On October 3, 1849, Edgar Allan Poe was found delirious and in distress on the streets of Baltimore. He died 4 days later on October 7. Adding to the mystery of Poe’s death, a visitor affectionately known as the Poe Toaster paid homage to Poe’s grave annually beginning in 1949 with 3 red roses and a bottle of cognac. As the tradition carried on for more than 60 years, it is likely that the Poe Toaster was actually several individuals.
“Meet me on Thames Street, I’ll take you out Though I’m hardly worth your time In the cold you look so fierce But I’m warming up because the tension’s like a fire We’ll hit South Broadway in a matter of minutes”
When I was young me and my mama had beef Seventeen years old kicked out on the streets Though back at the time, I never thought I’d see her face Ain’t a woman alive that could take my mama’s place Suspended from school; and scared to go home, I was a fool with the big boys, breakin all the rules I shed tears with my baby sister Over the years we was poorer than the other little kids And even though we had different daddy’s, the same drama When things went wrong we’d blame mama I reminisce on the stress I caused, it was hell Huggin on my mama from a jail cell And who’d think in elementary? Heeey! I see the penitentiary, one day And runnin from the police, that’s right Mama catch me, put a whoopin to my backside And even as a crack fiend, mama You always was a black queen, mama I finally understand for a woman it ain’t easy tryin to raise a man You always was committed A poor single mother on welfare, tell me how ya did it There’s no way I can pay you back But the plan is to show you that I understand You are appreciated
Now ain’t nobody tell us it was fair No love from my daddy cause the coward wasn’t there He passed away and I didn’t cry, cause my anger wouldn’t let me feel for a stranger They say I’m wrong and I’m heartless, but all along I was lookin for a father he was gone I hung around with the Thugs, and even though they sold drugs They showed a young brother love I moved out and started really hangin I needed money of my own so I started slangin I ain’t guilty cause, even though I sell rocks It feels good puttin money in your mailbox I love payin rent when the rent’s due I hope ya got the diamond necklace that I sent to you Cause when I was low you was there for me And never left me alone because you cared for me And I could see you comin home after work late You’re in the kitchen tryin to fix us a hot plate Ya just workin with the scraps you was given And mama made miracles every Thanksgivin But now the road got rough, you’re alone You’re tryin to raise two bad kids on your own And there’s no way I can pay you back But my plan is to show you that I understand You are appreciated
Pour out some liquor and I reminisce, cause through the drama I can always depend on my mama And when it seems that I’m hopeless You say the words that can get me back in focus When I was sick as a little kid To keep me happy there’s no limit to the things you did And all my childhood memories Are full of all the sweet things you did for me And even though I act craaazy I gotta thank the Lord that you made me There are no words that can express how I feel You never kept a secret, always stayed real And I appreciate, how you raised me And all the extra love that you gave me I wish I could take the pain away If you can make it through the night there’s a brighter day Everything will be alright if ya hold on It’s a struggle everyday, gotta roll on And there’s no way I can pay you back But my plan is to show you that I understand You are appreciated
R.A. Reed ‘The Old Curiosity Shop’ Eutaw Street and Saratoga Street, Baltimore, Maryland circa 1890 Unidentified photographer 5x7 glass negative of print Baltimore City Life Museum Collection Maryland Historical Society MC5901
Google Maps Street View of approximate location (note: the street name/location may have changed since this photograph was taken):