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

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Pimp My Dell! - Part 4: Does She...or Doesn't She? Only Her Roofer Knows for Sure. It's What's Up Front That Counts & When You Got It Flaunt It!


Our mission:

to boldly go
where no
Dell rat

has gone before!

It's time to continue our virtual walking tour of the Shady Dell and take a gander at the latest renovations. Last time in Part 3, a new set of photos provided by Dell owner Toni Deroche allowed us to veer off the beaten path and see for the very first time
parts of the house where Dell rats were never allowed to go.

Toni D. encounters Dell caretaker in basement
We spooked around a dark cellar filled with ghostly floating orbs and poked our heads in for a look at the hidden room behind the snack bar. All the while I had the creepy feeling that Helen was giving me the evil eye just for looking at pics of those forbidden places!

To be on the safe side let's get back in bounds and view a spot where Dell rats were definitely allowed to "go."

Imagine for a moment that you are back at the Dell back in the day. You just finished your third cherry coke and now you need to tinkle... BAD! When nature called, you made your way to one of the powder rooms that the Ettlines built onto the house to serve their restaurant customers.

That was then...

This is now. For starters, only one of those doors will remain intact. The other is slated to become a multi-pane window. And by the way, are you as puzzled as I was to see a patchwork quilt of old album covers up there on the ceiling? Toni, you have some 'splainin' to do!

"The album covers are mostly mine," Toni explained. "My son and I put them up there as decoration for the pool room and to replace missing and damaged ceiling tiles."

With that burning question answered let's once again focus our attention on the two doors that formed the gateway to blessed bladder relief for thousands of soda bloated Dell rats. You'd be s.o.l. if you crossed that threshold today hoping to find a potty waiting for you on the other side. The little boys' and little girls' rooms are gone along with a storage closet that once stood with them. Their demolition was part of the most ambitious renovation project of 2010 - one that turned back the clock more than 80 years to the Roaring 20's! The dramatic change is evident when we pass through those hallowed portals and go one step beyond!

Outside those old restroom doors lies a beautiful, completely new porch on the side of the house facing the parking lot and South George Street!

Of all the Dell's home improvements the handsome, gleaming white porch is undoubtedly the biggest attention grabber.

Compare the three photographs below and you will notice that the Dell has come full circle, restored in recent weeks
to the way it originally looked when it was built in 1924!

An extended porch was clearly visible in this snapshot taken in the late 20's by one of Phil Spangler's ancestors.

During the decades that the Shady Dell was in operation,
the Ettlines abbreviated the porch with a white enclosure that housed the men's and ladies' rooms.

Finally, here is the Dell as she looks today, proudly flashing her pearly whites with a rebuilt, freshly painted full length porch once again gracing her facade!

The Writhes and Fall of the Last Remaining Dell Rat!

Change is good. Every nip and tuck that our Shady Lady receives makes her demolition less likely. While that realization sends the spirits of most Dell rats through the roof, one Dell rat who is obviously less entusiastic about the remodeling, literally fell through the ceiling! It happened a couple of weeks ago as the porch-mounted restroom enclosure was being dismantled. “The workers were tearing out the ceiling of the women's and men's room addition when a live rat dropped down from its nest and nearly landed on their heads," Toni laughed.

After he plunged from the ceiling, executed a spectacular midair triple somersault with a twist and nailed his landing, our brother rat promptly scurried off in the direction of the barn! Stuck in a 60's time warp, the recalcitrant rodent was probably expecting to watch his favorite TV show on the old black & white next to the fireplace!

Rats! It's been canceled!

Sure gonna miss my favorite TV villain, the enemy German officer Capt. Hans Dietrick. That guy had all the right stuff to be a Dell rat - a tough, bold, smart, cunning adversary but at the same time a man of honor. Where am I gonna find somebody
like him on television nowadays?

Hey, that Victor Newman guy on Y&R might fill the bill!

He's the big cheese of Genoa City, a ruthless business tycoon, a fierce rival who knows how to use his fists and he takes no prisoners; but he's loyal to his clan and his heart's in the right place.
My kinda guy! Besides... there's something awfully familiar about him!

Have a Shady day!


  1. I can't wait to see what they do with the bathroom. The house is looking beautiful.
    By the way, you should open every post with William Shatner - He's my favorite captain Kirk.

  2. The Deroches have some wonderful interior decorating ideas and you will see the complete transformation in a future installment of Pimp My Dell.

    May I assume that you are a regular viewer of Boston Legal (reruns) and BLEEP My Dad Says (aka Denny Crane & Son)? Thank you very much for your comment, Belle!

  3. I agree with Belle on Kirk. What a freakin badass was the first thing to come to mind when I saw that picture :). The house looks great!

  4. Kirk's awesome but I'm pretty sure Vic Newman could beat him at Chinese checkers! Thank you for your comment, Matt!

  5. Who says size doesn't matter? Great to see you back, Paige. You're rockin' over there!


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