03-09-2013   Leave a comment

We’re well into the month of March, one of the more religiously celebrated months of the year.  The following days are observed by millions of people in many varied religions and countries.  They are this year; St. David’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Palm Sunday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday, Saint Piran’s Day, St. Urho’s Day, and of course  Easter Sunday. 

I tend to get mixed messages because at the same time we have a total of 287 other daily, weekly, and monthly observances in March that are anything but religious.  Here are a few odd and unusual observances that are in my opinion completely ridiculous.

Atheist Awareness Day, Root Canal Awareness Day, Pig Day, Day of the Dude, Corn Dog Day, Snowman Burning Day, and  Earmuff Day.  Go figure.

I myself have only one observance in March that interests me enough to mention.  March 15-17 is Sherlock Holmes Weekend and I celebrate it each year by reading selected stories from my Sir Arthur Conan Doyle collection. Of all of the detectives written about over the years Sherlock Holmes has had more staying power than almost all of them.  Alex Cross, Jack Reacher, Travis McGee, and Eve Dallas all have a huge followings around the world but nothing comes close to the Sherlock Holmes contingent of which I count myself a proud member.

Not only is it fun to read detective stories written in the late 1800’s but it’s also amazing to me how many of the skills developed by the Holmes character eventually became talents developed by many real life investigators.  I was a criminal investigator and interrogator for more than than thirty years as a police officer, private investigator, and then in the private sector.  The most successful investigators have an ability to look at a series of facts and circumstances from a unique angle that most people  are unable to do. They place themselves into the mind of a criminal or victim which in turn helps them to understand  the simplest of actions and statements which under normal circumstances might go unnoticed by the untrained. My first exposure to that way of thinking was through the Sherlock Holmes stories.

You can’t really appreciate Holmes without giving credit to his creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who  died on July 7, 1940 in Sussex, England.  Six years and one month later I was born.  Approximately twelve years later I read my first Sherlock Holmes story and saw my first Hollywood movie version staring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce.  I’ve been hooked ever since.  

I’m not saying that Sherlock Holmes was the inspiration for my career but I can’t tell you how many times when I first initiated a case I thought to myself “Watson, the game is afoot” .

One of my all time favorite Holmes mysteries is The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle.  Find it, read it, and enjoy it.

Also thank God for my IPad, I still carry Holmes with me wherever I go.

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