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Friday, January 6, 2012
Happy Birthday, Mr. Holmes!
Today is the Feast of the Epiphany, the Twelfth Day of Christmas . . . and the birthday of Sherlock Holmes.
Nowhere in the Canon does it say this. But someone -- I believe it was an American Sherolockian -- deduced the date and it is now commonly accepted.
Since playing games is a traditional birthday activity, this is a good time to consider 221 B Baker Street: The Master Detective Game. Better Holmes & Gardens recently posted about this on Facebook. It's a great game. Unfortunately, I'm not a great game player.
About a generation ago, when the game first came out and I was still in the newspaper business, I had a great excuse for writing about it: Its creator is a native of Cincinnati, my home town and the city of my newspaper. His name is Jay Moriarty, and he also worked in television writing for such Norman Lear shows as "All in the Family" and "The Jeffersons."
Those many years ago I sent Jay a copy of my radio play "The Wrong Cab," later published in Baker Street Beat. He called me from Hollywood with some very kind comments about it. That's the only time that Hollywood has ever called me -- and it most likely will be the last!
When I went to my library shelves I was surprised to find that, in addition to the original board game that is still sold, and the VCR version, I also own a later and rarer iteration called "The Time Machine." Jay's sister, my friend Lynn Hammersmith, also owns the later game.
Long before I met Lynn or talked to Jay, I knew their father. He was a kind and funny little Irishman who always reminded me of a leprechaun. He was a stockbroker (not a stockbroker's clerk). And his name was (wait for it) . . . James Moriarty.
What's your favorite Sherlock Holmes game?