"Evidently, Flower Mound resident is an expert on Sherlock Holmes."
Thus ran a headline on the Dallas News site this week.
The wording of it made me chuckle. Even though "evidently" basically means the same thing as "plainly" or "obviously," it has a connotation of a Nigel Bruce-like cluelessness, a bit of surprise at the discovery of the thing.
Sort of a "What? Don Hobbs knows something about Sherlock Holmes?"
And that made me laugh.
News articles about Don Hobbs like to get to his collection quickly. Twelve thousand items, one hundred and eight languages . . . impressive numbers. But the numbers describing a room in his house are just that, numbers. They make a nice shorthand in an eight hundred word article trying to get its head around the complex workings of a devout Sherlockian.
My favorite write-up of Don Hobbs is still the five-hundred-and-twenty-part exploration of his thoughts on Sherlockian life that appeared between 2002 and 2012 in his Maniac Collector's blog. So many travels. So many people. So many books. And more than those countable things. So many thoughts on what it was to be a Sherlock Holmes fan, and the changes that take place as the years pass in a Sherlockians life.
News articles like to focus on the massive number of books, but Don was always at his best when talking about just one of those books and what he went through to get that book. Friends made, connections sought. A collection that spans the world isn't something one picks up at the local Barnes & Noble.
Evidently, there's a Flower Mound resident who is an expert on Sherlock Holmes.
I guess not everybody knows that yet. But one of these days, well, you never know.