So, I'm offline all morning (because I had a lot of work to do) and I figure I'll drop a Poe Birthday post on the blog in the afternoon. So I've only just discovered that the Poe Toaster tradition has ended. The mysterious Toaster, who leaves a half-filled bottle of cognac and three red roses at Poe's gravesite (actually his former one in the back of the Westminster cemetery), failed to show last night, ending a tradition that dates back to 1949.
I am flabbergasted. For those who don't know, the original Toaster (if it was only one person), passed the legacy on to someone else several years ago (it is assumed that the new Toaster is probably a son or sons of the original). But there was no sign that the tradition would ever end. I have wondered if the tradition could continue in secrecy much longer because of the crowd that shows up to keep watch every year. There is only one gate left open for the Toaster to enter, so he needs to wait until there is no one at that gate before he can slip in. Perhaps there was no chance last night to enter unseen?
Or this may all be much ado about nothing. Maybe he'll show today or tonight or next week. Maybe he just wants to do it in privacy and all the attention the event receives nowadays prevented him from doing so. Maybe he was sick in bed. Let's see what the next few days brings. I wonder how this will play out.
And of course, it goes without saying, that if the Poe Toaster wants to come to Philly to leave some cognac and flowers at the Poe House here, then he's welcome (or maybe he did and some passerby found them and thought it was his lucky day).
More later on the Toaster and on all the other Poe news this weekend (Harry Lee Poe's announcement in Richmond and more).