For more than a half-century, a man known affectionately as “the Poe Toaster” has appeared at the famous writer’s grave on his birthday; he would leave three roses and a half-empty bottle of cognac. Poe fans would brave fatigue and frigid temperatures to catch a glimpse of the man. This year -- like last -- that bravery went unrewarded.
About a dozen fans left the grave this morning, tired and disappointed. Sure, there were exciting moments -- like when four impostors came. Unfortunately, those “faux toasters” came and went, and by 5 a.m., the small crowd had decided to call it a night.
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The fans, though, left on a high note. They walked to Poe’s tombstone, left some roses, and drank a cognac toast themselves. Many vowed to return next year, to see if the mysterious Poe Toaster returns.