Social Life in the US

At first I did feel very lonely, particularly at Christmas time. On Christmas day I went to Arlington Cemetery! But it was not long before I found a lot of good friends. I joined the Scottish Country Dance club in DC, a very nice club with very disciplined dancing. There I met many girls who I became friendly with – I cannot remember their names but one lived in Maryland and her mother told me how much her daughter liked Scotland when she found that this was where I would be going! One was from the Vermont, a wonderfully cheerful girl and clever. There was also a girl from Huntly, Trudy I think her name was. I also met up with a German girl I met on the boat to the USA. She was a window dresser. However in spite of all the female attention I stuck with Joan who corresponded regularly and occasionally rang me or I rang her. I did get worried if it was too long between letters.

I was very friendly with Paul Moe and his family and also with a Danish man called Carl.. I also visited Roger Hemken and his family who I liked and of course there were Bill and June Flatt and their two girls.

Though I liked the USA, made many friends did exciting work at the Energy Metabolism laboratory I could never think of staying there. It was a very superficial country. Dollars meant everything. It was also a time when Lyndon Johnson was increasing the American involvement in Vietnam. There were sometimes small students protests. I supported them as far as possible but political debate was not encouraged at the USDA laboratory. It was not my business but I did ask whether parents were sure for what purpose their sons were killed in Vietnam. It seemed that the Americans were obsessed with a fear of communism. A communist was not a normal human being and was best exterminated.

I had a great time also participating in Toast Master Club activities. In fact, I won the prize three times for being the best speaker but I could only win on the occasions when Bill was not competing! I learned there to make public speeches and be confident in front of a crowd which was to stand me in good stead in the future.