Wednesday, June 12, 2019

June Meeting Report

Though thunderstorms postponed part of the Detroit Grand Prix events earlier in the day, 46 stalwart Sherlockians convened at the veddy British Commonwealth Club on Saturday, June 1st for the annual spring meeting of the Amateur Mendicant Society of Detroit.

The meeting was called to order at 6:20 p.m. by the society’s Gasogene, John Kramb, who welcomed the lively crowd and introduced the planning committee and board members.

After encouraging those in attendance to bring a friend to the fall meeting, Kramb reminded the audience that the society had to confirm the headcount of those who paying for the dinner meetings a week in advance. “Future credits” will no longer be allowed and the membership supported this change.

The Gasogene also reminded folks to alert Bev Ellis of any email changes so members do not miss any of the society’s announcements.

Kramb next acknowledged the members of the society’s Lower Vault, a select group of those who have served the AMS as officers or planning committee members and those who have done scholarly (or not-so-scholarly) presentations at the meetings.

Members then observed a moment of silence “on the terrace” for longtime Mendicant Elaine Roberts, who had recently passed away at 99 and who had likely been the society’s longest-attending member. She was a gracious, lovely lady and her memorial service was set for 2 p.m. June 6th at St. Philip Episcopal Church in Rochester Hills.

Next came the evening’s traditional toasts, with Rich Krisciunas honoring “The Woman,” Al Calderini raising a glass to Mrs. Hudson, John Sherwood offering a very well-received toast to Mycroft Holmes and Jim O’Keefe saluting Watson’s Second Wife.

Along with the toasts, the attendees also enjoyed the evening’s repast – a tossed salad, chicken Marsala, ginger pork, roasted potatoes, veggies and dessert.

Following the meal, member Michael Ellis took the podium to provide the talking points on the evening’s story, “The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton. Informative and witty, Ellis reviewed the story involving Ecsott, Agatha and the so-called “king of blackmailers” who kept his salacious material in a green-and-gold safe. Holmes and Watson were on the case until fate stepped in and played hand – leaving Holmes to turn down Inspector Lestrade’s request for help, since Holmes believed blackmail to be a worse crime than murder.

That served as the introduction to the evening’s presentation by member Scott Monty, B.S.I., and his investigation into “A Powerful Ring of Blackmailers.” Scott’s presentation noted that Holmes had dealt with 50 murderers in his career before the Milverton case, “but the worst of them never gave me the repulsion which I have for this fellow.”

Monty then briefly elucidated the history of the word “blackmail” before bringing the term into Holmes’ era – “an age when one’s reputation was everything (and) blackmail was the ultimate insidious crime.”  He then reviewed the ten instances in the Canon in which blackmail is a factor – or first thought to be a factor. The members correctly guessed each one, which Monty later attributed to either their familiarity with the Canon or their experience with blackmail.

Next up, the AMS Players, organized by Chris Jeryan, read a scene originally from a 1939 radio broadcast that featured one of the consummate Sherlocks, Basil Rathbone, in the lead role. Ably donning Holmes’ shoes was our own Bev Sobolewski with Al Calderini as Watson. The reading was enthusiastically received by the membership.

With the evening winding down, the Gasogene then announced that the fall meeting of the AMS would be Saturday, October 19th at the Commonwealth Club. So save that date!

A panoply of prizes were next awarded, under the direction of Christine Del Greco. They included British tea cups & boxes of tea, a Sherlock Holmes consulting detective game, a silver Sherlockian charm bracelet, the book “Prisoner of the Devil” by Michael Hardwick (detailing Holmes’ efforts in the Dreyfus Case) and finally, a pair of Sherlockian socks, direct from England and bearing the Master’s silhouette.

The lucky winners included Elaine Johnson, Bob Jurva, Rich Krisciunas, David MacGregor, Dave Mandziuk and George Vanderburgh.

Following that, the assembled multitude stood for the traditional singing of “God Save the Queen” and the poem “221B” was read by Commissionaire Chris Music.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:40 p.m. – to applause.

Respectfully submitted,
Christine Del Greco & Rob Musial
-- for the AMS

Tuesday, May 07, 2019

June Meeting

                “…I have always had an idea that I would have made a highly efficient criminal.”
                          -- Sherlock Holmes in “The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton”     

But there is nothing criminal in this exercise, an evening of dinner, fellowship and the sharing of Sherlockiana with the storied and legendary Amateur Mendicant Society of Detroit

Saturday, June 1, 2019
6:00 p.m.
The Commonwealth Club
30088 Dequindre, Warren, MI                                                                                                                                                       
Our assigned story and brief discussion is on “The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton,” in which Holmes and Watson work to defeat a blackmailer – until fate steps in and plays a hand.

In the evening’s presentation, Scott Monty, BSI, a founder of the podcast and website “I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere” will present his investigation into “A Powerful Ring of Blackmailers.” There will also be a dramatic reading of a short Sherlockian play by the AMS Players.

Of course, also included will be the usual toasts, prizes, merriment and more.

Please make checks for $30 payable to: Amateur Mendicant Society of Detroit and mail to the address below. Or to use PayPal, contact amateurmendicantsociety@gmail.com for instructions.

To join us, please mail your check for $30 per person by FRIDAY, MAY 24th to:

AMATEUR MENDICANT SOCIETY OF DETROIT
c/o  Bev Ellis
48132 Colony Farm Circle
Plymouth, MI 48170-3305

The dinner includes a tossed salad, chicken Marsala, ginger pork, roasted potatoes, green beans, corn and dessert. As always, there will also be a cash bar.

“Come at once if convenient … if inconvenient, come all the same.”

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Winter Meeting Report

Braving the season’s first major snowfall and the resulting snow-clogged roads, a hardy band of brothers and sisters managed to make the January 19, 2019 meeting of the Amateur Mendicant Society of Detroit.

In all, 29 Mendicants and friends turned out to enjoy fellowship, a tasty repast and to celebrate the 165th birthday of Mr. Sherlock Holmes, within the cozy and familiar confines of the British Commonwealth Club in Warren, Michigan.

AMS Gasogene John Kramb called the dinner meeting to order at 6:20 p.m., welcoming everyone who had defied the storm and then introducing the society’s board members and planning committee.
Also acknowledged were members of the society’s prestigious Lower Vault, who had earned their honors through long service to the society or for making a distinctive presentation to the membership.

Next on the agenda were the society’s traditional toasts, as organized by Commissionaire Chris Music. They were offered to The Woman by Michael Ellis, Mrs. Hudson by Christine Del Greco, Mycroft Holmes by Bev Ellis and Watson’s Second Wife by Rob Musial.

In addition, there were three special toasts as Rich Krisciunas poetically saluted Mary Sutherland, Rob Musial honored Mr. Holmes on his birthday (explaining why January 6th was the actual day) and Brad Schwartz toasted Edgar Allen Poe, whose 1841 story “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” featured literature’s first detective, C. Auguste Dupin.

With glasses drained, the assemblage dined on a fine buffet dinner of chicken Marsala, carved beef, roasted and mashed potatoes and vegetables al dente. Also included were slices of two special birthday cakes from the Chocolate Bar Café in Grosse Pointe Woods, one in the shape of Holmes’ pipe and the other in the shape of a deerstalker cap.

Once the gourmandizing concluded, Michael Ellis then went over the talking points and questions from the assigned story, “A Case of Identity,” which involved a typewriter, a near-sighted woman and a despicable suitor.

Then came Part One of the evening’s presentation – a discussion by Liza Potts, who is the caretaker of the information-packed website, sherlockian.net. Originally created back in 1994 by the venerable Chris Redmond, it was the first website devoted to The Master. Since 2016, Potts and her research fellows at Michigan State University have worked to update and reorganize it for ease of use and keep up with the ever-growing volume of Sherlockiana.

Strangely, Potts’ PowerPoint presentation mysteriously featured slides with red backgrounds – something she couldn’t account for – which either could have been a message from The Beyond from Mr. Holmes or merely the precursor to the super blood red wolf moon eclipse that peaked at midnight the next evening.

Spookiness aside, it was then time for Part Two of the evening’s presentation, the reading of a scene from a new play by David MacGregor of the Purple Rose Theatre, who last year premiered a play there involving Sherlock Holmes and Vincent Van Gogh that sold-out during its run.
The new play, set to premiere at the Purple Rose this fall, is entitled “Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Fallen Soufflé,” which investigates an affair involving Holmes, Dr. Watson, the Prince of Wales and the legendary French chef Auguste Escoffier. 

The hastily-formed volunteer Mendicant Players enacting the scene included Rich Krisciunas as Holmes, Rob Musial as Dr. Watson and Rachel Gosch as Mrs. Hudson; all of whom are now waiting for a call-back from the Purple Rose.

With the meeting winding down, Gasogene John Kramb informed the group that a June meeting is being considered – with details to follow at a later date.

Christine Del Greco then handled the drawing for an exceptional offering of door prizes. The winners included John and Ann LaFond (who won an autographed copy of the book co-authored by Brad Schwartz, “Scarface and the Untouchable: Al Capone, Eliot Ness and the Battle for Chicago”); Fritzi Roth (a 221B fleece throw, perfect for cold winter nights); Chris Jeryan (“Sherlock Holmes’s London”); Joyce Hostnick (“Sherlock Holmes: The Story Behind the World’s Greatest Detective” by Time Inc.); David MacGregor (“The World of Sherlock Holmes”); Anne Musial (“Sherlock Holmes, Volume 2”); Natalie Katkowsky (a commemorative red canister set of three English teas) and Sherry Jurva (“Sherlock Holmes on Top of the World,” featuring an adventure from the time when Holmes portrayed the Norwegian explorer Sigerson).

Finally, there was the traditional singing of “God Save the Queen” and the reading of “221B” by Rob Musial, who first explained what the phrase “view-halloo” meant in the poem.

Following that, the Gasogene gaveled the meeting to a close at 9:05 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Rob Musial, AMS Tantalus


Thursday, December 20, 2018

Winter Meeting

This is your invitation to the Saturday January 19th meeting of The Amateur Mendicant Society of Detroit.

It will be held, starting at 6 p.m., at the Commonwealth Club on Dequindre Rd. in Warren, MI.

Dinner is $28. Please send your check by FRIDAY JAN. 11th to:

Bev Ellis, 48132 Colony Farm Circle, Plymouth MI  48170-3305.

Assigned story: "A Case of Identity."

Featured presenter: Liza Potts, of the Sherlockian.net website PLUS a scene from David MacGregor's new play "Sherlock Holmes & The Case of the Fallen Souffle."

There will also be a birthday cake for Mr. Holmes, the usual toasts, prizes and more.

We hope to see you then!

Friday, November 16, 2018

Fall Meeting Report

As befits a meeting centered around the late prima donna of the Imperial Opera of Warsaw, the October 2018 meeting of the Amateur Mendicant Society of Detroit was held at the Polka Restaurant in bucolic Troy, Michigan.

Some 37 Mendicants and friends gathered at the restaurant, across the street from the Polish Cultural Center, for a Sunday afternoon of gustation, discussion and comradeship.
AMS Gasogene John Kramb called the assembly to order at 1:41 p.m., welcoming all and introducing the society’s board members, the planning committee and members of the society’s prestigious Lower Vault. Especially welcomed were two first-time attendees, Lynne Haas and Rich Kriscinaus.

Next, as organized by Commisionaire Chris Music, the society’s traditional toasts were offered to “The Woman,” (by Christine Del Greco), Mrs. Hudson (by Velda Dykehouse), Mycroft Holmes (by George Vanderburgh) and Watson’s Second Wife (by Al Calderini).

Throughout the afternoon, there was trouble with the microphone. A subsequent investigation found that the great grandson of Col. Sebastian Moran had tampered with the equipment, while cleverly disguised as one of the restaurant’s busboys.

But the crowd was not dismayed, thanks largely to the fine fare prepared for the brunch, which included pierogi, stuffed cabbage, chicken schnitzel, potatoes (those spared from the vodka vat), and the usual accompaniments.

After the meal, the society’s Tantalus Rob Musial went over the talking points of the assigned story, “A Scandal in Bohemia,” quizzing the multitude here and there on various aspects of the tale.
Among other revelations, this story was the first to be illustrated by artist Sydney Paget, that the disputed photo in the tale was only 4” x 5 ½” and that the BBC’s modern-day version of the story in 2012 depicted Irene Adler as a dominatrix – which became the network’s most-watched show that year.

The main course of the afternoon came next as member Rachel Gosch offered her presentation, “The Cat and The Woman: How a Scandal in Bohemia created a Feline Fatale.”

Through her research, Gosch was able to show that the character of Irene Adler was reborn in 1940s comic books and pulp fiction as Catwoman, the sometime nemesis of Batman. Some of the parallels between the characters were eerie, leading Gosch to reliably assert that Adler clearly had inspired Bob Kane and Bill Finger when they created Batman’s feline fatale. Ironically, one of the later comic book iterations of Catwoman portrayed her as a dominatrix.

Next, Gasogene Kramb took the podium to tell the throng that the next meeting of the Mendicants would be Saturday night January 19, 2019 at the society’s traditional gathering place, the Commonwealth Club in Warren.

Then the drawing for the door prizes was held, with Dinah Bianchi winning a deerstalker cap, Kathy Rudes taking home a collection of English teas, Glenn Walters winning a volume of Holmes’ stories, Michael Clyne earning a DVD of two Holmes’ movies, Janet Biblewski getting the book “Murder in Baker street” and Elaine Johnson taking home another Holmes’-related prize.

Finally, after the Tantalus led the group in singing of “God Save the Queen” and the Commissionaire read the traditional meeting closer (the poem “221B”), the Gasogene gaveled the meeting to a close at 3:58 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Rob Musial
AMS Tantalus

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Spring Meeting Report

The annual spring meeting of the Amateur Mendicant Society of Detroit took place on June 23, 2018 in familiar haunts – the British Commonwealth Club of Detroit in the bosky suburb of Warren, Michigan.

The society’s Gasogene John Kramb called the meeting to order at 6:44 p.m. and greeted the 50 Sherlockians in attendance. He also introduced the club’s officers and planning committee and welcomed guests, including those who had traveled from such far-flung cities as St. Joseph and Kalamazoo. Mich. and Columbus, Ohio.

He then borrowed from the Baker Street Irregulars and quoted from the Holmes’ story “His Last Bow” (“Stand with me here upon the terrace … “) to honor long-standing member Phil Jones who had recently passed away. Jones, a gentle and scholarly man, was known for his encyclopedic knowledge of The Canon and for cataloging over 11,000 Sherlockian pastiches.
Former Gasogene Roy Pilot then did the same for the club’s late Tantalus Ray Mandziuk and its late Tide-Waiter Walter Young. Mandziuk in particular had been instrumental in reorganizing the club in 1999 and helping to bring it out of one of its episodic hiatuses.

Next on the agenda were the customary toasts, to The Woman (by Regina Stinson), Mrs. Hudson (Michael Ellis), Mycroft Holmes (Bev Sobolewski) and Watson’s Second Wife (Chris Music). Glenn Walters also added a salutation for a character who only appears once in the Canon but without whose efforts we would know little (or nothing) of Holmes – that being Murray, the orderly of Dr. John Watson, who fortunately evacuated him back between British lines after Watson was wounded by a jezail bullet at the Battle of Maiwand during the Second Anglo-Afghan War in 1880.
Glasses drained, the assembly then settled down to a fine dinner of chicken Kiev, ginger pork, a summer salad and the accompaniments.

With the room soon sated, Chris Jeryan walked the crowd through the talking points of the night’s story, “The Adventure of the Six Napoleons,” which started with what looked like a case of simple vandalism but actually involved a jewel heist, the Mafia and murder.

As a curious sidelight, Pilot then explained that he had in his collection a letter from Arthur Conan Doyle, who had served as Watson’s literary agent. The letter discussed how Doyle had invested in a machine that made exact copies of small sculptures – just a few months before he wrote “The Six Napoleons,” a tale that revolved around duplicate copies of busts of the late French emperor.
There was also an attempt to show a brief film clip of “The Six Napoleons” from the Jeremy Brett-as-Sherlock TV series but alas, the sound system briefly failed, no doubt through the evil efforts of one of the late Prof. Moriarty’s minions.

Fortunately, the evening was saved thanks to a stellar presentation by Brad Schwartz entitled “The Great Detectives: How Sherlock Holmes Inspired Eliot Ness.”  Schwartz, whose book on Ness and Al Capone, (“Scarface and the Untouchable”) is coming out in August, also offered a toast – to his father Denny, whose birthday was the following day and who had introduced him to the tales of the original Great Detective years ago.

Among the fascinating revelations in his presentation, he detailed the G-man’s childhood love of the Holmes’ adventures, more than half of which were first published during Ness’ formative years. And he concluded that while both Holmes and Ness represented new kinds of detectives, while Capone could reasonably be considered a 1920s Chicago version of the London crime boss Moriarty.
Next, George Vanderburgh alerted the crowd to that fact that the play “The Hound of the Baskervilles” is being presented now through October 28 at the Shaw Festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada. As in the original adventure, it’s a mystery –-- to die for. Theater-goers can get discounted tickets by using the code “conference 18.”

Gasogene Kramb also told the crowd that the next meeting of the Mendicants would be in late September/early October at the Polish-American Cultural Center in Troy. Watch for details in late August or early September.

As the evening was winding down, it was time to do the drawing for this meeting’s door prizes, which included proof copies of Brad’s book (“Scarface and the Untouchable: Al Capone, Eliot Ness and the Battle for Chicago”), an English tea set, a Sherlockian puzzle case and a Baker Street book. The winners included Bobbi Gorevitz, Michael Locke, Dan Pilot, Brigit Locke, Douglas Bianchi and Sam Stinson.

Then, Anne Musial and Patience Nauta led the group in the traditional singing of “God Save the Queen,” Tantalus Rob Musial recited the poem “221B” and Kramb gaveled the meeting to a close at 9:37 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Rob Musial, AMS Tantalus

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Spring/Summer Meeting Notice

 “… some of my most classic cases have had the least promising commencement.”              
-- Sherlock Holmes in “The Adventure of the Six Napoleons.”       

And in this season of commencements, we heartily invite you to join us at the annual
spring/summer dinner meeting of The Amateur Mendicant Society of Detroit.

Saturday, June 23, 2018
6:30 p.m.         
Commonwealth Club
30088 Dequindre, Warren, MI                                                                                                         
Club phone: (586) 751-9560
                                                   
Our assigned story and brief discussion is on “The Adventure of the Six Napoleons,” in which what seems to be simple vandalism actually involves murder, the Mafia and a rare missing jewel.
Leading us through the story’s talking points will be Christine Jeryan.

The evening’s presentation will feature member Brad Schwartz and his investigation into “The Great Detectives: How Sherlock Holmes inspired Eliot Ness.”

There will also be the usual (and unusual) toasts, prizes and more.

Please make dinner checks payable to: Amateur Mendicant Society of Detroit and mail to the address below. Or to use PayPal, contact amateurmendicantsociety@gmail.com for instructions.

To join us, please mail your check for $28 per person by FRIDAY, JUNE 15th to:

AMATEUR MENDICANT SOCIETY OF DETROIT
c/o Bev Ellis
48132 Colony Farms Circle
Plymouth, MI  48170-3305

The dinner includes chicken Kiev, ginger pork, rice medley, green beans, carrots, a summer salad and assorted pastries. As always, there will also be a cash bar.

“Come at once if convenient … if inconvenient, come all the same.”

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Winter Meeting Report

The annual winter meeting of the Amateur Mendicant Society of Detroit occurred on January 6, 2018 – which was also the 164th anniversary of the birthday of Mr. Sherlock Holmes. The venue was the Society’s traditional home, the British Commonwealth Club of Detroit in suburban Warren, Michigan.

Gasogene John Kramb called the meeting to order at 6:42 p.m. and greeted the 52 members and guests, among them Taylor Card, welcoming all and introducing the club’s planning committee.
Receiving a special welcome was David Mandziuk, attending in honor of his late father, Ray, one of the reorganizers who brought the society back from its somnambulant hiatus in 1999.

Borrowing a page from the Baker Street Journal, Kramb quoted from the final Holmesian adventure “His Last Bow” in which Holmes bids goodbye, saying “Stand with me here upon the terrace…” and which the Journal uses to note prominent Sherlockians who have recently passed away. Remembered in the moment of silence besides Ray Mandziuk were Mendicants Thomas Dobbke, Walter Young and Larry Katkowsky as well as longtime Commonwealth Club volunteer and hostess Bessie Smith.

The traditional toasts were also offered up, with The Woman being saluted by Al Calderini; Mrs. Hudson being honored in a call-and-response by Scott Monty, Mycroft Holmes being toasted by Christine Jeryan and Watson’s Second Wife as saluted by Rob Musial.

There was also the traditional extra toast offered by Jerry Alvin, this time in memory of the composer Vivaldi, nicknamed “the red priest,” which of course recalled Ezekiah Hopkins, the late millionaire from Lebanon, Pennsylvania who so bountifully provided for the Red-Headed League.

Then Kramb made a special presentation, a framed certificate of appreciation (complete with an English tuppence) for salutary service to the society’s Tantalus, Rob Musial.  Though surprised, Musial was able to offer the final toast, which explained the convoluted and some would say spurious scholarship that led to January 6th being recognized as Holmes’ birthday, though his biographer Dr. Watson or Watson’s literary agent Arthur Conan Doyle, never provided the actual date.

After the Twelfth Night repast which included rib-eye roast, roast chicken, green beans, roasted potatoes, salad, and desserts, highlighted by a specially-prepared sumptuous Sherlockian birthday cake from the Chocolate Bar Café in Grosse Pointe Woods, the evening continued.

Next, guest and playwright David McGregor noted two upcoming Sherlockian stage plays of note, the world premiere of his work, “Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of the Elusive Ear,” at the Purple Rose Theatre in Chelsea, Michigan from March 29 through May 26 – and “The Hound of the Baskervilles,” at the Shaw Festival at Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, August 1 through October 27.
Quizmaster Michael Ellis then queried the assembly on their knowledge of the evening’s story, “The Adventure of the Abbey Grange,” with Chris Jeryan scoring the winning total.

The main course was the evening’s presentation, “Sherlock Holmes: January’s Child,” by Mendicant Michael Jones. This scholarly paper took a deep dive into Holmes’ personality, investigating if, by today’s standards, the Great Detective could be considered a manic depressive, someone with bi-polar condition, a high-functioning sociopath (as Benedict Cumberbatch proclaims the character to be in the popular BBC show “Sherlock”) or perhaps someone with Asperger’s Syndrome.

Whatever the diagnosis, Jones concluded that Holmes’ sometimes eccentric and odd behavior also helped make him a force for good and someone to be admired.

With the presentation concluded, Kramb revealed that the Society’s next meeting would be in June, with a presentation by Brad Schwartz that investigates the possible connections between Holmes’ and the 1930s crime-fighter Elliot Ness. More details will be forthcoming.

As the meeting drew to a close, Anne Musial and Gayle Conway led the multitude in the traditional singing of “God Save the Queen;” Rob Musial offered the traditional closing poem, “221B” by Vincent Starrett and Kramb gaveled the meeting to a close at 9:02 p.m.

Belatedly submitted,
Robert Musial, AMS Tantalus

Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Winter Meeting Announcement

“… but on my life, Watson, I simply cannot leave that case in this condition.”              
-- Sherlock Holmes in “The Adventure of the Abbey Grange.”       

And we sincerely hope that after the holidays, you’ll be in the best condition to join us at the annual winter dinner meeting of The Amateur Mendicant Society of Detroit.

Saturday, January 6, 2018
6:30 p.m.       
Commonwealth Club
30088 Dequindre, Warren, MI                           
                                                                                                                               
Our assigned story and brief discussion is on “The Adventure of the Abbey Grange,” which concerns an abused woman, a vicious murder and a detective who bends the law.

The evening’s presentation will feature member Michael Jones and his investigation into the case of “Sherlock Holmes: January’s Child.”

There will also be toasts, a prize raffle and a celebration of the 164th birthday of Mr. Sherlock Holmes. Members may also bring their Sherlockian memorabilia to sell and/or swap.

Please make dinner checks payable to: Amateur Mendicant Society of Detroit and mail to the address below. Or to use PayPal, contact amateurmendicantsociety@gmail.com for instructions.

To join us, please mail your check for $28 per person by FRIDAY, DEC. 29th to:

AMATEUR MENDICANT SOCIETY OF DETROIT
c/o Edward F. Stein
29950 Summit Drive, #108
Farmington Hills, MI  48334

Your entrées include rib-eye roast, roast chicken, green beans, roasted potatoes, salad, and desserts including a piece of birthday cake. As always, there will also be a cash bar.

“Come at once if convenient … if inconvenient, come all the same.”

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Fall Meeting Report

The annual fall meeting of the Amateur Mendicant Society of Detroit took place October 1, 2017 at the Station 885 restaurant in Plymouth, Michigan with 33 members and guests enjoying an afternoon of Sherlockian fellowship.

Gasogene John Kramb gaveled the meeting to order at 2:08 p.m., welcoming all and introducing the society’s board. He also noted that two of the society’s past gasogenes, Ed Stein and Tom Voss, were in attendance.

There was also a moment of silence for two recently departed longtime members, Walter Young, a board member for more than 15 years and Ray Mandziuk, who with Roy Pilot, brought the society out of hiatus more than 17 years ago.

Also introduced was Doug Bianchi, who first indicated an interest in the group back in 1987 but whose query was apparently intercepted and purposely mislaid by one of Professor Moriarty’s minions. Other guests included Tamara Christie and Kelly Aydlott of Royal Oak Briars ?????, which crafts custom hand-made pipes and displayed several at the meeting.

Next, the society’s traditional toasts were offered up, with Bev Sobolewski saluting “The Woman,” Al Calderini honoring Mrs. Hudson, Commissionaire Chris Music toasting Mycroft Holmes and Chris Jeryan calling on the assembly to hoist their glasses to Watson’s Second Wife.
Speaking of Mrs. Hudson, the restaurant served up a hearty afternoon meal of roast turkey with gravy, baked salmon and all the usual accompaniments topped by a dessert of white chocolate mousse.

Gasogene Kramb then went over the significant points of the assigned story, “The Adventure of the Three Garridebs,” noting among other things, its resemblance to at least two other Canonical tales.
Then, publisher George Vanderburgh dished up the afternoon’s main course, a presentation on the book covers and internal art for the Battered Silicon Dispatch Box. Among the highlights were drawings of Holmes as a marionette operated by Arthur Conan Doyle and a constellation of stars forming an interstellar Holmes pictured with the U.S.S. Enterprise of “Star Trek” fame.

The society’s Tantalus Rob Musial then took a minute to update the assembly about two recent Sherlockian developments, the recent publication of “From Holmes to Sherlock: The Story of the Men and Women Who Created an Icon” by Mattias Bostrom and the world premiere of a rousing new play, “Sherlock Holmes and the Adventure of The Elusive Ear” coming to the Purple Rose Theatre in Chelsea, Michigan.

The play, which features Holmes and Vincent Van Gogh in a most unusual case, runs from March 29 to May 26, 2018 and the AMS is considering a group outing to see it. In an unplanned and welcome surprise, the playwright, David MacGregor, was in attendance to offer a brief preview of the work.
As the meeting wound down, Musial then did the drawing for the door prizes, with MacGregor taking home (what else?) a Sherlock Holmes book, Bobbie Gorevitz scoring a Sherlock Holmes scarf and Kramb being awarded a Moriarty coffee mug.

Kramb also announced that the next meeting of the society would be at the Commonwealth Club in Warren on January 6, 2018 -- the same date as the actual 164th birthday of Mr. Holmes.
In the meeting’s finale, Anne Musial led the multitude in the singing of “God Save the Queen,” Music recited the traditional closing poem “221B” by Vincent Starrett and Kramb adjourned the proceedings at 4:28 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Robert Musial, AMS Tantalus