It's 9:06 on Sunday night and the hotel is full of strangers. It's very odd.
Not that I knew every resident of the hotel by name this morning, but they were like familiar residents of a small town. Friendly "hellos" were exchanged in the elevators, little comments about our common community were passed between us. And that small town has evaporated like morning fog, leaving a few drops of dew in the bar, perhaps, but otherwise mostly a memory.
And a happy memory.
Today's path for me was very simple, didn't allow time for lunch, but was so very worth missing a meal.
It started with a simple panel on "Villains of Sherlock Holmes," with a few familiar faces on the panel, including a new friend met this weekend, as is typical of a Sherlockian weekend.
Then came the live Baker Street Babes podcast, featuring Sherlock Holmes (and Dinosaurs!) star Ben Syder, now among my top two screen Sherlocks for his great warmth and humor. Now, it's been two years since my last live Baker Street Babes podcast, and I don't know if they have a fan club yet, but I am still waiting to join up the minute it exists. Kristina Manente, even quietly feeling under the weather, is still a presence well worth having on any panel, and the rest of the line-up like the gathered Avengers of modern Sherlockiana. I could fanboy on the topic of those ladies all day long, and may even do a podcast upon the topic with some Baker Street Buddy-Boys one of these days just for fun. (Alliterating a male version of the Babes needs work, obviously.)
After that came the screening of the aforementioned Sherlock Holmes (and Dinosaurs!) with its star and Sherlock, Ben Syder, doing live commentary alongside it. Yes, live DVD commentary you won't find anywhere but here and then. And it was among the best movie viewings of my life, because, hey, I live in Peoria! And Ben was great and generous with his time all through the con, enhancing our love of his Sharknado-level Sherlock Holmes film and appreciation for a good, working actor. I can't wait to see what he gets up to next, and hope it's on the screen rather than the stage so I don't have to fly across the ocean to see it. A grand time was had by all at the screening, and it was a highlight of the weekend.
Following that, a panel called "Holmes through the Years," when Ashley Polasek gave us a sample of her special area of expertise (and yes, there were other expert panelists, but I'm singling out Ashley because she's going to be publishing on the subject of Sherlock Holmes's evolution on film one of these days and I want to remember to watch for it).
Eventually we came to "Our Last Bow," 221B Con's wrap-up panel where the crew that puts on this marvelous event every year bravely lets the audience suggest things for next year, typically getting comments like, "I love the con so much! But could you . . . ." That panel always ends with some good applause, which is well deserved. So very well deserved. Every bit of praise I lay down for every other person at the con can be doubly laid down for Crystal and the team as well
I have played Sherlockian pictionary with pre-flight Baker Street Babes, and I have been tested by the BBC Sherlock Fluxx cards of the devilish Nea Dodson, (along with Chris Zordan on both counts) all since 221B Con wound up. And in the early morning, I shall take to the highways and wind my way away from this once happy place.
But I shall return. Yeah, verily, I shall return. (Sorry, read a Thor comic at some point today, as well.)