Friend and Biographer Series: JHWS ‘Buster’

Speaking of my old friend and biographer, I would take this opportunity to remark….Watson has some remarkable characteristics of his own, to which in his modesty he has given small attention…

Hello Watsonians,

Today we add to our series of brief biographic interviews with some of the members of JHWS. Our members, like the good Dr. Watson, have some remarkable characteristics of their own, and we would like to give some small attention to them.

The interview today is from Chris Redmond, a friend to many in the global Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian community.  As always, his writing is fun and interesting.

Enjoy,

Margie/ JHWS ‘Mopsy’

  1. Name and bull pup moniker

Chris Redmond — Buster

  1. Current (city, state, country) location

In the process of moving to Carleton Place, Ontario

  1. How long have you been a devotee of Dr. Watson?

Ever since I figured out that without him the Canon would be approximately 2.5 stories long.

  1. Do you have a favorite canonical story?

As the editor of About Sixty, I had better not commit myself to any one . . . although I do have a longstanding admiration for “The Illustrious Client”.

  1. What is your favorite quote from the canon?

“I say, Watson,” he whispered, “would you be afraid to sleep in the same room with a lunatic, a man with softening of the brain, an idiot whose mind has lost its grip?”

  1. If you could speak directly to anyone in the canon, who would you choose and why?

Well, there are a few things I wouldn’t mind saying to Irene Adler.

  1. Are you fond of any particular canon adaptations—pastiche, radio, or film?

I have very little discrimination — I’ll watch anything and read almost anything (I draw the line at the Kennedy assassination book). I particularly admire the Granada TV series, the novels of Larry Millett, and the first hour of “The Abominable Bride”.

  1. Do you have a local Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian group you meet with on a regular basis?

I’m a long-time member of the Bootmakers of Toronto, and a co-founder of the much newer Cesspudlian Society of London, Ontario.

  1. Do you have any recent Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian projects/events you would like to tell us about?

There is going to be another anthology as a sequel to About Sixty. Watch for details soon. Also, an online friend who had better remain nameless has challenged me to write a fic, which is in the last stages of awfulness right now.

  1. If you had a magic wand, allowing you to add, subtract, change one thing in your Watsonian/Sherlockian/Holmesian world, what would it be?

I’d like to repair some broken friendships. If that’s too much to ask, I wouldn’t mind a do-over of several of the BBC Sherlock episodes, to have more mystery and less self-indulgence.

 

 

On March 28th…

March 28, 1895: Bannister denied that he revealed who had stole the Fortesque exam. [3STU]

Paget illustration of Holmes, Watson, Soames and Bannister

Illustration by Sidney Paget for The Strand Magazine (1904)

March 28, 1895: Gilchrist confessed to copying the Fortesque exam. [3STU]

Paget illustration of Gilchrist, Soames, Holmes, and Watson

Illustration by Sidney Paget for The Strand Magazine (1904)

March 28, 1902: Don Murillo vanished, but Miss Burnett escaped. [WIST]

Twidle illustration of Murillo and Burnet

Illustration by Arthur Twidle for The Strand Magazine (1908)

Source
A Day by Day Chronology of Sherlock Holmes according to Ziesler and Christ by William S Dorn DWNP, BSI.

On March 27th…

March 27, 1895: Gilchrist copied the Fortesque exam. [3STU]

Illustration of scene from "The Adventure of the Three Students" - Strand Magazine, 1904

Illustration by Sidney Paget for The Strand Magazine (1904)

“I have a letter here, Mr. Soames, which I wrote to you early this morning in the middle of a restless night. It was before I knew that my sin had found me out. Here it is, sir. You will see that I have said, `I have determined not to go in for the examination. I have been offered a commission in the Rhodesian Police, and I am going out to South Africa at once.’ ”

“I am indeed pleased to hear that you did not intend to profit by your unfair advantage,” said Soames. “But why did you change your purpose?”

Gilchrist pointed to Bannister.

“There is the man who sent me in the right path,” said he.

Twidle illustration for WIST of face at window

Illustration by Arthur Twiddle for The Strand Magazine (1908)

 

March 27, 1902: Constable Downing was bitten by Cook. [WIST]

“It was about two hours ago. The light was just fading. I was sitting reading in the chair, I don’t know what made me look up, but there was a face looking in at me through the lower pane. Lord, sir, what a face it was! I’ll see it in my dreams.”

Dorr Steele Collier's cover

Cover illustration by Frederic Dorr Steele for Collier’s (1908)

“Chips” says: To me this picture represents Holmes inside a room working to Thwart Evil. While Evil is is outside waiting to overwhelm Good.

Source: A Day by Day Chronology of Sherlock Holmes According to Zeisler and Christ by William S Dorn DWNP, BS

Posted by “Chips” and  “Selena Buttons”

On March 26th…

Photo of Leonard Nimoy on tour as Holmes

Leonard Nimoy on tour as Holmes

Leonard Nimoy was born March 26, 1931 in Boston, Massachusetts.

From 1973 on, he played Star Trek‘s Mr Spock on television and in films, so he is best known for that role. But he also played Sherlock Holmes in a touring production of William Gillette’s play. Asked about Holmes, he said:

He’s an asocial man, hardly your average 9-to-5 worker with a family. Instead, he’s chosen a very special kind of life, and he has very little respect for most of the people around him who are also involved in his profession. He’s an outsider, in so many ways—particularly in his relationships, with women. Holmes is very much an alien, all right, and I felt that I could understand him the same way I understood Spock.

“Chips” was fortunate enough to see the show, and he writes:

I have been in love with Leonard Nimoy since Star Trek. I was so lucky to get tickets to see him in person when he came to Denver in the William Gillette play. I wish he could done more as Holmes. The oddball casting was Allan Sues, a off the wall comedian who overplayed Moriarty but was completely outdone by Nimoy’s serious acting ability. Nimoy only varied once into Spock once during the play and he did it so well it fit right in.

I still have the play souvenir program that I keep in a place of honor.

Image of Leonard Nimoy as Mr Spock, with quote.

from Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country

 

Source:
Information provided by A Curious Collection of Dates by by Leah Guinn (JHWS “Amber”) and Jaime N Mahoney (JHWS “Tressa”).

Posted by The Dynamic Duo of “Chips” (aka Ron) and “Selena Buttons” (aka Beth)

On March 25th…

Paget illustration of the King of Bohemia, Watson, and Holmes

Illustration by Sidney Paget for The Strand Magazine (July 1891)

March 25, 1889: The betrothal of the King of Bohemia to Clotilde Lothman von Saxe-Meningen was announced. [SCAN]

“Because she has said that she would send it on the day when the betrothal was publicly proclaimed. That will be next Monday.”

“Oh, then, we have three days yet,” said Holmes, with a yawn.

Source
A Day by Day Chronology of Sherlock Holmes according to Ziesler and Christ by William S Dorn DWNP, BSI.

Posted by The Dynamic Duo “Chips” (aka Ron) and “Selena Buttons” (aka Beth)

On March 24th…

March 24, 1889: Irene and Godfrey Norton left for the Continent. [SCAN]

Film still of portrait of Irene Adler in Granada "A Scandal in Bohemia"

Portrait of Irene Adler in the Granada Television adaptation of “A Scandal in Bohemia”

March 24, 1889: Holmes received a portrait of Irene Adler. [SCAN]

“What a woman – oh, what a woman!” cried the King of Bohemia, when we had all three read this epistle. “Did I not tell you how quick and resolute she was? Would she not have made an admirable queen? Is it not a pity she was not on my level?”

“From what I have seen of the lady, she seems, indeed, to be on a very different level to your Majesty,” said Holmes, coldly. “I am sorry that I have not been able to bring your Majesty’s business to a more successful conclusion.”

Another favorite Canonical moment from “Chips”.

Source
A Day by Day Chronology of Sherlock Holmes according to Ziesler and Christ by William S Dorn DWNP, BSI.

Posted by The Dynamic Duo “Chips” (aka Ron) and “Selena Buttons” (aka Beth)

On March 23rd…

March 23, 1889

For today, “Chips” shares two favorite moments from “A Scandal in Bohemia” that show Dr Watson’s taste for adventure and loyalty to Holmes.

Paget illustration of Holmes standing in front of the fireplace

Illustration by Sidney Paget for The Strand Magazine (July 1891)

First, a bit of Canonical conversation:

“By the way, Doctor, I shall want your co-operation.”
“I shall be delighted.”
“You don’t mind breaking the law?”
“Not in the least.”
“Nor running a chance of arrest?”
“Not in a good cause.”
“Oh, the cause is excellent!”
“Then I am your man.”
“I was sure that I might rely on you.”

Second, the moment when Irene Adler determines whom she has been fooled by and cannot let the moment go without passing her compliments along to him.

Paget illustration of Holmes and Watson on doorstep

Illustration by Sidney Paget for The Strand Magazine (July 1891)

We had reached Baker Street, and had stopped at the door. He was searching his pockets for the key, when someone passing said: –
“Good night, Mister Sherlock Holmes.”
There were several people on the pavement at the time, but the greeting appeared to come from a slim youth in an ulster who had hurried by.
“I’ve heard that voice before.” said Holmes, staring down the dimly lit street. “Now, I wonder who the deuce that could have been.”

On March 22nd… The King Comes To Call

Friday, March 22, 1889: The King of Bohemia visited Holmes. [SCAN]

Paget illustration of the King of Bohemia, Watson, and Holmes.

Illustration by Sidney Paget for The Strand magazine [July, 1891]

The man sprang from his chair, and paced up and down the room in uncontrollable agitation. Then, with a gesture of desperation, he tore the mask from his face and hurled it upon the ground. “You are right,” he cried, “I am the King. Why should I attempt to conceal it?”

“Why, indeed?” murmured Holmes. “Your Majesty had not spoken before I was aware that I was addressing Wilhelm Gottsreich Sigismond von Ormstein, Grand Duke of Cassel-Felstein, and hereditary King of Bohemia.” [SCAN]

On episode three of Trifles, I made this comment to Scott Monty, dealing with this image: “You mentioned in this post the burger King of Bohemia. I saw an ad for a burger at Burger King. They were discussing a new product. So I think we could call Wilhelm Gottsreich Sigismond von Ormstein, Grand Duke of Cassel-Felstein, and hereditary King of Bohemia “The Bacon Burger King of Bohemia who also told Holmes quite a few whoppers”.

Scott thought it funny – any comments from any who read this? -Chips aka Ron

Source:
A Day by Day Chronology of Sherlock Holmes According to Zeisler and Christ by William S Dorn DWNP, BSI

A Limerick for March 21st

For my posting on this date I am going to publish a limerick that I promised some one near and dear to me that I would. I hope my partner and co-columnist will understand. I think she will. [Of course! -Selena Buttons]

So, to honor the Author’s memory and to keep my word, here is a special limerick for the start of “A Scandal in Bohemia” written by a Special Sherlockian as part of his series.

When the King had his way with Irene,
The pictures they took were obscene.
But her consortin’
With Godfrey Norton
Meant those pictures remained unseen.

May God bless you Don where ever you are.

Ron

On March 20th… A Scandal

Paget drawing of the King of Bohemia

Illustration by Sidney Paget for The Strand magazine [July 1891]

One night – it was on the 20th of March, 1888 – I was returning from a journey to a patient (for I had now returned to civil practice), when my way led me through Baker Street. [SCAN, emphasis added]

In A Curious Collection of Dates, Leah Guinn (JHWS “Amber”) and Jaime N Mahoney (JHWS “Tressa”) write about this opening sentence:

“Although Watson is (atypically) quite clear on the date for ‘A Scandal in Bohemia,’ it’s a puzzling one. First, he describes a Lenten wedding – a Victorian faux pas. More bizarrely, however, he claims to be married, when – if the dating of The Sign of the Four is correct – he has yet to meet his wife.”

Over the years, of course, Sherlockians have tried to reconcile this puzzle in various ways. Baring-Gould puts the case in May of 1887, while Zeisler argues for March of 1889. Whenever it happened, I think we’re all glad that it did.

Source:
Information provided by A Curious Collection of Dates by Leah Guinn (JHWS “Amber”) and Jaime N Mahoney (JHWS “Tressa”)

Posted by The Dynamic Duo: “Chips” aka Ron and “Selena Buttons” aka Beth.