Saturday, October 12, 2019

Left Coast Sherlockian Symposium: Friday Night

Almost 7 AM, and two and a half hours until the West Coast Sherlockian Symposium is under way. Retaining a midwestern body clock on the west coast means early mornings, to be sure, and I've already been out for a morning stroll and picking up supplies at a nearby quickie mart. Hotel breakfast doesn't start for another half hour on weekends, so an apple fritter was "necessary."

Soooooo, what happened last night?

Well, thanks to the second place team from the annual Watsonian Treasure Hunt, I got to speed up to the Raven and the Rose for happy hour registration via the local light rail system instead of more walking. I was grateful enough to take it in stride when the knives literally came out at dinner for being on the first place team from the annual Watsonian Treasure Hunt. (If not for the knives, I might have not felt the need to mention that here.)

The upstairs happy hour area at the Raven and Rose was especially crowded (well, Friday night and all), and after getting signed in and getting badges, the mingling and meeting faces old and new began. Had a lovely discussion with a fellow contributor to The Holmesian Federation, that grand and tragic crossover fanzine from back in the day, talked to some local folk, a whole lot of Watsonians as well, as recognizable faces from 221B Con weekends . . . this conference looks to be a marvelous mix of traditional Sherlockians with the bright new creatives.

After leaning on a pool table for a while, I heard that Sunny Even wrangled a table for twelve in the restaurant below, and joined that hasty assemblage for dinner and got to sit between quizmaster Margie Deck and Watsonian associate editor Jen Snyder. As Jen and I both got the mushroom risotto that came with a warning about uninspected foraged mushroom, I let her try her dish first, claiming Watsonian associate editor duties included food tasting for the editor-in-chief. She seemed unaffected, so I dove in. The Raven and Rose serves up some very rich foodstuffs, to be sure.

I was lucky enough to sit across from the John H. Watson Society "Boy in Buttons," Beth Gallego, so we had all sorts of chat about that institution, and I got to feel a little more comfortable in my role as the editor of The Watsonian, since former editor Elinor Gray is the only person I had gotten to have a face-to-face chat with about it since taking the job.

As with any Sherlockian weekend, the ideas for new projects and ways to celebrate Sherlock (and John H,) are starting to roll in, and I already volunteered for a certain something next year that I'm excited to get into.

We shan't discuss the new medical condition I learned about from hiking five miles when you're well past sixty, which I first attributed to the foraged mushrooms at Raven and Rose. And the hotel breakfast is about to open up, so . . . MORE TO COME!

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