Having gotten the annual invitation-only ritual out of the way late Friday afternoon, the most festive weekend in Sherlockland rolled onward. Saturday morning brought this lovely video confection from he-who-dares-to-YouTube, Paul Thomas Miller, which truly captures family life with a Sherlockian in the house.
The Beacon Society got up and met at 9 AM Central time, which would be 7 AM on the West Coast, I guess. It's a sign of what good-hearted and dedicated individuals those Sherlockians are, and since I was just watching Paul Thomas Miller videos and pondering taking a shower at that time instead of attending, well, I just have to settle for being proud of them. They have really built and grown since their first gathering at the Algonquin Hotel so many years ago.
The gathering of the John H. Watson Society came at 11 AM CST, with our traditional toasts, and two sessions of "The Watson Game," a total "Dating Game" rip-off in which a person cast as Sherlock Holmes must choose from three Watsons based on their answers to Watson-based questions. Rob Nunn and Sandy Kozinn were our winning Watsons, although all of our Watsons were winning, because they were Watsons! We tried to keep the program tight, knowing that other Zooms were coming, and the formal program ended after 45 minutes, but I kept the meeting running for any who wanted to socialize.
The William Gillette Luncheon Zoom came an hour after the Watsonian meet-up, and many of those at our gathering moved on to attend that. I heard it was a short program followed by break-out rooms, but since the remaining John H. Watson Society crew were sort of a break-out room of our own that wasn't being dominated by a random person or persons (as happens with those, sadly), I didn't feel like I missed much. And getting my fortune told by the rare and mystical Psychic Ghost of Silver Blaze fortune-telling cards during the last part of that chat made it worth the whole loss of the Gillette event.
One of the interesting parts about this Sherlock Holmes Day Weekend Saturday is that there are so many Zooms going on, announced through so many channels, that one would only hear about some of them at the Zooms before or after. The "Lost in New York with a Bunch of Sherlockians" was one that I overlooked somehow, even though I have been to one of Jerry Kegley's events of that name in NYC many, many years ago and I had good time. Trying to sign up at the last minute is always a dice roll, but thanks to Jerry, I did get in.
That event begins with a whole lot of chat until 78 people hit. It's always astounding to me that at this point in the pandemic and the weekend, there are still a few stragglers who have still not had Zoom experience and decided to finally try it out. Chrys Kegley gives a little bit of the background to "Lost in New York with a Bunch of Sherlockians, which was "conceived in a hotel room." Learning they outgrew the library room at Kennedy's some time ago tells me just how long it's been since I attended -- the library room is my memory of the event. Names like John Farrell take me back as well . . . there's much nostalgia involved in the New York's Sherlockian weekend, which I think is part of what drives it forward every year. It isn't just Baker Street of 1895 being recaptured.
Sherlockians waxing nostalgic is probably the best marketing that the Sherlock Holmes Weekend has, and every year just feeds that body of work. It really comes on strong in a weekend when everyone is held back from the city. The West Coast is well represented at this event, surely because it was created as an out-of-towner event for those who had no other places to go during a certain point of the Holmes Weekend. Beth Gallego, Chuck Kovacic. . . the latter talking about his incredible 221B room, which has to be the most well-researched 221B recreation in the world. Every time I hear Chuck speak on it, there's new information, as he has learned so much in his quest to be as historically faithful to Holmes's time at Baker Street as possible.
The "Lost in New York with a Bunch of Sherlockians" was a great event, and the breakout rooms were my favorite breakout rooms thus far, even though in moving between them, Monica called me out on my previous blog post, which has been updated accordingly.
On to the Gaslight Gala, after a dinner of popcorn, peanuts, and apple pie.