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

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Flashdance... What a Feeling!

...a feeling of confusion

and bitter disappointment

when you realize this post

has nothing to do with:

Instead, it's another of my
brain busting trivia questions,
so put on your thinking cap.

Actress Malese Jow played Anna on the
fantasy TV series The Vampire Diaries.
Malese is a dang good singer as well,
as her recording of "Redlight," a song
written by Selena Gomez, proves.

"Redlight" - Malese Jow
(May 2010)

Jesse L. Martin (below right) played
NYPD Detective Ed Green on Law & Order.

Green was partnered with a fan favorite,
Jerry Orbach's Detective Lennie Briscoe.

Shantel VanSanten (below) played
Quinn James on One Tree Hill.

Shantel was also featured in the music video
"Fragile Bird," a single by Canadian singer
Dallas Michael John Albert Green, known
professionally as City and Colour.

"Fragile Bird" - City and Colour
(April 2011, highest chart pos.
#1 Canadian Alt. Rock, from
June 2011 album Little Hell)

Dominic Purcell (below left) played Lincoln
Burrows. Wentworth Miller played his brother
(from another mother) Michael Scofield.

Burrows and Scofield spent a heck of a lot of
time breaking out of and into secure facilities
on another of my favorite shows Prison Break.


Malese Jow, Jesse L. Martin, Shantel VanSanten,
Dominic Purcell and Wentworth Miller
are all in my next post.






Malese Jow, Jesse L. Martin, Shantel VanSanten,
Dominic Purcell and Wentworth Miller all appear
in one of my favorite comic based TV series:



"Dance With The Flash"

... a rave party to end all rave parties
(until the next one comes along).

Barry's two part dance-a-thon begins



will originate from

S.T.A.R. Labs, Central City,

and will be simulcast here on SDMM.

Barry Allen and his friends (and foes)
guarantee the tuneage played at
this blowout will be a lot hotter...

...and cooler... than Flashdance!




Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Breakfast With Mother: Fond, Wistful Memories of Margaret Schneider on
the 106th Anniversary of Her Birth

Tom Anderson sitting in for Shady Del Knight this week. The 18th of April is a very important date on the Shady Dell calendar. This year, for the first time, it is a bitter-sweet occasion. Here to bring us the story is my dear friend Kathleen Mae Schneider.




Kathleen Mae Schneider

It seems like my dear mother

is still here with me this morning.

Smiling through tears, I drink my coffee from
her favorite mug, taken back to a year ago on
this day. I had just given her a kiss and said,
"Happy 105th Birthday, Mom!", and she
shook her head, not quite believing
that she had lived so long.

Then, after taking a sip of high-caffeine
coffee prepared with milk from this favorite
butterfly mug of hers, she set it back on her
breakfast tray and with her characteristic
impish smile, pointed to it and said to me,
"The doctor said coffee wasn't good for me." 

The memory this cup conjures up for me is
quintessential Mother. Irrepressible, sharp of mind
and positive in outlook to the end of her life,
Mother's unique sense of humor no doubt
contributed to her longevity.

I was so fortunate to grow up in a home where we
laughed a lot. Because there wasn't a lot of money,
we didn't own a television set until I was 10,
so we made our own entertainment.

Once, Mother mistakenly hung her slacks on my
dad's side of the closet. After he squeezed into
them, he pointed to the side zipper and asked her,
"Margaret, can you please tell me how to use
the fly in these new trousers you got me?"

In addition to both my parents demonstrating how
to find such things as this to laugh about, Mother
taught me to marvel at, and be grateful for beauty
of all kinds. Flowers especially pleased her. Our
house was surrounded with annual and perennial
blooms and flowering shrubs and trees she planted.

I called Mother every evening, but often couldn't reach her
because she was outside watering her massive garden of
zinnias. (The woman next to her is my second cousin.)

Mother also grew and preserved many kinds of
vegetables, having first watched her mother feed
her large family from the Shady Dell's garden.

Growing one's own food was a necessity during the
Great Depression and Second World War, but Mother
still took pride in her Victory Garden - her hobby,
physical fitness and healing - well into her nineties.

Much of Mother's garden bounty was given away
to others. Visitors were treated to Mother's specialty -
homemade root beer - over good conversation. They
left laden with vegetables and flowers, a loaf of her
fresh baked bread, and of course, another bottle
of root beer. Any good was meant to be shared.

I think Mother's gratitude for nature's beauty and
life's blessings grew out of experiencing much adversity
in her life. The laundry list of traumas and misfortunes
she endured just in her first 16 years would take many
of us down for the count: serious illnesses, sexual
abuse, bullying, jail time for a parent, homelessness,
lack of education, and the murder of a sibling, among
others. However, she grew to be a kind and beautiful
woman, without a trace of bitterness or self pity.
No wonder my father fell in love with her!

My parents, Margaret Brown, 18, and Ralph Schneider, 25,
strolling on the Atlantic City boardwalk in the summer of
1930. (I love the icy-looking sign below the movie title
advertising early air conditioning!)

Mother personified resilience and unconditional love.
Her acceptance of others and forgiveness if they hurt
her, her humility, gentle nature and kindness, all
belied a steely toughness that triumphed over
so many tragedies.

In yet another pair of blows to their happiness,
she and my father nearly lost their first child,
my brother James, to a birth defect, and
Mother suffered terribly from a long
and serious postpartum infection.

However, this picture taken at the beach a few
years later shows a healthy young family.

Then, two years before I was born, Mother
nearly died from drinking contaminated
water from a friend's well.

(right) Mother, back home after a six-week bout with typhoid fever. She claimed living through such awful events as this only made her stronger!

Although she worked in sewing factories as a teen-
ager, she never sought any other career. However, she put her excellent seamstress skills to good use making doll clothes, Halloween costumes and school outfits.

At two and a half, I was obviously pleased with my very well dressed doll.

Six years later, I won the blue ribbon for this
"Dutch girl" number that Mother designed and
sewed for me. My father carved the wooden shoes.

Mother was proud of her "career" and considered
her 46-year, happy marriage to my father, mothering
their three children, being grandmother to seven, and
great-grandmother to six, her greatest achievements.

Mother with her grownup "kids", James, Betty and me,
at her grandson's wedding

My two children adored their Grammy! The feeling was mutual.

Great grandson Max with "Old Grammy".
(My sister is just "Grammy")

My father's death in 1980 was one of the worst
losses Mother ever suffered, but she soldiered on,
insisting on keeping busy and engaged with life,
and staying alone in her house. She worked hard
to tire herself out and helped others whenever
she could so she'd forget her problems. Loving
everyone and working hard were her solutions
to any encroaching sadness.

Mother sweeping her sidewalk.

Mother, 102, in rehab healing from hip fracture #2.
She preferred clipping coupons to the
nursing home's entertainment!

Mother and me holding one another up
after the death of my son 12 years ago

So unlike the colorfully wrapped gifts I gave her
in 2017, my only gifts to her this year are some
pink petunias I placed on her grave and this
tribute to honor her. For the rest of my life,
however, these are just some of the enduring
and precious gifts she continues to give to me:
laughter, love and forgiveness for everyone,
flowers and gardening, gratitude, faith in God
and resilience. I was blessed to be able to have
her as my mother, my best friend, counselor,
role model and inspiration for over 70
of her amazing 105 years.

Happy Birthday in Heaven, Mother!

I love you beyond measure.

Oh, and now that I'm finished with my coffee,
your mug says it best....

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Eight Days a Week with Amy!

She's terrific - Beatlerific!

Hi, I'm Chris Griffin!

I'm back to bring you more Beatles classics
performed by my latest musical discovery...

English cover girl

Amy Slattery!

To start today's tunefest, Amy's musician dad joins her on the John Lennon song "I Don't Want to Spoil the Party" which was released in December 1964 on the album Beatles For Sale and in February 1965 on the B side of the single "Eight Days A Week." Here now are Amy and her dad doing right by the Beatles with their super cool cover of "I Don't Want to Spoil the Party!"

"I Don't Want To Spoil The Party"
Beatles cover by Amy Slattery
with her dad

"Because," the masterful ballad written by John and included on Abbey Road, features John, Paul and George singing in layered three-part harmony and George playing a Moog synthesiser, one of the few Beatles recordings to use the device. Amy takes it and makes it her own.

Beatles cover by Amy Slattery

In 1961 the Detroit R&B group The Top Notes were the first to record "Twist And Shout." The following year a version of the song by The Isley Brothers cracked the top 20. The Beatles cover of "Twist And Shout" was recorded in 1962, released in March 1963 on their album Please Please Me, and issued as a single in March of '64, landing in the top 3 on the U.S. chart. Amy Slattery tackled the song and her cover destroys!

"Twist And Shout"
Beatles cover by Amy Slattery

The popular Led Zeppelin song "Kashmir" was written by Robert Plant and released on the English rock band's 1975 album Physical Graffiti. Even though "Kashmir" is named after a region disputed by India and Pakistan, Plant says his inspiration for the song came on a road trip across the desert of Southern Morocco. Here's Zeppelin fan Amy performing her version of "Kashmir."

"Kashmir" - Led Zeppelin cover by Amy Slattery

Released in the spring of 1966 as the A side of their eleventh single, "Paperback Writer" plowed to #1 on the U.S. chart, in the UK and elsewhere. With "Paperback Writer" composers Paul and John gave us another song that isn't about love, a trend that began a few months earlier with "Nowhere Man." Here's Amy's groovy cover of "Paperback Writer."

"Paperback Writer"
Beatles cover by Amy Slattery

Released around Thanksgiving 1964 as the A side of the Mop-Tops' 8th UK single, "I Feel Fine" features that famous attention grabbing effect on the opening note - one of the first uses of guitar feedback in pop music history. Here's Amy with her version of "I Feel Fine."

"I Feel Fine" - Beatles cover by Amy Slattery

At the beginning of the post you heard Amy and her dad covering "I Don't Want To Spoil The Party." Now let's hear what Amy can do with the smash hit A side, "Eight Days A Week," the Beatles 7th single to land at the #1 spot on the U.S. chart. Go, Amy, GO!

"Eight Days A Week"
Beatles cover by Amy Slattery

Amy Slattery

is super cool.

Her music SLAYS!

I hope you enjoyed my 2-parter

on this talented up-and-coming

singer and musician in the UK.

I'm Chris Griffin saying goodbye

for now and reminding you

that you've gotta fight

for your right to rock.

See you soon!

Friday, April 6, 2018

Chris Griffin's Down with Amy!

Hi, I'm Chris Griffin...

the crazy, mixed-up

teenager from

Family Guy.

I'm sure you remember my post last year
when I introduced German drummer girl
and classic rock cover artist Sina. Today
I'm back with my latest discovery...

a talented Brit girl named

Amy Slattery!

Amy is a singer and multi-instrumentalist
who loves classic rock of the 60s and 70s,
especially the music of The Beatles.

In this two part tribute to Amy, I picked some
of the best covers on her YouTube channel,
including one she performed with her
musician dad, so start clicking and
rock along with Amy and me!

Written as early as 1957 by John Lennon with an assist from Paul McCartney, "One After 909" is one of the ace composing duo's oldest songs and is reminiscent of the early years rock 'n' roll in the U.S. The song stayed in the vault until 1970 when it became a track on the Let It Be album. Here's English cover girl Amy Slattery with a performance of "One After 909" that would make John proud!

"One After 909"
Beatles cover by Amy Slattery

"Ask Me Why" is another song primarily written by Beatle John. It was first released in 1963 on the Beatles' debut UK album Please Please Me and on the flip side of the Fab Four's "Please Please Me" single. John was influenced by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles and "Ask Me Why" imitates the Motown group's style. Listen to what Amy does with the song!

"Ask Me Why"
Beatles cover by Amy Slattery

Written and sung by George Harrison, "I Want To Tell You" is a track on the Beatles' 1966 album Revolver. The song emerged during George's creative spurt early in 1966 and drew upon his exposure to Indian culture and LSD experiences. Listen to Amy's fantastic version!

"I Want To Tell You"
Beatles cover by Amy Slattery

Written by Beatle Paul and influenced by American rock 'n' roll legend Little Richard, this next song, "I'm Down," became the hit B side of a Beatles 1965 two-fer single along with "Help!" Our girl Amy crushes it!

"I'm Down"
Beatles cover by Amy Slattery

"For No One" is another of Paul's songs from Revolver. The baroque pop track, featuring a French horn, deals with the end of an affair and was inspired by Paul's relationship with his girlfriend at the time, English actress Jane Asher. Listen to Amy's cool cover!

"For No One"
Beatles cover by Amy Slattery

"If I Needed Someone," from the Beatles album Rubber Soul, is another song penned by George. It is a love song to Pattie Boyd, the English model whom George married in January 1966. Brit bird Amy rules and rocks!

"If I Needed Someone"
Beatles cover by Amy Slattery

Amy loves The Beatles, but she also covers the material of other classic rock artists. One of her favorite songs is "Evil Woman," the hit single by the UK based symphonic rock band Electric Light Orchestra from their 1975 album Face the Music. Amy Slattery's cover kills!

"Evil Woman"
ELO cover by Amy Slattery

Stick around, gang!

I've got more super spiffy

classic rock covers by

Amy Slattery

coming right up in part 2.

See you soon!

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Forget the Shady Dell! No More Music! From Now On It's Hollywood Squares Each and Every Day of the Year!

 PETER MARSHALL: Glenda, start us off - pick a square. 

 GLENDA MILLER (teacher - Cleveland, Ohio): 
 I'll take Paul Lynde. 

 PETER MARSHALL: Paul, what do you call 
 Twelve drummers drumming, Eleven pipers piping, 
 Ten lords a leaping, Nine ladies dancing, 
 Eight maids a milking, Seven swans a swimming, 
 Six geese a laying, Five golden rings, 
 Four calling birds, Three French Hens, 
 Two turtle doves And a Partridge in a pear tree?