We listened to Donovan's "Sunshine Superman"; the Beatles "Good Day Sunshine" and "Here Comes the Sun"; the Beach Boys "Warmth of the Sun"; the Sunrays "I Live for the Sun"; The Kinks "Sunny Afternoon" -- I know there were others. I think the radio DJ had a bad case of the winter doldrums, too.
It was on that drive my new friends enticed me to go with them to Hawaii, where some of their friends were already living, working and partying. We would find jobs before the summer flood of co-eds. We'd get an inexpensive apartment (off season prices) and share the rent. But most importantly, we'd be away from the grey skies and slushy snow of home. We'd play on the beach, get great tans, learn to surf and basically enjoy being young. We were soooo naïve.
It would be my first huge adventure away from home--if you don't count a week long trip to San Francisco with friends after high school graduation or the fact that I worked that same summer at Flaming Gorge Lodge (but that's another story altogether).
Most of our dreams came true in Hawaii. However, we'd been sort of unaware of the War. In Hawaii, it was impossible to ignore. Young men were coming and going constantly to a far off place called Viet Nam, for reasons that most of us couldn't fathom. They went away as young and innocent as we were --- but came back to Hawaii on R. & R. jaded, wounded spiritually, if not physically---hollow shells, damaged goods.
It didn't seem fair. All I wanted was to swim in the ocean, get a tan and occasionally go on a date.