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, January 9, 2016

Who Survived The Version Sacrifice? ...and Happy Birthday, Helen Ettline!

It's time to announce

the winner this year's first

Version Sacrifice!

Two acts competed for your vote singing
"The Coldest Night of the Year," a song
written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil
and originally recorded by Nino Tempo
and April Stevens. An English vocal duo
called Twice As Much teamed up with
rising singer-songwriter Vashti Bunyan,
also of the UK, on a version recorded
in 1966 and released on a 1968 album.
Famed falsetto Lou Christie and an
 uncredited female performed a
version that showed up on a
Christie CD issued in 2007.


It starts with a great song and "The Coldest Night of the Year" is a great song, a winter classic similar to "Baby, It's Cold Outside" and "It's Now Winter's Day," the Dell hit by Tommy Roe. Nino & April established a baseline with an enjoyable original version of the song that became the forgotten flip of a failed 1965 single. Lou Christie and his unknown female singing partner updated the song for the new millennium and I enjoyed their cover as much as the original, but my Pick To Click is the version recorded by the UK dream team of Dave Skinner, Andrew Rose and Vashti Bunyan, recording together as Twice As Much featuring Vashti. Their recording has it all - Spectoresque, wall-of-sound production which includes echo chamber and sleigh bells, intimate female lead vocal and glorious group harmony. The result is a dreamy, hauntingly beautiful album track that was a hit waiting to happen and should have been released as a single.

Sometimes Twice As Much is more
and this is one of those times.
T.A.M. & Vashti get my vote!

Did your ears match mine?
Here's the final score:




What is DIMPLED CHAD?  Unfortunately the
Lou Christie video was not available for playback
in Canada.  Four of my Canadian voters needed
to visit Amazon and listen to a 30 second sound
sample. All four voted for Vashti. As the final
figures reveal, those 4 votes had no influence
on the outcome of the contest.  Vashti led
all the way and won by a wide margin.

Congratulations to Twice As Much

& Vashti Bunyan... survivors of

the first Version Sacrifice of 2016!

Thank you for voting!

This is a very special day

for another reason.

Helen Trostle Ettline

was born 105 years ago

on January 9, 1911.

 Things I'd like you to know about Helen: 

 Helen loved horses and was a skilled rider. 

 Helen married John in Texas before he 
 joined the U.S. Army and served in WWII. 

 Helen was a warm, gracious hostess. 

 Helen was patient and tolerant. 

 Helen was a great listener. 

 Helen always had a twinkle in  
 her eye and a winning smile.

 I loved Helen. 

Every evening while Helen worked behind
the Dell's snack counter preparing treats to
feed the masses, she enjoyed listening to
a steady stream of doo-wop oldies that
played on the restaurant jukebox.

In keeping with tradition let's celebrate
Helen's birthday by listening to one of her
favorite songs, "Two People in the World"
by Little Anthony the Imperials, a Dell
classic that I dubbed "Helen's Song."


 We love you and miss you! 


  1. I picked the winner this time. Will announce the winner of mine on Monday.
    Nice of you to mention Helen's birthday and her special connection to the Dell and to you.

    1. Hi, Alex!

      Thanks for coming over to check out the voting results. I'm happy to know that your ears matched mine this time.

      As long as I keep SDMM running I will continue to remember Helen and John on their special days.

      Have a great weekend, Alex!

  2. This wasn't a surprise--and I am happy to see that Vashti's version came out on top. I might have voted for Lou Christie paired with a different female voice--like Vashti's lol. It's interesting to learn that Helen was an equestrian--nice of you to remember her special day every year, Shady.

    1. Hi, Kathryn!

      Vashti's version of "Coldest Night" was the only one I knew prior to modifying an existing draft into a Version Sacrifice. I searched YouTube and found a worthy opponent in Lou Christie's millennial recording.

      I'd like you and the other readers to know that all of my band battles, approximately 40 in number, are drafts that were written months or even years before I joined BOTB. They were originally put together to entertain and inform, not designed to be contests with voting. I plan to publish the remaining contests over the next few years and then retire the series.

      Thank you for participating, Kathryn, and enjoy your weekend!

  3. Wow, Lou got creamed! It was as if Lightning struck him...


    1. Hi, Chris!

      "Two Faces Have I," Lou Christie intoned, "and only three votes."


      When Lou went to see the gypsy to have his fortune read, she should have warned him about this terrible day!


      Thanks, Chris!

  4. Hi, Shady; I'm not surprised at the outcome here, even though the Canadian votes weren't official. Lou & Ms. Anonymous just didn't cut it! :P

    Happy Birthday to Helen! She must have been a wonderful person and obviously someone close to your heart. Lovely tribute!

    Have a good weekend, my friend.

    1. Hi, Debbie the Doglady!

      Thanks for dropping in, my wonderful friend! I'm glad your ears matched mine this time. I wish one of the readers had been able to positively identify the mystery female vocalist on Lou's recording.

      Yessum, Helen was a wonderful lady and I still miss her all these years later. The number 105, her age, doesn't even compute but, then again, I am much older now than she was when I went to the Dell. That's a scary thought! :)

      Thank you again for your cheery visit, dear friend Debbie, and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

  5. Yay! I'm glad Twice as Much won! And what a nice tribute to honor Helen's birthday. I know how much she meant to you.
    Enjoy your Sunday. I'll be working at a psychic fair, assisting Austin's best and well-known psychic Joe Nicols. I worked all morning and part of the afternoon today for him and will be going back for a 5 hour shift tomorrow... I'm ready to crash right now and it's only 8:00! Was busy today!
    Enjoy your Sunday Shady...

    Michele at Angels Bark

    1. Hi, dear Michele!

      Wowie, your social calendar is jammed full, isn't it? That's fascinating about the psychic fair. You'll have to let me know more about it and what all you did to assist. Maybe you can post about it, yes?

      Yessum, Twice As Much ran away with the contest. It's the most lopsided battle I've had since starting the series.

      Yessum, Helen Ettline was a sweet, caring lady and I miss her very much. I will continue to honor her every year on her birth and death dates and on Mother's Day.

      Thanks again for your visit and comment, dear friend Michele. Get some rest and have a great day at the fair tomorrow!

  6. I think I voted for the winner this time.
    WoooHoo !
    But I do remember and loved Little Anthony and the Imperials. Fabulous.
    How is Bud by the way ?

    cheers, parsnip and thehamish

    1. Hi, dear Gayle!

      How are you tonight? Thanks for coming over, dear friend!

      If I recall correctly, you cast a write-in vote for Bub the Zombie! :) (Bub says "hello." :)

      You did indeed pick the winner in this race, Vashti Bunyan, and I thank you very much for participating. I'm also happy to know that you enjoyed that late 50s doo-wop oldie "Two People in the World," the fab flip side of Little Anthony's big hit "Tears On My Pillow." Helen loved both sides of that platter and played them often on her snack bar jukebox. I loved her and miss her.

      Thank you very much for your sweet visit and comment, dear friend Gayle. Please give thehamish a biscuit for me and enjoy the rest of your weekend!

  7. I picked the winner this time too!

    I remember Viktor Frankl said there were just two kinds of people in the world: good people and bad people. Helen was a good person. Teens only love those who are loving. I'm glad she and her husband had a good influence on you and all the other teens that came to the Shady Dell.

    1. Hi, dear Belle!

      Thanks for offering another interpretation of the song lyrics "just two kinds of people in the world." I certainly agree that most teenagers respond positively to loving, caring adults, and they seem to have radar for such people. Helen and John cared and the kids knew it. The Ettlines got involved with their young patrons. They listened. They offered advice and assistance. They didn't judge. Year after year it amazes me how vivid my memories of Helen and John remain - their voices, their mannerisms and the feeling I always had in their presence - "good vibrations."

      Yessum, you voted with the majority this time, dear friend Belle, and I thank you for visiting and voting. I hope the year is being kind to you and you family and I look forward to our next chat. Have a safe and happy week ahead, Belle.

      God bless!

  8. Oh, how well you transport us back to more pleasant times! As glad as I am that my pick won this time, it certainly was my pleasure to read this post! Your touching tribute to Helen made me misty and brought to mind the handful of unforgettable folks I've known in my life. Nice beginning to working on a Sunday;-) In another life I must have loved cooking (what?!) for I sure was transfixed by the snack counter. Thanks for the happy thoughts, my friend!

    1. Hi, dear Diedre!

      Thank you very much for coming over to check out the Version Sacrifice vote results. Vashti "survived" by a landslide!

      You are right. As we continue to remember Nat and Natalie Cole, we realize that there are a few "unforgettable" people who enter our lives and leave an indelible impression. My small handful included John and Helen Ettline and I remember them every year on their birth and death dates and on Mother's and Father's days.

      Yessum, that picture shows the Dell's original snack counter and you can see the soda fountain on the left. Oh, how I loved Helen's vanilla shakes!

      Thank you again for your kind visit and comment, dear friend Diedre, and enjoy the week ahead!

  9. Helen sounds like a lovely person. It was nice of you to remember her day.
    Have a good Sunday, Shady.

    1. Hi, Sandra!

      Thank you very much, dear friend! Helen had a very soft voice but she was no pushover. I saw her angry a few times and she didn't hesitate to correct unwanted behavior at the Dell - like the time she caught me sitting on the back rest of an outdoor bench with my feet resting on the seat surface. She came flying out the door and told me to get down and start acting like a civilized adult. That's how we learned.

      Thank you again, dear friend Sandra, and have a great week!

    2. Sounds like Helen had a big heart and a strong back bone;)

    3. Exactly! That's an accurate description, Sandra. Thanks, dear friend!

  10. Happy Belated birthday to your dear Helen...although I feel like I sort of know her through this blog and what a wonderful person she was! The photo of the snack bar where she worked is the sweetest thing. I would love to hang out there and listen to great tunes also! I wonder if that song reminded her of the love of her life..John..the other person in her world! I'm glad my artist pic won this first contest of 2016! Maybe I'm learning a few things about good music after all. Then again, I think just going with what makes you happy is the real ticket! Hope your week goes great! It's finally being a real Ohio winter day...snowing and blowing and super chilling!

    1. Hi, dear YaYa!

      Thank you very much for popping in, sweet friend!

      Yessum, I'm sure you know the main cast of characters in the Dell saga as well as do other long time followers like Toni Deroche, Kathleen Schneider and Belle Unruh. I had a favorite stool there in the snack bar. It was the one facing the soda fountain at the spot where the counter went around at a right angle. A black and white TV sat atop that refrigerator in the corner and the pinball machine was out of frame to the right. Can you imagine the din in the snack bar with the jukebox and TV playing simultaneously, the pinball machine dinging and popping and a bunch of Dell rats gabbing? It was a beehive of activity and I felt right at home there.

      I'm glad your ears matched mine in the Version Sacrifice. I have another one coming soon.

      Bundle up, hunker down and keep warm up there, dear friend YaYa. Have a wonderful week!

    2. I think I could handle that surgery I have the radio blasting, the heart monitor beeping, the surgeon mumbling, chit chat from the nurses, suction and other noisy machines doing their thing and if I'm in ortho, the pounding of hammers and the sound of drills...all at the same time..yep, I think I would manage...especially with a chocolate shake near by! Yum!

    3. Hi, again, dear YaYa!

      You wrote:

      << I think I could handle that noise. >> << suction and other noisy machines doing their thing and if I'm in ortho, the pounding of hammers and the sound of drills...all at the same time..yep, I think I would manage... >>

      Gee, if that's the case, then you're gonna LOVE all the heavy metal I have in store for you this year! :)

      Thanks for the follow-up, dear friend YaYa, and have a safe and happy week.

      God bless!

  11. Happy birthday, Helen! What a special lady indeed! :)

    1. Ah, thank you very much for the birthday wishes for Helen Ettline, the First Lady of the Shady Dell.

      Have a wonderful week, dear friend Jessica Marie!

  12. I was in the definite minority on this one, but that's not too unusual for my taste in music. Besides I'm a loyal Lou Christie fan even though I wasn't loyal enough to keep up with his career over the years. Both were winners so it's a good outcome.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

    1. Hi, Lee!

      For a while there (5 minutes :) your ears were matching mine in most band battles. Now we seem to be out of sync again, but I'm sure the pendulum will soon swing back the other way.

      I am a big Lou Christie fan but liked Vashti a little more. FYI - I have a three-part series on Lou Christie coming up on SDMM so stay tuned.

      Thanks for your visit, vote and comment, good buddy Lee, and have a great week!

  13. Hi Shady,
    Ok, my vote didn't go with the majority or with you but, that's fine. Different opinions is what makes the world go 'round!
    Another nice birthday tribute for Helen. I feel like I knew her from the blog portrayal and characterizations you so vividly describe. I could just image her in the kitchen (pictured above)that I had the privilege standing in so many times.
    Happy Birthday, Helen, Mother to so many Dell Kids (Rats)!

    1. Hi, dear Toni!

      Thank you very much for dropping by, my great friend! Yessum, this was one of the few times that your ears didn't match mine, but there's always next time.

      Can you believe Helen would be 105? It doesn't seem possible. It is also hard to believe that the snack bar shown in the picture above no longer exists and that the space once filled with restaurant booths, (and later fooseball and pool table), stools, lunch counter, jukebox, pinball and Dell rats has been transformed into furnished rooms in someone's home.

      Thank you again, Toni, for your cheery visit and comments as we celebrate another year and another birthday for the Dell's First Lady, Helen Ettline.

      Have a wonderful week, dear friend Toni!

  14. Tom, I had to come and visit you after hearing the news of David Bowie today. I knew as a fellow music fanatic you would feel his loss as strong as I do. I hope you're well dear friend!

    Emma x

    1. Yes, Emma... I am shocked! What a tremendous loss for music and the entertainment industry in general!

      Thank you for coming over to share your thoughts about the inimitable David Bowie, dear friend Emma!

  15. Helen sounds like a wonderful lady.

    I remember hearing that song by Little Anthony and the Imperials. It's an oldie but goodie.

    Glad to hear Vashti won the first battle.

    Have a wonderful week!

    1. Hi, dear Sherry!

      Thank you very much for coming by, my great friend! Yessum, Helen was a very special lady and I still miss her a lot. Hard to believe she would be 105 years old now! That song "Two People in the World" is the "killer bee" side of the huge Imperials hit "Tears on My Pillow." I'm glad you like it.

      Your vote for Vashti helped her clinch a convincing victory. Thank you for participating, dear friend Sherry!

  16. Interesting result and wish i could have heard the entire thing...oh well. Helen sounds like a wonderful girl

    1. Hi, dear Birgit!

      Thanks for coming down from the great white north, my wonderful friend!

      Yessum, it's a shame that you and other Canadians were blocked from viewing the Lou Christie entry.

      Helen Ettline was indeed a wonderful lady. All the Dell rats loved her and we miss her to this day.

      Thanks again for visiting, dear BB, and enjoy the rest of your week!

  17. Tom, It looks like I picked your pick. Yay, me! What a sweet tribute to Helen!! She sounded like a lovely, fun lady. :D
    Have tunetastic week, my friend!

    1. Hi, dear Cathy!

      Thanks for swinging by, my wonderful friend!

      Yessum, our ears matched on this one. Thank you again for playing Version Sacrifice with me.

      Helen Ettline was a very special lady, an excellent role model for her teenage patrons. I loved her and miss her.

      Thanks again, dear friend Cathy, and enjoy the rest of your week!

  18. Replies
    1. Howdy, Sandra!

      Happy Wednesday to you, dear friend! :)

  19. It's so hard to say goodbye to people in this life, especially the shining ones who make us want to smile bigger, be kinder, laugh a little louder. A lovely tribute.

    1. Hi, Crystal!

      I am delighted to see you, my new Florida friend and YA author!

      I am happy to know that you appreciated this birthday tribute to Helen Ettline, a woman who entered my life 50 years ago and left an indelible mark.

      I hope you will make a new year resolution to follow SDMM, dear Crystal. I would love to have you here in my circle of friends.

      Thank you again for your kind visit and comment!

    2. Well said, Crystal!

      Have a great day, Shady.

    3. Thank you, dear Sandra! I hope your author friend Crystal will decide to stay here and follow SDMM. She is always welcome.

  20. With a new series, I was hoping we'd start off matching each other. Unfortunately, our matches work as well as any given to Gene Rayburn.

    Sally enjoyed music so much, she even listened while she ________.

    Let's see if you can match me in this bonus game. ;)

    1. Hi, Jeffrey!

      Thanks for returning to the scene of the grime, good buddy!

      You're right. Our ears didn't match on the first Version Sacrifice but there's always next time.

      You wrote:

      << Sally enjoyed music so much, she even listened while she ________. >>

      I copied the answers Brett Somers and Charles Nelson Reilly wrote on their cards: "making whoopee!"

      Thanks again for dropping by, good buddy Jeffrey. I am eager to listen to the tuneage you present in tomorrow's band battle. See you then!

  21. Neat song probably perfect for slow dancing the night away at the Shady Dell

    1. Hi, Mike!

      You got that right, good buddy. This 1958 ditty was popular at the Dell before I started going there. It was retired from the main jukebox in the dance hall and loaded in the jukebox in the snack bar where Helen worked. By keeping two jukeboxes in play, the Dell offered the best of the old and new.

      Thanks for your comment, Mike!


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