Home is Everywhere
Rich with the small-town characters of mid-century America, Home Is Everywhere spins a tale of travel, love, family, and reflection through the eyes of a man hired to document the last unmapped stretches of a nation.
As a young man living in rural Kansas in the 1940s, Charles Novak took a job with the federal government—not because he liked the work, but because he heard it paid well. That job shaped his life in ways he could never have imagined. As a surveyor for the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, Charles was tasked with measuring the unmapped American landscape. Over the years, this would take him from being eaten up by mosquitos in Alaska, to eating steak and lobster on oil rigs in Louisiana. His career became even more adventurous when his family hit the road with him, making their home in a caravan of trailers as the survey team traversed the nation.
The measurements taken by Charles and the survey team eventually would go on to help build today’s GPS technology. However, such a contribution was the furthest thing from the minds of Charles and his family as they experienced life on the road during a time of astounding change in American life. From segregated trains to Cold War military bases, and back to Kansas, Charles’s family found that home is more than a place on a map.
About The Author
CHARLES L. NOVAK was born in Haddam, Kansas, in 1929. He joined the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey as a young man and traveled the United States for much of his life measuring unmapped land. During his time on the road with the USCGS, Charles met his wife, Jean, and they had three children. He retired from the Survey in 1985, but continued work in a position with the U.S. Boundary Commission. He has made his home in more than sixty places across the U.S. and now lives permanently in Scottsdale, Arizona.
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