Weekly Forum #37

Today’s discussion topic is from our fellow JHWS member “Dash.” Thank you!

Holmes is known for his ability to look at someone and make insightful deductions… which are proven to be correct.  Have you had any Sherlockian moments yourself?

Weekly Forum: #32

Today’s topic is from our fellow JHWS member “Dash.” Thank you!

Each of us has been given a JHWS moniker through mysterious means. Some, like Asta, are well-known; most are not as obvious. What do you feel is the background story or hidden meaning behind your moniker?

Out of the Abyss

(The Society presents reviews and recommendations on books by its members on these pages. We hope you will enjoy hearing of new books furthering our Sherlockian, Holmesian and Watsonian interests. On this occasion, Harrison Hunt, JHWS “Dash,” would like to share his thoughts on a recent publication by the Baker Street Irregulars:)

239_out-abyss-coverOut of the Abyss
Edited by Andrew Solberg, BSI, Steven Rothman, BSI and Robert Katz, BSI.
Baker Street Irregulars Press, 2014.

Out of the Abyss, the latest entry in the Baker Street Irregulars Manuscript Series, gives a multi-faceted look at one of the most significant stories in the Canon, “The Empty House.” As with the previous volumes in the series, Abyss features a facsimile of Arthur Conan Doyle’s manuscript of the story presented with a page-by-page transcription. It also offers extensive notes about textual variations in the early printings of the tale, annotations based on up-to-the-minute scholarship and a bibliography for further study. The manuscript itself is a telling insight into ACD’s abilities as a writer: there are almost no corrections to his neatly written text. It reminded me of an exhibit I saw at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London in 1970 that contrasted two of Charles Dickens’s manuscripts; that for one of his early books had extensive crossings-out and re-writes, while the one for a later book had almost none. Both Dickens and Doyle had become masters of their craft.

In addition to the manuscript, Abyss includes a fascinating series of essays examining “The Empty House” that reflect the full spectrum of the writings about the writings. These chapters range from an overview of the history of the manuscript and its conservation to a short biography of the book collector and dealer Dr. ASW Rosenbach to a short pastiche by Lyndsay Faye. Other essays examine the location of the empty house, period methods of cheating at cards, the roles of Mycroft and Colonel Moran, SH as international spy and the story’s religious symbolism. Of particular significance to members of The John H. Watson Society is Ray Betzner’s contribution, which muses about Watson and the Great Hiatus. It offers an interesting contrast to Betzner’s highly regarded talk on the subject at the 2015 BSI Annual Dinner; both items are well worth reading, and among other things uphold Emerson’s views about hobgoblins.

This is an excellent volume that should be in every serious Sherlockian’s library. The John H. Watson Society can be proud that all three editors – “Herbie”, “Duke” and “Willow” – are Charter Members.

— Harrison Hunt “Dash”

Note from Carla: You can find out more about Out of the Abyss on it’s web page HERE.

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

Congratulations to Four Society Members Receiving BSI Honours

The Society extends congratulations to Jacquelynn Morris “Daphne,” Harrison Hunt “Dash” and Christopher Music “Russell” on their investitures into the Baker Street Irregulars at last evening’s Annual Dinner in New York.  “Daphne” now adds  BSI “The Lion’s Mane” to her biography, “Dash” adds BSI “The Something Hunt” and Christopher adds BSI “Wagner Night at Covent Garden” to his.

The Society also congratulates Randall Stock “Brandy” on his great honour of having the Two Shilling Award bestowed upon him for his notable achievements.

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

Society Lapel/Blouse/Deerstalker Pins Available


The Watson Lapel/Blouse/Deerstalker Pin

Thanks to the kind research by our distinguished Charter Member Harrison Hunt “Dash,” the Society has been fortunate to obtain a supply of distinctive and very nicely-crafted lapel, blouse or deerstalker pins featuring Dr Watson’s Scots clan badge and motto “Insperata Fluorit” which translates to the very appropriate “It Has Flourished Beyond Expectation.”

Given the worldwide flourishing of Dr Watson’s Canon–far beyond his original expectations–it is a most fitting motto for adoption by our Society. The badge shows two hands grasping the evergreen and ever-growing Tree of Knowledge set upon the ancient tartan of the old Edinburgh Watson family from which our good doctor doubtless descends. No more perfect symbols of the Society’s goals and aspirations could be asked for.

In future, we hope to further incorporate this Watson clan badge into our Society’s publishing endeavors and adapt its elements as a part of the Society’s logo and publishing colophon.

Members wishing to have and wear the Watson lapel, blouse or deerstalker pin to Sherlockian meetings and gatherings as a proud indication of their membership in The John H Watson Society may care to purchase a pin at the Society’s cost including shipping of just $10 U.S. and $15 International. The “Buy Now” button above will accommodate PayPal purchases. We anticipate having a limited stock of pins for shipping to you by 25 January 2014.

“Dash” and Spicy Szechaun

Spicy Szechaun Beef from Spicy and Tasty in Flushing NY

Harrison Hunt, “Dash,” sends along this photo of a recent evening’s Szechaun choice at Spicy and Tasty in Flushing NY, where he says it is the best spicy beef he has enjoyed.

This is in response to a quiz comment from several months ago wherein Buttons asked for recommendations for spicy beef in response to Founder Bruce Taylor’s love of the said dish. A “Consultation” of five Founders was held in San Rafael, CA and all enjoyed the dish served at the late Col. Ted Schulz’s favourite Szechaun restaurant where a celebration of his life was held.

Welcome to Harrison D. Hunt, JHWS “Dash” to Charter Membership


The Society is delighted to welcome Mr. Harrison D. Hunt, M.A., to Charter Membership in The John H Watson Society.

Mr. Hunt writes:

“I have an M.A. in History Museum Studies from the Cooperstown (NY) Graduate Program.  After a long career in history museums and historic preservation, I retired a few years ago from the Nassau County (NY) Department of Parks, where I was Senior Curator of History and Supervisor of Historic Sites.  One of the sites I was responsible for was The Knothole, Christopher Morley’s writer’s retreat.

I have a particular interest in the American Civil War and have authored two books about the struggle, Hallowed Ground and Heroes of the Civil War.

Following up on a longstanding interest in Sherlock Holmes, I became an active Sherlockian after the Baker Street Irregulars’ 75th anniversary excursion to The Knothole in 2009.  Since then, I have been an active member of several scions in the Northeast, including the Sons of the Copper Beeches and The Three Garridebs, and have had articles published in The Baker Street Journal and Prescott’s Press.

Most recently, my wife Linda and I founded a scion celebrating Christopher Morley, The Grillparzer Club of the Hoboken Free State.

I have a particular interest in John H. Watson, in part because I do Civil War reenacting as a Union Army Surgeon.  I have written several papers about him, which is not surprising for someone who has DRWATSON plates on his car.

I  am delighted that this Society has been established to honor his

Please join in welcoming Mr. Hunt to the Society with our traditional greeting:

“You have been in Afghanistan, I perceive.”