Friday, January 29, 2016

The Man Who Painted the Universe by Ron Lego and Avi Lank

The Man Who Painted the Universe is the story of a man with a passion and his desire to share it with others. Frank Kovak Jr. grew up fascinated by the stars. As a child in Chicago, he loved the Adler Planetarium. He  also painted glow-in-the-dark constellations on his bedroom walls and built his own backyard observatory. Frank's passion grew as he matured. Eventually he bought a small piece of land in northern Wisconsin. Away from city lights, this was an ideal place to observe the stars. He tried to share his passion with others--church and youth groups. But often the weather would interfere--fog or clouds, or rain or cold. So he spent years building and hand painting a 22-foot rotating globe planetarium near Rhinelander, Wisconsin. He financed his project with his own money; he created it with his own ingenuity and built it with his skills in the manual arts. The result is that, despite his lack of a college degree of any kind, he is running a planetarium of his own. In 2008 he opened it to the public and now tiny Monico, Wisconsin has its own tourist attraction. Frank Kovak's story is unique and authors Ron Lego and Avi Lank have told it with respect and empathy. They have reported a Wisconsin success story.