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, June 30, 2013

Start Shadylovin' Right Now!





Tuesday, June 25, 2013

I Got a Line On The Spirit of '69

 I have come to the conclusion that 

 1969 was one of my better years. 

 It was also a great year for music.  

In the winter, spring and fall of 1969 I was at
Penn State living in an apartment off campus
with three other guys. My major? Partying!
The picture below was taken at
a frat party I attended.

That's me, lower left, at the
bottom of the ladder. Don't ask.

During the summer of '69 I was back home in York
with my girlfriend, going to the Dell at night, and by
day working for a construction company. Life was
good and so was the music on the radio. In this
two part series I'd like to share with you a few
songs that revive the spirit of '69.


When someone mentions the Los Angeles band Spirit,
the first thing I think of is Mr. Skin, Ed Cassidy, the
older guy with the shaved head who played drums.
Cassidy, who died last December at age 89, was
twenty years older than other band members which
included his stepson, band leader Randy California,
and singer and percussionist Jay Ferguson who had
solo hits in the late 70s with "Thunder Island" and
"Shakedown Cruise." With a mixed generation lineup
performing an exciting blend of jazz, hard rock,
prog rock and psych, Spirit was one of the more
interesting bands of the late 60s. Released in
November of 1968, Spirit's high energy single
"I Got a Line on You" penetrated deep into
the top 40 by March 1969.

 "I Got a Line on You" - Spirit 
 (March 1969, highest chart position #25) 


The Texas psychedelic rock band Bubble Puppy
derived its name from Centrifugal Bumble-Puppy,
a fictitious children's tether-ball game described in
Aldous Huxley's futuristic novel Brave New World.

In 1969 Bubble Puppy scored a top 20 hit with
"Hot Smoke and Sasafrass." Note that the word
sassafras was incorrectly spelled sasafrass on
the 45rpm single but nobody seems to know
the reason why. As the story goes, the weird
song title was inspired by an episode of
The Beverly Hillbillies in which Granny
scolded Jethro, supposedly using the words
"Hot smoke and sassafras, Jethro, can't you
do anything right?" According to Wiki, that
quote was misheard by the songwriter, but
Wiki didn't provide the actual quote.
  Hot smoke and sassafras, Wiki!
I wanna know what Granny said!

Let's review then. The band's name, Bubble Puppy,
came from Bumble Puppy. The word sassafras
is spelled wrong and the title itself was possibly
taken from an incorrectly heard quote.
  Hmmm... Everybody sing along with me...

Don't bogart that joint, my friend. 

 Pass it over to me.

 "Hot Smoke and Sasafrass" - Bubble Puppy 
 (March 1969, highest chart position #14) 

Bubble Puppy's "Hot Smoke and Sasafrass" is one
of the greatest psychedelic rock nuggets of the 60s.
In recent years I started paying more attention to
the killer bee side and now it's my Pick to Click!

"Lonely," which can also be found on the band's
album A Gathering of Promises, has a progressive
rock sound that's vibrant and intellectually stimulating!

 "Lonely" - Bubble Puppy 
 (March 1969, uncharted B side 
 of "Hot Smoke and Sasafrass") 

Bubble Puppy proved to be a band of serious,
accomplished musicians and vocalists, yet they
ended up changing their name to Demian to
avoid being mistaken for one of the myriad
prefabricated Bubblegum acts of the era
such as The 1910 Fruitgum Company.



Creedence Clearwater Revival introduced a
refreshing new southern roots rock sound
described as a synthesis of rock-a-billy,
country, swamp pop and R&B. Lead singer
John Fogarty's compositions elucidated the
plight of the rural working class in America.
"Proud Mary," CCR's third charting single,
was the first one to really grab me.

 "Proud Mary" - Creedence Clearwater Revival 
 (March 1969, highest chart position #2) 

It didn't take long for me to flip the 45
and become equally enchanted with
the killer bee, "Born On The Bayou."

 "Born on the Bayou" - Creedence Clearwater Revival 
 (March 1969, uncharted B side of "Proud Mary") 

CCR's "Proud Mary" deserved to be #1 in the country.
The record whizzed up the Billboard chart but when it
reached #2 it got trapped for two weeks beneath "Dizzy,"
a dreadful ditty in the nursery rhyme vein recorded by
Tommy Roe. It was a sign of the times. Designed as an
antidote to provide listeners with fast, fast, fast relief
from an overdose of acid rock, hard rock and heavy metal,
wimpy, nonsensical songs were being thrown at the chart
like confetti, saturating the radio waves and hurting the
chances of many serious bands, groups and solo artists.

The kiddy rock plague notwithstanding, CCR
became the most successful four-piece
American rock ‘n roll band of all time,
scoring 9 consecutive Top 10 chart singles
in the U.S., 21 gold or platinum records
and sales of over 100 million worldwide!


Louisiana swamp rocker Tony Joe White sounded black.
The soulful singer, songwriter and guitarist penned and
recorded "Polk Salad Annie," a song that describes a
girl's life in the rural south. Polk (or poke) salad is made
from the poisonous leaves of pokeweed which need to
be boiled three times to remove the toxins. For a long
time poke salad was a staple of southern cuisine
despite physician warnings that boiling did not
completely leach the poison from the plant.

Tony Joe White's record got off to a very slow start,
taking nine months from release until it even reached
the Billboard chart. "Polk Salad Annie" first became
popular in Texas dance clubs. It stayed alive
long enough to catch on around the country
and become a top 10 hit, the biggest
of White's career.

 "Polk Salad Annie" - Tony Joe White 
 (August 1969, highest chart position #8) 

 Who is this girl 

 and what does 

 she have to do 

 with the price of 

 eggs in China? 

 Find out next 

 time in Part 2 of 

 The Spirit of '69! 

Have a Shady Day!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Counting Down the 200 Greatest Hits of the Shady Dell (#165-161)

 It's time once again to put your 

 musical knowledge to the test 

 as we continue our countdown of 

 The 200 Greatest Hits of the Shady Dell! 

 You know the drill. 

I'll give you a line or two of lyrics taken from five
of the most popular Dell songs of the mid 60s.
Your mission, Jim, if you decide to accept it, is to

 Name That Tune. 

Put on your thinking cap. Here are the lyric samples
for the next five Dell songs in the countdown:

 If this whole world crumbles, 
 By her side I'll still 
be standing there. 

 I need you girl, by my side 
 Uh-oh, little girl, would you 
 like to take a ride, now 

 and what I'd like 
 for you to say 
 is you'll come home 
 to me each day 

 I'm hanging on a string 
 girl, I'll do anything 

 Walls move. 
Minds do too. 

Okay, let's find out how well you did.
Here are the Dell songs in today's countdown:

 165. "I Was Made To Love Her" - Stevie Wonder 
 (June '67) 

 164. "Psychotic Reaction" - Count Five 
 (September '66) 

 163. "Just Like Me" - Paul Revere & The Raiders 
 (December '65) 

 162. "I'm Your Puppet" - James & Bobby Purify 
 (October '66) 

 161. "San Franciscan Nights" - Eric Burdon & 
 The Animals (August '67) 

How many songs did you correctly guess from the lyric clues? Refer to the grading scale below to determine your musical I.Q.

 All 5 right – 

 Congratulations! You’ve been appointed 

 dean of the College of Musical Knowledge. 

 3 or 4 right – 

 Licensed lyric lover. 

 2 right - 

 Lyrically challenged. 

 1 right – 

 Sign up for remedial classes 

 at the School of Rock. 

 0 right – 

 You just dance and hum along! 

Have a Shady day!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

John Ettline - Every Dell Rat's Dad

 Just in time for Father's Day 

 some friends dropped by 

 to offer a few words about 

 John Ettline, every Dell rat's dad. 


 How I remember John!  John was always the first one 
 to meet you when going into the Dell. He would be in 
 his booth waiting to get his quarter. I don't know how 
 many times he forgot to take my quarter so I could 
 spend it on the jukebox. I do know he always said  
 hello by being formal and using the last name and saying 

 "Hello Mr. Slaybaugh". 
 He would often have 
 some type of joke or 
 remark such as you're 
 early or late tonight. 
 Somehow he knew all 
 my close friends, also 
 Dell Rats, and would 
 let me know who was 
 already there and who 
 was missing. Of course 
 John was always in 
 control and had rules 
 that the "gentlemen" 
 were to follow. 
 My friends and I were not trouble makers and John knew 
 that. He also knew we would back him up if he needed it 
 to keep the peace. We respected him and we had earned 
 his respect. I guess that is why he often forgot to take our 
 quarters. I think he treated all the regulars that he knew 
 well as if they were his own kids. Somehow he learned 
 enough about the regulars to know them, their back- 
 ground and their friends fairly well. I know I always 
 looked forward to talking with John and made it a point 
 to say good night before ever leaving. It was not common 
 for teenagers to have good friends that were "old". But 
 John was a good friend to me and if he would have had 
 kids he would have been a great Dad for them. He was 
 just a great step-Dad for all the Rats. - Jerre Slaybaugh 


 John was the kind of man 
 that I think we all wanted 
 for a father. He wasn't 
 condescending, always 
 commanded and gave 
 respect, treated you like 
 an intelligent person. 
 If anything happened 
 that you screwed up 
 and got victimized, 
 he would resolve it to 
 his best, and pass on 
 advice to you without 
 making you feel stupid. 
 He would take time 
 out during the day if 
 you had to leave your 
 car there the night before 
 because it wouldn't run, and would help you with it---
 even to the point of advising your own Dad, inspiring 
 respect from parents that had previously thought ill of 
 the Dell. I can only say good things about John. 
 Wishing him a Happy Father's Day for all the teens 
 he "fathered". - Ron Shearer 


 I'm trying to write some 
 words to honor John for 
 Father's Day. It's hard to 
 put down in words your 
 feeling about someone 
 that, if only for a short 
 time, played such an 
 important part in your life. 
 I cannot write this without 
 saying a few words about 
 another great man, my 
 father Clair N. Gulden. 
 These two men never 
 knew each other but they 
 both came from that great generation that fought a World 
 War in hopes that generations to come would never know 
 war. In my eyes these were the two best men I've ever 
 known. John never had kids of his own but was a second 
 Dad to hundreds of Dell Rats over the years. Whatever 
 made this man decide to devote so many years of his life 
 to having a home away from home for hundreds of kids 
 we may never know, but all of us that became Dell Rats 
 will all ways be grateful to John. He gave us his home 
 and then stayed in the background and let us make it 
 what we wanted. We all had a great deal of respect for 
 John and his words of advice when we needed them. 
 The Dell that I knew during the 60s was a place of pure 
 magic, you could feel it when you walked in the door to 
 the barn. John made the Dell a special place for all of us. 
 So to John and my Dad Thank You & Happy Father's Day 
 to all. - A DELL RAT ALL WAYS Greg Gulden 

 John Ettline never had children 

 of his own, but every Dell rat agrees 

 John would have made a great father. 

 Please play this video as we honor 

 John Ettline...every Dell rat's dad! 

 Happy Father's Day, John! 

 We love you and miss you! 

Monday, June 10, 2013

The Day J. Lennon Shocked Millions and Danced the Wah Wah Watusi!















My mother made me do it!

She put me in restraints and forced me to watch
The Lawrence Welk Show every week. Mom's 
intentions were noble. She wanted me to  
know the difference between good music
(Welk's Champagne Orchestra) and  
bad music (the rock 'n' roll junk I liked).

Lawrence Welk spoke with a thick German accent but
was actually a native American, born to immigrants
in a German speaking community in North Dakota.
I didn't know that and I didn't care. As a kid, all
I knew was that Welk sounded funny, he was old
(in his 50s to 70s during the show's run) and I
couldn't relate to him or his music. I mean, there
isn't much demand for the accordion in rock 'n' roll.

Eventually I found four things to like about
The Lawrence Welk Show - The Lennon Sisters -
Dianne, the oldest, Peggy, Kathy and Janet, the
youngest, who was only three years older than me.
The Los Angeles siblings were invited to appear on
the show after Welk's son, who went to school
with Dee Dee (Dianne) Lennon, brought the
quartet to his father's attention.

The Lennon Sisters were an overnight sensation.
They became regulars and grew up on the series.
I'd like you to experience some of their fine
performances on Lawrence Welk beginning
with their debut on Christmas Eve 1955.

Return with me to a time in our nation's history
when decency and respectability still mattered
to most of the people in charge of producing
entertainment. Can you remember that far back?

"He" - The Lennon Sisters 
(debut appearance on 
The Lawrence Welk Show 
Christmas Eve 1955)

In 1956, Patience & Prudence brushed the top 5
with their rendition of the oft recorded 1920s
popular song "Tonight You Belong to Me."

Soon after, Lawrence Welk and his phenomenal
girl group discovery, The Lennon Sisters, released
their own version of the song and it too became
a hit, reaching #15 on the pop chart.

"Tonight You Belong to Me" - The Lennon Sisters 
(single credited as Lawrence Welk 
featuring The Lennon Sisters, 
October 1956, highest chart position #15) 

In order to keep "the younger set" entertained, Lawrence Welk arranged for Janet Lennon, the youngest and most popular of the sisters, to sing solo on occasion. Welk also hired other child singers to perform with Janet including Cubby O'Brien who had just finished his stint
on The Mickey Mouse Club.

"Especially For You" - Janet Lennon & Cubby O'Brien (The Lawrence Welk Show circa 1958)

Blonde bombshell Marilyn Monroe sizzled when she
sang "I Wanna Be Loved By You" in Some Like It Hot.
Young Janet Lennon and series regular Big Tiny Little
performed the 1920s song on an episode of the Welk
show that probably aired shortly after the 1959
Billy Wilder movie became a smash hit.

Friends, it breaks my heart to watch this video
because it reminds me of the age of innocence,
a time when a 12 year old girl and a grown man
could sing a love duet and nobody gave it a
second thought. How much we've lost since!

"I Wanna to Be Loved By You" 
 Janet Lennon & Big Tiny Little 
 (The Lawrence Welk Show circa April 1959)

All four Lennon Sisters head for the malt shop
in this next delightful clip.

Upon arriving the girls perform with another
Lawrence Welk Show regular, Dixieland Jazz
great Pete Fountain. Let's fall through the
looking glass and spend a couple of blissful
minutes in the Norman Rockwell America
I knew, loved and miss!

"Mr. Clarinet Man" 
The Lennon Sisters with Pete Fountain 
(The Lawrence Welk Show circa 1959)

Janet Lennon was still only 14 or 15 years of age
when she teamed up with Welk family mainstay
Larry Hooper to sing "Do You Love Me." 
Here again we witness a man and an underage 
girl singing a love song to each other.  Time 
and time again I read comments on YouTube 
submitted by young people who consider videos
like this one creepy and in bad taste. implying 
that they should be flagged as inappropriate. 
 In today's politically correct, zero tolerance 
world it's hard for young people to understand 
that performances like these were common-
place, benign and universally accepted.

"Do You Love Me" 
Janet Lennon and Larry Hooper 
 (from The Lawrence Welk Show 1961)


If you only have time to watch one video
in its entirety, please make it this next one.

Remember when Michael Jackson performed his first
moonwalk on Motown 25? I'd like you to experience
one of those otherworldly, transcendent moments
in entertainment history.

I admit that I underestimated the Lennon Sisters.
I pigeonholed them. I placed them in a tidy little
box and filed them away in my memory, never
realizing the full extent of their capabilities.

Courtesy of American Public Television

The only types of music I remembered Janet Lennon
and her sisters performing on the Welk show were
easy listening pop standards, novelty ditties and
traditional folk songs. Recently I stumbled upon
a Lennon Sisters performance that blew my mind.
It showed me a side of Janet Lennon I had never
seen before. In the video you are about to watch
Janet reminds us that even straight laced acts
like the Lennon Sisters might know a thing
or two about rock 'n' roll.

Embedding is disabled for this rare video.

Therefore I need to ask that you follow the
link, watch it on YouTube and click back here
when you are are finished. Turn it up loud and
be sure to watch the entire clip because it
gets better and better, a real eye opener.
Please click on the pink song title below and
behold 16 year old Janet Lennon as she sings
the Orlons hit "The Wah Watusi" and does a
fantastic job of authentically performing
the dance steps! I would have been no less
surprised to see Lawrence Welk break-dancing.
Janet, you go girl!


"The Wah Watusi" 

Janet Lennon, Peggy Lennon, Kathy Lennon,
Norma Zimmer, Larry Hooper & Russ Klein
(from The Lawrence Welk Show circa July 1962)

Wasn't that the coolest thing... ever?

That 1962 performance of "The Wah Watusi"
by Janet and her sisters was a pivotal moment,
the day the Lawrence Welk Show turned cool.
However, it also marked the beginning of the
end of the series in its original form. Ever since
he started the show in 1951, Lawrence Welk
had intended and programmed it for middle aged
adults and seniors, a concept that would never
fly in today's youth obsessed America.

As years went by, Lawrence Welk was compelled
to cut back on big band sounds and polkas and
make room on the show for pop and rock 'n' roll.
 In the decade that followed the "Wah Watusi"
broadcast, Welk made further concessions to
the Youth Movement, embracing Bacharach,
the Beatles and other principal players on the
ever changing music scene. All Welk succeeded
in doing was alienating older viewers who
expected traditional songs and dances.
 In 1971 The Lawrence Welk Show was
canceled by ABC but continued on in
first run syndication until 1982.

There are two lessons to be learned from this post.

Ah-One) If you are doing something you love,
something you believe in and something you are
passionate about, don't change it in a misguided
attempt to please everyone. You never will.
Please yourself first. In time you will attract
others who share your interests, and the ones
who really matter will remain fiercely loyal
to you, friends for life.

Ah-Two) Never make the mistake of underestimating
or typecasting people. Inevitably they will surprise
you with their range of interest and expertise.
Janet Lennon made me scream and shout when
she jumped out of character and did a great job
of singing and dancing rock 'n' roll. I never get
tired of watching Janet do the "Wah Watusi."
Wunnerful wunnerful!

Oh, and one last thing...




Have a Shady day!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Winter Count: Margaret’s 2013 Birthday

Our dear friend Margaret Schneider, the Oldest Living Dell Rat, recently celebrated her 101st birthday. Today her daughter Kathleen is here to show us pictures taken on the happy occasion and to bring us the compelling story of Margaret's courageous bout with illness shortly thereafter.

On the 18th of April, 
I was reminded of how the Plains Indians kept records of their tribe’s history by painting pictographs on buffalo hides that described each year that passed. These “winter counts” documented each cold barren season their people survived. If they lasted through a winter, they felt they’d made it through another year.

As we celebrated Mother’s 101 winters,
I was grateful that she not only survived
that many, but also flourished in spite of
hardship and illness.
A visiting nurse
told us a few days ago that Mother is
healthier than she is! Imagine that!

Just as she wished, Mother spent her
special day quietly, but she had many
surprises, flowers, gifts, and lots of
laughter and was surrounded by love.

She blew out the candles
on her favorite: ice cream cake.

These balloons were put behind her chair. 
 Since they don’t make them for 101st birthdays, 
I customized a one-year one with a marker!

My sister, daughter and I were there
on the 18th.
Neighbors dropped by with 
flowers, candy and cards on other days, 
so Mother’s birthday was really 
a weeklong celebration.

We displayed dozens of her birthday  
cards and ran out of room for them all! 

 In the picture above she discovers one
of the miniature angels amongst her cards 
that we hide for her to find every day.

She appreciated all of them, 
as you can see after she read Tom’s. 
“He remembered!” she said.

 I read the many good wishes and comments 
  from our blog friends from my tablet,
which still amazes and fascinates her. 
(She just can’t understand “how all those 
nice messages came onto that “i-Thing”!)

Mother’s favorite gift, however, is to
be with her children and grandchildren. 
My sister and I spent the day with her 
as did my daughter, Elisabeth.

Margaret with her “girls”: 
Betty and Kathleen

I brought this picture of her and me 
with a year-old Elisabeth from 1976 
to show Mother. She looked at it, 
pointed to her and me on the photo, 
and with false curiosity asked, 
“Now I wonder who those two are?”

A few days later, my brother and his 
family visited with another cake and 
more gifts, played Bingo with her, 
and put together puzzles.

Here’s a four-generation portrait:
Mother with her firstborn Jim, his
son Keith and two of her six great
grandchildren. Keith’s children,
Alex and Samantha, are laughing
because Mother just squeezed
them really hard!

They gave her a decorated box with 
birthday money in it, along with a small 
monkey holding a dollar bill, in honor of 
the one in the attic at the Dell house. 

Alex and Samantha just think it is
hysterical that their great-grandma had
a real, live monkey in her attic when she
was a little girl! They also made her
a special “Best Great-Grandma“ card.

Mother's Illness

The weather didn't cooperate for Mother 
to push her mower around the lawn, but that 
probably was good. Two days later, she 
came down with a serious case of pneumonia. 
 Her fever spiked, she lost her appetite 
and was very, very tired, barely able 
to keep awake. The coughing was 
incessant and painful.

My sister and I kept watch around the clock, 
gave her the doctor’s antibiotic (which made 
her sick!) and did breathing exercises with 
her to break the congestion. We kept her 
laughing in spite of it all because it 
seemed an especially effective way to clear 
her lungs. Thankfully we avoided the hospital.

I wished, worried and sleepless in the 
middle of one of her sickest nights, that 
I had the ingredients for my grandfather’s 
cough medicines and poultices that brought 
her through influenza when she was a child. 
 Although she survived, that illness, 
according to her doctor, probably weakened 
her lungs for life. So here we were, 
listening to her troubled breathing and 
praying she would survive this time too. 
 Seeing the concern on my face one night 
during her fever, she told me not to worry. 
Didn't I know that “God was taking care of her?”

She must have been right because after
a month, I’m ecstatic to report Mother 
is cleared of pneumonia, is off most of 
the medicine and has no cough. Her appetite 
is back, as evidenced by her cravings for 
bacon, cheese balls and chocolate again! 
 She still is very tired and sleeps a lot, 
but according to her, “That’s just the way 
it is when you’re old!”

So miraculously we can add another winter 
to Mother’s count. The picture above of Elisabeth 
(with extra ‘glistening’ eyes) and her beloved 
Grammy, taken just last week, shows how 
we all treasure this wonderful woman. 

We thank God every day for restoring her health 
and allowing us to have more time with her!

Thank you very much, my dear friend Kathleen Mae Schneider, for showing us the smiling faces present at your mother Margaret's birthday celebration and for sharing with us the touching story of how you, your sister and your mother fought back against this latest threat to her health.

I dare say that we, the readers of your words,
have become pupils enrolled in an inspiring course
taught by you and your mother, one that could
appropriately be named Longevity 101.

Have a Shady day!