Archive for Jeff Jerome

Poe Toaster Fails to Show

Posted in Commentary, History, News with tags , , , , , , , on March 18, 2012 by S. P.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

It’s one, two, three strikes, and you’re out at the ol’ ball game. Apparently the authentic Poe Toaster is no more. As we previously reported, the Poe Toaster who had visited the Baltimore Edgar Allan Poe Memorial on the anniversary of Poe’s birthday every year since 1949 failed to appear in 2010 and 2011. With his failure to appear again this year, it looks like, to quoth the Raven, the tradition is “Nevermore.”

Is It the End of the Poe Toaster?

Posted in Commentary, History, News with tags , , , , , , on January 4, 2012 by S. P.

Poe Memorial (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

As previously reported (here and here), despite having appeared every year since 1949, for the past two years the mysterious Poe Toaster has failed to appear for his annual ritual at the Edgar Allan Poe monument in Baltimore, Maryland. We are two weeks away from the January 19th anniversary of Poe’s birthday. The question on everyone’s mind: Will he or won’t he show up?

Despite a small band of imitators, Jeff Jerome of the Edgar Allan Poe Society remains convinced the authentic Toaster has not visited for the past two years. Jerome believes if the real Toaster fails to appear this year, the tradition has ended. Considering 2009 (the last visit by the apparently authentic Toaster) marked the bicentenary of Poe’s birth, the Toaster might have decided to end the tradition on this symbolic date.

So, will he or won’t he? We will know for sure in a couple weeks.

Poe Toaster No-show Again

Posted in History, Locations, News with tags , , , , on March 16, 2011 by S. P.

For the second year in a row, the mysterious “Poe Toaster” failed to appear at Edgar Allan Poe’s gravesite on January 19th. It seems a long-running tradition may have ended.

Every year for 60 years, an anonymous man visited Poe’s Baltimore grave on the anniversary of the writer’s birth, leaving roses and a bottle of cognac. For years, speculation ran rampant on the identity of the “Poe Toaster” and the motivation for his yearly vigil.

Some, including Jeff Jerome, the curator of the Poe House and Museum, suspected the original Poe Toaster had passed the baton to another man, perhaps his son, several years ago.

The tradition abruptly ended when the Toaster failed to show last year, the 201st anniversary of Poe’s birth. Many, including Mr. Jerome, hoped this was a one-off happenstance and expected the Toaster to return this year. The failure of the Toaster to appear two years in a row is fueling speculation that the original Toaster is no more. As Mr. Jerome says, “I think we can safely say it’s not car trouble, and he’s not sick. This doesn’t look good.”

Not surprisingly, given last year’s non-appearance, several pretenders showed up this year, including one who arrived in a stretch limo, two who appeared to be women and an older man. However, none gave the secret signal known only to Jerome and none arranged the flowers in the traditional pattern of the real Poe Toaster.

It looks like a decades’ long tradition has come to a close.

For more on the Poe Toaster, please see last year’s post.

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