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It is finally here: the week Sherlockians look forward to the most. It is the Birthday Celebration Weekend. Some people refer to it as the Baker Street Irregular Weekend but it is far more than just a BSI Weekend. It is the one time during the year where Sherlockians from around the planet descend on Midtown Manhattan in New York City. Tall ones, short ones, fat ones, skinny ones – no that’s a line from War with Eric Burdon, but you get my point Sherlockians of all shapes and sizes will be milling about, renewing friendships and cultivating new ones. It is a week of Sherlockian Nirvana.
This year marks the first time since 2004 that my wife Joyce will be accompanying me. She is not a Sherlockian but through osmosis and other means she has gleaned much about our world and that being said still chose to come along. She has been to enough Sherlockian events that once we are in New York, she will know plenty of Sherlockians in her own right.
We arrive on Wednesday, January 13 in time to head up to the Ed Sullivan Theater because we won tickets to The Late Night Show with David Letterman. Neither of us has ever been to a television show before so if the rest of the weekend fails to entertain us, we will have had a good time. I won tickets when the show called last week and asked me a trivia question about the show. It was easy – what color was Allen Coulter’s hair? I answered correctly – red, and was given instructions on where to pick up the tickets. We will still have time after the show to attend the ASH Wednesday dinner at Rosie O’Grady’s.
This year will be interesting and challenging for me. I am performing a skit with Elyse Locurto during the Gaslight Gala and I will be giving a toast to the International Sherlockian at the Lost In New York dinner on Saturday night at Kennedy’s. I have official railroad spikes from Sherlock, Texas to hand out to some of the Canadians on Thursday night at Virgil’s. I have already agreed to buy a wad of books from a couple of Sherlockians who have contacted me about some foreign language translations.
Here in Texas, we have been amid an Arctic Cold Front. This has a hidden blessing because Joyce and I went out today and bought a lot of cold weather clothing in preparation for our stay in New York. On Thursday morning we will join Jim Cox and Dore Nash on the Christopher Morley Memorial Walk. We will be nice and toasty in our newly purchased thermal underwear, outerwear, and over wear (toasty being merely a point of view). This should be different from the past couple of years where the outside temperature has been relatively warm.
Regardless of the temperature, The O’Lummeytics will be meeting nightly and warding off any evil spirits with spirits of our own. We will raise our glasses nightly to toast out fearless, departed leader, Paul Smedegaard. Last year was the first since Paul’s passing and the O’Lummeytics was formed in his honor. I wonder who will top the 30 shots of Patron Tequila that Sebastian Le Page bought at last year’s inaugural meeting. I am sure someone will ante up to the challenge. So if any borderline Sherlockian is in the area of West 45th Street between 6th and 7th during the Birthday Celebration Weekend, drop in and say hello.
Past 2009 Columns