Every now and then I think of one of us who left and never came back.
A lot of folks dabble in Sherlockiana when Sherlock Holmes is on screens and popular, or enjoy the community of a local club for a time when membership is fun, then decide the hobby just isn't for them. But there are always those curious few who come in so strong, hit so many of the goalposts that signal a Sherlockian for life, and then vanish from our ken.
There are those who undergo a major life alteration, like a marriage to a spouse who just won't have it. And there are those who push and push toward a goal they at some point decide they can never achieve in this hobby, or take some other hard hit. Understandable reasons, if regrettable. And then there are the mysteries, those folks whose stories we never know.
But there are always a few mysterious ghosts who remain forever in our memories, yet walked away from Sherlock Holmes like Watson with a wife.
I suspect those folk remain especially memorable just because of those unknown factors, like Jack the Ripper, who always got extra press over worse serial killers just because no one knew his story. We miss all of those who leave this community, for whatever reason, even those annoyances who become less so with the haze of nostalgia. But those mystery ex-Sherlockians . . . well, they're just unsolved mysteries. And as Sherlockians, we like our mysteries solved as well and good as Sherlock would.
As I head out to another gathering of Sherlockians, to see familiar faces and those that will become familiar, it's a time one remembers a lot of folks one met along the way. It's a little bittersweet, yes, but definitely more sweet than bitter. And it's a big reason that those of us who stay in this game don't wander off -- no mystery there.
Because losing touch with a few folks along the way is not nearly so bad as losing touch with all of them.