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

Saturday, July 27, 2013

In-Dell-ible Memories, Chapter Six... The Dream Becomes a Nightmare

I am pleased to welcome back my friend and guest blogger Kathleen Mae Schneider who is here with the latest chapter of
In-Dell-ible Memories, a chronicle of her mother Margaret's childhood at the Shady Dell in the early years of the 20th century.

Chapter Six 

The Dream

Becomes a


Kathleen Mae 

A burning cross, barking dogs and stolen candy:
these unfortunately are as much a part of the 
Shady Dell’s history as my mother’s wonderful 
recollections of her early childhood there, 
or Tom’s memories of music and the Ettlines. 
 They represent a harsh reality that Mother was 
too young to understand fully in the beginning,
a parallel narrative that went largely unnoticed 
as she explored the woods, played in the attic or 
did her chores for the first decade of her life.

We see her below in this blurry old photograph - 
a favorite of mine. 10 years old and dressed 
for a family outing in her white sailor dress 
and jaunty hair bow, Margaret giggles with her 
younger sister Mildred at the cold water and 
squishy mud between their toes as they wade  
barefoot at the edge of a pond. It is  
a rare last informal picture taken 
of them as carefree children.

These innocent girls would soon find their 
lives changed forever, but they had no hint 
in this picture that their parents had made 
choices and decisions that would eventually 
place their very home in jeopardy and throw 
their futures into confusion.

Margaret’s first clue that something was amiss 
was being awakened one midnight by the kennel 
dogs barking frantically and her parents’ and 
older siblings’ anxious voices as they peered 
out an upstairs window of the Dell house.

Across the road, at a clearing in the Shady Dell Woods near where she played, figures in white robes and tall pointed hoods shouted loudly and set fire to a large cross that was driven into the ground. Even now, Mother vividly remembers 
the feeling of terror as she and her family watched helplessly as the sinister group dispersed and flames continued to reach mena-
cingly toward the night sky.

Margaret received no comfort or explanation. Although she could tell the adults were frightened too, she was sent back to her room. She was left with her fears in the darkness, trembling in the bed that she shared with her younger sister Mildred. She was never before afraid of anything 
at her home other than the Sittlers' pigs! Now she was sure that she and her family were in some kind of danger. Who were those men that shouted such hateful things and burned the cross? Might they come back and burn her home down too?

I’m certain my grandparents believed telling 
her about it would only serve to scare her more. 
Perhaps they thought she was too young to 
understand the significance of this signature 
activity of the Ku Klux Klan, meant as a 
warning. George and Allie knew full well 
the power of the Klan since it was very 
active in mid-nineteen-twenties York County.

Pictured above are George Andrew Brown on 
the far left with his wife, seven of his 
children and extended family on an outing. 
Mother is at the center middle, with the large 
bow in her hair, in front of her mother. Some 
of these family members would have been present 
in the house for the cross-burning incident.

There would soon be more strange happenings 
that made no sense to Margaret. Her father 
would sometimes angrily throw open his 
bedroom window at night and yell loudly 
at the 100 to 200 dogs on the property in 
a futile attempt to get them to stop barking 
and howling at whatever had set them off.

One day strange men ransacked the house, 
rudely dumping the contents of everyone’s 
dresser drawers and her mother’s desk, 
even looking behind the player piano in 
the parlor. These ‘inspectors’ pulled out 
all the books from behind the tall glass 
doors of the family’s bookcase and threw 
them on the floor, claiming to be 
looking for illegal ferrets.

Gradually the busy barn and shipping house 
seemed quieter, less teeming with animals 
and activity. Fewer cars were sold and 
repaired. Money became scarce and in the 
next few years even Christmas gifts were 
few or nonexistent. Mother and her 
sisters resorted to stealing, waiting 
until their father was away to crawl 
into the kneehole of his big desk where
they knew he kept a bag of candy.

Not that anyone noticed.
Their parents seemed tense 

and preoccupied, mostly 
letting the girls to 
take care of themselves. 
Even their playroom in 
the attic had been turned 
into a bedroom for a tall 
stern-faced friend of 
their father's named 
Ray Baker (left), meaning 
they couldn't go there 
to escape into fantasy.

Allie, Margaret’s mother, seemed especially distracted and worried. A portrait of her 
taken about this time shows her features 
delicate at middle age beneath her 
spectacles, but with a haunted look 
in her eyes.

Mother’s neighborhood friends no longer 
wanted to play with her and she was bullied 
in school, making her hate having to go 
there every day and be subjected to taunts. 
 Once her older brother Earl drove her to 
the schoolhouse where he and her teacher, 
Miss McSherry, tried in vain to drag her 
out of the car. She returned home in 
tears and confusion.

What was happening? Why was George’s 
business no longer thriving? Who hated 
the Brown family enough to call in the 
Klan and for what reason? Why was there 
all this turmoil instead of the stable home 
and family life Margaret knew up until now?

Some answers to these mysteries and 
even more tragedy follow next time in:

In-Dell-ible Memories

Chapter 7 

The Demise of the Dell

With love to Mother and to All,

Winter Count: Margaret's 2013 Birthday
Happy Birthday, Margaret! Oldest Living Dell Rat Turns 101
Chapter 5: Home Sweet Dell
Chapter 4: Allie's Rats, Pt 2: Margaret's Pig Tale
Chapter 4: Allie's Rats, Pt 1: Hill and Dell
Chapter 3: The House on the Hill 
Chapter 2: Margaret is Born...and So Is the Dell 
Chapter 1: The Beauty and the Butcher
Introduction: My Shady Dell "Roots"
Margaret's Birthday

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Five Years in the Shady and I Get High With a Little Award From My Friends!

Show of hands...

Who can remember

all the way back 5 years

to the summer of 2008?

Shoot, I can't remember what  

I had for dinner last evening!


Five years ago, in the summer of 2008,
Detroit rolled out the Lincoln-Zephyr automobile.

Five years ago, in the summer of 2008,
Judy Garland became a superstar when 
The Wizard of Oz made its theatrical debut.

Five years ago, in the summer
of 2008, I overcame years of doubt and fulfilled a pipe dream. (Pipe dream...get it?) I decided to give blogging a try. For the theme of my blog I chose a place I loved, the Shady Dell, and two people I loved, Dell owners John and Helen Ettline.

 Today marks the 5th anniversary 

 of Shady Dell Music & Memories. 

On this special occasion I am proud to display the
Liebster Award which was recently given to me
by two of my wonderful new Australian friends.

First, here's Catherine aka Cat, who hosts a DIY blog called Sewing the 60s.

Now meet
Lucy in the Sky,
fearless leader of

The Liebster Award is given to a blogger with
fewer than 200 followers whose blog is deemed
worthy of recognition. Thank you very much,
dear Catherine and dear Lucy, for your
friendship and generosity. Both of you
have excellent blogs that are highly
deserving of the Liebster Award.

This award means a great deal coming from
people who are light years younger than me
and living on the other side of the world.
It is especially nice to receive it just in
time for my 5 year blog anniversary.


The Liebster Award requires me to answer
personal questions and I decided to
combine a few of Catherine's inquiries
with some of Lucy's.

1. What is the most played song on your
MP3 player/ iTunes or if you prefer tangible
music what was the first record/tape/CD
you wore out and had to buy again?

It was the Iron Butterfly album In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida. 
I ended up with three copies because I couldn't bear
to part with the ones I wore out.

2. What was your first job and did you enjoy it?

My first job was as a shoe store clerk. I did not 
enjoy it nearly as much as a job I had later as 
a caseworker for a beer distributor. :)

3. Do you have a collection and what is it of?

I have a modest collection of 45 rpm
records from the 50s and 60s.

They include original label U.S. singles,
foreign pressings, promotional DJ copies,
specialty releases and picture sleeves.

Some are picture discs with the
artwork stamped into the vinyl.


Some of the records in my collection
were pressed on colored vinyl.

A few of them are quite rare.

Many are "new old stock" and unplayed.

Some have been played but remain
in near mint condition.

I chose records for this collection on the basis
of their attractive, interesting and collectible
labels as much as for the music they contain.

I have a collection of cacti and succulents
in a sunroom equipped with a skylight.

I also have a collection of framed
vintage horror movie posters on my wall.

4. What is your default "too lazy to cook" meal?

Anything that Mrs. Shady is willing to cook 
for me.  :)  She has excellent culinary skills, 
having learned the art of cookery at an 
early age from her father who owned 
one of the best restaurants in Baltimore.

5. What is your favourite thing to wear that
you always feel fantastic in?

I own a strapless evening gown that's simply divine.
My favorite things to wear are my Sketchers
Shape-ups athletic shoes. They are comfortable
and great for walking and workouts.

6. Summer, Autumn, Winter or Spring?

My Pennsylvania answer: summer.
My Florida answer: winter.

Anybody remember Princess Summerfall Winterspring?

7. What is your favourite moment in history?
i.e VE Day etc...

My favorite moment in history was the day that
John Fitzgerald Kennedy was elected President.
Can you guess my least favorite moment?

8. What is the one song that without a doubt
always puts you in a good mood?

I'm in a good mood when I feel empowered.
One song that instantly puts me into a
powerful state is "Eye of the Tiger" by
the rock band Survivor, the theme from
Rocky III. "Eye of the Tiger" was released
in 1982, one of the worst years of my life,
but I became anchored to it, derived
strength from it and survived.

9. If you had to pick only one, would you
prefer The Beatles or The Rolling Stones?

(wheels turning) Would you mind if I added
Disco Tex & His Sex-O-Lettes as a choice? :)

I would pick the Beatles on the basis of their
songwriting, the sheer volume and diversity of
listenable recordings they produced and because
each member of the Fab Four continued to make
significant contributions after the break-up.

10. Do you have any hidden talents or abilities 
for anything in particular? If so, what are they?

I can't remember where I laid my comb five
minutes ago but somehow I am able to think
back 40, 50 or 60 years and name the cast
members of many vintage television series.
Here, for example, is the main cast of
The Real McCoys. I swear I'm pulling
all these off the top of my head:

Walter Brennan as Grandpappy Amos McCoy
Richard Crenna as Luke
Kathleen Nolan as Kate
Lydia Reed as Hassie
Michael Winkelman as Little Luke
Tony Martinez as Pepino
Andy Clyde as George MacMichael

I suppose you could call me a trivia buff. 
I have a talent for remembering
totally useless information.

11. What was your most favourite holiday
that you have taken?

Mrs. Shady and I most enjoyed our trip
to Saint Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

12. What name(s) would you choose as an alias?

Tom Anderson

"Danger" is my
middle name, baby, YEAH!


The rules of the Liebster Award suggest that
I pay it forward and give it to a few other
deserving bloggers. Old friends like Thisisme
and Belle have already received awards from
me in the past and will surely understand
why their names are not on my new list.

With that in mind I would like to give the
Liebster to some other fine bloggers including
a few who have already received the award.
I want to give special thanks to the younger
recipients because they did what others their
age were not willing to do. They opened their
minds and hearts and warmly welcomed me,
a 60+ year old man to their blogs. They
chose to treat me like a friend rather than
an unwanted intruder. A Dell rat has a long
memory for both the good and the bad.
I will always remember the kindness and
maturity exhibited by the teenagers and
20-somethings in this award group.

For the sake of brevity I didn't create a new
list of questions.  You may pick and choose
from the ones submitted by Cat and Lucy.
If your name is on the list and you don't have
time for the Q&A and everything else the
award entails, please don't feel obligated.
 Just accept this honor and know that
I think highly of you, value your
friendship and enjoy your blog.



Shelly at La Tejana

Katie at Diario Gitano

Sara at Golden Haze




 I learned some important lessons 

 through five years of blogging. 

I learned that it takes all kinds of people to make a world.
I learned that the more you stretch, the more your grow.
I learned that it only takes a minute to make somebody's
day or perhaps even change someone's life for the better.
I learned that there is no greater joy than sharing love,
goodwill and laughter with people all over the world,
especially those who seem, at first glance, to be your
complete opposite, those you would be least likely
to choose as friends. When you give that type of
person a chance and wind up building a genuine,
lasting friendship, it's powerful. It's what the
world needs now and needs desperately - love.

I also learned that if you
are a 60 year old man and choose as your avatar a
picture of a pipe smoking, smarty pants, know-it-all authority figure and use
the fictitious name "Shady" as your calling card, you'd better have thick skin and prepare to encounter a considerable amount of suspicion and rejection.

I realize I made it harder for myself by using
this bogus identity, but I made the conscious
decision to do so because I didn't want the blog
to be all about me. I wanted the focus to be on
the Dell, the Ettlines and 50 years of great music.
I went with the fake ID for another reason, as a
social experiment, because I was curious to see
how many people actually have a sense of humor,
would get the joke and be willing to look past the 
wise guy Shady Del Knight persona and get to 
know the real me. Fortunately there have been
quite a few and they will be friends for life.

I especially want to thank my dear friend
and former Shady Dell owner Toni Deroche
and another dear friend, my guest blogger
Kathleen Mae Schneider, for their immense
contributions to this blog over the years.
Special thanks also to Kathleen's mother,
Margaret Elizabeth Brown Schneider, the
Oldest Living Dell Rat, for following the
blog and sharing information and stories
about her youth at the Dell in the early
years of the 20th century. I also want
to thank Phil Spangler for sharing stories
and pictures documenting his family's life
at the Dell during the Depression era and
Nancy Rae Sieling and Shirley Dreyer, two
of John Ettline's nieces, for contributing
anecdotes, pictures and Dell memorabilia.
Finally, thanks go out to original Dell rats
Jerre Slaybaugh, Ron Shearer, Greg Gulden
and Lynn B for the stories and pictures
they submitted over the last five years.

"If you go looking for a friend,
you're going to find they're very scarce.
If you go out to be a friend,
you'll find them everywhere."
 - Zig Ziglar

Thank you, dear friends, the young and the
young at heart. You are outstanding citizens
of the world and part of the global solution,
helping to bring together people of all ages,
races, nationalities, religions and political
persuasions, setting aside our differences
and celebrating all that we have in common.
I am deeply grateful to all of you for
your friendship and support.

 Stay tuned!  I'll be back in a jiffy 

 with the first post of year six. 

Have a Shady day!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

My Strangelove for Zimmy's Jukebox or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Swimming and Love Da Bomb!

 IN 1961, AT AGE 11,  



Until then I had been a normal, carefree kid.
Summers were spent floating around in my
backyard pool and vacationing with my
family at the Jersey and Maryland shore.

In the summer of '61 I started going with friends
to Zimmy's, a swimming pool and recreational
complex south of York between Dallastown and
the village of Spry. During my first few visits to
Zimmy's, 95% of my time was spent frolicking
in that spacious rectangular pool. When it was
time to leave you practically had to drag me
out of the water with grappling hooks.
My skin was shriveled like a prune!

The other 5% of the time was divided between
visiting the snack bar, watching older guys play
shirts vs. skins on the the basketball court,
gazing in envy at muscle men pumping iron at
the weightlifting pit and studying monkeys,
tropical birds and a bobcat at Zimmy's
modest size zoo exhibit.

Before long my habits at Zimmy's began to
change. I started spending much of my time
hanging out at a canopy covered pavilion
watching girls in two piece bathing suits
dance to records playing on a jukebox.
Soon I was hopelessly addicted to
poetry in motion.

I'd like you to hear a few of the records
that are linked in my memory to Zimmy’s
jukebox and the dancing damsels that
 I enjoyed watching in 1961 and in
the years that followed.

“Tossin’ and Turnin’” was a monster #1 hit for
Bobby Lewis in 1961. The record became a
fixture on WSBA and on the jukebox at
Zimmy’s the entire summer, logging
a 23-week run on the pop chart.


“Raindrops” by Dee Clark is another song
that took the country by storm
in the summer of 1961.

The record broke in early May and went the
distance, lasting three-and-a-half months
on the chart.  Like the Bobby Lewis smash,
"Raindrops" hung around from the end of
one school year to the start of the next.


“Mashed Potato Time,” the biggest career hit
for songstress Dee Dee Sharp, kicked off
the warm weather season of 1962.

Dee Dee's dance ditty entered the Billboard
pop chart in early spring and vaulted to
#2 nationwide during the summer.


“Village of Love,” a ripsnorter by Nathaniel Mayer,
kept the party going throughout the spring of ’62
and halfway through the summer.

The rockin' record rode the chart for 12 weeks to #22.


In the summer of 1962 “The Loco-Motion”
by Little Eva, was #1 in the land.

The dance record spent an impressive 16 weeks
on the chart and was one of the most
popular tunes at Zimmy’s.


The fresh, exuberant sound of our hometown honeys,
the Pixies Three, was heard many times at Zimmy's
throughout the summer of 1964.

The Hanover girl group's eastern U.S. regional hit
"It's Summer Time U.S.A." boasted sparkling clean
Brill Building production and angelic harmony and
sounded like it was recorded by a cheerleading
squad at a high school pep rally.

"Summer Time U.S.A." went into heavy rotation
on The Mighty 910 and ruled the local airwaves
all summer long, leading me at one point to ask,
"John, Paul, George and who?"


"The Biggest Players" is a lost gem that
I rediscovered in recent years. "Players"
is performed by the Ikettes, the backing
singers for the Ike & Tina Turner Revue.

In the spring of 1965, WSBA got creative with
its playlist and flipped the girl group's top 40 hit
“Peaches ‘N’ Cream” unleashing a killer bee on the
Susquehanna Valley. Both sides of the platter
were popular on the radio from March through
May and played often at Zimmy’s during the
summer months of that year. 


Zimmy's wasn't the only place where one
could witness the trance inducing spectacle
of girls dancing together in pairs or triads.
It was also a common practice at the Dell.
Girls also danced with each other in the
lobby of Dallastown High where a jukebox
was installed.  From the summer of '61 on,
observing females dancing together was
one of my favorite pastimes.

Don't get me wrong! Nothing matches the
thrill of doing a belly flop off of Zimmy's
high diving board and smacking the water
so hard it feels like you just got stung
by a swarm of angry bees...

Yeah, that's the ticket! And then you thrash
to the surface and try to scream in agony
but when you suck in your breath you take
a big gulp of warm, chlorinated pool water
and swallow grass clippings along with
somebody's used band-aid... and you
frantically doggy paddle over to the
ladder and climb out of the pool in disgrace
as a hundred strangers clap and cheer...
and you just wanna crawl into a hole and
die but that'll have to wait because first
you gotta hurl.  No, nothing could top all that...
but watching those ladies dance sure came close!

Have a Shady day!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Mary Mary, Lesley Lesley, Bad Old Days and the Shape of Things to Come!

 I'm Shady Del Knight 

 and I've got proof 

 that old school COOL! 


The Foundations, a mixed race octet from England,
produced an exciting brand of British soul.

Stateside, their single "Back on My Feet Again"
was only a minor hit, halting less than halfway up
the chart in the early spring of 1968, but it's one
of my Foundations faves and I'd like you to hear it.

 "Back on My Feet Again" - Foundations 
 (March 1968, highest chart position #59) 

In the spring of '69 the Foundations had another
minor U.S. hit with "In the Bad, Bad Old Days."

"Bad Old Days" spent 7 weeks struggling to #51
before stalling, but the record was played often
enough on the radio to make a lasting impression.

 "In the Bad, Bad Old Days" - Foundations 
 (May 1969, highest chart position #51) 

"Baby, Now That I Found You" is an often heard
Foundations hit that just missed the top 10 in
the early weeks of 1968. "Build Me Up Buttercup,"
a top 5 hit in February of 1969, has also been a
frequent flyer on oldies radio for decades.

A song that I find more interesting than
either of those is "New Direction," the
obscure, uncharted "B" of "Buttercup."

 "New Direction" - Foundations 
 (March 1969, B side of  "Build Me Up Buttercup") 


Let's welcome back the ever popular Lesley Gore
performing in her very own Scopitone jukebox film!
Scopitones, forerunners of music videos, were filmed
performances of popular singers, groups and bands
that were played on special jukeboxes installed in
hundreds of bars and nightclubs in the U.S., England,
West Germany and in France where they originated.

In this clip, filmed on the campus of UCLA, Lesley
sings "Wonder Boy," the B side of  "Maybe I Know."

 "Wonder Boy" - Lesley Gore  
 (August 1964, B side of "Maybe I Know") 


Nicknamed "Ireland's Beatles," the Strangers
were a Dublin based beat band of the 60s.
 In March 1967, the Strangers released a single
with back-to-back covers of songs from the
album More of the Monkees. On the A side,
the Strangers handle the Neil Diamond song
"Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow)."
The killer bee is a groovy version of
"Mary Mary," the Monkees classic
penned by Michael Nesmith.

 "Mary Mary" - The Strangers 
 (March 1967, uncharted B side of  
 "Look Out {Here Comes Tomorrow}") 


The soul group lead by prolific Motown songwriter
Smokey Robinson was still being billed as The Miracles
at the end of 1965 when they placed one of Smokey's
many fine ballads, "Choosey Beggar," on the B side
of "Going to A Go-Go," a single pulled from the
album of the same name.

The up tempo dancer "Going to A Go-Go" stopped
just shy of the top 10 on the pop singles chart.
"Choosey Beggar, a gentle love song, failed to
reach the pop chart but managed to crack the
top 40 R&B. Had it had been released as the
A side of another single, "Beggar" would surely
have been a hit. Do you second that emotion?

 "Choosey Beggar" - The Miracles 
 (from November 1965 album Going to A Go-Go
  single charted January thru March 1966, 
 highest chart position #35 R&B



By the late 60s soulful vocal groups like the
Miracles who sang tender love songs were losing
ground on the U.S. chart to acts with attitude.
Teen pop idols were being eclipsed by edgy
bands that played harder and heavier music.
At the Dell, old school hardliners knew the
times were changing, bemoaning the shift
away from the traditional sweet, innocent
doo-wop, pop and soul that had long been
the Dell’s bread and butter.  Garage rock,
punk, funk, psych, acid rock, hard rock
 and heavy metal were the hot trends...



 "Shape of Things to Come" - Max Frost & the Troopers 
 (October 1968, highest chart position #22, 
 from motion picture Wild in the Streets

 Join me next time 

 for more proof 

 that old school COOL! 

Have a Shady day!