Baltimore, MD. January 18, 2010 (AP)
Is the "Poe Toaster" nevermore?
For decades, a mysterious man left a three roses and cognac on Edgar Allan Poe's grave to mark the anniversary of the writer's birth. But after the visitor, dubbed the "Poe Toaster," failed to appear two years in a row, Poe fans are planning one last vigil this week before calling an end to the annual Jan. 19 tradition.
The vigil inside the former church is closed to the public, but over the years, a crowd has gathered outside the gates to watch. After the "Poe Toaster" failed to show in 2010, last year's vigil attracted imposters, including a man who arrived in a limo as well as a few women.
The visitor has left notes on occasion. A few indicated that the tradition passed to a new generation after the death of the original "Poe Toaster" in the late 1990s, and some even mentioned politics and sports. Those notes make it even more frustrating for Jerome that there has been no message explaining the absence.
"I would have thought they would leave a note for me saying it was over," he said. "That does annoy me a little bit, but they are under no obligation to."