Poe Toaster is a No-Show

Every January 19th, an unidentified person comes to the grave site of Edgar Allan Poe in Baltimore and leaves three roses and a half bottle of cognac. It's a tradition that goes back to at least 1949. About three dozen fans were waiting this morning for the toaster, but for the first time in over 60 years, he didn't show up on what would have been Poe's birthday.
Rafael Alvarez, President of the Baltimore Poe Society tells WBAL Radio he has a theory about why the mystery admirer did not show up this year. He thinks that person died last week.

Alvarez says e-mails have been circulating for the past several hours pointing to the late David Franks of Baltimore as the Poe toaster. Franks was found dead in his Baltimore apartment last week. He has been a writer, performer and poet in Baltimore for years.

"It fit David's love of the prank and the practical joke. And particularly stunts that involve sort of high literary high-wire acts," says Alvarez.

He says that Franks also wore the same clothes daily like that of the Poe toaster and he fit the physical description. "David had quite the late 19th century English dandy flair for scarves, gloves, and various caps. It would not be unusual for David to don a cape if the situation called for it," says Alvarez.

There is also a possibility that the toaster decided to stop the tradition at Poe's 200th birthday, which was last year. Link -via Metafilter

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Wow I can't believe I hear of Davids death on this site, and that he may be the "Poe toaster" David was a wonderful, funny, witty, man. He loved Soupy Sales, and hated eggs but bought them every week. Sigh...Baltimore can't afford to lose people like this.
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Color me skeptical. I confess that I had never heard of David Franks before this rumor began to circulate, but from what I've read of him, there is no way he could keep such a secret this long. Also, this theory fails to explain who the "old" Toaster was.

I feel pretty certain that Franks would love for all of us to think he *was* PT, though.
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"Son, I am dying. I wish to confess to you that I am the Poe Toaster."

"Wow, Dad, I never would have thought."

"My dying wish is for you to carry on the tradition of bringing cognac and roses to the Poe grave every year for the rest of your life."


"Yes, please promise me this!"

"Ok, ok, uh, I promise I will."

(Son performs this duty for a few years)

"This sucks."

and {SCENE}
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