When I was a kid I mowed yards to supplement my allowance. Actually, I did quite well mowing yards. After the first year my client list had risen to nearly twenty-five yards. The end result was a surplus of funds, which I spent on whatever struck my fancy (including a riding lawn mower). Mom was only somewhat surprised one afternoon when my $21.95 mail-order canvas canoe kit arrived at the front door.
Within a week the sleek shape of the two-seater had begun to take form on the garage floor. The final procedures required wrapping the plywood frame in tightly-stretched canvas and fiberglass resin, and then coating everything with expensive epoxy paint, which was not included in the kit because marine quality paint cost almost as much as the kit. I selected a deep blue bottom color and pure white sides. Seeing as how the nearby shallow Lake Whitehurst was filled with stumps, Mom was dubious about the seaworthiness of a vessel made of canvas right from the get go. But she remained supportive of the venture providing I officially christened the new vessel to her liking: “The Unsinkable Molly Brown”. Very carefully, I painted “Molly B” on each gunnel in deep, midnight blue.
The “Molly B” was a fine ship.
Early one morning, Mom waved from the shore during the Molly B’s maiden voyage; I paddled off like a ghost across the quiet and misty lake into a new and independent wave of childhood.