Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Nevermore, the Beating of His Hideous Heart!

So Much For the Mystery. It Will Remain Unsolved.

January 20th has been somewhat of a landmark date in Baltimore, Maryland, for decades. With each passing anniversary, the mystery deepened, and it defied all attempts to solution. Now, sadly, it appears that there will be no resolution, and no more anniversary dates, either. Poe would have loved the ending!
Edgar Alan Poe died in 1875 and was buried (not prematurely, one would hope) in a churchyard in Baltimore, Maryland. At some point, a mysterious stranger known as the "Poe Toaster" would appear in the dark of night each year on the anniversary of Poe's birth and drink a toast to the dead writer. In addition, the mystery person would leave the telltale half a bottle of cognac and three roses on the grave in tribute. At some point, I would have thought a cask of amontillado would appear, but that's the romantic in me. No one was ever to explain why cognac and why only three roses (at least I don't know), but The Man of the Crowd appeared without fail for decades...until recently.
This year marks the third year in succession that the Poe Toaster did not appear. Oh, many poseurs have come forward in the past, but all were debunked. Now, it appears that the real man (or woman) of legend has finally given up the ghost (so to speak); thus, the in-house ushers in charge of keeping watch on the anniversary date have declared with fallen countenances that the vigil is officially over. Three years' worth of absences seem to constitute the statute of limitations on spectral appearances.
Oh, there are conspiracy theories everywhere about who the stranger was and why he could appear for many, many years. Some say it was a "job" handed down from father to son...some might feel that it was all a hoax designed to draw people to visit...and that part certainly worked. People came from all over in hopes of catching a glimpse, or merely catching, the Poe Toaster year after year. The crowds got so thick that they had to be restrained behind iron gates to keep them from flooding the cemetery.
We may never know who the guest was, why he or she made the annual pilgrimage, or why the visits stopped. We do know that there will be no "official" vigil in the years to come, though I suspect that visitors will show up nonetheless.
Just in case the growing crowds were the reason that Poe's Toaster decided to take a hiatus.
Baltimore in January? You'd be stark, raven mad!


Post a Comment

<< Home