September 08th, 2014

Rereading my books, I found this piece. You may call it old-fashioned, but it is what it is. I enjoy others being passionate about their new versions and I wish them well. For me, with writings like this, I am and always will be an 1895 Sherlockian.


Sonnet on Baker Street

Quick, Watson, quick! (he says) the game’s afoot:
Perhaps it’s only Scandal in Bohemia,
Or maybe Speckled Band, or Devil’s Root,
Or famous sleuth who’s dying of Anaemia–
The Dancing Men, Chicago’s smartest crooks
Have given us the code: we’ll fool that party —
These are not merely episodes in books,
But the Crusade of Holmes and Moriarty.

So bring the fiddle and the dressing gown,
And Mrs. Hudson, and brave Scotland Yard,
And Watson by the jezail bullet lamed–
We rattle in a hansom back to town.
If this is fancy, history’s debarred:
If this is fiction, let fact be ashamed.

                  —Christopher Morley; On Sherlock Holmes.

The Grillparzer Club of the Hoboken Free State

Through the gracious generosity of Member Harrison ‘Terry’ Hunt “Dash” and his lovely wife Linda, copies of Hoboken Nights, the journal of the Grillparzer Club of the Hoboken Free State were recently received.The Grillparzer Club celebrates the life and works of the redoubtable author, wit and founder of the Three Hours for Lunch Club and the Baker Street Irregulars, Christopher Morley, a legendary Sherlockian and man of letters.

The journal takes its name and masthead design from a single-issue publication Christopher Morley prepared in April 1929 for distribution at one of the theatrical shows he produced between 1928 and 1930 in Hoboken, New Jersey.

The club was the inspiration of Linda and Harrison (Terry) Hunt. They became familiar with Morley when they worked in his beloved Rosalyn, Long Island–Linda as a staff member of the Bryant Library there and Terry as the Supervisor of Historic Sites for Nassau County Parks, which included overseeing Morley’s writing studio, The Knothole.

A number of Watsonians are members of the Grillparzer Club and include Robert Katz, Jon Lellenburg, Francine and Richard Kitts, Burt Wolder, Peter Crupe, Al Gregory, Richard Sveum, and our emeritus Member, the late Vinnie Brosnan.

Membership is open to those interested for a nominal $15 per year which includes invitations to all club dinners and activities and two issues of the very well-done and highly informative newsletter, Hoboken Nights, edited and produced by Linda and Harrison Hunt.  Dues may be sent payable to Harrison and Linda Hunt and mailed to 113 North Street, Catskill, NY 12414.

We believe the joy and good humour associated with The Grillparzer Club, as well as the added knowledge to come of “The Old Mandarin” are well worth the very modest price of admission. Christopher Morley is an unending fountain of discovery.

Buttons first was introduced to Christopher Morley via his 1919 classic book, The Haunted Bookshop. This rich story created a life-long fascination with books, book collecting and–somewhere–was responsible for Buttons going into the antiquarian book dealing business. Mr Morley also wrote the preface to The Complete Sherlock Holmes, published by Doubleday, 1930, and his immortal introduction was the very first thing Buttons ever read, as an eight year-old, about Holmes and Watson. My Mother and Father may have given me the book for Christmas in 1953, but Christopher Morley told me what was in store . . . and it turned out to be an alternative life. Here is that first book from my collection: The Haunted Bookshop