When I started work in Pittsburgh on January 2 1966 my nearest were still in the UK. I was alone, living at the Y. Never YMCA, by the way, always "the Y". Later I was to attend recitals at "the Jewish Y".
Not really alone. The whole of suburban Pittsburgh, both genders, all levels of income, took me to its collective bosom. Guiding me not to parade my atheism, not to reveal I'd belonged to a leftie trade union, not to pronounce it schedule instead of skedule (They failed; some out of pure transatlantic good-heartedness adopted my pronunciation), not to sign cheques with an illegible signature.
Most of all they urged a more generous attitude towards spending. They were horrified when I bought second-hand paperbacks; thought I'd catch something. Alarmed when I looked at apartments in "unsuitable" areas. Appalled I'd gone for a party-line telephone. Laughed helplessly when I furnished a bedroom and a lounge with a package costing $300 (£187).
They couldn't understand why I was delaying getting a TV because I lacked the money. Some lurched away when I bought US wine at the state liquor store. Hard liquor they understood; to them wine = wino.
I'm in danger of sounding ungrateful. Those same people took me to ball-games, invited the family to barbecues, introduced us to take-away pizzas (both take-aways and pizzas were quite novel), offered to lend me money when I had to fly home for my mother's funeral, and agonised over the fact that our younger daughter - born over there - hadn't been christened.
But I'd moved from the world's most expensive city where poverty was chronic. Adjustments took time and some never happened. Our daughter flew back to the UK in 1972 still unchristened.