In this Book

Wilfrid Laurier University Press
summary

“Dour Scot” is the wrong description for David Caldow, who leads readers on a romp from the early twentieth century to the present, from an insular Scottish village to modern-day, multicultural British Columbia, from boyhood to old age. Throughout the tour he shares decades of laughter, tears, fears, and growth.

In 1910, the certain path of David’s life in Scotland is disrupted by the visit of an awe-inspiring comet. This brilliant visitor inspires the boy to dream of circling the world, like the comet, even though his life’s goal is to become a farm manager, like his father. As a young man seeking to fulfill his dreams, he travels to Canada and works his way from Quebec to British Columbia, guided by the lessons of his father and his memories of Scotland.

During his travels he grows in his understanding of himself, of the nature of love, of the ways of the world and its peoples, and of the poetry of Robert Burns. As a worker for the Farmer’s Institute and as farm manager for Colony Farm and Tranquille, two extensive BC government-owned farms, David contributes to raising the standards of Canadian agriculture. At seventy years old, he broadens the scope of his world even further, accepting a two-year Canadian federal-government position teaching farming in Tanzania.

Chasing the Comet is a true story that reads like fiction. David’s candour and his Scottish humour help him survive and thrive. In the book’s epilogue, David ponders the meaning of all his years of living, addressing questions such as: What is love? What is success? And how does one achieve them?

David Caldow lived an active life in Surrey, British Columbia until his death at the age of ninety-six.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Frontmatter
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  1. Table of Contents
  2. p. vii
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. ix-xviii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xix-xx
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  1. Prologue
  2. pp. 1-2
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  1. 1. Scotland
  2. pp. 3-14
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  1. 2. Beginning the Trail
  2. pp. 15-22
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  1. 3. Quebec
  2. pp. 23-36
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  1. 4. A Detour through Hell
  2. pp. 37-50
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  1. 5. Claresholm
  2. pp. 51-64
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  1. 6. The Okanagan Valley—Surviving Together
  2. pp. 65-82
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  1. 7. Kamloops, BC
  2. pp. 83-94
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  1. 8. Colony Farm
  2. pp. 95-110
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  1. 9. Of Love and War
  2. pp. 111-126
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  1. 10. Fatherhood and a Different World
  2. pp. 127-138
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  1. 11. Hatzic
  2. pp. 139-148
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  1. 12. Return to Colony Farm—Herdsman
  2. pp. 149-162
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  1. 13. Tranquille
  2. pp. 163-178
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  1. 14. Colony Farm—The Final Years
  2. pp. 179-202
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  1. 15. Aldergrove
  2. pp. 203-214
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  1. 16. Tanzania
  2. pp. 215-232
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  1. Epilogue
  2. pp. 233-238
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 239-241
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