|Monica Schmidt, Ann Margaret Lewis, and Al Shaw at the BSI annual reception|
“It’s all about the friendship.”
Scott Monty says this about the Sherlockian community frequently on the “I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere” podcast. And that was in my head a lot over the weekend as Ann and I enjoyed our third BSI & Friends Weekend in New York.
There were many great planned events, to be sure: ASH Wednesday dinner with the Adventuresses of Sherlock Holmes, the BSI Distinguished Lecture Series, open house at the Mysterious Bookshop, the Gaslight Gala, the Merchants Room (where I hawked my books and bought some others), the Beacon Society’s annual meeting, the Baker Street Irregulars’ annual reception, and the S.P.O.D.E. dinner on Saturday evening.
That was all great!
But I also think about hanging out in a more casual way with friends from all over the country – cocktails at the Blue Bar of the Algonquin Hotel, lunch at McSorley’s Pub, pizza, and Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. And we congratulated Monica Schmidt and Mike McSwiggin as they joined the ranks of the Baker Street Irregulars on Friday night.
Along the way we photographed a lot of bow ties -- some of which I provided for the occasion. (Ray Betzner has dubbed me the Top Knot of His Last Bow, a so-far unofficial society of bow-tie-wearing Sherlockians.)
|Ann Lewis, Jacquelynn Bost Morris, Susan Porter, Regina Stinson, and me|
Does all this matter? Yes, it does. A lot.
One of my happy tasks over the weekend was to talk to the annual meeting of the Beacon Society, which supports educational efforts to introduce young people to Sherlock Holmes. Our friend Carolyn Senter is funding the R. Joel Senter, Sr. Prize in honor of her late husband. I spoke about Joel for the benefit of those who didn’t have the good fortune to know him. At the end, I quoted Carolyn.
Then, a sudden illness and the death of Joel shoved him over the Reichenbach and yanked me into a life I didn’t want and didn’t understand. Here is the amazing part:
The Sherlockians, some we knew well, others only casually, and some we had never met, arrived in droves to offer condolences and messages of encouragement. Even months later, I still receive messages from Sherlockians who are keeping me in their thoughts and prayers.
The world of Holmes and Watson is so much more than well- educated people moving around within a place “. . . which never existed and so can never die.” It is a world where people reach out, offer ways to learn, and enjoy living. When the time comes, they reach out to rescue the wounded.
You see – it’s all about the friendship.
|Dan Andriacco, Steven Rothman, Ray Betzner - dedicated bow tie wearers|