The August JHWS Meeting: The Watson Rorschach Test

What news of the John H. Watson Society Treasure Hunt is there? What is “The Watson Rorschach Test?” Why doesn’t someone announce meetings sooner?

This Sunday, August 27th, at noon middle-America time, the John H, Watson Society will gather via Zoom and answer at least two of those questions, among others. And then chat about whatever comes up, as Watsonians do to round out ninety minutes before the Canonical Conversationalists time rolls around. Baker Street isn’t the only oven in August this month, but find a cool space and join us. Here’s the registration link:

The 2023 John H. Watson Treasure Hunt

Here we are again, August and the annual test of our John H. Watson Society and anyone else who wants to get in on the challenge. I won’t waste any more time introducing it, because you know you want to get right to it, sooooo: Ready? Set? GO!

Here is the link to the rules:

And here’s a link to the thing itself:

JHWS Treasure Hunt 2023 is coming!

Every August first, Watson’s finest fans embark upon a quest for the treasures hidden within our favorite chronicler’s written records. Both teams and individuals race for glory and achievement in completing the greatest Watsonian challenge of the year, with an entire month to wrack their brains over the test put before them, this year concocted by that devious defender of the Canonically indefensible, Rich Krisciunas.

Rich has promised us a grand challenge this year, with topics ranging from “The Hired Help” to “Time for Bed” (which we hope didn’t cross paths in Watsons life!). Science, medicine, walking sticks, hotels . . . you just don’t know what he’ll come up with. Perhaps even a murderous cipher to be vexin’ a Texan!

Our Treasure Hunt master has provided us with some same questions to whet our whistles as we wait for that Tuesday in August that the big knowledge race starts. See what you can do with the following:

1. What object did Watson see on top of a bookcase?

2. Who besides the King of Bohemia had the chest and limbs of a Hercules?

3. A store selling maps had the same name as a man arrested by Watson. 

4. What was the make of the car driven by Watson?

5. He taught him how to convert stolen property into money.

Have some ideas? The answers will come, but c’mon! You’ve got this! See what your friends think, assemble your team for the Hunt, and plan to start that mental engine racing in just a few short weeks!

Discussing Dr. Watson’s Solo Story

It has finally happened: The John H. Watson Society is finally going to have a story discussion at our next meeting!

The problem with that idea is that we’re the John H. Watson Society, and if we try to discuss a Sherlock Holmes story, who are we probably going to talk about most? Well, Sherlock Holmes, of course, and the next thing you know, we’re a Sherlock Holmes society and not, as the name strongly implies, a John H. Watson society.

So we’re going to try a little experiment at our next meeting we will be discussing Chapter 7 of The Hound of the Baskervilles, entitled “The Stapletons of Merripitt House” and no other parts of that novel.


Because it’s John Watson’s own story, going it alone and without Sherlock Holmes leading him around.

What can we learn about Watson when he doesn’t have his attention-grabbing room-mate sucking up all the oxygen in the room? Well, on Sunday, July 23, we’ll find out at noon Central time, as we discuss a purely Watson tale told by the man himself.

Here’s the registration link:

John H. Watson’s Arch Enemy!

It’s time again for the Watsonians to gather on Zoom, and our opening salvo for June will be trying to figure out who John Watson’s arch enemy was. Sherlock had his Moriarty, but who was the anti-Watson? Who did Watson have a personal stake in striving against?

Join us online at the usual noon central time on Sunday, June 25th for answering this question and the usual random chat that follows. Here’s the registration link:

The Watsonian, Volume 11!

Print issues of the latest issue of The Watsonian – volume 11, number 1! – are arriving in mailboxes. Members can also access the digital edition via the Member Resources page.

If you are currently subscribed to the announcement list, you will soon see an email announcement as well. If you are not currently subscribed to the announcement list, please check your email for the confirmation link to subscribe.

A Watson Baby Shower?

Our May meeting falls right in the center of Memorial Day weekend, so we decided to just have some fun. The year is 1889. The Watsons have just had their first, very non-Canonical baby. You’ve only heard the baby is called “V,” so you don’t know its gender, but you’ve been invited to a baby shower that Mrs. Cecil Forrester is holding for them. What do you bring as an appropriate 1889 gift for the Baby V?

Think hard about it or make one up that afternoon, but we’ll be asking everyone to describe what they’ve brought to our imaginary Watson baby shower, and, if necessary, why?

It’ll be at the usual time on Sunday, May28. (Noon Central time. Six hours later, Southsea time. You figure out the rest.) Here’s the registration link:

Technical Difficulties

We are unable to process memberships at the moment. Selena is working on it and hopes to have everything back up and running soon. We apologize for the inconvenience!

The John H. Watson Society, now on Fourth Sundays!

After years of missing a core member of the John H. Watson Society, we are finally moving the meeting so she can come. It’s now fourth Sundays instead of fourth Saturdays, and as we’re also dodging too big events in the next two months, those will also be our opening theme for each of the next two meetings. And just to make sure we have our act together, we’ve already got registration links for both meetings!

Opening topic: “What did we learn in Dayton?”
When: Mar 26, 2023 12:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada) 
Register in advance for the March meeting with this link!

Opening topic: “What did we learn at 221B Con?”
When: Apr 23, 2023 12:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
Register in advance for the April meeting with this link!

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

Our February meeting!

It’s that time again, and on Saturday, February 25, 2023 at 12:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada) the John H. Watson Society will Zoom gather. What’s going to happen this month? You just never know!

Register in advance for this meeting:

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

In the meantime, listen to this week’s Watsonian Weekly, if you’ve got twelve minutes to devote to our favorite John! Here’s one way to get there:

And We’re Back! And We’re Meeting!

guard outside sherlock holmes museum in london
Photo by Anna Kozlova on

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:

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:

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!

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:

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:

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:

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!

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

Apple Podcasts:


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:

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:


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:

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