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

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Helen Ettline - Mother of All Dell Rats

 Shady Dell owner Helen Ettline 

 didn't have any children of her own. 

 In a way we were all her kids 

 and she was our mom. 
 Helen and John clearly loved kids. 

 Why else would they have put up with 

 the aggravation all those years? 

 The Ettlines believed in kids. 

 They enjoyed counseling and helping kids. 

Helen always greeted me
with a warm smile and
a twinkle in her eye.
 She was an attentive listener.
 When I had good news to share
or a funny tale to tell, Helen
made me feel special by
calling John over and urging me
to repeat my story for his benefit.
 Helen made me feel like family.
She made me feel like I belonged.
Helen Ettline was a very special lady.

 In observance of Mother's Day 

 I picked out a video that 

 I think Helen would enjoy. 

 Helen, this is for you. 

 Happy Mother's Day, Helen! 

 We love you and miss you! 


  1. What a lovely, giving woman. I know, even though I never met her, the world is better because she lived in it. Thank you for sharing her with us-

    1. Hey, Shelly! Thanks, dear friend. As long as I'm alive and kicking I'll continue to remember Helen, every Dell rat's mom. I hope you're having a great Mother's Day, Texas style, and I thank you again for your visit and kind comment!

  2. That was such a lovely thing to do for Helen on Mother's Day, dear Shady, and so typical of your kindness and thoughtfulness in all things. I'm sure Helen would have been thrilled to bits and would have loved the song you chose for her. Gosh, that took me back . I did smile at a very young Andy Williams sneaking in on the action!! Hope you are well and that you have a good week ahead. Smooches, as always ;)

    1. Hallo, dear Thisisme, and smooches right back over to you! Yessum, that's a boyish looking Andy Williams providing the punctuating pops for the Chordettes' "Lollipop" song. Helen had a fondness for Fifties music and that's why I chose this particular song in her honor. Thank you very much for your kind visit and comments, dear friend, and have a great week!

  3. Hi, Shady!
    That was such a nice Mother's day post and tribute to the mother of all dell mothers, Helen! That last picture was the prettiest pic I've seen to date of Helen. So sorry I didn't get to read this post on Mother's day. I was preparing for my own 2 mothers (one mother in law) a big family gathering dinner party for this special day. So glad I have my Mother to celebrate with! Happy Mother's day to all mothers but especially Helen and Kathleen and Margaret!

    1. Hi, Toni! I know most people were tied up with Mother's Day festivities yesterday but I'm certainly happy that you found time to swing by today. Yessum, that last picture is astounding and I want to again thank Nancy Rae Sieling, John Ettline's niece, for her generosity in sending it to me. Nancy also sent the second picture in the post, the smaller one. They are both very important to this blog. I hope you and your mother had a nice celebration yesterday. You are fortunate to have your mother and so is our friend Kathleen who celebrated with her mother Margaret. Thank you for mentioning them, dear friend Toni, and for your visit and kind remarks!

  4. Hello! Very nice blog and interesting posts, great atmosphere.
      Have a nice day. :)
    Welcome to our blog about photography. +
    I hope you also enjoy it with us.


    "Do what you love is not even that, but anyway"

    1. Hello, Patrycja! I appreciate your use of the word "atmosphere" because that's exactly what I am striving to achieve with this blog. As stated at the beginning of my cover story in the right column, "You had to be there," and for nearly five years I have been trying hard through the use of music, pictures and descriptive language to convey the feel of the hangout known as the Shady Dell. I'm glad you enjoyed your visit, Patrycja, and I hope you'll come back again!

  5. Hi Shady! You're so sweet...always thinking of others! I wonder if the Ettlines missed having children, I'm sure they did, (that's why they opened the Dell)and, they were able to give so much to others, sometimes, we all need a 2nd parent! There must be one or two childless couples in every town, with as much to give, don't you think? But, we don't hear of that type of giving anymore. I hope Helen and John knew how much they contributed, and, probably saved at least a few of the kids that passed through their 'shady' doors!

    I concur!!! Happy Mother's Day, Helen!

    It was good to see you...hope you and Mrs. Shady are well! See you in a day or two!♫

    1. Hi, Suzanne! It was sweet of you to call me sweet. (LOL) You must have been under the influence of the Chordettes' "Lollipop" song! Now I've reminded myself of that other lollipop song by Millie Small:

      My boy Lollipop
      You make my heart go giddyup
      You are as sweet as candy
      You're my sugar dandy

      You're right, Suzanne, when you make the observation that the Ettlines were a vanishing breed. Childless, they swung open the doors of their home to thousands of strangers, all of them teenagers "feeling their oats," some coming from a troubled home life. John and Helen didn't shy away from kids like that. They embraced them and helped them. They took in pregnant girls and battered women who had no safe place to go. The Ettlines walked their talk.

      I have a new post coming tomorrow morning, dear Suzanne, and I feel pretty sure this one will have your TOES tapping. You'll understand that reference when you see the new post. Thank you for coming, dear friend!

  6. The world today could really use people like the Ettlines. Your tribute to Helen was lovely. I loved the song and seeing Andy Williams in his handsome, younger days! I'm sure Helen would love this. I feel like I know her just a little. It's amazing how a childless couple could understand and bond with kids better than parents can at times. I'm glad you had the blessing of growing up with them in your life. Hope your week is good and "Shady" down there in Florida...not as chilly and frosty as ours has been up North!

    1. Hi, dear YaYa! Our temp is going down to the mid 50s overnight tonight. Time to get out the winter coats, scarves and gloves! (LOL) Seriously, I feel for you up there waiting and waiting for spring to settle in.

      Yessum, How about boyish Andy Williams? Remember his marriage to French singer/dancer/actress Claudine Longet?

      Your remarks about the Ettlines were very kind and spot on. They were the kind of people who rolled up their sleeves and weren't afraid to get their hands dirty. While others backed away and declined to get involved in society's problems, the Ettlines stepped up and asked what they could do to help.

      You're the best, my friend. I sincerely thank you for coming here tonight and expressing yourself so eloquently. Take care, bundle up and stay warm. A new post is coming tomorrow and I think you'll get a KICK out of it! Until then, good night, dear YaYa!

  7. Such a sweet tribute to your pseudo-mom. :)

  8. A belated Happy Mother's day to all the childless ladies out there who have taken on the role of Mother to so many different children and loved them as much as any mother could! As someone who doesn't plan on having any natural children of my own, I hope to have a great relationship with my future nieces and nephews, if they think of me half as well as the Dell Rats think of Helen I won't be doing too badly!

    Emma x


You talkin' to me?