Ben Tracey, an old friend and venerable Canoe Cruisers Association father, died last Saturday. Ben was a no-nonsense, practical, tactical, north-country mentor; …who I could always count on for tall tales, advice; … and water rescues when the situation called.
When I first met Ben – he was shore-scouting – at Yellow Falls – a trip leader for the CCA. At the time I was paddling a canvas kayak. He encouraged me – age 12 – to try running the drop, but I thought better of it – so decided to paddle back upriver to Anger’s Inn. Later it came to pass that Ben took me under wing, and taught me how to loudly yell “Wahoo” whenever running rapids, a practice which he relished as well.