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

Saturday, May 30, 2009

200 Greatest Hits of the Shady Dell Part 17 (#40 to #31)

Killer bee alert! As we begin counting down the Top 40 songs of the Shady Dell, it’s interesting to note that half of them are fabulous flipsides!

Take a look at the lyrics below and name those tunes!

Was it fun, making me suffer

Old rockin’ chair’s gonna get me

If you are willing, baby I’m able

They are a boy and girl

I know you’re sick and tired of my evil ways

I'm ready to give, as well as take

Every time I see her face
I think about her warm embrace

All the chains in the world
couldn't hold me

hotter than the hottest fire
shocking like electric wire

he can give you the world but he'll never love the waaa-AAY

(end of clues)

Remember the grading scale:

All 10 right – Congratulations! You’ve been appointed dean of the College of Musical Knowledge

7-9 right – Licensed lyric lover

4-6 right - Lyrically challenged

1-3 right – Sign up for remedial classes at the School of Rock

0 right – You just dance and hum along!

Now, here are this week's 10 Shady Dell countdown songs:

40. "Is it Yes, Or is it No?" - James Brown (May '66)

39. "Stormy Weather" - Magnificent Men
(Album: September '66/45rpm: February '67)

38. "If You Got the Loving (I Got the Time)" - Sam & Dave (September '66)

37. "Two People in the World" - Little Anthony & the Imperials (August '58)

36. "I Won't Hold it Against You" - Van Dykes (March '66)

35. "Don't Bring Me Down" - Animals (June '66)

34. "I've Got to Have Her" - Emperors (November '66)

33. "Just a Little Misunderstanding" - Contours (June '66)

32. "Said I Wasn't Gonna Tell Nobody" - Sam & Dave (September '66)

31. "I (Who Have Nothing)" - Terry Knight & the Pack (November '66)

Do you have a Shady Dell Top Tunes list of your own that you would like to share? I'd love to see it, especially if it covers a different period of Dell history. It doesn't have to contain 200 songs; even a Top 10 would be interesting and instructive. Submit your Dell's Greatest Hits list in the form of a comment and I'll get it posted.

Have a Shady day!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Signs of the Times (Part 2)

Now let's examine some more signs of the times as we recall the golden era of the Shady Dell and measure the prevailing winds of pop culture as revealed in vintage artwork and print ad campaigns for soft drinks.

Do you remember the long sign at the Dell with the words Welcome Old Timers?

It greeted visitors as they entered through the front door of the Dell house...

...and proceeded down the hallway to the restaurant. Where is that sign now? It was purchased by one of the Ettline family members at the estate sale in May of 1993 and now graces the recreation room of her home.

In this rare and exclusive photograph taken by Dell owner Toni Deroche, you can see the sign that for years was the banner atop John and Helen Ettline's snack stand at the York Interstate Fair.

Now, let’s study some signs of the times created on Madison Avenue and in the art world.

Soda Jerk by Norman Rockwell
You might find it fun to put yourself into each picture and try to relive a similar experience.

Get all of your senses involved. See those bright colors, notice the styles, shapes and textures that were fashionable at the time.

Smell the aroma of pizza baking in the oven, French fries boiling and burgers sizzling.

Sit at the soda fountain with a coke in its classic style glass.

Poke your straw through those perfect little ice cubes to mix the syrup with the seltzer. Hear the delightfully imperfect sound of vinyl records playing on the jukebox. Touch the hand of that special person seated next to you and feel their subtle response. It speaks volumes.

Somehow, they just don’t seem to make days like those anymore.

These images are reminders of an ancient age when dinosaurs roamed the Earth...

...when the simple pleasures of life were quite enough to instill a sense of contentment.

We somehow managed to get through the day just fine without a computer, a big screen Hi-Def plasma television, Blu-Ray, TiVo, Xbox, iPod, PDA, Bluetooth, MySpace, Twitter, and Facebook.

Now that we have surrounded ourselves with the miracles of modern technology, are we any happier?

We now have at our finger tips virtually unlimited 24-hour-a-day access to information about everybody and everything along with a growing compulsion to keep up the pace by constantly monitoring the status of everybody we know and don't know. When does all of this non-stop information gathering and information sharing become simply too much information?

When are we going to learn to keep it simple? It is my belief that you can be satisfied with less; not just satisfied, you can be much happier. Get rid of the junk that’s cluttering up your life and experience how good it feels to travel light. Spend some time doing nothing.

If you absolutely must do something, do what you did when you were a child. Lie on your back in the grass and gaze at the clouds. Watch as they slowly change shape. Use your imagination to make objects, animals and faces out of them. Some quality low tech time each day will leave you feeling centered and focused. You will gain clarity. You will experience.....what’s the phrase I’m looking for, Dell rats? Peace of Mind.

Have a Shady day!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Signs of the Times (Part 1)

* Calves Liver & Bacon: $1.50.

* Shrimp in a Basket: 90 cents.

* Memories.....Priceless.

Those were some of the actual menu items that hungry patrons could order at the Shady Dell, circa late 1950s to early 60s.

To satisfy your sweet tooth, Helen Ettline could whip up one of the following.

* Waffles with 3 Flavors of Ice Cream: 50 cents

* Dell Banana Split: 40 cents

* Special Dell Shake: 35 cents.

In today's post and the next, we're gonna take a sentimental journey home; home to the Dell; home to the America of our youth. We'll take a look at some of the Dell’s rare old signs and advertisements.

For an added touch of nostalgia...

I tacked up some vintage soda pop print advertisements from the period.

Ads like these, produced from the mid 1940s through the early 60s, offer clues about the prevailing attitudes of their day.

They tell us what we, as a society, thought we were...

...and what we aspired to be.

Just below is a very rare find, and we have Tom & Toni Deroche, the current owners of the Dell, to thank for it!

You first saw it on the pilot episode of The D-Team. Presenting for the first time, exclusive front and back images...

...of an official Shady Dell membership card signed by Helen and John Ettline!

The card was discovered tucked away behind one of the Dell’s food advertisement signs.

The ad boards were sold in the 1993 auction along with menus and other Dell signage.

A few years ago, the Deroche family acquired the attractively framed Shady Dell artifacts from a Central PA antiques and collectibles dealer.

More revealing signs of the times are coming up in my next post!

Have a Shady day!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Dell Scene of Greatest Double Play as Capitols Pound the Blues!

Look! It's the 2-sided monster!!!


On a typical Shady Dell knight night in the mid 60's, several excellent two-siders could be found inside the jukebox in the barn dance hall. Two-siders, also known as two-fers, were 45rpm records that had hit Dell songs on both sides.

The greatest and highest ranking two-fer of them all was Karen 1524. Both songs on this phenomenally popular record are ranked in the Top 10 of my 200 Greatest Hits of the Shady Dell. No other Dell 45 of the mid 60's can make that claim.

“Cool Jerk” b/w “Hello Stranger” by the Capitols brought
a double dose of dynamite to the Dell.

I loved the Capitols’ handling of “Hello Stranger,” a cover of the 1963 hit by Barbara Lewis. The Capitols interpretation of “Hello Stranger” seemed to be playing on the jukebox every time I entered the dance hall. It was as if the Dell itself was welcoming me back home.

Hello Stranger!
It seems so good to see you back again.
How long has it been? Ooooooh…
It seems like a mighty long time.

"Hello Stranger” was so popular in the Dell dance hall that it earned the distinction of being the highest ranked killer bee of the mid-60's!

A megahit with Dell rats, “Hello Stranger” somehow failed
to reach the Billboard chart; but the A-side, “Cool Jerk,” became a best seller for the Capitols, reaching #7 on the nationwide index. At the Dell, the piano pounding, up-tempo dance record was just as popular as it was on the radio and in the trades, coming in at an identical #7 position on my Dell hit parade. "Cool Jerk" was a stoned-to-the-bone smash. No red blooded Dell rat could resist the call to dance when this bad boy burned up the box!

Now give me a little bit of bass
With those 88's

Awww you're cookin', baby
Mmm, you're smokin' 
Mmm mm mm

Now that's a major memory maker!

The funky sound of “Cool Jerk” and the mellow intonations of “Hello Stranger” filled the warm night air at the Shady Dell throughout that magical spring and the seemingly endless summer of 1966.

Life was good.

Have a Shady day!