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!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

John Ettline - Every Dell Rat's Dad


 Just in time for Father's Day, 

 another ultra rare picture of 

 Shady Dell owner John Ettline 

 has been donated to SDM&M. 

 Thank you, Dell Rat Dale Jourdan, 

 for making this image available! 


The picture was taken circa 1986, twenty years
after I started going to the Dell, two years after
John's wife Helen died and two years after
I saw and talked with John for the last time.
John was 80 years old in 1986 and the
Dell was in its last five years of operation.

Thank you again, Dell Rat Dale Jourdan, for
providing another important piece of the puzzle
by contributing this picture of John late in his life.

 John Ettline never had children 

 of his own, but every Dell rat agrees 

 John would have made a great father. 

 Please play this video as we honor 

 John Ettline...every Dell rat's dad! 





 Happy Father's Day, John! 


 We love you and miss you! 


28 comments:

  1. EEEK! This is spooky! I think I'm here first Shady! Love that Sunflower award on your sidebar!

    That's really great that you were able to acquire the latest photo of Mr. Ettline. He was so well loved. It's a wonderful thing that you and the other Dell Rat's do what you can to keep John, Helen, and The Dell alive!

    And, you don't have to have children to be a stand up Dad. There are plenty of men who become father figures by just giving their time, knowledge and love to kids, whether they need it or not.

    Happy Father's Day to John, and to you, Shady! See you soon.♫

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    1. Hi, Suzanne! I remember you! :) Seems like only yesterday... :)

      Yessum, I just received another blog award and you know what that means. Katy bar the door, here comes another award post!

      You're right. A biological connection is not required in order for a man to be a good father to a kid. John Ettline proved it. Likewise, Helen became every Dell rat's mom and the Dell became our home away from home.

      Thank you very much for being the early bird, dear friend Suzanne. Happy Father's Day to Karo and here's wishing you both a safe and happy week ahead!

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  2. What a great thing that you were able to get this special picture just in time for Father's Day. This post is a great way to remember and honor a man who meant so much to you.

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    1. Hi, dear Jeanie! You're right. Photos of John, Helen and the Shady Dell of old are hard to come by. I was thrilled to receive this rare picture from an original Dell rat that I don't even know. Thanks again to Dale Jourdan!

      Thank you very much for stopping by, dear friend Jeanie, and Happy Father's Day to all the dads in your family! Bless you!

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  3. Hi Shady,

    How many Dell rats were there?
    Enjoying the music . . .

    Have a nice day,
    Susie

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    Replies
    1. Hi, Susie! Thanks for being here and for asking a question about Dell rats. It would be hard to calculate how many Dell rats went through the doors of the Shady Dell over the years. The place opened in 1945 but was merely an ice cream parlor and bakery at that time. Teenagers started gravitating to the Dell in large numbers during the rock 'n roll 50s and by the 60s John had built a dance hall for his young patrons a short distance away from the house. The Dell remained in operation as a snack bar and juke joint until the early 90s, a total of more than 45 years. Generations of kids went to the Dell in that span of time and it's safe to say there were many thousands of them. I'm very happy that you are enjoying Dell legend and lore along with the music, dear Susie. You are an honorary Dell rat and I hope to see you back here soon!

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  4. Happy Father's Day, John. You were a father to so many kids who needed you. The Donna Reed Show clip is sweet.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Hi, dear Janie! Thank you for coming over and helping me salute John Ettline, every Dell rat's dad. Folks who have followed SDM&M for years know that I use that same Paul Petersen clip every Father's Day because I have never found a better one for the occasion. That DRS scene is extremely well done, don't you agree?

      Thank you again for being a great friend, Janie. I hope you had a nice weekend and I wish you all the best in the week ahead!

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  5. What a sweet post. I like the fact that you write up things in John and Helen's memory, as they were very much a mother and father to others.
    Loving the fact that in the 1980s John still looks like a timeless 1950s dad.
    And Happy Father's Day! I can only imagine that such a day makes you miss your dear little Toto even more, though i hope you've had an enjoyable day. Daisy and i certanly have. We're all bug bit and i am slightly sunburned from spending the afternoon out at a pond with grandpa and my daddy.
    Have a good week :)
    -Abigail

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    1. Hi, dear Abigail and Daisy! Thank you very much for spending some time in the Shady and helping me pay tribute to John Ettline. When I started the blog in 2008 I vowed to honor John and Helen every year on their birthdays, death dates and on Mother's and Father's Days. I was pleasantly surprised when one of the younger Dell rats (of the 80s) recently came forward and contributed this new picture.

      You are very sweet for mentioning Toto. It will soon be a year since we had to put her down. I think about her every day and miss her. Seeing pictures of your Daisy helps fill the void.

      I'm sorry you're bug bit and sunburned from your afternoon at the pond but I predict you took some interesting pictures while there and I am eager to see them.

      Thank you again, dear Abigail, for being here for me and for John and also for sharing with me The Sunflower Blogger Award. I will give my acceptance speech in my next post this Friday. Until then, have a great week and please give Daisy lotsa hugs and kisses!

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  6. Your willingness to share your memories is your sweetest feature, dear friend! I'm sure that all the things you learned from this kind couple were absorbed into your Shady-ness.

    That is a good thing!

    Have a great week (and happy belated Father's Day!).

    Love, Cherdo

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    1. Love, hugs and smooches to you, Cherdo! Thank you very much for these kind words, dear friend! It's true. I learned a lot from John and Helen Ettline. They were both older than my parents. They were as old as many Dell rats' grandparents; yet they knew how to establish rapport with kids, be accepted by them, trusted by them and respected by them. I will always remember the Ettlines.

      Thank you very much for coming and for your sweet words of support, dear Cherdo. Enjoy the rest of your week!

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  7. I don't think I would have recognized him from the new picture. Of course I didn't see him after the early 70s and he wouldn't have recognized me either. Jerre

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    1. Hi, Jerre! I was shocked to see this image of John taken less than seven years before his death. He does look different from the John you and I knew. We need to remember that he was alone, two years without Helen, it was the heavy metal 80s, patrons were becoming rowdy and disrespectful, and the Dell was in Stage 4, the last years of its life. All that must have taken a toll on John, yet he fought on, keeping the Dell open another 4+ years, perhaps hoping the times would again change and she could make a comeback.

      You and I were lucky to have experienced the Dell in its heyday. It's a good thing we weren't "Born Too Late."

      Thanks for being here for my Father's Day salute to John, good buddy. Take care!

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  8. I was touched when I read in your comments you had made a vow to honor John and Helen on these days as long as you had your blog. I think that shows what a wonderful influence they had on you and helped make you the man you are today.

    John's dedication to the youth of your area was so beautiful. As Jesus said, "As you have done good to the least of my brothers, you have done it to me."

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    1. Hi, dear sweet Belle! Thank you for that Bible quote. It certain applies to the lives of John and Helen Ettline, two people who weren't afraid to get their hands dirty helping those in need, including crazy, mixed-up kids like me.

      Your own powerful influence has touched my life, dear Belle. I love you very much and thank you for coming down for my annual Father's Day observance, once again featuring the iconic video clip of Paul Petersen singing "My Dad" on The Donna Reed Show.

      God bless you, Belle!

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  9. How nice to get this picture in time for Father's Day. I wonder how many photos are out there of your beloved John and Helen? Maybe others will see this and send some your way. It's too bad those final years were spent without his wife at his side and seeing the Dell change so. I hope he knew how much he was loved. This is a nice tribute...not just this post, but your whole blog. With every music lesson I receive here and every tribute to the Ettlines, I feel like I have learned a bit of history of a place I'll never see but can just imagine how fun it was. I saw that someone mentioned your dear Toto and I too thought about that since a few of my friends don't have kids, but do love their pets as much and take as good care of them! I know that's how you felt about your pup. Hope this is a good week for you and Mrs. Shady!

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    1. Hi, dear YaYa! You, like Abigail, are very sweet and kind for mentioning my girl Toto. A year will soon have passed since that dreadful night when we drove through the rain at 3 am to an emergency all-night veterinary clinic and said our last goodbyes to our beloved pet. In my mind I have replayed those last few agonizing minutes a thousand times since then. Is it any wonder I focus on your Eddy so often? Seeing pictures of Eddy brings me more joy than you could imagine.

      Just as vivid as my memories of Toto are my memories of John and Helen Ettline. They were a breed apart, an extraordinary couple that I will continue to honor on special occasions like this for as long as I can keep the blog going.

      You are a wonderful friend, YaYa. You seem to "get" what the Dell meant to those of us who experienced it and how much the Ettlines were loved, not only by their immediate family but by their extended family, the generations of young people who hung out with them over the years. Thank you, dear friend, for coming here as you do and expressing so beautifully what Dell rats are thinking and feeling. I truly appreciate your friendship, dear YaYa. Have a great week!

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  10. Happy Father's day to all the father's and father figures who are no longer with us! I hope you are well Tom, as you can probably guess, things are still hectic with me but I'm adjusting well to my new way of life. Summer is in full swing in Dublin and I'm making the most of it. Let me know how you've been, any film or television recommendations?

    Emma x

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    1. Hi, Emma! Thank you very much for coming over, dear friend!

      FARGO FARGO FARGO! It's a very exciting and well made series now running on the FX channel. If you saw and loved the 1996 movie, you will also love this new series.

      I was just thinking about you today, dear friend, and wondering how your life is going. I was hoping you'd come over for a visit because your friendship has become an important part of my life. I care about you, Emma, and I am very proud of your many accomplishments. I hope summer will be good to you there in Dublin, weather-wise and in every other respect.

      Thank you again for helping me pay tribute to John Ettline and all the other dads and father figures, including those we have lost. Bless you, Emma. Good night and enjoy the rest of your week!

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  11. What a pleasant surprise! How fun to see another photo of your wonderful John Ettline! I'm sure that was a wonderful treat for you and your fellow Dell Rats!
    Happy June dear friend…now that we've had our daughters wedding perhaps I can return to blogging visiting and writing with more frequency. But with the 8 little grands it's still a challenge for time.
    Big hugs, Tom...

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    1. Thank you very much, Sush! Yessum, I was surprised and delighted to see this new picture of John and it was contributed by a Dell rat I don't even know. Thank you again, Dale Jourdan!

      I value your friendship, Sush, and miss your regular visits to SDM&M. Now that your life isn't quite as hectic as before I hope you will come over and join the fun more often. You are one of my oldest and wisest friends and you are always welcome here. Take care!

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  12. Happy Father's Day to John! You have been donated a wonderful picture of him, and your kind words are perfect. Even though he did not have his own children, the Shady Dell Rats seem to have made up for that. The Paul Peterson song could have been written especially for John.
    Amia

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    1. Hi, Amia! Happy birthday once again, my dear friend! Thank you for coming to see my Father's Day tribute to John Ettline. I agree that the lyrics to Paul Petersen's hit record "My Dad" seem to have been written especially for John. John was someone the guys could take their problems to. He understood. He was everything strong.

      Thanks again for being here this evening, dear friend Amia. Please come again soon!

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  13. ... never too late to pay tribute to a wonderful man (and blog to boot!)Loved the "My Dad" vid also, the new pic of John was a great find! Happy (belated) Father's Day to the father of all Dell Rats and all the other fathers out there!
    Toni Deroche

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    1. Thanks a million, dear Toni. I want the readers to know that Dale first sent the picture of John to you for use on your Shady Dell Facebook page. I have you to thank for getting Dale's permission to post it here. So thank you very much! Although you no longer own the Dell you continue to be one of its greatest fans and champions and a faithful friend to me and this blog. Take care of yourself and have a wonderful Wednesday, Toni!

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