Monday, May 07, 2007

Charlie Jordan Leaves Wellfleet Marketplace

I wrote about Charlie Jordan in this blog last summer. Wellfleet's singing butcher became so famous that a fan painted his portrait, which used to hang on the wall beside the meat cooler. Now I am very sorry to announce that Charlie is no longer working at Wellfleet Marketplace. Anyone who regrets this circumstance as much as I do can write the owner to express distress. I just did:

May 7, 2007

Dear Marshall Smith,

This letter is to let you know a grave error has been committed. Whoever made the decision to let Charlie Jordan go should reconsider. For 32 years, Jordan has been the main attraction at Wellfleet’s grocery store. When I went in this week and noticed the spanking new meat counter, full of cellophane-wrapped meats, I asked someone where Charlie was. I had been shopping less this winter and, when I didn't see him behind the meat counter, I always thought I happened to be in the store on his day off. A young woman told me the sad news. Don’t you realize the value of having a singing butcher from Scotland like Charlie? My mother bought steak from him for the last third of her life. He was always ready with a smile or a kind word. The meat he sold was fresh, and wrapped in paper before her eyes. Now the back of your store has become a wasteland. I shudder to walk down the aisles. I hate to think what your summer customers are going to say. A boycott might even be in the offing. I am quite sure your business will suffer without one. The young fellow selling fish told me three times more fish than meat has been sold since Charlie disappeared.

I run a bed & breakfast and used to tell guests Wellfleet Marketplace was one of the main sights in our quaint little town, with Charlie performing behind the meat counter six days out of seven in the summer. Well, I cannot say that anymore, can I? I do not think I will even recommend the store now. Instead, I will suggest stopping in Orleans on the way to Wellfleet or at the deli in Eastham, which is far less expensive, too.

Wellfleet Marketplace may have cleaner floors than Lema’s ever did, you may stock organic food and sell books, but your shop has lost its soul. What a shame!

Alexandra Grabbe