Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Sherlockian generosity.

There are Sherlockian traditions, and then there are Sherlockian spirits. The former are easily documentable, repeatable, and most often, expected. The latter, while often behind the former, pop can pop up so randomly that one can get a surprise smile in the middle of an otherwise unexceptional day.

Seeing a Sherlockian desiring of a particular item on the interwebs today, I offered one up gratis and was not at all surprised to find that a fellow Sherlock Holmes buff had beat me to it. Not at all surprised. Because that is who, with certain rare exceptions, I've always known this fandom to be.

But the range these days is so far-reaching, when one considers the current state of Sherlockian generosity.

From individual books handed from one friend to another, to large endowments given to keep university collections curated and growing. From the legion who write and publish to the web for the entertainment of friends they haven't met yet to those groups who organize events that give to charities both inside and outside our hobby. (And those which hit both -- the Beacon Society may have Holmes as a context to give financial aid to teachers, but any funds that help teachers serve purposes much greater than Sherlock Holmes.)

In considering generosity, I've heard it said there are those who give time and those who give treasure. Those who set up weekends to remember like the Scintillation of Scions, the SH/ACD Symposium in Dayton, 221B Con, or that big January weekend all donate massive amounts of time to give a few concentrated days of magic to many a Sherlockian they don't even know. I've known Sherlockians who'll work for weeks or months on a gift for a single Sherlockian, which is time actually creating treasure.

From buying someone a drink to picking up a dinner tab to paying a hotel bill . . . in my time as a Sherlockian, I've seen Sherlockians kind and generous even when they really shouldn't have. Not everyone I'm talking about was wealthy or even possessed of that much disposable income. But their Sherlockian spirit held a love of others in this community that let them rise to the occasion.

Sherlockian spirits are fine things to behold, and no one should ever call an exorcist to remove when a serious possession by one is encountered. In fact, it's the thing one might even find Sherlockians to be most generous with.

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