Why are the SOBs such a successful
scion society of the BSI? Because they are cohesive, creative and
energetic in their pursuit of keeping the memory of Sherlock Holmes
The Sound of the Baskervilles currently
has 80 Members. We added 10 new Members last year, and another 6 already
this year. The SOBs have been a Western Washington, USA fixture for
31 years now for two very good reasons.
Consistency. We've provide
our Members with consistency through regular Club events and the long-term
tenure of our dedicated officers and editorial staff.
Over the years the Club has had
numerous meeting locations. Restaurants would drive us away by raising
prices, changing their menus, or closing. At times, Members had the
space and time to host our Meetings, most notably Paul Williams, who
is now our Picnic Chair. But we have alighted at T. S. McHugh's in
the area of the Seattle Center for more than 10 years now.
Meetings have been held, with very
little exception, each and every month since our birth on March 31,
1980. For a mere matter of months many years ago, we did switch our
meeting date to the 1st Monday of the month, but for the most part
we've met on the 2nd Monday.
We hold a Master's Dinner every year
in January, a Wreath Throw every year in May, our Dr. John H. Watson
Picnic every year in July and our Will Crakes Memorial Jollification
every year in December. And, we have published our monthly newsletter
consistently for 30 years now, with only three editors in all that
Even our dues have been consistent…consistently
low. For years we charged only $10 per year. We operate at a loss
right now, but we've held our dues at a constant $20 for ages, and
that includes receipt of our monthly newsletter and our Christmas
Annual, which retails to non-members for $10. And, we offer a "family
rate" of $30 per household, of which many of our Members take advantage.
When our founder Jan Bailey demurred,
Becky Schlilaty-Geis was elected our first President in September
1980. Since then, we've had only three Presidents (including founding-Members
Bill Seil and David Haugen), four Treasurers (three are still dues-paying
Members) and three Secretaries/Editors (again, including Bill Seil).
Our meetings and events are not optional.
You can always count on finding PFL David there. In fact, he'll celebrate
his 28th anniversary as our very democratic President in September
2011, so "politics" are not an issue for us. But he's a big element
of our "consistency", bringing news of the Sherlockian world to every
meeting, leading knowledgeable discussions of the "story of the month",
and putting his heart and good humor into every gathering. He's always
been there for us, and that's a big part of our ability to provide
consistency! (On the very few occasions when PFL David has been indisposed,
someone has always been willing to step in-with little advance notice-to
take his place! Like Members John Nelson, Jean Macdonald and Margie
Deck.) Comradery. It's the Members that make this Club what
Most SOBs are friends on a personal
level, with me and David and with each other. Most have been to our
home and other Members' homes for non-Sherlockian events, because
life-long friendships are being built throughout the Club. There's
a subgroup that belongs to the local Richard III Club, others belong
to the local costuming group (Somewhere in Time), and there's crossover
to local sci-fi and fantasy events. Most are avid Anglophiles, who
seek out British books, movies, TV shows and events. Some of the fellows
in the Club have a common interest in antique guns, and others share
an interest in sports, including rabid fans of British soccer teams.
Most love every sort of movie produced, and many frequent the annual
Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon. We've got voracious readers,
amateur photographers and birders, avid collectors-Sherlockian and
non-and world travelers. Our Members' contributions to the Club's
efforts are never overlooked. Our President-for-Life David makes certain
that all are recognized, either through his periodic "President's
Award" or our annual "Footprints of a Gigantic Hound Award".
SOBs come from all walks of life; these are
not snobs or elitists. Just good folks who love to have fun and who
believe in two English gentlemen "who never lived and so can never
die". At any Club event, there's always something interesting to discuss
with each other and with the group. Whatever the topic, someone else
will be able to add to the discussion. Chances are if you're thinking
of trying something different or going some place new, there's an
SOB who's "been there / done that" and is willing to give you advice
and direction!! But traits our Members have in common above all else
are quick whit, enormous intelligence, and a wicked sense of humor.
Every SOB event includes riotous segments of self-deprecating jokes
We have no bylaws, no rules, no committees,
and few officers. If someone makes a suggestions and it sounds like
a good idea, we let them run with it. Like Lloyd Hedberg did with
our website, Verne Johnson did with our Club Lending Library, or everybody
did-at one time or another-when a book crawl, an antique crawl, a
movie date or an afternoon outing sounded like fun. For
many of our Members, it just would not be a normal month if it didn't
include something Sherlockian to do…something you can count on, where
you know you'll have a good time. There's not much to being an SOB.
Just show up when you can, because David & Terri will be there, or
Barbara & John, or Al & Margaret, or Margie & Hank, or Stephen, or
Lauran, or Becky, or Sheila, or Ed & Joyce, or Jean, or Peter & Kay,
or Ann & Michael and Kat, or Sheila, or…you get the idea!! Because
whenever 2 SOBs show up anywhere, you know there's fun in store.