Living in California, there were so many beautiful girls and the competition was fierce. It was really difficult for a young girl to get the attention of a boy, simply because of the many, many beautiful girls. So when I arrived at Barber's Point and made my way to the base swimming pool, I was pleasantly surprised to find myself the center of attention in a sea of men.
The pool was huge, an Olympic sized pool, located on the Navy base. We had to go through the gate to the base, which was protected by Marines. We had to show our ID cards to get on the base. It was out of our way, but the only way to get on the base which was fenced in with a chain-link fence.
As a Southern California girl, I was a fair swimmer, so I wanted to find the swimming pool as soon as we became settled. I had just turned fifteen years old after our arrival in Hawaii. I was about 5'2" and weighed about 95 pounds.
My first day at the pool I was approached by several guys. I was in heaven! There was JoJo, a young Filipino guy who told me he was in love with me immediately after introducing himself. Later in our conversation, he told me he wanted to marry me. I understood that this was just a line, and he was not serious, so my response was: "Sorry, I'm washing my hair that day". Then there was Sharkey, a sailor about 19 or 20, with a blond crew-cut. Sharkey got his name because he always wore a shark tooth on a chain around his neck. There were several life guards, one called Red because of his red hair, another called Flip because he was training to become an Olympic High Diver. A third lifeguard was in his late twenties, and his nickname was Butch. Finally, there was a very handsome and very shy young man from the east coast named Michael. Michael was only seventeen, and he was a sailor.
These were only a few of the guys I'd see at the pool. There were usually about fifty guys at the pool, and maybe one or two girls. To me, I had just hit the jackpot.