CLOSE YOUR EYES. TAKE A DEEP BREATH. OPEN YOUR HEART.

SHADY DEL KNIGHT, ADMINISTRATOR

SHADY DEL KNIGHT, ADMINISTRATOR
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
HELLO STRANGER ... IT SEEMS LIKE A MIGHTY LONG TIME!

Monday, October 21, 2013

My Dad, Born 100 Years Ago Today


My dad, now there was a man

To me he was everything strong

He never did wrong,

my dad

Dad and Tommy on one of our first hikes together

I borrowed lyrics from "My Dad," a song that
Paul Petersen turned into a hit record, in honor
of my father, Walter E. Anderson. Had he lived,
my dad would be 100 years old today.

Dad loved the great outdoors

He wasn't much 

in the eyes of the world

He never made history

No, he wasn't much 

in the eyes of the world

But he was the world to me, 

my dad

Dad (left of dart board), Mom (far right), Tommy (center)
with my aunt, uncle and family in our basement game room

My father was not among the rich and famous
but he was one of the most universally liked,
loved, trusted, admired and respected
citizens of York, Pennsylvania.

I wouldn't trade my dad for any other in the world.

When I was small 

I felt ten feet tall

When I walked by his side

And everyone would say,

 "That's his son"

And my heart

 would burst with pride,

my dad

With my mother, Evelyn, and my father, Walt, Christmas 1956

My father died Christmas Day, 2001, three months
after the 9-11 terror attacks. No doubt the stress
and anxiety that he and every other American
experienced in the weeks and months following
the attacks contributed to his demise.

It is a sad coincidence that his father, my
grandfather, also died on a Christmas day.

The gifts my dad gave me were greater than gold.
He generously gave his time, attention and love.
Thank you very much, Dad, and happy birthday!


My dad, now there was a man.

48 comments:

  1. Forever in our hearts they remain...our loved ones no longer on this plain of existence. The traits you love about your Dad are so very apparent in you, Tom. He not only blessed you with his generous heart and time and attention, but obviously instilled all those fine qualities in you! I'll be thinking of you today, Tom...blessings to you and yours, and always big hugs...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, Sush, what a beautiful comment! It brought tears to my eyes as your writing often does. I'll be thinking of you today as well, dear friend. Thank you very much for coming here and expressing this and hugs hugs hugs to you!

      Delete
  2. What a wonderful day to remember and reflect, my friend! I loved seeing the family pictures. You all were not only an attractive family, but a loving and successful one, anchored by your terrific dad. Happy birthday to him! I'm glad you've included all of us in this celebration today!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Shelly! It's hard to comprehend that my father would be 100 years of age by now. It certainly makes me feel older. I have mixed emotions about this day. I miss my dad but know he's in a better place and reunited with my mom who died nearly seven years earlier.

      Thank you very much for looking in and for your kind words, dear friend Shelly!

      Delete
  3. This is such a touching, loving tribute. Your Dad sounds like he was a great guy and I love the photos you included. I think you have inherited the same qualities of caring and enjoying life. Have a wonderful day in honor of him and all your good memories.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, YaYa! Yes, my dad was a great guy. Everybody loved him. I doubt he ever had a single enemy. I'd also like you to know this about him. He was at least a half generation older than my friends' dads but he always made time to play sports and games with me, even though he must have been tired. I will always remember him for that.

      Thank you very much for your visit and sweet words, dear friend YaYa, and enjoy the rest of your week.

      Delete
  4. I remember the Paul Petersen song, but the important memories are the ones you have of your dad. What a blessing it is for you to have had a dad that you wouldn't trade for any other in the world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello, dear Jeanie! Yes, I chose some of the words from that Paul Petersen record because they fit the way I feel today as I reflect on my childhood and realize what a great father I had. By the way, my dad was a lifelong shutterbug and took most of the pictures seen in this post by mounting the camera on a tripod, setting the timer, stepping in front of the camera and posing. Thank you very much for your visit and thoughtful comment, dear friend Jeanie!

      Delete
  5. Tom, I just wanted to say how much I enjoyed this post. You had a very nice looking family.

    They say,("They", meaning Dr, Phil) your same sex parent is the most influential person in your life. I truly believe this especially in your case, Tom. The love you've shown in today"s post proves just that . It's a lovely tribute to your dad and the pictures are priceless! The one with you sitting in the middle of your parents looks like your typical Cleaver family. The only thing missing is Wally (where was your older brother?)

    Happy birthday, Walter , a very special man in your eyes, Tom. Long live those cherished memories!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Toni! Thank you very much, dear friend, for this wonderful comment! I think you're right. My dad was a major influence in my life. He was a very hard worker and always gave excellent service to others. He taught me that helping others and making people happy is its own reward. He was a good and decent man and I try to model that behavior every day.

      You asked why my older brother was not present when that picture was taken at Christmas 1956. I'm not sure. As I recall it was snapped in Washington, D.C. during a visit with family friends and it's possible my brother was working that day. He joined the Air Force soon after he became eligible but seems to me that would have been the following year.

      Thank you again, dear friend Toni, for your caring words. They mean a lot to me as does our friendship. I hope you have a safe and happy week!

      Delete
  6. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Lovely post. Your Dad sounds much like mine was. In my eyes he was so great. We were both blessed weren't we Shady? Happy Birthday to Shady's Dad!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much, BB! When I think about all the kids today w/o a dad of any kind around plus all the kids whose dads abuse and neglect them, I am all the more appreciative of my father. He always gave me 100% and I was blessed to have him. Thanks again, Barb, for helping me remember my father on this special anniversary.

      Delete
  8. oh what a lovely tribute to your Dad! And so sad to hear that 9-11 may have caused him so much heartache. We wont ever understand that feeling here, but we hear of it often in documentaries and the news and sympathise. When a loved one passes on, the best way to remember them is for who they were to you and to your family. take care!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello, dear Catherine, and thank you very much for being here on this special day in my family's history.

      I remember talking to my father in the days and weeks following the 9-11 terror attacks. I could tell they had a profound effect on him. Over the years it made me sad to see the world my father knew being chipped away little by little. My father was the kind of man who loved to beep the car horn and wave at strangers as he passed by. Back in the 1930s, 40s and 50s, most people happily reciprocated. In the 60s and in later years it pained me to see people just staring back at him with blank expressions as if being friendly to a stranger was a totally foreign concept to them.

      Again, thank you very much for your thoughtfulness in sharing this special occasion with me, dear Cat. Your friendship means a great deal to me.

      Delete
  9. Sending you hugs on this day my dear Tom. What a beautiful, loving tribute to your dear dad, who was obviously a very special man. I know how much he meant to you because several times you have mentioned times spent with him. You were, indeed, blessed to have such a special dad, and I loved seeing all the family photos today. So sad that he (and your granddad) died on Christmas Day. That must be a day of mixed emotions for you my friend. As Sush quite rightly said above, all those good qualities were passed down to you, and that is why you are such a dear friend to us all. Lovely post today. They always live on in our hearts, which is such a good thing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much, dear Thisisme. This has been an emotional day for me as I celebrate my dad's life and recall the pain of losing him on Christmas day.

      As I told you on your blog, my dad loved the outdoors and took me on countless weekend hikes in wooded areas around York County. Autumn was our favorite time of year to go hiking. On brisk fall days Dad often instructed me to take 10 deep breaths, telling me that the fresh, clean air was good for me. He always pointed out the beauty of nature from wildlife to cloud formations to babbling brooks to leaves and fungus on trees. He saw beauty everywhere he went in the great outdoors and I now try to see the world through his eyes.

      Thank you for all your kind and generous words, Thisisme. My day is complete now that you've joined me in observing this special anniversary. Blessings to you, my dear friend!

      Delete
  10. I think it's really special that your dad spent that time with you, pointing out all the wonderful things that God created., and he has obviously left that appreciation of nature with you, his son. Take care my friend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, dear friend, and good night to you and my good buddy Alfred!

      Delete
  11. My mom often talks about her dad, whom I never got to meet, this way. I don't share a special bond with my biological father. In fact, I rarely see or even talk to him. However, my mom married my stepfather when I was 3 and he took on that role. Dads are special.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Ashton! You made a good point here. A man doesn't have to be a kid's biological father to be a great dad. All it takes is love and commitment. I'm very happy to know a good man assumed that role in your life and things worked out well for you and your mother.

      Thank you very much, dear friend Ashton, for helping me celebrate the 100th anniversary of my father's birth. Have an excellent week ahead!

      Delete
  12. Uncle Tom, thank you so much for this post in celebration of Pappaw. There are many comments here from people saying he sounds like he was a wonderful man. There is absolutely no doubt that he was, and I am sure that anyone who had the opportunity of knowing him would agree. I think about him all the time and it brings a smile to my face and tears to my eyes. I never knew it could be possible to miss someone so much. My boys talk about him all the time, I just wish they had more time with him. They enjoyed looking at this as well. Again, thank you! Here's to my Pappaw!! -Love, Cindy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Cindy, and welcome to Shady Dell Music & Memories! I'm absolutely thrilled to find a comment from you this evening. It was sweet of you to come by and share your memories of Pappaw and let people all around the world know what a great man he was and how much he meant to you and your children. I'm thankful that your boys were exposed to such a wonderful man and role model. Isn't it amazing how people of all ages loved being around Pappaw, even the kids? He had a rare quality that made people feel comfortable around him and like and trust him. I suppose you could say he was laid back, easy going and soft spoken. He meshed well with everybody.

      Thank you again, dear niece Cindy, for coming to testify about my dad, Walt Anderson, a great man you knew as Pappaw. He is sorely missed by all of us. He will always be remembered and loved.

      Delete
  13. Kathleen Mae SchneiderOctober 21, 2013 at 8:02 PM

    I didn't know your father, Tom, but I AM getting to know you. Judging by your compassion, authenticity and kindness that you no doubt learned from him, he must have been one wonderful man. Wasn't it great that he took parenting seriously, but at the same time thoroughly enjoyed you?

    You were quite a cutie! I'm sure he appreciated that during those early years and as you grew to adulthood watched your personality develop with some of his traits intact.

    The pride shows in his face on these delightful photographs that speak eloquently about the forces of love and family that shaped your life. I wonder if your happy smiles in some of the pictures were about your dad hurrying back after setting the camera to pose before the shutter was tripped. My kids always thought that was so funny and it was guaranteed to make us all laugh. (Compare your photos to those of my ancestors who thought it undignified to smile!)

    The picture showing you with your toys on the floor looks like a pretty creative episode of cowboys and Indians, complete with Lincoln Logs and outlying structures.

    More questions: Did you get your sense of humor from him or your mother? If so, I bet you had some rollicking good times! What did he do for a living? I hope he was in a career that involved working with people because it sounds like he excelled at making others comfortable.

    You, like I, had the good fortune to be born to fathers that wanted us and gave us a great start in life. As adults, we now can understand more fully than when we were children the challenges of keeping a roof over our family's heads, providing for their needs and ensuring a stable environment. Their sacrifices while raising us make us want to help others and make their lives better, as was done for us.

    It's evident to all your readers that your father's influence remains a steady and enduring light to your path. You carry his legacy forward into the world and thereby help to combat the nastiness that so disturbed him. He would be happy and honored to see how you are doing this and I'm quite sure he would be very proud of you, Tom!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, thank you so much for your kindness, dear Kathy! This was an emotion packed day for those of us who knew and loved my dad and miss him so terribly a dozen years after his death.

      I agree that the pride shows on my dad's face in these pictures. A lifelong photography enthusiast, Dad insisted on taking countless pictures of the family. He knew I was a willing subject even when my mother and others grew weary of posing. I especially treasure that last picture which shows my collection of cowboys and Indians and dominoes and Lincoln Logs. I spent hours every day playing with those toys, totally engrossed. I wish I could convey to today's young people the value of unplugging and disconnecting from electronics and social media, using your imagination and engaging in low tech play.

      I think I got my sense of humor from both parents, from my older brother, from my Uncle Allen and from my heavy exposure to comedy programs on television including Steve Allen's and Johnny Carson's Tonight Show. There was always plenty of laughter in our home, something that is sadly lacking in many households today.

      My father sold office equipment, office furniture and supplies. His business was located on North George St. on the north end of town close to where your mother lives and I often wonder if he and she ever crossed paths. If a copier, duplicator or mimeograph machine that Dad sold to a business client ever malfunctioned, he would get called at home. Without fail he would drop whatever he was doing, drive to their location and fix it. Many family suppers were interrupted by such calls but my dad never shirked from his duty to give grade A service after the sale.

      Thank you again for such a wonderful comment, dear friend Kathleen. I hope you will show Mother this post because she will surely appreciate seeing someone of her own generation and it might bring back some fond memories of her own.

      Good night and God bless!

      Delete
  14. Thank you so much for sharing this with me. I enjoyed it very much & agree with it. Everyone loved your Dad!!! It is hard to believe that Walt would be 100, today. WOW!!!

    Your Dad sure was special to my folks and me. He always made one feel important. Even when I was just a kid, he would talk and listen to me.

    Thanks, again!
    Betsy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much for expressing these things, dear Betsy! You brought up another key point about my father that helps explain why he was loved so much around the family. My father was more of a listener than a talker and he was a good listener. He gave people of all ages his time and attention and made them feel important.

      It makes me very happy to know you appreciated this post, Cousin Betsy. Thanks again for taking part in this celebration saluting my dad on his 100th birthday.

      Take care and God bless you!

      Delete
  15. A very touching tribute Shady, it sounds like your dad was a great man.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Sarah! My father was a great man and you are a great friend for helping me pay tribute to him on the 100th anniversary of his birth. I very much appreciate your thoughtful visit and comment, dear friend Sarah, and I wish you a happy Tuesday!

      Delete
  16. Hi Shady. This is a beautiful post, and, such a great outpouring of sentiments for you, your father and family. I would just treasure those photographs, keep them always close, they are wonderful. I have a few photos of my father, and, just love them!

    Your dad had to have been an amazing man...not just because you say so, but, I can see it in his face. He had one of those 'beaming' smiles!

    And wouldn't he be proud to see your blog? He would be reading it and making comments every day, I suspect. But, I know he was proud of you and your earlier endeavors-he taught you to follow your dreams (even if you got sidetracked sometimes!)

    May I offer my sympathies to you for your loss even though it has been some years ago? I can't imagine my father turning 100 years old! He would be in his early 90's now, had he lived.

    Thank you so much for sharing your dad's birthday with us, Shady! See you soon. ♫

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks a million for coming and for your generous comments, Suzanne! Come to think of it, my dad did have a beaming smile. Those of us who were close to him will never forget it, nor will we forget his hearty laugh that seemed to go on and on. My dad laughed easily. It didn't take a lot to get him started. The same was true of my mom, my brother, other members of my extended family and of me. I find humor in just about everything. I think a family that laughs together is getting it right and I am very thankful for the home in which I was raised.

      I think my dad would enjoy my blog. Neither he nor I had even heard of blogs in 2001 and so much has changed since his death. I think my father would be very happy knowing I have forged friendships across the country and around the world with quality people like you.

      Thank you very much, dear friend Suzanne, for taking a look into my early life via this post and for helping me honor my father on this very special occasion.

      Delete
  17. Sounds like he was a swell guy, the world needs more people like this...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Amy! My dad along with John Ettline and Margaret Elizabeth Brown Schneider, was part of a generation born early in the 20th century. They lived through two World Wars and experienced the deprivation of The Great Depression. They worked hard and sacrificed, not for fame and glory, but because it was the right thing to do. I agree with you that today's world needs more people like them.

      Thank you very much for your comment, dear friend Amy. Happy Thursday to you!

      Delete
  18. Tom, I'm finally getting the chance to stop by and read your tribute to your father (i've been very busy this week in work). This is such a beautiful post Tom, it really hit home after experiencing the loss of my grandfather this year and coming up to my first Christmas without him, I can only imagine that Christmas is a time of both joy and sadness for you. But I'm glad you shared these precious photographs of you and your father, I was so excited to see baby Tom! Thanks for reminding me to appreciate my father! He is a very good man and I'm so lucky yo have him!

    Hope you are well!

    Emma x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Emma! I remember very well that you suffered the loss of your dear grandfather this year. I know you will experience pangs of sadness during the holidays without him and so will I as I remember the loss of my father on Christmas day. I'm very happy you found a window of time to stop over and see these pictures taken early in my life and meet my dad who played an important role in shaping me into the man I am today. Yes, please remember to hug your father and your mam and seize every opportunity to tell them you love them.

      Thank you very much for thinking of me, dear friend Emma. I'm thinking of you, too. Have a wonderful Friday and a safe and happy weekend!

      Delete
  19. Dearest Tom, it is so nice to see photos of your father and to learn what a wonderful man he was. I love how he would honk and wave at people! It shows what a big heart he had. People were friendlier then - my brother, sister and I would wave at people all the time from the back seat in those huge cars in the fifties.

    It is important to have a good father and I'm glad you had one who would walk and play with you. My brother had those same cowboy and Indian sets. We had so many hours of fun with them. And of course Lincoln logs were the best. These kind of toys take imagination which is good for kids.

    This was a lovely tribute to your dad. I'm glad I got to know him a little bit. Having a name like Papaw is very sweet. God bless you Tom as you remember your father now and at Christmas.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very very much for taking a look at this special post, dear Belle. Each picture is indeed worth a thousand words and when I look at them happy memories dance through my mind.

      I agree with you 100% that strangers seemed kinder and friendlier in the 50s. Sadly, today we all have our guard up, it seems.

      I was totally absorbed by those cowboys and Indians and loved to build things with Lincoln Logs, Tinker Toys and Dominoes. It's important for kids to develop their imaginations and those simple, low tech toys were perfect for that.

      My dad always made time for me. Tired as he was after long days at work, he played cards, board games, ping pong, pool and outdoor sports with me. I will always love him for devoting himself to me that way.

      Thank you again, dear friend Belle, for taking time to gaze into my past and learn about my wonderful father, Walt Anderson. God bless!

      Delete
  20. Tom - I'm at Betsy's house and read what you wrote about your dad - how beautiful! I still think of him often. Love your memories! Have a wonderful Christmas. Paula

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Paula! I just discovered your comment today, many months after you left it for me. I am so glad you stopped by to see this post about your Uncle Walt. We all miss him.

      Thank you very much, dear Paula. I hope you will visit again soon.

      Delete
  21. Aw, Shady...that was so sweet, it made me cry.

    What a good son, to remember him so fondly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, dear sweet friend Cheryl. I am grateful that you found time to read this post about my dad. It was something I wanted to share with you, one of my very best friends ever.

      Have a wonderful weekend, dear Cherdo!

      Delete
  22. Hi Shady Del Knight,

    I came through to your post about your Dad via Cherdo's blog and thank you for the link. It's great to see you remembering your dad who looked great, so fit and healthy in his younger days! It's true many of us are quiet heroes yet achieve and do some much by raising fine well-adjusted and great kids, like yourself. By the way my birthday is 22 October, so like your dad, I too am a New Year Eve's baby - LOL Talk soon Allie-Millie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello, dear Allie-Millie! I am pleased and surprised to find your comment on this old post, Cherdo would be happy to know that you read her blog and I appreciate your interest in her life and mine,

      I'm glad you got a sense of who and what my dad was. Christmas is a time of mixed emotions for me, having lost my father that day, but I choose to remember those golden years of my youth when he and I spent a great deal of time together. He never hesitated to toss a ball or play a game with me, something many kids with younger fathers did not experience.

      Thank you again, sweet Allie-Millie, for your friendship and support. Good night and have a wonderful Sunday!

      Delete
  23. This post was so nice, I visited twice (oh, yay! I'm a poet!).

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are also a great friend, Cheryl.
      Thank you!

      Delete
  24. Tom, I loved reading about your dad. He sounds like a fabulous man and obviously you thought highly of him from this beautiful post. Thank you for sharing such a moving tribute. I know he's smiling down on you tonight. :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much, dear Cathy! I wanted to share this with you and I'm am very grateful that you took time to read it. Thank you again, dear friend, and have a wonderful Father's Day with your dad!

      Delete

You talkin' to me?