Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Unpacking 221B Con

Well, if you're not sick of the words "221B Con" by now, it's probably because you were there.

Tonight, after a two-day journey home involving country music, my own personal Eurus and Mama Holmes, and far too much unhealthy eating, I finally walked in the door of home at about 8:30 P.M. Tuesday night and started dutifully unpacking the physical things of con.

Each of the things brought it's own moments back with it. An autographed web comic sheet. A belated book purchase from babes. A tea bag. A button. A hood ornament. The list goes on and on. I wore a tie. I never wear ties. Even the things I took down to Atlanta with me have come back with their own moments. It's good to have a little time to reflect once the weekend is all over, because in the mad whirl of it actually happening, one can never stop being distracted enough to step back and look at what it all those moments add up to.

"221B Con" might seem like just an easy name choice for a Sherlock Holmes convention, but what if, unbeknownst to most of us, it was actually the con's mission statement? Because it really is.

Think about 221B Baker Street for a moment, and what that iconic place was. Not just a home with a caring landlady who took eccentricity in stride . . . though 221B Con definitely is that. There are a whole lot of Mrs. Hudsons holding this con together, and I think it was definitely a sign from a Sherlockian God that Marilynne McKay came dressed as Mrs. Hudson for so many years. (Her Queen Elizabeth this year, however, was choice!)

221B Baker Street was also the place where John H. Watson met a man with a legion of seemingly unconnected interests and learned what all of those subjects made when you got to know him well enough to see what being Sherlock Holmes truly meant. 221B Con brings strangers together, shows you such diverse topics that might make you at first go "What does this have to do with anything?" like Watson first did with Holmes, and, in the end, can make you realize that you've made an unlikely friend who has enriched your life.

Clients came to 221B Baker Street to try to make sense of personal mysteries in their lives, to run their personal details through a great mind that can conceive of dozens of explanations for any set of facts, and in the end, return home having learned a truth or two. Also true of 221B Con? After six years of its existence and five years of attending, I have to say "yes."

One of the great heartbreaks of being a true blue Sherlockian will always be the fact that we can never actually visit 221B Baker Street and those beauties who lived there. But, let me tell you, 221B Con has this way of coming close, if you open up to it.

2018 was a good year for 221B Con. But then, they've all been good years so far. And I know I'm not the only Sherlockian who feels that way. And we'll never get tired of hearing those words, "221B Con." If you haven't been, look over the con's website and schedule and have the slightest glimmer of "This sounds like something I might like," I would encourage you to give it a try next year. It might just become your second favorite 221B, right behind that one where Sherlock and John actually lived.


  1. Okay already, enough salt in the wounds, I can't help it that I missed it this year for Irene. Barring a visit from Moriarty, I'll try for next year. :-(

    1. Now I can really rest! I'll look forward to it, Howard!

  2. Brad, I love this idea of comparing the con to 221b. Such an eclectic place, full of discovery and learning about things you didn't think you'd ever want to learn about. It makes me nostalgic!

    1. Thanks! The parallels are just too perfect, aren't they? Love that con!