It was the late '60s when Mike Devanney heard of an F8 Bearcat sitting somewhere in the middle of Texas. The owner, after flying it once, was terrified at the thought of ever climbing into it again. Mike had flown T-6s, B-25s and DC-3s in the Air Force and owned a Texan, N45F, when I first met him. Fact is, he could and did own and fly just about anything from Cubs to Beech 18s, Lodestars, DC-6s and an Aeronca Chief on floats, which he sometimes operated off grass. 45F, like every car, airplane, tractor or boat he ever owned, was, well, a disgrace. Oh, his stuff usually ran pretty well, but cosmetics, conformity and cleanliness weren't high on Mike's list of priorities. He'd pretend innocence when I'd point out that he'd had far more mishaps than I, with absolutely nothing on his record, while my rap sheet was disgustingly complete — well, mostly. Michael's projects were inevitably an exercise in frustration. Any tool, tow bar, battery charger or air compressor you needed first had to be located and then repaired. Torpedo heaters were out of kerosene; the socket wrench you needed was missing from the set; safety wire was the wrong gauge and oil the wrong weight. At one point we talked about getting married, but I recovered my wits in time, realizing we'd quickly kill each other.