Saturday, September 13, 2014

Gillette to Brett IV

Blog Entry: Day One at Gillette 2 Brett IV

Driving cross country to a Sherlockian event is always an adventure.  Thus, the experienced traveler leaves early.  Such was the case on Wednesday, as Gordon and I left the St. Louis area at about 3:30 P.M. and headed down I-70 East toward Terre Haute, Indiana, our first stop on the 6-hour trip to Bloomington, Indiana.  It was a good stop for we needed to rest.  Nice people, great breakfast, and we were on the road the next morning by 9:30.  The young lady’s voice on the Garmin was reassuring as we traveled the country byways south of exit 23 toward Bloomington.  We needed to be there by 11:30 for the BSI luncheon, and we had time to spare. But some encountered closed roads and had to backtrack.  Still others followed a house being moved down the highway at an extremely slow rate of speed impeding their progress toward Bloomington. But most, most were on time.

The first portion of the program was Henry Boote, the BSI’s musical director.  He regaled us with music written by some of the Hoosier states most prolific composers.  Right in the middle of the first medley, I realized that Cole Porter must have been a Sherlockian.  It was vividly clear.  Why was I the only one to hear the clue. 

Cole Albert Porter has written some very popular musicals for broadway, very extraordinary lyrics that struck a chord with the public.  However, whence comes his inspiration?  For one particular number the answer was elementary.  He was reading The Sign of Four, or perhaps the American edition entitled The Sign of the Four. At any rate he was reading along in Watson’s narrative and Shelock Holmes injects, subcutaneously, a sever per-cent solution of cocaine.  The composer was so excited.  He would compose a song . . . . . wait for it . . . . . . . “I’ve Got You Under My Skin.”  Isn’t it interesting that one can go to a Sherlockian conference and learn about the birth of a song.  Ok, . . . . Ok, maybe it did not happen exactly that way, but think of the possibilities.

The afternoon segments took place in the Lilly Library.  The staff once again offered an excellent program.  A discussion of exceptional bookbinders and their wares was very informative.  Joel Silver presented some of the rarest of the rare: A Shakespeare Folio; a Coverdale Bible (translated into the English language by William Tyndale and Miles Coverdale, 1535 edition); an original Beeton’s Christmas Annual from 1887 with A Study in Scarlet, etc. 

The presentation for the evening was a screening of The Hound of the Baskervilles with Basil Rathbone, Richard Green, and Nigel Bruce.  The film was presented as a 75th Anniversary of its first release.

To be continued . . .   


  1. Very thorough and educational description of the events of the trip! Much enjoyed.

  2. It was indeed exciting getting to touch all of those books. I, too, have posted my own report of the convention. I am eagerly awaiting your next post, however.