Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Spring Meeting Report

 The Amateur Mendicant Society of Detroit welcomed 36 people to their annual spring meeting at the Commonwealth Club in Warren on April 20, 2024.

The meeting was called to order at 6:10 p.m. by the society’s Gasogene, John Kramb, who introduced the board members and welcomed the new attendees. 

To get the evening underway, the traditional toasts were offered to The Woman (by John Sherwood), Mrs. Hudson (by Regina Stinson), Mycroft Holmes (by Christine Jeryan) and Watson’s Second Wife (by Rob Musial).

Kramb also noted the fine selection of books related to the Great Detective that were on sale that night, from the collection of the late Jerry Alvin, a longtime Mendicant who could always be counted on to offer an interesting if round-about toast to the Red-Headed League.

With the buffet dinner concluded, society Commissionaire (and historian) Chris Music offered a “Mendicant History Minute,” detailing the many past venues for the society’s gatherings that have subsequently closed.  He mentioned such illustrious venues like The Fox and Hounds in Bloomfield Hills, Pasquales in Royal Oak, Vince’s in Detroit, and the 221b restaurant in Clarkston.  He also referenced a certain former restaurant in Birmingham that shall remain nameless but will always be remembered as the Site of the Too-Loud Snowblower.

Next, playwright David MacGregor dished up the talking points of the evening’s required reading, the Sherlockian story titled “His Last Bow.” MacGregor noted that this story, set on the eve of World War I, stood out as something different in the Canon as, for one thing, it was not written by Dr. Watson.

Then, the first main course of the evening was served up – the “Case for the Scion Society” as outlined by Steve Doyle, the leader of the Illustrious Clients of Indianapolis. He detailed his youthful fascination with the Canon’s characters and how important it was that local groups of fans (or scions) met regularly as friends in whimsical comradeship, from the founding of the Baker Street Irregulars in the 1930s through the more than 80 scions around the world today. 

The evening’s second main course was served by Scott Monty, who presented “Luck in the Canon.” As luck would have it, besides Holmes’ reliance on science and logic and his encyclopedic knowledge of crime, in several stories, sheer luck also led to the successful conclusion of a case.

Once the presentations ended by both members of the national Baker Street Irregulars, the traditional drawing for door prizes was held and Gerald Kelly, Jim O’Keefe and Natalie Katkowski were selected to receive their copy of any of the Sherlock books on display.

Also noted were society members who have been Mendicant meeting planners for 20 years or more. They included John Kramb, Chris Music, Chris Jeryan and Rob and Anne Musial.

With the evening winding down, Kramb announced that the society’s fall meeting would be scheduled for October. That might be the final one at the Commonwealth Club which is currently considering a move to a new location.

Next, the group rose in unison to sing “God Save the Queen” (Victoria), Rob Musial

offered the closing poem, “221B” and the meeting concluded at 9:03 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Rob Musial

AMS Tantalus