Judie organised from afar and Pete was my host. The venue was an old, much used hanger on the south end of the private grass strip south east of Ocala, Central Florida. Over 60 people attended to enjoy a hearty feast having wheeled out the Mooney, Stearman and Liberty Girl to make room. We had a good laugh and I made good contacts for bits needed for the cub and for further talks across America. Still no one could find me a map of Cuba for some reason or to find an easy way to blow up my life raft cylinder. George masterminded an alternative flotation solution or as Pete described it, "Liberty girl has a foam enema" which was achieved by blowing foam peanuts through a length of drain pipe using a powered garden sweeper!

Chris next morning took me for a flight in a smart blue and yellow 1940 Stearman biplane. Same year as my US two seat Taylorcraft was built, now in lots of pieces back in England. I bet the Boeing Stearman was four times the weight! Talking of weight Florida is not the place to embark on a diet or Gen's (my daughter) New years resolution for me to lose a stone. "What's a stone?" they say, while we all tuck into our second helping of local strawberries, short cake and whipped cream. "Oh, about 6 to 7 kilos", I say, tongue in cheek.

After wheeling out the aircraft again we "tank up" the Stearman on $3 a gallon autogas and I jump in. Built like a battle ship with a base ball bat handle for a control column! The cockpit is big, the rudder bars wide apart with mere basic instrumentation for the student to learn on. We rumble on down the grass and with immense torque in the 220 HP radial continental she effortlessly goes into a steep climbing turn, the music from that engine is just pure heaven. Must fly (steal) one home to England, I think. Another flight for air to air photos was not so good. The sun had been blazing all day until both aircraft were at 1000ft, wing tip to wing tip, both armed with cameras. Never mind, another day, perhaps?

One more night with Pete before a planned early start back to Leesburg to pick up bits of ordered equipment for South America, spare fuses etc. and then Perry Field, Miami some 200 miles south.