Monday, May 07, 2007

May Meeting Minutes

On May 5, 2007, forty-four Amateur Mendicants and guests gathered at the British Commonwealth Club in Warren, Michigan for another evening of convivial conversation and cuisine.

Gasogene John Kramb presided and led the group in a brief discussion of this session’s story, “The Red-Headed League,” illuminating some of the story’s singular points and conundrums. These included the problem of the adventure’s timing, who were the “four smartest men in London” and finally, what a speedy scribbler Jabez Wilson would have to have been to hand-copy most of the first volume of the Encyclopedia Britannica in eight short weeks.

Walter Young introduced the toastmasters Joyce Hostnik (to The Woman); Beverly Sobolewski (to Watson’s Second Wife); Phil Jones (to Mrs. Hudson) and Patience Nauta (to Mycroft Holmes).

Also toasting characters from the reading with his own awards was Leslie Brudne, a member of another local scion, the Ribston-Pippins, which had met at the Commonwealth before the Mendicants and who, like several of their group, stayed for dinner.

A short quiz on the reading, organized by Bobbi Gorevitz and Commissionaire Chris Music, was also given, seeking such answers as what was dangling from pawnbroker Wilson’s watch chain, where master thief John Clay was educated and which two stores were located next to the bank with the French gold stored in its underground vault.

When one quiz question read “how does one go from here to the Strand” and a kibitzer loudly volunteered that “first, you’d have to cross the Atlantic,” that kibitzer was ruled out of order.

Nonetheless, for having the most correct responses to the seven-question quiz, Frank Hostnik earned a large tin of Sherlock Holmes tea. Coming in second with 4 ½ correct answers was Tantalus Robert Musial who earned a shiny Victorian-era coin.

After the dinner of chicken and steak pie, member Beverly Sobolewski gave a learned paper, aided by a Power Point presentation, on “The Merry Wives of Watson.” In it, she attempted to answer the nagging canonical question of just how many wives the good doctor had, examining all of the theories, ranging from one wife to seven.

Following the presentation, a raffle prize of an authentic Sherlock Holmes pub chalkboard was won by Beverly Sobolewski while the raffle itself earned the club $48.

Dr. David Mohan also presented Robert and Anne Musial with a long-sought-after, framed copy of the original Musgrave Ritual for assisting his presentation about said ritual at an earlier meeting.

Finally, as the shadows lengthened, Anne Musial and Dr. David Mohan led the assemblage in a rousing chorus of “God Save The Queen,” Commissionaire Chris Music read the closing poem “221-B” and the meeting was adjourned.

Respectfully submitted,
Robert Musial, Tantalus