“Sandy”

Joanne Yates

A Warm Tribute from our Chair to Joanne Yates

Dear Fellow Watsonians:

I am very pleased to see that The Watsonian has had such an enthusiastic reception among its readers. Many people, of course, have contributed to its success. Our “Buttons” has been a tireless cheerleader for the journal and the dozens of authors of the pieces included in the first two issues have borne out the belief that the time has come to turn more critical attention to the role of Dr John H Watson in the creation of Sherlock Holmes saga.

From the outset, my wife Joanne M. Yates has served as The Watsonion’s editor. I think that perhaps no one could have brought more consistent good judgment and taste to the preparation of the first issues of this new magazine destined for its many subscribers.

Anticipating a first issue of at most 80 pages, I was amazed to see that the two numbers of Volume I consisted of 152 and 172 pages, respectively; and the third number, due out this fall, gives promise of extending quite a bit beyond these totals to nearly 250 pages.

From its inception, Joanne has given her level best in establishing and maintaining the quality and readability of our journal, but its gratifying success has understandably required more time and energy than she had expected and she has come to realize that her attention was being drawn away from other previous commitments that she has made, especially that of serving as president of the non-profit 4Paws Learning Wellness Center.

I am sure that her achievements as editor of our magazine’s early issues will stand as a lasting tribute to her talent and devotion to our Society. When I realized that she would not be able to continue in her editorial capacity, she said that she had unhesitatingly devoted all the time necessary to the journal because it was, in a way, a birthday gift bestowed on her husband by Don Libey and other Napa Valley Napoleons back in 2013. She added that the friendships she has formed with so many contributors has been more than ample reward.

I have long received the benefits of her loyalty and dedication, so I am expressing my deep gratitude to her in this way, on our JHWS blog, where all our fellow members can acknowledge her service over the past two years.

With warm regards,

Don Yates “Pal”
The John H Watson Society
Chair
The Society joins in Dr Yates’ tribute To Joanne:

All of our Members join in expressing their sincere appreciation to Dr Joanne Yates for her wonderful creation of The Watsonian.  It is entirely due to her talent that the journal has become so well-regarded and appreciated by all of the Members. Thank you!

Weekly Forum: 26 August 2014 & Napa CA Earthquake

The Earthquake

We have heard from The Chair and our Editor, the good Drs Yates and they are okay. No damage at their home north of Napa at St Helena. Apparently other members in Napa and American Canyon (the epicenter) are–we hope– also okay; there has been no grapevine bad news as yet.  The Society has about 15 Members in the immediate earthquake area and we have had a number of emails from other Members asking if everyone is okay.We also heard from Vamberry at 221B Cellars in Kenwood, Sonoma Valley. He said one bottle of wine broke and two glasses, but the barrels came through completely undamaged.  Whew! That’s a relief!

The Weekly Forum

Our “Chips,” Ron Lies, writes in Chips’ Tid Bits this week expressing his heartfelt affection for the two friends and colleagues, Doctor Watson and Sherlock Holmes. For “Chips” their friendship has been a life-long joy and inspiration for him.  And, as he always does, “Chips” has expressed his appreciation of the many hours of pleasure he has found from the friends in a way that makes us think and reflect.Where does the “Magic Moment” in the friendship of these two occur for you? For Buttons it has to be the only time the mask is stripped away and Holmes is revealed as having affection and emotion:  when Watson is accidently shot.But the Canon is full of subtleties between the two. Perhaps you have observed those subtleties and have thoughts about their relationship, both the surface one and the one that exists much deeper.

On “Becoming” Holmes or Watson

To All:

     When I first read Sherlock Holmes, I was amazed at the stories and how Holmes solved the cases. The more stories I read, the more my outlook changed. Instead of trying to solve the case, I simply enjoyed being along with Holmes as he solved the case.

     When reading, I was going here and there with Holmes and realized I had become Doctor Watson.  Through the beauty of his prose and the style of the writing, I was changed into the Doctor and transported back to 1895.

I recently read a phrase in a paper I would like to share with you. It rang true and I hope you enjoy it too.

“May I submit to you that if you will apply rational reasoning and thought to the matter, you will (may) find that your deep and abiding love for the Sherlock Holmes tales is because of Watson and not because of Holmes.

The Defense Rests.
          -Respectfully, Baynes. aka Jody Baker

     I thank “Buttons” for his advice for my column as well as for the kind words he wrote about me in our latest newsletter.  I thank our Editor, “Sandy,” for helping me make my articles for our journal better.

Ron Lies “Chips”

Society Activities Through April 2014

During February and March, our Editor, Dr Joanne Yates “Sandy” and Buttons will be busy working on the next issue of The Watsonian scheduled for mailing on or around 15 April 2014.  We are anticipating an issue even larger than the inaugural October 2013 issue, so there is a great deal of work to be accomplished.

During this period, we may have to slow our Weekly Quiz to a Bi-Weekly Quiz. Buttons will try to keep them coming every week, but there are other complications, as you will learn next.

Buttons and Andrea Stewart “Asta,” our Membership Director, will be relocating from Sonoma County, California’s wine country to the beautiful Horse Capital of the World, Ocala, Florida, where they look forward to embarking on another of their many life adventures at age 70.  As you may imagine, the details of home buying and moving will be a bit time-consuming, so we may not be quite as responsive as normal. We are foregoing the seven-day, 3,000 mile drive in favor of a direct flight in seven hours (which is a major concession by Buttons as he had sworn NEVER to fly again for ANY reason after 40 years of  flying 200 days a year). We hope to be in our new home and fairly settled by 15 March 2014.

There will be some periods when we will be out of communication; unfortunately, some of it will be during the final days of getting the journal off to the printer, but we will persevere and doubtless all will go smoothly. If, for some reason, Buttons is unable to reply to your emails quickly, your patience will be greatly appreciated.

The John H Watson Society has been designed as primarily an online Society, so it will continue to operate as it has so far, only partially from a different location. Our activities for 2014 include the two issues of The Watsonian, two published monographs, the Weekly Quizzes, the Second Annual Treasure Hunt, and–coming in October–the First International Invitational Team Treasure Hunt, an exciting worldwide Super-Quiz to challenge Watsonians and Sherlockians from around the globe.

As always, sincere thanks and appreciation is extended to our now nearly 140 members for your interest, your participation, and your continued support of the Society.

A Consultation of the Society: 27 December 2013

Two days after Christmas, as per the Canonical text, a Consultation of the Society was held in Napa, California at the home of Charter Members Andree and Chuck Youngson, “Belle” and “Jeeves.” The gracious hosts prepared the wonderful classic British dinner of roast beef with all the trimmings and additional dishes, appetizers, and desserts, as well as a liberality of wines, were brought by members. Suffice it to say that the warmth of hospitality, conviviality and superb cooking have seldom reached such heights in the post-Christmas quietude.

The afternoon also served as a meeting of the Napa Valley Napoleons of S.H., Dr Don Yates, “Pal” in the chair. The “Blue Carbuncle” radio drama starring Sirs Richardson and Geilgud was listened to and discussion followed.

Prof Yates called the Society’s third Consultation to order. The nine Founding and Charter Members present included Prof Yates and Dr Joanne Yates “Pal and “Sandy,” Andree and Chuck Youngson “Belle” and Jeeves,” Bruce Taylor “Booker,” Alice and Donald Schueler, “Goldie” and “Ascoyne,” Andrea Stewart “Asta” and Don Libey, “Buttons.”

Prof Yates called the Consultation to order at 3:00 p.m. A toast to Dr Watson was offered and celebrated. A motion was made to proceed with Bylaw #5 and to adjourn the meeting as no other business was before the Society. The motion carried and the Chair adjourned the Consultation at 3:05 p.m.  Following the meeting, a fine bottle of aged port was poured and sticky toffee pudding was enjoyed by all.

The First “Consultation”

The Society’s first Consultation was held at the home of Don and Joanne Yates on Saturday, April 13, 2013, from 12 noon to sometime after dark. Five of the Founding Members were present and a quorum was called. By-Laws 1 and 2 were, at all times, respected and By-Law 5 was given very adequate exercise.

The Chair, Prof. Yates, officially welcomed into Founding Membership Peter Blau, Michael Kean, Donald Pollock and Bruce Taylor. Appropriate toasts were made to each Founder.

The first “Consultation” was held as a part of a large gathering to celebrate the birthday of Don Yates. “The Woman,” Dr. Joanne Yates, prepared a sumptuous feast of authentic Argentine deliciacies, some specially flown in from the long, pointy country to the south, including chorizo, grilled sweetbreads (delicious), empanadas (beyond delicious), and Argentine beefsteak, grilled to perfection. A selection of Napa Valley wines rounded out the participants.

Much discussion was devoted to Watsonian and Sherlockian topics and speculation. Later, after feasting and liberal tastings, naps were noted.

A memorable day; a wonderful gathering; a singular and very special feast; an historic “Consultation.”