Sunday, May 04, 2008

Spring Meeting Report

The spring meeting of the Amateur Mendicant Society of Detroit was held on Sunday May 4, 2008 at the Detroit Yacht Club on Belle Isle, the historic city park in the middle of the Detroit River.

Our home for the afternoon - the venerable Detroit Yacht Club

Perhaps allowing for the perfect, sunny May weather (or to allow a few extra minutes for stragglers to make their way upstairs from the bar), Gasogene John Kramb called the meeting to order at 1:07 p.m.
After the requisite bits of club business, a tasty luncheon was served, consisting of either chicken breasts in a white wine and lemon sauce; marinated flank steak with a mushroom Bordelaise sauce or Michigan whitefish in a chardonnay cream sauce.
The meal was punctuated by the standard toasts to The Woman (by John and Ann LaFond, marking what is believed to be the first dual toast in the club's 62-year history), Watson's Second Wife (by club Tidewaiter Walter Young), Mrs. Hudson (by Jim Conway, with an inspired piece of doggerel) and Mycroft Holmes (by Glen Harbaugh). In keeping with club tradition, longtime AMS stalwart Jerry Alvin also called for glasses to be raised to one Ezekiah Hopkins, the late millionaire from Lebanon, Pennsylvania, who so encouraged book learning and also the propagation of redheads.
A view of the Detroit skyline from the DYC terrace
After the repast, Gasogene Kramb surprised the flock by announcing the special lifetime appointment of member Richard Jeryan to the highly honorary post of club Lascar, thereby correcting a serious gap in the leadership structure of the AMS, and one that had hitherto escaped notice, though it had been required by club bylaws.
Next, Commissionaire Chris Music led a discerning discussion of both the singular and the finer points found in the meeting's discussion story, "The Naval Treaty," the longest short story in The Canon, and one that has nothing to do with a particular type of orange.
Quizmistress Bobbi Gorevitz next guided the 49 gathered members and guests in an seven question quiz on "The Naval Treaty," with a bonus question for extra points. Scoring at the top of the class, with 11 1/2 points on the difficult 16-point exam, was member Regina Stinson, a founding member of the Ribston-Pippins scion of Royal Oak, Michigan. She was followed closely by Chris Jeryan with 9 1/2 points, no doubt inspired by the great honor that had just been bestowed on her husband, the newly-minted Lascar. For their efforts, both scholars were awarded beribboned bronzed medallions, suitable for engraving.

Mendicants congratulate our new 'Lascar' - Richard Jeryan (center)
In the prize raffle drawing, the honors continued to pour in as Lascar Jeryan's name was drawn and the new officer (and co-editor of the club's irregular newsletter, The Beggar's Cap) earned the second of four commemorative hand-cut and tumbled marble tiles, inscribed with a Sidney Paget illustration from another of the Master's nautical adventures, "The Gloria Scott." This raffle also enriched the club's coffers by $46.
In the everyone-gets-a-chance attendance drawing, member Patience Nauta's name was randomly drawn, enabling her to take home a sumptuously-bound, pocket-sized version of "The Hound of the Baskervilles," generously donated by Bev Sobolewski, perhaps out of a sense of fairness since she most often seems to capture the loot in this category.

Mendicants enjoying lunch in the 'Trophy Room' at the DYC

Next came a scholarly treatise on the history of the England's three most famous submarines, an insightful monograph that, thanks to research on two continents and PowerPoint legerdemain, managed to definitively link the Bruce-Partington submarine detailed (or barely detailed) in the Canon to the special underwater Lotus driven by Roger Moore in "The Spy Who Loved Me" and to a certain Yellow Submarine crewed by the Fab Four from that English port of Liverpool. This presentation, by yours truly, also managed to weave in the USS Cero, a vintage World War II submarine that somehow, in the 1960s, ended up docked in the Detroit River across from the location of the gathering.
Finally, when that topic was exhausted, Commissionaire Music detailed the upcoming summer meeting, set for Aug. 2 at the Commonwealth Club in Warren, Michigan, and the gathering was adjourned, following the traditional singing of "God Save The Queen" and the reading of the poetic classic, "221-B."

Anne Musial and Dr. David Mohan lead us in singing 'God Save the Queen'
Respectfully submitted,
Robert MusialTantalus


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