Friday, January 28, 2011

Flinging Your Footwear On Halloween

After the treats have been passed out, after your party guests have departed, but before the last candle in the Jack O'Lantern has flickered its last, you might want to add another tradition to your very special Halloween Day.

The Irish and Scots have long practiced a form of divination known as "throwing the shoe".  There is record of it as early as the 17th Century, so it must be worthy, if it has been around that long!  But be forewarned. .besides the aforementioned footwear, you must have a strong arm or/and, a low roof line.

The act itself, is quite simple. Remove one of your shoes and "toss" it over the roof of your house. .and it has to be YOUR house. .not the neighbor's, not your garage, and most certainly not the dog's house.

Then you go and find your shoe, but don't disturb it.  If the shoe is pointing away from the house, the wearer will soon be traveling in that direction.  If the shoe is pointing toward the house, no travel is forecast for the coming year.

Good fortune is indicated if the shoe lands with the sole down. If the shoe lands with the sole up, well. . you guessed it. .a sign of bad luck.  

There isn't any provision for if your shoe lands on the roof. I am guessing it is a bit of both. .bad luck that you have to get the ladder, and climb up to get your shoe, and lucky that you don't fall off of the ladder, and you have your shoe back!

While some may think it best to try this with an old shoe in case it should find its way down the chimney, in a muck filled rain gutter, or other undesirable circumstances, but I, on the other hand, think that the proper footwear could enhance your chances of inviting only the best of luck, and to that end, have found a site where you can have your pick of a multitude of Halloween footwear!  Check out Zazzle!

The only problem is. .which ones do I like the best?  What pair would YOU chose?  

Ummm, another problem. .getting my pitching arm in shape. .I'm in trouble. .sigh. . .

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


For the second year in a row, the semi-legendary "Poe Toaster" didn't show up to leave roses and toast with cognac at Edgar Allen Poe's grave, on Poe's Birthday.

Has he met with his own demise?  I guess unless someone steps forward to let the public know, he will always remain a rather romantic mystery.

Sometime in the 1940s, it seems, an anonymous man began the annual tribute at Poe's grave. It was first referenced in print in 1949 by The Evening Sun of Baltimore.

Those who have glimpsed the "Poe Toaster" always saw him dressed in black, wearing a white scarf with a wide-brimmed hat. But he was always very secretive. No one has seen his face, and no one knows exactly why he chose to honor Poe in this manner.

In recent years, impostors have begun showing up, but according to the caretaker of the cemetery, none of them act like, dress like, nor leave the roses in the special pattern that was a tell-tale act of the true toaster. 

If indeed, this is the end of this personal tribute, it is rather sad, but I don't think that anyone should pick up the tradition. This seemed to be a very personal tribute, and no one else could continue with the mystery person's sincerity.

And it is fitting, that even in death, Edgar Allen Poe continues to have a mystery surround his name. RIP both of you gentlemen. May the roses always be at their peak of beauty and fragrance, and may your cognac be warm and lush.