When someone writes a reminiscence it has to do one of two things for me, I either need to be taken down a path that makes me remember something similar or it needs to be something so different from my experiences that I am 'Wowed!'
We are all like that. Something takes us back to hopefully pleasant memories that we want to relive. (They can also take us back to pleases we don't want to revisit, but I don't think this is the forum for that. We will stay with the pleasant path.)
A favorite place we visited or spent time at. A person that lift an indelible mark on our lives.
Or if it is the Wow! factor, it has to leave me with a feeling that they have just told me an extraordinary tale that I can't imagine in my experience.
I enjoy the Sherlock Holmes stories because of the atmosphere Watson (Doyle) creates in his short but descriptive proses. He can say so much with so few words. I like the images of the moors, or the stately homes, or the fog shrouded streets of London. I am not in it for the mysteries. Give me the atmoshpere.
And that is what Ron Lies did in his remembrance of his discovery of Sherlock Holmes in his Watsonian piece, 'A Love Story'.
He sent me on a pleasant trip back to when I first really discovered Holmes and Watson.
Mine was in a place of pleasant isolation, without phones or electricity, the nearest town some twenty plus miles away requiring a boat ride.
Rathbone and Bruce's Holmes and Watson were of my fathers generation, and I of course knew of them, but had not yet discovered the real Holmes and Watson. It was kinda like the time I met John Denver. Sure, I knew his music, and liked his stuff. But it really came into focus when I met him and could finally put a personal experience to the music.
I am going to save the whole story (well both of them actually, Holmes and Denver) for another time, but will say that books would turn out to be my only form of evening entertainment for several weeks. (No, I was not in prison.) And one of the books would turn out to be Sherlock Holmes, thirteen stories. I knew they were (duh) set in London, my father's home town, and much of the rest of England (where the rest of my family comes from) and I wanted to read something that celebrated my English heritage.
Ron took me back to my discovery of that book, and then on to the books that followed. Many have great stories of their own and how I came across them.
Like him, I still have them, and many are very worn and have been replaced with newer copies. I have copies I will make notes in, and copies just for the collection. Most I have read. Some are still on the pile to be read.
My two copy Double Day, my second Sherlock Holmes books, is very tattered and much loved and holds a proud place on my bookshelves.
I am very glad I came across Holmes first in books. Most people now a days probably have some other introduction. But I hope they eventually make it to the books, because no matter what else has come along, so far, they are really what has kept this love affair going for most of use.
So Ron, thanks for taking me back to that old logging camp in Maine and. . . wait I am giving to much away!
Thanks for the memories Ron.