Rabe was imaginative, and had a talent for making madness respectable, like serving as chief telephone book critic for the Detroit newspapers, and Detroit Hatchetman of The Friends of Lizzie Borden. Up on Mackinac Island he invented and also saw gleefully to the publicizing of an International Stone-Skipping Tournament, a World Sauntering Day, and other annual events of like madcap nature, including the custom of ceremonially burning a snowman on the first day of Spring. Not surprisingly, he began by creating his own society while in the Army, The Old Soldiers of Baker Street, or Old SOBs.
For the historically minded, one of the booka€™s particular usefulnesses lies in the many a€?small a€?ia€™ irregularsa€? included by Rabe, men and women not invested by the BSI but keeping the Memory green in their own ways: people who otherwise could scarcely be identified at this late stage whenever their names pop up in some old BSJ or scion publication.
But as intended, Whoa€™s Who & Whata€™s What was extremely helpful fifty years ago to those who wanted to know about the Sherlockian world in an era when there were only two journals with any significant circulation, and no Internet. The Internet makes this all too easy today, but in those days just about the only other information came from squibs by the editors in the BSJ and SHJ. What shall a lonesome friend say about a man who, with a matchless pen in his hand and an unquenchable joy in his bosom, did more to make sound and perpetual our Sherlockian fellowship than all the members of that fellowship, gathered and combined? This article appeared in the September 2011 issue of the University of Minnesota Librariesa€™ Friends of the Sherlock Holmes Collections newsletter, edited by Julie McKuras, and won the Bryce Crawford Award for best contribution in that yeara€™s quarterly issues. Rabe produced the first edition of Whoa€™s Who & Whata€™s What for a Sherlockian world prepared for and in need of it. Armya€™s psychological operations service in Germany, work for which his future affairs would show he was eminently suited.
At Lake Superior State University later on, he was a founder of The Unicorn Hunters: preferring Unicorn Questors because, he claimed, you shouldna€™t hunt what you cana€™t find a€” but that did not stop him from issuing tens of thousands of unicorn hunting licenses.
Caring about culturea€™s struggle with noise, he created Hush Records whose big hit was an original cast recording of a€?An Evening with Marcel Marceau.a€? Caring about language, he launched an annual List of Words Banished from the Queena€™s English for Mis-Use, Over-Use, and General Uselessness, still issued on New Yeara€™s Day by Lake Superior State U. He was in fact still young at the time; the photo below was taken when he visited the brand-new Sherlock Holmes Klubben in Copenhagen, entering Klubben legend by showing up with the first bottle of Scotch the thirsty Danes had seen since before the war. Among other things, he installed the first Sherlockian plaque at the Englischer Hof in Meiringen. The usefulness to the curious then and the historian today can be suggested by the mid-sized entry for E.W. Protective Assn., or the confused and confusing ones for Helene Yuhasova and Lenore Glen Offord, the first of said ladies erroneously described as a one-time pen-name for the late Edgar W.
What Rabe called W4 has solved many a nagging mystery, and its usefulness is far from exhausted. To cite but one example, Rabe was the first to try to compile a comprehensive list of Investitured Irregulars, as well as an informative survey of Sherlockian societies, something (Blau speaking here) no one since him has seriously attempted, let alone accomplished: my lists are fairly comprehensive, but hardly informative. The Sherlockian world of the 1960s was quite different from todaya€™s a€” in many ways quite parochial, as it wasna€™t easy to participate in meetings of far-flung societies, and quite difficult to know much if anything about Sherlockians one hadna€™t met other than in the BSJa€™s Whodunit section.
That was pretty much taken for granted by those who acquired and valued it, with rather little attention paid to it in the Sherlockian press a€” not that there was much Sherlockian press in 1961.
Those whoa€™ve grown up in the eras of Xerox, inexpensive long-distance telephone service, computer word processing, email, and Google can scarcely imagine what it took to research and bring out a work like this in 1961. But it is an old maxim of mine (Lellenberg speaking here) that no research ever goes unutilized. This was a decade into a remarkable, roughly five-decade career as a Sherlockian and Baker Street Irregular that encompassed ten times the activity of the average Irregular. After returning to civilian life, he made a career at the University of Detroit as an a€?academic publicist.a€? Eventually he retired to Sault Ste. When he returned home from the Army to Detroit, he joined The Amateur Mendicant Society there, founded by Russell McLauchlin a few years before.


He put out The Commonplace Book, a periodic compilation of newspaper and magazine articles about Sherlock Holmes and his followers. Smith, the second as having been a€?struck from the rolls,a€? so alleged on the authority of S. And Rabea€™s Commonplace Book was the first attempt to give wider circulation to what was appearing in the general press. It was grand in 1961 to be able to learn about the people in the Whoa€™s Who, and about the societies in an era when very few not members of local societies received the newsletters published by some of them. Julian Wolff barely mentioned it in the BSJ, essentially just announcing that it was available, and it is unknown how many copies were sold.
It wasna€™t easy to obtain information of all sorts in those distant days, and Whoa€™s Who & Whata€™s What, for many, was a new and wonderful way to get information about the Sherlockian world.
When the BSI Archival History got started, Bill swooped upon its first two volumes eagerly, reviewing the second enthusiastically for the Summer 1991 BSJ.
The West Valley Area Police Station, conveniently located right up the street in beautiful Reseda, CA. For a€?averagea€? Bill Rabe was not: he was unconventional, made the most of it, and to those of us who knew him, is unforgettable.
Marie on Michigana€™s Upper Peninsula, at the Canadian border, and soon had a new life there as the official island historian of nearby Mackinac Island, dubbed by him a€?the Miami Beach of the North,a€? and as press agent for its historic and majestic Grand Hotel.
He liked laughter, and was an enthusiastic member of The Sons of the Desert, the Laurel & Hardy fan club. He tape-recorded memorable moments at BSI dinners and other events, issuing them on a set of records called Voices from Baker Street, now available on compact disc from Wessex Press. It was in fact to foster a sense of community, more than anything else, that prompted Bill Rabe to undertake this project. Then he went up to his attic, found the old carton with those four jumbo binders containing the raw material for the 1968 Whoa€™s Who & Whata€™s, and shipped them to me. He became interested in James Montgomerya€™s extracanonical song a€?Aunt Clara,a€? tracked its multiple versions and long-lost origins to a songwritera€™s alcoholic Christmas haze in 1936, and set forth its history and folklore in a splendid and profusely illustrated volume entitled We Always Mention Aunt Clara.
This hideous libel led, in the next edition, to an appendix containing an irate letter from the well-known science-fiction writer and Scowrer Poul Anderson, a€?The Dreadful Abernetty Business,a€? BSI, who had witnessed Ms.
Printed on a University of Detroit imported (a good, though not a great year) offset press under the personal supervision of Dick Masserang,a€? and so on. The data they contain facilitated the Archival History volumes that followed, and those shabby and precious binders continue to sit on a bookshelf in my study where I consult them frequently today. A  There is no Tarzana Police Department, so who was the Troll that Valerie was talking with, and where were they located?A  Only in her head, it appears.
Smith, who had been so much for so long not only to the BSI, but Sherlockians broadly, had died in 1960, and Whoa€™s Who & Whata€™s What was undertaken because of that. When Rabe retired in 1967 he lost those resources, the PC-based era of self-publishing was not yet at hand, and four crammed jumbo three-ring binders in which he had been collecting data for the a€?68 edition went into a cardboard box stored in the attic of his new home in remote Sault Ste.
Bill Rabea€™s Sherlockian Whoa€™s Who & Whata€™s What was and remains a great accomplishment of permanent value. Smith himself, plus an exchange of letters between Anderson and Bigelow with the latter blaming the error on slipshod BSI record-keeping and promising to be careful in the future.
There was much fear, when Edgar died, that our communiona€™s single, indispensable factor had departed; that all Sherlockian fellowship, with the animating spirit now grown still, might swiftly falter and soon expire. A  Due to the format of the B of A email, and the copious amounts of "filler" statements they use; the series is a bit difficult to follow.


Probably the best word to be said about this volume is that it quite extinguishes such fear. A  I usually write correspondence to fit the lowest common denominator, but how low can one go?A  Although I'm willing to bet that if I reverted to primal grunts, and what could be considered a primitive, yet well understood gesture even in our modern world; that someone on the other side of the Banking Center counter might have their mind bulb flash, if only momentarily.
I have a few of my portion of the email, as I cut and pasted it into my regular email service; don't know how they lost theirs. They relate to the Merlin Teller, and how a fully paid balance of mine is being carried on their books as an outstanding balance on their system for months after I paid the account in full, probably sometime in October of 2007. I was repeatedlyA  told this same information by various B of AA  staff that I spoke with in person, numerous times, in various locations, but I did not record the conversations and wish that I had. When first asked how and why they would do that; as it didn't sound logical or legal to me, I was informed by more than one staff person at more than one branch that it was expected to be carried for 16 to 19 Additional months!A  That is some kind of accounting system. A  That didn't sound accurate, as I was able to access the information on both the old 3732 account AND the new account until approximately January of 2008, and the phone rep I spoke who made arrangements for a balance transfer from another VISA Account I have at another bank for me on either April 3 or 4, 2008, said he would have copies of those 3732 statements mailed to me that day, at no charge to me.A  (I have received an envelope at my P. Box from B of A; I'll expect the contents are the account statements, but won't know for certain until they are forwarded to me. A  Bank of America?A  I'm almost on their side for this particular incident; as I know that avoiding lawsuits and payouts is high on their priority list.
Unless some staffer slipped up, yapped out my private account activity, and didn't take time to note it in my file. Grant, Attorney at Law, Juneau, AK From Wedding Bells to Tales to Tell: The Affidavit of Eric William Swanson, my former spouse AFFIDAVIT OF SHANNON MARIE MCCORMICK, My Former Best Friend THE AFFIDAVIT OF VALERIE BRITTINA ROSE, My daughter, aged 21 THE BEAGLE BRAYS! Please do your employer a favor, and provide me with the written documentation that I have repeatedly requested.A  Thanks for your cooperation. HELL'S BELLS: THE TELLS OF THE ELVES RING LOUD AND CLEAR IDENTITY THEFT, MISINFORMATION, AND THE GETTING THE INFAMOUS RUNAROUND Double Entendre and DoubleSpeak, Innuendos and Intimidation, Coercion v Common Sense, Komply (with a K) v Knowledge = DDIICCKK; Who's Gunna Call it a Draw?
Stockton: Please forward this email to someone up the ladder who can provide WRITTEN confirmation and information on who requested, and was provided, information on my Visa Card ending in 3732, activity in July or August of 2007. Rose, Good afternoon and thank you for contacting Bank of America in regards to account documentation. For B of A to be carrying its customers former credits and debits on their books for 16 plus months would be an accounting nightmare, in addition to being out of compliance with several Federal Banking Regulations. Please adjust all records statingA A  any balance due on my past and present Visa accounts to reflect the current credit balance only.A  Also, please update day ph. A  But do note that when I asked him a specific question about them, he couldn't answer it. A  And he didn't volunteer any details on the account maintenance that he appeared to have access to.A A  A A  This message is not flagged. A Can you please provide me with your 16 digit credit card number so I can review your account?
Gordon: The minimum payment is 1% of your balance and any finance charges and applicable fees. The system will not allow the rate to change until the cycle closes and a new cycle starts.



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