Archive for the ‘sherlock holmes’ Tag

10/19/2021 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Remembered   Leave a comment

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle died on July 7, 1940 in Sussex, England of a heart attack. Six years and one month later I was born. Approximately twelve years after my birth I read my first Sherlock Holmes story and later saw my first Hollywood movie version starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce. I’ve been hooked ever since.

Through the years I was able to find and read the occasional Holmes story but it wasn’t until I was stationed in Korea in the 1960’s that I happened upon a complete volume of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries. It was left at the hooch of a Korean business girl by an American G.I. who had since returned to the states. She couldn’t read a word of English and gladly gave me the book. In the intervening years I’ve read the entire Holmes collections many times. That book I found in Korea actually piqued my interest in crime and criminal investigations.

After leaving Korea I joined the Pennsylvania State police and began a thirty year career first as a police officer, then a private investigator, and lastly as a corporate investigator. 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.” Rest in peace Sir Arthur, your legacy lives on.

THANK GOD FOR MY KINDLE, HOLMES IS WITH ME EVERYWHERE

01-01-2014 Happy 160th Birthday Sherlock   Leave a comment

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle died on July 7, 1940 in Sussex, England, of a heart attack. Six years and one month later I was born. Approximately 12 years later I read my first Sherlock Holmes story and saw my first Hollywood movie version starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce. I’ve been hooked ever since. It wasn’t until I was stationed in Korea in the 60’s that I happened upon a complete volume of Sherlock Holmes Adventures in the boudoir of a young Korean women. Since she was unable to read English I took immediate possession of the book and read it so often I wore it out.

In the intervening years I’ve read the entire Holmes collection many times. After leaving Korea I joined the Pennsylvania State Police which also helped  prepare me for my thirty years of investigative experiences. I’m not saying that Sherlock Holmes was my total inspiration for my career choice but I couldn’t begin to guess how many times when initiating an investigation I thought to myself, “Watson, the game is afoot”.

Sometimes it’s hard for me to differentiate between Arthur Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes. Holmes has always seemed much more real to me as he as does with most of his dedicated fans. The official-unofficial date of birth for Sherlock Holmes has been argued about for years but the general consensuses is January 4, 1854.  That would make him 160 years old this month.  That’s quite an accomplishment and life span for a fictional character who is widely recognized as the individual solely responsible for the worldwide development of forensics  as a tool in criminal investigations.

Just recently I bought myself a new Kindle e-reader and the very first purchase I made was the complete collection of Sherlock Holmes Mysteries. That’s four complete novels and fifty eight short stories.  It gives me a sense of security knowing that I have those stories readily available at a moments notice. This new e-reader is small and easily carried in my pocket and I can take Sherlock with me everywhere, now that we’re both retired.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SHERLOCK

P.S.  If you happen to be in Europe this month why don’t you swing by Riga, Latvia for the Sherlock Holmes birthday celebration.

Check it out at: Riga, Latvia Sherlock Holmes Birthday Festival

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.

01-03-2012   1 comment

Are you one of those folks who loves celebrating birthdays?  If you are you have my deepest sympathies.  I’m not arrogant enough yet to believe that the world and it’s occupants really give a damn when I was born or for that matter when I die.  I’ve never seen it as a special day and only send two or three birthday cards a year to family members because it’s the politically correct thing to do.  I’d much rather celebrate the things they’ve done in their lives rather than the date randomly determined by the whims of their parents based on when they copulated.  It’s a little like Christmas to me in that it’s more for the youngest of us to enjoy. In my opinion we should stop celebrating kid’s birthdays when they stop believing in Santa.

All that being said I’m celebrating in a few days what some folks consider to be the birthday of a fictional character that has taken on a life of his own.  Happy Birthday to Sherlock Holmes.  There’s no way to actually determine the birth date of Holmes no matter how hard some obsessed fans try but it seems January 6th is the date that’s been decided upon.  As I said in the above paragraph the date isn’t all that important to me.  This fact was obtained from surveysez.com and will help make my point. 

  • The total number of Americans who have ever lived: 558.1 million (558,097,837)

Take the number of Americans who’ve ever lived since 1776 and divide that by 365.  That would roughly indicate 1,529,035 people born on your birthday.  I readily admit it’s not an accurate figure but it does prove my point that the date really isn’t all that meaningful in and of itself.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created a character out of a need for money and it seemed to me, after reading about his life, he was quite the diva.  When he tired of the Holmes character he killed him off without a thought and pursued more intellectual writings.  It was too late to just walk away from Holmes as he soon found out.  The fan base at the time raised so much hell he was forced to bring Holmes back to life with a lamely written explanation and proceeded to write many more Holmes mysteries.

I’ve never been a huge fan of Doyle but I’ve been captivated by the Holmes character since I was a kid.  I’ve read every word written about the character, seen all the remakes, the movies (good, bad, or awful), and remain quite the fan.  Even when the Law & Order program based Detective Goren’s (Criminal Intent) character on  Holmes, I liked it a great deal.

Birthdays for us real people seem silly to me but a fictional character who has kept himself alive for decades deserves some recognition. Once again, Happy Birthday Sherlock!

%d bloggers like this: