Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Nevermore? Say It Ain't So!

Who doesn’t love a good mystery?

Well, there’s one brewing in Baltimore. In case you haven’t heard, it’s all about the Poe Toaster and January 19, Edgar Allan Poe’s birthday.

Who’s the Poe Toaster? That’s all part of the mystery. No one is sure. In fact, the only thing that’s certain is that every year on January 19 between midnight and 5:30 am, a mysterious, black-clad figure carrying a silver-tipped cane arrives at the Westminster Hall and Burying Ground in Baltimore where he (or she) drinks a toast at Poe’s grave and leaves three red roses and a half a bottle of Martell cognac.

The tradition has been going on since 1949. The only "glitch," in fact, came in 1993 when the toaster left a note saying, "The torch will be passed." In 1999, a note was left at the grave saying that the original toaster had died the year before and a new toaster was carrying on the tradition.

That is, until yesterday.

Yesterday, the Poe Toaster never showed.

Theories abound. The Toaster had the flu, or car trouble, or seeing that last year was the 200th anniversary of Poe’s birth, 2009 was the perfect time to stop the tribute.

Jeff Jerome, curator of Edgar Allan Poe home, says he’s not stopping the vigil. In fact, he plans to keep it going until at least 2012.

So maybe nevermore isn’t never more. It’s a nice thought.

Oh, and happy birthday #201, Edgar Allan Poe!


Angie Fox said...

That kind of bums me out - I've always enjoyed the Poe toaster. Just watch though - I'll bet there will be three next year. ;)

Casey said...

Actually, Angie, I was thinking of sneeking over to Baltimore to be the Poe Toaster next year. But we did our own Poe toast here yesterday. Cognac--ick!!! Not my beverage of choice. I'd make a lousy Poe Toaster!

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