Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Sherlocking in Oregon

For me no trip to the Portland, Oregon area  is complete without a visit to Jerry Margolin and his wife, Judy. They are the salt of the earth Sherlockian and Sherlockian tolerater (I will let the reader figure out which is which). My adventures began last last week with a flight into Portland, Oregon. I was working in Corvallis, home of the Oregon State Beavers. I like saying it, Go Beavers! It was an uneventful week and on Friday, my co-worker, Dori Law and I drove back up to Portland as we  had dinner invitations at Jerry and Judy's
house. I have taken Dori around the country with me meeting Sherlockians in our wake. Jerry and Judy are the most gracious hosts and by evenings end we were all family. 

With Judy and Jerry Margolin.

On the same day that Katrina devastated New Orleans, I was on my way to Lincoln City, on the Oregon coast. My route took me past the Evergreen Aviation and Space Museum in McMinnville, Oregon. This is the home of the ‘Spruce Goose’, the giant laminated wooden aircraft built by Howard Hughes.I remember that day for numerous reasons and since our Saturday was free, Dori and I made the 45-mile drive to the museum. To this day the ‘Spruce Goose’ is the world’s largest aircraft. We spent the afternoon strolling through the museum, taking in all of the various aircraft. They all looked like toy models next to the ‘Spruce Goose’.

The 'Spruce Goose' and other aircraft.

Next on the agenda was meeting Jerry and Judy again, this time at a restaurant, The Irving Kitchen. We were joined by another fellow Sherlockian, Sonia Featherston, and her husband Ben. I have known Sonia for nearly twenty years as a member of the Hounds of the Internet.  I met her in person for the first time last year at the Morley-Montgomery Reception. Sonia won the Morley-Montgomery Award for the best article in the Baker Street Journal for the past year. She is the author of this year’s Baker Street Journal 2012 Christmas Annual.  “Barrymore in Baker Street” tells the story of the silent film Sherlock Holmes starring John Barrymore . This is an excellent read and the eighteen months she spent working on it reflects its scope and depth.

Sonia, Jerry, and me.

Alas, all good things end and my Sherlockian adventure in Oregon followed the same. Not before old Sherlockian  friendships grew deeper and newer ones solidified. For Jerry and Judy it was another great evening added to the one before and the ones to follow. In addition, for Sonia and Ben, it was another chapter in our Sherlockian lives and future visits to anticipate.  The Sherlockian Gods are smiling on me.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Six Degrees of Sherlockian Separation

Sunday is the 85th Academy Awards® and it is the eighth year for this little exercise of Sherlockian inanity. The last seven years I wrote this for SherlockPeoria but that weekly Webpage ended in June of last year. Inow have this blog and will carry on the tradition here. I will be using this year’s nominations for Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role, Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role, and the Best Director. In six steps or less, I will tie these nominees to a Sherlock Holmes film.

Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Bradley Cooper/ Silver Linings Playbook
  1.  Bradley Cooper/ Wedding Crashers (2005) with Owen Wilson.
  2. Owen Wilson/ Shanghai Noon  (2000) with Lucy Liu
  3. Lucy Liu/ Elementary
 Daniel Day-Lewis/ Lincoln
  1. Daniel Day-Lewis/Gandhi (1985) with Ben Kingsley
  2. Ben Kingsley/Without A Clue (1988)
Hugh Jackman/ Les Miserables
  1. Hugh Jackman/ Van Helsing (2004) with Richard Roxburgh
  2. Richard Roxburgh/The Hound of the Baskervilles (2002)
Joaquin Phoenix/ The Master
  1. Joaquin Phoenix/ Gladiator (2000) with Richard Harris
  2. Richard Harris/ King of the Wind (1990) with Ian Richardson
  3. Ian Richardson/ The Hound of the Baskervilles (1983)
Denzel Washington/ Flight
  1. Denzel Washington/ Much Ado About Nothing with Kenneth Branagh
  2. Kenneth Branagh/ Shackleton (2002) with John Grillo
  3. John Grillo/ Brazil (1985) with Jonathan Pryce
  4. Jonnathan Pryce/ Sherlock Holmes and the Baker Street Irregulars (2007)
Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Jessica Chastain/Zero Dark Thirty
  1. Jessica Chastain/ Coriolanus (2011) with Ralph Fiennes
  2. Ralph Fiennes/ The English Patient (1996) with Kevin Whatley
  3. Kevin Whatley/  Inspector Morse (1987) with John Thaw
  4. John Thaw/ The Sign of Four (1987)
Jennifer Lawrence/ Silver Linings Playbook
  1. Jennifer Lawrence/ The Hunger Games (2012) with Woody Harrelson
  2. Woody Harrelson/No Country for Old Men (2007) with Tommy Lee Jones
  3. Tommy Lee Jones/ Lonesome Dove (1989) with Robert Duvall
  4. Robert Duvall/ The Seven Per-Cent Solution (1976)
Emmanuelle Riva/ Amour
  1. Emmanuella Riva/ XXL (1997) with Gerard Depardieu
  2. Gerard Depardieu/ Hamlet  (1996) with Judi Dench
  3. Judi Dench/ A Study in Terror (1965)
Quvenzhane Wallis/ Beasts of the Southern Wild
  1. Quvenzhane Wallis/ Twelve Years a Slave (2013) with Benedict Cumberbatch
  2. Benedict Cumberbatch/ Sherlock  (2012)
Naomi Watts/ The Impossible
  1. Naomi Watts/ Le Divorce  (2003) with Glenn Close
  2. Glenn Close/ Hamlet (1990) with Ian Holms
  3. Ian Holmes/ Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984) with James Fox
  4. James Fox/Sherock Holmes  (2009)
Best Director
Michael Haneke/ Amour
  1. Benny's Video (1992) with Angela Winkler
  2. Angela Winkler/ Peer Gynt (1971) with Bruno Ganz
  3. Bruno Ganz/ Unknown (2011) with Liam Neeson
  4. Liam Neeson/ Rob Roy (1995) with Ian Stewart
  5. Ian Stewart/ The Dark Beginnings of Sherlock Holmes  (2000)
Benh Zeitlin/  Beasts of the Southern Wild
  1. Benh Zeitlin/ The Egg (2005) with Max Goldblatt
  2. Max Goldblatt/ Bushwacked(1995) with Daniel Stern
  3. Daniel Stern/ Hannah and Her Sisters (1986) with Michael Caine
  4. Michael Caine/ Without a Clue (1988)
Ang Lee/ Life of Pi
  1. Ang Lee/Sense and Sensibility (1995) with Tom Wilkinson
  2. Tom Wilkinson/ Inspector Morse (1985) with John Thaw
  3. John Thaw/ The Sign of Four (1987)
David O. Russell/ Silver Linings Playbook
  1. David O. Russell/ The Fighter (2012)with Amy Adams
  2. Amy Adams/ Charlie Wilson's War (2007) with Julia Roberts
  3. Julia Roberts/ Mary Rielly (1996) with Wendy Knottingham
  4. Wendy Knottingham/ Inspector Lewis (2008) with Kevin Whatley
  5. Kevin Whatley/  Inspector Morse (1987) with John Thaw
  6. John Thaw/ The Sign of Four (1987)
Steven Spielberg/ Lincoln
  1. Steven Spielberg/ Saving Private Ryan (1998) with Jeremy Daveis
  2. Jeremy Davies/Solaris (2002) with Natascha McElhone
  3. Natascha McElhone/ Ruth Rendell Mysteries (1987) with George Baker
  4. George Baker/ On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969) with Diana Rigg
  5. Diana Rigg/ Hospital (1971) with George C. Scott
  6. George C. Scott/ They Might Be Giants (1971)

This wraps up another year of “Six-Degrees of Sherlockian Separation”  We will do it again for the 86th Annual Academy Awards®. I hope you have enjoyed the effort.

Happy Blogging (and movie watching) !!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Fred Levin: Kindred Soul

Fred Levin, BSI, was a kindred soul with me. He was one of those rare Sherlockians that collected foreign translations of the Canon. Fred passed over Reichenbach Falls last February after suffer a debilitating stroke. His wife, Sunnie, asked me if I would help price Fred’s foreign language books and then ended up selling all of them to me for a price I could not refuse.  Last week, I hopped into my Hansom Cab and headed to Skokie, Illinois to pick up those books.

For me, no trip to the Land of Lincoln is complete without a visit to my Sherlockian Soul-Mate- Brad Keefauver and his home in Peoria. Brad and I have had numerous Sherlockian adventures together, dating all the way back to 1991. Anyone reading this very blog has Brad to thank. Brad helped me set this up before we headed off to the Windy City.

Recently investitured BSI, Philip Cunningham met us a Sunnie’s house, our convergence point. There, six large boxes awaited me. Sunnie not only packed all of the books, she also labels the outside of each box, not once, not twice but three times! She also included a ledger inside each box with the contents. She went beyond her call of duty on these boxes.

The four of us ate lunch and visited before it was time to head off again.

I logged nearly 2,000 mile on the old odometer in just over three days and now I have the daunting task of merging the book I did not have into my collecting and creating a catalog for the remaining books in Fred’s foreign collecting. Many people have expressed their desire to buy a few of Fred’s books He was so well liked in the Sherlockian community. I plan to begin selling them in early spring. As an extra bonus, I created a Memorial bookplate for each book.

I am glad to have know Fred and been a kindred spirit. I hope my next adventure with Brad is longer.