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August 17, 2007 6:33 AM   Subscribe

Shedding light on one of Baltimore's most famous modern-day mysteries, 92-year-old Sam Porpora is claiming to be the man who first visited Edgar Alan Poe's grave every year on his birthday.
posted by XQUZYPHYR (15 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
I'd rather have not known about this. I file this under "masks better left on." Along with a certain famous story, spelled a little differently.
posted by adipocere at 6:44 AM on August 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


Yeah, the older I get the more I appreciate the little mysteries in life. Especially the harmless ones.
posted by Dagobert at 6:46 AM on August 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


I don't understand how this could be a mystery. Nobody could follow the guy home?
posted by DU at 6:47 AM on August 17, 2007


I wanted to get him in a head lock.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 6:58 AM on August 17, 2007


I'm not sure that the mystery is "solved." It sounds a bit like Mr. Porpora's full o' crap.
posted by katillathehun at 7:36 AM on August 17, 2007


If I'm reading this right, Porpora claims to have invented the Poe Toaster in the late '60s and to have told reporters that someone had been leaving roses and cognac since 1949. Whether Porpora's claim is true or not, the fact remains that somebody started leaving the roses and cognac in just the manner he described. So there really is a Poe Toaster, and nobody knows who it is, so who cares whether or not the Toaster was inspired by a hoax? The reality is the important thing.

And anyway, whether Porpora invented the Toaster from whole cloth or not, he did popularize the story, and that led directly to the preservation of Poe's grave and Westminster Hall, where my wife and I were married one year ago come Monday. So if nothing else, I'm grateful to him for that.
posted by Faint of Butt at 7:49 AM on August 17, 2007


I do hope it's not true if only because, as adipocere said above, some things are better left as a mystery. Being from the Baltimore area, this was always one of my favorite Poe-related mysteries.
posted by LeeJay at 8:02 AM on August 17, 2007


it's lame, but if that prank helped raise some funds to maintain the gravesite of America's greatest poet -- and one of the greatest ever -- more power to him. frankly, anything that helps preserve Poe's memory is good in my book (I admit that, as a big gub'mint euroweenie, I'd be all for the use of federal and state funds to maintain Westminster Church -- he is after all the American Homer)

and, not to derail, but "The Poe Toaster" is possibly the lamest moniker ever
posted by matteo at 8:08 AM on August 17, 2007


Bah. A REAL fan wouldn't leave a drink on Poe's grave. They would, like me, instead take a dump on Longfellow's.

You see, Mt. Auburn Cemetery has a pretty low wall around the back, so it's pretty easy to go over the top even if your bowels are full of oat bran, mashed potatoes, and Metamucil. The security guards only drive around in their little cart once an hour, so if you time it right you should have plenty time to squatwalk over to his grave, unleash your own Midnight Ride of Poop Revere, and flee cackling like a raven.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:59 AM on August 17, 2007 [2 favorites]


Is "Poe Toaster" supposed to be a pun on "poetaster"? Or is that just a coincidence?
posted by futility closet at 10:51 AM on August 17, 2007


I saw an article a while back that claimed that the original Poe Toaster had died, and that his son or someone had taken over and had favored the Giants to win the Superbowl in 2001... ah. This was not just a bizarre dream. It was wikipedia.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 1:43 PM on August 17, 2007


This is ridiculous.
posted by blacklite at 3:57 PM on August 17, 2007


I wonder what would happen if multiple Poe Toasters showed up....

Anyone here live in Baltimore? I suggest that every Metafilter user living around those parts dress up and bring flowers & booze to Poe's grave next January 19th. Make it into a party, why not.
posted by JHarris at 10:49 PM on August 17, 2007


robocop_is_bleeding, did you get your Wadsworth?
posted by ikkyu2 at 10:56 PM on August 17, 2007


mystery solved!
posted by crypticvalentine at 10:40 AM on August 18, 2007


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