Saturday, January 7, 2017

People are the presents on Sherlock Holmes's birthday.

You may not hear it, but there is still some disagreement among Sherlockians upon the accepted date of Sherlock Holmes's birth. Most of us are lazy and just accept January 6, but a few holdouts are keeping other dates alive, and that's just fine . . . more days to celebrate that way! And yesterday, celebrations happened.  Here are my notes:
  • Spent a good share of my January 6 waking hours on the road to accomplish the task this year, but it was well worth it. Listened to lots of podcasts, but had used up all my fresh Sherlockian ones. Closest was an interview with Andy Richter who is best known to many as a sort-of-Watson to Conan O'Brien.
  •  Lunch at Alongi's restaurant in DuQuoin, Illinois for the fortieth anniversary of The Occupants of the Empty House. Classic toasts, a paper on "Silver Blaze" and horse race fixing by David Bensley. Good conversation on topics ranging from Pondicherry Lodge to string-ball-head Sherlock's raffle potential. Also happily received a "Keys to Camden House" certificate that was intended ten years ago when I wasn't present for it.
  •  A run down to Carbondale for a look at the Camden House Library. Getting a chance to see every book ever included in "the Shaw 100" (which is actually about 160 books) held a couple of surprises and mental notes of things to follow up on. Also a great chance to examine many an old edition of the Canon that one never gets to see. 
  •  The library visit wasn't just books, as I also got to hear a lot about what Bill Cochran is working on these days included his monograph The Brend Code and "The Second Stain" which will be available at the Dayton symposium this year. The former editor of The Baker Street Journal is diving deep into classic Sherlockian lore these days and it was great to get a chance to hear him exploring such topics.
  •  Heading back up north for dinner at Fire-N-Smoke Wood Fired Kitchen in Troy, Illinois where I met Rob Nunn for a nice long conversation about all things Sherlock. Had to make a lot excuses for the fact that I found the novel Sherlock Holmes's War of the Worlds enjoyable at age nineteen. (Mainly me going, "I was young! It was the seventies!") Good fun discussing BBC Sherlock, mutual friends, future Sherlockian outings, and the "burnt ends" at Fire-N-Smoke were terrific.
  •  Made it home to find an internet holding choice happy bits from Sherlock Holmes birthday celebrations elsewhere. Glad to see Sherlockians I recognize being recognized by a recognizable group. Charles Prepolec and Chris Zordan are both Sherlockians I can certify as excellent company for spending a few hours in a hotel restaurant/bar with, which is the perfect qualifications for the dinner privileges which they were awarded. Other familiar names there as well, but having not dined with any of them, I can't witness their dining-worthiness. Congrats, though!
  •  Last, and not least, as I always enjoy seeing what the new fashions are, was the sight of @headcumbernerd's combination of a Conan Doyle t-shirt with the admonishment "Do whatever you want, I'm super dead" and a "John Watson is Bi" button. Love the spirit behind that.
  •  And because this is Sherlock month, I have to get these haunting thoughts-of-the-moment in: Is the pirate boy in Sherlock's memory Sherrinford? Is Sherrinford Sherlock's twin? How much of Sherrinford is pirate as an adult? Was Sherrinford the Sherlock look-a-like that made that little boy cry way back when? Yes, yes, "It's never twins!" . . .  until it is. (Twins means you don't have to sneak Tom Hiddleston on set.)

Well, that's all the random notes I have on Sherlock Holmes's January 6 Birthday Celebrations out of Peoria. We don't ever get Sherlock anything, but he sure gives us a lot!  


  1. War of the Worlds? Some people's youthful indiscretions are more understandable than others...

  2. Sherlock Holmes’s birthday really should be December 2nd, the real-life birthday of Dr. Joseph Bell, the professor Doyle used has his inspiration for Holmes. Being a Floridian, I choose to celebrate Sherlock Holmes' birthday on July 10th, my father's birthday, I can be as random as Christopher Morley. You are not getting me to NYC in Jan. to frigging cold!!!! Having grown-up in NYC it's already hard enough to get me to go there anytime, anywhere, or anyhow. Then again, if I'm wanting to freeze, I'd probably make the Riga or the SHSL celebration my first choice. Roger Johnson's response to me on the above statement was, "Since Christopher Morley's choice of the 6th January has stuck, I've taken to referring to it as Holmes's official birthday. As you probably know, Queen Elizabeth's birthday is always observed on the second Saturday in June, though her actual birthday is the 21st April - and if it's good enough for the Queen then it's good enough for Sherlock Holmes!"