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

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

My 400th Blog Post! Meet a Handsome Young Couple: The Ettlines!

 That's right, Dell rats... 

 Behold this stunning addition 

 to our Shady Dell picture gallery! 

 It's an ultra rare photograph of 

 Helen and John looking younger 

 than we've ever seen them! 

This mind blowing picture is a gift to me (to all of us) from Nancy Rae Sieling, one of John Ettline's nieces. The date
and location of the picture remain a mystery. It might have been taken in Texas in the early 1940s around the time that John and Helen got married, or at the end of World War II when John completed his service in the Army. The photo might be more recent then that. It's hard to tell. If anybody knows when and where this picture was taken I'd love to hear from you. Thanks a million, Nancy!

As you might recall it was Nancy who sent me this vintage 1950s Shady Dell menu a couple of years ago.

That's still not all! Along with the rare and wonderful picture of Helen and John in their younger days, Nancy also sent me this 8X10 glossy of the Shady Dell's snack concession behind the grandstand at the York Interstate Fair in the 1950s.

When I posted this image on the blog originally I borrowed it from the York Daily Record. Now that I have my own copy
of the photograph I was able to take it to Kinko's and have
a high def scan made.

Next, I cropped the image to fit the narrow column of the blog. The remaining center section of the picture (above) gives us a closer look at John, on the left, and Helen, whom
I believe is the second woman to the right of John. Anybody know the other people in the picture?

Thank you again, Nancy Rae Sieling, for coming through for your Dell rat family! The rare pictures and artifacts that you

sent us are treasures and we proudly add them to our growing collection of Shady Dell memorabilia!


 Our dear friend Kathleen Mae Schneider has shared with us 
 some new pictures of her mother Margaret, the oldest living 
 Dell rat, who turned 100 years of age last month. 

  Above and below are pictures of Margaret as she proudly 
 displayed and paged through one of her birthday presents. 

 Margaret received a congratulatory letter on official 
 White House stationery from President and Mrs. Obama. 

 It was a banner day on April 14th as Kathleen 
 and family members from coast to coast threw a party 
 worthy of a centenarian. The birthday bash took place at 
 Margaret's home the weekend before her birthday 
 which fell on Wednesday the 18th. 

 (image above) "The framed photo is one of Mother and 
 her sisters as teenagers," wrote Kathleen. 
 "I decorated the divider between the kitchen and 
 dining room with small white lights, fern, pink roses, 
 fuchsia daisies and pink star-gazer lilies." 

 Below is a closeup of Margaret's birthday corsage. 

 Next, here are just a few of Margaret's many gifts. 

 It's never too late to learn. In the picture above 
 Margaret is using an iPad.  If you click to enlarge 
 you will notice that Margaret decided to visit our 
 dear friend Thisisme's blog, Southhamsdarling! 
 Obviously, Margaret has good taste in blogs! 

 Love was written on all three faces as Margaret 
 posed with her granddaughter Cindy and great- 
 granddaughter Kate. Cindy, one of Margaret's 7 
 grandchildren and 11 year old Kate, one of 6 
 great-grandchildren, traveled all the way from 
 California to help Margaret celebrate her 100th. 

 The visitors are now gone but the memories 
 of a very special occasion linger on. 

 "Mother loves these balloons and doesn't want to take 
 them down!" wrote Kathleen. "She never had a birthday 
 party as a child... She doesn't even remember the day 
 being marked or mentioned at all! I think we made up 
 for that, don't you?" 

 Indeed I do. Thank you, dear friend Kathleen, 
 for sharing these golden moments from your 
 mother Margaret's 100th birthday celebration! 

 This has truly been a Spring of Surprises 

 here on Shady Dell Music & Memories 

 and there's much more still to come. 

 Here's a preview! 

Coming May 21st, 2012

8 men...
9 chapters...
3 weeks...
43 years in the making...

the interview

a blog series of Epic proportions...

up close and personal...

Have a Shady day!


  1. Congratulations on your 400th post! That is a wonderful accomplishment, especially considering how your posts have consistently maintained their high quality of content throughout the 400.

    I so enjoyed getting to see the other pictures and getting to enjoy more of our sweet Margaret, What a rich treat this is. It is fun also to see the earlier pieces of the Shady Dell and the Ettlines fall into place.

    1. Thank you, Shelly! In my opinion, you INVENTED "consistently high quality." Knowing what I do about your youth I think you're going to love my exclusive 9-part band interview which starts Monday, May 21st. It's rapid fire - a new post coming every two or three days for three weeks - but it's "all killer, no filler." Thanks so much for your visit and your generous compliments, dear friend, and happy Tuesday to you!

  2. Spectacular photographs today Shady! I'm deeply immersed in the story of the Dell and enjoy each new revelation. The menu at the Dell would surely keep everyone dancing!
    Also, Margaret's birthday party looked wonderful, and I'm agog that she was visiting Diane! Small, small world!

    1. Jenny - I laughed with glee when I noticed that Margaret had followed the link over to Devon, England to see what was happening on Thisisme's blog. My eyes popped when I recently received a package in the mail from Nancy Sieling and found that rare picture of Helen and John inside. It's such a welcome addition to the blog because the only other image I have is a grainy scan taken from an old newspaper article. You are an individual of great depth, Jenny, and I am so glad you are getting involved in the story of the Dell and that of Margaret Brown. Chapter 1 of daughter Kathleen's guest series about Margaret's Dell childhood is coming up next Monday. Thank you very much for your visit and your kindness, dear Jenny, and have a wonderful day!

  3. Hi dear Tom. First of all CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR 400TH POST, and, my goodness me, what a fantastic post it turned out to be! Really, I enjoyed it so much. I think all of us are now so immersed in the story of The Shady Dell and its history. Such a great photo of John and Helen, with John in his uniform looking very handsome, and Helen was certainly very pretty. I love her sundress! The photo of the Stand at the Fair was also awesome, and the menu's and, oh everything!!! It's wonderful how all these new photos are coming through to you like this. It really is helping to keep The Shady Dell alive with all of us. Gorgeous photos of Margaret's 100th birthday and, yes, her family certainly made up for the fact that she hadn't had a birthday party as a child. Isn't that sad? I thought it was such a loving photo of the one with Margaret with her granddaughter and great granddaughter. To be 100 and still be surrounded by all your family like that is just so precious. Now about that Blog that Margaret is reading on the iPad. What can I say dear Tom - the lady obviously has impeccable taste!!! Hee Hee! Wasn't that amazing though, that the photo was taken with my blog in it. I feel quite honoured actually! Congratulations again on your 400th post, and we look forward to the next 400. Smooches!

    1. Smooches right back at you, dear Thisisme! Yes, John looks very handsome in his Army uniform and Helen looks lovely in her sundress. I'd be interested to know how old you think either one looks in that picture. If there's a consensus that John looks 40, for example, or 45 or whatever age most people agree upon, then I can determine what year the picture was taken. Yessum, I noticed right away that Margaret was logged on to Southhamsdarling. I recognized that header picture you were using at the time. It's safe to say that you picked up a new follower, dear Thisisme! Thank you very much for all the kind words here, Diane. I'm so glad you enjoy coming here and I love having you as a very close friend. Have a terrific day over your way!

  4. I never knew John and Helen were in that pic at the fair grounds. That was an amazing zoom! Notice all the trash and how dressed up everybody was to go to the fair-- I guess that's what they did back then. The grandstand still looks the very same. That poor old sign on the top is so brown and dried out now. I had to put thick clear tape over the whole thing to keep it together--but how cool is that?

    Wasn't that sad that Margaret never had a b-day party. Kathy's house looked sooo nice and festive for her mother. Lots of love there!

    I can't believe that menu-- sooo many things , Breakfast, lunch, dinner-- from eggs to scallops !!! I can't believe they cooked all those things in that little kitchen.

    This was a wonderful post, chock full of great pics and info! Congrats on #400!!!! Only you could do the Dell such justice, you must be very proud of your baby!

    1. Toni - Hello, dear friend! I am proud of my baby and it hardly seems possible that I have published 400 posts. I call SDM&M "the little blog that could" and I could never have achieved this milestone without your help. The number of hours you have spent working behind the scenes taking pictures and collecting info is incalculable. Your enormous contributions to this blog and to the Shady Dell cause will always be remembered and appreciated. Thank you very much for your visit and generous compliments, Toni, and have a wonderful Tuesday!

  5. WooHoo...Congratulations my friend on your 400th post. For me personally, this was the best post I've read on your blog. Full of love, great memories and capturing a woman's very special 100th birthday. You have a heart of gold! I'm so glad we have crossed paths in the bloggersphere. Many more posts to you!

    1. Hi, BB! Your sweet comment means a great deal to me, dear friend. In a couple of months I'll be marking my four year blog anniversary. Every year there have been surprises with rare pictures being donated and new people coming forward with Dell history to share. It's gratifying. Thank you very much for your friendship and support, Barb, and I hope you're enjoying "another perfect day in paradise' here in the Sunshine State.

  6. Congrats on your 400th post, Shady!!! And what a post it is! All those old photos are really a treasure. Truly a wonderful piece of history. They were a gorgeous young couple and the prices on the menus just about made my eyes pop right out of my head, LOL! It was wonderful to see the photos of Margaret's 100th birthday, too. Here's wishing her many more happy years and wishing you many more happy posts here in blogville. I agree with Barb, this was the best I've seen so far but I know you'll eventually outdo yourself again. :)

    1. Hi, Jenn June! Thank you very much, dear friend! Your remarks are greatly appreciated. I only posted two sections of the Dell's menu. It goes on and on. It amazes me how much variety was offered, from simple snacks, fountain drinks and sundaes to complete breakfasts, lunches and dinners! The vast majority of kids always ordered the same few items: burgers, fries, subs, sodas and ice cream. Once again I must tell you how much I appreciate your sweet comments, Jenn June. Thank you very much for being here and come back again soon!

  7. One more congratulations on your 400th post! I really enjoyed looking at the vintage photographs - what treasures they are! I've enjoyed reading about the Dell and it's former occupants. They certainly left a rich legacy. Looking forward to your future posts - now you have me curious!

    1. Dear "Curious in Orange County" (LOL) - Hello, karen! Back from your conference, I see. Thank you very much for coming over, dear friend. Yes, this has been a season of surprises here on SDM&M and there's much more in store. Kathleen Mae Schneider's upcoming guest posts are chapters ripped from her mother's diary and I guarantee that you will get emotionally involved in the heartwarming and at times heartrending stories of Margaret Brown and her family, the first residents of Shady Dell nearly a century ago. You and I have enjoyed discussing late 60s bands and that's why I think you will also enjoy my exclusive 9-part band interview which starts May 21st and runs for three straight weeks. karen, again I thank you very much for your thoughtful comments. Your visit means the world to me, dear friend!

  8. Congratulations on the awesome 400th post good buddy. I have really been enjoying all the vintage pictures you have been sharing and looking at the menu I wish I could go back in time and pig out at those prices. As I type this Linda is away on an out of town assignment for work and took her daughter with her so it just me and my pups. They are both on my bed covered up and snoozing. Oh the life of a dog.

  9. Odie - You've got it made, my friend. I enjoy alone time with my pooch. Thank you for helping me celebrate my 400th by taking a look at Margaret's 100th and the other pictures. Yes, those menu prices remind us how much you could buy with spare pocket change in those days. I know I spent much more money feeding the jukebox than I did feeding myself. (LOL) Thanks again for coming over, good buddy, and enjoy your time with Rocky and Soffie.

  10. Hi Tom...not JUST 400 posts...oh no, 400 fantabulous, toe tapping, mind enriching and heart warming posts from one of the most talented writers around. Your years of inspirational and motivational presentations are apparent in your delightful ruminations and musical compositions.

    Congratulations to you on your accomplishment and blessings to us all for all that you have shared!

    Wonderful photographs you shared today, what youthful and loving people the Ettlines were, no matter their numerical age! I love how we get to not only experience the Dell from your vantage point but now through a resident from her glorious past. Thanks for bringing this Grand Dame to us in her past and present glory!

    PS what a tease you've left us for May 21...

    1. Sush - This is a comment-and-a-half and I thank you very much for it. Coming from someone of your caliber, a paragon of blogging excellence, compliments like these mean everything to me. In 2008 I gave myself that little extra nudge and began expressing myself through blogging. My goal was to bring the Shady Dell back from obscurity because, at the time, it was well on the way to becoming a mere footnote in York County history. I never dreamed that the Dell would become known and loved around the world and that people like Margaret and Kathleen and Sush would enter into the picture. What a journey it's been and I thank you for being part of it, dear friend!

  11. Kathleen Mae SchneiderMay 9, 2012 at 3:20 AM

    Well Tom, as we teachers say on the report cards of our star students, you are a real over-achiever!

    Your meticulous crafted blog is obviously a labor of love. I appreciate your contagious creativity and robust sense of humor. When a new post is soon to be published, I join your readers as we eagerly wait for new chances to smile. As we read and listen, tap our feet and snap our fingers, sing along and perhaps dance (some of us with raspy aging voices and creaking joints!) to the songs, the cares and worries of the day can fade for a time.

    You've captured the essence of the Shady Dell in all its glory, resuscitating fading memories and conjuring up images of youth and its rites of passage. (I wonder with gratitude how we ever survived some of the hapless decisions we made back then that altered the course of our lives.) Many readers can relive that haven the Ettlines provided at the Dell. Your alter ego, the one with the pipe - Mr. S.D. Knight I believe - tells how hormonal urges could safely find expression there, shameless posturing for higher status with the opposite sex was expected, counseling and empathy from John and Helen were always available and humongous appetites for comfort food and loud music were satisfied. For some like me who never went to the Dell back then, I gain vicarious enjoyment of all those things, even this belatedly!

    SDM&M goes way beyond nostalgia though. Some readers are too young to have ever experienced this, so kudos are in order for assuring that the Dell's heyday era will not be forgotten. It paints a broader picture of those years as a watershed of influences that changed the world, and us, forever. Thank you for such an authentic portrayal of that time with carefully selected pictures, words and music. You can rest assured it will not be thrown into the dust bin of history after we're gone because younger generations can now love and appreciate it too. They'll surely remember.

    I also am incredibly grateful for the chance you've given me to write about Margaret and her family to make sure memories of their home and time at this magical place will be preserved. It is a wonderful Mother's Day gift to both Mother and me to be included on your blog. Thanks to you and your 400+ posts, her descendants and the rest of the world will probably know all about the Shady Dell 400 years from now!

    For us and them, it will always be a good invitation:

    "Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Open your heart"!

    1. Kathleen - You have my sincere gratitude for this outpouring. Thank you, dear friend!

  12. Tom,

    First let me congratulate you on blog #400. The pictures of young John and Helen, at the fair and wherever, were amazing! I can picture one of Helen's subs now and a sundae--I can almost taste them. I'm happy you're receiving all these acquisitions. The pictures of Margaret's birthday party were equally wonderful! I'm so happy her family was eager to travel so far to celebrate with her, and that it was so special to her she doesn't want to take down the decorations. Yes, I think they made up for all the birthdays no one celebrated with her. I found Toni's comments especially warm as well. I believe that house atop Violet Hill holds and spawns a lot of love!!!

    Thanks, buddy, for sharing!

    1. Ron - Thanks so much, good buddy! I want everyone to know that I couldn't have reached this milestone without your help. You have made tremendous contributions to this blogging effort and clearly it is paying off. Every year brings new revelations and new people into the Dell family. Be here next Monday for Chapter 1 of Margaret's absorbing story as told by daughter Kathleen followed by a band interview series of Epic proportions! Thanks again, Ron, and have a great Wednesday!

  13. Hi Tom! Coming to you from a rainy Dublin! Thanks for your comment, I'm spending this afternoon catching up on blogs! This is a wonderful 400th post, I am excited to see more photos of John and Helen, of course I'm rather interested in Helen's style too, I just love her dress! The photo of the concession at the fair is amazing too, it's so great to have these little snippets of history!

    Seeing the letter Margaret received from Barak and Michelle Obama, I couldn't help but think about all of the presidents she has seen hold the office in her lifetime and what an honour it must have been to receive such a special letter!

    Hope you're doing well in sunny FL!

    Emma x

    1. PS. CONGRATS! on your 400th post! Can't wait to read the next 400!!!

    2. Emma - Aren't you sweet? Thank you, dear friend! It boggles the mind to think of all the presidents that Margaret has seen come and go and the massive changes that have taken place in the America and the rest of the world during her lifetime. The jarring differences between life then and now will become evident as her gripping story unfolds beginning with Chapter 1 this coming Monday. You're going to love it, dear Emma! Thank you very much for coming to see me and enjoy your evening in rain soaked Dublin!

  14. 400 posts , I know John and Helen are so proud of what you have done to bring the Dell back for so many people that that loved it and for those who are learning about the Dell for the first time. The picture of A young John and Helen is amazeing. John changed very little thur the years, you can tell his eyes right away, they have a look that says he cares. All these new revelations about the Dell and the people connected to her are the Dell saying thank you to Toni and you Tom for all you have done. I love the pictures of Margarets party she is one special ladie. I am looking forward to the up comeing posts about the---- ------- well you know who I mean, I don"t want to give it away. A Dell Rat All Ways Greg

    1. Greg - I'll fill in the blanks for you, good buddy: "Rolling Stones." (LOL) Greg, it pleases me so much to have an original Dell rat like you following all of these exciting new developments along with me. Happy days are here again for you and me and Ron and Jerre and Brian and all the other original Deller fellers and Dellettes out there. We're in our glory now that Toni and her family have rescued the Dell from the wrecker's ball and the rest of us, thru this blog, have rescued the Dell legend from obscurity and put it back on the front page where it belongs. I couldn't have done it without your support, Greg, and I thank you for being here! You truly are a Dell Rat All Ways.

  15. Okay this is my third time trying to type this comment! Whew, here we go again. :)

    So $1.50 for chicken in basket and .30 cents for waffles?! Wow, prices really have gone up. I really enjoyed looking at these pics. They make the Shady Dell feel more real, like I can picture kids chowing down on waffles and dancing up a storm. Margaret looks like she is doing well. She has such a lovely family who I can tell just love her to pieces.

    Oh and of course congrats on 400 posts! Looking forward to the next 400!

    1. Amber Blue Bird - Hello, dearie! As I told somebody else the Dell boasted an extensive menu that ranged from fountain drinks and ice cream to full course dinners. During the time period represented by that menu the Dell was very much like a typical restaurant with rows of diner-style booths and a couple of waitresses on staff to support Helen. By the time I started going in the mid 60s the waitresses and booths were still there but the vast majority of kids were ordering typical fast food items. By the late 60s the booths were removed and the focus was almost entirely on short order cooking. Thank you for your friendship and support, dear Amber, and I'll be seeing you soon over at your A.G.B. blogspot!

  16. Congratulations on your 400th post, Tom. You have done such a rare and wonderful thing - keeping an era of history and the Shady Dell alive in the year 2012! Helen is so pretty in the photo and I love her dress. John looks very happy, and I'll bet it was because of Helen!

    The high definition photo amazed me with how clear they can make old photos. I loved those snack bars at the fairs.

    Love the new photos of Margaret's birthday. How exciting to get a letter from the President and what a beautiful celebration her family gave her!

    1. Hi, Belle! I am absolutely thrilled to have this rare picture of Helen and John! I only wish I could determine when and where it was taken. From childhood thru my teen years I went to the York Fair every year. I can't help wondering if I ever ate at the Shady Dell concession stand as a boy and was perhaps waited on by Helen or John years before I frequented their hangout on Violet Hill. It seems not only possible but probable. I love Margaret. She is like family to me and I can't wait for you to read her family's incredible adventures in the early years of the Dell. Thank you very much for coming and for your unwavering friendship and support, dear Belle. Have a great evening in Western Canada!

  17. Congratulations, I truly admire your work here!

    1. Hello, Wanilianna! Thank you, dear friend! It means a lot to me that you came by to offer your friendship and support. Good night to you in Poland!

  18. Happy 400th post Shady! That's a lot of info, and, I, for one, have enjoyed the posts I've gotten to read. What great pictures of the Ettlines...these old photos are priceless, and, much appreciated by all. They were surely a handsome couple, and, I bet they had much happiness in their life together. The history behind this couple is also priceless, and, worth knowing.

    Margaret really loved her birthday celebration. I think she will continue to celebrate all through her 101st year, and from now on! She has good reason to. Thank you for this great post...those are the coolest photos of the concession and Ettlines! See you soon!♫

    1. Howdy, Susan! Thanks for coming all the way up from Fort Worth! Yessum, these vintage photos are priceless and I again thank Nancy for donating them to our ever expanding gallery. The Ettlines had real chemistry. They always seemed to be on the same wavelength and almost finished each other's sentences, if you know what I mean. They were a rare and wonderful couple who deserve all the recognition that we can give them. In the midst of all this attention Margaret remains humble. She still doesn't know why so many of us view her as a celebrity. Thank you again for helping me observe this milestone, Susan, and good evening to you, my dear friend!

  19. Me again my friend. Just wanted to say how thrilled I am for you that you've received so many wonderful comments in celebration of your 400th post . See how loved you are my friend. I've looked and looked at that old photo of John and Helen. She looks younger than him, but, yes, I would guess John to be about 40. Hugs to dear Tom.

    1. Thisisme - You must be up after midnight, dear friend! Thank you so much for sharing your smile with me again! Yes, I am very touched by this tremendous outpouring. It's a mandate to continue to do my best at all times. I sincerely appreciate all my friends and none more than you, dear Diane. Thank you again for thinking about me tonight! Smooches and sweet dreams!


You talkin' to me?