance for this meeting:
    https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAkcemvrz4sG9XFChbNGpflYc6pbbTlMeKc

    After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

  • The Clark Russell Challenge!

    What? You say you were traveling to Toronto or waxing your moustache, and missed this month’s meeting of the John H. Watson Society? Well, here’s your chance to see what you missed on the latest episode of the Watsonian Weekly, where our usual fifteen minute podcast has been extended to include a hastily produced, written, and directed production of “The Frozen Pirate” by W. Clark Russell, perhaps John Watson’s favorite writer!

    Can you last for the entire episode? That’s “The Clark Russell Challenge” and it’s available wherever The Watsonian Weekly is streamed, including this link:

    https://watsonianweekly.libsyn.com/september-26-2022-the-clark-russell-challenge

    Enjoy!

  • The Latter Days of September with John H. Watson and His Society

    Have the equinoctial gales set in with exceptional violence in your neighborhood yet? The trees in the neighborhood of at least one Watsonian think so. Nonetheless, the internet cable is back and it’s time to gather the John H. Watson Society yet again.

    In honor of a particular Watson September, we will be featuring an impromptu Clark Russell reader’s theater production of what some say is the very book he was reading the night that John Openshaw came to 221B Baker Street. (“Some” being a certain weekly podcast host.) You won’t want to miss it, just in case someone forgets to hit the “record” button.

    When: Sep 24, 2022 12:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada) 

    Register in advance for this meeting:

    https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYkdO-trjIuHdSh1BB-hobwjXJdoldPXH7y

    After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

  • 2022 Treasure Hunt Results

    Attenta! Attenta! The results have arrived from our esteemed Treasure Hunt Master, Rich Krisciunas (Hector):

    “The 2022 John H. Watson Society Treasure Hunt is now over with a record 27 participants trying to solve a contest that was described as “a death quiz,” “diabolical” and “fun, fun, fun.”

    The quiz had 72 questions based on our heroes in the Canon, some really horrible puns and a killer cipher. The fun thing was to review all of your answers and award points when deserved. My final answer sheet grew by an additional two pages. One of my questions had an extra four possible correct answers that I hadn’t thought of. Hats off to all of you for being so clever and knowledgeable about our hobby.

    The individual champion was Steve Mason (Tex) of the Crew of the Barque Lone Star and the head of the Legion of Zoom who scored 182 of out a possible 200 points. Mason edged out sixty five time champion Michael Ellis (Lobo) who scored 177 points. The difference turned out to be that darn cipher as Mason correctly solved the phrase, “Good old Watson. You are the one fixed point in a changing age.” Our society is named after Watson so that was the first clue. The dreaded cipher used the first letter only in four letter words. Puzzlers who wondered about why words like “xray” and “iced” coffee appeared in the message figured out the solution. 

    Paul Thomas Miller (Buck), sole member of The Shingle of Southsea, finished in third place with 173 points ahead of Todd Winegar 159, Enrico Solito (Devon) 155, Paul Hartnet (Scout) 140. Tom Campbell, of Cape Fear, North Carolina, Caitlyn Maughan and Ellie Lo rounded out the group.

    The toughest competition in Treasure Hunt history took place in the team category as two teams tied for first place with 190 points and the champion was decided by date of entry. “The Sound of the Baskervilles”; Cameron Brandon, Margie Deck (Mopsy), Sunny Even, Nancy Holder (Diana) and Naching Kassa submitted their entry on August 12 and ended up edging the “Ineffable Twaddles”; Beth Gallego (Selena Buttons), Sandra Little (Harmless), Brad Keefauver (Calder), Crystal Noll, Madeline Quinones (Maddy), and Tatiana Sharapa who turned in their answers on August 28. 

    The all French team, “La Fayette SSHF,” led by captain,Daniel Henocq and his assistants Léandre Helbecque, Nicolas Maurel-Lalague, Florence Turenne and Thierry Saint-Joanis (Tristan) finished in third place with 136 points edging out Ed and Elaine Lintzenich who battled Covid and the cipher to finish fourth.

    Thanks to all who participated and I hope the hours you put into the Hunt were enjoyable. Until next year, best wishes to all who play ‘The Game.'”

    2022 Treasure Hunt Answers