The dinner celebrating Sherlock Holmes's 153rd birthday saw an impressive array of presentations in various formats, affirming for all the guests that Sherlockians are talented in many arenas. Three of the traditional toasts were offered in verse. Dan Posnansky spoke about Holmes’s reference to “a quartering of the Union Jack with the Stars and Stripes” in “The Noble Bachelor.” He also brought a number of treasures, including a copy of Beeton’s Christmas Annual, for audience delectation.
Curtis Armstrong read the Constitution and Buy-Laws. Jerry Kegley toasted Mrs. Hudson. Mycroft Holmes was toasted by Regina Stinson. Richard Olken toasted Watson's second wife. Sue Vizoskie toasted Sherlock Holmes. Burt Wolder led the annual recitation of the Musgrave Ritual. The actor Paxton Whitehead, who appeared as Sherlock Holmes on Broadway in 1978, reminisced about the production of The Crucifer of Blood. Steven Rothman offered the toast to an Old Irregular—actually the original Irregular—as he honored Christopher Morley.
A bevy of deserving contenders competed in a game called Pericolo in which they had to identify Canonical quotations. “The Veiled Lodgers,” comprised of David Stuart Davies, Susan Diamond, and Al Gregory faced off against "The Cardboard Boxers,” featuring Scott Monty, Susan Rice, and Robert S. Katz. Worthy competitors, all! The Boxers emerged triumphant in the hard-fought game, which was judiciously adjudged by Les Klinger, Judge Andrew Peck, and Judge Albert Rosenblatt.
This dinner also marked Michael Whelan’s 10th year as Wiggins. His opening remarks included an exhortation to Irregulars “to always remember the philosophy of Christopher Morley when playing the Game.” He acknowledged the contributions of Bob Thomalen to the leadership of the BSI. He also recalled his vision for the BSI as presented at the first dinner he oversaw, the 1998 BSI Dinner. He emphasized the BSI’s core identity as a literary society. The evening’s chronicler notes: “The publishing accomplishments of the past decade speak to that orientation.” Honored guest Laurie R. King provided a copy of her latest novel The Art of Detection for each attendee.
Wiggins introduced a new award, the Editor’s Medal (or “Eddies”), which was presented to Peter Blau, Steve Doyle, Mitch Higurashi, and Bill Hyder in recognition of their roles as editors for books published by the BSI in the Manuscript and International Series. Continuing the recognition of efforts, Al Rosenblatt received a walking stick in honor of his service to the BSI.
Seven deserving Irregulars received their Shilling this evening. The following week, at the Sherlock Holmes Society of London dinner, Jonathan McCafferty was also invested in the BSI.
Candace Lewis was toasted as The Woman.
Paxton Whitehead concluded the evening’s program with a reading of Vincent Starrett's sonnet "221B."
At the next day’s Sherlockian Cocktail Reception at the New York City Bar Association, Judge Albert Rosenblatt and his daughter, Betsy Rosenblatt, once again performed their remarkable rhyming summation of the previous year and of the Festivities.
Dinner Details: January 12, 2007
Union League Club, New York
Dinner Photo InformationClick on the above photo to see a larger version of it, and maximize your browser window to see the most detail.
Key to People in the 2007 BSI Dinner photo (not available at this time)
BSI Honours ListInvestitures:
Marshall S. Berdan as Henri Murger
Mattias Boström as The Swedish Pathological Society
Michael Homer as Enoch J. Drebber
Elaine McCafferty as Eliza Barrymore
Jonathan McCafferty as Barrymore *
Dayna Nuhn as Lady Clara St. Simon
Warren Randall as Harold Stackhurst
Maggie Schpak as The Soup Plate Medal
* received Investiture at another event during the year
What is an Investiture?
The Two-Shilling Award was not given in 2007.
What is a Two-Shilling Award?
Candace (Mrs. Lou) Lewis
What is The Woman honour?
"Stand with me here upon the terrace..."
(as named at this Dinner, not their year of passing)
Robert Douty (The Priory School, 1980)
Ronald Mansbridge (A Case of Identity, 1998)
Robert Schultz (The Gloria Scott, 2002)
Maureen Green Van der Flaes (Kitty Winter, 1992)
Alan Foster (A Commission from the Sultan of Turkey, 1965)
What is the origin of “standing on the terrace?”
Harold Billings, "The Materia Medica of Sherlock Holmes"
The Baker Street Journal v56 n3 (Autumn 2006) pp. 37-46 (available in the eBSJ).
What is the Morley-Montgomery Award?
The BSI Distinguished Speaker Lecture:
Laurie R. King, “Meeting Mister Holmes”
The Baker Street Journal v57 n1 (Spring 2007) pp. 43-51 (available in the eBSJ).
What is the BSI Distinguished Speaker Lecture?
Reports on the DinnerThe Baker Street Journal v57 n1 (Spring 2007): 6-13 (available in the eBSJ).
Blau, Peter, Scuttlebutt from the Spermaceti Press, (January 2007): 1.
List of 2007 BSI Dinner Attendees (not available at this time)
RecordingsA recording of portions of the 2007 BSI Dinner is available at Harvard as part of the BSI Archive.
Related MaterialRosenblatt, Albert M., and Betsy Rosenblatt, “The Sherlockian Year In Verse: 2007,” The Baker Street Journal v57 n1 (Spring 2007): 13-16 (available in the eBSJ). The Rosenblatts’ rhyming retrospective, delivered at the January 13, 2007 Sherlockian Cocktail Reception.
Previous dinner: the 2006 BSI Dinner
Next dinner: the 2008 BSI Dinner
For an index to all BSI Dinners and photos, see our BSI Dinner Summary list.
The BSI Archive is located at the Houghton Library at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Archival material may be used by any qualified scholar, subject to the normal rules and regulations of the Library. For links to a detailed finding aid and related information, see our BSI Archive at Harvard page.
Page composed on 12/1/2016 by Tamar Zeffren
This page last updated 12/14/2016 by Andrew Solberg.