Having told of my intentions to mug a visitor to Sherlock Peoria yesterday, it seems only fitting that I pen a few lines upon the results of said encounter here today.
The good Carter and I met Rob Nunn downtown at what is currently Peoria's most fashionable bistro, Thyme, for a bit of lunch among enough hunting trophies to make Hugo Baskerville's banquet hall seem appropriately decorated. Rob is a very genial fellow and the conversation took off quite quickly, going on long after the food was served, eaten, and the table cleared.
Topics ranged from the Sherlockian history of St. Louis, why some city's scion societies thrived more than others, great Sherlockians we have in common, the Baker Street Irregulars, the Baker Street Babes, fan fiction, the unknowable future of this hobby of ours, and many, many other bits, including some detours through comics or movies.
Once we vacated the restaurant and made our way into deepest, darkest Peoria, where the secret lair in which this blog is written resides, the conversation just rolled on, and in the midst of the Sherlockian library here, Rob's methodical working his way down the bookshelves brought up many more topics including his own research and writings (which I'm sure I'm not the only one who will be eager to see one day), and helped me realize that I own a few things I had forgotten all about.
Going through books, one topic that I realized we now need a history of is that of Sherlockian publishing. A few small publishers of some very important Sherlockian tomes have come and gone at this point, and there are some great stories that go with each of them. Rob was happy to help me clean out a few duplicates in the library, and I was delighted to see them get into appreciative hands. I've been spreading a few things around at 221B Cons past, but it's always especially nice to see things redistributed a bit more locally.
All in all, it was a very good day, reminiscent of ones I had back in the 1980s, when meeting some very great Sherlockians of note for the first time. Spending time with another Holmes fan who is so well up on our culture that one doesn't have to stop any wandering path the conversation might take . . . well, that is some of the best time one can have as a Sherlockian.
Of course, it wasn't all joy, especially for our guest, as Rob was eventually cornered into watching the DVD of The Great Whimsical Sherlockian Tour of Oklahoma and Texas, as a.) I had forgotten the whole thing is on YouTube anyway, and b.) something about the aging process makes a person just want to start showing vacation slides to younger humans whenever possible.
But it was a grand visit, and I'm looking forward to heading down toward the St. Louis area again one of these days and visiting Rob on his own turf, as well as some other friends in that district.
Considering that technological advancements and our general fear-based political atmosphere have converted the phrase, "Oh, one of my Sherlockian correspondents is dropping by for a visit," to the much creepier "Some guy I met on the internet is coming over!" I am very happy to report that a Sherlockian is still a Sherlockian is still a Sherlockian, whether snail mail or Twitter is your method of connection. Getting together for a visit works just the same as it always has.
Now I just have to get back to the one thing Rob Nunn and I didn't discuss overly much yesterday . . . the John H. Watson Society Treasure Hunt, which we are both on the same team attempting to solve. For some reason, I keep finding excuses . . . like blogging this bit . . . to wander off.