I have just spent the night on the floor of a well carpeted bungalow deep in the suburbs of Hollywood. Hispanics and Afro Americans all around have such broad smiles, reminding me we are forgetting to laugh at ourselves. Tony arrives on the dot of 10 to take me to Liberty Girl and on to Cuba. Slight problem Tony, I have mislaid my passport, again.

Using the excuse that still, no one would sell me a map of Cuba, I head north up the gold coast at above 500 feet having to change radio frequency eleven times in almost as many minutes, needing me to orbit at one point in order not to infringe airspace of the busy coastal aerodrome. Matters did not help with the transponder not working and your's truely being misidentified by a friendly controller as a yank heavens forbid! Talking of controllers, the back chat surrounding what I had for supper last night quelled my anxiety a little for my entrenched hatred and fear of anything relating to communications with the ground. When we go flying Liberty Girl and I want no intrusion into our little world of fantasy as if we have left all are cares behind and below!

I am looking for Vero Beach and a little flying village of some 50 aircraft, many vintage like their owners as I very soon found out. The grass strip between the palm trees and bungalows had three birds, Sandhill Cranes, on the runway on my approach. These are lovely to see in the right place, being a member of the stalk family, but preferably not 70lbs of combined weight smack in the middle of an active runway!

Tony had radioed ahead to his old friend Lars, of Swedish origin, he having owned in his life many interesting aircraft. The Klem for example, muddled often with the 1930's BA Swallow open cockpit that my Father once owned. Also a Saab Safir trainer was his pride and joy for many years. But in his hangar was DH82a!  But I was soon invited by Mark and Mary to the hangar opposite, housing a host of projects from the 1929 WA Cessna, a 1929 Fleet biplane with a Kinner radial, like my DH2 and numerous other exciting goodies for me to paw over.

A talk was organised for Sunday afternoon avoiding a Super Bowl game which started at 5.30pm when everybody stops doing what they were doing apparently, to watch it. Sport and the Americans attitude to it is quite different in the old colony. The game for example, much like rounders, only girls play in the UK, is called baseball while rugger in England is played in a vaguely similar way here in the US except an hour first spent dressing up in modern type armour not dissimilar to the way knights of France before Agincourt had to be hoisted onto their steeds before battle due to the excessive weight. Netball in England is a girls game mainly but here in the US it appears you have to be a 7ft tall and male to qualify.


I have just watched the most exciting game of American football. In the dying seconds of the fourth quarter the New York giants snatched it from the favourites, the New England Patriots. I had Mike on one side teaching me the rules while the crop duster, Ray Dyson, was wising me up to some of the subtleties. I withdraw all the derogatory remarks I have ever made about the game over the past 40 odd years!