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Sherlocking in Flower Mound
Braving 100+ degree temperatures Sherlockians from north Texas and as far away as Tulsa, Oklahoma gathered in Flower Mound for the annual Diogenes Club of Dallas/ Crew of the Barque LONE STAR sponsored picnic. My house and library has become the beckoning spot for the semi-annual event. Several of the members were visiting for the first time so the upstairs Sherlockian library was the focal point for much of the evening.
Guests begin arriving at the appointed time and soon the ranks had swollen to a comfortable number where enough pockets of conversation allowed everyone to take part in a dialog as well as their libation of choice. I was stranded in the library, much too my delight, telling stories about different books and how they came to be in my collection. There were plenty of new books to talk about that had arrived since the last picnic. There we also the stories that have been to and retold some many time before.
The set fare for this year's event were homemade hamburger, grilled outside where the mercury was still hovering around triple-digits, even as the sun was setting. The lull in the conversations was directly proportional to the amount of food being consumed. The effected quietness was soon replaced with roaring laughter, as the 20-minute version of the Great Whimsical Sherlockian Tour of Oklahoma and Texas was plopped into the DVD player. Dean Clark and Herb Linder, who were on the tour, were present. Several of those in attendance had never seen the film before and it is good to see it is still funny, even to those who have seen many times.
Tim Kline brought some DVD's of silent Sherlockian films. The first one we watched was the 1916 Douglas Fairbanks film "The Mystery of the Leaping Fish". The DVD version was old and not very good quality but still had everyone rolling in his or her seats. At the Doyle Symposium in Cambridge in May, the Harvard Film Archives showed a restored version of this film with a live pianist accompanying. The differences between these two versions were literally like day and night. Seeing the non-restored and the restored version will make even the most conservative person want to donate to a film preservation society.
It was an excellent evening with grand Sherlockian conversation and camaraderie. It is evenings like this one that makes being a Sherlockian worthwhile. Everybody has to be something and being a Sherlockian ain't too shabby.
Past 2009 Columns