The Maniac Collector's Inbox
The Sherlockian Wall of Fame
I was lucky enough as a budding Sherlockian to have John Bennett Shaw invite me to his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico on a few occasions. I have always referred to his library as The Library, just like to Sherlock Holmes, Irene Adler was always “the woman.” It has always been this way with me. John Bennett Shaw’s is The Library and mine is the library. Those that have visited my library know The Library is the model on which it is based. There are plenty of other similarities but I do not want for one minute for anyone to think my library is anything close to being John’s library.
Although my library has similarities to The Library, it has its own personality and its own uniqueness just like some other Sherlockian libraries I have visited. I love seeing every Sherlockians’ library. Besides seeing John’s library many times, I saw Peter Blau’s previous Tunlaw Road existence and its new home in Bethesda. I saw Jerry Margolin’s collection before he sold it. I have also seen the budding of his new collection. Jerry is like most true collectors and has the collection mania that never quite leaves a person completely. Jerry swears he will never be a serious collector of books again but only time will tell. I have been to Les Klinger’s home overlooking Malibu, California. I have seen Julie McKuras’ library and others as well. Each library contains special treasures and one- of- a-kind items. I love everyone’s library with equal admiration.
One thing I have in my library that I have not seen at any other is a Sherlockian Wall of Fame. I have lived in this house for sixteen years and each time a Sherlockian has visited me, I have taken a photograph of them in my library. These remembrances are then framed and hung on the wall. The early ones show the library when it was still downstairs. When Peter Blau was in town for the Limited but Practical Geologist meeting in 1997, I carted him to Flower Mound, Texas to see my collection and to Ft. Worth to see “The Adventure of the Dancing Men” manuscript. I guess my Sherlockian influence has grown since then because last year when Les Klinger visited, “The Adventure of the Dancing Men” manuscript came to my house. Other Sherlockians gracing my walls are Dorothy Shaw, Janice Weiner, Dick Sveum, Joe Eckrich, Elyse Locurto, and Jim Hawkins. Dean Clark and Brad Keefauver are also there along with many, many others.
To all of you waiting for your 15 minutes of fame, trek on over to the library and you, too, shall be added to the Wall of Fame. It is a great way for me to honor those who have taken the time for a visit.
(Thanks to my wife, Joyce for suggesting this article)
Past 2011 Columns