The dinner celebrating Sherlock Holmes’s 156th birthday was held (for the first time) at the Yale Club, with the evening proceeding in (paraphrasing from the Baker Street Journal report) a lofty, plaster-embellished banquet hall, lit by the sort of candelabra under which Henry Baskerville likely found himself.
The program began with Wiggins (Michael Whelan) presenting an engraved crystal vase to Freda Howlett, the 90 year old “Grand Lady of the International Sherlockian World,” recognizing her as co-founder, honorary member, and past president of The Sherlock Holmes Society of London. Donald Izban read the Constitution and Buy-Laws, reading the first two Articles in Polish. Allan Devitt toasted Mrs. Hudson. Walter Jaffee toasted Mycroft Holmes. Gregory Darak had us raise our glasses to Watson's second wife, and Donald Novorsky was to toast Sherlock Holmes but, unfortunately, had a family emergency. Curtis Armstrong led the responsive reading of the Musgrave Ritual.
Nils Nordberg reported on Holmes’s traveling during “the hiatus,” and proposed that Sherlock Holmes was Norwegian. Hartley Nathan reported on an authentic Penang lawyer that security concerns prevented him from bringing onto the plane in Canada. Sue Vizoskie discussed what might have happened if Sherlock Holmes had been a woman, and Peter Blau gave a stirring toast to Old Irregular Bill Rabe. Special guest Ray Jessel, who wrote music and lyrics for the 1965 Broadway musical Baker Street, spoke of the joys and difficulties of composing for Holmes and Watson. He also performed a few “snippets” from the musical. Leslie Klinger attempted to show a video presentation of a Robert Downey, Jr. interview (in which Downey sent his regards), but was unfortunately thwarted by a Moriarty-masterminded bug in the media’s sound player. As usual, Henry Boote led the throng in “Aunt Clara.” Francine Kitts performed a moving “Standing upon the Terrace” ceremony, remembering those whom we have lost. She graciously took over for Irv Kamil, who had performed this difficult task for many years.
Nine deserving Irregulars received their Shilling. John Bergquist, Bob Coghill, and Steven T. Doyle were honored with The Two-Shilling Award for extraordinary devotion to the cause beyond the call of duty. Steven Rothman, John Bergquist, Leslie Klinger, Susan Dahlinger, Glen Miranker, and Gianluca Salvatori received the Editor’s Medal (“Eddies”) in recognition of their services as editors of books and Christmas Annuals published by the BSI. An Eddy was also given posthumously to Paul Jeffers, who had recently unexpectedly passed “Beyond the Reichenbach.”
Karen Gurian was toasted as The Woman.
The evening ended with Ben Vizoskie reading Bill Schweickert’s “A Long Evening with Holmes.”
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. In addition, Ray Jessel performed the song “Finding Words for Spring” from the musical Baker Street as well as a couple of other wonderful songs that he had composed. (See the section on Recordings, below.)
Dinner Details: January 15, 2010
The Yale 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 2010 BSI Dinner photo (not available at this time)
BSI Honours ListInvestitures:
Thomas M. Cynkin as Lord Bellinger
Pj Doyle as Ettie Shafter
Sir Christopher Frayling as Vernet
Patricia Guy as Imperial Tokay
Laurie R. King as The Red Circle
Sarah Montague as Violet Smith
Daniel M. Polvere as Holloway and Steele
Sally Sugarman as The Three Gables
Maria Carmen Vieja Hazen as Isadora Klein
* received Investiture at another event during the year
What is an Investiture?
Bob Coghill, and
Steven T. Doyle.
What is a Two-Shilling Award?
Karen Gurian (Mrs. Andrew Jay Peck).
What is The Woman honour?
"Stand with me here upon the terrace..."
(as named at this Dinner, not their year of passing)
Dr. Frank Beckman (Lord Backwater, 1984)
Dr. Joseph Fink (The Martyrdom of Man, 1986)
H. Paul Jeffers (Wilson Hargreave, 1999)
Edwin King, Jr. (Captain Arthur Morstan, 1991)
Dr. Edward Lauterbach (Thorneycroft Huxtable, M.A., Ph.D., etc., 1965)
Edward Starr (The Bogus Laundry Affair, 1959)
Richard Warner (High Tor, 1987)
What is the origin of “standing on the terrace?”
Marshall Berdan, “Holmes Alone: Glimpses of Post-Watson Baker Street.”
The Baker Street Journal 59.1 (Spring 2009): 25-28 (available in the eBSJ).
What is the Morley-Montgomery Award?
The BSI Distinguished Speaker Lecture:
Joan Winterkorn, “On the Paper Trail: Exploring the Attics, Cellars, and Cupboards of England”
The Baker Street Journal 60.2 (Summer 2010): 34-48 (available in the eBSJ).
What is the BSI Distinguished Speaker Lecture?
Reports on the DinnerThe Baker Street Journal 60.1 (Spring 2010) pp. 6-14 (available in the eBSJ).
Blau, Peter, Scuttlebutt from the Spermaceti Press, (January 2010): 1-2.
List of 2010 BSI Dinner Attendees (not available at this time)
RecordingsA recording of portions of the 2010 BSI Dinner is available at Harvard as part of the BSI Archive.
There are also three online videos from the January 16, 2010 Sherlockian Cocktail Reception.
Ray Jessel performing “Finding Words for Spring” (YouTube).
Ray Jessel performing “Short Term Memory Loss Blues” (YouTube).
Ray Jessel performing “Shirley Levine” (YouTube).
Related MaterialKitts, Francine, "Standing on the Terrace," For the Sake of the Trust No. 18 (Autumn 2016): 3-4. Her paper in the Autumn 2016 newsletter describes the history of this ceremony.
Rosenblatt, Albert M., and Betsy Rosenblatt, “The Sherlockian Year In Verse: 2010,” The Baker Street Journal 60.1 (Spring 2010): 15-17 (available in the eBSJ). The Rosenblatts’ rhyming retrospective, delivered at the January 16, 2010 Sherlockian Cocktail Reception.
Previous dinner: the 2009 BSI Dinner
Next dinner: the 2011 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 12/5/2016 by Tamar Zeffren
This page last updated 2/11/2017 by Andrew Solberg.