CLOSE YOUR EYES. TAKE A DEEP BREATH. OPEN YOUR HEART.

SHADY DEL KNIGHT, ADMINISTRATOR

SHADY DEL KNIGHT, ADMINISTRATOR
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
HELLO STRANGER ..... IT SEEMS LIKE A MIGHTY LONG TIME!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Remembering Helen


HELEN TROSTLE ETTLINE

PASSED AWAY ON FEBRUARY 25, 1984

29 YEARS AGO TODAY.



Things to know
and remember
about Helen:

Helen was
real people.

Helen was
genuine.

With Helen...
what you saw
was what you got.

Helen was
never afraid to
speak her mind.



Helen had the warmest smile around and when
she smiled there was always a twinkle in her eye.

Helen could not have children of her own but she
loved young people and welcomed generations
into her home and into her life.


Every evening while Helen presided over
the Shady Dell's snack bar...


and Dell rats occupied booths and whiled away the hours
feeding their faces and gabbing...


and the pinball machine near the rear door
buoyed spirits with its incessant dinging and popping...


the jukebox at the end of the counter next to the
ladies' room door played a steady stream of doo-wop oldies.


I picked this song because it reminds me of that
very special woman, the first lady of the Shady Dell,
Helen Ettline.




Unforgettable, Helen.

That's what you are!

 
We love you and miss you.

22 comments:

  1. I am typing this out on a phone, so it won't be long, but I am so thankful I know, through you, someone as inspirational as Helen. Thank you!

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    1. That's AOK, Shelly. I'm always happy to see you here and thankful that you came by to pay your respects to our Helen today. Have a good one, dear friend!

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  2. Touching post, as always, to keep the memory of Helen alive. We all know by now, just what a special couple Helen & John were. Lovely photos today of the old Shady Dell. How thrilled Helen would be to know that she is not forgotten, and lives on through your Blog. Smooches to you dear Tom, and I hope you are well. Would you believe we haven't had any rain for seven whole days?! Eeeek!!

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    1. Hallo, dear Thisisme! No rain for 7 days? That's a record dry spell for Devon, isn't it? (LOL) I hope you got out there in the garden with those daffodils, dear friend. Thank you very much for helping us remember Helen today!

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  3. Sorry! I forgot to say - you chose exactly the right song today. I love it, and the Ettlines definitely are "Unforgettable" in your heart.

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    1. I agree, Thisisme. I can't watch that video without becoming misty and I think it's a perfect song by which to remember Helen. Thank you again for coming, dear friend!

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  4. Helen was like the Dell kids' surrogate mother. I'm sure she was a great listener, too. I never had the pleasure of meeting her but I could feel her presence behind that snack bar. I'm sure she's smiling from above after that post, Shady!

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    1. Hi, Toni! When I gaze at those pictures of the snack bar that you snapped before the Dell's makeover it takes me right back to the 60s. In my mind's eye I see a smiling Helen standing behind the counter, wiping it clean with a damp cloth, throwing down a fresh napkin and asking me what I'd like to order. She always made me feel like I was special to her, but then again I know it was a gift she gave to each and every one of the kids as did her husband John. I miss Helen and John and wish you could have known them. This was a sweet comment, dear friend Toni, and I thank you for it!

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  5. A person like Helen is truly unforgettable. She is someone to admire and imitate. It is good of you to keep the memory of John and Helen alive. I remember when this song came out and I watched Natalie sing with her father. It was moving.

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    1. I know, Belle. The juxtaposition of the living daughter and deceased father and having them sing a duet was mind blowing. Thank you, dear friend, for helping me observe the anniversary of our dear Helen's passing. God bless!

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  6. A wonderful tribute Shady. I just love that snack bar with the various stainless steel containers for condiments and toppings, etc. And the booth is very cool...there is even a bud vase on the table with some greenery in it. A wonderful touch, which gives a warm and caring impression of Helen and John. They weren't just slinging hash to ingrates and snobs...they were giving of themselves to the youth, and, hopefully instilling goodness in some of those who received it from them. Helen did pass some time before John, you've mentioned how hard it was for him to carry on their livelihood, but, my guess is that he did it for her and her memory.

    Thanks for the touching post, Shady. I definitely know one person who was blessed by this caring couple-you!

    Hope you are doing well. It's been Monday all day! Have a good evening, my friend.♫

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    1. Hello, dear Suzanne! Yessum, I was blessed by the caring couple, the Ettlines, and I am also blessed to have you as a friend. You're right, after Helen passed away John kept the Dell open for more than seven years and it couldn't have been easy for him. Yet, the Dell was an important part of who John was. When he finally gave up and closed it his own life ended a year and a half later. Thank you very much for your visit and lovely comment, dear friend Suzanne. I wish you a safe, healthy and happy week!

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  7. what a beautiful tribute to a wonderful lady!

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    1. ...and a wonderful lady you are, too, dear Alabee! Thank you very much for your comment, dear friend, and have a wonderful evening and week ahead!

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  8. This post really resonates with me right now as I'm sure you can imagine Tom. The best way to honour someone is to keep talking about them after they have passed away and tell stories about them. I think Helen would be overwhelmed by the love you've demonstrated for her in these posts dedicated to her.

    Hope your week got off to a good start!

    Emma x

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    1. Hello, dear Emma! I've been thinking about you and wondering how you and your family are coping with the recent loss of a loved one. I hope you are doing well, dear friend, and I thank you very much for the kind words you expressed here today!

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  9. What a lovely woman Helen must have been! And this was a very beautiful tribute to her. Somewhere, she's smiling.

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    1. Oh, thank you, karen! That's a very sweet comment and greatly appreciated. Take care and enjoy the rest of your week!

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  10. Kathleen Mae SchneiderFebruary 26, 2013 at 10:10 PM

    I never knew Helen, but am inspired by her example nonetheless. The kindness she showed to those she served at her counter at the Dell obviously left lasting impressions and assured her legacy. How fortunate that you and your fellow rats had her in your lives when so many others summarily dismissed teenagers. What a difference one person can make in the lives of so many! Thanks for honoring her memory with such a tenderhearted tribute.

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    1. Thank you very much, dear Kathleen! One person certainly can make a difference and both Helen and John made a difference. They made a lasting impression on the lives of countless young people and the ripple effect is still being manifested. Thank you again, dear friend Kathleen, for your visit and thoughtful comments!

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  11. Wow, Tom, you really know how to write a tribute! I return from my travels and find this touching and true, right from your heart love letter.
    I'm so glad Helen has you to remember her, wouldn't it be lovely if we all could be thought of with such fondness and joy.

    Hugs~

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    1. Hi, dear Sush! I am reminded of the Shakespeare quote: "The evil that men do lives after them; The good is oft interred with their bones". Through this blog I hope to turn that around. I would also like to borrow and paraphrase the words Ted Kennedy uttered in his memorial tribute to brother Robert. Helen and John were unpretentious, down to earth people who "need not be idealized or enlarged in death beyond what (they) were in life, (but) be remembered as a good and decent man (and woman) who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it." Thank you very much for coming to pay your respects, dear friend Sush. Take care and I hope to see you again soon!

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