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!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Remembering Helen


HELEN TROSTLE ETTLINE

PASSED AWAY FEBRUARY 25, 1984,

31 YEARS AGO TODAY.
The following song reminds me of a
very special person, the first lady
of the Shady Dell, Helen Ettline.




Unforgettable, Helen.

That's what you are!
 
We love you and miss you.

28 comments:

  1. When I think about the way you describe Helen, it makes me think that this was written for her (and John). Forgive a long quote, as opposed to something original today; I find it fitting and hope you will, too.

    The Paradoxical Commandments by Kent Keith

    People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
    Love them anyway.

    If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
    Do good anyway.

    If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
    Succeed anyway.

    The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
    Do good anyway.

    Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
    Be honest and frank anyway.

    The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
    Think big anyway.

    People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
    Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

    What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
    Build anyway.

    People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
    Help people anyway.

    Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
    Give the world the best you have anyway.

    (Thank you for your heart that doesn't forget, dear Shady. )

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    1. Thank you very much for this inspiring quote and for your own generous remarks, dear friend Cherdo. It was all greatly appreciated... by me and by Helen.

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  2. Although Helen didn't have children she has a place in the heart of those who knew her and her husband John. You are like a loving son who remembers and gives tribute to these wonderful people. To make a place that kids can come and have fun, learn manners, learn respect, enjoy music, and just be a teenager is a wonderful thing. But to be remembered so fondly many years later and even to have a web site dedicated to their memories is amazing. You have kept the Ettlines memory alive. I'm sure Helen is smiling down on you and all the Dell Rats who remember her and what her life was dedicated to. Thanks for sharing their lives with us.

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    1. Oh, what a terrific comment this is from you, dear YaYa! Thank you for expressing yourself so eloquently and for caring about Helen even though you never met her. I think, in many ways, Helen was like your own wonderful mother.

      Thanks again and enjoy your day, dear friend YaYa!

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  3. Being unfamiliar with your blog and the history of people and events, I read the story of John and Helen further down in your sidebar. They sound like they were remarkable people. It's no wonder you help to keep their loving memory alive with your posts. Nicely done.

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    1. Hi, and welcome back, dear Hilary! Thank you for taking time to read my sidebar cover story and learning more about Helen and John Ettline, the unforgettable mom and pop couple who owned the Shady Dell. I am very happy to see you again, dear friend Hilary, and hope you will visit again soon. Have a great day!

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  4. Beautiful memorial for Helen, Mr. Anderson.
    Helen wore many hats, wife, friend, short order cook but mostly a mother figure to so many.
    "Death may indeed be final but the life love we share while living is eternal"
    . Tom, you have proven that over and over with your tributes in the SDM&M blog.
    God Bless Helen.
    Toni Deroche

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    1. Thank you so very much, dear Toni, for your kind visit and for that beautiful quote. You have now been with me through 7 years of Ettline birth and death tributes here on SDM&M. I thank you for continuing to care about these great people you never met, people who owned, lived and worked at the Dell in the years before you and your husband owned it.

      God bless Helen and God bless you, dear friend Toni!

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  5. I'm glad I got to know Helen and John through you. The world is a better place because of them. Helen made a wonderful substitute mother for many teens and that is a heavenly gift.

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    1. Hi, dear Belle! Thank you for coming again this year to remember Helen. A great person like Helen or John Ettline can influence many. This blog which is dedicated to them and their Shady Dell is but one manifestation of the ripple effect.

      Thank you again for saying a few kind words about Helen, dear friend Belle. Please take care of yourself and I'll talk to you again soon!

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  6. Dear Shady,

    I am late in catching up today, as I have begun an early Spring cleaning at my place.

    This is such a lovely and loving tribute to Helen, Shady. We need more people like Helen and John in this world. Thank you so much for sharing, and you have chosen the perfect song, too!

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    1. Hi, dear Linda! I'm happy to see you and thank you for coming over for my tribute to Helen Ettline on the anniversary of her death. Helen died less than a month before I moved away from my hometown and went to live in Florida. I visited John at the Dell in mid March to say goodbye. I had no idea that Helen had passed away and was deeply saddened to learn the news from him. I'll never forget how empty the snack bar seemed without her that night.

      Thank you again for paying respects, dear friend Linda, and enjoy your Thursday!

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  7. Can tell she must have been like a second mother to a lot of young people. She hasn't been forgotten. Glad you got to know her (and her hubby). :)

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    1. Hi, dear Rita! Thank you very much for being here on this important occasion as we remember the life and death of the Shady Dell's First Lady, Helen Ettline, a woman who has also been nicknamed The Mother of All Dell Rats. Yessum, I'm glad I got to know Helen and husband John and I'm glad to have the opportunity to introduce them to you.

      Thanks again and have a wonderful Thursday, dear friend Rita!

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  8. You provide a sense of community with your wonderful blog Shady. Had I met Helen I know I would have liked her very much too. We all need and appreciate special people like Helen...people who take the time to befriend and care for others. A wonderful tribute Shady.

    Regards

    Robyn

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    1. Thank you very much, dear Robyn! I have made it my policy to mark the birth and death dates of the Ettlines every year here on the blog. I am thankful that you were with me this year as I remembered Helen. You're right. You would have found a lot to like in John and Helen and I know they would have thought very highly of you as well.

      Thank you again for showing up for Helen, dear friend Robyn, and enjoy the rest of your Friday down under!

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  9. I know you miss her. I love singing along to this song. Natalie and Nat and I are so good together.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Thanks, dear Janie, and thank you for mentioning this surreal video of father and daughter, Nat and Natalie Cole, as a duet performing "Unforgettable."

      Once again I thank you, Janie, for coming by as I observe another important date on the Shady Dell calendar. Good night, dear friend!

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  10. In my mind I see myself sitting at a lunch counter, pinball machine behind me, eating a sandwich out of a red plastic basket with wax-like paper lining it. A lady with a kindly face, always with a pleasant, subtle warm smile on her face, is listening attentively to me as I express whatever I happen to have on my mind at the time. Helen is that lady and, dear Helen, I do miss you. Thank you for the moments that I was fortunate to share with you.

    Dell Rat Ron

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    1. Hi, Ron! Any Dell rat would instantly form that same mental picture of the red plastic basket with wax paper lining. How well I remember. It makes me smile to think of how adept we were at multitasking. Simultaneously we could eat our snacks, carry on a conversation with Helen, watch an episode of The Monkees or Laugh-In on the TV to our right, keep track of how the guy behind us was doing with his game of pinball, listen to doo-wop oldies on the jukebox to our left and watch out for friends and enemies as a steady stream of Dellions snaked through the restaurant and out the door on their way to the dance hall. Good times!

      Thank you very much, Ron, for coming to say a few kind words about Helen this year. Take care, good buddy, and I hope to see you again soon!

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  11. Kathleen Mae SchneiderMarch 1, 2015 at 8:06 AM

    You know, it's strange how things sometimes work out in life. Some would say it's coincidence, others the work of a larger Hand, but in Helen and John's case, not having children of their own was probably the reason they could be such great surrogate parents to the many teens who frequented the Dell.

    I know what raising a son and daughter is like from my own experience. So I wonder if they had had to deal with the inevitable distractions and frustrations of bringing up their own, (wonderful as having children certainly is!), they may not have had enough of either the energy or inclination left to provide the kindness and acceptance of all the teens who crossed their threshold.

    Your memories and those of Ron show that they left you with a legacy that our world truly needs. This blog encourages all who read it to be like them in so many ways, so they would indeed be proud to know that what they gave you instinctively continues now that they're gone.

    In Helen's case, I'm reminded of a line from a poem by an adoptive mother speaking to her child, "...You didn't grow under my heart, but IN it."

    Happy March to you Tom, and everyone else too!

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    1. Hi, dear Kathleen! Thank you very much for visiting the blog today and for leaving this thoughtful comment as we remember Helen Ettline.

      Remarkably, I never gave a thought to how different the Dell dynamics would have been if the Ettlines had children. How would their teenage offspring have been treated by the rest of the rat pack? Would they have been accepted as one of the gang, avoided, or perhaps treated like Dell royalty? We'll never know. I agree with you that the Ettlines were in a unique position to embrace the children of the community as their own. It was a perfect storm - the right people at the right place at the right time.

      Thank you again for your kind and generous words today, dear friend Kathleen. Please give Mother our regards and take good care of yourself and her. God bless!

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  12. Oh no. I know this song. She's a big loss.

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    1. Thank you, dear SuperLux. I chose this surreal "Unforgettable" duet because it seemed like the best way for us to remember Helen Ettline, the Mother of all Dell Rats.

      Thank you for coming, dear friend SuperLux!

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  13. I think you are more loyal and devoted than any natural born son could have been to them. And that is a testament to what amazing people they were. Thank you, my friend, for letting us know them through you.

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    1. Hi, dear Shelly!

      As one of my oldest blog friends, by now you know the Ettlines as well as anyone. Thank you, Shelly, for being here year after year to help me remember the death and celebrate the life of the Dell's First Lady, Helen Ettline.

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  14. Hi Shady,

    It's wonderful you remember and acknowledge a significant person in your life other than family. I am sure the Ettline clan appreciate your thoughtfulness and can feel good about the positive influence the Dell's First Lady had on many young people, including yourself. Apologies for the delay in posting I was busy with an exam, gaining a credit for my unit for the summer teaching period and now getting ready for psych :) All the best cheers Allie-Millie

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    1. Thank you, dear Allie-Millie! I just now discovered your generous comment here and really appreciate it on the eve of my departure.

      Take good care of yourself, dear friend, and I'll reconnect with you in early April!

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