High School Yearbook Photo

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

Monday, August 2, 2010

Dell Rat Feedback

Barry Duncan wrote:

I was a Dell Rat too. I started to go up there when I was 14 years old. I loved dancing with all the nice girls there. If you wanted to pick up a girl, there was the place to go. I love the Dell. It a shame that I left the Dell when I had to go into the service. Good things never last forever. In life everything I did, had or enjoyed that was great always came to a end. I'll miss John and Helen always. In 2009, I went past the Dell and it was up for sale. I got out of my car and walked on the Dell property and stood there for 15 minutes and tried to remember all the great times I had there. When I left, I almost started to cry. How can something so good end this way?

Shady Del Knight wrote:

Welcome to SDM&M, Barry! It's great to hear from you.
I experienced that same sense of loss in August of 1988. Visiting from out of state, I returned to the Dell one last time with every intention of going inside and chatting with John. For some reason I couldn't even get out of the car.
I simply sat there in the parking lot and gazed at the Dell.
It reminded me of a ghost town. My mind turned back the hands of time and a thousand memories washed over me...happy memories of the Dell as it used to be - bustling with activity, parking lot jammed, and excited screams and laughter rising above classic tunes on the jukebox. Yes, it hurts when we look around and realize that the people, places and things that shaped our lives are disappearing one by one. As the old song goes, that's life...that's tough. We all go through it. It's inevitable. It's unavoidable.

While we're looking around and noticing all that's been lost, however, it's important to take stock of all that remains and how many things are actually better than before. The Oaks and many of our other favorite hangouts and restaurants are long gone but the Dell is still standing. In fact, it's being repaired and remodeled.

The Dell might not look exactly the same after all the renovation work is finished and it's no longer open for business, but at least it hasn't fallen victim to the wrecking ball.

What's better than before? Prior to 2008 there was very little information or discussion on the web about the Shady Dell. All I could find was the old York Daily Record article about the 1993 auction and a few random comments about the Dell. I was not willing to let the Shady Dell remain a mere footnote in the history of York County. There was much more to say about a hangout that existed for nearly half a century than just "Oh yeah, I remember that place. Great times!" Today, you can find volumes written about the Dell, not only here on this blog but on Jim McClure's York Town Square. The Dell also has its own discussion group on Facebook and a channel on YouTube. Former Dell rats are coming out of the woodwork to share their stories and their rare photos.

Thanks to people like you, Barry, we're getting the memories documented and preserved before they too vanish on us! Thank you once again for your comments!

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