The Maniac Collector's Inbox
This week my Sherlockian adventures continued and I still possess that post BSI glow. The first of the week was a bit of a downer as I had to actually work a few days up in Connecticut. The drudgery of working was still enlightened by the continual flow of congratulatory messages on my recent investiture. I experienced another wave of Sherlockian excitement on Thursday evening when I addressed a crowd of about seventy-five people at the Allen Public Library in Allen, Texas.
Each year the city of Allen, a northern suburb of Dallas, sponsors ‘Allen Reads’ and one of this year’s picks was The Hound of the Baskervilles. Our local Sherlockian society was asked to participate. The ninety minute presentation begin with my talk entitled “Collecting the Hound of the Baskervilles” followed by Steve Mason and then Don Casey, both members of the Diogenes Club of Dallas. Steve’s third of the evening covered all area of Sherlock Holmes from books to puzzles to games. The evening was rounded out by local Dallas Police Detective, Don Casey. He is a collector of Metropolitan Police memorabilia with a concentration on the Victoria era. My Power-Point presentation featured plenty of slides featuring the covers of various Hound editions in different languages.
Steve brought in a tableful of books, games and other related Sherlockian items and this was complimented by his own Power-Point. Don’s talk covered the beginning of Scotland Yard in 1829 through the modern era. On stage he set up several display cases with Victorian handcuffs, come-alongs, whistles, and trudgeons. Displayed in one of the cases were the Metropolitan Police badges from VR (Queen Victoria) through ERII (Queen Elizabeth II) including the ultra rare Edward VIII badges.
In preparation, Allen Library director Tom Keener told us the audience could be as few as ten or up to as many as several hundred. Since the program is free and advertised in the local newspapers, he could not be certain how many people would be there. Those that attended were very receptive and at the end asked great questions. This was proof that they paid attention during the evening. The most frequent question asked was concerning the latest Sherlock Holmes film. All three of us answered that anything that sparks more interest in Sherlock Holmes is good for the Game. Naturally, this lead to questions about the Game that required a more in-depth answer. Many in the audience thought the Master to be a real person, so with our tongues planted firmly in our cheeks, we explained why he IS real.
It was an enjoyable evening on and off of the stage. I assume the other side enjoyed it because Tom asked us if we would speak again.
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