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!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Happy Birthday, Helen!


 This is a very special day. 



 Helen Trostle Ettline 

 was born 104 years ago 

 on January 9, 1911. 


 Here are a few things I'd like you to know about Helen: 

 Helen loved horses and was a skilled rider. 

 Helen married John in Texas before he 
 joined the U.S. Army and served in WWII. 

 Helen was a warm, gracious hostess. 

 Helen was patient and tolerant. 

 Helen was a great listener. 

 Helen always had a twinkle in her eye 
 and a winning smile.

 I loved Helen. 


Every evening while Helen worked behind the Dell's
snack counter preparing treats to feed the masses,
she enjoyed listening to a steady stream of doo-
wop oldies that played on the restaurant jukebox.


In keeping with tradition let's celebrate
Helen's birthday by listening to one of her
favorite songs, "Two People in the World"
by Little Anthony the Imperials, a Dell
classic that I nicknamed
"Helen's Song."





 HAPPY BIRTHDAY, HELEN... 


 We love you and miss you! 


42 comments:

  1. Yeah, I'm talkin' to you. Ain't nobody else here. Just who the f### am I talkin' to?

    Nice tribute. I think I love Helen too.

    Do you know Iris? She's a nice girl but she needs new management.

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. Hi, Stephen! Welcome to Shady Dell Music & Memories, your home away from home (when you're not hanging out on The Flipside).

      Thank you for being the first to come over and help me mark the 104th anniversary of Dell owner Helen Ettline's birth. It's hard for me to come to terms with the fact that the Ettlines were younger than I am now when I went to the Dell as a teenager. At the time I considered them ancient.

      Thanks for reporting in, Stephen. I hope you will enjoy following SDM&M throughout the year!

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  2. >>... It's hard for me to come to terms with the fact that the Ettlines were younger than I am now when I went to the Dell as a teenager. At the time I considered them ancient.

    Well, you know what they say: Time flies when you're chewing gum.

    So... the comment I left on one of your first two posts here in July of 2008... I was right that your mission statement borrowed from 'American Pop', wasn't I?

    You're not gonna tell me it was just a coincidence, R U?

    ~ D-FensDogg
    'Loyal American Underground'

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    1. Hi again, Stephen! I found your two comments on my first post, 7-20-08. Thank you very much!

      To answer your question, no, my use of that phrase in my mission statement was not a coincidence. I borrowed those words from Sen. Barack Obama's Democratic presidential nomination acceptance speech which he delivered a few weeks before I started the blog. I used that expression because another local hangout, White Oaks, was getting all the buzz in recent years. I felt that the Shady Dell, which had existed as a teen club for nearly 50 years, had become an obscure footnote in the history of York County. I was determined to bring the legendary hangout "back to life" and give original Dell rats a place in the new millennium where they could congregate just as they had at the real Shady Dell back in the day. I saw this blog as a place where I could express how much the Ettlines, the Dell, the rat pack and the great music of the era meant to me. I had no way of knowing in the summer of 2008 that SDM&M would someday become a meeting spot for people of all ages around the world. It is truly gratifying.

      Thanks again for joining the fun here at SDM&M, Stephen, and enjoy your weekend!

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  3. One of the things I like most about you, SDK. is the love you have shown for this couple - and the gratitude for their kindness and the impact they made on your life. Everyone should have someone like that in their life, but sadly, they do not.

    Happy Birthday, Helen! Maybe she is helping St. Peter usher folks in the door. She'd be a natural.

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    1. Hello, dear Cherdo! I like it! I like it! Helen surely would be a natural in the role of an official greeter at the Pearly Gates. I hope she and John will be there to welcome me to my new home away from home. I hope I remember to bring a quarter along!

      Thank you very much for these kind words for Helen and for me, dear friend Cherdo. Have a safe and happy weekend!

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  4. Hi Shady,
    Yes, it seems from what you and others tell me that Helen WAS a wonderful person. I'm just sorry I never was fortunate to meet her. What a lovely couple they were in that last pic on this post.
    You know, I really miss going over there and seeing that place in the old style (before renovations)! Seeing that old pic of the kitchen the way it use to be reminds me of the fun times I had there-- even waaaay after the dell's "hay days"!!!!
    Toni Deroche

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    1. Hi, dear Toni! Right you are, my friend. This picture of the Dell's snack counter, which you generously took and donated to SDM&M, brings back memories of the years you owned the historic hangout. For me, it brings back memories of all those great times in the 60s. I can remember eating one of Helen's subs plus French fries and a cherry coke, listening to the incessant ding ding ding - pop of the pinball machine, the sound of moldy oldies on the jukebox, watching the Monkees on the black & white TV set and carrying on a conversation with Helen all at the same time. These days I get distracted and lose my train of thought by the slightest noise.

      You did everything you could to save, preserve and restore the Dell, Toni, and for that all Dell rats thank you. Enjoy the rest of your day and have a wonderful weekend, dear friend!

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  5. Hi Shady,

    I love these photos, and Helen sounds like the type of person that everyone would love! She sounds warmhearted, friendly and a true people lover. I love the photo of the diner, too, and I do love that wallpaper! Thank you so much for sharing this, you know how much I enjoy your posts. :)

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    1. Hi, dear Linda! Thank you very much for coming down from Montreal. This post and the one that follows will introduce newcomers like you to the couple that owned the Shady Dell, John and Helen Ettline. Helen was all you described and more. Teenagers felt comfortable around Helen, more so than they did around their own parents. They opened up to her about their problems at school, at home and with members of the opposite sex. Helen listened, empathized and gave advice when asked. Helen always seemed genuinely happy to see me, as if I was one of her favorites. As I matured I came to realize that she and John treated every young person with the same level of courtesy and respect and made them feel important and special, a message totally different from the one many kids were getting outside the Dell. All it takes is a little patience, understanding and encouragement to turn a kid's life around and that's what the Ettlines did day in and day out for decades.

      Thank you again for coming, dear friend Linda, and have a great weekend!

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    2. I am looking forward (very much) to your upcoming posts, dear Shady.

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    3. Thank you very much, Linda. I'm glad you're enjoying yourself here. It is a pleasure having you as a follower!

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  6. Helllllooooo Mr. Shady!!! Been a long time (since I rock and rolled..lol) since I stopped by. Lots of new things going on in my world. All for the better. Hope you are well my old friend! (Not old, but old ;-) )

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    1. Hi, Bouncin' Barb! Welcome back to SDMM, my Alice Cooper loving friend! Yessum, I remember you telling me that when we first got acquainted. It's been a while and I am very happy to see you. Thank you for stopping by as we observe Helen Ettline's 104th birthday. I hope you will stick with me through the year because there's a lot of great music and memories ahead. Thanks again, Barb, and have a great weekend!

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  7. I love your tribute posts to the Ettlines..this one is especially sweet. Happy Birthday Helen! (I'm sure birthdays are celebrated in heaven...along with her fab tunes!) Loved the pic of the Dell snack bar! I could just imagine Helen behind the counter and the kids sitting on the stools inhaling what she made! I'm betting she listened with love to all those teens..and maybe given some advice along the way. Lovely tribute...Have a good weekend Tom.

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    1. Hi, dear YaYa! How are your knees coming along? It was sweet of you to come by and help me remember Helen on this her 104th birthday. That number sure makes me feel old.

      Yessum, every time I look at those pictures taken inside the Dell prior to its renovation, I imagine a smiling Helen standing behind that counter. She had a very soft and subdued voice, too, something I neglected to mention in the post. She was always reassuring and supportive and in a very genuine way. I loved her and miss her!

      Thanks again for your visit today, dear friend YaYa. Stay warm up there and keep following doctor's orders on the road to wellness. God bless you!

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  8. Hey Shady Del,

    Nice that you've remembered Helen's birthday in this way and what I can gather Helen and John had a really good influence on you :) How old was she when she died. I can see from the photo, Helen kept a tight ship as the kitchen looks very organised - I guess when you're running a youth centre someone needs to be at the helm :). Have you got a photo post-reno - I trust you are having a good evening and that your readers are coping ok with the awful weather I see blitzing parts of the USA. cheers Allie-Millie

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    1. Hi, Allie-Millie! Thank you for coming all the way from Australia, dear friend! Yessum, both Helen and John had a positive influence on me. To answer your first question, Helen died in February 1984 a few weeks after turning 73. We lost her far too soon!

      If you would like to see what the Dell looked like after the renovation, please copy and paste the following address which takes you to a 2012 post:

      http://shadydell.blogspot.com/2012/02/pimp-my-dell-part-6-presenting-our-lady.html

      The weather here is chilly but nothing like the deep freeze gripping much of the country. I hope you are having delightful summer weather in your part of the world. Thank you again for popping in to help me salute Helen Ettline on her birthday. Have a fine weekend, dear friend Allie-Millie!

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  9. She sounds like she was the salt of the earth type of woman. :)

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    1. She was, Rita. With Helen there was no pretense. What you saw was what you got.

      Thank you very much, dear friend Rita, for coming by to remember the First Lady of the Shady, Helen Ettline, on her 104th birthday.

      Please give Karma a hug for me and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

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  10. Beautiful tribute Shady Del....Helen would have been chuffed I'm sure.

    So pleased I've found you Shady Del...there was more dancing around the record player in the kitchen last night!!!

    Ciao

    Robyn

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    1. I'm happy to hear that, Robyn! I am pleased to be introducing new arrivals like you to the Shady Dell and its mom and pop owners, John & Helen Ettline. They were first rate folks and I will be revealing interesting facts about them both in the coming weeks and months.

      Keep on dancin', dear friend Robyn, and have a delightful Sunday there in Brisbane!

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  11. A great tribute post to Helen she sounds like a lovely woman

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    1. Hi, and welcome back, dear Jo-Anne! Yessum, Helen was a lovely woman. She gave respect and commanded it as did her husband John. in this post you learned a little about Helen. Please stay tuned because in my next post you will learn more about John.

      Thank you very much for your friendship and support, dear Jo-Anne, and happy Sunday to you!

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  12. Happy belated birthday, Helen! I miss you.
    Dell Rat Ron

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    1. Thanks, Ron! It's nice of you to help me remember Helen every year. John's next. Take care, good buddy!

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  13. ah, Helen, i always enjoy reading more about this lovely lady! alot of her personality traits are somewhat lost today, AND her birthday is the day after Elvis'! (p.s. the 6th was Earl Scruggs' birthday!)

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    1. Hi, dear Abigail! I'm glad to see you, my special friend, and happy to know you enjoy learning more about the central characters in the Shady Dell saga, John and Helen Ettline. You're right. Helen's personality traits are getting rare in the new millennium. I didn't realize Helen's birthday falls the day after Elvis Presley's. When's fur ball Daisy's birthday. Do you know?

      Thank you very much for your visit and comment, dear friend Abigail, and have a wonderful Sunday!

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  14. Such a sweet, heart felt tribute, happy birthday to Helen! What a wonderful photograph of her (with John I presume?) Such a handsome couple, she looks absolutely radiant.

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    1. Hi, dear Faye! You're either up very late or up very early! :) I very much appreciate your visit, my wonderful new friend. Yessum, both of these pictures show Helen with husband John. Pictures of the Ettlines are very rare and I am grateful to John's niece, Nancy, for donating the second one to SDM&M. In my next post you will learn a few interesting facts about John.

      Thank you very much for spending some time in the Shady with me, dear friend Faye. Enjoy your Sunday and have a fantastic week!

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  15. Hi Shady. I loved your response to Linda's comment. I do believe if adults looked on teens with love and respect instead of suspicion or contempt then teens would respond to that.

    I admire Helen immensely. Helping just one teenager is terrific, but I know she helped hundreds if not more. What a blessing she was in this world along with her good husband.

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    1. Hi, Belle! I am very happy to see you again, dear sweet friend. Did you notice that Jeanie in Colorado, one of the followers of your old Tales blog, paid me a visit at the start of the year and our old friend Bouncin' Barb came over for this post?

      You are my oldest follower in the blogging community. You have been with me through 5 of these yearly cycles in which I remember John and Helen on their birthdays and death dates. Repetitious as they are, these annual tributes will continue for as long as I publish the blog. These special posts introduce new followers like Linda, Abigail, Robyn, Faye, Rita, Janie Junebug, Jo-Anne, Stephen and Allie-Millie to the Ettlines and help them understand why I am highly motivated to keep telling their story.

      It would be impossible to calculate exactly how many young people went to the Shady Dell between 1945 and 1991. Surely, there were thousands and, most likely, Helen and John had a positive influence on them all.

      Thank you very much for your visit and kind comments, dear friend Belle. Please take good care of yourself and I hope to see you back here again soon! God bless!

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  16. 104 years! Look at how much has changed in 104 years, and how much has changed since Helen's death. Time marches on, but no matter how much change we experience, we never forget our love for some people. I will never forget my love for you.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Nicely put, Janie! Think of it. Helen was a teenager of The Roaring Twenties, a young adult during the Great Depression, married to John during the WWII years, became First Lady of the Shady after the war and remained in that role until her death. Times changed drastically during that long span but Helen's love for John and his for her were constant. My bloggy love for you is something that you can always count on, too, dear Janie.

      Thank you very much for your visit and sweet comments, dear friend, and enjoy the rest of your week!

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  17. Kathleen Mae SchneiderJanuary 12, 2015 at 2:28 PM

    Whenever I read your touching tributes to Helen, I am amazed at how real she seems to me, without ever having met her. How much more deeply you must feel about her and the very special place place she holds in your life. She even has her own song!

    You bring the old Dell of the past alive for us in so many ways - through the old photos and album covers, descriptions of the sounds of the pinball machine, the expression in Helen's eyes, the tastes of her food, and of course, always the music. They all speak eloquently of that teenager who absorbed the atmosphere in detail and learned the lessons the place had to teach. They became part of the man you are now, didn't they?

    We all have people who have come into our lives and changed us in small and large ways, diverting courses we may have taken otherwise. We simply could not ever be the same after spending time with them and basking in their wonderful influences.

    So I'm curious, Tom. I wonder how many ways your life and personality would have been different if you never went to the Shady Dell, danced, hung out there and fallen under her spell.

    Would you have the insights you have, love the music you love, live where you live, or had the career you did? More importantly - WHO would you be and how would you have turned out without the blessing of Helen's and John's kindness, caring and good will in your life? Surely you would not have this blog or the friends you've made over the years since you started it.

    These are rhetorical questions of course, just entering my mind as I looked at your post. (Answers aren't necessary, lest they seem like "homework".)

    However, since they knew you back then in your "rat years", I wish I could ask Helen and John for their observations. They probably would smile knowingly with answers of their own to these questions!

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    1. Hi, dear Kathleen! I'm excited to see you here, my wonderful friend. "It seems like a mighty long time." You pose interesting rhetorical questions and they are food for thought. I wish a ghost or angel would whisk me away and rewrite history in the manner you described, plugging in sets of variables, rewriting my personal history and following each scenario to present day. I doubt very much that I would be the same person. I doubt that I would be writing this reply to you on a blog of my own. I doubt that I would ever have met you or your adorable mother or Toni Deroche or Dell Rat Jerre. In all probability I would have tried my hand at blogging and perhaps concentrated strictly on humor. In that case there's a good chance I would know Janie Junebug, Cherdo and other people in my current circle of blog friends. It's fun to speculate.

      I deeply appreciate your visits, Kathleen. I love how you read my posts, get what I'm doing and elucidate (is that even a thing? :). It's soon time to plan Mother's 103rd birthday so let's have a powwow soon and discuss... or elucidate as the case might be.

      Thank you again for all the kind and generous words here, dear friend Kathleen. Please say hello and happy new year to Mother from me, Toni, Dell Rat Ron and all her other fans here at SDM&M!

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  18. Tom,
    I think I spent more time playing the pinball machine at the Dell than any other. I truly miss Helen serving her subs, her milkshakes, cherry Cokes, CMPS, big boy sandwiches (we never heard of a Big Mac or Bob's Big Boy, and they weren't as good when I did try them), fries. But Helen's presence went a long way with the food. I only ate in the booths when I was with a girlfriend or some other people. Reading your words, I have to agree wholeheartedly but, I have to say that I moved too fast (restless, natural "speed") to get to know John and Helen and appreciate them in as much depth as you have. But yes, they were exceptional people, unlike most.
    Ironically, Little Anthony appeared here in Las Cruces at the Rio Grande Theater, just a few blocks from my home, on New Year's Eve. I'd seen him with the Imperials at the Howard Theater in D.C. and the Raven at Camp Hill years ago. I passed this time and was asleep after hanging new calendars up before midnight.
    I had only ever heard the popular side of Helen's favorite song as a kid, "Tears on My Pillow" and never knew "Two People in the World" existed until WNOW, the Disc-O-Rama and Rock 180 Club began Saturday mornings around 1962. Helen's song was requested every week and I soon grew familiar with it. It's amazing how many other people besides you have their "Killer B's".
    Just out of curiosity, I have to ask if you ever order one of those Taylor Pork Roll sandwiches which were advertised in the snack bar. I don't believe I ever did. Was it just a pork cutlet?
    Hope this post get through this time. I love Kathleen's writing. I think I missed her final installment and didn't want to.
    Dell Rat Ron

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    1. Hi, Ron! Thank you very much for swinging by again, good buddy! I ate bushels of fries at the Dell, drank gallons of Helen's milkshakes and cherry cokes and ate a few hundred subs. However, I can't remember ordering a Taylor Pork Roll at the Dell. My only memories of eating that delightful, tangy meat were when my mother served it at home and when I bought TPR sandwiches down at the shore at OCMD and OCNJ.

      It's so cool that Little Anthony is still touring and that he played a venue so close to you there in New Mexico. It's too bad you didn't get over to see him on New Year's Eve.

      I can only assume that Helen liked "Two People in the World." I dubbed it "Helen's Song" simply because she or somebody played it more often than any other record on the jukebox next to her snack counter. Another frequent flier on that jukebox was "In the Still of the Nite."

      Ron, thank you very much for taking time to visit and for this marvelous comment. Your memories and observations have always been vitally important to SDM&M and it's great to have you back. Happy new year to you, good buddy, and stay tuned for lots more music and memories the rest of the year!

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    2. Kathleen Mae SchneiderJanuary 12, 2015 at 8:55 PM

      Thanks for the compliment, Ron! No worries about missing the last installment of In-Dell-ible Memories because there was none. My writing of the series (and much of my former life, I may add) came to a screeching halt January 6, 2014 when Mother broke her second hip.

      The past year has been consumed with nearly full-time caregiving for her in her home and has been spent in survival mode. That may not sound like much of an excuse for not being able to write, but anyone who's ever taken care of a 102-year-old might understand.

      Some interesting history, family and otherwise, has come to light recently and I'm anxious to pen the final chapter of Mother's life at the original Shady Dell. All I need is time and focus, both of which are in short supply right now.

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    3. I'm sorry to hear your mother broke her other hip, Kathleen. I'm sure it's very hard on her to have to slow down even more. My heart goes out to you as a caregiver. There aren't enough hours in the day, and I know the last thing you want to do is let your mother down or have her suffer. I experienced that with my best friend from college days up until a this past September. I only wish I could still be caregiving him and still helping him heal, but the right doctors weren't found at the right times. I do know that your mother couldn't have anyone better caring for her than someone who knows and loves her so well. A paid caregiver wouldn't make her feel as secure. I wish you both the very best. Kathleen, I know you're doing your very best. Some things just have to be put off for another day. Your followers (and I'm one) will patiently wait, knowing you're taking care of the lady which you've been writing so well about.

      Dell Rat Ron

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  19. Happy birthday to Helen. Indeed we may leave this world but our memories remain and will be forever cherished by whose lives we have touched.

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    1. Hi, SuperLux! That's very nicely expressed, my new friend. I'm glad you joined SDM&M when you did because, in the early months of every year, you have the opportunity to meet the main characters of the Shady Dell saga, the Ettlines, as I mark the dates of their birth and death. I do cherish my memories of Helen and John. They did touch my life and I want the world to know about them.

      Thanks again for coming, dear Super-L, and enjoy the rest of your week!

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