High School Yearbook Photo

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

Sunday, July 31, 2016

What's Cookin' at the Shady Dell? Another Tantalizing Pizza the Puzzle!


My dear friend Toni Deroche, former owner
of the Shady Dell, acquired pictures of
these handsome Dell signs from a
collector named Chris Werner.

Courtesy of Chris Werner

In an effort to determine the age of the menu sign,
I compared the prices on it to the ones on the
hand held menu (below) which was donated
by John Ettline's niece Nancy Rae Sieling.

Three items appear on both the sign
and on the above portion of the menu -
Chicken in a Basket and Shrimp in
a Basket
are listed in the upper left,
and Banana Split in the lower right.
All prices are the same except for
Shrimp in a Basket which is $1.00
on the sign and 90 cents on the menu.
These clues seem to indicate that the
collectibles are roughly the same age,
the hand held menu being slightly older.

We had already determined that the Sieling menu
was printed in the 1950s because the Dell's phone
number that appears on it has only five digits -
51007. How cool that the Dell's phone number
ended in Double O Seven! Like Bond, I always
ordered my cherry cokes "shaken, not stirred."
It seems likely that the hand held menu was
printed in the late 50s and Werner's menu
sign was made in the late 50s to early 60s.

Thank you Chris Werner...

and thank you Toni Deroche

for contributing to our

growing collection of

Shady Dell memorabilia!

Have a Shady day!


  1. Kathryn AndersonJuly 31, 2016 at 4:23 AM

    What a find indeed! Those signs look to be in excellent condition for their age-- and you are lucky to have that menu to compare the prices. It seems like someone comes forward and contributes a piece of Dell history to the blog at least once a year-- and you have quite a collection by now. How many of those Dell treats did you try?

    1. Hi, Kathryn!

      Thanks for taking a peek at this week's post as once again I play...

      (DRUM ROLL)...


      Yessum, seems like once a year somebody comes out of the woodwork and donates a pizza the puzzle like these vintage Shady Dell signs. SDMM has a growing collection and I am very grateful for those who provided rare pictures of John and Helen, pics of the Dell inside and out (then and now), pics of Dell patrons dancing, John's billy club, Dell signage and other artifacts.

      How many of those Dell food items did I eat or drink? When it came to ordering food at the Dell, I didn't like to experiment. (No breaded veal cutlet for me.) I pretty much stuck with burgers, fries, submarine sandwiches and cherry cokes.

      Thank you again, Kathryn, and have a fine week!

  2. That's nice the collector sent a picture of the sign. (It amazes me how many people collect old signs.) It does appear the sign is just a year or two older.

    1. Hi, Alex!

      Thanks for dropping by, good buddy!

      I do not yet have complete details relating to this particular sign or signs, but I gather that Chris Werner once lived close to the Shady Dell and was inspired to collect these items.

      I am proud to add these pictures to the SDMM collection of Dell memorabilia which includes the dance hall entrance sign sent to me by Kathleen Mae Schneider, tack room name plates, the menu sent by John's niece, a wooden baton carried by John Ettline to keep the peace and numerous pictures relating to my old hangout.

      Thanks again for reporting in, Alex, and have a great week!

  3. I love Ur blog, Mr Shady ... smiles ... me think, me will stay ... hope U have a spare bedroom 4 me ... not? ... o, well, maybe me can sleep in da corner of Ur bar? ... smiles ... Love, cat.

    1. Hi, cat!

      Thank you very much for joining me for my latest round of...

      Shady Dell Show 'N' Tell!

      Did you know that there was a Shady Dell kitty cat? During the last year or so that I attended, there was a cat that roamed freely around the snack bar. He liked to jump up on the counter then jump up on top of the warm refrigerator and snooze. Perhaps that cat was another incarnation of you! :)

      Thank you very much for coming to visit and for your cheery comment, dear friend cat!

  4. How cool is that! Were I you, I know I would be celebrating heavily to receive such a cool piece of memorabilia. Ham-Bar-B-Q sounds cool, even for a not-so- BBQ fan like me.

    1. Hi, Chris!

      Thanks for coming by, good buddy!

      Yessir, Toni and I were thrilled to receive these pictures, out of the blue, from Chris Werner, a guy she remembers but I don't even know. I learned that Chris sent the pics to Toni's son, Brandon, who used to hold practice sessions with his rock band in the Dell's dance hall.(It's a small world after all.)

      It amazes me how extensive the Dell menu was in those years. Just look at all those items, which included complete dinners like any other restaurant. By the time I started going in the mid 60s the restaurant was downsizing to a fast food snack bar.

      Thank you so much for your kind visit and comment, good buddy Chris, and have a Scrappy week ahead!

  5. Your right about the 60s menu. I don't remember full course dinners just sandwichs, fries and soda fountain treats. A bowl of hot chili in January.

    1. Hi, Jerre!

      Thanks for reporting in, good buddy!

      I can't remember any kids at the Dell sitting down to a full course dinner like Calves Liver & Bacon - just the typical fast foods that teenagers tend to eat. it's hard to believe the Ettlines kept all those different foods in that storage room behind the snack counter.

      Hey, while I have you here, Jerre, I was hoping you could help solve a mystery regarding these signs. Do you remember the Dell being called "Shady Dell Saddle and Riding Club" in the late 50s when you started going there? I never did and it prompted me to do some investigating. Online I discovered a site for Shady Dell Stables located along a different Shady Dell Road - one in Thomasville, north of the York Airport - but I could not find anything on their site that led me to believe the signs pertained to their facility and not to our old juke joint hangout. Here's that site:

      What do you think?

      Thank you again for taking a look at the latest pizza the puzzle, good buddy Jerre!

    2. The place looks pretty high class to me. I am sure it wasn't around in the sixties. I do remember some dude ranch I think around Dillsburg that had parties that got raided. Can't remember the name. The only thing I remember from that area was the US 30 dragway and the Lincoln ?? Drive In Theather. Jerre

    3. Hi again, Jerre!

      Thanks for helping me sort it out. The only nearby ranch venue I can remember that hosted parties and had bands for entertainment was Altland's Ranch in Spring Grove. Is that the place you were thinking of? I also remember Mother's Club A Go-Go which I think was in the Dillsburg area.

      Yessir, the Shady Dell Stables are located a little north of where the U.S. 30 Drag-O-Way races were held on the airport runway. I went to Lincoln Drive-In with my parents many times and kept going there as a teenager.

      Remember the Grace Slick quote, good buddy. "If you can remember the Sixties, you weren't there." :)

      Have a great week!

    4. Yes, it was Altlands that I sort of remembered. Of course I never took the advice of any white rabbits and I still have a little memory left. I did see the Airplane in concert once and Gracie didn't take it off. Jerre

    5. I just read that Altland's Ranch closed a few months ago:

      You were lucky to see the Airplane up close and personal.

      Thanks for the return visit, good buddy Jerre!

  6. Hi Shady!

    How neat! I love old signs and old menus. It makes me wish I lived in that time period.

    I hope you have a wonderful week, dear friend!

    1. Hi, Jessica Marie!

      Thanks you for spending a little of your Sunday in the Shady, dear friend!

      Yessum, old signs and menus like these from my old hangout, the Shady Dell, take us back to an exciting and fun-filled era. I wish you could have been there because I know you would have had a blast as a Dellette.

      Thank you again for stopping in, dear friend JM, and have a great week!

  7. What a great find! It's like finding a piece of family history. I know you felt like it was a home away from home. The prices are fun to look at. It's funny that chicken is more expensive than shrimp! Maybe your own young hands held that menu and ordered that cherry coke! I'm sure just seeing these things has brought back some wonderful memories. Enjoy your week ahead!

    1. Hi, YaYa!

      Thank you for coming to my pizza the puzzle party, dear friend!

      Yessum, every time somebody comes forward and contributes another piece of Shady Dell memorabilia it feels like I am discovering a piece of my own family history. It is very possible that my grubby little hands held the menu donated by Ettline niece Nancy. Given its age, it is more likely that it was held by Dell rat Jerre or even members of the Magnificent Men, the local blue-eyed soul band that landed a Capitol recording contract and had a string of jukebox hits at the Dell. It would be great to know for sure. :)

      Thank you again for coming over, dear friend Yaya. I wish you a very happy week ahead!

  8. These are such cool signs and old menu...I love seeing the designs on them and the prices! I have my mom's menu from her restaurant when she owned on in Toronto in the late '50's

    1. Hi, Birgit!

      Thank you for dropping in to see what condition my Dell signs are in. :) I am happy to see you, dear friend!

      What a coincidence that your mother owned a restaurant in the late 50s! Mrs. Shady's father operated a restaurant in the Baltimore area when she was a little girl (around that same time frame). I wish she had a menu from that old eatery but she does not. It is fun to examine the layout of old menus and the pricing structure. When I sat down at Helen's snack bar, I usually asked for the same old combo - a sub sandwich, an order of fries and a cherry coke.

      Thank you again for your kind visit and comment, dear friend BB. Have a wonderful week!

  9. Those are some fabulous pieces of memorabilia! You and your cohorts are doing a wonderful job keeping The Shady Dell alive, virtually, for everyone to enjoy. Those old prices are really something.

    1. Hi, Debbie the Doglady!

      Thank you for joining the salivation as we gaze at food items listed on old Dell menus and signs. Ever heard of Terps 4 Tower, the soda fountain treat listed in the lower right? I assume it is a sundae consisting of 4 scoops of ice cream, possibly all different flavors, and named in honor of the Maryland Terrapins football team which made 5 trips to major bowl games between 1947 and 1955, winning two of those games and tying one. If that is incorrect please let me know what a Terps 4 Tower is or was.

      Thank you very much for your visit and comment, dear friend Debbie!

  10. Yes, Shady, things from the old Dell keep popping out of the woodwork. I do believe there were two auctions held at the Dell so, there's still a lot more stuff out there! Ya never know what people bring forth.

    The prices of the food items are unbelievable as well as so many food choices!

    It's funny, there is a company locally in York called Ettline Food Corp. You see their trucks everywhere. They sell food of all sorts, kitchen equipment and paper goods to so many restaurants in the area. Coincidence? You tell me!

    1. Hi, Toni!

      Thank you for popping in dear friend, and thank you again for sending me these vintage Dell signs to display on the blog!

      You're right. Tons of Dell stuff were sold in the two auctions that followed John Ettline's death. There's reason to believe more people will come forward in the future to play Shady Dell Show and Tell.

      You're right about the food and meal prices. At my local fast food chain the other day I ordered onion rings on the layaway plan. I still have 5 more payments to make, but I am hoping to pick them up in time for Christmas. :)

      If I am not mistaken Ettline Food Corp. is run by relatives of the Shady Dell's John Ettline, perhaps the children of one of his brothers. If anyone can fine tune that statement, please do.

      Thank you again for your comment and for your years of friendship and support, dear Toni. Your tireless efforts and generous contributions have helped make SDMM the success it is today. :)

  11. Tom, I don't know, if they had a place similar to "Shady Dells" in rural WV. The best I thing I remember are a few drive-in restaurants in the early to mid 60s. I was really young and I remembered what a treat it was to get a hamburger or shake. Eating out wasn't an everyday thing like it for most kids today. When I was a teenager, the only place I recall we liked hanging out was the skating rink and that was usually on Saturday afternoons, if we could get one of the parents to take us that is. I loved skating to Elton John's Crocodile Rock. :)

    1. Hi, Cathy!

      Thank you for coming, dear friend, and thank you for sharing a pizza your own past with us!

      As years go by I realize more and more how lucky I was to have the Shady Dell. It seems there was nothing else quite like it anywhere. Like you I frequented drive-in restaurants. One place in particular, Rutter Bros. Dairy Store, was a big family favorite. I loved their thick, ice cold milkshakes, banana splits and pretzel rods. Like you I went to the skating rink on Saturday afternoons thanks to carpooling parents. Circa 1960 a modern bowling center opened just a couple of blocks from my home and I loved to hang out there, too.

      Thanks for reminiscing with me, dear friend Cathy, and enjoy the week ahead!

  12. Hi Shady!
    What a cool collection of keepsakes! How nice to have such a number of fellow Dell rats. And you know a place has to be special if a cat accepts it ;-)
    There was a really old pizza joint in walking distance when hubs and I first got together and my garden cat always followed us there to sit in the window and draw almost as much attention as the old jukebox!
    Have a terrific week, my friend :-)

    1. Hi, Diedre!

      Thank you very much for coming over, dear friend. It's great to have you!

      Yessum, every year it seems I meet at least one new original Dell rat or someone connected to the Dell in some way. Chris Werner apparently lived close to the Dell and went to the practice sessions held in the dance hall by Toni's son and his band.

      When new/old people come forward to get involved with SDMM, they often bring with them priceless personal stories of good times at the Dell. Occasionally they donate pictures or other items relating to the Dell. My cousin mailed me the billy club that John Ettline carried on his belt and used to control bullies. A Dell rat by the name of Lynn B donated the two ultra rare pictures in my right column cover story which show teenagers chatting and dancing at the Dell in 1961 - the only such pictures known to exist! Kathleen Mae Schneider surprised me with the ENTRANCE sign to the Dell dance hall. Toni Deroche sent me a 1917 book owned and signed by John Ettline. Toni also supplied SDMM with countless pictures of the Dell before and after its historic renovation and sale. Phil Spangler provided important images of his ancestors occupying the Dell during the Great Depression. These are only a few examples of people coming forward to provide pizzas of the puzzle.

      There was a cool pizza shop a couple of blocks from my house. Once a week my dad and I rode up there and picked up a large pie for the family dinner. I love places that have old fashioned jukeboxes.

      Thank you again for visiting and sharing memories, dear friend Diedre, and have a great week!

  13. How cool! My blog friend, Jessi, is currently on a journey uncovering her ancestor's history as one of the country's foremost barbed wire adventures. It's been so cool watching her family's history unfold and see all the neat things she's found. If you're interested in following along, here's the link --

    Have a great week, Shady!

    1. Hi, Ashton!

      Thank you for coming and thank you for the link to your friend's series. I'll check it out.

      I am very pleased that so many original Dell rats and their families have been coming forward and helping to fill in the missing pieces and solve Dell mysteries. Even so there are still mysteries that remain unsolved.

      Thank you again for joining me today, dear friend Ashton. I wish you a great week as well!

  14. What a fun find Shady! I love old menus and signs. What I find interesting is that the shrimp dish is cheaper than the chicken dish! That's very odd.

    I used to collect old beer signs and neons. I used to own a bar and still have some of the neons from there. My favorite is the Coors Red Light "Big Man's Beer". It's a very funky sign. It was fun while I was doing it but I have sold most of them by now...

    Hope you're having a good week Shady...

    Michele at Angels Bark

    1. Hi, Michele!

      Thank you very much for swinging by, dear friend!

      I love vintage restaurant, diner and tavern memorabilia and collected my share of it over the years including beer cans and signs advertising different brands of beer. My parents had electric beer signs in our basement game room and I remember having a large and rather impressive Carling Black Label sign on the bar in my apartment at college.

      I noticed that the chicken in the basket was priced a lot higher than the shrimp in the basket. As I stated in the text, however, it looks like the price of the shrimp was adjusted upward by 10 cents between the time the menu was printed and the sign board was manufactured, probably signaling the rising cost of shrimp that continued from that point on.

      Thank you again for coming by to chat, dear friend Michele,and enjoy the rest of your week!

  15. Tom, congratulations my friend for making my Top July Commenters list! It's a blessing to have you as a loyal reader, kind commenter, and good friend. God bless you!

    1. Hi again, dear Cathy!

      Thank you for coming back over here to spread more of your genuine warmth and goodwill. You truly do set an outstanding example for others to follow. I join you in counting our friendship as a blessing. :)

      Thank you again for your kindness and God bless you, dear Cathy!

  16. Of course, when those prices were in effect, wages were comparable. I made 85¢ an hour when I was in high school. In 1970 when I bought my first car--a lilac-colored Ford Corvair--gas was 36¢ a gallon.

    1. Hi, Kathleen!

      Thank you very much for coming over, dear friend!

      I remember when people used to carry a lot of change around in their pockets and there were quite a few items that one could buy with a quarter, a dime, a nickel or even a penny. These days a million dollar lottery drawing doesn't seem very large because we have seen the jackpot rise above a billion dollars.

      Thank you for exchanging memories and observations with me, dear friend Kathleen, and enjoy the rest of your week!

  17. I love the style of that era and the prices, too. I could gain some major weight eating .40 banana splits!

    1. Hi, C. Lee!

      Welcome back to SDMM, dear friend. I'm very happy to see you!

      I hear ya. Shady Dell owner Helen Ettline knew how to whip up soda fountain treats in a flash and they were delicious. In those days I could eat dinner at home and stuff myself at the Dell a couple of hours later and never gained an ounce. I gained five pounds reminiscing with you just now! :)

      Thank you again for your visit and comment, C. Lee, and please come again soon!

  18. I like those prices! Too bad inflation has to happen. Things are so overpriced these days!

    Enjoyed seeing the memorabilia!

    Have a terrific week!

    1. Hi, Sherry!

      Welcome back, dear friend. I can tell you are having a busy summer.

      What amazes me are all the items on the Dell menu that I never even knew Helen could make. It is hard to imagine people going to the Dell for a complete Sunday dinner but, in the early to mid 50s, many apparently did. In the mid to late 50s when rock 'n' roll became popular, teenagers took over the Dell, prompting John to make some adjustments. The restaurant became primarily a snack bar and the dance hall was built to accommodate the needs of the youthful crowd.

      Thank you again for dropping by, dear friend Sherry!

  19. There's a Shady Dell banana split! You're cooler than I thought. :)

    1. Hi, Luxie!

      Welcome welcome welcome, my friend around the world!

      Yessum, there was a Shady Dell banana split but it wasn't named after little old me. I wasn't known as Shady Del Knight until 2008, 17 years after the Dell went out of business. However, it is very cool of you to leave such a kind message. :)

      Have a wonderful weekend, dear friend Lux!

  20. Those were the days eh.

    I've been introduced to your blog from Curious as a Cathy. You are featured in her top commenters section.

    Nice to meet you.

    1. Hi, Colette!

      How nice of you to drop by from Cathy's place. I am very happy to meet you and to welcome you here to Shady Dell Music & Memories!

      I see that you reside in the Caribbean and host a blog that is sugar and JamericanSpice and everything nice. I applaud you!

      Yessum, those were the days, the mid 60s, my teenage years, and I wouldn't trade places with anyone.

      Thank you again for taking a peek in the door, Colette. You are always welcome here at SDMM and I hope you visit me again soon.

      Have a nice weekend, Colette!


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