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

Monday, February 7, 2011

Life is Good on the Shady Side of the Street Thanks to The Lyrical Designer!

My dear friend

LyDe aka The

Lyrical Designer

who scribbles on

Quit Yer Blatherin'

has given me a special honor!

LyDe has presented me
with the Life is Good
blog award.  The rules
of this award require
me to answer ten
questions about myself
and then pass it along
to five other bloggers.

Alright LyDe, here are  my answers to these challenging questions.

1. If you blog anonymously, are you happy
doing this? If you aren't anonymous, do you
wish you started out anonymously, so that
you could be anonymous now?

When I began Shady Dell Music & Memories in the summer
of 2008 I had every intention of remaining anonymous.
I created a character called Shady Del Knight to serve as
the congenial, playful, and fun loving master of ceremonies.
I ran into an unexpected problem when I went to the York, Pennsylvania news media seeking publicity and promotion.
I was told that nothing about my blog would be published in the York Daily Record newspaper or the York Town Square blog unless I was willing to let them disclose my real name.
The upshot was that for two-and-a-half years my identity was kept secret here on the blog but made public elsewhere. After unmasking Shady Del Knight for the first and only time back on December 28th, I have once again stepped aside and let Shady Del Knight, a man with a lot more personality than me, resume his role as host of the blog.

2. Describe an incident that shows your
inner stubborn side.

At age 32 I was told by my doctor that for the rest of my
life I would need a cane to walk. I was in shock. I couldn't picture myself using a cane. Every cell in my body rejected that notion. Nearly 30 years later I am still walking just fine without a cane.

3. What do you see when you really
look at yourself in the mirror?

I see boysenberry lip gloss,
a black strapless evening gown,
to-die-for patent leather pumps
and a rockin' Prada pooch purse
with not one but two pink pugs
lookin' right back at your bad self!


Every time that I look in the mirror
All these lines on my face getting clearer
The past is gone
It went dusk to dawn

Lines form on my face and hands
Lines form from the ups and downs
I'm in the middle without any plans
I'm a boy and I'm a man

And now my eyes grow tired
I watch my picture getting older
But I remain the same
Trapped in this mirror forever

Tell me mirror mirror mirror on the wall
Thought you said
you had the answers to it all

You never told me I was gonna take a fall
Tell me mirror mirror mirror on the wall

I see a 16 year old Dell rat trapped inside the body of a 61 year old man who, in spite of it all, is in pretty good shape.

I see intensity, strength and determination.
I see empathy, compassion and unconditional love.

4. What is your favorite summer cold drink?

If it was 20 years ago my answer would be cold shots of spearmint schnapps straight from the ice box and St. Pauli Girl chaser...and keep 'em comin' fast and furious. Now that
I have gone nearly 19 years without a single alcoholic drink my answer is filtered water. The very same day that I quit drinking I also quit smoking and quit the recreational use of drugs. That was June of 1992 and I have been completely clean and sober ever since. Control is the greatest high
I have ever experienced.

5. When you take time for yourself,
what do you do?

I am having a ball throwing myself into blogging. It's a creative outlet and I have met some wonderful people who have become friends. I exercise every day while listening to empowering music. I also love to play with my dog, Toto.

6. Is there something that you still want to
accomplish in your life?

There are actually several items 
at the top of my bucket list:

* Wrestle
Joan Rivers
in one of the
La Brea Tar Pits.

* Become a Radio City Music Hall
Rockette just for kicks.

* Juggle chain saws on
The Ed Sullivan Show.

* Save enough S&H Green Stamps
to buy that nifty 8-track tape player
that I spotted in the 1966 catalog.

* Become the first pornstar to
"just say no."

7. When you attended school, were you
the class clown, the class overachiever,
the shy person or always ditching?

None of the above. I flew under the radar, tried to stay out of trouble and only ditched once during my senior year and
it was only for half a day. I spent that afternoon smoking cigars and playing pinball at Bud's Drive-In across the hill from the Shady Dell. In case you're wondering why I didn't end up at the Dell that day it's because somebody else was driving and chose Bud's.

8. If you close your eyes and want to visualize
a very poignant moment in your life, what would
you see?

I see myself at age four walking with a friend along a stream near my home. I had just moved from the country to a new house in the suburbs. I was eager to explore the nearby park and search for frogs and tadpoles. Suddenly my friend and I found ourselves surrounded by a group of older boys, each
of them carrying a section of rubber hose. Without warning or explanation the welcome wagon committee allowed my friend to run away and then proceeded to beat the daylights out of me with the hoses. My friend raced to my house and told my older brother what was happening down at the park. My brother and a buddy his age ran to my rescue and the assailants scattered when they saw the two teenagers coming in the distance. I wound up with large red welts
all over my body and I cried...but not from the physical pain.
I cried because it had been emotionally devastating to be
singled out for a beating for no reason. I didn't even know those boys. It was my first exposure to gang mentality and to a senseless act of cruelty. It would not be my last.

9. Is it easier to share your true self on your
blog or are you more comfortable writing posts
about other people and events?

I am not the least bit uncomfortable sharing my true self when asked questions in these surveys; but this blog is not about me. Unlike many blogs, SDM&M is not my daily diary. The vast majority of my articles are about the past rather than the present. The primary focus is the Shady Dell, the Ettlines and the music of the mid 20th century. Now that our circle of friends is rapidly expanding and includes people across the USA, Canada, Europe and elsewhere, the blog has evolved into more of a social network where everybody gets to know each other and everybody has the chance to be a star. I'm loving it!

10. If you had a chance to sit down and read
a book or talk on the phone, which would you
do and why?

I hate and despise telephones and spend as little time on them as possible. It goes against my nature to carry a phone with me everywhere I go. For more than 50 years I managed just fine without being connected to the world every second of every day.

Oh oh Telephone Line, give me some time, I'm living in twilight
Oh oh Telephone Line, give me some time, I'm living in twilight

Ok. So no one's answering
Well can't you just let it ring a little longer longer longer oh oh ooohhhhh
I'll just sit tight through shadows of the night
And let it ring for evermore oh oh ooohhhhh yeah yeah yeah

I'd much rather be paging through a good book and here's one of my favorite bands, Arthur Lee's Love, performing a Burt Bacharach song about my favorite type of book:

I just got out my little red book
The minute that you said goodbye
I thumbed right through my little red book
I wasn't gonna sit and cry
And I went from A to Z
I took out every pretty girl in town
They danced with me and as I held them

All I did was talk about you
Hear your name and I start to cry
There's just no getting over you - oh - no!

Now I would like to pass the Life is Good award along to the following five special blog friends:

Sandra at Absolutely Narcissism

Gingey at The Adventures of Gingeyginge

Pomona at Pomona Green

Kristina at A Perfect Dose of Life

Gina at Babyboomer Flashback

Thanks again, dear friend LyDe (The Lyrical Designer) for tagging me for this award. Please visit and support LyDe's blog Quit Yer Blatherin'.

Have a Shady day!


  1. Congratulation my friend and I enjoyed reading your answers. The one about the gang made my heart hurt. Have a wonderful week.

  2. Odie - Yes, that incident is a painful memory for me. The welts went away in time but the emotional scars remain. Thanks for taking the time to read my answers, good buddy, and have a wonderful day up Carolina way!

  3. Congrats on the award - I would so pay good money to see you wrestle Joan Rivers. It was very sad reading about you being set upon at only age 4. I just can't imagine it :(

  4. Gawgus - Thank you, dear friend! We all have our survival stories to tell and that's one of mine. Thank you for coming by and have a splendid day in Paris!

  5. Brilliant post dear Shady. The time you must have taken to compose all those answers - well! Some of them were SO funny! My favourite has to be your answer to question 3. Hilarious!!! I've never heard of Spearmint Schnapps, but it sounds wonderful. Too much to answer individually, but I too was so sorry to hear about your answer to Question 8. Such cruelty for you to experience at a young age. As you say, these things stay with you forever. Horrible! Congratulations on your Award dear Shady. It is so richly deserved.

  6. Thisisme - What's so funny about answer #3? I was serious! (LOL) Down, Daisy, DOWN! (LOL) Most people have heard of Peppermint Schnapps but not Spearmint. That was my poison of choice, but no longer. Thanks for checking my answers, dear friend Thisime, and have a marvy day in England!

  7. Congratulations on the award, and you are too kind to be passing it to me! :)

  8. Thanks, Kristina! You are deserving of many blog awards because you write words that help instead of hurt. I really appreciate what you're doing over there at A Perfect Dose of Life! Thanks for picking up your award and have a fabulous day, dear friend!

  9. I loved your references to Aerosmith and Alice Cooper ;)

    It was a shame to hear about the cruelty of the boys when your where a child and I hope they grew up to regret it.

    I'd stay away from juggling chain saws though, that could get a bit messy. Well done on the award, hope many more come your way as it is very much deserved =)


  10. Congratulations...And thank you so.

  11. Leanne - Thank you, dear friend! The Aerosmith classic and the Alice Cooper coming-of-age anthem are both very meaningful to me. I'm glad those songs resonate with you as well. I will take this opportunity to state that you are operating a superb blog yourself. You are also an extremely likeable individual and deserve your share of success and recognition. Have a fine evening in Liverpool, dear Leanne!

  12. Gingey - You are very welcome, my good friend! Thank you for coming over to pick up your award. You are very worthy of it. Have a delightful evening in your part of England, dear friend Gingey!

  13. Loved the interview except I'm slightly disturbed about the Joan Rivers tag team match!!!

  14. Hi Copyboy! Joan Rivers was a typo. What I meant to say was that I'd like to wrestle Joan Holloway, "Big Red" on Mad Men! Thanks for coming over, good buddy, and have a great evening!

  15. i would pay good money to see you wrestle joan money is on you :)

  16. Thank you so much =) It's a rare thing that you meet really lovely, geunine people through the power of the internet. I didn't intend or even think that I would meet such wonderful people who enjoy my blog and stuff.

    Hope you have a fine week =)


    p.s. I'm glad you enjoyed the Rita post.

  17. Amber Blue Bird - You're betting on me to beat Joan Rivers? Didn't you learn your lesson yesterday when you picked the Steel Curtain to whoop the Cheese Heads? (LOL) Thank you, my dear friend, for coming over and for your comment. I couldn't be happier knowing that you are feeling better again and for your sake I hope we soon make it to the spring thaw!

    Leanne - I very much enjoyed the lovely Rita post. As for the other part of your comment, I too am very pleasantly surprised to be finding so many good, decent, intelligent, artistic and creative people through blogging. You, my friend, are one of the greatest discoveries of them all! I truly value your friendship! Good night to you in Liverpool, dear Leanne!

  18. Dude!!!!! Thank you so much for the award :) Life IS good!!

    Congratulations on your award too!!

    I'm thinking you're gonna need someone to manage this fight between you and Joan Rivers the catwoman . . . but seriously, she looks like that other New York socialite catwoman who couldn't get enough cosmetic surgery.

    Have an awesome evening . . . Gina

  19. ohh my gawshhhh!!! you did it!! yaaay!!
    i love your answers and i feel like i have gotten to know a bit now. You went through quite a few incidents in your life and i am very impressed at how triumphant you have emerged!!

    i love how you weaved songs into this ... how creative of you!!

  20. Gina - Are you volunteering to be my manager? (LOL) If I can just lick Joan Rivers in the semi-finals I can face Betty White for the title! (LOL) Thank you for coming by to pick up your award, dear friend Gina, and enjoy another perfect day tomorrow here in our Florida paradise!

  21. Hi, LyDe! I'm glad you stopped by! Thank you for bestowing this award on me and thank you again for your compliments on my creativity. On your own blog Quit Yer Blatherin' you have revealed many fascinating things about your life past and present. I'm glad you now feel like you know me a little better. Have a great evening, dear friend LyDe!

  22. I like how you see yourself in the mirror, Shady. (the real one) It is wondeful. I don't know what I would have done if my four year old had been beaten like that. And you said you had seen other gangs like them too!
    All your answers were so interesting. It is nice to get to know personal things about you.
    I'm glad you never had to walk with a cane. I'd watch out for Joan Rivers. She is definatley a ruthless, sneaky one!

  23. Belle - Thank you for coming over! In reference to the cane story I'm sure you realize there's a lot more to it. Maybe someday I will reveal more but I'm not ready to go there just yet. I'm glad you sifted through the funny stuff and were touched by "the real me." That's important to me. I am very grateful that you take so much time to read my lengthy posts. You are a very special friend and I am so glad that we got acquainted through blogging. Have a wonderful night in Kelowna, my dear Belle!

  24. It is nice to read more things about You, so keep writing:-). I like most that part about a cane. You would look like Gregory House...

  25. Wanilianna - You watch House? You always amaze me with your knowledge of the American media and music along with so many other subjects. I'm glad you like it when I answer survey questions and reveal more about my life. Believe it or not I have another such post coming up right after V-day, so please stay tuned, my dear friend! Good night to you in Poland!

  26. Shady, what wonderful answers. They made me laugh and cry. I'm so glad for this little "social network" you've created! Ps. I hate phones too.

    No phone No phone I just want to be alone today
    No phone no phone
    Ringing stinging
    Jerking like a nervous bird
    Rattling up against his cage
    Calls to me thoughout the day

  27. Hello Alabee! If my answers made you laugh and cry then I am deeply touched. Your posts always elicit a powerful response in me as well.
    This social network of ours is aimed at bringing out the best in people. There's no flaming, no gossiping, no tearing down. I'm in the business of building people up and I have many years of experience doing it. You, Alabee, are one of the key players in this circle of friends. Thank you for being great! It seems unusual for a young woman to hate the telephone but then you are not usual. You are unique.

    Rhyming chiming got me working all the time
    Gives me such a worried mind

    Shaking quaking
    Waking me when I'm asleep
    Never lets me go too deep
    Summons me with just one beep
    The price we pay is steep

    Thank you, Alabee, for your uplifting comments, and good night to you, my dear friend!

  28. congratulation dear,i loved this interview,especially your n.5 answer :)


You talkin' to me?