Saturday, April 30, 2011

Hedberg Public Library Public Meeting Room

Taylor Berglund, Jessica Denetz, Resa Haile, Britta Heiss, Elaine Khan, Gayle Lange Puhl,Victor Rufer

James Haile


Gayle provided the quiz and prizes. Britta took first place, Taylor second, and Victor third.

Gayle announced that she had become a member of The Hansom Cab Clock Club, a group whose membership consists of owners of a Sherlockian-looking hansom cab clock (http://www.sherlockpeoria.net/Miscellaney/HansomClockClub/HansomClockClubMain.html). Gayle is the first woman to be a member.

There was some discussion of actors who have played Sherlock Holmes on stage and screen, including William Gillette, Ronald Howard, Douglas Wilmer, Peter Cushing, Jeremy Brett, and Benedict Cumberbatch. Although recent reports have been that the Cumberbatch-Freeman series is the first to show the meeting between Holmes and Watson in A Study in Scarlet, Resa noted that the Ronald Howard series also had the meeting, if not the Study.

There was also some discussion of pastiches, parodies, and mash-ups. Gayle said that one could link anything to Sherlock Holmes; for example: trampoline (from “brag and bounce”). She noted that Doyle was ahead of his time in many ways; he thought of having a tunnel between France and England, for instance.

Gayle noted that, in this story, Lestrade was hired to come down and investigate the case and that, at this time, it was possible to hire a Scotland Yard detective for an investigation. She also noted that this story reflects Doyle’s interest in other countries and other cultures. She recommended The Man Who Created Sherlock Holmes: The Life and Times of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle by Andrew Lycett. The influence of other countries and cultures adds an international flavor to Holmes’ practice.

Britta asked how Mr. Turner, who had a limp, was able to tiptoe. Victor said that it didn’t say the severity of the limp. He requested opinions on the ending in which Holmes found the murderer but let him go. Gayle said that Holmes did give Lestrade a pocket description of the killer.

Elaine found it odd that the footprints would still be there several days later. Victor thought that if the ground was wet, the prints would dry like a cast. Elaine noted that the story involved stealing from another country and that a lot of things from China are in the British museums. Gayle said the story contained “a sidewards slap at the divorce laws of England.”

Elaine wondered about identifying the ash. Victor said, “I used to smoke, and I used to smoke pipes. The ash from a Cavendish is different from the ash from a vanilla.” Resa noted that in the film, The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, Holmes has a machine that smokes several things at once so that he can collect the ashes for comparison.


THE FIVE ORANGE PIPS—May 21, 2011, 11 a.m.

Minutes prepared by Resa Haile.

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