Monday, October 19, 2015

Fall Meeting Report

To kick off the fall meeting of The Amateur Mendicant Society of Detroit, 54 Mendicants and their guests gathered on the evening of September 26, 2015 amid the familiar surroundings of the British Commonwealth Club in the Detroit suburb of Warren.

Gasogene John Kramb called the meeting to order at 7:04 p.m. by welcoming the throng and introducing the Society’s board members and the planning committee. He also welcomed new attendees including Velda Dykehouse; Chris Redmond, the noted Sherlockian scholar and editor of the site; Sherlockian actor John Sherwood and Sherlockian publisher George Vanderburgh and his friend Carol Wilton.

Then, members and guests raised their glasses in a toast honoring the late Richard Jeryan, a longtime member who served so admirably in recent years as the club’s Lascar. He is missed by all who knew him.

With dinner underway, Chris Music introduced the traditional toasts.  Toasts were offered to The Woman (by George Vanderburgh); Mycroft Holmes (by Al Calderini); Watson’s Second Wife (John Sherwood) and Mrs. Hudson (by Tom Biblewski).

The buffet dinner itself featured chicken Marsala, roast beef, pasta Alfredo, vegetables, potatoes and other delicious accompaniments.

Next, Jerry “Red” Alvin also rose to offer a toast but not, this time, to Ezekiah Hopkins, the late millionaire of Lebanon, Pennsylvania, who left his munificence for the benefit of red heads everywhere. Instead, Alvin recalled the early days of the Mendicants and legendary member Bob Harris and his connection to “The Creeping Man.”

With that, Gasogene Kramb again took the podium to offer the discussion points on the evening’s story, “The Adventure of the Creeping Man,” a story that again proves that man should not monkey around.

Then came the real meat of the evening – the presentation. Served up by Gasogene Emeritus Roy Pilot, the talk was billed as “The Collector, the Author, the Sherlockian.”
In it, Pilot discussed his 50 years of collecting materials related to Arthur Conan Doyle, believed by some to be the actual author of The Canon as opposed to one Dr. John Watson. The talk was illustrated by actual items from Pilot’s collection, which he gathered on a shoestring budget over decades by pluck, luck and serendipity.

With the presentation concluded, Gasogene Kramb informed the multitude that the next meeting of the Mendicants would be on February 6th at the Commonwealth Club. He also welcomed suggestions and noted that plans were underway to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Mendicants’ founding in April 2016.

Next, Anne Musial held the drawing for door prizes which included a Sherlock Holmes book donated by Phil Jones, a diabolical two-sided puzzle donated by the Jeryans and three books donated by Vanderburgh. And the winners who added to their personal collections that night were Mitzi Alvin, Brandon Vasos, Jack Hretz, Pat Drzinski and Carrie Mulko.

Then, Anne Musial and Gayle Conway led the group in the traditional singing of “God Save the Queen,” Rob Musial, closed the gathering with the traditional reading of the poem, “221B” and the meeting was adjourned at 9:27 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Rob Musial, AMS Tantalus