Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fall Meeting Report

The Amateur Mendicant Society of Detroit turned out for its autumnal 2010 meeting, held on Sunday, Sept. 19 at the Station 885 restaurant in the bucolic suburb of Plymouth, Michigan.

Welcoming the 46 Mendicants and guests to the luncheon meeting was John Kramb, the society’s Gasogene, who gaveled the meeting to order at 1:32 p.m. He then introduced other AMS board and committee members and welcomed first-time guests.

New business was briefly mentioned and old business was dispensed with as waiters appeared with a tasty bill of fare, offering diners their choice of wild mushroom pasta sautéed in white wine, broiled whitefish in a brandy sauce or steak medallions in a Chianti demi glace.

During the repast, the usual toasts were offered, to The Woman by Bev Sobolewski, Watson’s Second Wife by Michael Ellis, Mrs. Hudson by Denny Schwartz and Mycroft Holmes by Jim Conway. Longtime AMS member Jerry Alvin also offered a liquid salute to Ezekiah Hopkins, the late American millionaire from Lebanon, Pennsylvania and founder of The Red-Headed League.

With the dishes cleared, Richard Jeryan, the society’s Lascar, walked attendees through the finer discussion points of the assigned story, “The Stock-Broker’s Clerk,” which was judged to be one of the lesser tales in the Canon.

Next, society member Robert Musial underscored the railroad theme of the venue with a PowerPoint monograph entitled “Bradshaw’s Guide, the Engineer’s Thumb and Trains in the Canon.” This exploration of the impact of the railroad on Victorian life and its use by Holmes and Watson even managed to weave in Thomas the Tank Engine, the Hogwart’s Express and a legendary local bag lady.

As the meeting drew to a close, the door prize drawing of a limited-edition comic book featuring Sherlock Holmes battling zombies was won by Pat Mandziuk.

Members Anne Musial and Gayle Conway then led the assemblage in the time-honored chorus of “God Save the Queen.”

After that, Chris Music, society Commissionaire, announced the next meeting of the Mendicants – Saturday, January 29, 2011 at the Commonwealth Club – and closed the festivities with a stirring rendition of the poem “221-B” by Vincent Starrett.

Respectfully submitted,

Robert Musial
AMS Tantalus