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Sherlocking Goes on Forever
To quote the Grateful Dead, what a long, strange trip it’s been. Ten years of writing a weekly column has taught me a thing or two about deadlines, dedication, and devotion. I have done it for the love of the subject matter and also for a bit of preservation. I have a good record of what Sherlockian activities I have been involved with for the past decade. A few of the faithful have asked to be a part of any continued chronicling of my Sherlockian travels as they occur. And I hope they will continue well into the future.
This week I managed to attend a delightful adaptation of The Hound of the Baskervilles by Steven Canney and John Nicholson. This comedy play is like a cross between Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Stooges. It has only three actors playing several roles each. It was staged at The Penguin Rep Theatre in Stony Point, New York and will continue over the next two weekends. It was a bit eerie because the actor playing Holmes looked alarmingly like a young Peter Blau. I have seen more than a dozen different productions of The Hound and this one was the most enjoyable of them all. This was the ZZ Top equivalent to theatre.
Upon returning from the play, I received an email from Peter Blau, regarding the Fijian translation of Sherlock Holmes. I sent him the information I had on it and with Peter’s vast network of friends, he was able to locate someone in Hawaii that obtained a photocopy of the book. The next order of business is locating a person that can read Fijian and confirm it is really a Canonical translation and not just a pastiche.
Next on my busy Sherlockian agenda was Sherlock Holmes on the Hudson River. This dinner celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Hudson Valley Sciontists. More than eighty Sherlockians gathered at the Alumnae House at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York to feast on dinner prepared by Bruce Kazan, the premier Hudson Valley caterer with the active collaboration of Chef Fritz Sonnenschmidt. Herr Sonnenschmidt is a Two-shilling Baker Street Irregular. The dress code was “tan and white.” This is the 100th anniversary of Sherlock Holmes’ journey through the Hudson Valley mentioned in His Last Bow. White and tan were the colors for the summer season in 1912 and those attending were asked to dress accordingly and most did so.
The souvenir menu is worth the price of admission and filled 32 pages. The front is a reproduction of a Strand magazine cover from 1912 and includes the story “Sherlock Holmes in the Hudson Valley” by Charles Blankensteen. A cash bar cocktail hour allowed those gathered to talk and mingle. Several people gave toasts before the Friend of Bogie’s performed their one-act play “The Adventures of Charles Augustus Cameron or the Worst Man in Hollywood.” Afterwards everyone took their seats in the dining room. The first course served, Cockney Tomato Soup with Blood Orange and Green Peppercorn delighted the taste buds. It was followed by Mr. Blankensteen reading the first part of his short story printed inside the menu.
The next course was a fish, Hazelnut Crusted Catskill Mountain Trout and included Asparagus with Warm Balsamic Vinaigrette and Zucchini Disks which nearly melted in the mouth. Speakers Harrison (Terry) Hunt, S. E. Dahlinger, and Julia Carlson Rosenblatt shuffled to the podium between courses of The Irish Banger Brigade (Irish Bangers with mushroom ragout). Next up the Salad Course: a salad of Steuben County Sauerkraut with walnuts and Dutchess County Apples, The Main Course of Tivoli Turkey Steak “Mrs. Madeline Astor” Cornflake crusted with juniper berry sauce, Horseradish Mashed Potatoes and Tea-leaf Flavored Spinach amazed everyone at my table. The Dessert of Hudson Valley Apple Pie with Vanilla Sauce and Ice Cream completed an evening of culinary amazement. Every table had a seemingly never ending supply of bottles of red and white wine provided by Chef Fritz Sonnenschmidt.
An extraordinary evening and all in attendance swore they would return for the next dinner. Ironically, it has been ten years since the last Culinary Institute of America sponsored dinner or roughly when SherlockPeoria began publishing.
It has been great. Happy Collecting!!
Don Hobbs and Phil Murphy
Friends of Bogie’s
Don Hobbs and Julia Rosenblatt
Past 2012 Columns