Monday, April 18, 2022

Honoring Margaret on Her 110th Birthday

"A rose by
any other

This is an
date on the
Shady Dell

Our dear friend
Margaret Schneider

...who for years inspired us as
"The Oldest Living Dell Rat"
...was born April 18, 1912,
110 years ago today.

Margaret's father built the
Shady Dell and the family
became its first occupants
when Margaret (right)
was one year old.

To celebrate Margaret's
birthday this year,
I posted five songs
I think she'd enjoy.
Maybe she listened
to some of these
in her early years.


I introduced The Shout Sisters last May on the anniversary of Margaret's death.
As you recall, The Shout Sisters - Louise Messenger, Noelle Davies-Brock &
Elise Roth - are Australian jazz singers who relocated to London. The three-
part close harmony vocal group pays musical tribute to The Boswell Sisters
and other girl groups of the early and mid 20th century. Watch and listen
as The Shout Sisters cover "Near You", a 1947 tune by Francis Craig
& Kermit Goell, and add a spooky twist reminiscent of The Shining

"Near You" - The Shout Sisters (Oct. 2020) 


Now meet three Texas-born sisters - stage names Maggie Ross,
Aggie Ross and Elmira Ross. Billed as The Ross Sisters. the
siblings enjoyed moderate success in show biz in the 1940s.

In this scene from the 1944 musical Broadway Rhythm, The Ross Sisters
earn their reputation as "human pretzels" performing the creative, energetic,
acrobatic, contortionist song and dance routine-- "Solid Potato Salad." 

"Solid Potato Salad" - The Ross Sisters
 (scene from Apr. 1944 film Broadway Rhythm


The Kansas-born, Oklahoma raised Dinning Sisters - "Lou" Dinning,
Jean Dinning and "Ginger" Dinning, were Capitol Records' answer
to The Andrews Sisters. The Dinnings have also been compared
to The Lennon Sisters. The siblings traveled to Chicago and
became the highest paid radio act in the Windy City.  

As we watch these scenes from the
1939 Cary Grant - Carole Lombard
romantic drama film In Name Only,
listen to The Dinning Sisters' 1943
recording of a song introduced in the
1936 musical comedy Swing Time,
and notably waxed in 1956 by the
LA doo-wop quartet The Jaguars
and in 1961 by The Lettermen--
"The Way You Look Tonight." 

"The Way You Look Tonight"
The Dinning Sisters (recorded
1943, from 1945 album Songs
By The Dinning Sisters, scenes
from 1939, film In Name Only


I think Margaret would enjoy the following scene from the 1941 movie
Sun Valley Serenade. Watch and listen as Glenn Mller and his orchestra
delight the crowd of nightclub dancers with the big band-era jazz
standard Miller and his musicians recorded and made popular--
"In The Mood." 

"In The Mood" - Glenn Miller And His Orchestra
(from Aug. 1941 film Sun Valley Serenade


Finally, here's one of the 21st century’s most innovative stars -
electronic violinist, songwriter, dancer and artist Lindsey Stirling
of Phoenix, Arizona. Lindsey's groundbreaking vision of cinematic
violin-driven electronic music has gained her millions of adoring
fans worldwide and four chart-topping albums. Experience the
wonder of "Masquerade," a song and official music video
from Lindsey's 5th studio album, Artemis. 

"Masquerade" - Lindsey Stirling
(July 2021 single & video from
Sept. 2019, album Artemis

Happy 110th birthday, dear Margaret.

We love you and miss you!


  1. Happy 110th birthday, dear Margaret! I hope that Nan baked you a delicious strawberry shortcake in heaven and that you're having a ball today. Someone else will be joining your party this year. Marian, my cousin's grandmother, died on Friday. Please welcome her.

    Thank you for everything you've done for the Dell Rats over the years, thanks to your parents as well. You've helped shape fine people. We love and miss you, dear Margaret.

    Shady, these songs were truly fitting! I love listening to Glenn Miller, that was Nan's favourite too. Wasn't familiar with the Dinning Sisters, but I enjoy their music. I might have to check out the movie as well.

    I love when you post the Shout Sisters! They're my favourite. I also really Lindsey Stirling. She can really play! I may have to check out more of her music on YouTube. I can get into her.

    I hope that you and Kathleen have a peaceful day. Thank you for paying tribute to Margaret, dear friend.

    1. Hi, Jessica Marie!

      Thanks so much for being the Early Early Early Bird for this special tribute to Margaret Schneider - The Oldest Living Dell Rat - on this the 110th anniversary of her birth.

      Yessum, it is a comforting thought to imagine your dear Nan getting together with Margaret and baking her a strawberry shortcake on her special day. Thanks for planting that vision in my brain. I am sorry to learn of the recent death in your family, an empty seat at the table here on earth, but surely she is being welcomed to that better place where Margaret and Nan now dwell.

      I can't imagine what my Shady Dell blogs would have been like if I had only ever learned half of its story, the part from the mid 20th century onward when it opened to the public as an ice cream parlor and later a restaurant and dance hall. We have Margaret and her daughter Kathleen to thank for educating us about the early years of the Dell. As a result of countless "interviews" with Margaret and hour upon hour of additional research, Kathleen was able to trace the Dell's rich history from the very start in 2012/2013 when it was built and Margaret moved in as a tiny child. She was also able to write and share with us many interesting stories about Margaret's early life as the original Dell rat. It was a blessing that Margaret lived as long as she did and was able and willing to share with us all those Dell related facts and stories that would otherwise have gone unreported and most likely lost forever.

      I'm delighted that you enjoyed the varied musical lineup in this year's birthday tribute. I agree that Lindsey Stirling is a marvelous talent and an inventive artist.

      Thank you again for the early visit and for the kind words to help me honor Margaret this year. Have a wonderful week, dear friend JM!

    2. Hi Shady,

      You're so welcome! That is so true about the special place our loved ones dwell and wait for us. I bet there was a big party in heaven that night. We had major thunder storms on Monday and I guess I know why now!

      I'm really glad Margarete lived a long life and was willing to share her stories. I'm glad Kathleen is just as interested and still does the research. It really is an honour! I enjoy when you post about the history, I like learning.

      I hope that you have a wonderful Thankful Thursday, dear friend.

    3. Hi, Jessica Marie!

      Nicely expressed, dear friend!

      Yessum, Kathleen and Margaret came along just in time because, as the 2010s got underway, I was getting ready to quit blogging, having shared all I knew (or thought I knew) about The Shady Dell, running out of material and believing that there wasn't much more of the story to tell. How wrong I was! Kathleen and Margaret opened up whole new chapters of the Dell's amazing story, tracing its history from day one and even giving us a history lesson about the years before it was built. Fortunately, Margaret, a centenarian, retained her memories and was willing to share them with her daughter who in turn shared them with us. I am forever grateful.

      Thanks again for coming. I wish you a wonderful TT as well, dear friend JM!

  2. I'm sure she'd enjoy those. Happy birthday, Margaret.

    1. Hi, Alex!

      Thanks for being the silver medalist in this week's race to Shady's Place, good buddy! Yes, I'd like to think that Margaret would be entertained by these artists and retro songs. I wish she were here to view the post on her tablet and read the comments as she was fond of doing.

      Thanks again for coming early and bringing birthday wishes for Margaret, good buddy Alex!

  3. A nice tribute, Shady. I always enjoy Glenn Miller.

    1. Hi, Kelly!

      Thanks so much for coming, dear friend! I am grateful that you dropped in on this special occasion as Dell rats old and new celebrate the 110th anniversary of the birth of Margaret Schneider - The Oldest Living Dell Rat.

      Yessum, in my experience the music of Glenn Miller is loved by people of all ages. Great music is timeless, and "In The Mood" is one of his finest recordings.

      Thanks again for being here, dear friend Kelly, and have a great week!

  4. Wow, 110! Not gonna lie, Shady, those Shout Sisters scared me. The background color, their eyes, yikes! The Ross Sisters certainly are limber. I got aches just watching them.

    The Way You Look Tonight is one of my favorite songs but I prefer it sung just a little faster, perhaps like Rod Stewart did it.

    In The Mood always gives me a lift.

    Happy Monday my friend. I just got a notice that you were visiting me at the same time I'm visiting you. Great minds.

    1. Hi, Janet!

      Thanks for coming by as we honor the first child of the Shady Dell, our dear friend Margaret Schneider, on the anniversary of her birth 110 years ago! Margaret was blessed with a very long life of 105+ years. I loved her, miss her and will always be thankful that I knew her.

      Yessum The Shout Sisters did their best imitation of a scene from The Shining. The Ross Sisters seemed to defy gravity as they performed those dangerous looking contortionist stunts in the middle of their gymnastic choreographed number. If I didn't know better, I'd call "bullcrap" and say that special effects were used in that scene.

      I'm pleased that you remember and like the jazz-pop standard "The Way You Look Tonight." The version I remember best is the one released during the doo-wop/rock & roll era by The Jaguars. How about those young couples on the dance floor bopping to the beat as Glenn Miller's orchestra played "In The Mood" in Sun Valley Serenade? My mom would have been age 23 at the time and my dad 28. I can picture them as one of those couples, because Swing was definitely their favorite type of music.

      Thanks again for coming to Margaret's b-day party, dear friend Janet. Enjoy the rest of your day, don't forget to walk my buddy Benny, and I'll see you tomorrow!

  5. Tom,

    I apologize for not stopping by yesterday. We're in the middle of getting things figured out and lined up to replace our water heater. Home repairs are a never ending task or so it seems. I can't complain too bad really. Our current one was put in 22-years ago this past Easter. It did exceptionally well. Let's just hope it can hold it together until our new one is delivered and installed.

    Margaret surely appreciates the yearly tribute you offering up in her remembrance in honor of her birthday. She was a real cracker jack, wasn't she? I can imagine the festivities that she, the angels, and her loved ones must have had yesterday. :) The Shout Sisters are fantastic. I had forgotten about them and I'm happy that you brought them to my attention again. I'm gonna have to visit YouTube to sample more of their music. I'm a big fan of Lindsey Stirling. She's incredibly talented. I betcha Margaret would've liked her. Happy Birthday to the birthday girl in heaven! Have a funtastic week and again, I'm sorry for the late visit, dear friend.

    1. Hi Cathy!

      I'm pleased to see you, dear friend! Thanks for being here for Margaret again this year as we honor her on her birthday.

      That's a coincidence, because we just replaced our water heater a couple of months ago. It was long overdue. We were still using the one that was installed when the house was built in 1996. So, ours lasted 26 years!

      Yessum, Margaret was one of those dear people who usually had a mischievous, childlike twinkle in their eye. She loved to deliver one-liners, or zingers as I like to call them. She didn't take life or herself too seriously and I loved that about her. I learned many life lessons from Margaret. I would like to think that she and her husband Ralph enjoyed a dance or two yesterday, perhaps playing the songs on this playlist.

      Yessum, I believe you and I were recently discussing Lindsey Stirling and I told you that I had already featured her at Shady's Place. I might have been getting ahead of myself when I wrote that because it is hard for me to remember which posts have already been published and which ones are stored as drafts awaiting publication. Yessum, I'd like to think that Margaret appreciated Lindsey's artistry. I'm excited to know that you enjoy the nostalgic look and sound of the Shout Sisters. If you find time at some point, watch the second half of that Ross Sisters video. You will be astonished by their gravity defying feats.

      Cathy, you're the busiest person I know, and I am grateful that you could spare some time for a visit. Just a reminder that I will be very late getting to CAAC tomorrow because I have a routine medical procedure scheduled first thing in the morning. I'll be over to see you as soon as possible.

      Thanks again for helping me pay tribute to Margaret Schneider - The Oldest Living Dell Rat! Enjoy the rest of your day, dear friend Cathy!

    2. Tom,

      I meant to swing by yesterday. Unfortunately getting things together to replace our water heater has kept me hoping. I was glad to have some down time last night. We still hadn't gotten everything ordered but we finished that up today when our hand was forced to make a trip to Home Depot to get the stuff because this morning the new unit showed up unexpectedly. It was set to arrive May 3rd. I'm glad it arrived sooner, though. Tomorrow, we hope to get the old one out and the new one set up. It's never that easy. I wish it were. That all being said, I probably won't get a chance to check out your upcoming post until Sunday. Provided we're not out there working on the water heater then, too. Say a little pray that everything goes beautifully. I sure do appreciate your daily visits and support, my friend. You're the best!

    3. Thank you very much, Cathy! I know how it goes with household repairs and replacements. Like your A to Z art pieces, they are usually more involved and time consuming than expected. My posts run 5 or 6 days, so you've got plenty of time to see tomorrow's before it gets bumped. I will say a prayer that everything goes smoothly for you as you replace your water heater. Coincidentally, the guy was here at our house this afternoon to inspect our new one. It passed inspection.

      I have genuine fondness for you and I love to support what you're doing at CAAC, dear friend Cathy. Have a wonderful weekend!

  6. Happy birthday, Margaret.

    Well, those Ross Sisters stole the show. I've seen that kind of thing before, so I knew it wasn't a special effect, but it's still hard to believe what I'm seeing. That they could do that AND sing shows you how multitalented they were. And employable. They could have gotten work in either a nightclub, the circus, or both.

    Great to hear "In the Mood" again. I see in one of the responses, you mention your parents liking swing. In the past you've also made it seem that your parents were quite vocally opposed to rock music. Yet the farther away we get in time, it seems to me that rock, maybe just 1950s rock, was a natural outgrowth of swing. The almost violent reaction to that rock by people who grew up with early (pre-Charlie Parker) jazz, swing, big band, and boogie-woogie (all variations of a theme) must have had more to do with sociology and ideology than it did with the actual music. Which reminds me. Any idea of what Margaret thought of rock music?

    1. Hi, Kirk!

      I'm delighted that you could stop by in the middle of your work week, good buddy! Thanks for staying up super late to visit and compose such a nice comment in memory of Margaret Schneider.

      I'm glad you watched that Ross Sisters scene from start to finish. I agree it is uncanny how they could defy gravity (and belief) with those deep backward bends, especially when the stunt was performed dangerously high above the floor in that hay loft. The term "multi talented" seems to have been invented with The Ross Sisters in mind, yet I read that they enjoyed only moderate success in show biz. Go figure.

      My dad never said much about rock & roll music either way, but my mother was constantly moaning about it and trying to persuade me to abandon my interest and get with the good music produced when she was my age. Our ongoing debate over the evolving genres was mostly good-natured, with mom grumbling that it all sounded the same to her - "jingle-jangle" - as she always put it. In making such a blanket statement, mom covered all modern pop and rock music, lumping together the many emerging subgenres from Elvis to Beach Boys' surf rock, Spector, The Beatles, Monkees, James Brown, Motown and everything in between. They all sounded the same to her ears. I think you are getting at the truth about the origin of such sweeping condemnations. The big band years of mom's youth were among the best of her life, and she was reluctant to leave them behind.

      I doubt that Margaret liked "rock" music. She made sure her daughter Kathleen was exposed to classical and received formal training and education in that genre. I knew Margaret five years but don't remember her discussing her taste in music beyond that revelation.

      Thanks again for being here this year for Margaret, good buddy Kirk. Enjoy the rest of your week!

  7. What a beautiful tribute to Margaret. I'm sure she would have loved this.

    1. Hi, Mary!

      Thanks for dropping in and writing kind words as we remember Margaret on her birthday, dear friend. As I have explained to new friends like you over the years, I observe the birth and death dates of Shady Dell VIPs John & Helen Ettline and Margaret Schneider. I also pay tribute to John on Father's Day and Helen on Mother's Day. As it turns out, the first six months of every year contain all eight of these special tributes.

      Thank you again for coming over and enjoy the rest of your week, dear friend Mary!

    2. I think Margaret would love this. She is one person I would have loved to meet. All these songs are wonderful and those gals that can move In ways any man would dream about, make me wonder if they were I great pain when they got older. I loved listening to all and this is a beautiful tribute. I'm sorry for not being here sooner but you are In my thoughts with your kind words.

    3. Hi, Birgit!

      Thank you so much for being here for Margaret and family again this year as we remember the First Child of the Dell on her 110th birthday.

      Although I never met Margaret in person, I felt a close connection to her. She was my kind of person, innocent yet mischievous, a bit melancholy and yet optimistic and trusting. A fine person she was, and I wish you and I could have met her.

      Yessum, how about those human pretzels, the Ross Sisters? I imagine they were quite popular with the fellas. I was wondering if you ever heard of them or saw them in other films. As you see, in addition to that clip from Broadway Rhythm, I included in this tribute Benny Goodman's "In The Mood" scene from Sun Valley Serenade and scenes from the 1939 romantic comedy film In Name Only starring Cary Grant Carole Lombard and Kay Francis. I'm glad you appreciate this year's tribute.

      Thank you again for making time for Margaret the week of her birthday. You are in my thoughts, too, dear Birgit, and again I am terribly sorry for your recent losses. I wish you a better Friday and a safe and restful weekend, if not a very happy one. Bless you, BB!

    4. Yes, I saw these pretzel gals before. I loved seeing the late, great Carole Lombard who died too young and in such a tragic way. It's also nice to see suave Archibald Leach with her...aka Cary Grant. I'm glad I was able to write here. Have a magical Friday

    5. Hi again, dear Birgit!

      Thanks for returning to follow-up. Thanks for reminding me of Cary Grant's actual name. I'm sure "Archie Leach" would not have thrilled female fans nearly as much as "Cary Grant." When you look at the list of real birth names of major stars, some are even more cringeworthy than that one.

      How are you holding up, dear friend? Mrs S. and I are thinking about you. Please know that. I wish you a safe and restful weekend and thank you again for visiting, dear friend BB!

  8. Now this is music right up my alley tonight! What a great tribute to a special lady in your life and those she touched. I honestly do like all these tunes (ask Laurie about my thing for the McGuire Sisters), and that last portrait was phenomenal of Lindsay. Hey, just to let you know, I "took your name in vain" (not really, of course) in my new M10 post coming out Friday morning... in case you wanted to sue or something... in the mean time, I'll hit post on this as soon as Glenn gets done...

    1. Hi, Chris!

      Thanks for coming to Margaret's birthday party this year, good buddy! It's great to see you!

      I'm delighted to learn that you like the old old old school sounds in this special tribute. I'm surprised how many of today's young people are still imitating and covering the McGuire Sisters. I have a post in the pipeline that offers proof.

      Well, thanks for inviting me to another of your Friday special events, good buddy. Unless I'm mistaken, that would be tamale, so I'll be looking for your post and drop in. I'm happy to know that Glenn and his men put you "In The Mood." Thanks again for swinging by and helping me remember our dear Margaret on her special day and for extending the kind invitation to T.A.W. I'll see you tomorrow, good buddy Chris!

  9. Happy Heavenly Birthday dear Margaret! How I've enjoyed getting to know you all these years and your daughter, Kathleen. I think your story is fascinating and here with Shady we can remember you and know the beginning of the Dell. You lived a very long life but I always wonder if living past 100yrs is still long enough. I believe you were 105 when you left for a place that I'm sure you're enjoying with past family and maybe even new friends! The music choices were certainly part of your past and the last one was so cool that I'm sure you would have enjoyed it! I do hope cake is served after this life and laughter and joy also. So although I'm a few days late I hope you know that I've enjoyed knowing you through this medium and maybe one day...who knows maybe in the next life we'll meet! Happy birthday Margaret! Shady, I hope all is well with you and you have a great weekend!

    1. Hi, YaYa!

      Thank you very much for making time to check out Margaret's 2022 birthday tribute, dear friend!

      Yessum, Margaret lived 105+ years, and yet it seems she left us too soon, because you and I and others had grown to know her, love her and care about her. In the last few years of Margaret's life, we were fascinated to read stories she shared with us about people, places and events of a century ago. What a rare and wonderful opportunity it was for me to put into print so many details about the Dell and about life in the 1910s and Roaring Twenties that were known only to Margaret. We were blessed that she was able and willing to share so many memories with us. Let us always remember how much she enjoyed reading kind and supportive comments from friends like you on the "inner-net," as she called it.

      I'm thrilled that you liked the music lineup I picked for Margaret this year. Again, thank you for being here for Margaret and her family as we observe the 110th anniversary of her birth this week. Have a great Friday and a safe and happy weekend, dear friend YaYa!

  10. Hi, Shady!

    Wow! Has it really been five years since Margaret's passing? That’s so hard to believe, I miss her! You never miss/forget her special day! This was certainly a beautiful tribute for a beautiful woman!

    I loved the version of "The Way You Look Tonight!" I guess that was the original. I had never heard it before, but it was so appropriate and fitting for lovely Margaret!

    “Solid Potato Salad” Makes me laugh. I couldn’t stop watching it, again! I remember that one from years ago! ( How could I forget!)

    Happy Heavenly birthday, Margaret!
    Toni Deroche

    1. Hi, Toni!

      I'm happy to see you, dear friend! Thanks for making time to drop by and take a look and a listen as we pay tribute to our dear old friend Margaret Schneider on the anniversary of her birth 110 years ago this week.

      Yessum, it has nearly been five years since Margaret left us. As you recall from previous years, I will have another tribute for her coming up late next month when we observe that sad anniversary.

      I'm pleased that you enjoyed the song "The Way You Look Tonight." I'll bet the Central PA oldies bands The Sting-Rays and The Class of 60-Something have covered that great song over the years. The version I best remember is the late 1956 hit by the Los Angeles doo-wop group The Jaguars.

      I'm glad you got a kick out of the "Potato Salad" number performed by the human pretzels, The Ross Sisters.

      Thank you again for being here this year for Margaret and her family as we fondly remember and honor her on her birthday. Have a safe and happy weekend, dear friend Toni!


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