April 26, 1950

April 29, 1950

May 13, 1950

May 30, 1950

Our Town, May 31st, 1950

Gypsies, Inc. 

Gypsies, Inc. Tomorrow morning, at an hour when human vitality is said to be at its lowest ebb, a large new station wagon will haul a large new house trailer through the streets of Vancouver, across the big span over the Fraser River and then up through the first of a thousand green Canadian valleys. No o n e is more surprised than I that it will be me at the wheel, pr that the cara- ' , van towing out 'i behind will be home for four peripatetic Scotts dur-ing the coming months. In these last weeks of preparation for a coast-to-coast junket all our friends and acquaintances have been envious of our assignment. Nearly everyone these days seems to have an urge to escape from the routine of day-to-day living. We've had applications from more than a hundred would-be gypsies to join our expedition. From baby-sitters to cooks. Me. I'm the last one to be surprised at this. I'm at an age when the rules of the game call for a certain settling down. But that restlessness to peep over new horizons seems to be getting stronger than ever. I've been all hopped up since the afternoon when the man said to go out and haye a look at Canada. But tonight, on the eve of departure and sitting before the familiar fireplace in the familiar shack and with the familiar surf on the Gulf of Georgia breathing at our door, well, it sobers you up. A lot of questions come to mind. v Will four of us be able to get along in a home 22 feet long by eight feet wide? Will we adapt ourselves to the new life on the open road after the old life in the snug safety of suburbia? What do you do in the Rockies If a bear knocks on your door? How does a Coleman lamp work? How, indeed?

Judy and Jill

Several Canadian papers across the country have invited their readers to come along with us on our cross-Canada safari. Our friends in Vancouver, Edmonton and Ottawa have been with us on less ambitious trips before, but I suppose we ought to introduce ourselves to those of you who just came in. Brown Eyes and I have made several trips for the Vancouver Sun, which is our home paper, including a iaunt up the Alaska Highway to Fairbanks and, a year later, down into Mexico. But this is the first time its been a family affair. I don't want to be too folksly about this. It isn't on account of the Bobhsy Twins across Canada, but I think if you know the kids it may encourage you to come along in sprit on our trip. Well, Judy is 10 and as attractively dark-eyed as her mother. She is the complete tomboy. For her the trip means a chance to swim in a whole bunch of new lakes, ride a whole bunch of new horses, climb a whole bunch of new trees. The trip meant taking her out of school, which was okay with Judy. We are to hold "classes" each day so that she can take her tests later this month. Quite a few of our friends think this is a crime. Maybe so. But I have a hunch our Judy will get an education this way that will help her in the classroom later on. The other member of the Junior team is Jill, who will be two next Monday. Jill is the antithesis of her sister. She's the Dresden doll type. Head of golden curls. Blue-grey eyes. Altogether feminine. Talks her own . language morning until night. A confirmed flirt with a mind of her own. Both the kids have taken to the trailer while it sits incongruously in our back yard. They've tested it out by playing "house" in it all day and sleeping out there at night. They've pinned up their own map of Canada above their bed with a red crayon tied on a string to mark their progress from day to day.

Where Away 

Now about our itinerary and what we intend to do. Well, we're hoping to cross the' country by the all-Canadian route as a kind of preview of what the real, honest-to-goodness trans-Canada highway will mean. We don't know for sufe where that route will take us except, of course, that it will be through the south. We know that tomorrow our objective is just 70-odd miles east at the pleasant Cultus Lake up near the head of the Fraser Valley. We may be there a week or more within carrier pigeon's distance of home, while we test out or new roving villa for liability. I expect you'll hear a lot about that for a few days because the problems it presents are pretty comical. This week, too, I'd like to describe the caravan to you so that you'll have an idea what it's like. Then its on to the Okanagan Valley and north over the Big Bend Highway to Lake Louise, Banff and Jasper and all points east to write about the people we meet on the main highway and in the back roads, the places we see and the adventures that come our way. We hope that you'll come along with us five days a week on this magic carpet of type and share with us the happy times and the other kind. And if you see a large, ungainly aluminum van creeping down the road your way, pull well over to the curb, will you? The express must go through.

 A Reminder: The Vancouver Sun's "Jack Scott Contest," featuring $50 in cash prizes for school students, closes today. Entries post-dated May 31 will be accepted. All you have to do: Estimate the distance the "Scott Caravan" covers in its rambling journey from Vancouver to Jasper.

June 1, 1950 

OUR TOWN, June 1, 1950

by Jack Scott 

On Our Way Cultus Lake. B.C. 

This is the first day and like first anythings like first kisses, first pregnancies or first murdersits been hard on the nerves. mffi We're park- ed tonight in a grove of ? pines on the 15 snore 01 uui-4 tus Lake. But it would be bare fib to say that there was anything idyllic about it. The rain is drumming dismally on the trailer's aluminum roof. The Coleman lamp is hissing. There is the smell of burning paint from all our new "convementca mc two lamps, the Coleman stove, the wick oil stove, and the rest. The two kids are finally settled down in "their room" after a trying day. They looked on it all this morning as a fine adventure, this odyssey across Canada, but vou know how kids are when they're tired. Tonight they were missing their familiar beds and the nocturnal routine nri thov felt stranee in a house that rocks on its springs when you turn over in bed. So were we, I guess. This strangeness caused the day's most unexpected crisis. 1 11 Hpsrriotion later on of what the trailer is like. But the crisis came from the toilet. The trailer has a small closet that works on some sort of chemicals' (you know more about this than I do at the moment.) It's a sort of built-in Chic Sale affair and Jill, who is two,, just flatly refused to perch up there on that precarious seat. We all demonstrated, laughing gaily, to show her that it was nothing at all (to the consternation of a garageman who happened to look in while I was on the throne) but this problem must still be overcome. Fact is, after 60-odd miles of travel we've found that life has suddenly oecome enormously complicated. I am a man with no feeling whatever for mechanical contraptions and while I'm trying to maintain an air of fierce competency, at heart I expect the whole involved rig to go up any moment like a Roman Candle.


We got off to a late start. Loading the trailer is a tricky business since the weight must bo evenly distributed. Then there were the goodbyes to all the neighbors, including Charlie Ridley, who helped us so much in getting things organized, and then we had to say goodbye to Jenny, which was the hardest of all. Jenny is seven months old. We couldn't figure out a way to bring her along. She is being looked after by one of the world's most competent women, her grandmaw, but it's a powerful wrench to leave her behind. It's a funny thing with kids. You curse them when they get you up in the dawn. They're a headache 14 hours a day. home-times you wonder if they're worth it all. But just try leaving one behind and you'll feel that burden on the heart. Then Judy remembered her present for the mayor of Halifax. If he turns out to be a nice fellow she is giving him a bottle of her Pacific Ocean to dump in his Atlantic. It is in a small vial labelled "Take Two When Retiring", but it has the scent of the west in it. We were on our way, then. But first we must make a detour to go around Stanley Park. We wanted our last look at home to be pleasant as possible. One of the basic weaknesses of our trans-Canada assignment is that we'll be writing nothing about Vancouver, our home base. Which isn't so good for those other papers across the country who are running our stuff. But that last trip around the eight miles of park seemed to sum up the whole atmosphere of "our" country. We stopped under the totem pole at Prospect Point and looked across the Lion's Gate to the mountains, cool, green, and wet and with the gulls wheeling in behind an inbound freighter riding low with her cargo


The day also brought the first inevitable mishap with the trailer. We had managed to make our way through the city's traffic without incident. Then we rolled up through the Fraser Valley at a dowager's pace. Even in the rain it was pleasant to be in the farm country and to know that we were really on our way at last on Highway No. 1. Trouble came on a short, steep hill on the sideroad into this mountain-locked lake. I tried to change into low gear half way up. We stopped dead. The car just flatly refused to haul that ponderous load another inch. When I tried to back her down for a first fresh start the trailer jack-knifed behind us. I had forgotten that when you zig with the car the trailer very promptly zags. So we sat there in the rain and the horns had started blaring behind us and I would have sold the whole rig right then for $2.95. But along came a truckload of soldiers and a couple of dozen of them got their shoulders behind our home on wheels and we were on our way again. We unhitched and went through the strange mechanics of setting up, all of us a good deal too wet, tired and irritable to savor the feeling of new adventure that was with us when we awoke this morning. But since I started to peck this out Jill has overcome her phobia about the powder room and perhaps the rest of the problems will solve themselves as simply. Necessity is great little old solver.

June 2nd, 1950

June 3, 1950

June 5, 1950

June 7, 1950

Our Town, June 7, 1950

Forgotten Cow

Chilliwack, B.C. 

Just as soon as I can shake off this lethargy, induced by more fresh air than my lungs have had since they went to Boy Scout camp in 1928, I intend to bring you a long philosophical essay on cows. I don't positively know the difference between a Jersey and a Guernsey, mind you, but I do know that cows generally are getting pretty shoddy treatment. I was ' watching a cow y, today from my uince yn nam-mock I've slung ,from the back 1 of the trailer I to a small, convenient pine) and I thought to myself, "Jack," I thought, "you ought to say something nic.e about the cow." City people like us just lake the cow for granted. So long as the quart is delivered to the stoop every morning we're happy. We never stop to think what coffee would be like without the cow. What would a milk shake be without the cow? A shake, that's all. But, land-o-goshen, city folks aren't nearly as ungrateful as the country folks themselves. We're right in the heart of a rich dairyland here in the Fra-ser Valley and we've been around talking to several of the dairymen and, naturally, the subjict of cows does come up pretty often. Do the farmers talk about those patient bovine with respect or affection? Do they say, look yonder as those splendid, serene beasts to whom I owe my Lew Chevrolet and my set of Encyclopedia Britannica and maw's new Rose Marx? Not on your life. All they say about the cow is that she is stupid.

The New Way 

Probably the worst thing that , ever happened to the cow is going right on here in this valley eentre. It's called the Chilliwack Artificial Insemination Club club, for heaven's sake! and so far as I know there's been nobody to give the cow's side of the thing at all. Way this "club" works, about 400 dairymen have set up a selection committee. Committee looks over the list of blue-ribbon bulls (including gay, dashing bulls from Paris, Ontario) and decides which would make superior sires. Federal Department of Agriculture then buys these bulls and makes them available to the "club" member at $5 a service. Well, sir, this has just about put an end to the natural age-old story of bull meets cow. The whole thing now is done with test tubes and oh, my! the indignities these simple, trusting animals submit to. It would sure make racy reading if I were certain the kiddies were in bed. Now, all this is fine for the dairyman. The milk productive ability of a cow is transmitted through the sire (I'll bet you didn't know this, either) and, so, bulls of superior breeding are important, particularly when they can perform their end of the deal through the mail or by delivery boy. Also, the small dairyman with only 20 or 30 cows who can't afford to keep a bull for such a small herd can now get the very best by just picking up the phone. But what about the cow? That's what I want to know. Why, do you know, yesterday at the new barn the "club" recently built, there were some cows, heifers and young bulls In a field who had never seen their daddy? There's at least one third generation calf, too, great-granddaughter to a test tube. How can we expect contented cows while this sort of bizarre, . unreal relationship exists? Mark my words, there'll be cow psychiatrists in every pasture if this goes on.

Trouble Ahead

 I probably wouldn't be so upset about this if I hadn't come across a recent article in The New Statesman and Nation by an English dairy fanner named Nicholas Davenport. Nick sounds like a really decent cove. His article is titled "Cows Are So Human" and proves what I've suspected all along: that cows are pretty nice. Nick gives a lot of examples of cows behaving like humans or, at any rate, "like a bunch of women" and describes among other things, how all the cows gather admiringly about a new mother and sometimes even instruct her in caring for the new calf. But what particularly interested me in view of what I'd learned about artificial insemination, was the part about cows and their relationship with bulls. This gets pretty close to nature, but the simple fact is that cows admire bulls, are regular coquettes and, in Nick's words,' "unpredictably feminine." The conclusion ought to be obvious, even to a city man. Deprived of what is a normal and even gladsome relationship, cows are bound to end up sooner or later with frustrations and their subsequent mental disorders. I think it's only the fact that cows are, admittedly, slow to catch on to things that fools them. At the moment they are placidly waiting until the real thing comes along, but there's a limit to even a cow's patience. If all you city folk wake up some morning and find your milk curdled, well, it serves you right.

June 8, 1950

November 29, 1950

November 30, 1950

December 14, 1950

December 15, 1950

December 20, 1950

January 9, 1951

January 10, 1951

Journey's End

The End

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