YESTERDAY WAS A SPECIAL DAY. Long but special. A 16 hour round trip to Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, where lives a very nice man named Dale. Dale has had, since 1985, a classic Old Town Canadienne canoe, with the original, gorgeous mahogany decks and gunwales. He bought it from the legendary designer and original builder, Ralph Frese, “Mr. Canoe,” at his equally legendary Chicagoland Canoe Base. I have pined for this canoe for decades, and can hardly believe my good fortune at finding this one, in such beautiful condition. It is nowadays thought of as heavy, and at ‘my age’ I am supposed to be interested in something lighter. But being just 100 feet from the water, I could not pass up this chance. And Kathy approved. For his part, Dale was a little teary-eyed, but in his words , thrilled that the canoe has found such a good home. Me, too.