In honour of both the Battle of Maiwand and Dr. Watson, The Sound of the Baskervilles’ 2017 Dr. John H. Watson Picnic was a sunny success!
Fun was definitely the order of the day on Saturday, July 29, 2017, when The Sound of the Baskervilles held its 21st consecutive Dr. John H. Watson Annual Picnic. It was at Seahurst Park in Burien, WA, where we started at 9 a.m. with good, hot coffee and breakfast treats, then continued—pretty much non-stop—into lunch about 11! Tons of food was provided by all but oddly, this year, there was no meat for SOB Picnic Chair Paul Williams to grill! (He cleaned the grill off nicely though, so the party following ours at 3:00 must have been pleased!)
Well-fortified with food, we had two games to play that day. The first, created by SOB Al Nelson, was called “Uncle James: Did you miss me?”—a variation on the British game “Aunt Sally”, which dates back to the 17th century. Leagues of pub teams, each consisting of eight players, still play the game today in England.
Instead of throwing an 18” baton at a doll like a bowling pin, the object of Al’s game was to toss a stick towards a jug with the image of Moriarty on it and partially filled with water. If you knocked the jug off its stand, you got a point. With the number attempting the challenge to earn no points, clearly it was much harder than it looked. The winner and the one eligible to claim the Dr. John H. Watson rotating trophy was none other than last year’s winner, SOB Cameron Brandon.
Not to be outdone, Cameron created his own game called “Twisted Flip: The Napoleon Tossing Game”. Contestants were asked to toss small beanbag-like objects (with Napoleon’s picture on each of six, of course!) towards a large tarp map that had colored circles (e.g., The Red Circle) and various London streets. A spin of the wheel determined the target of each toss. If the bag touched the target, a point was earned. Hit the “221B” spot and get two points.
The winner of the game was SOB Shannon Wallace. She astounded the crowd, hitting both the right color and the “221B” spot twice—earning her 6 points on two throws. She received a heart-shaped Union Jack pin plus a copy of the “JHWS Watsonian” pamphlet.
Each of the two games had enough qualifiers to require playoffs for 2nd, 3rd and even 4th place winners. In Al’s game, runners up included SOB Laurie Curtis, SOB Bryan Romnes and Shannon; in Cameron’s, they included SOBs Ginie Romnes, Laurie Curtis, James Romnes, Jim MacIntosh, Shannon and Cameron.
Many thanks to our chair, arranger and host Paul Williams. His extra payment for sunshine worked out perfectly. Kudos, Paul!! We could not have had all this fun without you.