• John Rabe

When Worlds Collide - Holmes and "Somewhere In Time"

If you're a "Somewhere in Time" fan and you're not that familiar with Sherlock Holmes, a beautiful world awaits you. And vice-versa for Sherlockians who don't know about "Somewhere In Time."

Our guide, as we explore the intersection of these two groups, is Les Klinger.

Les is a member of the Baker Street Irregulars, the preeminent American Sherlock Holmes group, to which my dad belonged. His claim to fame is his annotation of all the Sherlock Holmes stories … as well as Lovecraft, Dracula, and the Sandman and Watchmen stories. I personally endorse your purchase of ANY Klinger book, especially the collected annotated Holmes, so here's his personal home page. And in a case that went all the way to the Supreme Court, Les is one of the few people to beat the rapacious Doyle Estate. He is ALSO a big fan of "Somewhere In Time."

Midway through the episode, I check in with Steve Ellis, the organizer of the annual SIT Weekend on Mackinac Island, who reports that - despite the pandemic - they pulled off a great event. And even the weather cooperated.

Horrible but inexpensive robot transcription follows:

Speaker 0 00:00:06 It wasn't until later that I sort of had some concerns about the book that are the result of my Sherlock Holmes investigations, you know, was it a better time? No, they didn't think there's anything wrong with depriving women at the vote or treating people of color badly, et cetera,

Speaker 1 00:00:34 Everybody. And welcome back to call back yesterday. The only podcast name call back yesterday. That's about somewhere in time. I'm John Rabe and first please forgive me for being so late with this podcast. I posted like six episodes at once. Last time for everybody at the somewhere in time weekend on Mackinaw Island. And I figured you'd want a break, but a month is really too long. And again, I'm sorry. Speaking of the weekend, coming up this time, I'll check in with Steve Ellis who organizes the event. He'll give us a report. He'll tell us what it was like having a convention during a pandemic, and I'll also get his reaction to an insanely brilliant somewhere in time.

Speaker 0 00:01:12 I'll tell you what I'll invite you to come with next year, and you can share that presentation,

Speaker 1 00:01:19 But first, you know what a Venn diagram is, right? You have one circle that represents everybody who, I don't know, everybody likes peanut butter. And then another circle over here that represents everybody who, everybody who likes chocolate, those circles overlap, and the size of the overlap includes everyone who likes Reese's peanut butter cups. Okay.

Speaker 0 00:01:42 Okay. Peanut butter on my chocolate. Well, you got chocolate.

Speaker 1 00:01:48 Okay. So picture this in one circle. We've got fans of somewhere in time and in another fans of Sherlock Holmes, I might be wrong, but I think the overlap between the two is bigger than the peanut butter chocolate overlap. There's a real natural kinship between the two groups.

Speaker 0 00:02:07 Hey, you got your gears talker in my pocket watch. Well, you got your pocket watch in my deerstalker.

Speaker 1 00:02:15 And so to explore that intersection, I'm talking today with somebody who is an eminent Sherlockian and a big fan of somewhere in time, his name is Les Klinger. He's a member of the Baker street irregulars, which is the preeminent American Sherlock Holmes group to which my dad belonged his claim to fame is his annotation of all the Sherlock Holmes stories, as well as annotating, Lovecraft, Dracula, and the Sandman and Watchman stories. And in a case that went all the way to the Supreme court. Les is also one of the few people to beat the rapacious Doyle estate. And as I said, he is also a big fan of somewhere in time. Les Klinger, welcome to the show. My pleasure, John, you know, we have known each other a long time now, but we almost met earlier. And that was because I had, uh, I was doing live interviews on the radio with an author that we won't name, whose name is TV. And I was at the LA times festival of books and he was on drugs or something and he was horrible. He was absolutely horrible. And there was a thought in the back of my mind, you know, Les Klinger is sitting there signing copies of his annotated, Sherlock Holmes. I know all the questions I'd want to ask them. We should just send for him right now. And I'd be over with this nightmare of an interview. And I didn't,

Speaker 2 00:03:34 Well, you know, the opportunities lost the roads not taken.

Speaker 1 00:03:38 The main reason you're on today on this show is because you are a fan of both the book, bedtime return and the movie somewhere in time. And you're an expert on many things. You're not an expert on somewhere in time or bedtime return, but a fan.

Speaker 2 00:03:51 How does one get to be an expert? I haven't written a book about it. So therefore I'm not an expert. That's how you get to be an expert. Um, and I've been a fan of Richard Matheson's for a long, long time. I remember reading, um, I am legend many, many years ago and, uh, and got to come back and appreciate that book. In particular, I was the chair of a jury that was awarding. The vampire novel of the century award had to be a post Dracula novel. And, uh, after a lot of discussion, um, we selected, I am legend, um, as really the game-changing book that it was, I mean, it just, nobody had ever imagined vampires the way that Mathison here

Speaker 1 00:04:37 And, and Richard was so smart. He, he added this twist that the, that I hope I have this right. It's been a while since I've read it. But the twist is that the vampires have to destroy the non vampire because in the same way, because vampires are in the majority in the same way that we have to, we have to destroy vampires because they're in the minority, in our, in our normal.

Speaker 2 00:05:01 Yes. And I don't know that they have to destroy him, but he's a, he's a menace. He is determined to try and kill as many vampires as he can. Uh, the character later played by trauma Heston in the Omega man later by will Smith. I'm a survivor living in New York city.

Speaker 1 00:05:20 So Vincent Price in a great Italian production called the last man on earth,

Speaker 0 00:05:26 December, 1965. Is that all it has been since I inherited the world only three years, seems like a hundred million.

Speaker 2 00:05:39 So a novel that has had the, uh, been filmed three times each time with a different time.

Speaker 1 00:05:46 No, one more, one more that you've never seen. That's absolutely horrible. It's, it's one of those knockoff productions and it starred, I believe he's the Japanese host of iron chef.

Speaker 2 00:05:58 You're right. I haven't seen him awful

Speaker 2 00:06:12 In any event. Um, no, I, I love when I was a kid. Um, all I read was science fiction. I, some of the earliest things that I read were books like, uh, Asimov's, uh, uh, juveniles Heinlein's juveniles. And then I graduated very quickly. I mean, probably at the age of nine or 10, I was reading adult science fiction. I probably didn't understand most of it, but I was reading it and it wasn't until I went to law school that I discovered a mystery fiction at all. Um, I had read science fiction, science fiction science fiction. That was my recreational reading. So lots of time travel books, including course Asimov's end of eternity. Uh, one of the more famous ones and, uh, uh, somewhere along the way, read bedtime returns.

Speaker 1 00:07:00 What was it about the science fiction books that you dug?

Speaker 2 00:07:04 I think it was just the brain stretching. Um, it seemed to me to be, um, sort of great exercise. I wasn't a, a, a person who was particularly interested in physical activities. Although both my parents were athletes, I was a great disappointment to them because my exercise consisted mainly of lifting books, but, uh, I just loved exploring all these different worlds, um, worlds that were totally different from ours, or maybe just slightly different, but different. And the imagination parts of it really appealed to me. What

Speaker 1 00:07:40 About the time travel aspect? Well, time

Speaker 2 00:07:42 Travel was always intriguing. It seemed to be not very practical, mostly sort of bad things happened with time travel and many of the books, um, or there were, there were certainly hazards. Uh, so you have stories like Elseburg to camps, uh, to hunted dinosaur. I forgot the name of the story, but it was a story about a time traveler goes back to Hunter, dinosaur and steps on a leaf and the butterfly effect changes the world,

Speaker 1 00:08:08 But he also wrote less darkness fall, a terrific little novel that where he goes back and stops the dark ages from happening. Yes.

Speaker 2 00:08:18 And, you know, and, and I love, um, things like, uh, one of my favorite Stephen King novels is 11 2263, which is essentially a time-travel novel of, without spoiling the plot. It's about the man who discovers a, a, a warm, Holy connection between the present time and, uh, 1960, 1958 or something like that, where he can walk through this whole find himself in 1958. And he realizes that he has the opportunity to change history by stopping the Kennedy assassination, um, and decides to do that. You know, those kinds of ideas have always fascinated me

Speaker 1 00:09:01 Gape, or just a mind bender, or

Speaker 2 00:09:05 I think as, yeah, as a, what if, as a, what if we could do this? What if we could change that, um, fix that, et cetera. One of my favorite shows that I used to watch all the time with my kids was a show called Voyagers about time travelers, whose job it was to go back in time and correct historical events that for were accidentally off track Newton sat in the wrong place. The Apple didn't fall on his head, you know, so they had to get them under the right tree and so on. It was very clever and it always ended up with a wonderful line at the end of the show, in the credits that Ted take a voyage on down to your public library. And you can read the following books to learn more about these characters.

Speaker 1 00:09:49 So if in the words of the, uh, unfortunately not late, great bill Cosby, if you're not careful, you just might learn something. When did you read bedtime return? Do you remember

Speaker 2 00:10:00 Now? Probably probably some time in high school, maybe you were, maybe you later did it,

Speaker 1 00:10:06 It seem, uh, like, were you a romantic kid? Did it seem, I'm asking, did it seem, or how did it strike you to me? It would have seemed ridiculous cause I'd never had love or loss in my life now. It seems wonderful.

Speaker 2 00:10:18 I remember it being affecting, so it must've been in college when I was reading sort of mature things by then, um, and could, and, and, and of course it had already been in love and, uh, by the time I was in college, I was in love with my first wife, um, who I married after college and stayed married to for 20 years. Uh, so yeah, I got those things. Uh, I understood those elements. It wasn't until later that I sort of had some concerns about the book that are, that are the result of my Shaw Holmes investigations, which have to do with sort of the unreality of it. Um, the, the gloss of nostalgia on, uh, prior ages. I mean, the book takes place in the late 1890s. Uh, the film takes place 20 years later, I think, or sort of 15 plus almost 20 years later in 1910 or so.

Speaker 2 00:11:14 And, um, you know, we have a distorted picture of what those ages were like, uh, especially the Victorian period. Um, we have a distorted nostalgia for it that says, Oh, it was so wonderful with gas lamps and all that sort of thing. Forgetting of course, that London, for example, was an extremely odorous town odorous. The smell of horse manure was everywhere, you know, plumbing. Wasn't great. And it was a terrible time to be a woman to be a person of color by 1910. It wasn't a whole lot different, it was somewhat different. There was some modern conveniences, but, uh, one of the things that struck me about the book and sort of thinking about it now is that I'm not sure that, uh, had the hero gotten his wish and he had married the heroine that they would've had much to talk about. There's no real indications that she is in any way, particularly modern woman, a lot of Victorian and early Edwardian women were pretty repressed and politically uninterested. Um, then of course they didn't have the vote and I think he would have found those things to be, uh, a great shock and a surprise plus again, if he wasn't going to turn it now, she had money in the book. And so they might've been okay financially. But other than that, what skills would he have had to get along? And, um, I think he would have been disappointed with the absence of all the modern amenities that we just take for granted, but, uh, Matheson didn't explore those things. Uh, and that's okay.

Speaker 1 00:13:01 I love the idea though, of a part two, it's like two years later and they're at the breakfast table and it's like out of citizen Kane, right? He's saying, you know, he's just trying to escape this wife. If I could go back in time or wait, go forward in time. And he already knows what all the news is going to be. So he doesn't even want to read the newspapers.

Speaker 2 00:13:19 You know, there are time travel books that have, um, tried to immerse themselves in the realities of the period and show it, show that the particular period, um, for all the horrors and shocks, um, that we would occur if we had that kind of thing. And that's not what Madison wanted to do and that's okay. But to compare it, for example, I mean, one of my very favorite time travel books is the doomsday book by Connie Willis in which, and it actually turns out to be a series that she's created. There are four novels in it. The second one is called to say nothing of the dog. Um, the third and fourth, um, I've forgotten their exact titles, but they're about the blitz. And they're basically about a team of Oxford historians who use a machine, uh, to go back in time to study, to study history.

Speaker 2 00:14:13 Uh, in the case of the doomsday book, it's a mistake. She ends up in the middle of the black plague and it's devastating. I mean, it makes our modern pandemic look like a common cold, you know, I mean, she's 90% of the village that she's in, dies. She's been inoculated. Um, because just in case as she's been inoculated for a lot of diseases, but she has to deal with that. She's stuck there. She can't get back to the present and she has to live with the 15th century. Um, and similarly in, in, uh, the, the two books about the blitz, um, historians are find themselves trapped in, um, the blitz. And, um, they do have some advanced knowledge. They have knowledge of where the bombs are going to drop and so they can probably stay alive, but they can't do much to help. And that's the interesting, um, uh, issue in, in both of those books is the, the powerlessness to do something in the middle of these terrible catastrophe.

Speaker 1 00:15:18 I once asked Alan first, who, who writes the, uh, the wonderful spy thrillers set in the 1930s and forties, and mostly in Eastern Europe, also in Paris. Um, and sometimes in the United States, if he wished he had a time machine and could time travel. And he said, he'd looked at me like I was an idiot. And he's like, I have a time machine. It's what I do. This is how I travel in time. It works. And of course, he's right. Uh, do you consider your, your delving into the past resurrecting, uh, now unknown authors and annotating well-known authors? Do you consider that time travel?

Speaker 2 00:15:56 Yeah, I guess I should. I mean, in a sense, I try to immerse myself in the period. I can't really get my head into it. I mean, it's not that kind of immersion, but I am surrounding myself with reference materials that so that I can understand things. I mean, I have an 1888 per Taneka. I've in 1910 Britannica. I have traveled guides from the relevant time periods in countries, catalogs, shopping catalogs and photographs and the like, um, because to me when you read books, I mean, I guess I agree with mr. First that, um, great books are a mirror of the, or should be a mirror of the time period that they're writing about. And this is true by the way of contemporary books. I mean, when I say contemporary books that are written about the time in which they're written, um, Jacqueline Suzanne's Valley of the dolls, uh, is, is a, a, is a fine mirror of the 1970s. And that's what I love about annotating. It's sort of looking deeply into that mirror and pointing out the details that, uh, the reader might miss. That enrich the experience of that era.

Speaker 1 00:17:13 Can you see on the screen? My, my office here? Yes. That's my archive of tapes and my dad's archive of tapes. And then I don't know if you can see that, that dark row of books on the bottom there. Those are 1911 Britannicas Oh,

Speaker 2 00:17:29 K 1911. I don't think that's accurate. Um, there was a 1910, which was the 11th edition

Speaker 1 00:17:37 11th edition. I just,

Speaker 2 00:17:39 Yes, I have the same set except it's mine is gun sort of red covers.

Speaker 1 00:17:44 Are they, are they, is it the small ones or the big ones? Small ones here? I'll show you one showing you. No, this is from, well, it was printed in 1911 or this, the, uh, the, the data on here as well. Those are nice too. The date on here is 1911, but it is the 11th edition. Um, my dad stole these from the university of Detroit library.

Speaker 2 00:18:05 Well, we know this does say 1911. Uh, interesting. So the, the, I always misquoted I've it's although actually it does say, I'm sorry, there's a table at the front. And it says that ninth edition was published 1875 to 1889, right? The 11th edition was 1910 to 1911. Um, and those, I mean, these are two of the great additions. The 10th was kind of forgettable. It didn't have much new material. It just had the, it was the ninth edition plus supplementary volumes. So the 10th forget about the 10th, the ninth and 11th were very significant.

Speaker 1 00:18:45 Wait until you get to Sai to SHQ it's riveting. And now the exciting conclusion Xu,

Speaker 2 00:18:53 But the Britannica is great for discoveries. One of my, one of my great, um, serendipitous discoveries was in reading about Thomas Watson, sir, Thomas Watson was one of the great medical educators in the 19th century. And there's no doubt that, uh, that Arthur Conan Doyle would have had his masterful book on medical treatments. And, and perhaps it even heard him lecture. And as I'm reading this biography of sir Thomas Watson, a line sort of jumped off the page about Watson, talking about a patient who had gout so badly, did he could chalk a billiard cue with his knuckles? And this is a line from I've forgotten which story. This is a line I think from the missing three quarter,

Speaker 1 00:19:45 Hi, John, Raby here breaking in, uh, because this is, uh, a plum opportunity. One that knows Sherlockian whatever turned down. And that is to read from the Canon. It is indeed from the missing three quarter, which is one of the poor homes stories, not one that I would recommend if you are starting off on a journey through the Canon. Anyway, Godfrey is an orphan and Lord Mount James is his nearest relative his uncle. I believe indeed, this throws new light upon the matter Lord Mount James is one of the richest men in England. So I've heard Godfrey say, and your friend was closely related. Yes, he was his hair. And the old boy is nearly 80 crammed full of gout too. They say he could chalk his billiard cue with his knuckles. Now back to our interview,

Speaker 2 00:20:31 Doyle's stole from a lecture by sir Thomas Watson.

Speaker 1 00:20:35 So there was some sort of chalky substance because of the go.

Speaker 2 00:20:39 Yes, yes. Yes. When you, when you develop gout, you develop a chocolate substance in your, in your joints, and it's very painful and I never would have, I mean, it just serendipity of going through the <inaudible>

Speaker 1 00:20:52 It's, it's a little bit like, let's say you, you know, you go back to whatever you go back to Detroit in 1921, I'm just picking something up at a time. Uh, and you have an idea that you want to find out something let's say, I want to go back and, and, uh, meet my dad when he was just born. I'm going to do that. I'm going to see that. But I'm also going to experience a whole bunch of different things from 1921 that I never expected in a way it's like looking in the encyclopedia or looking into an old card catalog, you see all the different things, all the degression, and you learn something brand new or many things brand new, right.

Speaker 2 00:21:32 Which is what I love about annotating. I mean, it's, for me, it's always about the byways, the strange paths that you end up, sort of finding yourself, going down as this reference leads to that reference leads to that reference. And it's like, Whoa, I didn't know that stuff. Um,

Speaker 1 00:21:56 We're gonna pause my interview now with, uh, Les Klinger, the noted Sherlockian and, uh, bring into the conversation, Steve Ellis. Who's the guy who organizes the somewhere in time, weekend every year, uh, which happened in the middle of October. I know I'm late on getting this report, Steve, but welcome to call back yesterday. Hi, John. Uh, Steve has taken a break from raking leaves at his home in Michigan. So I really appreciate that, uh, that you broke away from everybody's favorite occupation in the Midwest.

Speaker 4 00:22:28 That's right. It was a welcome diversion. Yeah,

Speaker 1 00:22:32 I'm really sorry that I'm so late in putting together this next podcast, but I really wanted to find out how the weekend went.

Speaker 4 00:22:39 John. I think all things considered the weekend went really well. Um, we did practice social distancing. We did encourage all of our guests, uh, to wear masks when they were indoors. Uh, and everybody played along with us very well. We didn't have any incidents. How many people did you wind up having? How many people do you usually have? We generally have between 700, 750. And this year because of the, uh, limitations that were placed, uh, in the state of Michigan, on indoor gatherings, we were at about somewhere around 400.

Speaker 1 00:23:13 It kind of sucks a little bit because this was the 30th anniversary right. Of the, of the weekend and the 40th anniversary of the,

Speaker 4 00:23:21 I guess we're going to be, uh, we'll, we'll celebrate 31 and 41 next year. We'll make that a big deal.

Speaker 1 00:23:27 One of the things that struck me and I was interested in finding out is that, you know, the, uh, around 1912, which is the, you know, when, when the movie was set, uh, just, uh, seven years later, they did indeed have a pandemic, the Spanish flu and people wore masks. So I'm wondering if, if participants in the,

Speaker 4 00:23:46 Somewhere in time weekend did kind of, uh, I don't mean to put this lightly, it's a very serious matter, but did they do masks that were appropriate to the era in which they're, they're addressing know like 19, 19 type masks? Yeah. That's really funny that you would say that because actually one of the presenters that, uh, I've invited several times over the course of the last several years, uh, D Birch D is a hairstylist, uh, and a costume designer, and she's kind of an expert on antique costumes. And, and what she did this year was talks to specifically about that, about, you know, date appropriate masking and, and had some examples of masks that people would have worn during the, uh, the Spanish flu epidemic. And, um, yeah, I mean, people, people kind of got into it. I mean, like I said, we encouraged everybody to wear masks while they were indoors, uh, and all the events. And, uh, you know, for the most part, we didn't have any issues and people seem genuinely glad to participate and that wasn't much of a hangup and yeah, there was a whole bunch of people that had, I would say kind of period, appropriate masking, Hey, Steve, I know that you nix the idea of doing zoom conferences with celebrities like Jane Seymour, et cetera. But I know that you have, uh, videos that Jane Seymour and directors Genos of arc recorded for the convention. So let's listen to those right now.

Speaker 5 00:25:25 Hi, Steve. Hi everyone. I wish I could be that with you today, and I'm sure it's going to be amazing. I love coming there. And as you know, the last time I came, I came with my family. We all got dressed up and we'll never forget that. I, I just, uh, it's mind boggling to me that that little movie could be so special and have such an enormous following. All I can say is I wish I was there with you and maybe next year <inaudible> I want to wish you all a very happy set weekend. And thank you for your loyalty and for your appreciation of the film, uh, BR to generals vac.

Speaker 4 00:26:10 Well, no, that was really nice of them to do. How was the weather actually, the weather was beautiful. Oh, I'm so jealous October in Michigan can be snowy or it can be 70 degrees. It was like mid sixties. It was beautiful. I'm sure that everybody was talking about this podcast and how wonderful it is. As a matter of fact, John, we generated quite a bit of buzz. There was information included in the program about the podcast. I had quite a few people ask me specifically because we put some site information in there so that they could, you know, visit and listen. Um, and they were pretty about the fact that you had put together some kind of weekend specific blurbs for people to listen to

Speaker 1 00:26:50 W that was kind of fun. And I, I, I saw a jump in the number of people listening. So that was, that was really great. Um, you know, you're in the middle of this podcast with Les Klinger, who's a noted Sherlockian who is also a big fan of Richard Matheson. And somewhere in time, the book and the movie I have, I have always thought that there's a very cool intersection, a natural intersection. You know, if you did the ven, the Venn diagrams, uh, between Sherlock Holmes fans and somewhere in time fans,

Speaker 4 00:27:20 I couldn't agree with you more at when I first got involved with this weekend 30 years ago, I met bill shepherd who founded insight and started the weekend. And one of the first conversations that we had, we kind of veered off of somewhere in time. And we both kind of fortuitously discovered that we were huge Sherlock Holmes fans.

Speaker 1 00:27:44 The reasons for the, the dual appeal there is that when you start to dig into it, there are just so many different paths. You can go down to explore, to dig into history, to do a little bit of this kind of, you know, the, I call it time travel. Um, there's just, there's this infinite realm, uh, that just keeps you interested the whole time. And there's all these adventures you can have

Speaker 4 00:28:06 Absolutely agree. And I think that one of the things about Sherlock Holmes that, you know, continues to fascinate people, I think, um, is, you know, you've got this kind of thinking machine and, and we get to go and discover things along the way with him. And, and all of the stuff kind of gets fed to you so that you can reach the same conclusions that that Holmes does at the end, you know, and the Dana Mazda story. And I think that a lot of those kinds of things got worked into somewhere in time. You know, you know, the director of generals FARC has told me on several occasions that one of the concepts that he worked with when he was, you know, making a film, was this what he called circles in circles. So that, you know, when the character of Christopher Reeve Richard Collier is, uh, you know, looking at the photograph and falls in love with this woman from 1912, we discover later in the film that, that look that she's giving in the portrait is because she was looking at him standing just over the cameraman shoulder.

Speaker 1 00:29:18 And before I let you go, you know, there's one more, uh, there's one more intersection here that I guess you have never explored. And I can't imagine why. And that is something I discovered on Instagram when I hashtag somewhere in time on some of my, somewhere in time stuff. There's an iron maiden song called somewhere in time. <inaudible>

Speaker 6 00:29:43 Yeah. I know if you do a Google search pet that pops up pretty regularly, right? Possibly even first. Yeah. I think that that would make a very interesting conversation maybe next year at grand hotel. I'll tell you what I'll invite you to come next year and you can share that presentation. I will. Okay. And it probably would also be very good leaf raking music on your iPod, on your Walkman. Yeah. There you go. Yeah, exactly. There's a throwback. Well, it's brother has been very good to talk with you to kind of reconnect again. We've got to remind ourselves that there are other people out in the world and things are going to get back to normal. So thank you very much for being a touchstone. Absolutely. Hey, I'm more than happy to talk to you anytime you want. All right. Thanks buddy. Bye-bye all right, buddy. Bye. That was Steve Ellis who organizes the somewhere in time weekend every year. Now let's get back to my conversation with Les Klinger. Have you ever been to Mackinac Island? No.

Speaker 1 00:30:42 First thing you notice when you get off the boat is the smell of horse shit, but for me, it's not an ugly smell. It's an incredibly, uh, rich smell that says, you know, that just puts you right on Mackinaw Island. Oh, you're there again with the horses and the bicycles

Speaker 2 00:30:59 Fudge. When I saw the movie, I assumed that it was all filmed at the Dell because they knew the book and at the hotel Del Coronado in San Diego. Yes. And living here in Los Angeles, you know, I'm very familiar with the Del, uh, have been there many times and, uh, and love the hotel. And so that was part of the appeal of the film. And it was sort of this great shock that, Oh, well, I guess there wasn't the Dell. Uh, but the Dell has, by the way, as you, as I trust, you know, it also has Sherlockian connections, uh, that, uh, William Gillette, when writing his, a famous play called Sherlock Holmes, uh, in which he started for almost 30 years, um, he wrote it, uh, various places, but had it with him in a hotel in San Francisco, uh, it burned, the hotel burned up when he wasn't there and the end he lost, uh, the play. And so he had to rewrite it basically from a blank page. And he did so at the Del

Speaker 1 00:32:01 It's pretty cool. No, the, the, the, uh, the filmmakers were going to make it at the Dell, but they went down and looked at it and they saw there was electric lines. There are condos that you can't get out of shots. It's just not possible to do it at the hotel Del, even though the book was set there. So, uh, somebody had a book that had pictures of grand hotel and, um, <inaudible> and, uh, then Stephen Deutsche now, Stephen Simon, they flew off to Mackinaw in the middle of the winter and checked it out. And, and it became this, this cascade of serendipity. Well, I like that it became a cascade of serendipity. The hotel was perfect. The owner wasn't didn't charge them anything just said, put everything back. Wow. It was a great PR boom Boone for the hotel. Uh, it turned out that I don't know if you know, the group, uh, MRA moral rearmament sure.

Speaker 1 00:32:52 Whose whose only surviving offshoot is up with people. They had one of their headquarters on Mackinaw that included a full film studio. So all of the work could be done in like rushes. Everything could be done on Makena instead of having to send it all back to, uh, back to Los Angeles. So the scenes that were shot in Chicago, they were shot in Chicago, but that's like five minutes worth. And then all the rest of it is actually shot right on makin Island extras were used. Of course they, they don't have any cars. They don't have to worry about that. There aren't any big phone lines. They don't have to worry about that stuff. It's just, it was just a magical cascade of serendipity. That's the last time I'll say that.

Speaker 2 00:33:32 Okay, well, it's a lovely film. Um, and you know, it's, it's a romance, it's a fantasy. And so not withstanding my earlier comments about, uh, how I, I like time-travel, that gets down into the weeds, uh, so to speak. Um, there's plenty of room for fantasies. I have a great, and I'm very indulgent of fantasies. I love books. Like, I mean, films like heaven can wait. Uh, the original mr. Jordan, the original heaven can wait it with Don. Ameche those 1940s fantasy films. I, I, those are, those are lovely.

Speaker 1 00:34:11 I love it. And somewhere in time that it really is time travel. They, they, they give you the clues. You need to not think it was just a dream or, you know, some sort of fantasy. We can actually say, it's time travel. They just get that over with. And then you can sit back and enjoy the film.

Speaker 2 00:34:29 Although, I guess, I mean, the book is a little more ambiguous about

Speaker 1 00:34:31 That. Um, and I think the movie improves on it because it clarifies it just, yes,

Speaker 2 00:34:38 No. I mean, this was, you know, Mathison did both the book and the screenplay, although I'm sure that, uh, he didn't get to do everything you wanted in the screenplay because that's not the nature of the industry. Yeah.

Speaker 1 00:34:51 His, his writing is sometimes a little old fashioned let's say. And sometimes politically incorrect. The opening scene that he wrote included like boob jokes. You know, there's a PDF of the screenplay available online. So I printed it up. I've got it right here. It's like 130 pages or something it's worth looking at. Um, somewhere in time, formerly bedtime return, revised final draft by Richard Mathison based on his novel bedtime return. You go to the second page where they have the dialogue from the opening scene where Richard has just debuted his play. Uh, a busty girl comes up to Richard and hugs him passionately. Beverly, I loved it. Richard loved it. Date don't dent him. Beverly Beverly to Richard. You don't think I'm too forward. Do you Richard glancing at her? You don't have much choice. Beverly titters, give me a break. It's good. We cut that out. Yeah. I asked you in an email, whether you had any thoughts about nostalgia and longing

Speaker 2 00:35:52 Nostalgia, what it used to be, John,

Speaker 1 00:35:54 I will get the entire, I'll get the quote. Cause I love it. You said, of course I have thoughts about nostalgia and longing. I'm a Sherlockian and a long time science fiction reader, since I was a wee pup. Well, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Yes.

Speaker 2 00:36:05 Well, it's back to what I was saying before that many Sherlockians indulge uniqueness stalled. You have the heart for, um, that last period of 1895, which they, in their minds or hearts, they see it as a golden age. And that's what nostalgia does. I mean, it basically distorts puts a what's the camera trick. You put Vaseline on the lens, you know, to make it sort of blurry and, uh, uh, erase some of the details that you don't really want to see. Uh, and that's when nostalgia is all about, and it's got its place, but every once in a while, it's nice to have a dose of reality. Uh, so yes. Do I love the idea of the Victorian age and the Edwardian time? Sure. I love the idea. That reason was Supreme or at least that in people's hearts, they hoped that reason was Supreme.

Speaker 2 00:37:05 They had great hopes for science. They had great hopes for rationality, uh, taking care of things at the same time. They didn't think there's anything wrong with depriving women of the vote or treating people of color badly, et cetera. I mean, that, that was just sort of part of the white man's burden was to put up with women in these other people and rule the world, you know, was it a better time? No, it was probably a far worse time than today. Uh, I always say that we have to understand that age because it was the birthplace of all of the revolutions of the 19th, of the 20th century. Um, the birthplace of, of technology taking over our world and the birthplace of women's rights, rights with people of color education for all and so on. And those are, that's not to say they came to fruition, then they didn't, but they got their start in that time. So we can be nostalgic for anything. I mean, a nostalgic thing. I'm sure there are people who are nostalgic for their time in prison. You know, it was just so easy. It was orderly. You could count on things, you, things went according to a schedule

Speaker 1 00:38:19 Was a quote from Paul Auster that I asked you to look at. I don't know if you got a chance to think about it, let it percolate reach a certain moment in your life. And you discover that your days are spent as much with the dead as they are with the living.

Speaker 2 00:38:30 Of course I I'm in the business of estate planning. So I'm constantly dealing with helping people plan for the eventuality of their own deaths or the deaths of their parents and so on. And in many cases, dealing with the fact that someone died and that they have to move on and now take care of things early on my own parents are gone. They, um, my mom has been gone now. Wow. Almost 30 years. Um, is it that long now? It's about 25, I guess. And my dad is gone about 20 and yet they're always in our hearts that, I mean, I find myself reaching for the phone to call my mom and tell her something and I still do. Yeah. That's just something that, you know, I, I knew she'd want to know, she'd want to hear about it, whatever. So, I mean, I believe that I think the older we get, the more experiences we have, uh, and, and the people who we treasured, um, have moved on in many cases, they they're, they're dead. And so they're still with us.

Speaker 1 00:39:41 I, I, but I think that, I think the next part of that quote should really be, and I'm okay with that. I just, otherwise you, are you really supposed to just jettison all of your memories, all of your thoughts with all of these great old people and all the experiences? I don't think so. I think, and so

Speaker 2 00:39:58 I don't think so at all. I like to think of, I mean, this sounds deeply philosophical from a guy who is just a lawyer, but I think of life as this sort of great tapestry and, you know, over here or sad parts over here, or good parts over here or dull parts and so on, but it's all part of the same tapestry. And we have to be able to look at it and remember that we don't, we shouldn't be erasing dead people. Certainly we shouldn't be, you know, it's never forget them. That's not the advice. Um, it's remember the parts that fit all the good parts, all the bad parts, remember who they were and see where they fit into the tapestry of your life.

Speaker 1 00:40:41 It's really beautiful. I've never heard anybody express it that way. Thank you, Les. You're a softie.

Speaker 2 00:40:47 I am just cause I'm a lawyer. You know, I, I can't claim that I've experienced terrible personal grief. Um, my parents were old when they died. My dad was 90. My mom was in her late eighties. I've never lost anybody. Inappropriate time having lost a child. Haven't lost a spouse. I'm not sure I could be as philosophical about that and sort of see it for what it is, which is just sort of that another part of the tapestry. But it's a nice thought. I hope I don't have to find out where would you go if you could time travel? Oh wow. Can I push a button and come back to the present? Sure. Part of me wonders how I would have responded to some of the areas of our, of our history that were sort of more heroic. And it sounds crazy to say things like I would be interested to be in London, in the blitz,

Speaker 7 00:41:43 Standing on a rooftop, looking out over London at the moment, everything is quiet.

Speaker 2 00:41:48 I would be interested to, to experience some of the parts too and so on and sort of test myself.

Speaker 7 00:41:56 The lights are swinging over in this general direction. Now you will hear two explosions, Justin, or they are moving still just a little closer or you heard to the plane is still very high and it's quite clear that he's not coming in for his bombing run. Just overhead. Now the burst of the anti-aircraft fire. Now you'll hear two bursts of moon there in a moment. Are they on hard? Stony song

Speaker 2 00:42:32 Was in the army reserves during the Vietnam war. And very glad I didn't go to Vietnam, but now I wonder how would I have behaved in combat? How would I behaved in those experiences where people were called on to do extraordinary things that were just ordinary people that would interest me more than any particular historical moment. From what I know about, uh, the past, you know, they seem to me to be fraught with problems. That's the problem. They too much of student of history is. Yeah. There's some good parts. Sure. Would I like to go sit with Percy and Mary and talk about Frankenstein and meet Byron and notes out of thing. Yeah. That'd be fun right up until I found out there weren't any such things as bathrooms, you know?

Speaker 1 00:43:16 Great. That'd be a great footnote in your annotation though. Personal interview.

Speaker 2 00:43:20 Yes.

Speaker 1 00:43:23 I think. Are there any other questions I should ask you? We're we're nearing our time.

Speaker 2 00:43:27 Uh, I think we've, we've wandered far and near

Speaker 1 00:43:30 Les. Thank you so much. I hope did you actually enjoy this? Was it okay?

Speaker 2 00:43:33 It was great, John. I'm sure you'll edit it down to about three minutes and I'll be interested to see which three.

Speaker 1 00:43:39 No, no, these are, so the beauty of this is that degression is welcomed. This is all about just talking about nostalgia and memory and loss and, and all this stuff allows it. It requires digression.

Speaker 2 00:43:52 Okay. Well, I certainly did digress

Speaker 1 00:43:54 At Sherlockian and somewhere in time, Ian, is that a word less Klinger? And you can get links to all of his stuff, the books and podcasts, everything Les Klinger ask at call back yesterday. Dot com call back yesterday is produced, written, recorded, and directed by John ravey. That's me. Our theme music is performed by the van Dyke parks and our logo was made by Michael Yulan cuts. Special help today from Julian Bermudez and Brian took, Hey, you

Speaker 0 00:44:32 Got your deerstalker in my pocket. Watch. Well, you got your pocket. Watch in my deerstalker. Um, Hey, you got your deerstalker in my pocket. Watch. Well, you got your pocket. Watch in my deerstalker. Hey, you got your deerstalker and my pocket watch. Well, you got your pocket watch in my deerstalker additional support from Bermudez projects in Los Angeles. Join me soon for the next episode of call back yesterday. And I mean it, the next one's coming out soon. Thanks for listening. Here's a reread for you, John. Well, you got your pocket watch in my deerstalker. Well, you got your pocket watch in my deerstalker. Well, you got your pocket watch in my deerstalker. Well, you got your pocket watch in my deerstalker. Well, you got your pocket watching Mike deerstalker well, you got your pocket watch in my deerstalker. Well, you got your pocket watch in my deerstalker. Yay. <inaudible>.

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