Probably time to put the above to bed, but thought I would just add my pennyworth. I went to Bloomington, Indiana, in the 1960s where Ray, my boyfriend, was doing an MBA, and I needed a car to drive to the university school where I worked.
No problem buying the car, money was easy in those days, but I had no license so, without having any lessons, (I had had in the U.K.) I put in for the driving test.
Much laughter and skepticism amongst Ray’s colleagues, as the test was notoriously difficult, encompassing as we have now, a written test, an eye test and then the driving test. The town was none too fond of the gown in those days, especially the main driving test inspector, so most students found themselves coming back at least two or three times to get their license.
Ray’s friends were stunned, therefore, to see me return from the driving test waving the coveted piece of pink paper. This feared inspector was an Aberdonian in exile and the minute he heard me say ‘Good morning’ he said, “And where are you from bonny lassie?”.
From then on I was laughing all the way to the bank because all he wanted to know about was how Aberdeen had changed, did I know Donside better than Deeside, where I lived, etc., etc., while all the time telling me to watch out, there was a car about to overtake, and not to spend too long at a certain junction otherwise I would hold up the traffic and yes, I could turn right because he had checked nothing was coming.
I suppose nowadays, mobile as we are, it would not be so surprising but then, if Scots emigrated, they tended to go to Canada or California, but certainly not Indiana; but his parents had departed for the New World when he was quite young and he had met a Hoosier girl (nickname for people from Indiana), married her and ended up in Bloomington never to return to Aberdeen.
When we left Indiana, on the strength of that test we drove all through the States, Mexico and Canada and to my shame I never wrote to say ‘thank you’.