Monday, January 9, 2023

Helen & John Week: April Love in January

Two important dates on
the Shady Dell calendar
are only one week apart:
Helen Ettline's birthday
(January 9) and the date
of John Ettline's death
(January 16).

Again this year I am combining
the two events into a single post
that honors both of the Ettlines.
Just think of this period in mid
January as "Helen & John Week."


was born 112 years ago
on January 9, 1911.


died January 16, 1993...
30 years ago...

John spent the last nine years
of his life without Helen. Imagine
the strength and courage it took
for John, a man in his 80s, to go it 
alone, enduring the hardships of
winter and keeping the Dell in
operation even as the teenage
patrons became increasingly
rough, rowdy and disrespectful.
How many of us could have
stood up to that challenge?

This year as we celebrate Helen's birthday and remember John,
I will play records I think they both would have enjoyed.

Every evening Helen was stationed behind the counter of the
Shady Dell snack bar preparing treats to feed the masses.

As Helen worked, a steady stream of doo-wop songs
played on the jukebox. It was a busy, noisy place,
but the old school sounds cut through the clutter
and delighted Helen and her young customers. 


The snack bar was Helen's domain, and that's where you could typically find her.
It was very unusual for her to poke her head into "the barn" dance hall. In fact,
in my six years as a Dell rat, I recall Helen coming down to the barn only once.

She happened to walk through the door as a Garnet Mimms song was playing
on the jukebox.  I remember the big smile on Helen's face as she listened to the
ballad and watched couples slow dance to it.  With that happy memory in mind,
I picked three Garnet Mimms ballads to play for Helen on this special occasion.

Born in West Virginia, raised in Philadelphia and steeped in soul,
Garnet Mimms recorded ballads that were loved by Shady Dell
rat packers. In early 1964, at the start of Beatlemania, Mimms'
gospel roots were showing when he released the churchified
"Anytime You Want Me" on the B side of "Tell Me Baby." 

 "Anytime You Want Me" - Garnet Mimms 
 (Feb./Mar. 1964, B side of "Tell Me Baby")  

My soul serenade for Helen continues now with both songs
found on a single that Garnet Mimms recorded with
Charles Boyer and Zola Pearnell  using the group
name Garnet Mimms And The Enchanters.

Released during Halloween season 1963, this is a "twofer" - two top 30
hits on the same 45 rpm record. The A side, "For Your Precious Love"
is a cover of the 1958 hit by Jerry Butler & The Impressions.  

 "For Your Precious Love" - Garnet Mimms And The Enchanters 
 (Dec. 1963/Jan '64, highest cht. pos. #26 Hot 100 & R&B/#34 Cash Box

Finally, you'll swear you're sitting in church listening to the choir
as you experience the B side of the platter, a gospel-drenched
Garnet Mimms ballad entitled "Baby Don't You Weep." 

 "Baby Don't You Weep" - Garnet Mimms And The Enchanters 
 (Dec. 1963/Jan. 1964, highest chart pos. #30 Hot 100 & R&B, 
 #40 Cash Box, B side of "For Your Precious Love") 

Now here are three records I think John would like.


John was known as a sharp dressed man,
a man's man and a ladies' man. With that
in mind, I present the lovely April Stevens,
best known for her recordings as a duo with
brother Nino Tempo. Early in her career,
April appeared in Snader Telescriptions -
film versions of popular and classical
music performances produced for
television from 1950 to 1952. Singers,
dancers, orchestras, and novelty acts
appeared in Snader musical productions.
In this first one, April performs the song
"Tricks Of The Trade," the B side of her
1952 RCA Victor single "Put Me In Your
Pocket." An edited version of this Snader
Telescription was shown on the television
series The Frank Fontaine Show.

 "The Tricks Of The Trade" - April Stevens  
 (1952, B side of "Put Me In Your Pocket," 
 1952 perf. in Snader Telescription film) 

Now here's April appearing in another
Snader Telescription and performing
another B side. April sings "Meant
To Tell You," the fab flip of her
1952 single "I Love The Way
You're Breaking My Heart." 

 "Meant To Tell You" 
 - April Stevens 
 (1952, B side of 
 "I Love The Way 
 You're Breaking My 
 Heart," 1952 Snader 
 Telescription film ) 

Finally, here's the popular song
"Lover Man (Oh, Where Can You Be?)"
aka "Lover Man," written in 1941 for
Billie Holiday. Billie's version was
inducted into the Grammy Hall
of Fame in 1989. Watch and listen
as adorable April Stevens does her
version of "Lover Man" in a third
made for TV Snader Telescription. 

 "Lover Man" - April Stevens 
 (1952 performance in 
 Snader Telescription film




John, you were the King of all Dell Rats.
If we have anything to say about it, you
and Helen will always be remembered.

We love you and miss you, too!


  1. Good morning, Tom! I hope you had a nice weekend. What a wonderful tribute to two special people from your past - John and Helen Ettline! Garnet Mimms And The Enchanters I don't think I know. It's possible they did something I've heard but never knew who the artist. "For Your Precious Love" sounds a wee bit to my ear another oldie, "Sea of Love" by Phil Phillips & the Twilights. I know you know the song and artist. Do you hear the similarity? April Stevens has a slight ring. I figured you must have shared her music at some point on your blog. She certainly was a pretty lady with a lovely voice. I betcha she had the young men's eyes in John's day and a fella would have to be blind today to not see how adorable she was. Golly, it would be awesome if women today looked and acted like the women from yesterday and imagine if the men were equally masculine sounding/acting as men from long ago. What a better world it would be! *sigh* There's always hope gender characteristic will revert to more of that bygone era. May the Ettlines RIP! Have a wonderful week, my friend!!

    1. Hi, Cathy!

      You grab the Early Bird spot again this week, dear friend, and I thank you for coming right over on your Monday!

      Garnet Mimms recently turned 89 years of age. His best known hit, credited to Garnet Mimms And The Enchanters, was "Cry Baby," a chart-topper on the R&B chart that crossed over and reached #4 on both pop charts in the fall of 1963, one month before the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. In 1971, "Cry Baby" was a posthumously hit for Janis Joplin who gave the song a blues-rock treatment. Mimms' second biggest career hit came in 1966 with "I'll Take Good Care Of You," a single that peaked at #15 on the R&B chart and made the top 30 pop. It ranks high on my list of the 200 Greatest Hits of the Shady Dell.

      In 1958, "For Your Precious Love" was an early career hit for Jerry Butler fronting The Impressions. In 1972, soul songbird Linda Jones covered the song and reached #15 on the R&B chart. Yessum, I am familiar with Phil Phillips & The Twilights and their best known song "Sea Of Love." The songs sound quite different to my ears, but yes, Garnet Mimms and Phil Phillips do share similar vocal quality and style.

      Yessum, the Niagara Falls brother & sister duo Nino Tempo & April Stevens have appeared several times on my blogs over the years with more to come. This is the first time I have presented April as a solo artist, and these three sides are among her earliest recordings. It's almost impossible for me to believe that April is even older than Garnet Mimms. She will be 94 this spring! Brother Nino is younger, having just turned 88 three days ago. Yessum, April Stevens was one of the most beautiful singers of the 20th century, and I was thrilled to find these rare old film performances from the early 1950s. Yessum, I regret that in today's world there are relatively few women who bother to dress and groom themselves nicely and conduct themselves with as much grace as did April. She was and is a class act.

      Thanks again for coming early and helping me pay tribute to The Ettlines in my annual Helen & John Week post. Have a safe and happy week, dear friend Cathy!

    2. Good morning, Tom! I went to YT to listen to Garnett's songs. "Cry Baby" sounds familiar. It's quite possible I heard Joplin's cover and while she does a good job I think I prefer the original. I didn't recognize "I'll Take Care Of You". I enjoyed listening to Garnett's music. That's awesome to read he's 89 years old. Even more amazing is that April Stevens is 93. That's wonderful! I really loved the earlier eras with glamorous, beautiful, well-dressed, and posed mannered women. The men weren't shabby, either. It's so sad how the generations keep declining with their appearance and character. *sigh*

      Yesterday, I accidentally posted a future Maine Vacy edition but I pulled it back and reset the date to its correct position. If you got that notification just ignore it but I do have a new, unscheduled art post. I just wanted you to know since I didn't mention it on Monday.

      The weekend is almost here. Tomorrow is DH's off Friday. The weather is turning chilly again. We might get a few snow flurries in the morning. I hope things went well yesterday getting Mrs. Shady's brother on the plane. With holidays pass and the activity subsided now you can really relax. :) Have a great weekend, my friend!

    3. Hi, Cathy!

      I'm running late late late today for reasons I outlined at CAAC. Thanks for your patience and understanding, dear friend!

      It was nice of you to do some research on the side and delve into Garnet Mimms' catalog. He is probably best known for "Cry Baby," the deep soul hit that was successfully covered in a blues rock style a few years later by Janis Joplin. I'm thrilled that you appreciate and prefer the Mimms original over the bluesy cover.

      Yessum, as you and I have discussed many times, in the decades since we were young, people in general have become lax about their appearance and their deportment. To some people, in fact many people, being well dressed in public and using good manners are no longer considered important.

      I don't subscribe to CAAC via email. I usually rely on your teasers at the end of a post to know what you have coming up next and when. That's why I was thrown for a loop today when I returned from errands to discover your TAD post. I would like you to know that , for some reason, your new CAAC posts typically do not show up in my blog roll for hours after they are published. Friend Birgit's posts, however, show up on my reader roll immediately after they are published. I don't know why there is such a vast difference, but that is another reason why I left the house this morning unaware that you had a new post running.

      Ha! I wish I could relax now that Mrs. Shady's brother has flown back to California, but I have multiple doctor, lab and clinic visits coming up this month and next. I might need to scale back my blogging because I am slammed and not finding enough time to create new content.

      Thank you again for your kind visit and second comment, dear friend Cathy. Enjoy your Thursday, Friday and weekend!

  2. Can you imagine someone of his age dealing with the hooligans of today? He was a strong man indeed.
    A wonderful tribute to both.

    1. Hi, Alex!

      Happy Helen & John Week, good buddy, and thanks for rushing over to take second place in the race!

      Good point, Alex! As bad as it must have been for John in those final years (late 1980s and early 90s) having to deal with ruffians and druggies hanging out at the Dell, at least nobody walked into the dance hall and sprayed gunfire. Too often, that is how disputes are settled and statements made in today's America. John was indeed a symbol of strength and continues to be an inspiration to his pack of Dell rats.

      I'm pleased that you appreciated this year's tribute. Thanks again for your visit and comment and have a super week ahead, good buddy Alex!

  3. It's always nice that you remember your friends in this way, Shady.

    1. Hi, Kelly!

      Thanks for coming early to take a look and a listen as I present Helen & John Week 2023, dear friend!

      Yessum, when I started blogging in 2008, I vowed that The Ettlines would always be remembered and honored on my sites. I'm glad you appreciate what I am doing year after year to keep that promise.

      Have a wonderful week, dear friend Kelly!

  4. Replies
    1. Hi, Mary!

      I'm happy to see you, dear friend, and glad that the gremlins didn't gobble up your comment this time. Thanks for being here for my annual H&J Week tribute to the owners of The Shady Dell, The Ettlines. It's one of the few times during the year that I go old old old school with the musical lineup.

      I wish you and my bowwow buddy Falcor a wonderful week, dear friend Mary!

  5. Happy Birthday in heaven Helen! I can just see her and John up there enjoying the music you picked out for them. Can't you just see them dancing? I wonder if her and John danced together privately when no one was watching? These were 2 artists I don't know but the sound is so typical of that day and they did it beautifully! I enjoyed watching April in her videos as she reminds me of an aunt of mine...not her voice, but her looks! Looking at John's grave marker makes me sad that he had those years alone without Helen and no children to visit or help at the Dell. Also I make it a point to decorate my in-laws graves for every season and his looks so empty. I guess it really doesn't matter since I know he and Helen are together forever now. So Happy Birthday to a beautiful lady and I know good memories of them are shared by you and all the Dell Rats left that knew that special time. Take care Shady and have a good week!

    1. Hi, YaYa!

      Thanks so much for coming, dear friend! I am pleased to have you here again this year as I combine two significant events on the Shady Dell calendar, Helen Ettline's birthday on January 9 and John Ettline's death on the 16th, into a single post called John & Helen Week!

      Yessum, every year at this time we imagine Helen and John dancing to the tunes in their tribute post. I actually never saw them dance at the Dell or anywhere else. The closest I can come to having a memory like that would be the day they attended the James Brown concert at the York Fair and I spotted them in the audience several rows behind me chanting and waving their arms in the air in sync as Brown urged the crowd to do.

      I'm delighted that you enjoyed both music artists in the tribute. Both have appeared several times over the years on SDMM and SPMM. All previous appearances by April have been with her younger brother Nino as the popular sibling duo from Niagara Falls, NY - Nino Tempo & April Stevens. Thanks for letting me know that April resembled your aunt. I remember pictures you have posted of yourself at that age, and I think you looked like April as well. She will be 94 years old in April!

      I was already living in Florida nine years by the time John died, and I didn't even get the news until after his funeral. As I recall, my mother mailed a newspaper clipping about it down to me from York. I don't know the exact number, but quite a few Dell rats attended John's funeral, I agree it is sad to know that John faced long years and harsh winters without Helen by his side, and also needed to deal with druggies and other unsavory characters who took up residence in the Dell dance hall during its last decade of operation. That grave marker does indeed look bare and forgotten without flowers.

      Thank you again for helping me remember Helen and John on these two special occasions. I hope Midge & Hope will be with you there at The Pines by tomorrow and have a delightful visit. I look forward to your next report. Enjoy the rest of your week, dear friend YaYa!

  6. I'm so glad you had John and Helen in your life. I've learned a lot about them through the years and admire them very much. They would be deeply touched by your tributes and blog.

    I have never heard of Garnet Simms, but I enjoyed his smooth voice. I looked him up on Wiki and found out he had a prison ministry when he was older. April Stevens was also wonderful. Her videos reminded me of when Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers would sing to each other in the movies. They were my favorite couple when I was a kid. I used to dance around my bedroom pretending to have one of Ginger's beautiful dresses on. "Tricks of the Trade," was awfully cute and the other two songs very romantic. As you said in a reply, it would be nice if people dressed up more. I almost always dressed up when I went shopping and customers would come up to me to ask me questions because they thought I worked in the store. One reason I did that was I looked terrible in jeans. Lol. Thanks for your memories of John and Helen.

    1. Hi, Belle!

      I'm very happy to see you again, dear sister-friend! Yessum, you have seen many individual tributes for Helen and John on my blogs. Now you can see that I recently decided to combine two important events that fall one week apart on the calendar (albeit in different years) into a single annual feature entitled Helen & John Week. For this feature, I pick three songs that I think Helen would have liked and three that I think represent the style John preferred.

      Having spent years listening to the jukebox in Helen's snack bar, I came to realize that Helen loved ballads in the doo-wop, R&B and soul categories, tender love songs sung by solo artists and groups of those genres. I noticed the big smile on her face that time she made a rare appearance in the "barn" and saw couples slow dancing to Garnet Mimms' crossover hit "I'll Take Good Care Of You." That's why I picked three more Mimms ballads for her birthday salute. It's nice that you took time to do some research and learn more about Garnet Mimms As I'm sure you read, he switched to a disco-funk style in the late 70s but soon after retired from his music career and became a born-again Christian and minister. In 2007, Mimms returned to the studio and recorded an album of gospel songs.

      The impression I got of John's taste in music was that he was fond of older music from the big band swing years and crooners of traditional popular songs and jazz standards. After all, he once managed York's famous Valencia Ballroom where that style of music was featured. I believe John would appreciate the style of Nino Tempo & April Stevens and surely would have liked these rare films of April as a solo artist performing some of her earliest recordings. I could easily imagine Marilyn Monroe singing the three songs in April's segment, because they are cute, flirty, seductive songs more so than ultra serious love songs. Marilyn's breathy style would have been a perfect fit for this material, and April also did a fine job of selling the songs with her own sultry, kittenish treatment. During this early phase of her career, April scored a top 10 hit with the teasing song "Gimme Me a Little Kiss, Will Ya, Huh?" In 1959, April pushed the envelop even further with
      "Teach Me Tiger." As Wiki explains, the suggestive song << caused a minor uproar for its sexual suggestiveness and consequently did not receive airplay on many radio stations. >>

      I'm sure I told you before that every important date on the Shady Dell calendar - the birth and death dates of Helen, John and Margaret Schneider (the Oldest Living Dell Rat) plus Mothers Day and Father's Day when I again remember Helen and John separately, fall within the first half of the year, so stay tuned for more tributes and more music dedicated to those three Shady Dell VIPs coming up between now and the end of June.

      I always feel better when I am well dressed. I suppose I got that from my parents, because they both paid a lot of attention to their appearance, especially when heading out the door to face the world. My mom used to stand at the mirror for hours fussing over her hair and complaining that she looked like "Gravel Gertie," a homely woman who lived in a gravel pit in the Dick Tracy comic series. :)

      Thanks again for making time to experience the first tribute of 2023 in honor of Helen & John Ettline. I hope your year is off to a great start and that you will stay close. There's much more music and fun in store this year at Shady's Place. Enjoy the rest of your week, dear friend Belle!

  7. I never played anything but Baby Don't You Weep and never realized it was a B side. I need to find my copy to make sure you are correct. Mimms was very big my Junior year at PSU until the Beatles, Stones and Animals took over the juke boxes. I never saw Helen in the barn but shared our doo wop favorites as I played the pin ball. John's songs were even before my time. Really enjoyed the post. Jerre

    1. Hi, Jerre!

      I'm happy to see you, good buddy. Happy new year and thanks for coming by!

      Can you believe that in a few days it will be 30 years since John died? And Helen's been gone almost 40 years!

      I double checked just now and found the listing for that Garnet Mimms single on Discogs, a reliable website I use heavily. It shows the nice picture sleeve, too:

      I'm glad you can back me up on my assertion that Helen refrained from going down to the barn. She kept to her domain up there at the house and let John take care of goings on in the dance hall.

      Whenever I think about the jukebox in the H.U.B. canteen, The Rascals immediately come to mind, because I heard their late 60s hit songs playing there frequently. They included "How Can I Be Sure," "It's Wonderful," "A Beautiful Morning," "People Got To Be Free," "A Ray of Hope," "Heaven," "See" and "Carry Me Back."

      Yes, as I noted in the text, Helen's snack bar was usually a noisy place, because the songs playing on the jukebox had to compete with the TV set which was always turned-on, the dinging and popping of the pinball machine and lots of Dell rat chitterchat.

      How about vivacious April Stevens soon to be 94? That's even older than you and I are, good buddy! :)

      I'm happy that you liked this year's combined musical tribute to The Ettlines. Thanks again for dropping in, and stay tuned for the next edition of Saved By The Dell coming soon. I'll email you when the time comes. Enjoy the rest of your week, good buddy Jerre!

  8. Hi Shady! You are a very special guy to remember John and Helen, as they were a very special couple! I wonder if they ever dreamed that you would keep their memory alive years after their passing!

    I still marvel at the photographs of Helen's snack bar! She really had a great setup, and I can picture her working behind the bar and serving her great snacks. It would have been fun to have that experience of visiting with a lady who truly loved her position in life!

    Well, Shady, I don't remember hearing of Garnet Mimms, but he had such a soulful voice and style. I liked all three of his songs, and I did recognize the Jerry Butler cover "For Your Precious Love".

    John Ettline was a real prince wasn't he! What a job it was to keep the Dell going through the years of changing music and the expenses of day to day managing the changes in seasons and weather. It makes me sad to think of how he made a go of it after Helen died. I am sure he struggled some, but his heart stayed with the memories that were made and the hope of new memories to make.

    April Stevens is a very lovely lady and talented. I didn't know any of her songs, but the videos were good, showcasing her pretty voice and acting talent.

    Shady, you do good work! I would like to think that John and Helen are reading your blog regularly and are so proud to be remembered as the loving couple who created a fun place with the best music, and a safe haven for teens to cut loose in!

    Take care dear friend. It is going to be 83 degrees in Fort Worth today, go figure!

    1. Hi, Suzanne!

      Thank you very much for being on hand this year as I present Helen & John Week - a single tribute post to mark Helen Ettline's birthday and remember John on the date of his death which will arrive a few days from now on the 16th.

      It means a lot to me that you get how important it is to me and other Dell rats that we keep alive the memories of John, Helen and their Shady Dell restaurant and dance hall. If you and I and other Dell rats don't do it, who else will? When I started blogging in 2008, there were no blogs dedicated to the Dell, and there were only a few mentions of it on message boards and comments submitted to the local newspaper's blog. I saw a need and I took action to fill it. Over the years, I have branched out to include topics related to my own tastes in music, television and movies, but the central themes have always remained the Dell, The Ettlines and Margaret Schneider, The Oldest Living Dell Rat.

      I'm happy to know that you like Garnet Mimms' smooth soul vocals, just inches across the line that divides gospel and secular. I surprised myself by recalling that long forgotten moment the day Helen showed her face in the dance hall as Mimms' crossover hit "I'll Take Good Care Of You" happened to be playing on the jukebox and the dance floor was filled with swaying couples. Helen beamed, and that moment in the spring of 1966 stuck with me all these years.

      Yessum, let us not forget that John went through the hardships of running the Dell alone in the later years of his life after Helen died, and as a final insult was struck by a car while standing at the mailbox by the road. It was truly the beginning of the end. John was hospitalized, needed rehab and went to recuperate at the home of his niece and her husband, Nancy & Jim Sieling, and finally lived with his sister Louise until he passed away. A great man like John deserved a happier ending than that.

      I'm also pleased that you like April Stevens' early vocal performances captured in these rare old films, I was excited to find them and knew they'd fit well in a tribute to old school ladies man John Ettline.

      Wow, 83 is warmer than what we are expecting today - only mid 70s here - but it's a lovely day to fly, and we need to head to the airport shortly to see Mrs. Shady's brother off on a flight back home to California.

      Thanks again for your kind visit and wonderful comments, dear friend Suzanne!

  9. I missed this somehow! Shame on me!! I love April Stevens soothing voice. I hVe to read up on her. You always give such a beautiful tribute to these 2 lovely people. Because of you so many of us now know about these people who were there for so many teens. Those later teens needed a kick in their brains!
    My one friend, his sister is now gone to Cuba( dont get me started). He sounded rough this morning. I told him to sleep qhwn he needs to sleep as the nights can be rough as you know. The other brother was moved to another room and today he goes to rehab hospital. I feel bad for him. We saw their mom last night, poor little thing...she must be around 4'5" now due to her osteoporosis. She has the top 3 arthritis. We brought her homemade turkey soup plus my hubbyade a complete turkey dinner again so she is set set a couple of days. I hope she does not have any falls. That's it in a nutshell. I hope you are well and so enjoy your tribute to 2 special people. Thank you for letting me know about them.

    1. Hi, Birgit!

      Thanks so much for remembering to visit this week while you are busy dealing with so much on your side of the screen. I appreciate it, dear friend, and welcome you to John & Helen Week, with musical guests Garnet Mimms And The Enchanters and April Stevens.

      I need to keep my reply brief, because we are leaving for the airport shortly to see Mrs. Shady's brother off on his return trip to San Diego. He has been our house guest more than a month now.

      I'm glad you appreciate this tribute to The Ettlines as I observe two important dates on the Shady Dell calendar, Helen's birthday and the date John died 30 years ago.

      Yessum, April Stevens and her musical brother Nino Tempo are from your neck of the woods - Niagara Falls, NY. Hard to believe the always youthful looking April will soon be 94. Fortunately many YouTubers are upscaling and uploading the duo's vintage performances in recent years, and I will be bringing you their best in future tributes to John and on various other SPMM shows.

      Thanks for updating me on the situation with the brothers and their elderly mother, and bless you for lending a helping hand to see them through this crisis.

      Thank you again for coming by, dear friend BB. I'll be over to see you tamale at BBC. Please give my buddy Harley smooches for me, and remember to take good care of yourself while taking care of others. See you tomorrow!

  10. I'm leaving a comment after the post has been "bumped" but if it's any consolation I AM the first commentator on the post that immediately follows this one.

    Shady, I know this is going to cause you to question my allegiance to rock and roll, but I just LOVE those three April Stevens numbers. The older I get, the more I'm a sucker for an old school chanteuse.

    "teenage patrons became
    increasingly rough, rowdy and dis-

    I'm walking on eggshells with this question, but do you think that rather than the times, it was John Ettline's age that might have been the problem? In other words, had an 80-year-old man tried to run a teenage hangout by himself in 1963 or 1973, he may have had similar difficulties? Teenagers are notoriously ageist, no matter how innocent, circumspect, or genial the era. If you don't believe it was that, were there any changes going on in York, Pa in the interval? You always seem to be describing a small town, but small towns sometimes get bigger, become more diverse, and perhaps a certain reverence would no longer be there for what was frequently regarded as a teenage institution. If it's not those two things, I suppose that leaves the usual suspects: bad parenting, drugs, and something my parents like to blame for the breakdown in society, the music teenagers listen to, but since you've played enough music from the late '80s and early '90s on this blog, I'm sure you don't believe it's THAT.

    1. Hi, Kirk!

      It's nice of you to do double duty and visit the previous post, good buddy, and it looks like this comment of yours is a real keeper, too. Thanks!

      I'm very happy that you like those vintage early 1950s film performances by April Stevens, one half of the hit brother-sister duo of the 60s, Nino Tempo & April Stevens. John Ettline would have loved those three vids, too, I'm sure, and so do I. Can you believe April will be 94 in...... let me look it up..... APRIL! At least she's a little younger than Wm. Daniels.

      You are welcome to speculate about the last few years of John Ettline's life, Kirk. I wasn't there to see first hand what was going on. The last time I set foot inside the Dell was March, 1984, just after Helen died, and I was there in the daytime, not at night. I think it's a combination of everything you mentioned, but I need to point out that York, PA, was and is a medium sized city, not a small town. As such, it had its share of crime, including racial strife and violence in the late 60s, and juvenile delinquency fostered by poverty, poor parenting, etc. it is quite possible that John Ettline, once worshipped by every Dell rat patron, was, to the teenagers of the 1980s, just the old guy up at the house who occasionally came snooping around the barn dance hall to put a damper on their fun. Sweet soul music was indeed replaced by the sounds of Motley Crue, Metallica, Black Sabbath, Twisted Sister and other metal bands, and the teenage customers at the Dell were part of youth culture that went along with it. I shudder to think of how John was mistreated and disrespected in those final years. Then, to top it off, he was struck by a car while going for the mail and never again returned to the place he operated and loved for nearly 50 years, the Shady Dell.

      Thanks again for experiencing this post and for responding to it so admirably. Enjoy your weekend, good buddy Kirk!

  11. Sorry I missed this last week, dear friend. What a beautiful post and some lovely songs. It's hard to believe it's been 30 years already. Next week will be Nan's 10th year. Time flies, yet it never gets easier when we lose someone we love dearly. Nan's death still feels fresh.

    1. Thanks for letting me know you checked-out this special tribute post, Jessica Marie. I appreciate it. Yessum, I feel for you knowing that the painful 10th anniversary of losing Nan will soon be upon you. Please think, say and do things that would make Nan proud. I know she was always proud of you and loved you. Yessum, it is hard to believe that John is gone 30 years as of yesterday, January 16. His name and legacy will live on here at Shady's Place. Take care, dear friend JM!


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There are some things you can't hide
I wanna know
What you're feeling
Tell me what's on your mind