One Man's Journey "From Hell to Iowa"

Nov 5, 2014

Charles Notis created one of the most prominent commercial weather forecasting groups in the state with Harvey Freese.

"His last name is 'freeze;' mine is 'notice;' I think it was definitely meant to be, almost like another miracle."

The first miracle he's referring to happened half a world away, 60 years ago this month, when he and his mother escaped from the then-oppressive state of Albania in 1954. Separated from Charles's father, Niko, for nearly ten years, they were trapped in the village of Politsani, where Charles was routinely brainwashed.

"The very first thing we would do each morning when we got to school, we would stamp our feet on the floor real hard saying ‘Down with the Americans.’” 

On this episode of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe talks with Notis about his and his mother's life in Albania, their escape, and his life once he came to Iowa. State Climatologist Harry Hillaker also joins the conversation.