"Today is Friday" [CARD]
Friday is always a hectic day during the BSI Weekend. From impromptu breakfasts to early pilgrimages down to Tribeca to see Otto Penzler's offerings as the Mysterious Bookshop, there are plenty of mind- and waist-expanding opportunities to be had before running off to...lunch.
The William Gillette LunchThe Gillette Lunch has been in place for many years, having been first established in the early days of the BSI as an opportunity for those traveling from out of town to gather before the BSI dinner. Susan Rice and Mickey Fromkin have been running this event for a couple of decades, after it was handed down to them from Lisa McGaw.
|Susan Rice - all smiles|
|Iceberg right ahead!|
The BSI DinnerWe attended the BSI dinner (as we have for the last 17 years), so we can only report on that. [Ed. note: if you attended the Gaslight Gala, we'd be delighted to have a writeup of what happened there. Please click on the Tip button at the top of the site.]
The dinner kicked off with the normal routine: our annual photograph taken with a 100 year-old camera, as well as welcome remarks from "Wiggins," the head of the BSI. He noted that this year marks a number of anniversaries: the 125th anniversary of the publication of A Study in Scarlet; the 175th anniversary of Dr. Joseph Bell's birth; the 120th anniversary of the birth of Basil Rathbone; and the 75th anniversary of the death of William Gillette. Mike also noted that the BSI Publications have produced an enormous amount of content in the last 11 years; in the last year alone, titles like Italy and Sherlock Holmes, Bohemian Souls, two Baker Street Journal Christmas Annuals, and two volumes and a special edition of The Grand Game. In addition to those remarks, Wiggins also bestowed the Benefactor Award on Glen Miranker, who has very generously given of his time, materials and resources to support the BSI Trust. "For the sake of the trust," [MUSG] indeed.
|For this camera, it's always 1895|
The rest of the program unfolded splendidly, with toasts given by Lyndsay Faye, Andrew Solberg, Jim Saunders and Don Novorsky, and the reading of the BSI's Constitution and Buy-Laws by Costa Rossakis. Papers were read by Barbara Rusch, Burt Wolder and Bob Katz - or more appropriately, talks were given by Burt and Bob, who each performed the amazing feat of speaking without notes. As the theme of the evening was "His Last Bow," Burt covered the Chicago connection, with an interesting conclusion as to who Martha was (we'll won't spoil the surprise, as it's likely to appear in the Baker Street Journal - which you should subscribe to, if you don't already). And Bob shuffled off to Buffalo to look at the connection between England and New York in 1912.
|Will the real Peter Blau please stand up?|
Vinnie Brosnan recited the Musgrave Ritual and the audience replied with the appropriate answers. Otto Penzler took us back in time to the House of El Dieff as we remembered old Irregular Lou David Feldman, who was a bookseller extraordinaire. Otto recalled Lou's so-called "warehouse" where he kept many volumes; to Otto's surprise on his first visit, it was actually an apartment at 63rd Street and Park Avenue in New York.
|Henry Boote tickling the ivories|
Then of course, it was time for Francine Kitts to solemnly stand on the terrace for the following six Irregulars: Jason Pierre Rouby ("Vanderbuilt and the Yeggman"), Dr. George L. John ("Sir Jasper Meek"), Peter Wood ("The Second Stain"), J. Warren Scheideman ("Count Von und zu Grafenstein"), Dr. Bruce L. Crawford ("The Solitary Cyclist"), James H. Bready ("The Disappearance of James Phillamore"). They will all be sorely missed by friends, family and Sherlockians alike.
Before we moved on to the final portion of the program Wiggins called up Mary Anne Bradley to receive an Editor's Award for her 2011 Baker Street Journal Christmas Annual, The First Lady: Lenore Glen Offord.
And then, the moment we were all waiting for - the reading of the 2012 Honours List.
- "Thucidydes" - Mark Schwartz
- "Birdy Edwards" - Phil Bergem
- "Helen Stoner" - Helen Dorey
- "Thorneycroft Huxtable" - Peter Accardo
- "Baritsu" - Akane Higashiyama
- "Inspector Lestrade" - Don Hobbs
- "John Hector McFarlane" - Donny Zaldin
- "Mary Morstan" - Mary Anne Bradley
The evening concluded with Marsha Pollak reading Bill Schweikert's poem "A Long Evening with Holmes," and the assembled members and guests then disassembled.