And what ever became with the little alum. canoe that was painted like a bark canoe and had extra flotation on top of the sides.??

They are still around.
Know from first hand experience they will carry a lot of weight. (2 guys and half a moose)

Always a good idea not to stand up in a canoe, unless your dressed to go swimming.
Car keys etc. go in a small dry bag.

As kids we used to get the bathing suits on, grab a canoe, and go gunwale bobbing,(standing on the gunwales) first one in the lake loses.

Glad to hear your first foray into canoeing turn out OK and didn't dampen your enthusiasm.