It was back in March of 1972 when Leslie Marshall BSI ("A Scandal in Bohemia") put out the clarion call to all interested Sherlockians in the Florida West Coast area to organize a local corresponding scion society
Wanda Butts, Rebecca Hall, Dr. Marvin Norton, Paul Gunning, Tom Reesor and Dick Bothwell (member of the Fourth Estate) responded to the call. The name "The Pleasant Places of Florida" ("The Five Orange Pips," q.v.) was duly selected, and Holmes Beach was designated as Headquarters, albeit unoccupied at this juncture.
At the first meeting, Mr. Marshall (1st Pip), reported on the 118th birthday celebration at the Regency Hotel, NYC, which he recently had attended. The local group then planned to circulate a round-robin newsletter, entitled "General Communication" which was to pass along to the charter members, each in turn, adding a bit of S′ian news. Membership grew, and this format of communication proved unsatisfactory, so Leslie took on the mantle of Recorder, receiving items from all, and irregularly published a series of numbered Communications.
In the course of things, non-resident members were added to the rota and yearly gatherings were held in St. Petersburg, Florida. "Lubricant for the Wheels" was readily accepted in the amount of $2.21.
On May 29, 1976, the 1st Annual Gathering at Holmes Beach was held. Dr. Ben Wood succeeded Leslie Marshall as Recorder in 1977. The PPoF has gained in fame far and wide with their unique round-robin pastiches. A Holmesian Workshop was held in January 1980 at St. Petersburg Beach and conducted by noted Sherlockian John Bennett Shaw. In February, 1991, the club sponsored its first Wessex Cup race at Tampa Bay Downs Racetrack. This became a yearly event occurring each February.
The PPoF has held two symposiums in recent years. One was in May of 1997, and the other in June of 2000. Both were held in St. Pete Beach.
In January 1997, Ben Wood retired from office and duties were handed over to the Last Court of Appeals, consisting of David McCallister, Carl Heifetz and Jeff and Wanda Dow. An additional member, Mike Bryan, has since been added. As officers, they have all taken appellations from objects or people in "The Five Orange Pips."
In 2010, to commemorate the 20th running of the Wessex Cup, a "Wessex Weekend" was held in Oldsmar.
For a listing of each meeting, back to 1988, of the Pleasant Places of Florida, click here.