Mark Twain once reportedly said "The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated."
The folks at Sam S. Yampell Jewelers in Haddonfield can certainly relate.
Mayor Tish Colombi told a capacity crowd at the 40th Annual Mayor's Breakfast last Saturday that Yampell had closed after 83 years of business in the borough.
Turns out, they haven't.
Yampell's is planning a move across Kings Highway from its current location at 104 Kings Highway East. But a sign in the window hints at their demise.
"It is with heavy heart after 83 years of serving you, our valued customers and friends, Samuel S. Yampell Jewelers have been forced to close our doors. We have appreciated the opportunity to serve you."
Inside a darkened, emptied shop at 104 Kings Highway East on Friday afternoon, jewelry store manager Sam Temple shrugged when asked about the sign in the window.
"It's bad sign," Temple said. "What can I say?"
When asked if they would change it, he said:"Too late now, it's been up there for 10 days."
Temple said Yampell's is expecting to save up to $3,100 a month in rent by moving across Kings Highway to a smaller shop just vacated by Duross & Langel soap store. The rent there could be as low as $1,500 monthly, he said.
Customers wandered in Friday afternoon, kibitzing with Temple, sheepishly edging into the shop and wondering "what's up."
Temple patiently explained they expected the move to be complete in the next two to three weeks. Until then, he said customers have been calling on his cell phone and even inviting him over for cocktails, anything to keep a lifeline to a neighborhood institution that appears to be intent to live to fight another day -- despite the sign in the window.