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!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

In Loving Memory


I am sad to report that the Shady Dell family
has lost two more members. In the span of
one week, two good friends of mine died.
They were an important part of my youth.

Chris Sternbergh

Chris Sternbergh's mom was my cub scout den mother. I went to school with Chris, played sports with him and ran around York County with him. If you have read my cover story in the right column you might recall the story of my first visit to the Shady Dell. Chris was one of the pals who accompanied me the night I became a Dell rat.


Kathleen Ruvolis

Kathleen Ruvolis and her twin sister Katherine were Chris's neighbors in the 50s and 60s. My cousins lived in the same neighborhood. When I visited my cousins, Chris and the twins were often there and we played games together. The Ruvolis twins were in my high school graduating class and they were familiar faces at the Shady Dell. Katherine Ruvolis died three years ago and this week her sister Kathleen also passed away.

Chris and Kathleen (and twin sister Katherine)
meant a lot to me. They were Shady Dell family
and good friends. I will remember them always.

May they rest in peace.

60 comments:

  1. Hi Shady,

    My condolences. :( I'm sorry for your loss. It's never easy to lose anyone close to us - may you find peace and comfort in this difficult time. I'm always an e-mail away if you need to talk.

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    1. Thank you, Jessica. I was still reeling from the news that Chris died when I learned that Kathleen died. It hit me like a one-two punch.

      Thank you for expressing these kind words this morning, dear friend.

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  2. I know these back-to-back deaths hit you hard. How sad that two of your friends from childhood and the Dell died within a week of each other, and how ironic, too, that they were from the same neighborhood. It is nice of you to remember them on your blog.

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    1. Hi, Kathryn! I am awash with memories this week. I remember playing football with Chris, listening to his brother's garage band, cruising around York and York County and going to the Dell with him. During childhood I played outdoor games with the Ruvolis twins and reconnected with them in high school and at the Dell. Kathleen and I renewed our friendship in the 80s and again in the new millennium.

      While it's true that I lost touch with Chris and Kathleen over the years, I never stopped thinking about them and today I mourn their loss. I will always remember them.

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  3. So sorry for your loss Shady.

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    1. Thank you, Sarah. It was very kind of you to come here today and offer condolences.

      Bless you, dear friend!

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  4. Oh Shady, I am so sorry for your loss. Unfortunately I know all too well about death here lately. 2015 has been a very sucky ( pardon my term) year for so many. One of my favorite quotes from Helen Keller: What we have once enjoyed we can never lose.... All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.
    I know that you are mourning their loss and replaying the many fond memories of your friends in your head. Big hugs!!

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    1. Thank you, dear Holli! Every year we lose dozens of famous people who entertained, inspired and influenced us in our youth. This week the list included Billy Joe Royal who sang "Down in the Boondocks" and child actor Kevin "Moochie" Corcoran who appeared in Old Yeller and other Disney projects in the 50s and 60s.

      We also lose old friends like Chris and Kathleen who played a part in our lives. All this week the memories have been flooding over me, flashing back to the good times we had in our younger years. I will miss these two great friends.

      Thank you for the Helen Keller quote. I am also reminded of the last lines of the David Lynch film The Elephant Man in which John Merrick's mother utters:

      "Never. Oh, never. Nothing will die. The stream flows, the wind blows, the cloud fleets, the heart beats. Nothing will die."

      Thank you again for your support, dear friend Holli!

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  5. I'm so sorry for your loss, dear Shady.

    The friends we have in childhood and young adulthood seem to have such strong bonds to our hearts...and memories. Why is that? Were we just better judges of character then when outside influences were few? Did we just find the perfect friends because we had only one desire and goal: friendship?

    Prayers for you and the families in their loss. God bless.

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    1. Thank you for coming by, dear friend Cherdo. I don't know the answers to your rhetorical questions. All I know is the feeling of loss as one by one the people who helped make me what I am today pass on to the other side. At times like this I am also reminded of my own mortality. Chris was 67. Kathleen was 66. Kevin "Moochie" Corcoran was 66 and Billy Joe Royal only 73.

      Live today to the fullest because there is no guarantee of tomorrow.

      Thank you again for being here today, dear friend Cherdo!

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  6. Dearest Shady,

    My deepest and sincere condolences; I am so sorry for your loss, my cherished friend. It is so difficult to lose loved ones, and my heart goes out to you. Sending you much love, and I will keep you and the families in my prayers. God speed.

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    1. Thank you ever so much, dear Linda. Although I haven't been in touch with these two friends for years I am experiencing great sadness in their loss. It feels as if a piece of myself has died with them. The memories of happier, younger days and of these two important friends will live on.

      Thank you again for your comforting words, dear friend Linda!

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  7. Dear Shady,

    I am very saddened to hear about the passing of your friends and fellow Dell attendants. Hold tight to memories for comfort. I'm sure I speak for your blogging friends and followers when saying our hearts are with you in this time of sorrow.

    God bless you my friend.

    Toni Deroche

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    1. Thank you, dear Toni. The loss of Chris and Kathleen triggered the memory of twin sister Katherine Ruvolis who died in 2012. That in turn reminded me of the death of another Dell friend, Denny Neiman, in the fall of 2010.

      http://shadydell.blogspot.com/search?q=dennis+neiman

      Denny and Kathleen Ruvolis were close friends, now reunited. At this time of mourning I am also reminded of my best high school and Dell buddy, Dale Gill, who died tragically in 2004.

      http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_e6RtZaU-K6s/Smi7eJhjecI/AAAAAAAAFcc/iRhZ-KCMp-A/s320/dale+gill.jpg

      I miss them all.

      Thank you very much for your kind and comforting words, dear friend Toni!

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  8. I'm so sorry Tom. You seem to be a person who feels deeply about those who share your past. It's funny how the experiences of youth stay fresh in our minds and folks we haven't seen in years still fill our hearts. I'm sending a hug from Ohlo and I hope the wonderful memories of your friends will bring more smiles than tears. I'm betting there's a sweet reunion with the Ettlines!

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    1. Hi, dear YaYa! Thank you very much for adding your sentiments. You're right. I feel deeply about people. The deaths of these two childhood friends, coming very close together as fate would have it, hit me pretty hard. I hope their families see this post and realize that we are all family, Dell rats old and new. We all care and we all share their loss.

      I agree that a sweet reunion is in full swing somewhere. If you read my reply to Toni Deroche's comment, you saw the names of two other great Dell friends who died too young. One by one the original rats are passing through the gate, meeting up with Helen and John and their friends, and celebrating life once again. That is how I choose to think of it.

      Thank you again for being here today, dear friend YaYa!

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  9. I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your friends. I'm sure you have some wonderful memories of good times with them. I'll keep you and their families in my prayers.

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  10. Thank you, dear Sherry! My old friends meant a lot to me and your kind visit and comforting comment also means a great deal to me. Bless you, dear friend!

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  11. So sorry, Shady. I think this is the third or fourth post I've read about people dying. Hopefully the last for a while.

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    1. Thank you, dear Susie! I have noticed the same thing in recent travels around the blogosphere. Thank you again for your visit and kind words, dear friend!

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  12. I'm sorry, Shady. It's part of getting older that more people from our lives go into the great continuum. I'm shocked by all the people from my high school class who are gone, including the first boy I kissed. He stuck his tongue in my mouth and then shouted, You bit me!

    I didn't know what in the hell he was doing.

    My condolences.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Hi, dear Janie! Thank you very much for coming to pay your respects. After reading your comment I can't help thinking about our dear friend Margaret Schneider, "The Oldest Living Dell Rat." At 103 years of age, Margaret has outlived all of her siblings and, most likely, all of her friends and school mates from Violet Hill. I can't imagine how she must feel about that, but I know she doesn't dwell on the negative. More than anyone I ever knew, Margaret has learned to accept what she cannot control and go on with her life as best she can.

      Thank you again for visiting and offering words of comfort (and humor) during this difficult week, dear friend Janie.

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    2. You're welcome, Shady Man. I'm here for you. I might be moving commas around, but I'm here.

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    3. You're sweet! Thanks again, dear Janie!

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  13. It has been a busy day and night so i am writing late because I need to say how much I feel for your loss and sadness. When we are young, we feel invincible and can do so much. As we age, we marry, have kids(or not) and start creating a life but we always hark back to our most "free" years because they are so special to us and the people we shared them with even more so. When aches and pains come in, we laugh and joke but when someone dies, we are stunned into silence. It is too early. We are supposed to be living into our 80's or more not pass away so young. Young people may think the 60's is older but i never felt that way since my dad was in his 60's when I was 9 and older (he was 51 when I was born). I know you must have a heavy heart but I wil also say you have beautiful memories that many people did not have and wished they did. In time, and only if you wish to, it would be an honour to read about a certain story concerning the sisters that have passed and your friend, Chris. To read your words about a fun time or a funny moment will bring life back to these wondrous friends you had the pleasure in knowing.

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    1. Hi, dear Birgit! I am up late tonight, too, dear friend, and I thank you for staying up with me.

      This is a wonderful, thoughtful comment, BB. You are right. We all feel invincible when we're young and we regard people in their 50s and 60s as old. Dell owner John Ettline was age 59 when I started going to the Dell. He seemed like an old man to most of us. Now I am well beyond that age and fighting to stay young.

      You are so very kind to urge me to write my true Shady Dell stories. I intend to continue to do that as the months and the years roll by. It makes me happy to know you take an interest in a subject that is near and dear to my heart.

      Thank you again, dear friend Birgit, and good night to you!

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  14. Sincere condolences to you and the families involved Tom. Losing friends is never easy. May the sweet memories of youth sustain you.

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    1. Thank you very much, dear Debbie the Doglady! That is very sweet and kind of you. Keeping the memories alive by getting them out of my head and onto the pages of this blog is a very important preoccupation. The people, places and times of my life will be remembered as long as I am able to continue this labor of love. I pray that the families of these two great friends read comments like yours and find comfort in them.

      Thank you again for your visit tonight and your super kind words, Debbie. I deeply appreciate them!

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    2. (Previous comment deleted due to typos)
      You are doing a wonderful thing, keeping these memories alive on your blog. It must bring great joy to all those who were part of the Shady Dell "family". The older we get, the more precious our memories become.

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    3. Hi again, dear Debbie! It's true. As the song goes, "We Are Family" and that includes you, one of the most important and cherished friends I have. Thank you again for staying up so late last night and for returning this morning to express a bit more. I appreciate it, Debbie!

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  15. Best wishes and prayer for this difficult time, friend Shady. Loosing close friends is a strange thing, but sorrow and sadness is okay. Please feel free to take time off of your blog or not, or whatever it may be. Remember that we're here for you. Thanks for letting us know of the deaths of these beautiful people.
    Funny thing, some other deaths have been weighing on my heart recently, and then reading this has gotten me in a somber mood. I have my iPod playing on shuffle, and just as I was ending this comment, what would 'randomly' play but In the Sweet By and By. A wonderful reminder and hymn, in a soft and sweeping instrumental style of Jerry Douglass and his dobro, one of my favorites. Music can really soothe the soul, just thought I'd share :)
    Take care and have a good weekend!

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    1. Hi, dear Abigail! Thank you very much for staying up late to express your thoughts and offer words of comfort. I don't intend to take a break from blogging. I think it's better to move forward and work through it. Talking (writing) about it helps. I just wanted to put a little something on the blog to let people across the country and around the world know about Chris and Kathleen, how much they mattered to me and how deeply I feel their loss. Your story about that old hymn popping onto your iPod doesn't surprise me. I have had many strange experiences with the supposedly random "shuffle play" setting on my CD changer. It seems to know the mood I'm in and selects music accordingly.

      Thank you again for making time for a late night visit and for this message of healing. Sweeter gets the journey thanks to genuine friends like you, dear Abigail!

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  16. So sad. :( I understand loss far too well so if you need somebody to talk to, I'm glad fo listen.

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    1. Thank you very much, dear Rachel! I appreciate your visit, your sweet comment and your pledge of support. It means a lot to me. Janie was right about you. You are special.

      Thanks again, dear friend!

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  17. So sorry to hear that. As they say--time waits for no man...or woman. But it is sad to say goodbye to friends, family, and memories of our youth. Imagine to be like Margaret at 103 and survived almost everyone. (One of my grandmothers lived to be 104.) Life is a crap shoot. I guess we should be so lucky as to live long enough to miss all of those who have passed before us. And you will miss them and remember them. *hugs*

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    1. Oh, thank you very much, dear Rita. How nice of you to share your thoughts we me and the other readers, and possibly even with the families of these old friends if they happen to make their way to this post.

      Yessum, I think of Margaret Schneider at times like this. When I look at pictures taken of her and her siblings early in the 20th century I look for clues to explain why Margaret is still living while the others are long gone. Maybe it is as you say a crap shoot. All we can do is give thanks and make the most of each day we're alive.

      Thank you again for your kindness, dear friend Rita. Please hug and smooch Karma for me and have a wonderful weekend!

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  18. Sad to hear. And as things go, the older we get the more of this we will experience until our own demise. I've seen many of my friends pass on over the past couple of decades and those sad bits of news will continue to be reported in the years to come.

    At least we can celebrate the memories our friends leave with us.

    Lee

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    1. Right you are, Lee! It's inescapable. There's no avoiding it. Those who are given the gift of longevity must also bear the burden of loss and grief as people they care about depart this world. As we mourn it is also important to remember the good times and share those happy memories with others.

      Thank you very much for your visit and comment, good buddy Lee, and have a great weekend!

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  19. Sorry for your loss. My thoughts will be with you and their families.

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    1. Thanks, Jeffrey! It was nice of you to drop by and pay your respects. I am very thankful to have you as a new member of the Shady Dell family. Take care and have a wonderful weekend, good buddy!

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  20. Kathleen Mae SchneiderOctober 9, 2015 at 3:29 PM

    As the Gullahs say, "I've been in sorrow's kitchen and licked out all the pots." Like many of us I'm all too familiar with the pain of loss. To have friends circle the wagons around us brings sure comfort. I hope you know that we are here for you, as you have been for us, as you navigate this rough terrain of shock and grief.

    Of course it's only natural that the parallel pain of our own mortality comes into sharp focus at a time like this. I know that too, especially from my life the last 10 years and from taking care of Mother. (At 103, she says she knows more people who are gone than alive ones, and she is correct!)

    The longer we live, the realization that we've crossed the halfway point of our life is driven home every time one of our relatives or peers crosses to the other side. We are hit by the inescapable fact that we will lose someone else we know or love. It follows that we have to face the reality that eventually it will be our turn.

    We quite simply must live every day as if it were our last, savoring all things beautiful and doing whatever good we can to improve our planet and the lives of our fellows. Then we will leave behind a kind and compassionate legacy and let things better than we found them.

    Although I disliked science in school, I found one "law" helpful to remember: the first law of thermodynamics. It says no energy is ever destroyed in the universe, but merely changes form. The lives we can no longer see are still viable, just not the way our limited senses can perceive them.

    There's no reason to repeat what others have written here by way of comfort, although I certainly echo their sentiments. What I do want to repeat is an analogy (sorry, but I've lost track of the writer) that I hope will be helpful and appropriate. "But our memory of ourselves, hard earned, is one of the land's seeds, as a seed is a memory of the life of its kind, in its place, to pass on into life the knowledge of what has died."

    By memorializing your friends you honor their lives and dignify their passing. But in doing so, as well as telling the narratives of your own precious and irreplaceable life, you also plant seeds that will have a life of their own in the future when others read your words.

    Sharing your sadness with us here proves your wounded heart is open and sensitive, and that you trust us with its care. It might be broken, but as Leonard Cohen sings, "Ring the bells that still will ring. Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in."

    Here also is a link to a poem by one of my favorite poets, John O'Donohue, and a link next to it of him reading and explaining it. It brings me much solace - I hope it does the same for you. https://m.youtube.com/watchv=ZhMCBnwS220

    I pray now for your comfort, Tom, and that your sadness will in its own good time transform into peace.

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    1. Kathleen, this is just beautiful and I thank you. You have given us all a lot to think about. Thank you very much for dispensing abundant wisdom. You always have the perfect words for the occasion. Today you offered words that will heal us and help us to understand.

      Please let Mother know that I am thinking about her and praying for her. Please take good care of yourself until we connect again here on the blog. Thank you again for your generous message. It will lift up anyone who reads it including the families of these two great friends. God bless!

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  21. Kathleen Mae SchneiderOctober 9, 2015 at 4:39 PM

    The link i provided to John O'Donohue's poem doesn't work for some reason, although it did originally. The following link works:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZhMCBnwS220

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    1. Kathleen, that Irish blessing is beautiful and I know that it will inspire anyone who takes time to follow the link, watch the video, listen and read.

      Thank you very much for following through, dear friend Kathleen! God bless!

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  22. I am so sorry for your loss.

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    1. Thank you very much, dear Lux. I appreciate your visit and kind words!

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  23. Hi Tom, sorry it's been so long since I've visited! Life has been too busy, but I just wanted to stop by and give my condolences to you at this time of loss. It's never easy to lose anyone who has made an impact on your life no matter how small. I know the memories of good times with Chris and Kathleen will help them to live on with you. I hope you are well Tom, thinking of you!

    Emma x

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    1. Hi, dear Emma! I am very happy to see you again. Thank you very much for coming, my dear old friend. It was very nice of you to reach out on this solemn occasion and express your thoughts about loss. Chris and Kathleen certainly did make an impact on my life and they leave a void to fill. This modest tribute post makes them known to people like you around the world. They lived. They mattered. Now they are gone, but they will never be forgotten.

      Thank you again for your kindness my dear Irish friend. Take care of yourself, Emma, and I hope to see you again soon!

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  24. Oh I'm so sorry for your loss Shady. It's hard to lose good friends. Your memories will keep them alive and maybe they'll even come and visit you in your dreams! So sorry friend...
    Michele at Angels Bark

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    1. Hi, dear Michele! Thank you very much for coming over to express condolences. Your visit means a lot to me and to the families of these friends who left us too soon. They will always be remembered.

      Thanks again, dear Michele!

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  25. Oh such sad news. It is so hard to lose good friend. I am at the age when people I know and friends are dying.
    But close friends are the hardest to lose. But at lest you were blessed to know them and can remember them.
    I am so sorry.

    cheers, parsnip

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    1. Hi, dear Gayle! Thank you very much for coming by and expressing your thoughts about losing friends and loved ones.

      I was a divorced bachelor in the summer of 1982 when I attended my high school class reunion. I sat at a table with Kathleen Ruvolis, Denny Neiman and Dale Gill and his wife. As fate would have it, all four of those young people have now died. It weighs on my mind. I was blessed to know them.

      Thank you again, dear friend Gayle!

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  26. I'm so sorry about the loss of your dear friends Chris and Kathlene, and her twin sister Katherine who passed away a few years earlier. I'm sure that you were a wonderful and supportive friend to all of them. Please take good care of yourself, Shady. Allow time for the healing process, and try to let the good memories help you through this difficult time.

    Julie

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    1. Hi, Julie! Thank you very much for setting aside time to visit and express these comforting words.

      I keep flashing back to a neighborhood game of football. I tried to tackle Chris but, being bigger and stockier, he easily bowled me over. At my cousins' farmhouse I joined with the Ruvolis twins and played a nighttime hide and seek game similar to the camp game "Werewolf." We called it "Woolly."

      Thank you again for your visit and for triggering these fond memories, dear friend Julie!

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  27. Dear Shady, so sorry for your loss. May the day soon come when you know they've not gone far as long as they remain in your heart.

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    1. Oh, that is very sweet of you, dear Diedre! I am very happy to see you on this the final day of the memorial tribute to my departed friends. Last weekend I watched E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial for the first time in many years. The sad farewell at the end of the movie stuck with me. The following day I learned that Chris had died and a day or two later I found out that Kathleen died. I will always remember what E.T. said to Elliott and I let it comfort me whenever I think of my fallen friends and classmates.

      Thank you very much for your visit and kind words, dear friend Diedre!

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