From The Surrey Shore . . .
The Newsletter of the Hated Rivals on the Surrey Shore Vol. 4, No. 2, April 2005
****A Scion Society for All Who Enjoy Sherlock Holmes in All His Manifestations!****
No? How about the magic lantern? (And we’re not talking Aladdin here either.) If not, you most certainly want to attend the May Day meeting of the Hated Rivals on the Surrey Shore on Sunday, May 1, in Ellettsville, Indiana—yes, the Rivals are going on the road for this one, all the way south to the hills and dales of the Bloomington area. Our hosts for the event will be our own Chris Engle and Terri Klingelhoefer and the location the White Elephant, their stately manor in the countryside. (See the “Coming Meetings” section at the end of this newsletter for the address and directions.) The soirée will start with a business meeting and tea in the Adventurers’ Club at the White Elephant, followed by a tour of the Elephant and its grounds (weather permitting). Following the legwork at the scene (something familiar to every detective) comes an authentic Victorian magic lantern show, “Curfew Must Not Ring Tonight,” based on a popular poem by an “Indiana-born author” (whose name will remain a mystery for now . . .), featuring hand-painted Victorian glass slides. (In addition to the more recent magic lantern used for the presentation, another, older one will be on display.) We’ll wind up the program with more tea and congenial Sherlockian conversation. For those who wish to partake of additional Sherlockian fellowship (and who require more sustenance than tea), Chris and Terri tell us that a number of excellent international restaurants are available in nearby Bloomington—Greek, Italian, India, Thai, Tibetan, Eritrean, Turkish, Afghan, Moroccan and more—and Mexican and Chinese in Ellettsville. (Bloomington is only about 20 minutes away from Ellettsville.) In planning your trip down, allow about an hour and 30 minutes from Indianapolis to drive to Ellettsville (and a bit more if you’re coming from the north side or farther away). We’ll converge on the White Elephant at about 1 p.m. If you’re interested in carpooling or caravanning down, contact us by e-mail (by about 6 p.m. April 29, at the latest), and we’ll work out a rendezvous point in Indianapolis to depart from. We hope to see you there!
Greetings all! If you’ve read the preceding info about our next meeting (and, if not, immediately go back one paragraph and start over!), you know the next meeting is going to be a great one. (But then, all meetings of the Hated Rivals on the Surrey Shore fall under that category.) And if you also read the brief description of this meeting in the “Coming Meetings” section of our last newsletter, you may recall that we had announced a Sherlockian puppet show. Well, unfortunately, our master puppeteer, Terri Klingelhoefer, broke her arm shortly before our last meeting, so she’ll be unable to perform for this one. (But we hope to reschedule the puppet show for a later gathering.) But the rest of the program will go on as scheduled. (And we all wish Terri a swift recovery.)
So we do hope that you’ll be able to join us in May—and, if not, for a future meeting. As our quite satisfied members will tell you, you won’t find any more Sherlockian fun than at a Hated Rivals meeting— at least not this side of 221B. So let’s get on with the show, shall we?
A few issues ago, we asked our readers to consider some possible middle names for our second favorite detective—or to submit some new ones for our own consideration. The only stipulation was that the name had to begin with a “Y,” which was somewhat constraining. (This because we’d determined at some point several years ago that Barker’s first and middle initials were “C.Y.”) We offered a few samples to consider (although truthfully, none really satisfied). And then, quite serendipitously, another Y-name was brought to our attention (by a Rival who, for unknown reasons, wishes to remain anonymous)—one that seemed quite a natural fit: Yarborough. (Perhaps deriving from the name of the ’60s folk singer Glenn Yarborough?) Well, that did the trick. So from this day onward, we, the Hated Rivals on the Surrey Shore, hereby declare Yarborough to be the middle name of (at least our version of) Sherlock Holmes’ hated rival upon the Surrey Shore.
And, although, we’ve used the name “Cyrus” for Barker’s given name since at least 1986, when the detective was fleshed out for an unpublished Victorian role-playing scenario, we’re wondering whether to change that as well. After all, our own Hated Rival Will Thomas has used Cyrus as the first name of his version of Barker (which has many similarities to our version and yet enough differences to be, at most, a parallel world version of ours), his Barker appearing in his novel Some Danger Involved (now in paperback —see the “I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere” section). We certainly wouldn’t want to step on Will’s toes, so to speak, especially since his second Barker novel is due out this summer (with a third in the works). And yet we have long established, in this newsletter and elsewhere, that our Barker’s first name starts with the letter “C.” (And we’ve used the handle “cybarker” online for several years as well.) So we’re thinking, as a possible compromise, of changing our Barker’s first name to “Cyril.” That retains the established first letter of the name, as well as the “cy” prefix—which came before we decided that “Y” was his middle initial. So what do you, dear readers, think? Let us know—change to Cyril or not? (The fate of a detective—or at least his name—is in your hands . . . )
At our March meeting, at Claddagh Irish Pub, we kept one chair around the table empty in honor of our own Russell (Mimi DeMore), on assignment with the Peace Corps in Uzbekistan (a hop, skip, and a jump from Watson’s old battleground). We’ve received a number of additional e-mails from Mimi since the last newsletter, so we thought we’d share a few more with you to keep you up on her on going saga. So take it away, Russell!
March 6: Dear Family and Friends—just a message to let you know about next week’s schedule. Tomorrow, Monday, we will have only a half day for training. In the morning, we will have a panel on funding for projects in Uzbekistan. The panel will consist of personnel from World Bank, U.S. Aid, the Embassy, the Eurasia Fund, and some others that I cannot remember at this time. These organizations are some of the major grantors in the International area, so I want to look especially nice tomorrow. I am hoping to get very well acquainted with them.
Tuesday is a national holiday so no one will work on that day. National Women’s Day is March 8. (In Russia, too.) Men give the women in their families presents. I like this day. My host father and brother are cooking us kebobs. Wednesday and Thursday will be regular class days.
Now for the finale: Friday, I will find out where I will be going on permanent assignment. We have all had interviews with staff on what we are personally hoping for in an assignment, but on Friday, we will know for sure. Everyone is excited about it. And we are taking another surprise trip this weekend on the Peace Corps dime. We will pack our suitcases for the weekend, and on Friday, we will find out where they will be sending us in Uzbekistan. I found out that some trips will be by plane, so I asked Jeff to put my name into the hat for these. Maybe it’s to Nukus or Khiva. I will go to the Bazaar here in Chichiq after my newsletter and maybe to a restaurant for some lunch, so I’d better go. I love you all!
March 20: I very much enjoyed visiting Navoiy last weekend. Mary Louise Marino and myself stayed with Michelle Ranger for three days. We cooked real American food, had many showers, and visited some of the NGOs in Navoiy and learned about the many difficulties that both the NGOs and volunteers face in Uzbekistan. On Saturday morning, five of us left the Peace Corps office in Tashkent at about 2:30 p.m. (taking, first, two masurkas and the metro [changed lines twice] and then a three-block walk), and we rode the metro to the end of the line north. At the end, Michelle bargained for us to get a ride to Navoiy. It was 2,000 sums. We all piled in the back of the masurka (the worst place to ride a masurka), with one of the seats filled with boxes of vodka (arock). It was a long ride to Navoiy, with no potty stops and many militsiya stops— about eight hours. Once we got there, of course, we took another masurka ride to her apartment. Transportation is very difficult. Her apartment is on the 9th floor, with a nice view of the two nuclear power stations and the nitrogen chemical plant. She does have her own modern toilet and bath. (Thank you, Lord!)
In Urgench (where I’ll be assigned after training), I will have to stay with a host family for three months, but I will look for an apartment for myself after that. Most PC volunteers in Urgench have their own apartments, although it is not encouraged. (As you can tell, I do not like the food here much.)
Last week, I heard through word of mouth that an International Christian Church is in Tashkent, so another PCV and I came to Tashkent this morning enjoyed the service. It is above a Chinese restaurant, and the pastor is Australian. Sonja and I had lunch with the pastor and his wife, and they drove us to the PC Tashkent office, where I am writing this e-mail. I had a language test last Saturday; I think that I did well. Swearing in is April 5 and then to Urgench. I better start heading back to Chichiq before it gets dark.
March 31: Next week, I will be sworn in officially as a Peace Corps volunteer, on April 5 at 10:30 a.m. My host family is coming. They have been very good to me, and they want me to visit them when I come back to Tashkent for trainings throughout the year. Things are strange right now, however. The PC has a visa problem. My visa is good only until April 19; after that, I will be an illegal alien! It is not as bad as all that, however, and the PC thinks that the problem will be solved by then, but because of this, I may not go to my permanent site for another week or two after our swearing in. So I may be with my host family for another couple of weeks. (Just to let everyone know.)
April 17: Last Friday, I packed up my things and left my Chirchiq family and headed to the Peace Corps office in Tashkent. At the last minute, the Uzbek government started to issue some new visas, although only 13 per day, and most of the new volunteers started for their sites. Unfortunately, 12 of us still do not have new visas, including me. All our visas expire April 19—next Tuesday. We hope that we’ll get our visas on Monday. But all these visas, expire on June 1. So the Peace Corps will need to continue to address this visa problem throughout the two years that we will be in Uzbekistan. If some us to do not get a visa, there is talk of sending us to Kyrgyzstan until we do. It is easier to get one from Kyrgyzstan. (As you may know, the visa problem is because of the unrest in the Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan, and the government here is playing power games.) The good news is that I am staying at very nice B&B close to the Peace Corps office, and we all are doing the tourist thing in Tashkent. We have eaten at some very nice restaurants and visited the art museum here. We will find out tomorrow if we get our visas.
April 5th was a wonderful day. It was very exciting for us to be sworn in as official Peace Corps volunteers. My host family was there, plus many dignitaries, including the mayor of Tashkent, government officials, the American ambassador and the Peace Corps staff. Afterward, we had a catered dinner and entertainment with an American jazz sax player and then more speeches and the presentation of our Peace Corps diplomas. It was great. But, unfortunately, no visas. We waited a week before they slowly came in.
April 21: Just an update—I arrived safely in Urgench (or Uganch) at about 8 a.m. yesterday. My NGO met me and took me to my new family's house. The house is pretty big with a modern bathroom. (Hurrah! No scary pit toilet!) I have my own room with a wardrobe, a table, chair, and a comfortable bed, and it is close to the bathroom. They will cook anything that I want to eat, or I can cook for myself, and I have my own place in the refrigerator for my food. Plus a lock on my door. What else could a girl want? I showed them the pictures of my two sons, and everyone says that they are beautiful. Choilyi! I agree. Everyone is also impressed that I have such a large family. Family is very important here, so I think that I have a lot of status in that department.
I am at a little Internet place on the town circle with a big clock. Internet use is 1,000 sum an hour, or $1. The city is cleaner than Tashkent—more modern but much hotter. I think that my first purchase will be a fan and then sunglasses. Yesterday, it was about 85-90 degrees and is soon to be hotter. Tomorrow, I go to my NGO to meet the staff. This afternoon, I will go to the Ovir's office to register as a resident of the city, and I will open a bank account so that the Peace Corps can wire me my monthly allowance of 140,000 sums, or $140. (My stipend is $225 minus life insurance, $3.76, and any other deductions, or not more than half of the total stipend. So you all know that I am not getting rich!)
I have all ready met four other Peace Corps volunteers since arriving yesterday. We seem to have radar toward each other, and this afternoon a couple of us are going to restaurant for a hamburger. I just wanted to let everyone know that I am fine. I love you all. Everyone please let me know how things are going back home.
(Ed. Note: Mimi sent her new address, but also noted that the Uzbeki postal service won’t deliver to houses, so if you want to write her, do so via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
And on that little note (a C#, I believe), I remain, till next issue, ever yours . . .
—C. Barker, Esq.
The food was great, the service more than efficient, and the fellowship most congenial as the Hated Rivals on the Surrey Shore gathered at Claddagh Irish Pub, in Indianapolis, on Sunday, March 13, for our pre-St. Patrick’s Day meeting. (Although, on the way over, we were nearly run off the road by an elderly man, whom we suspect was working for the evil Professor Moriarty—if not the aging criminal himself!) We welcomed two new members, along with the usual crowd, as we eyed such menu dishes as “bangers and mashed” (sausages and garlic mashed potatoes) and, of course, the obligatory fish and chips. (The latter, by the way, would probably feed the entire complement of Holmes’ Irregulars—even the half order included a fish fillet nearly a third of a foot long!) Several members also indulged (responsibly, of course) in the Guinness draft. Following our meal, Canonical toasts, a brief bit of scion business, and ample conversation, our own Barker (Bill Barton) read a short paper about Baker Street’s other Master Sleuth, Sexton Blake—a detective whose adventures began in 1893 and stretched into the 1940s, outnumbering those of Holmes by several factors. Sadly, none of Blake’s tales are currently in print (and those that still exist are rare and mostly in the hands of collectors). With the close of yet another successful and enjoyable Rivals meeting, we all departed, Irish eyes still smiling, to await with eager anticipation our May soirée.
Well, we told you about Victorian magic lanterns in the October ’04 issue of our newsletter, but where would you go if you needed tools or parts to repair your magic lantern after dropping it on the floor? Why, you’d go to the ironmonger, of course. And what, pray tell, is an ironmonger? In Victorian England, it was the equivalent of what we’d call today the hardware store. You could obtain all sorts of pots, pans, and sundry household items made of iron (or other metals). A handy place to know about.
I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere!
Last year, we mentioned the Holmes/Lovecraft anthology Shadows over Baker Street, in which Holmes faced menaces from Lovecraft’s Cthulhu Mythos. The book, edited by Michael Reaves and John Pelan, is now available in a trade paperback (Del Rey, 2005) for $14.95. Not for purists, but if you like to mix genres, recommended.
Also now available in trade paperback format is Hated Rival Will Thomas’ Barker novel Some Danger Involved (Touchstone, 2005), for a mere $9.95. (And if you didn’t pick up the hardback version, we urge you to snatch up this one.) Will also reports that his second Barker novel, Kingdom Come, will be out this June. In it, Scotland Yard’s Special Branch is blown up by the Fenians. (Will notes ,too, that he’s working on a Baritsu manual, although there’s no publication date for that as of yet.)
About three years ago, we told you about Thomas Kent Miller’s pastiche, Sherlock Holmes on the Roof of the World. Tom now tells us that the prequel to that book, The Great Detective at the Crucible of Life, is available from Wildside Press (www.wildsidepress.com), as well as at Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble online. According to the Amazon.UK description, the book is actually a “lost manuscript” by H. Ryder Haggard’s Allan Quatermain, describing the adventurer’s travels to Ethiopia in 1872. On these journeys, Quatermain encounters such luminaries as Sir Richard Francis Burton and “two of the greatest detectives of his era.” (Well, we know who one of them is—but to find out the identity of the second, I guess you’ll need to pick up the book.) The 240-page book retails for $15.95. (Tom says that his first book is scheduled for republication by Wildside Press as well, under the new title The Great Detective on the Roof of the World.)
Seems that Holmes is doing a lot of world travel these days. In Sherlock Holmes on the Wild Frontier, by Magda Jozsa (BookSurge Publishing, 2005; 314 pgs; $14.99), the Great Detective visits the American West. According to the author, those who purchase the book can e-mail him, and he’ll send you an additional short Sherlock Holmes story. If you e-mail him for the bonus story and mention which scion you belong to, he’ll send two short Holmes stories instead of one. According to the author, the book can be purchased from Amazon.com.
We described last issue Michael Chabon’s The Final Solution, which features Holmes as an 89-year-old (although he isn’t named in the book). Now, Mitch Cullen goes Chabon one better by featuring a 93-year-old Holmes in A Slight Trick of the Mind (Doubleday, 2005; $23.95). According to advance word, the book ranges from Edwardian London to postwar Japan, the former apparently in the form of an account of an old case that the son of Holmes’ housekeeper finds. It seems that a new subgenre of Holmes stories is in the making: the Geriatric Sleuth of the Sussex Downs.
Also new in pastiches is The Italian Secretary, by Caleb Carr (Carroll & Graf, 2005; $23.95). Carr, author of the 1994 best seller, The Alienist, keeps Holmes a bit closer to home, as he and Watson travel to Scotland to investigate the murders of an architect and a foreman working on renovating Queen Victoria’s royal palace of Holyrood.
Finally, in June, look for the eighth of Laurie R. King’s Holmes/Mary Russell series, Locked Rooms (Bantam; 2005; no price given). In this installment Holmes and Russell travel to San Francisco to settle the estate of Russell’s parents—and, of course, get involved in yet another mystery.
Those who may remember the War of the Worlds musical album by Jeff Wayne from a couple decades ago may be interested in knowing that the CD is not only being released (in a variety of formats, according to its Web site) but that the album is being turned into a theatrical presentation and a CGI movie, set in the book’s original location, Victorian England, among other projects. For information, check out the Web site at www.thewaroftheworlds.com. (It’s still under construction apparently, so little info is currently available, but if that sort of thing is your cup of tea, you may want to check back occasionally.) The album was quite well done, featuring many great songs, and included several tunes by the Moody Blues’ Justin Hayward, among others. Recommended.
Following are the details of our upcoming meeting, plus the dates and tentative information about our other meetings in 2005. (Check our Web site or our Indianapolis Star Web page for updates.) So do set these dates aside to join the Hated Rivals at the following soirées:
The Magic (Lantern) of Sherlock Holmes
Sunday, May 1, 2005, 1-4 p.m. (or so)
The White Elephant and Grounds
7251 West State Road 46
Ellettsville, Indiana 47429
Directions and Details: Take I-465 to State Road 37, on the south side of Indianapolis. Then take S.R. 37 to the Ellettsville exit, which is Highway 46. Take 46 to Ellettsville. The road will split into two roads, one going into Ellettsville and the other going out from Ellettsville. Coming from S.R. 37, you will be on the road going into Ellettsville. When the road splits, get into the far right lane and stay there. Very shortly, after the road comes together again, you will see the Smithville Telephone Company sign on your right. This is your "sign" to move immediately to the center lane or turn lane. Depending on your reaction time, you will either see a road next to a storage-barn place (aka space farm) or the space farm. Do NOT turn down the road if you are there. Continue past the space farm, and the White Elephant is immediately after it, the only driveway on the left. The driveway is marked by a mud-brown, institutional-looking mailbox provided by the state. (It looks like a pipe stuck stem down in the ground crossed with a lazy mud-dauber’s nest. Look for the balloons tied to the mailbox.)Please come up to the front door. The door bell doesn't work, so please knock. If that doesn't work, please walk around to the double doors on the south side of the house, off the larger parking area. (Sometimes you can't hear well what is happening in different parts of the house.) If you want even more detailed directions, try MapQuest at www.mapquest.com. The program consists of a tour of the White Elephant and grounds, tea, a Victorian magic lantern presentation, and a short business meeting, plus an optional stop afterward at an area restaurant—and, of course, lots of great Sherlockian conversation and fellowship. We’ll look for you there!
And don’t forget to mark your calendar for the rest of the coming year’s great meetings . . .
Sunday, July 10: Our Annual Barker Birthday Bash!
(Featuring, of course, our scion’s second-favorite Victorian detective—Mr. Barker)
September [Date TBD]: Our Second Sherlockian Cookout
(Program TBD—but lots of food and great Sherlockian fellowship)
November [Date TBD]: Our Second Holmes/A.C. Doyle Mini-Film Fest
(Featuring Professor George Edward Challenger)
(Note: Dates and programs are tentative and subject to change as circumstances
change—but we’ll try to stick to these as much as possible!)
For more information, contact us at P.O. Box 26290, Indianapolis, IN 46226-0290; or send us an e-mail at email@example.com (And don’t forget to venture online to check out our Hated Rivals Web site at http://surrey-shore.freeservers.com, for recent updates, or drop on by our Indy Star Web page at http://community.indystar.com/928/.) See you again in two months, back on the ol’ Surrey Shore, where the game’s always afoot! (But you already knew that—didn’t you?)