Steve celebrated his 23rd birthday on April 2, 1968, in South Vietnam.
On April 4, I was horrified by the News that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had been assassinated in Memphis. At the time it seemed that our country was being torn apart by racial violence (riots) and war protests on college campuses. I was glad to be attending a somewhat rural agricultural school (Fresno State).
Gus (our cat) and I went home to Glendale and Laguna for Easter vacation with my family. During that week I visited Bob and Mel (our Marine friends) on the beach. Then I went to church in Glendale on Easter, before returning to Fresno to finish the spring semester at college.
I turned 23 on April 21, 1968, and celebrated my birthday in Alameda with Steve’s family. His parents took me to the horse races at Golden Gate Fields in the Bay Area. I had never been to a horse race before, and we had a great time there. Later we went to a fancy dinner house restaurant where the servers sang “Happy Birthday” to me for the first time. It was an exciting and memorable day, but I really missed Steve and wished he had been there for this special occasion!
In late April I went to my friend, Mickey’s “bachelor party” in Porterville with Gus. She and her fiance, Larry, were planning their wedding for May 22 so it was a fun weekend.
Also this month I began writing a term paper on the Lewis and Clark Expedition for my U.S. History class. The writing process was very time consuming, and this academic exercise kept my mind occupied so I didn’t constantly worry about Steve and the war.
Steve had sent me the itinerary for R&R, and I contacted a local travel agent who helped me make the arrangements for our “get-together” in Hawaii. It was planned for early May and was to be a week-long celebration of our first wedding anniversary, on May 6, 1968.