Saturday, January 19, 2013

Today is Edgar Allen Poe‘s birthday and the question this blogger asks is will the tradition resume of the Poe Toaster tradition? What is the Poe Toaster? This is the unofficial nickname for the tradition started over seven decades ago. On this day a mysterious visitor has paid an annual tribute to the American author by visiting the stone that marks his original grave in Baltimore, Maryland in the early hours of Poe’s birthday. It is thought that this was not one but two people in succession, most likely father and son. This shadowy figure was always dressed in black with a wide-brimmed hat and white scarf. He would pour himself a glass of cognac, raise a toast to Poe’s memory, then vanish into the night, leaving behind three roses in a distinctive arrangement and the unfinished bottle of cognac. Each year onlookers have gathered in hopes of getting a glimpse of the elusive Toaster. This toaster did not seek publicity and was rarely seen or photographed. According to eyewitness reports and notes accompanying offerings in later years, the original Toaster started this tradition some time during the 1930s and continued it until his death in 1998. The tradition was passed on to what people assume to be his son. There are controversial statements made in some notes left by the post-1998 Toaster. In 2006 there was an unsuccessful attempt by several onlookers to detain and identify him. In 2010 there was no visit, and the Toaster has not reappeared since. Is the tradition over?

Some of the writers born on January 19 include:

Edgar Allan Poe (1809), Dragotin Kette (1876), Boris Savinkov (1879), Rex Ingamells (1913), Patricia Highsmith (1921), Jean-François Revel (1924), Nina Bawden (1925), Julian Barnes (1946), Edwidge Danticat (1969), and Casey Sherman (1969).

Also born today was the American chef and restaurateur Paula Deen who is often seen on TV adding butter to her yummy dishes. Paula Deen turns 66 today.

Another birthday of note today is Desi Arnaz, Jr. The actor and musician was born on this day in 1953. This is the son of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnez. A different boy later appeared on the show, an actor by the name of Keith Thibodeaux. The episode of I Love Lucy in which Lucy Ricardo gave birth to Little Ricky was watched by 71.7% of all television sets in the United States and aired on the same day that Lucy Arnez actually gave birth to her second child, Desi Jr., who later became an actor and musician much like his father.

On this day in 1893 the play The Master Builder by Henrik Ibsen received its premiere performance in Berlin.

Today is also the anniversary of when Howard Hughes set a new air record on this day in 1937 by flying from Los Angeles, California to New York, New York in 7 hours, 28 minutes, and 25 seconds.

On this day in 1977 President Gerald Ford pardoned Iva Toguri D’Aquino, better known as “Tokyo Rose”.

January 19, 1983 was when the first commercial personal computer from Apple Inc. that had a graphical user interface and a computer mouse was announced. They called this computer the Apple Lisa.

Exactly three years later the first IBM PC computer virus was released into the wild. The boot sector virus was dubbed (c)Brain and was created by the Farooq Alvi Brothers in Lahore, Pakistan. It was reported that the reason they did it was deter piracy of the software that they had written.

The New Horizons probe was launched seven years ago today by NASA on the first mission to Pluto.

Stories of Old Glendora

Today’s highlighted title is one close to home.  Village Book Shop is an online store now but we will always be Village Book Shop Glendora.  So today we highlight Stories of Old Glendora by Ryan Lee Price. This is a wonderful, well-researched book about the history of Village Book Shop‘s hometown.  The author, Ryan, was one of the last authors to do an event in the brick-and-mortar version of Village Book Shop, in early May, when he did a great, well-attended slide show presentation and then signed copies of his book for the excited and involved attendees.

blessed companion

Disclaimer: Much of the information in this blog is taken directly from Wikipedia.   Images have been taken from various sources around the World Wide Web.

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