Happy Valley College
Happy Valley College will resonate with baby boomers that attended college during the Vietnam War and that dealt with the angst, uncertainties and challenges emanating from that crazy period in time. It is at once a feel good story about college life in the 60’s, ala “Animal House” and some of the cynicism of The Catcher in the Rye, but with a strong undercurrent of the Vietnam War and the emotions of a college student dealing with the military draft. College adventures are juxtaposed with war horrors of death and amputation. The reader will remember Dave Pedersen for his wealth and breadth of college and growing up experiences, and for the pain, frustration and anxiety while wrestling with options to meet his military service obligation in a way that preserves his relationship with a fellow college coed. Happy Valley College takes the reader on a journey of transition from the early carefree years of college to the realities of the Vietnam War and military draft. The story takes place at a small state college in northern California, far from the urban centers and large university hotbeds of anti-war activity. While unintended, the story also brings to light many similarities between the Vietnam War and the War in Iraq. Younger readers will gain an understanding and appreciation of the military draft system in place in the 1960’s, while baby boomers will experience a mix of refreshing nostalgia and quiet reflection.