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

Monday, July 20, 2015

The End of One Journey is Always the Beginning of Another. The War For the Future Will Be Fought in the Past.








(that you will sing, dance,
laugh and have fun).

(genuine, lasting friendships).

(Who'd want to?)  

 We're not a threat. 

 We're salvation. 

 The world will have to deal with us. 



"A Place in Time" (theme from The 4400
Bosshouse featuring Amanda Abizaid

 Me and 4,399 of my closest friends 

 popped out of a ball of light right about here. 


 is what a big congregation 

 calls a little congregation. 

 Change is painful. 

 It comes with a cost. 

 If there's anything I've learned, it's this. 

 Eventually a man's gotta take a stand. 

 I'm making mine right here. 

 It was a balance of power thing. 

 I was sent to eliminate the 4400! 

 I don't wanna know things 

 before they happen. 

 I wanna be normal, like I used to be. 

 It's gonna be okay, sweetie. 

 Besides, I mean, you know, 

 who's normal anyway? 

Today marks the 7 year anniversary of

Shady Dell Music & Memories.

Thank you, my loyal followers

all 4400 of you :)

for your friendship and support.

Stay tuned for much more

fun coming up in year 8!

Have a Shady day!


  1. 7 years!!!! I have a LOT of catching up since I just found your blog and "met " you this past April. Congratulations and cheers to another successful 7 more and then some. Those are great photos and I especially love all the black and whites. The drawing of the dancing couple is also priceless. Now which one of those photos are you?

    1. Hi, dear Holli! Thank you for being the early bird today as I celebrate the 7 year blogiversary of SDMM! Yessum, as a brand new follower you have missed seven years of history and excitement and it will be my pleasure to fill you in as we go along.

      The black and whites at the beginning of the post are pictures of the first families that lived at the Shady Dell from the time it was built in 1913. The Browns built the estate and lived there until the late 1920s. The Spanglers lived there in the late 20s and 30s. John and Helen Ettline took ownership in the mid 40s and turned the place into the restaurant and dance hall that I visited in the 60s. The ultra rare picture of kids dancing at the Dell was snapped in 1961 before I started going there. It is the only known image of its kind in existence! The Dell's dance hall had concrete block walls and John Ettline hired an artist to draw that dancing couple, cherubs blowing horns and other images that followed a musical theme. Over the years "Dell rats" wrote their names and graffiti messages on the walls, apparently with John's approval. Sadly, those historic walls came tumbling down in 2012 when the Dell was sold and the new owner bulldozed the dance hall to erect a garage.

      Thank you ever so much for your friendship and support, dear friend Holli!

      P.S. - I just found your July 9 comment on my Big Picture Pt. 1 post and very much appreciate knowing that you caught up on that three-part series as well. You are truly a conscientious blogger and a delightful friend, Holli! Have a great week!

    2. It's sad that the Dell is no more. It should have been loved, cherished, and preserved, as you do in writing about it.

    3. 2012 was a very sad year for all original Dell rats, Janie. Insisting that the mortar between the concrete blocks was disintegrating, rendering the walls of the Dell's historic dance hall unstable and the building unsafe, the new owners elected to raze the structure and put up a garage. Several original Dell rats combed the rubble and salvaged graffiti covered blocks as mementos. Yessum, the old dance hall is gone... but the memories linger on.

      Thank you, dear Janie!

  2. Happy anniversary, Shady!!

    What a wonderful collage of the past, present, future, future past, present past, half past yesterday and lookie there - it's tomorrow!!

    I recognize some of the pictures from my undying fanhood of SDKM&M and past posts. Or were they future? Time has no meaning now...whoop, there it is.

    The gratitude, devotion and stewardship of the memory of The Shady Dell has always restored my faith in humanity. If everyone, like you, would celebrate the wonderful things that shape us and imprint our lives we would all benefit.

    Though I've never been to the Shady Dell, I feel your affection for the founders and young people who landed there. They were very fortunate, indeed. The memory would die with them without you - and people like me would miss the experience entirely.

    In the South, they said "love his heart" as a virtual insult (love his heart...he's an idiot and he doesn't know it). I'm not from the South. :-)

    Love you heart...really love your heart. It is the anchor of some wonderful memories and the source of your willingness to be the caretaker of those sweet memories.

    Thank you for that; today and every day.

    1. (Sorry to report that your post didn't appear in the reader - now you have whatever is mysterious problem I have now and then. We are not alone.)

    2. Hi, dear Cherdo! Thank you very much for your kind and generous comments this day. They touched me deeply, I assure you. Yessum, the first series of pictures gives you a look at some of the key people I have written about on the blog over the last seven years. They include the Browns (the Shady Dell's first family), the Spanglers, the Ettlines, Margaret Schneider ("The Oldest Living Dell Rat") and her daughter Kathleen and family, Dell owner Toni Deroche, Belle Unruh - the blogger friend who has been a regular follower of SDMM for the longest time - and original Dell rats including my old high school classmate Denny Neiman who sadly passed away during SDMM's earlier years.

      Thank you again for being here for me on this important day, dear Cherdo. I wouldn't feel much like celebrating if I didn't have you, one of my closest and dearest "new" friends, by my side.

      Have a great week, dear friend Cherdo!

    3. Thank you for letting me know that my post wasn't in the reader. Yours wasn't either this morning! In fact, more times than not lately, your posts aren't showing up in the stream until many hours after they are published. Maybe Blogger is having techie problems. :(

      Thank you again, dear friend Cherdo!

    4. I don't know what is happening. Like I said before, I found some online info that told me to adjust a setting; I did - it came back. The next time, however, I was stumped. The previous setting change applied to the whole blog, not just one post - so it couldn't be that.

      After googling my brains out, I found another post that advised me to clear my cache. Okay, did that - the post was on the reader.

      If you do a cut and paste of a picture, sometimes the post won't appear in the reader.

      Then I had the delayed post problem. That is a new one. I posted at midnight or shortly after (always before 1 a.m.) and it didn't appear on the reader till 7:30 a.m.

      Today, I went back into the post and re-sized the pictures. BAM! It was on the reader.

      If you find a good explanation of how to make sure it goes live in a timely manner (like when it is scheduled), let me know.

      Two heads are better than one, buddy.

    5. My head might not be the best one on which to rely, dear friend. I am strictly no-tech (a no-brainer). Maybe Blogger's coal-burning system is outdated and overwhelmed and can't handle the sheer volume. Likewise, if you find out what's going wrong with our posts, please let me know.

      God bless!

    6. Blogger always has something going on. I figure I can get annoyed and frustrated, or I can just do my best to carry on. I guess it's like life itself.

    7. I think the people who manufactured your washing machine are the same ones who gave us Blogger :)

  3. Kathryn AndersonJuly 20, 2015 at 8:51 AM

    Shady- happy anniversary. 7 years. That has to be some kind of record.

    1. Hi, dear Kathryn! I'm sure no records have been broken but thousands of them have been played here on SDMM over the last seven years. In addition, I have had the pleasure of meeting many great people and learning a tremendous amount about the Dell's history thanks to friends like Kathleen Schneider and Phil Spangler. It's been an exciting journey and there's much more ahead in the coming years. Thank you for being here, dear Kathryn, as I celebrate 7 years of blogging and prepare to begin the 8th.

  4. Happy 7th Anniversary, dear Shady!!! I love this post and all the photos! It is pretty hot and humid here in Montreal, and I am doing my best to stay cool. I hope your week is a wonder filled one, my dear friend. :)

    1. Hi, dear Linda! Thank you very much for coming to my 7th anniversary party! The post gives you a look at some of the principal characters in the history of the Shady Dell along with some of the key figures in the success and longevity of this blog. I am very happy to have added you to my circle of friends during this past year and I hope you will stick with me for many years to come.

      It's very hot and sticky here in Central Florida and I am getting antsy for fall and winter and the welcome albeit brief cool down that they bring to this part of the world.

      Have a wonderful week, dear friend Linda!

  5. oh my goodness! How exciting is this?!
    I LOOOOVVVVEE these poor man music videos. So original and fun!!!
    Wishing you many more wonderful years, dear friend, keep on being wonderful in all those great ways :)
    -Abigail and Daisy

    1. Hi, dear Abigail & Daisy! Thank you very much for coming by and for leaving one of the nicest comments I have received in the last seven years! It makes me very proud to have a friend your age and to know that you enjoy my posts. Don't look now but you are actually one of the "oldest" blog friends I have at this point in time. Can you imagine how much I appreciate your faithful friendship?

      Thanks again, dear A & D, and stay tuned for more music, memories and fun coming up in year 8. God bless!

  6. A big Happy Anniversary to you! Seven years of Shady is not enough. I want to read your blog when I'm 100, and you're ??? 150? Just kidding. I know you're not quite that old. Thank you for all that you teach us and the many kindnesses you show.


    1. Hi, dear sweet Janie Junebug! Thank you very much for coming over to help me celebrate 7 years of blogging here on Shady Dell Music & Memories. I appreciate this vote of confidence, coming as it does from one of the greatest, most successful and best loved bloggers around. The good lord willing, I intend to keep going with SDMM for many more years. Proof of my commitment is the fact that I already have new posts prepared to run in the year 2020 and beyond! I hope you'll still be with me, dearie.

      Thank you again for your visit and kind comments, dear friend Janie. Enjoy the rest of your week!

    2. Oh, I'll be here in 2020 and beyond.

  7. Happy 7th anniversary! Loved your pictures! Your family?

    Can't wait to read more of your music and memories!

    1. Hi, dear Jessica Marie! Thank you very much for coming as I mark the 7 year anniversary of Shady Dell Music & Memories, "The Little Blog That Could." In a sense, the people in the first set of 40 pictures are all family. However, if you will refer to my replies to Holli and Cherdo (above) you will get a brief history of the Shady Dell and the principal players in the saga whose pictures I posted today.

      I am very happy to have you aboard, Jessica Marie, and I hope you will stick around to learn more about the Dell, the Ettlines, the Spanglers and the Browns in the years ahead. Thank you again, dear friend!

  8. What a wonderful way to celebrate. Love the pictures and isn't it nice to celebrate

    1. Hi, dear Birgit! Thank you very much for joining my 7th anniversary celebration here on SDMM. The 4400 is one of my favorite TV series and I hope you get a chance to watch it. The other set of pictures gives you a glimpse of key people in the history of the Shady Dell and the history of this blog. If you continue to follow me through my 8th year you will learn about many of these people including Margaret Brown Schneider, "The Oldest Living Dell Rat," who is now 103 years old.

      Thank you again, dear friend BB, and enjoy your week!

  9. Oooooh the memories! Hard to believe it's been 7 years! What fun we've had reading and reliving the dell years. I've enjoyed seeing all the SDM&M players in this anniversary post! Even the real Tom E. Anderson made an appearance (or two)!
    Very cool how you put the pics to the music and linking it all to a favorite tv show. Your post are always so original, imaginative and very creative that keeps us all entertained.
    Well, Tom, you did what you set out to do and that is keeping the Shady Dell alive forever! I am so happy to be a small part of it!
    Congratulations on 7 years of blogging! Thank you for taking us all on this epic journey!
    Long live the Shady Dell!!!
    Toni Deroche

    1. Hi, dear Toni! Thank you very much for being here on this special occasion - the 7th birthday of Shady Dell Music & Memories. This is a perfect comment from you except for one mistake that I found. You stated that you are happy to be a "small" part of it. FALSE! You are a BIG part, a MAJOR part of this blog and of the Shady Dell story!

      As I glanced at that series of faces flashing before me in my poor man's video it made me realize how little I knew about the Dell in 2008 when I started the blog and how shortsighted I was to think that all had been said and done by the end of 2010. All the Spangler and Brown revelations came to light in the years since then along with the rare Dell pictures, original menu, testimonials, Margaret and Kathleen, exclusive interviews and so much more. Yessum, it has been an epic journey and I thank you very much for taking it with me.

      Thank you again for attending this special 7th anniversary party, dear friend Toni, and stay right here as the journey continues!

  10. Happy anniversary to you! I'm excited to join for the years to come, but I think I will have to go back and look through the archives. After seven years, I'm sure there are a lot of things I missed out on!

    1. Hi, dear Rachel! Thank you very much for coming to my blog's 7th birthday party, my wonderful new friend! Yessum, as you can tell by the roster of people in that first segment, the Dell is rich in history. If you have time, please read my replies to Holli and Cherdo (above) because they will give you a mini history of the Dell and an idea of who those people are.

      Thank you again for choosing to follow SDMM, dear friend Rachel, and stay tuned as I kick off year #8 with a special guest post from our mutual friend Janie coming up next Monday. I know she will appreciate your comments on it!

    2. I like how you accept people as a new friend so easily. When most people are so rude or untrusting, it is a unique but good qualify to have.

      I just went back up and scanned through the replies for a little bit more understanding, but I will do a better read through after work today. Even without the full understanding, I can tell how important and special this is to you, and I'm quite sad that the place is no more- physically. It will always be a part of you though, and a part of us as we learn about it.

    3. Hi again, dear Rachel! I am very touched by your latest comments and I sincerely thank you.

      Yessum, it makes me sad (and I know it makes you sad as well) that there are far too many rude, smug, arrogant, mistrusting, competitive, back-stabbing people in the world, people who are determined to prove that they are the smartest person in the room, people whose blogs scream "Look at me. Am I great or what?"

      I think you and I both feel fortunate to have found a new friend who is honest and direct and possesses a good heart and a generous nature.

      It's true. I welcome everyone here as a friend because I am following the example of Shady Dell owner John Ettline. John always gave his teenage patrons a warm welcome as they passed through the gate. He went out of his way to make people feel special and important. I intend to uphold that tradition, welcoming strangers and immediately treating them as important friends. I am pleased and proud to have you here, dear Rachel!

      I would also like to express this to you. Having a young friend like you, one who seems genuinely interested in the Shady Dell saga and is eager to learn more, is rare, and it means a great deal to me. I'm sure it also means a great deal to the original Dell rats who read this blog, to Toni Deroche, the woman who owned the Dell and for years saved it from the wrecking ball, to Margaret and Kathleen Schneider, the mother-daughter team who appear as guest bloggers on SDMM with their series In-Dell-ible Memories, a chronicle of Margaret's life as a resident of the Dell in the early years of the 20th century. Margaret is now 103 years old and we affectionately call her "The Oldest Living Dell Rat." Another chapter of their exclusive guest series is coming up and I know someone like you will find it fascinating.

      I love it when my friends return with follow-up comments like you did here, dear Rachel. Doing so reveals a high level of interest in the blog and a commitment to a blossoming friendship. I welcome you, dear Rachel. I welcome you!

  11. Happy Anniversary!
    (I loved the 4400.)

    1. Hi, dear Rita! Hi, Kitty Kat Karma! Thank you very much for attending my 7 year Dellapalooza! I can hardly believe how quickly the years have passed. Authoring this blog has changed me over the years. I have learned a great deal and I am delighted to share my music and memories with dear friends like you. If you are curious about the NetFlix series The 4400 but haven't seen it, I highly recommend it. It makes you think about the future of mankind.

      Thank you again, dear friend Rita (and Karma) and enjoy the rest of your week!

  12. Happy Anniversary to you, Shady! That was an interesting collage. Seven years is quite a milestone in the blogging world. Reading through comments, I was saddened to learn The Dell was torn down. You are doing a wonderful job keeping its memory alive! If there's such a thing as a "Coolest Blog" award, you should have it. ☺ Glad I found you, even if it 7 years along. Better late than never. Cheers!

    1. Hi, dear Debbie! I'm just getting in off the road and was delighted to find this comment from you. Thank you very much for being on hand as I observe the completion of 7 years of blogging here on SDMM.

      Yessum, over the past seven years there have been astonishing revelations about the Dell's history and the people associated with it, many of them pictured here. There have also been developments that brought sadness to original rat packers, the most significant taking place in 2012 when the historic Dell dance hall was demolished. In a matter of minutes the cherub theme mural crumbled to the ground along with graffiti written on the walls by generations of teenage patrons. The building is gone but the memories live on. My mission is to keep those memories alive the rest of my days.

      Debbie, I am very thankful that I found you, too, my very special friend. Thank you again for joining the celebration today and stick around for plenty more music, memories and fun coming up in year #8!

  13. Seven years is a pretty good record of success. This "poor man's video" is an interesting concept. I'd forgotten all about that TV show 4400.

    Sorry I haven't been by for your last few posts but computer time has been limited and I haven't always been able to access the blogs posts easily. Maybe while I'm here at my daughter's house I'll be able to play catch up.

    Tossing It Out

    1. Hi, Lee! It's good to see you, my friend! Thanks for coming to my 7 year blogiversary celebration. It seems like you are the first reader who has actually seen The 4400. :) If you know about the series but haven't seen it yet I highly recommend it. It gets you thinking about the choices you would make under the same circumstances.

      I can't remember where your daughter lives but I'm thinking you might be at the Jersey Shore. If so, then you are in the area of the country where I grew up and spent summer vacations. Next time you're on the boardwalk be sure to get a Taylor Pork Roll sandwich, an order of Thrasher's French Fries and a box of salt water taffy. You'll blow your diet to smithereens but it's mighty good eating. If and when you pass through the Lancaster - York area you will be in my old stomping ground. Be sure to look for the historic "Shoe House" along Route 30.

      I hope you are enjoying your getaway, Lee, and I wish you a safe return to California. If you have time when you get back, check out my just completed 3-part series on Dick Clark's Where The Action Is. I'm sure you must have watched it back in the day. Thanks again for coming by, Lee!

    2. Jersey Shore area is correct. I'm staying at my daughter's house in Toms River. One of my other daughters works in a restaurant on the boardwalk in Asbury Park. I'm watching out for regional foods with my daughters and my SIL guiding my way.

      Tossing It Out

    3. I'm glad my memory still serves me, Lee. I visited Asbury Park when I was age 15, along with Point Pleasant, Atlantic City, Ocean City, Cape May, all those Jersey beach towns... the Delaware and Maryland beaches, too. As you head across Pennsylvania you might want to try sauerkraut, shoofly pie and 7 sweets & 7 sours. Thanks again for coming, Lee, and have fun!

  14. Happy Anniversary! A unique concept and a touching tribute rolled into one - nice!

    1. Hi, Diedre! Welcome back to Shady Dell Music & Memories! I'm thrilled that you joined me this week to help me celebrate 7 years of blogging.

      I'm glad you appreciated what I did with this post. I recently watched the entire run of The 4400. The series had such a profound impact on me that I chose to incorporate it into my 7th anniversary post. The theme song and instrumental passage used in the show open are very powerful. They made perfect music beds for displaying these historic pictures of Shady Dell luminaries and the fictional characters in The 4400. I encourage you to watch the series if you have access to it. I also invite you to come along with me as I continue my mission to entertain and educate you here on SDMM.

      Thank you again for coming, dear Diedre, and enjoy the rest of your week!

  15. What great photos and what great memories

    1. Hi, dear Jo-Anne! I'm very pleased to have you over on this special occasion, my 7 year blog anniversary. The photos in the first segment are the Shady Dell V.I.P.s, the people who made Dell history and the people who helped to make SDMM a success. The second group of images gives you a feel for one of my favorite TV series, The 4400. If it is available in Australia I urge you to watch it.

      Thank you again, dear friend Jo-Anne!

  16. Happy Anniversary! I also started blogging in 2008. I didn't even know you could have something called "followers"....but I'm so happy I found this blog because I've learned a lot about music and those who create it, sing it, dance to it, and give tribute to it. I clicked on this site after seeing so many wonderful comments you left on Karen's blog. I wanted to see who was really this sincere and nice! I found much more however....a good blog buddy who makes me think and smile and sometimes takes me back to a time in my life that was innocent and fun. I know the Dell was a magical place and a magical time and you've shared so much about it and kept it alive for the Rats and us wantabee Rats! I've never seen the 4400 series but it looks like something I'd enjoy. My friends think I have a weird sense of TV anyway! I hope you have many more anniversaries so I can see the fun way you'll announce it and celebrate it! Thanks for letting me be a teensy part of SDMM!

    1. Oh, thank you so very much, dear YaYa, and welcome to my 7 year blogiversary party! During my first two years of blogging, as I recall, I had only two followers. If a post received a single comment I was delighted. I never dreamed that I would someday have 200 followers and a nucleus of loyal, committed friends like you. I think you have been with me now for at least three of these anniversary cycles. I can't tell you how thankful I am that you noticed me on Karen's blog and decided to give me a try. You and I both found a wonderful friend that day and we have shared a great deal since then, teaching and learning, sharing and caring. We have watched the seasons change and the children grow. I am very proud of our friendship, YaYa. The best way I know to express it is that you remind me of home. You remind me of the happy days of my youth when I lived in Pennsylvania. You are a good, decent, honest, hard working, no-nonsense person. You have interesting stories to share about your own youth and you always let me know that you are interested in mine. You possess a refreshing, self-effacing sense of humor, another trait I value and look for in a friend. Simply put, you are good people, dear Kathleen, and I cherish this friendship of ours. You are very much more than a "teensy" part of SDMM. You are a significant part of this blog's success story!

      Yessum, if you get a chance to watch The 4400 I highly recommend it. It will get you thinking about human nature and the future of mankind.

      Thank you again for being here for me today, dear YaYa, and for being here for the thousand days that came before it. Your presence today made my anniversary celebration complete. :)

      God bless you!

  17. Kathleen Mae SchneiderJuly 21, 2015 at 9:24 PM

    Well, Tom, while I'll have to catch up on The 4400 series later because I've never seen it, I'm fascinated by time warping. This wonderful anniversary post sure conjures up both past/future reflection and a "carpe diem" moment for me. It's remarkable to see all these folks in one spot, and to see my grandparents, mother, daughter and myself among them! I am SO honored!

    As I scrolled though the photographs in the first half of the post, I kept wondering how any of those people would have reacted back when their pictures were taken, to a glimpse into the future about their part in the life of the Shady Dell.

    It would have been impossible for my grandparents to know when they built their dream house and barn that their eventual loss of the property would only be the beginning of many incarnations in the ensuing 103 years, and that their labor of love would always be remembered.

    Neither they nor their little daughter Margaret, contentedly swaying on the porch swing at the first of her many homes, could have envisioned the day she would return to the same spot to celebrate her 100th birthday, trailing her children, grand- and great-grandchildren, and even more remarkably, a reporter seeking her story.

    For the Spanglers who came after my ancestors, no doubt they would have been just as incredulous to find out the part their family would play in maintaining the property for future owners, especially the Ettlines.

    When John and Helen's turn came, they first let their mark by naming the Shady Dell, but went on to invest a large portion of their lives to the thousands of guests that crossed its threshold.

    They may have hoped, but not realized in their wildest dreams, how long their influence would last in the hearts and minds of the young lives they touched. Taking those quarters from their guests (or letting them in free...), how could they ever know that their kindness and guidance would be immortalized in a form that would literally go around the world?

    And what of those handsome young guys who postured, romanced, danced the night away, and learned the hard knocks of breaking into the Dell's rambunctious social order?

    Go back to the Dell's heyday and pull one aside. Tell him that the girl he's trying so hard to impress and many of the friends who make up his 'posse' would someday disappear, but his experience at that magical place would inform the rest of his life. Would he believe you - or even care?

    Make sure you venture into the snack bar and get the attention of one particular guest - a good-looking dark-haired guy - sitting at the counter gorging on Helen's cheeseburger, fries and milkshake. Interrupt him so he stops his foot from tapping to a favorite song on the jukebox.

    Tell him (or his father who years earlier had posed with his youngest son on his knee) that one day this casual and often-repeated experience at his second (largely forbidden) home would give rise to an international 'family' whose size would surpass any of his' or his friends'. Wiping ketchup from his mouth, the young man would probably say, "Who - ME?"

    Or reveal the future to a lovely woman covered in dust and grime, whose husband and brother-in-law just bought the dilapidated Dell house and barn. Tell her that her foresight and love for the place would ensure preservation of its historic and cultural value through long years of tedious restoration. Did she realize her vision would finally come true? She might at that stage have thunked her shovel into the rubble and ventured dubiously, "That is ONE gigantic gamble!"

    (continued below)

  18. Kathleen Mae SchneiderJuly 21, 2015 at 9:26 PM

    (continued from above)

    Last of all, tell a retired art teacher who despised computers when she began writing her maternal family's history that she would grudgingly admit she needed the internet for research and would stumble clumsily upon this blog.

    Nearly losing an all-important first contact out of ignorance and inexperience, she would tediously manage with the help of its author to surmount huge (to her!) technological hurdles. Here her family history, so entwined with the Dell from the very start, would find expression and appreciation, new friends would emerge, and simultaneously an era of music and culture thought lost to her would be revived. She would find it hard to believe so much could happen in so few years. She still does!

    All I can say to you my friend is thank you and congratulations for 7 terrific years as gate-keeper of the Shady Dell's legacy.

    Thank you for your hard work getting my rambling and convoluted thoughts and multiply-sized and oriented photos into publishing form, and providing a virtual archive for them.

    I also appreciate the thousands of hours you've spent researching new-or-rarely-showcased musical artists, your personal responses to comments, and the quality you build into every one of your original and creative posts. Thanks for the learning, the laughs and the fun!

    You single-handedly have been responsible for keeping the Dell's light on for all the people in the photographs, those of us living and those long-gone, and tying us all together in friendship.

    I guess I'm really getting 'out there' now, but I imagine a party going on somewhere - a special one - where Dell "dignitaries" from the last two centuries are gathered. They'd probably have a great time trading tales of their time at the home that meant so much to them.

    Then one of them, perhaps George Brown with his arm around the shoulders of John Ettline, would say, "How about that Tom Anderson fella? He's done quite a job keeping our old place alive, hasn't he? John would let out a hearty guffaw and say proudly, "Yep, he sure has. I always called him Shady Del Knight - and I'm not at all surprised!"

    1. Hi, dear Kathleen! I am overwhelmed with emotion after reading your extraordinary two part comment. As always you have managed to sum it up perfectly. You have eloquently expressed what is on my mind and in my heart as I observe my 7th anniversary as author of Shady Dell Music & Memories. Thank you, my dear and special friend!

      As soon as I started watching The 4400 a few months ago I was compelled to base a blog post on the series. The 4400 reminds us that the past, present and future are connected. Before long it occurred to me that The 4400 would work well in my anniversary post as I look back over seven years of blogging and 65 years of living.

      Another blogger asked if the people in these pictures are family. The answer us yes. We are all members of the Shady Dell family. We share a history and a bond. Most of them have passed over to the other side but, at times like this, I feel them drawing near. I feel their presence, all of them.

      The Ettlines and the Shady Dell were loved by countless thousands of teenagers over a span of nearly 50 years. I often wonder why an ordinary guy like me, a rock 'n roll loving, adventure seeking, girl chasing teenager, was the only one inspired in later years to host a blog dedicated to the people, the place and the time. It's an awesome responsibility, one that I take seriously, and I consider myself very lucky to have dedicated people like you at my side to help me tell the Shady Dell story. I shudder to think of how close you and I came to missing each other entirely. If you had not persisted in your efforts to make a connection with me, none of the great things that have transpired since would have been possible. It was the same with Toni. In the summer of 2008 I noticed a message she posted on Jim McClure's blog and I was determined to locate and interview her about what it was like to own the Shady Dell in the new millennium. As it happened, Toni was away on vacation at the time, and it seemed like forever before we finally made contact. Soon she was my right hand lady, my Shady Dell correspondent, snapping hundreds of pictures of the Dell inside and out for use on the blog. We all came together like a perfect storm, Kathleen, and this great friendship, this three-way collaboration, this labor of love, is the result.

      Thank you very much for sharing my vision, dear friend Kathleen. You certainly share the credit for all that has been accomplished here.

      God bless you!

  19. This was wonderful! Happy Anniversary, sweet friend. I can't believe it has been 7 years. I was stunned when I saw my picture on this post and very flattered. We have known each other through good times and bad; mostly good.

    I was very touched by Kathleen's comment. You have done so much for her and her family. I am honored to have been introduced to John and Helen, two loving, generous and fun people. They knew how to reach out and help teenagers which is a rare gift. Thank you for your friendship and your blog.

    1. Hi, dear Belle! Thank you very much for joining me as I mark the 7 year anniversary of SDMM. You are right. It's hard to believe that I have been publishing the blog for so long.

      This experience has changed me, Belle. It has made me a kinder, more loving and more tolerant person than I was at the beginning in 2008. I feel very fortunate to have met you on Yvonne's blog all those years ago and that you chose to follow me here. A cherished friendship resulted, and it's true, you and I have been through good times and bad times together, and have always been there for each other.

      Yessum, I posted that picture of you as a teenager. I included you in the honor roll because you have the distinction of being my oldest blog friend who still visits and comments regularly. There is no other, sweet Belle. You are the only one left from that original group of friends we had back then, the ones who joined me in 2010 and spurred me on to continue blogging when I thought I was ready to retire and post reruns. All the others have gone away and you alone remain. Can you imagine how much your loyal and faithful friendship mean to me, Belle?

      I hope everyone, especially new followers, will take time to read Kathleen's magnificent two-part comment. We are family. We are all connected. We share a vision. We have a bond that goes beyond friendship. We love each other. We take responsibility for one another. We are all part of something great. We all feel it.

      Thank you again, dear friend Belle, for being such a dear sweet friend to me all these years. I invite you to join me again next Monday as I kick off my 8th year with a special guest post written by Janie Junebug. I know it will be of interest to you.

      Thank you again, my wonderful friend, and enjoy the rest of your week.

      God bless, Belle!

  20. Congrats on seven years! I am sorry to hear the place was torn down but the world keep changes. The place obviously lives on in your heart and your blog. Thanks for sharing and letting me visit through your posts.

    1. Hey, Mike! Thanks for coming over, good buddy! It's awfully nice of you to express this and I appreciate it.

      Yes, it will soon be three years since the walls of the Dell dance hall came tumbling down and with them decades of graffiti left by hundreds of Dell rats. We were all lucky to have Toni Deroche and her family as the Dell's owners in the years prior to the sale because they preserved that piece of York County history and saved the whole estate, house and all, from the wrecking ball.

      Thanks again for being here on this special occasion, Mike, and please stuck with me for more great music and memories coming in year 8!

  21. Tom, what a fun post to mark your 7th blogversary. I loved the vintage photos! Incidentally, we're on season 4 of The 4400. :) What a great show! Anywho, I can't wait to see what new, exciting things you blog about in the coming year, dear friend. I'm so glad our paths crossed through BOTB. I love how blogging brings people together. Have a good evening!

    1. Hi, dear Cathy! Thank you ever so much for making time for me in the midst of a hectic and stressful week. I deeply appreciate it!

      Like you I wished The 4400 would never end. The series captured my imagination like few others. It got me thinking. Incidentally, I am currently watching Billy Campbell in the series Crime Story and I originally fell in love with Australian Jacqueline McKenzie in the 1997 Naomi Watts film Under the Lighthouse Dancing.

      Cathy, I am very happy that you and I are building a warm friendship. Thank you again for your support and stay tuned for lots more music, memories and fun coming up in year 8. Please try to enjoy your week and know that you and your family are in my prayers.

      God bless!

  22. Tom Thanks for the great trip thru time. As I let the music and pictures move me the tears started to roll. Like many of your posts it showed me that I was right so many years ago when I knew the Dell was a special place and that John and Helen were special people. The picture of the two dancers has all ways meant one thing to me , I can not think of it with out thinking of all the good people and all the good times and all the things I learned during my Dell years. When I think of the Dell I see the two dancers and when I think of the picture I think of the Dell. The day I got the call from Toni that the barn was coming down was one of the worst days of my life. I went up to see it with my own eyes. There was nothing left but the Dell dance floor and a lot of dust. I looked at the broken blocks and found one with part of the two dancers on it. It sits on a night stand by my bed. I know Toni also has a part of the picture and I know it means a lot to her also. This blog is the heart beat of the Dell if it stops the Dell will be lost to time. Keep up the good work Tom, your blog is the Dell. May our Dell live forever.

    Your friend and A Dell Rat All Ways Greg

    1. Hi, Greg! Thank you very much for being on hand again this year as I mark another anniversary for our Shady Dell blog.

      My friend, your comments always make my tears flow because I think the same things you do and feel the same things you do. I believe the last time I posted one of these "poor man's videos" was in 2012, that terrible, sad day when the bulldozer attacked our lady and her walls came tumbling down. Thank goodness you and Toni salvaged concrete blocks that contain meaningful images and graffiti.

      When I see these "before" pictures, the ones taken during happier days of old when the walls were still intact and the mural of dancers and , cherubs stood guard over generations of Dell rats, the memories come flooding back and it seems like only yesterday that guys like you and me were there as teenagers When I look at those ultra rare photographs showing Dell rats congregating and dancing at the Dell in 1961, I think of all the kids who went there and all the music, fun and excitement that took place over the years.

      We aren't dreaming, Greg. We aren't imagining things. The Shady Dell was a unique place and John and Helen Ettline were indeed very special people. There will never be anything quite like the Shady Dell ever again.

      Thank you again, good buddy Greg, for coming over to testify on this the 7th anniversary of Shady Dell Music & Memories!

  23. That's cute. Now I have a new series to check. :P

    The one with the message though. He's changing the world alright. :)

    1. Thank you dear Lux! I needed to take a blog break this week because I am hosting guests from out of state. I will be back to my normal blogging schedule next Monday and I'll visit you then.

      Thank you again for your visit and comment, dear friend Lux!

  24. A poor mans music video. What a great concept. I will have to do that some time. I've never seen the 4400 show. What is it about exactly? 4400 people who disappeared and then returned back at some point? Were they taken from Earth? Or just transported in time? Were they all the same age when they returned?

    1. Hi, Jeffrey! I am not officially "here" this week because we have guests staying with us from out of state and I promised Mrs. Shady that I would be a good host and refrain from blogging until they leave on BOTB day, Aug 1.

      The 4400 is an excellent series. I promise you it will get under your skin. The actors are terrific. They include Billy (Crime Story/Once and Again) Campbell and Jacqueline (Under the Lighthouse Dancing) McKenzie. 4400 earth people of all ages and backgrounds disappeared over a span of many years. They were abducted to another dimension by people of the future trying to save the planet. The 4400 are altered and returned all at the same time. Even though some have been missing for decades, none has aged a single day. Each of the 4400 is now equipped with special powers and abilities that they didn't have before. A leader emerges and soon the fate of the human race hangs in the balance. It's fascinating, Jeffrey. If you have NetFlix I hope you will watch it.

      Thanks a lot for checking out my 7 year anniversary post, good buddy, and I hope you'll stick with me in year 8!

  25. Nice post, things explained in details. Thank You.


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