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VOLUME 19, No. 3                                                                                 JANUARY 2019
Celebrating Sherlock: Happy 165!

On January 26, 2019, twenty-six Garridebs assembled at the Hastings-on-Hudson Library to belatedly celebrate Sherlock Holmes’s 165th birthday, which occurred on January 6 of this year. The story for the meeting was “A Case of Identity.”
Troy Reynolds welcomed everyone and gave a brief rundown of the day’s activities before turning the meeting over to Will Walsh, who introduced the toasts. Tony Czarnecki started things off by presenting Alex Katz’s toast to “A Case of Identity,” a poem dedicated to the typewriter in the tale and to Holmes’s use of deductive reasoning.
Greg Ruby’s toast to “The Three Garridebs” was given by Bob Katz. It spotlighted the 1937 television broadcast of “The Three Garridebs,” the first Holmes tale to appear on TV. For the few Sherlockians of the time who owned (or had access to) a set, this was must-see TV.
In her toast to Watson, Lynne Walker noted that we don’t know that much about the good doctor, as he chose in the stories to focus on Holmes and not on himself. But we do know this old soldier didn’t fade away, he rode off in a motor car for more adventures.
Will Walsh presented Sandy Kozinn’s toast to Sherlock, which dealt with the Master’s feelings toward women. Although he didn’t think much of them overall, Holmes always treated each individual female in the manner of a gentleman.
Following the toasts, Quizmaster Paul Astle subjected the group to one of his less torturous quizzes. Michael Bush had the top score, followed by Margaret Fleesak and Sabina Hollis.
Sue Vizoskie then presented the first paper, which dealt with the Duchess of Devonshire and the style she exemplified. Sue explained that the seemingly minor detail of Mary Sutherland’s hat being tilted in a “Duchess of Devonshire fashion” provided an important impression of Mary.
Len Poggiali admitted that the tale “A Case of Identity” deserves its general ranking in the bottom third of stories but added that there are reasons to defend it. For example, in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, it pales in comparison to two neighboring tales—“A Scandal in Bohemia” and “The Red-Headed League.” In The Case-Book, following “The Mazarin Stone” and “The Three Gables,” it would be viewed a good deal more favorably. 
Peter McIntyre argued that Holmes did a disservice to Mary by not informing her of her supposed fiancé’s duplicity. This was an issue debated throughout the meeting. Ben Vizoskie concluded the papers segment with a report on the events of the BSI birthday weekend. He announced that Ira Matetsky, who was in attendance, had received his investiture (“The Final Problem”) this year at the BSI dinner.
Sue then introduced “Watson Time,” a period to focus on Watson’s writing and style and to share passages that stand out. Paul, for example, noted that Sherlock’s “If we could fly out of that window . . .” quote in the opening paragraph of the story was reminiscent of the works of Charles Dickens and C.S. Lewis for its expressiveness and its whimsy.
As a lively “Watson Time” concluded, we moved to the short reports and reviews segment of the meeting. Tom Curtin pointed out that the streaming service BritBox offers the Jeremy Brett Sherlock series. Bob Ludemann shared information about Sherlock Holmes radio programs that are available.
First-time attendee Cheryl Hayden presented the group with a poster advertising an event she had organized at the Yonkers Barnes and Noble for Sherlock’s birthday. Ben and Sue Vizoskie and Troy and Becca Reynolds had given a short presentation at the event.
For Show-and-Tell, Greg Darak brought a copy of The Bookman magazine from 1902 that included an ad for The Hound of the Baskervilles. Ben shared two recent publications from the BSI: Canon Law was co-edited by Will Walsh and includes contributions from several Garridebs; Deadly Harpoon, the latest in the BSI’s Manuscript Series, examines “The Adventure of Black Peter.”
By that time we were all ready to take a break and eat cake to celebrate Sherlock’s birthday. Of course, before enjoying the dessert, we had to sing “Happy Birthday” to the man we had come to honor.
After the break we took part in an “Identify That Sherlock” activity. Troy and Greg had selected several photos and video clips of different Sherlockian actors. Members were asked to identify the actors playing Holmes and Watson and the movies and TV shows from which the clips were selected.
We then had just enough time for announcements and the recitation of “A Long Evening with Holmes” before adjourning until March.
— Troy Reynolds


Fraternal Twin Tales

In many ways “The Adventure of the Crooked Man,” the story for our March meeting, is a mini The Sign of Four. The backstories for both revenge plots occur in India during the Sepoy Rebellion of 1857–1859, and both happen while the British are under siege by the Indian rebels. Henry Wood, the crooked man of the short story, is betrayed into the hands of the enemy by his sergeant—later colonel—James Barclay because Barclay wants Nancy, the young woman with whom Wood is in love. Years later Wood, now deformed from the ill-treatment he received from his captors, has his revenge on Barclay, who has a stroke when he sees Wood in his home.
One-legged Jonathan Small of The Sign of Four is betrayed by Major John Sholto, who runs off with the money that Small and his partners stole from an Indian lord and leaves the thieves to rot away in a prison on the Andaman Islands. Many years later Sholto also dies terror-stricken after seeing Small looking at him through a window.
Both Barclay and Sholto suffer the consequences of their betrayals, not only in the manner of their deaths, but in the fears and anxieties they suffer for many years after their heinous deeds. Barclay has regular bouts of depression and a dread of being alone. Sholto never enjoys the jewelry and precious stones that he stole, hoarding them instead. He is so wracked with guilt and prone to panic that he rarely leaves his house.
Wood and Small each are accompanied by companions who have great climbing abilities and who at first are difficult for Sherlock Holmes to identify. Barclay and his mongoose perform for the public, as do Small and his partner Tonga, a tiny native of the Andamans.
The appearance of a Baker Street Irregular named Simpson in “The Crooked Man” and a group of “Irregulars” in The Sign of Four further emphasizes the similarities between the two tales, as members of this group of Holmes’s young associates appear in only one other story in the Canon—A Study in Scarlet.
— Len Poggiali



A Local Advertisement
Upcoming events on the Three Garridebs’ calendar
March 23, 2019. Hastings Library. “The Crooked Man”
May 18, 2019. Hastings Library. “The Veiled Lodger”
And other notable events
May 4, 2019. The Priory Scholars, New York, NY. prioryscholarsnyc.wordpress.com
For more, see the Sherlockian Calendar. Ron Fish created and, 
for several years, has tended www.sherlockiancalendar.com, which lists special events (often highlighted in red) and/or meetings on the Sherlockian horizon— with contact information and/or websites.  


A Local Advertisement
Upcoming events on the Three Garridebs’ calendar
March 23, 2019. Hastings Library. “The Crooked Man”
May 18, 2019. Hastings Library. “The Veiled Lodger”
And other notable events
May 4, 2019. The Priory Scholars, New York, NY. prioryscholarsnyc.wordpress.com
For more, see the Sherlockian Calendar. Ron Fish created and, 
for several years, has tended www.sherlockiancalendar.com, which lists special events (often highlighted in red) and/or meetings on the Sherlockian horizon— with contact information and/or websites.