So I made Eddie a cake last night. Check it out!
There's a raven in there if you look hard. And yes, friends, my handwriting is really that terrible. Good thing I have a word-processor, right? Otherwise I would have to use letter magnets to write books. And that would require quite a few refrigerators, wouldn't it?
So the Poe Toaster did not come last night and it seems as if the ritual is being considered finished. If you want to read more about this year's vigil, here is a link.
Oddly, I'm feeling okay about it yet, at the same time, very sad. But also grateful that I did get to catch a glimpse of him back in 2009—a dream fulfilled.
I think the reason the Poe Toaster did not show this year might have a lot to do with his growing fame. If you look back on the ritual, people started taking notice of his visit in 1949. In the 1990's, the Poe Toaster left a note that said "the torch will be passed." Since that note, the assumption has been that the original Poe Toaster had grown too old to continue. The note was his way of telling the world he would pass the ritual on. In subsequent years, a younger man appeared at the gravesite. But technology started to become more advance, too. Word spread across the web and more and more people started showing up at Westminster to watch—with cameras. Then, in 2006, people started hopping the gates trying to unmask the Poe Toaster.
Having been inside the Westminster burial grounds after dark myself, I can tell you that I would not want to have any reason to have to run through that cemetery. There are pointed gates, low-lying stones, narrow passageways, huge mausoleums and a million shadows.
So maybe the reason the Poe Toaster has backed off is because we, as a public, are forgetting what it's all about. That the rite has more to do with the man who is buried there than the man who is making the tribute. And, in that case, I guess I can't blame The Toaster for ending things.
One of the reasons I was hoping the Poe Toaster would show this year was because it would help bring more awareness to the Poe House, which has been cut off from city funding and is imminent danger of closing this year. I've posted on the Poe House in the past and, if you want to read more about it and how you can help, click here.
But even though the Poe Toaster did not show, I think his work has been done. The legacy has been left and his story will continue to enchant us and mystify us for decades to come—as it should.
That he came at all has given me such inspiration. He helped me to develop a story and create an entire character and link the world of fiction up with a mysterious and magical reality. And for that, I will be eternally grateful. And now, it also appears as though I have the opportunity, through the Nevermore series, to explain what really happened. *wink wink*
So the story of the toaster is not over. It's just changing.
And tonight, when I slice into Eddie's cake, I will not only toast Edgar, but also gladly lift my glass to the figure that has helped to spread so much awareness about Poe, his life and his works.
Thanks Mr. Toaster.
and happy birthday Eddie.
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