Why I Loved The Summer of ‘78 – A Note From Delilah

It was the summer of ’78. I’d recently walked with great pomp and circumstance down the center aisle of my high school gymnasium dressed in a red cap and gown (boys wore black) and an hour later was a high school graduate. That very night I arrived home 5 minutes past curfew and found my suitcases on the front porch and the door locked. “See ya! Wouldn’t wanna be ya!”  Was the message. 

My father was a rule maker, I a rule breaker, these two opposing personality traits caused more than a little friction. No drinker or druggie was I, so where was the need for curfews? The perspective of wanting to know the whereabouts of your child and that she was indeed safe and behaving herself, was not a familiar or relatable one at the time. Ohhhhh paybacks! As the mother of 13 and someone who has actually packed a child or two’s bags to encourage them to push boundaries under a different roof than my own, my indignation at the time seems
almost comical.

No matter, I’d set my sights higher than Reedsport, Oregon and my initiate station of KDUN, with “500 watts of crystal clear AM power.” I’d already started work at KYNG “King on the Oregon Coast” in the big metropolis of Coos Bay, 20 miles to the south, and my palatial suite at the grandparents home awaited my arrival. Yep, I was movin’ on up!

What. A. Summer! 

With my new-found adulthood, I was an unstoppable force; on-air for the afternoon drive, flipping my Farrah Fawcett hair and spinning the hits of, oh at least two decades in the past… Days were for slathering myself with baby-oil seeking the few minutes of sun that could be found on the chilly Oregon coast, a portable cassette player blasting Ambrosia, Foreigner, Lionel Richie, and The Little River Band! Nights were for sneaking into the one and only discotheque “Two Fingers,” dancin’ the night away to Andy Gibb, Alicia Bridges, and Gloria Gaynor. I remember going to see Grease and, having already been a huge Welcome Back Cotter fan, falling madly deeply passionately in love with John Travolta. 

I lived on my grandmothers pickled beets, and yogurt I made fresh every day with my Thermostat Controlled Salton Yogurt Maker. I also invited listeners to bring donuts and pizza to the station, which they obligingly did. This allowed me to spend my small earnings on gas and maintenance for my little Ford Pinto (yes the kind with the exploding gas tank,) instead of groceries. While my expenses were reduced, my waistline was not. In retrospect, I should have asked for broiled chicken and salad greens, but where’s the fun in that?!

Summer of ’78 was one of the best summers of my life. Memorable to be sure. I still love pickled beets, yogurt and the amazing multi-genre soundtrack from so many talented, talented artists still plays in my mind like it was yesterday! 



Salton Thermostat Controlled Yogurt Maker Yogurt Recipe



  • 1 quart of milk (Whole, 2%, or skim)
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of yogurt starter (plain yogurt from last batch or purchased or 1 pkg dried yogurt starter)


  1. Bring milk to boil over medium high heat. Turn off heat and allow milk to cool until just warm.
  2. Add Yogurt Starter and stir thoroughly.
  3. Pour mixture into the 5 jars, secure with lids.
  4. Place jars in thermostatically controlled yogurt maker and add lid.
  5. Plug in Yogurt Maker and set timer for 10 hours.
  6. When timer is done, allow to cool.
  7. Eat immediately as-is or with the addition of honey, fruit, or flavorings.
  8. Place uneaten jars in refrigerator up to 10 days.
  9. (Make sure to save some for your next Yogurt Starter)

Here’s how I do it these days:


  • 1/2 gallon whole milk
  • 1/2 cup plain yogurt


  1. Bring milk to boil in heavy pot, stirring constantly so it doesn’t scorch. (I use a cast-iron Dutch oven)..
  2. Cool the milk until just warm - use a candy thermometer until you get the hang of it, 112°F to 115°F does the trick.
  3. Whisk in the yogurt so it is smooth and thoroughly mixed with the milk.
  4. Put the lid on the pot and place it in an oven to incubate. Your oven should be OFF.Check the yogurt after 4-5 hours to see if it has set. The longer you leave it, the thicker and tarter it becomes as the cultures do their work converting the milk’s proteins. Don’t stir or move it around much until you’ve decided
    it’s done!
  5. Eat or transfer to refrigerator at whatever stage in the process meets your personal tastes. (Yes, you can pour the liquid from the top if you like or mix it in for a creamier consistency -you decide.)

I love using local honey, fruit, or berries from my farm to flavor our yogurt for breakfast and snacking or I use it plain, thick and tart for
marinating meat.