My time in the USA

I arrived in New York at end of November 1966. The ship docked and I had to get my cabin trunk off the ship -it was difficult. We were told all handling was paid for but I soon learned otherwise. This was a New World pressure. I went to the station to take a train to Washington DC. Where I was met by none  other than Bill Flatt who was to be my boss for the next 14 months. He took me to his home in Adelphi Maryland. I had a good time there  but had some embarrassing economic problems at first. I had expected 2000$ to be waiting for me as a grant from an agricultural company but apparently they were not due to be handed out for another  6 months. Fortunately I was able to ring Joan to send some money from my account. I felt bad about that but Bill lent me some money so I survived. At first I stayed in a residence near the dairy on Maryland Campus. I did not like it but had little choice as I had no transport. Eventually money came rolling in from NATO, the Carlsberg Foundation, and the Agri company and I was well off! I bought my first sports car, an MGA. I was very proud of that car and the girls liked it too!

Bill Flatt was an extraordinary man. He was a very friendly person and had a fantastic sense of humour. He had made a series of slides to show how to illustrate various sophistications for demonstrating differences in feed evaluation which had audience flat in laughter. He was a perfectionist. Everything in his lab and his office was in perfect order, unlike my office which was always utter chaos. He was in effect a shy person but overcame this by being something of a showman. His lab was fun to be in and always plenty of laughter. It was a good place to work and coming from Reading with no facilities it was like suddenly finding one had wings and could  fly. I did work hard and made real progress.  I published five papers from that year’s work. Paul Moe was working with me, he too was nice- a perfectionist like Bill  but not so outgoing.   I worked both at Beltsville and Maryland and Rodger Hemken too became a very good friend. I did not like the boss at Maryland, nevertheless the work was great. Peter Van Soest was also there. He was a very original thinker and was fun to argue with. All in all I worked hard and had a great experience -so many facilities, so much one could do, the whole the environment in the lab and around it was excellent. After a few weeks I think they also came to respect me and found that I had an original streak in me. In fact I made that discovery as well. In Reading the facilities were limiting. In USA this was not a problem. In fact, they had all the facilities but sometimes lacked the imagination to exploit it.