Detectives, along with the occasional John Wayne film, was just about all we watched. We saw the black and white Charlie Chan films, the almost uncountable series of BBC’s Hercule Poirot and their many feature films. We devoured detective films.
But my absolute favorite was Sherlock Holmes. As a young teen, I would jump towards any book that had his name on it. Basil Rathbone became my most favorite actor as he brought my hero to life, breathing, striding and looking just like how I pictured him. I didn’t care how badly misrepresented Dr Watson was; he was hilarious and I adored him! And the original stories. I loved them. I still have many to read, but the ones I did read was The Scandal of Bohemia, The Red Headed League, The Speckled Band, The Copper Beeches and The Man With the Twisted Lip.
Especially Sherlock. Robin Hood is still my favorite hero of them all, but he used to be interchangeable with Sherlock. Steve Rogers rather won that interchangeable place between second place and first place on my heroes list. I didn’t really realize it, but my beloved Sherlock disappeared inside the closet with my winter inspector coat and black and white movies, traded out for Star Wars t-shirts and Captain America desktop space.
My old love was revived because I identified the excitement that I heard in Dylan’s voice as he spoke of how awesome the old stories were as he yanked that coat on and slipped a fake pistol in his pocket for our Cops and Robbers. It was the same excitement I had felt four or five years ago. I remembered that feeling of, “Wow! This guy is amazing! The stories are interesting! This so COOL!”. I suddenly remembered my old friend.
Later, I dug up the books and flipped through the pages, smiling at the familiar stories. “Hi, Sherlock. I didn’t know I missed you so much. Pretty cool you got Dylan all excited, eh? It was fun talking about you with him. Shall I read one of your stories again?” I picked Case of Identity, and I enjoyed an old Holmes short story.
Now I want to go dig out all the old Holmes films too and re-watch them. How I’ve forgotten the hilarity of good ole Watson, the comedic moments of the frustrated Inspector Lastrade and dear Mrs Hudson. And Holmes, with his favorite pipe, clever deduction and charming laugh.
I miss the arrogant, confident but satisfying style of Holmes (and those rare moments of affection, too). I miss Watson stumbling about, chuckling happily and ready as rain for anything. I miss Lastrade’s bewildered expressions and insistence that “this is police business, Mr ‘Olmes!”. I miss the old-fashioned black and white pictures from the beginning of film making, where the plots weren’t crazy but were still steady with a few twists. Where suspense and intrigue was gained through not showing violence and gore but leaving you wondering what was happening but happily not defiled.
I miss the black and white movies.
And I miss my favorite detective.