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 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!


  1. I think my coment will be the 1st ?!if it's so, YAY for me :)
    here in Italy it's 11 am, did you wrote this post by night??!!
    Thank you SO MUCH for the award you gave to my new blog and congratulations for your 5 years blogging! usually people start a blog and abandon it after 5-6 months, so you're doing a record!
    thanks again for the prize, hope you will continue reading my blog and one day or another I hope to write a post about Florida!
    have a nice week-end
    Ciao from Italy!

    ps: I would have choose the Beatles too:)

    1. Hi, dear Katia! Thank you very much for being the early bird and bringing with you these words of cheer.

      My eyes become misty when I remember that you were one of my very first followers and that it was you who first reached out to me and invited me into your world in far away Italy. You shared with me your passion for Velvet and Old Laces, revealing your expertise as a seamstress, creating authentic vintage style dresses, gowns and elaborate costumes.

      Now, with your new blog, Diario Gitano, you are taking me with you on a trip around the world, enabling me to see new and interesting places, exposing me to other cultures, exotic meal recipes, architecture, natural wonders, history and literature.

      All this from my wonderful friend with Rapunzel raven hair, a beautiful mind and a very good heart. Thank you, dear Katia, for keeping the thread of our friendship alive all these years. I cherish it and you!

  2. Hello there!
    Thank you so much for your kind words, I really appreciate them. You have some interesting stuff over here, I love the 60s as well, I will check these blogs out soon. And lovely music in your post before this one.

    Greetings from The Netherlands!

    1. Hello there, Martine! I am thrilled by your visit, dear friend. Thank you for coming all the way from The Netherlands to attend my five year blogiversary party.

      Your love of all things vintage is instantly apparent to anyone who visits your wonderful blog Old Fashioned, Please. I invite all of my readers to take a look at your site. I agree with your profile statement that you were born too late. You make it seem as if you are a stylish woman of the 40s or 50s who has time traveled to the present. You are doing an excellent job of capturing the very essence of a bygone era on your blog and I salute you!

      Thank you again, dear friend Martine, for being here for me and making this day even more special for me. Here's to our blossoming friendship in the months and years to come!

  3. Good morning, Shady. I came a little late to the party, but I am glad I am here for this anniversary. Congratulations to you on the Liebster Award and on 5 years of blogging.
    Howdy Doody yes, I remember Princess Summferfall Winterspring. That memory brings back a bucketful of things I hadn't thought about for a long time, as did your reference to "The Real Mccoys".
    I loved reading the Fun Fax about Shady and your thoughts on five years of blogging.
    "Here Comes The Sun" by the Beatles is a song that always makes me feel good, but so did reading this post.

    1. Hi, Jeanie! I'm very excited to have you as a new friend and follower. As I mentioned on your blog, I feel like I've known you for a long time because I always read your comments on Belle's blog.

      Thank you very much for coming to my party today. I predict you'll be one of the few readers who remembers Princess SFWS. It makes me sad when I connect the dots and remember that the beautiful Judy Tyler who played the Princess on Howdy Doody, died at age 24 in a car crash shortly after finishing the movie Jailhouse Rock with Elvis Presley. Elvis was reportedly so upset by Judy's death that he couldn't bear to watch their film.

      I'm also pleasantly surprised that you remember The Real McCoys. My dad and I loved the family friendly series (weren't they all in those days?) and we never missed an episode.

      Thank you very much, dear Jeanie, for accepting the hand of friendship from me. I've been learning a lot about your life by browsing the archives of your blog and I realize that we have much in common including a background in journalism. I know that you and I are going to be great friends.

      Thanks again for your visit and comments and please come by again soon, dear Jeanie!

  4. Happy blogiversary Shady! Thank you for answering my Leibster award questions. You have a great collection of 45s - some really neat songs there. And as always some interesting pop culture references - which are memories to you but new to me. I always spend a lot of time googling things after reading your posts (currently reading about Princess Summerfall Winterspring)
    Here's to another 5 years!

    1. Oh, this is super kind of you, dear Catherine, and I'm delighted to welcome you over at this late hour (past midnight Sydney time).

      I have a passion for colored (coloured) vinyl and have quite a few 45s with various shades of wax including red, pink, green, white, yellow, brown, turquoise and the blue ones displayed in this post. A few of them cost a pretty penny and I keep them all in air tight boxes protected from the ravages of sunlight, dust and temperature extremes.

      Do you realize how flattering it is to know that my culural references prompt you to do some research? I do exactly the same when reading your blog. Isn't this great, Cat? Here we are on opposite sides of the world, generations apart, learning from each other and enjoying a wonderful friendship. This is what blogging can and should be. This is what the world needs now.

      I hope you are having a splendid weekend, dear friend Catherine, and thank you again for picking my blog for the Liebster Award. I will always remember your kindness!

  5. Hi Shady, thank you for giving me the award! I really enjoyed reading this post and finding out about your thoughts on five years of blogging. Congratulations and I look forward to your future posts!

    1. Hello, dear Sarah, and thank you very much for coming! I'm happy to know you enjoyed this post and my reflections on five years of blogging. I want you to know that the friendship you and I are forging is one of the highlights of my entire blogging career. Thank you for trusting me and accepting me into your world.

      Your blog, Among the Dancers, is superb, and I hope this Liebster Award recognition draws more attention to it.

      Thank you again, dear friend Sarah, for being here for me and helping me celebrate this milestone. Enjoy the rest of your weekend and I'll be seeing you soon "here, there and everywhere."

  6. Happy anniversary for you and your blog! I really enjoyed reading your answers and getting to know more about you! I also collect records but my budget doesn't allow me to get many rare or original unplayed albums... Hopefully one day! Thank you so much for naming me, I'm flattered! And I'm glad you enjoy my blog, sometimes I think that people who were there during the 60s might think that me trying to live it now is a bit silly.
    Like Catherine I also google many things after reading your posts and thanks to you I know some bands I haven't heard before! xxx

    1. Hi, Ana! I'm delighted to have you over on this special occasion. Thank you very much for honoring me with your visit!

      Purchasing collectible records on eBay and elsewhere can break your budget in a hurry as I found out when assembling my modest collection. I paid $75 each for the three rarest 45s and $50 each for a couple of others.

      Ana, I am overjoyed to be growing a friendship with you. By no means do I regard as "silly" your devotion to vintage style and the 60s scene. I applaud you and Sarah and the other young people in our circle of friends for doing so much to preserve the glory of the 60s and educate others of your generation about it. I wish you could have been there as I was to experience the electricity first hand.

      I am thrilled to know that my posts spark interest and get you googling. This is how we learn from each other. This is what it's all about and I can't thank you enough for taking this journey with me.

      Have a great evening there in London town, dear Ana, and enjoy your richly deserved Liebster Award!

  7. Dearest Mr. Knight...happy anniversary to you on 5 years of blogging. We, your loving readers, are grateful that you continue to entertain, amuse, and teach us! Five years ago, I didn't even know what a blog was...until I saw a co-worker reading one at work. And, when I finally was able to get one started, I was beside myself, and, all of a sudden, speechless! Now, I ramble on and on! But the rewards and, gratification are the best, aren't they? I find myself talking about my blogmates as though they are just around the corner! I believe all of us are truly friends, and, I look forward to seeing posts once or twice a week, even if I can't say hello right away!

    Your 45 collection is great, and, I'm still amazed by your cacti collection in the house!

    Thank you so much for including me in your Liebster award presentation Shady! It really means a lot to receive recognition from you. I'm so glad to be a part of your musical circle, you bring songs back to remind us of our younger days, and, how much we really appreciated the music!♫

    Wasn't it hard to pick between the Stones and the Beatles? We used to have contest picks between Elvis and Ricky Nelson! Of course, Elvis always won out! See you soon!♥

    1. Hello, dear Suzanne, and thank you for coming to the party. Did you have any trouble finding a parking space? (LOL)

      Like you, I had never even heard of a blog until I started hearing the buzz about blogging on the news ten years ago. I spent several years filling up scrapbooks with my musings and pictures downloaded from the internet. Eventually I realized that I was creating paper blogs and that there was an easier and more efficient way of going about it, one that would allow me to share my music and memories with others around the world.

      Blogging has been an extremely rewarding experience for me. I shudder to think that I might have missed the chance to gain a dear friend like you if not for blogging. You have been with me for quite some time now, ever since you were just one person named "Susan." (LOL)

      I've been watching The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet every day on NetFlix and enjoying it tremendously. I think we all need to go back there from time to time to realize how much we've lost that was worth having. Let's get it back. We can by means of this thing called "blogging."

      Thank you very much for your visit and sweet comments, dear Suzanne, and enjoy your TWO Liebster Awards!

  8. Oh...and, thank you from MyTexasGardens Shady! Your cactus garden was a welcome treat on my window sharing post! I will have to come up with another sharing idea soon.

    Love Chubby Checker too! He is king of the twist! See you Shady, have a great day!♫

    1. Glad you liked my cacti collection, and wasn't that "Twist" video great? It even has the cast of Mad Men in it!

      Thanks again, dear Suzanne, and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

  9. Shady congratulations on receiving the Leibster award and on the first five years of Shady Dell Music & Memo. The blog was started to celebrate the Shady Dell and the two people that gave up a big part of there lives to provide teens with a home away from home. As the blog grew it took on a much wider cause, it started to bring people from around the world together in the same way the Shady Dell brought us together Its a place where we can all come together and be as one. In the past year you have started to give us a look at Shadys life after his Dell years and yes as we moved on from those magic days of the 60s and moved on into the 70s and then 80s those were strange days indeed. Thur all this time we never forgot those migical days of our beloved Dell. This past year has brought more changes to the Dell than we have seen since John closed the doors. AS you come around the curve going up the hill the parking lot is no more all the trees we knew are gone and the biggest change is the barn is no more. The only way we can go back to the Dell is in our memories and by comeing here to this blog where the magic of the Dell lives on.The past five years have brought me many new friends and given me the chance to remember old friends. All of us rats have reason to celebrate today and to say thank you Shady for this great ride back to a turely magical time. Your friend and A Dell Rat All Ways Greg

    1. Greg, this means so much to me! You are exactly right when you compare our virtual Shady Dell to the real one of old. What I've tried to do with SDM&M for the past five years is to bring together people of all types from far and near and give them a safe place where they can relax a while, forget their cares, listen to some good tunes, mix, mingle, laugh, have fun and enjoy good conversation - a place where everybody can feel like they belong. I am determined to uphold the John Ettline tradition of giving every visitor a warm, personalized greeting when they arrive.

      Thank you very much, Greg, for being with me through the years, especially the last year which officially brought an end to the Dell as we knew it. We will never let the memories of the original Dell or the Ettlines die. Thank you once again, good buddy, for your friendship and support and for your kind visit today!

  10. Hi Shady, It seems like only yesterday, and I enjoyed all five years and hope to enjoy many more. I guess I have gotten to know you because I would have guessed most of your answers except Iron Butterfly???? And yes there are some of us readers that remember Princess SFWS on Howdy Doody. A trivia question for the trivia expert - Who said "Plunk Your Magic Plunker Froggy"? I think that is close to the actual wording. You know I don't read many blogs, but I think I will try some of those that you have listed and expand my world. Thanks again for adding many pleasureable moments with music,humor, and memories of the past.


    1. Hi, Jerre! Thanks so much, good buddy, for joining the gang for today's celebration. I still remember you writing to Jim McClure in 2008 and asking about me, even before I started this blog. You have been with me from day one, Jerre, and it means the world to me. We've come a long way. Heck, I was planning to "retire" SDM&M at the end of 2010 believing that all had been said and done. Look at how much has happened since that time - an explosion of new faces, new revelations, new developments and new chapters of Dell history. It's been quite a journey and I want to take it all the way.

      WOW! I haven't thought of Froggy the Gremlin in eons. Thanks for reminding me! I watched Andy's Gang regularly and even had a Froggy the Gremlin doll. I slept with him every night until age 33! (LOL) Remember Andy Devine as "Jingles" on Wild Bill Hickok? I never missed that show either.

      Jerre, I think it's fantastic that you want to follow other blogs, especially those named in today's Liebster Awards ceremony. There are many great people out there, young and old, and the world can be a better place if we all come together, get to know one another and have a little fun. It's the Shady Dell way.

      Thanks again, Jerre, for your devotion to this blog. It has been a pleasure to know you and entertain you!

  11. Thanks so much Shady for this fun award! Congrats on 5 blogging years too! I actually signed up to blog at the insistence of my daughter-in-law in 2007 but never wrote a thing until Leap Day in Feb. of you can't shut me up! I've met some incredible folks doing this. I used to always qualify the people I've met this way by calling them "Blog friends"...but now I just say "I have a friend" and go from there. I've never met any of my friends except those I talked into blogging..but feel I know you all. Thanks for filling in some blanks about you and the reason for your blog. I will do my best to answer the questions here and we'll see how that goes! Have a great weekend! Holy cow...I loved the video! Reminded me of the time my brother did the twist (in a gold suit no less!) at my Grandparents 50th anniversary back when the twist first came out..he tore up the floor and had everyone on their feet! Gotta love Ferris Bueller doing the twists in Chicago!

    1. Hi, dear YaYa! Thank you so much for coming and congratulations on your Liebser Award! No one is more deserving of it than you.

      You've been blogging for a long time, too, and I'm sure you agree with me that blog friends are every bit as real and important as those you see every day in person. I don't want a hundred "click-on" friends. I want a few real friends, and you have become one of my dearest!

      Isn't that "Twist" video terrific? It even has the cast of Mad Men in it. Go Peggy go! (LOL)

      YaYa (Kathleen), as I noted in the text of this post, a Dell rat has a long memory and I will always remember that it was you who first reached out to me by coming here for a visit. The friendship we have built in the months since then is one to be treasured. Thank you for taking a chance on me, dear YaYa! Enjoy the rest of your Ohio weekend!

  12. Hi Shady,
    Let me start off by saying "Happy 5th Yr. Anniversary"!!!!
    What a great post. I get your humor , I get you! You actually make me Laugh out Loud!
    The love you've shown throughout these 5 wonderful years for the Dell, John and Helen ,not to mention your love for music, is so visibly apparent!
    It's always enjoyable to know a little more about the "real" Shady (the guy w/o the pipe) but, with your humor sometimes I can't decide if your answers are the truth or NOT! I'm kidding, I believe I've got you figured out!
    Congratulations on such a brilliant, creative, humorous, informative, entertaining & full of love(shall I go on?) blog.
    Thank you for mentioning my name. It's been a pleasure working with you throughout these 5 yrs. I feel like I have made a friend for life. What fun we've had with some of our collaborations. Also, I've met a lot of wonderful people since owning the dell , many are the ones you've mentioned in this post!
    Long Live the Shady Dell Blog!!!

    1. Hi, dear Toni! Yessum, please go on and on and on! (LOL) Oh, you have made me so very happy this day. These are such kind words and I will never be able to thank you enough for all you've done for the Dell and for this blog over the years. Between 2008 and the time you sold the Dell last year you worked long and hard taking hundreds of pictures of the Dell house, grounds and dance hall, including the famed graffiti covered "wonder wall" that now only exists in the memories of original rats and in those priceless, irreplaceable images of yours.

      Irreplaceable is a good word to describe you, dear Toni. Your friendship and support mean the world to me and I'm delighted to know that you enjoy my posts and get my humor. Thank you for being able to look past the pipe and see the real me. We are indeed friends for life!

      Thank you very much for your visit on this special day and for your kind and generous comments. Enjoy the rest of your weekend, dear Toni!

  13. Multitudinous felicitations on the anniversary of your natal day.

    (The first, and I think only, record that I wore out was the Bridge over Troubled Water album)

    1. Hi, John! What a great S&G album which included great songs like "El Condor Pasa," "Cecilia" and "The Boxer" along with the hit title track. It's no wonder you wore it out. You'll never wear out your welcome here, John. Thank you very much for joining the celebration and good night to you in merry old England!

  14. Happy fifth... Enjoyed the last couple of yrs ive been watching. Especially our nine parter.. lol.. Keep em comin mr Shady man.
    Rick Dillman

    1. Thanks, Rick! It's hard to believe we put that 9-part baby to bed more than a year ago. Time flies, doesn't it? I'm glad you've enjoyed following along for a couple years and I hope you'll like what's coming up in year six. Thanks again for visiting and commenting, Ricko, and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

  15. When I first knew you I think you had 12 followers and I had three. We have made many good friends over the years and had a wonderful time. Happy fifth anniversary! You have been such a blessing in my life with your kind friendship and encouragement.

    I am so happy to see some of the collections you own. Great record, posters and I love cactus myself. When I was a little girl in California, I remember my mom planting cactus and I had a little one in my room.

    I grew up with The Real McCoys. It was our family's favorite show in those days. Walter Brennen was so funny. I have since seen him act in 'The Westerner' as Judge Roy Bean. It was a great performance which won him a best supporting actor.

    Shady, you are such a kind, loving and interesting person; it is no wonder your blog is loved by many people. God bless.

    1. Hello, Belle! I am so happy to see you, my dear friend. My five year blog celebration would not be complete without you. As you pointed out, our friendship goes back a long way.

      To be honest with you, I am not the same person I was in 2008. I have changed a lot in five years. I believe I have become a better, more tolerant, more compassionate and more loving person as a result of my blogging experiences and through meeting wonderful people like you. I have learned from your example.

      I'm happy to know you share my interest in cacti and that you appreciate my little collection. Thank you!

      It also pleases me to know you can relate to The Real McCoys. My father used to do a spot on imitation of Walter Brennan's character Grandpa Amos, right down to his distinctive walk. It's a shame that wholesome, family friendly shows like that one have fallen by the wayside in recent years, replaced by programming that panders to the worst that is within us.

      Dear Belle, you are one of the brightest stars in my universe. You and I are practically the same age and I feel like we're brother and sister. The kinship we feel is genuine and I am very grateful to have you in my life. Thank you for being here today and for sharing yourself with me over the years. I know that you and I will be friends for life!

  16. Kathleen Mae SchneiderJuly 20, 2013 at 1:04 PM

    Finally I got to your party! Hope I'm fashionably late! Any champagne left?

    Congratulations,Tom, on marking your 5th year of making our lives richer. Your Leibster Award is justly deserved.

    There is actually another less-famous award to add to the kudos:

    I hereby announce that you are the first recipient of the "KMS gRAT-itude Award". There are 10 criteria needed to earn this honor.

    1: For Encouragement ~
    Who would have thought this technophobe could ever be led to not just using the computer, but also contributing to a blog? Your belief in me and your help and gentle guidance enabling Mother's century-old stories to be told are the spoonful of sugar helping the medicine go down. I am learning from the best kind of teacher!

    2: For Patience ~
    All those times my jumbled work arrived late and then clogged your inbox you may have scratched your head and counted to ten, but you never once reprimanded or threw this baby out with the bathwater.

    3: For Perseverance ~
    True artist that you are, you spend long hours bringing the Shady Dell to life only to see it sometimes fly under the blogosphere's radar. You still consistently turn out excellent weekly posts.

    4: For Creativity ~
    Not content to just give thoroughly researched facts and figures, you use different approaches to take us back with you to the Dell's golden years. You never seem to run out of original ideas.

    5: For Loyalty ~
    To paraphrase Dr. Suess, "You meant what you said and said what you meant - this Dell Rat's faithful, one-hundred percent!" You've not forgotten that Dell kindness shown you so long ago. It's great that you always reply to comments and leave thoughtful remarks on others' blogs. How pleased John and Helen would be to see their warm Shady Dell family growing into future generations through one of their former teenage "adopted" sons!

    5: For Trust ~ You show by your posts and replies that you feel safe revealing your true self with us, as we do with you.

    6: For Friendship and Respect ~
    I don't use the word 'friend' lightly, but you qualify in all respects! We can be sure there is someone intelligent who will listen to us on the other side of the screen, and treat our opinions and memories, different as they might be, with care.

    7: For Humor and Healing ~ For this 66-year-old daughter and her 101-year-old mother, your posts often cheer us up. We laugh at your funny stories of growing up and coming-of-age in York and the asides from your alter-ego Shady Del.

    8: For Nostalgia ~
    When a song holds special meaning or triggers a flashback to an easier time in our lives, it helps us to remember where we've been and makes us see more clearly where we're going - and not be afraid!

    9: For HIstory ~
    You accurately document, in first person, the music and cultural times of the 60's and beyond. You also provide a vehicle for the first-person narrative of that little brown-haired girl who, along with her family, first called the Shady Dell home a century ago. What a gift to the future!

    10: For Caring ~
    In a world that can seem so brutal and unfeeling, SDM&M keeps our better angels front and center. Here is a safe place for us to relinquish our pain and loneliness. We can sing along with a familiar song from our past or catch up on ones we missed. We can read stories of the haven that was (and is!) the Shady Dell in all her incarnations. We can meet new friends and reacquaint with old ones and all of us can share how this time and music impacted our lives.

    We will never forget your kindness to us all and for calling us family! Thank you, Tom, and congratulations to you again!

    (Your gilded award will arrive in the post at a later time...)

    1. Hello, my dear Kathleen, and thank you very much for coming to the party. The festivities never begin until you arrive. I'm afraid Greg and Toni consumed the last of the champagne but I saved some of that funny tasting Kool-Aid for you! (LOL)

      Dear friend Kathleen, I am honored to accept the coveted KMS gRAT-itude Award from you. "You LIKE me.... you really LIKE me!" :)

      All joking aside, the tears formed in my eyes as I read your ten criteria and as I remembered all we've been through together. Remember how hard it was for us to establish communication at the very start? Lord have mercy, it seems a small miracle that you and I found each other at all and another miracle that we have been able to work together this well from a distance of nearly a thousand miles.

      I share this award with you, dear Kathleen. I also share this special day with you. Without your valuable input and that of your dear mother, the Dell history I have been trying to document would be egregiously incomplete and incorrect. The two of you opened up a whole new chapter in the Shady Dell saga.

      I'm no John Ettline, but I truly feel as if I am channeling him at times. I am compelled to carry on the spirit of goodwill that John shared with me and with all the other young people he so profoundly influenced. It's a calling, Kathleen, a responsibility I don't take lightly. Thank you for seeing and knowing the real me and for joining me in this worthwhile endeavor. I couldn't imagine doing it without you.

      A million thanks, dear Kathleen, for your faithful friendship and support. You're in the "on deck circle" with the most dramatic chapter yet of your series In-Dell-ible Memories. See you soon!

  17. Tom, I'm just back from a great gig and I had to stop by on your anniversary to say a huge congratulations! Five years of blogging is such a great achievement, I glad I can call you a friend because of it and I hope that you want to continue to blog for the next 5 years because I love to learn new things through reading your blog. I can agree with what you've learned from blogging as I have learned a lot of the same things myself. I can totally understand the persona you've created but it's also why I was delighted to read the facts about you as there is a lot about you we don't know because you make this blog about other people and music and the things you love and I look forward to learning more about you in time!

    Thank you for my award, I am happy to know you regard me and my blog highly enough to mention me. I hope you're having a lovely weekend and congratulations once more!

    Emma x

    1. Hello, dear Emma, and welcome to the party! You stayed up quite late to post your comment and I appreciate it very much.

      You and I go back a long way. Our friendship has aged like a fine wine. Friends come and go in "the real world" and here in the blogosphere. You and I have stuck together and built a friendship based on courtesy and mutual respect. I am very proud of our success story, Emma!

      Your blog, Ol' Green Eyes, is outstanding. It is pleasing to the eye and filled with useful information on a wide range of topics that includes product, music and movie reviews, fashion, travel and dining tips. It is illustrated with bright, sharp, colorful pictures. You deserve the Liebster Award for the quality of your blog and also for the quality of your character. I am very grateful to you, Emma, for accepting me as a friend.

      Thank you very much for joining me for this special blog anniversary, Emma. Get some sleep and have a wonderful Sunday, dear friend!

  18. Congratulations on your five year blogging anniversary! Well done on making it so far, a feat that many bloggers should know is a lot more difficult than it sounds! It was fabulous to read your response to the Liebster Award and I'd like to thank you for being such a great blogger and such a kind person with so much knowledge to share and so many great stories to tell. I raise my glass to you!

    1. Oh, dear Lucy - thank you, my sweet friend! I am delighted that you popped in on my party this morning. Welcome welcome welcome!

      I think you are absolutely right about the challenge of blogging. It's like being thrust out onto a stage and hoping your material is good enough to keep the audience entertained. Truth be known, I had planned to "retire" this blog at the end of 2010 because I was running out of ideas. Fortunately I kept going and the rewards have been many in the years since then.

      One of the greatest experiences of all has been to meet you, Lucy. I admire you tremendously. The Carnabetian Army is an exemplary blog. You, its author, are smart, savvy and stylish. Beyond that you have a keen sense of history. You are an old soul inhabiting a modern young woman, a truly remarkable combination. I am very proud and honored to call you a friend, Lucy.

      Thank you once again, dear Lucy in the Sky, for your kindness and generosity in naming SDM&M for the Liebster Award! I will always remember this magnanimous gesture on your part. Have a wonderful week ahead, dear friend!

  19. Congratulations on your bogiversary! I must say I love your collections- the records all look dazzling and I don't think i've ever seen so many cacti together before. I feel honoured to receive your blogging award! I hope your 6th year blogging is as joyous and successful as the last five!

    1. Hello, dear Anneka, and thank you very much for coming all the way from Western Australia to attend my five year blog party! I am very happy to see you, my wonderful friend!

      Thank you for the compliments on my collections. It took five years of searching and purchasing before I was finally satisfied with my collection of vinyl 45's. There are 211 singles in all. Since most of them are rather rare, I keep them for display only. They are "seen and not heard."

      Most of my life I never gave cacti a second glance. Then one day in the late 1980s I was walking through a plant nursery and suddenly I became aware of how beautiful they are. Overnight I became an avid collector and spent weekends searching all over the Tampa Bay area for more specimens, eventually owning as many as 175. I have since whittled the number down considerably.

      Dear Anneka, our friendship means a great deal to me. Geographically, you are my most distant friend, yet I feel close to you because our minds are in tune. I am learning a lot about your world through following your Liebster worthy blog.

      Thank you very much for welcoming me into your life as you have, Anneka. You are very special and I am deeply grateful for this opportunity to build a lasting friendship with you. I wish you a safe and happy week ahead, dear friend!

  20. A very hearty congratulations, my friend Shady, on five years of bringing light, knowledge, and good old fun to our lives! That's no small feat and says worlds about your commitment, drive, and passion.

    What a great corner of the world the Shady Dell is, and I know John and Helen would be so very proud of what you've done, as are we all. You are a role model to the rest of us who haven't been blogging as long.

    And thank you for the wonderful award! I'm very honored and humbled. I loved your facts!

    Here's to many more years of great blogging to you!

    1. Hello and welcome, dear friend Shelly! I very much appreciate the wording of your comment because lately it seems like "fun" has become an old fashioned commodity in the lives of many people. Granted, life is challenging for everyone, but we all need to put our troubles and responsibilities aside now and then and allow ourselves to become children again. Doing so heals, energizes and restores. The original Shady Dell, founded by John and Helen Ettline, was a place where "fun was job one." This blog was established for the same purpose, to provide a safe haven for all of us to feel like kids again and laugh, have fun, listen to some good tunes and socialize. After five years I am overjoyed to realize that this experiment is working.

      I love each and every one of my friends, the old and the young from countries around the world. Some speak broken English and need a translation tool, as do I when I visit their blogs; yet we all understand the universal language of love. That's what I'm here for.

      Congratulations on your Liebster Award, dear Shelly. You are one of my oldest and dearest friends and your blog is a model of excellence second to none. It has been a pleasure learning about your life, reading about the highlights and lowlights of your teaching career and your wonderful family's history. I am very grateful to have you in my life. Thank you for being who you are and what you are. Have a fabulous week, Shelly!

  21. Hearty congratulations on the five-year blog mark - wow! I know it's a lot to keep up, and certainly can't be maintained by most (as many other commenters here have acknowledged). But you and your blog here are very special indeed! And a gracious thank you for the award; so nice of you! As a new follower, I've been enjoying going back through your archives bit by bit, and it's interesting to read your thoughtful (and humorous!) responses to these questions. :) I share your love of the cacti/succulent family, and also collect records (so I know full well that you're not kidding when you say it can become quite an expensive hobby), both LPs and 45s!

    Again, congrats on the milestone and a warm thank you for including me in such fine blogger company with your award!

    1. Hi, Sara! Thank you very much for being here today to help me celebrate five years of good music and great friendships.

      I am very flattered to know that you are reading my back pages just as I am reading yours. As you can tell the music and memories span 50 years and there are tunes for every taste. I'm glad you also noted that I enjoy lacing my posts with humor whenever possible.

      The memories here on SDM&M actually go back 100 years when my guest blogger, Kathleen Schneider, rips pages from her mother's diary and presents them here in her series In-Dell-ible Memories. Kathleen's mother, Margaret, lived at the Dell during childhood in the WWI years. Today, at the age of 101, Margaret is affectionately called "The Oldest Living Dell Rat." Kathleen will be here with the next chapter of her mother's amazing story this Saturday.

      I'm excited to know you love cacti and succulents and that you also collect records. Isn't it an incredible phenomenon? Young people all over the world are catching vinyl fever, listening to the same music that I did at their age, and experiencing it in the same manner, a record spinning hypnotically on a turntable. I never thought I'd live to see this glorious day!

      Dear Sara, you have no idea how fortunate I feel to have you as a new friend. I happened to come across your superb blog Golden Haze and was elated when you gave me such a warm welcome when I commented. That generosity of spirit is rare, especially when it involves bridging both the gender and the generation gaps. By offering your friendship without reservation or hesitation you have distinguished yourself as the kind of individual the world needs now. Thank you, Sara!

      Thank you once again for coming by. Congrats on the richly deserved blog award, have a wonderful week and I hope to see you again soon, my dear friend!

  22. Kathleen Mae SchneiderJuly 22, 2013 at 10:14 PM

    Hi again Tom!
    This time I want to weigh in on something new I learned as well as recollections this post called up. The music and videos as always remind me of years ago, but like others mentioned, it's also great to learn more about our jocular friend behind the pipe! Your answers for the Leibster Award help bring your true identity from 'shady' into the light.

    I always wondered about the origin of the exotic-sounding "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida". Google said it is a "mondegreen", meaning a mishearing or misinterpretation that gives new meaning to a word or phrase. (Like "very close veins" instead of "varicose veins") I didn't know the song's original title meant "In the Garden of Eden", but apparently the words got slurred during recording and the band kept it anyway. Do you concur?

    The poster from your collection brought back a memory of Basil Rathbone when he spoke at my university one bitterly cold winter night. During his dramatic reading of Poe's "The Raven", the pipes in the old steam-heated auditorium began clanking loudly. The noise seemed timed with the line in the poem when the raven knocks at the chamber door. Poor Basil elegantly finished the poem, but commented to the audience afterward that he didn't know he was going to have sound effects provided during his poetry reading!

    The Twist was the only dance I ever learned as a teenager. I was a junior in high school when a few brave guys actually asked me to dance during a party. Thanks to Chubby C., for the duration of the song my shyness seemed to disappear!

    Chief Thunderthud, Phineas T. Bluster, Clarabell the clown and Flub-a-Dub were other Howdy Doody characters I remember in addition to princess SFWS. I watched the program regularly as a child and always wanted to be in the Peanut Gallery!

    Bob coached high school girls' basketball for many years. "Eye of the Tiger" was the song the girls chose to play loudly before the game when they came onto the court and warmed-up in front of the opposing team. It certainly is rousing! Farther back in time, our York Central High School basketball team similarly used to play "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" whenever they played Red Lion HIgh School.

    As for your excellent list of lessons learned from blogging: Wouldn't it be great if the one about opposites becoming friends was applied to national and world politics?

    Concerning your cacti: What a SHARP-looking collection! (Sorry - couldn't resist...)

    Thanks again for another great post and for telling us about yourself. Shady's a "wild and crazy" guy all right, but Tom Anderson is the real deal!

    1. Hello again, dear Kathleen! First of all, please understand that I was merely joking about owning a "strapless evening gown." It is actually a fuschia cocktail dress that I wear to black tie occasions. (I've received many admiring glances.)

      Legend and lore surround many rock recordings. The one fact upon which every source I've read agrees is that the original title of the Iron Butterfly's hit song was "In the Garden of Eden." I've read that the band was practicing the song after lead singer Doug Ingle had consumed cheap red wine, causing him to slur the words. The guys liked the effect and ran with it. (Think "Louie Louie" by the Kingsmen six years earlier.) Another version of the story is that the song title was written down incorrectly as a joke or by somebody who was drunk. That doesn't seems as likely to me. I think the Butterfly made a conscious (or semi-conscious?) decision to phoneticize the slurred words, hoping to generate more interest in the song. The Beatles had popularized Eastern spirituality and "In a Gadda Da Vida" sounded mystical and looked good on paper (the Billboard chart).

      Such a cool story about Basil Rathbone! It was a great honor to have such a distinguished veteran actor deliver "The Raven" in person. Will there ever be another like Rathbone? Nevermore!

      By chance do you have a video clip of the night you danced the twist? To me it would be more rare, valuable and historically significant than the Zapruder film. If that footage exists please feel free to send it in for display here on SDM&M! :)

      Thank you for naming the other characters on Howdy Doody. As you probably know, the first Clarabell was played by Bob Keeshan who became Captain Kangaroo. After Howdy Doody, Buffalo Bob Smith took his act on the road, touring college campuses and turning scholars into kids again. Way to go, Bob!

      "Eye of the Tiger" certainly is a rousing song, one that can be used to motivate yourself and get psychologically prepared to take on challenges of all kinds. I am surprised "The Lion Sleeps" had the same effect on another team, but whatever works. You can become anchored to anything and everything and it can empower you or make you feel powerless.

      I believe wholeheartedly in reaching out to people with whom I have the least in common. What better way to learn? What better way to understand the lives and struggles of others so that we are not so quick to judge? Nothing is as satisfying to me as achieving the kind of breakthroughs that come from "strangers" or "natural enemies" becoming genuine friends.

      I am reminded of the words uttered in the inaugural address of our greatest U.S. President:

      << So let us begin anew—remembering on both sides that civility is not a sign of weakness, and sincerity is always subject to proof. Let us never negotiate out of fear. But let us never fear to negotiate.
      Let both sides explore what problems unite us instead of belaboring those problems which divide us. >>

      Thank you very much for the additional input, dear Kathleen. Your memories and observations are most welcome here. Thank you for taking time to express yourself again. See you Saturday!

  23. I have really enjoyed finding your blog and reading those great answers! congratulations on 5 years blogging. I look forward to reading more :)

    1. Hello, ACV, and welcome to Shady Dell Music & Memories! I'm delighted that you discovered my blog and have decided to follow along. I promise I will do my best to keep you entertained. Meanwhile, I popped over to Ireland and had a look at your blog. It's simply wonderful and you have found a new follower in me! The pictures are top notch and I look forward to learning all about your life and interests. Thank you very much for joining my international circle of friends, dear ACV. Please stay close and let me hear from you again soon, okay? Good night to you, my new friend!

  24. Tom,
    Congrats on your award you truly deserve it! You are a real Liebster! Sorry I've been MIA...I've been visiting the "New Kids On The Block", aka the Twins! I don't know how they do it, taking care of two at a time is quite tiring! When I return my kids that live here in town are anxious for their babysitting turn so I'm pretty much booked these days!
    Love this peek into your world that is other than the Dell! While I always enjoy your 'musical' posts, it's the ones where you lift the curtain and let us see 'Tom' I treasure most!
    Hugs and congratulations...

    1. Hi, dear Sush! I'm very happy to see you, dear friend! I figured you've been busy with your own royal family. Please know that your many loving friends in the blog world always miss you when you're away.

      As you recall it's been more than two years since our old gang participated in a flurry of these awards. I used the occasion of my 5th anniversary to accept the Liebster because I didn't want to miss the chance to publicly thank the young people around the globe who have generously accepted my friendship.

      I cherish the friendship that you and I have found in recent years, dear Sush, and I am very happy that you were here to help me celebrate the 5th birthday of SDM&M, "the Little Blog That Could."

      Thank you again, dear friend, and take care of yourself and your beautiful growing family!

  25. PS Congrats on your Five Years! Quite an accomplishment and a blessing for us all!
    Hugs...again, lol!

    1. Thank you, sweet friend. Your presence here means a lot to me. I only wish our dear friend Thisisme could be here, too. As I'm sure you know she has been feeling poorly lately, has suspended her blogging activity and will probably be unable to attend. Please keep Diane in your prayers. Thank you, dear Sush!

  26. I'm a few days late coming to this party, but congratulations on your blog's 5th anniversary. I've seen many good blogs come in go in less time than that. Thanks as well for becoming a fan of Go Retro! Here's to many more blogging years.

    1. Hi, Pam! Thank you very much for coming and for the encouraging words. I can hardly believe the wealth of memories from my youth that you present on Go Retro! Obviously, you and I found value in many of the same things along the way. Thanks again for attending my birthday bash, dear friend, and I'll be seeing you over at your place again soon!

  27. Aww, thank you Shady! I've been SUCH a bad blogger lately, so it was a nice surprise to be honored with the award. The feeling is mutual, I assure you! Your blog has taught, entertained, and given me food for thought, and I'm happy to be part of the Shady Dell world. I enjoyed reading your answers to the questions, and it only confirmed my inner knowledge: you're warped, boy. But in a good way.

    1. Hello, dear karen! When I saw your comment on Kathleen's post I was hoping you checked back here for your award. You might call yourself a "bad blogger" but by coming over here and posting your cheery greeting you have proven yourself to be a great friend. You will never know how much your visit means to me. :)

      karen, I am very proud of what you and I have accomplished over the many months we have known each other. To borrow the title of an old song, we have established our very own "mutual admiration society." It feels good. It feels right. It's what America and the world needs now.

      I'll be the first to admit that I'm warped and still very much a kid. I take it as the highest compliment that you understand that about me and get a kick out of it. Sometimes I think I'm the only one of your blog friends who really appreciates the extent of your humor which you sprinkle liberally (oops!) throughout most of your posts like spices and condiments in a recipe. You make me smile and laugh just as often as I do you.

      Thank you once again, dear karen, for sticking with me all this time. You and I are living proof that when people are brave enough to reach out in the darkness they sometimes find a friend. I have been very proud to assume that role in your life and I thank you for your part in mine.

      Take care, dear karen. Have a great week and I'll see you over at your place soon!

  28. It was great to read all about this and see your responses to the questions! Thank you again so much for the award!!

    1. You are very welcome, dear Molly! I truly enjoy following your blog and appreciate reading your enthusiastic posts. I hope you'll come over and visit my space again soon, dear friend!

  29. Tom, thanks for referencing me to this post. I enjoyed reading your answers for the Liebster Award, as well as taking a peek at the vinyl collectibles you told me about. It's really cool you have such a fun, neat hobby. :) Have a good evening!

    1. Thank you very much for checking out my anniversary post, dear friend Cathy! Sorry I am so late noticing that you visited last year. Here it is nearly a year later and you continue to be one of my greatest friends. Thanks again!

  30. What a great set of answers to these questions and it's really been good to get to know you better. I love your collection of cacti too. I have some coloured vinyl but not loads my favourite is Sexy and 17 by the Stray Cats that's shaped.

    Congratulations on the award!


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