A virtual toast to Poe
Alas, another year passes without the appearance of the “Poe Toaster” at the grave of American writer Edgar Allen Poe. For decades, some secretive individual clothed in black had been paying midnight visits to the author’s grave in Baltimore, Maryland on January 19th, the anniversary of the author’s birth in 1809. The visitor would salute the author with a glass of cognac, then leave three red roses and the unfinished bottle of Martell on the gravestone. This “tradition” started sometime in the 1930s (although it was not reported in print until 1950) and continued until 2009. The visits have ceased, just as mysteriously as they started. Of course, there are "faux" Poe toasters (fauxsters?) who are carrying on in the elusive footsteps of the original, but they lack a certain style and grace. The original was determined to remain anonymous. The imitators, inevitably in the post-privacy age, want the publicity. Read more about this intrigue surrounding the American master of the macabre at The Washington Post.
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