Sunday, January 06, 2008
On New Year’s Eve, Sven and I attended a local party where one of the participants was celebrating an advanced birthday. He had grown up in Wellfleet and could remember back when Route 6 didn’t run straight from Orleans to Wellfleet. His childhood dated even farther into the past. Whiting was cheap and often served at dinner. The town’s folk could shop at three grocery stores and buy medicine at two pharmacies. He remembered playing basketball in the space now occupied by the Left Bank Gallery and told us there was a dance hall in the lot where Shepley sells lumber. We all lamented the disappearance of the fishing community. This man told us there had been an ice house on Long Pond. He even had known the Chequessett Inn, a spectacular harbor building on pillars that disintegrated one winter, ripped from its moorings by ice floes. Eels were abundant back then. The local folk seem to have hunted them by torchlight and harpoon, as Sven remembers from Sweden. (In order to skin an eel, put a nail in its head and peel off the skin.) What a different place Wellfleet is today! Last week the Banner reported that an analysis of pond water revealed high levels of mercury and warned against eating fish from ponds, although swimming remains okay. At sunset, Sven and I drove to Duck Harbor where half a dozen Wellfleetians were taking in the beauty. I was not the only one trying to capture the sunset!
Posted by Alexandra Grabbe at 5:32 PM
A Glimpse of Wellfleet's Past ...