Tomorrow, the first-ever "Holmes in the Heartland" Sherlockian convocation begins in St. Louis.
There's always something memorable about such events, whether they go on for years, or stand alone as a one-off, because the first time someone puts one of these together, they're always something new.
Because you just don't know what will happen at a first-time event. "No plan survives first contact with the enemy," as an old Prussian once said, and even though attendees aren't exactly "the enemy," they are always a force to be reckoned with. Things may go awry, or miracles may occur . . . you just don't know.
But the first time for anything is always when the surprise (and therefore the fun) is apt to be the greatest. And "Holmes in the Heartland" is a little different than some weekend gatherings in that the planners seem to have put some thought into showing off their city in its best light as a part of laying out the events. Personally, I'm a "give me a hotel that I never have to leave" sort of guy, but that sort of Sherlockian focus is what had me not seeing any non-Sherlockian New York sights until my fourth trip to that city, which is known for its non-Sherlockian sights.
So we'll see what St. Louis has to offer this time out.
Dubuque, Minneapolis, Santa Fe, Atlanta . . . following Holmes around has put me in many memorable cities for many memorable Sherlockian first times.
I'll let you know how it goes. The Whaling News is also promising to be reporting on the event online, so look for that reportage here.