My home scion, The Parallel Case of St. Louis had their latest meeting last weekend, but I had to miss it due to family obligations. About a year ago, I took over as the head of the discussion group and hadn't missed a meeting yet. I felt slightly off-kilter all day knowing that there was a Parallel Case meeting going on and I wasn't part of it. It kinda felt like I was wearing mismatched shoes all day.
I had sent out the email reminder and updated the Facebook page, had typed up a list of news items to discuss, and had an announcement of my new book, but wasn't going to the meeting. It was an odd feeling knowing that there was a meeting coming up, but I didn't have to read the story or take notes for discussion. I thought about reading the story anyway, but it was "The Engineer's Thumb," so meh.
And then it struck me, I wasn't missing the story. I was missing the Sherlockians. The past few years of my life have been filled with discussions with such great people, both online and in real life about a common interest. My Twitter feed is a daily stream of Sherlockian topics, I'm usually in the middle of some kind of email conversation about Sherlockian books or an upcoming event, and on really good days, I get to go to a meeting of one of the three scion societies in the St. Louis area.
St. Louis is currently in the midst of a surge of Sherlockian activity. We have three open scion societies, one meets monthly, one bi-monthly, and one annually. The St. Louis Public Library is curating a Sherlockian collection as we speak. In February, the St. Louis Science Center dedicated one of their First Friday events to the science of Sherlock Holmes. Next month, The Noble Bachelors of St. Louis is hosting a Silver Blaze race at a local racetrack. And The Parallel Case of St. Louis is hosting a movie night at the end of this month.
So why did missing one meeting throw me off? Because Sherlockians are good people. And knowing that there was a Sherlockian discussion going on made me feel like I was missing out. There are plenty of times when we get onto a topic that I don't have anything to contribute. I love that. In the Sherlockian world, we have people of all stripes and backgrounds who bring different background knowledge and opinions to the table and we are all better off for it. The Parallel Case has two old school BSI members, and one co-host of the Three Patch Podcast. You want to talk about different points of view? We also have a retired professor, a member of the National Guard, a lawyer, an elementary school teacher, and many more.
And when everyone feels comfortable enough in a diverse group to discuss a common topic, there are some great discussions. The online Sherlockian world has that, too to some extent. The tweetalongs to go with Granada episodes, or less than well regarded movies (ahem, Rupert Everett) bring a levity to the community. A quick search for Sherlockian groups on Facebook will bring a TON of choices. Some are more standard, while some are all-encompassing. Find what groups fit you, online or off. And more importantly, find some that are just a bit out of your comfort zone. One of my first posts for I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere told about pushing myself outside of my comfort zone to go to a scion meeting. I was a nervous wreck, and now here I am, out of sorts because I missed a scion meeting. Quite a changing age.
Side note: My original topic for this week's post was to take the lyrics to "Hound Dog" and rewrite them as "Hound Dog of the Baskervilles." But the original lyrics were, um, not very intricate.