Sunday, June 20, 2021

John Ettline - Every Dell Rat's Dad

It's Father's Day...

time to honor
"Every Dell Rat's Dad."

John didn't have kids of his own but, as every Dell rat knows, he would
have made a great father.  John was like a dad to us all. Again this year
on Father's Day, I am proud to present that classic scene from
The Donna Reed Show as Dell rats old and new salute a
great man and genuine father figure, John Ettline.




  1. Replies
    1. Hi, b.a.f.!

      Welcome to Shady's Place! I just checked out your site and suspect that you discovered me through our good friend Mary. As I read your profile my eyes popped because your list of interests and favorites is very similar to mine. Gritty horror? Hell yeah! I'm gonna check out your posts!

      Thank you for being the Early Bird today and helping me pay a Father's Day tribute to John Ettline, owner of the notorious Shady Dell hangout for teenagers in my old hometown York, Pennsylvania. I hope you will keep coming back and joining the fun. You don't want to miss my string of Halloween related posts throughout October. :)

      Thanks again for your visit and comment b.a.f.!

  2. Hi Shady, It is Father's Day, and time certainly does fly, doesn't it! My dad passed away in 1984 after a struggle with bone cancer. I still remember that evening when he passed. He was a very nice man and didn't deserve to suffer that way, but I am relieved that he doesn't suffer anymore.

    This is always a great tribute to John, who took on the task of mentoring and providing a fun atmosphere for teens. You don't have to actually father children to be a good dad! I remember the Donna Reed show and Paul Peterson's tribute to his dad. It was so moving.

    I want to wish you a Happy Father's day, Shady because I know you have been a great father figure as well. Have a fantastic day, dear friend!

    1. Hi, Suzanne!

      I'm very happy that you dropped in, dear friend! Thank you very much for breaking away from domestic responsibilities long enough to visit and help me honor John Ettline - every Dell rat's dad - on Father's Day.

      Yessum, I run this same Father's Day post year after year, and I can hardly believe that a whole year passes between postings. It seems like only a few months.

      I'm sorry you lost your dad so long ago, more than 35 years now, and under such awful circumstances. My father will be gone 20 years this Christmas. It doesn't seem possible.

      I'm glad you enjoy the "My Dad" song performed by Paul Petersen, a child actor who went on to establish a support group to help other child actors who struggled to adjust to adult life.

      I hope Rusty has a nice Father's Day and spends some quality time with Scootie. I know all of you will be thinking about Karo today and perhaps visiting his grave - a bittersweet day this is for so many of us.

      Thank you again for your kind visit and comment, dear friend Suzenne. Please take good care of yourself and Scootie. I wish you both a safe and happy week ahead!

  3. Again, Happy Father's Day to John.

    I'm curious. Did you address him by his first name?

    1. Hi, Kirk!

      Thanks for coming, good buddy! You've been following Shady's blogs for several years now and know this post by heart. The Donna Reed episode that contains this scene aired during the month of October, but I think Jeff Stone's song is perfect for Father's Day. That's why I post it year after year.

      Good question, Kirk. Yes, we all called the Ettlines by their first names, John and Helen. They were down to earth people who earned the respect and trust of the teenagers who made the Dell their second home.

      Thanks again and have a super week, good buddy Kirk!

  4. What a nice tribute. Happy Father's day to him and all the father's out there right now.

    1. Hi, Mary!

      Thanks for swinging over, dear friend!

      I'm pleased to have you here as one of my newest friends to experience my annual Father's Day salute to Shady Dell owner John Ettline feat. the song "My Dad," a single by child actor and recording artist Paul Petersen that was introduced in this episode of The Donna Reed Show in October, 1962, and made a run at the top 5 on Billboard and Cash Box in the early weeks of 1963.

      Thanks again for being here, dear friend Mary, and have a super week!

  5. Tom,

    What a sweet tribute! I'm sure that song would melt John Ettline's heart. I hope your Father's Day was ever bit as sweet as this post. Happy Father's Day to you, dear friend!

    1. Hi, Cathy!

      Thanks for coming, dear friend!

      You have seen this specific Father's Day post several times since you started following Shady in 2015. As I always say, I see no reason to "change my tune" because the song "My Dad" is ideal for the occasion. Yessum, I can imagine John Ettline's face if one of his Dell rats had sung the song to him. He might have looked a lot like Jeff Stone's dad in that scene from Donna Reed.

      I suspect you fed DH lots of your sweet, homemade goodies for Father's Day. He's a lucky man. Thanks for helping me salute John Ettline again this year. Have a great week, dear friend Cathy!

  6. Hey there my friend. I remember that Paul Peterson song from the Donna Reed Show. Loved that and had a serious crush on Paul at the time. We went to lunch with two of our three kids (one is out of town) and watched the Friend's Reunion special on TV. Simple but effective togetherness. Have a marvelous week!

    1. Hi, Janet!

      I'm happy to see you dear friend, and thank you for dropping in!

      I'm glad you remember Paul Petersen singing this song on Donna Reed. The episode aired in October 1962, and Paul's Colpix single was released at the same time, but it wasn't until late January of 1963 that the single peaked on the pop chart. That long delay seems odd to me.

      I'm happy to learn of your family's Father's Day activities. Thanks again for joining me for this year's tribute to John Ettline - every Dell rat's dad. Have a wonderful week, dear friend Janet!

  7. Happy belated Father's Day, John! You were a wonderful role model and still are to this day. Thank you.

    Shady, beautiful tribute, as always.

    1. Hi, Jessica Marie!

      I'm glad you found time to say a few kind words about John Ettline while my annual Father's Day tribute post is still running on the front page. Your sentiments are appreciated.

      Thanks for reporting in and have a great day, dear friend JM!

  8. Always a loving tribute to someone who touched your soul as well as many other teens. I love this clip because the dad is such a great actor showing his heart just with his eyes. I hope you had a lovely day.

    1. Hi, Birgit!

      Thanks for dropping in and commenting on my two latest posts, dear friend! I'm pleased to have you here again this year for my salute to John Ettline on Father's Day.

      I am also glad you singled out the performance of actor Carl Betz in the role of Jeff's father, Dr. Alex Stone, on Donna Reed. Dr. Stone's reaction to his son's song tribute looks absolutely real. I'd love to know if perhaps they stood Betz in an empty room and had him view a slide show of moving images in order to capture those facial expressions. They make the scene. Sadly, Carl Betz died of lung cancer at the too young age of 56.

      Thank you again for coming, dear friend BB!


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