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Sherlocking With Les Klinger
The center of the Sherlockian world emanated from my library this weekend or at least it appeared that way. Les Klinger was our houseguest this weekend. I picked Les up on Friday afternoon and welcomed him to the first heat wave of the summer. The triple-digit temperature that hit Les did not deter him from the whirlwind visit. It was his first visit to Dallas so I hoped to make it memorable.
Dean Clark, who drove down from Tulsa, joined Joyce, Les and me. He has never been one to miss a grand Sherlockian event. We cooked steaks, joined hands and sang Kum-ba-ya on Friday night ….well it seemed like that. If there is anyone who has been living in a Sherlockian Dark-Hole over the past decade, Les Klinger is the editor of The New Annotated Sherlock Holmes and The New Annotated Dracula both published by Norton. He lives in California with his wife, Sharon, and is a prominent attorney. After dinner, we retired upstairs to my library to partake of a wee bit of single malt Scotch.
Don Hobbs, Dean Clark and Les Klinger
On Saturday morning Les and I visited Recycled Books in downtown Denton, Texas. This is a classic, multistoried bookshop. Denton is a university town and Recycled Books has some wonderful rarities. There was even a copy of Les’ Return of Sherlock Holmes form the Reference Library Series. We had two full hours in the shop before we had to head back to my house for the next adventure. One of my friends in the area is the owner of the Dancing Men manuscript. I had arranged for him to bring it over on Saturday afternoon for our private perusal before the scheduled reception Joyce and I were hosting for the local Sherlockians. I thought it would be a treat for Les to have time to inspect the manuscript. Unfortunately, the manuscript’s owner were delayed on their way to our house and arrived later than planned. Thus, our time was limited to view the manuscript prior to our guests’ arrival. It honors me to be the host of the first Sherlockian event that the Dancing Men manuscript ever attended in its one-hundred and seven years of existence. The manuscript disappeared about as quickly as it had arrived. The owners are understandably leery of carrying around such a valuable piece of Sherlockian history. They were gone before any of the arriving guests knew who they were or what they were carrying.
I am wearing a Dancing Men t-shirt and holding the Dancing Men manuscript.
“The Special Leslie Klinger Visit” of the Crew of the Barque LONE STAR was the name given to our reception for Les. There were commemorative nametags for the Sherlockians that made it easy to remember everyone’s names. Carole Nelson Douglas, mystery author from Fort Worth, came by and was able to talk authorese with Les. Carole held court downstairs while I guided first-time visitors on a tour of my library. Les was a perfect guest of honor, signing everything placed in front of him and smiling for every photograph.
Jim Webb, Carole Nelson Douglas, Don Hobbs and Les Klinger
After the reception we went to a local Thai restaurant for another few hours of grand Sherlockian fellowship. Sunday morning rolled around much too rapidly and Les had a plane to catch. So just like that the center of the Sherlockian world shifted somewhere else and soon my head will stop spinning.
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