Today, I spent a lot of time thinking back to the early 1980s and Dubuque, Iowa, and what came after.
Dubuque was where I first met Gordon Speck.
We lost Gordon today. And what a day for it. With all that's going on lately, with one of the worst examples of a human male dominating our media, the loss of one of the truest gentlemen I ever met hit all the harder.
Gordon Speck, and his partner in Sherlockian crime Bill Cochran, were among the Sherlockian friends I met at a Dubuque Sherlockian conference way back when, and let me tell you . . . as much as I love the bunch of them, Gordon always stood out.
Gordon was one of those people who made you a better person, both by example and by the respect and kindness in how he treated you. And everybody else, with a few rare exceptions. I was lucky enough to share more than a few adventures with Gordon, and even at the most frustrating of moments, like when one of our more eccentric Sherlockian drivers crashed into Gordon's car in the most ridiculous way I ever saw, Gordon remained patient, generous, and kind.
We all have those people who come first to mind when we hear "Sherlockians are the best people," and Gordon was one of mine. We usually use Holmes's words "Stand we me here upon the terrace . . ." to honor our dead in Sherlockian circles, but given this moment and the un-gentleness out there in the world, I don't think I want to just stand with Gordon's memory. I think maybe it's time to do as Holmes and Watson do in the rest of "His Last Bow:" They leave the terrace, get in the car, and head off to take a friend out into a world that needs their services more than ever. Taking a friend, or even the memory of a friend like Gordon out into the world is definitely something worth doing.
Because if memories of Gordon Speck inspire an occasional moment of emulating his example out there, well, that won't be a bad thing at all.
On we go, Gordon. Thanks.