"They Seemed to Be a Happy Couple." [COPP]
If you've never been to Gillette Castle, you're really missing a treat. It is the home that William Gillette, the actor who brought Sherlock Holmes to life on stage in the early 1900s. If you have been there, you may have had the opportunity to encounter Will & Helen Gillette in the flesh.
Personally, I've had the pleasure of knowing Tyke & Teddie Niver for 20 years. Wow. When I say it like that, it makes me feel old. It's because of Tyke & Teddie that I discovered the world of Sherlock Holmes. Tyke has been one of my Sherlockian mentors and continues to be a true friend and guiding light. Teddie, who can hold her own in any Sherlockian setting, is a pure joy to know. She can make anyone feel at ease and completely special when you talk to her.
From my first experience with them - a phone call to interview Tyke for a high school term paper - they have been completely generous with their time and knowledge. As a young man at my first Sherlockian meeting, they made sure I met the right people and knew what was going on. Even when I moved away to attend college, Tyke and Teddie remained in touch and have been a special part of my life. Today, I call them my Sherlockian parents.
They are a quintessential Sherlockian couple: they each have a strong interest in the Canon (and also associated topics such as Jack the Ripper and Dracula), they are both fonts of knowledge and great hosts, and are investitured members of the Baker Street Irregulars. As the article in the above link notes, they don their Victorian garb on weekends and act as pseudo-tour guides at the Castle simply because they enjoy it. And their joy translates to amusement and fun for all who meet them.
Every budding Sherlockian should be so lucky to have mentors and true friends like this as part of their journey.
I met Harold (I'd feel presumptuous to call him "Tyke" since I feel I don't know him well enough for the familiarity) and Teddie years ago and have always rejoiced in their devotion to William Gillette (and I'm very happy to see that Harold is using a much more period cravat than he did in the 1980s!). With Sue Dahlinger they are a blessing to Gillette Castle in keeping green the memory of the Master's first great theatrical interpreter.
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