Sherlockians from all trades and regions arrived in New York to commemorate Sherlock Holmes’ 166th birthday with rousing rituals, presentations, songs, tributes, and more than a bit of conviviality.
In the rooftop dining room of the Yale Club, Cathy Miranker was honored by her daughter Emily as The Woman.
Presiding over his final Birthday Dinner as Wiggins, Michael Whelan delivered comprehensive greetings and comments. Robert Katz and John Bergquist announced BSI Press Editors awards (or “Eddies”) to Harrison “Terry” Hunt and Linda Hunt for “Aboriginals”; Candace J. Lewis and Ira B. Matetsky for Upon the Turf; to Marino Alvarez and Tim Greer for Education Never Ends; and to Constantine Rossakis and Dan Stashower for The Worst Man in London.
Ross Davies read the Constitution and Buy-Laws. Shannon Carlisle toasted Mrs. Hudson. Les Klinger toasted Mycroft Holmes. Dana S. Richards toasted Watson’s second wife. Barbara Rusch toasted Sherlock Holmes. Bruce R. Parker honored an Old Irregular, Ted Schulz. Jenn Eaker led the reading of the Musgrave Ritual.
Candace Lewis delivered an erudite presentation on artist Horace Vernet in the year 1820 (building upon Holmes’ reference in “The Adventure of the Greek Interpreter”). Rebecca Romney offered a wide-ranging examination of the concept of 20/20 vision while noting the 133rd anniversary of the publication of Beeton’s Christmas Annual. Michael Berdan surveyed the impact of the Prohibition ban, whose centennial (16 January 1920) was imminent.
Henry Boote, BSI Musical Director, did his usual yeoman’s work by preparing an extremely clever medley celebrating Michael Whelan’s tenure as Wiggins. He also accompanied Donny Zaldin’s musical quiz.
Marsha Pollak, taking over from Francine Kitts, led the assembled to “Stand with me here upon the terrace” to honor members who had passed during the previous year.
Michael Whelan announced his final round of investitures as Wiggins to nine new Irregulars. Andy Fusco received the Two-Shilling Award. Whelan than concluded the evening by handing over the gavel—in all senses of the word—to Michael Kean. Kean, in turn, then bestowed upon his predecessor the title of “Wiggins Emeritus” and led the guests in a heartfelt chorus of “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow” to mark Whelan’s accomplishments in his 23-year tenure as Wiggins.
Dean Clark led the traditional recitation of Vincent Starrett’s “221B.”
As the guests at Saturday’s Cocktail Reception at the Yale Club could concur, only Judge Albert Rosenblatt and Betsy Rosenblatt could do justice to the past year and the events of the Birthday Week in their famed (and anticipated year-round) poetic summary.
Dinner Details: January 17, 2020
The Yale Club, New York
Dinner Photo Information
Click 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 2020 BSI Dinner photo (not available at this time, but see the 2020 Table Seat Assignments PDF).
BSI Honours List
Mary Alcaro as Ivy Douglas
Frank Cho as The Duke of Balmoral
Walter Colby as Neil Gibson
Carlina de la Cova as The Anthropological Journal
Nancy Holder as Beryl Garcia
Freda Howlett as The British Government
Ken Ludwig as Jack Stapleton
David Richards as Colonel Warburton’s Madness
Jim Webb as The Curious Incident of Sherlock Holmes in Japan
Cathy Miranker (Mrs. Glen Miranker)
"Stand with me here upon the terrace..."
(as named at this Dinner, not their year of passing)
Peter Calamai (“The Leeds Mercury,” 2005)
Richard M. Caplan (Dr. Jackson, 1989)
Susan Z. Diamond (The Great Mogul, 1998)
Samuel Feinberg (The Prince of Colonna, 1977)
William D. Goodrich (Alexander Holder, 1977)
Frank A. Hoffmann (Altamont, 1979)
Frederic H. Mende (Lord Holdhurst, 1982)
Karl E. Meyer (Fritz von Waldbaum, 1977)
Robert E. Thomalen (The Three Garridebs, 1983)
Ira B. Matetsky, “Another Sherlockian Myth Debunked: Time to Turn the Page(t)”
The Baker Street Journal 69.2 (Summer 2019): 6-10.
The BSI Distinguished Speaker Lecture:
Theodora Goss, “Sherlock Holmes and Victorian Anthropology”
The Baker Street Journal 70.2 (Summer 2020): 6-17.
Reports on the Dinner
The Baker Street Journal 70.1 (Spring 2020): 60-63.
The 2020 BSI Weekend Report (BSI website)
Blau, Peter, Scuttlebutt from the Spermaceti Press, (January 2020): 1-2.
A recording of portions of the 2020 BSI Dinner will be available in the BSI Archive.
Rosenblatt, Albert M., and Betsy Rosenblatt, “BSI Dinner 2020” (PDF at BSI website)
The Rosenblatts’ rhyming retrospective, delivered at the January 18, 2020 Sherlockian Cocktail Reception. Reprinted (abridged) in The Baker Street Journal 70.1 (Spring 2020): 62-63.
Previous dinner: the 2019 BSI Dinner
Next dinner: the 2021 BSI Dinner
For an index to all BSI Dinners and photos, see our BSI Dinner Summary list.
Material in the BSI Archive 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 page.
Page composed on 1/15/21 by Tamar Zeffren.
This page last updated 10/27/21 by Randall Stock.