DOVER, Del. (WBOC)- This week a Delaware Department of Transportation employee is retiring from a job that should perhaps be measured not in years served, but in miles drawn.
George Kent has been with DelDOT for almost half a century. A tenure that long is not unique for DelDOT employees. What is unique is the job Kent does. You've probably seen his handiwork and may even have it in your glove compartment.
Kent knows Delaware's roads like the back of his hand - though it wasn't always that way.
"I didn't know where Felton was," he said. "I didn't know how to get around any place in Delaware, except Dover."
now, Kent is principal cartographer for DelDOT. He makes maps.
"I got out of the service in 1968. After 45 days at home, my dad asked me if I'd be interested in getting a job sometime."
Forty-five years later he's still on the job. The map of Delaware has changed a lot in that time. The technology has changed, too.
"When I came to mapping, we were using scribing technology, which was color separated maps," Kent said.
Slide rules and protractors were the tools of the trade. Today, it's computers. Lauren DeVore can make map changes in six seconds that once took six months.
"It would be very hard [for me to do it the old way], to be honest. I can't even imagine doing what [George} did."
"I've always enjoyed it," Kent said. "It's just been a lot of fun, a lot of adventure, a lot of challenges."
Those challenges include riding every single road, street and alley in Delaware in the late 80s.
"He's just a wealth of knowledge," DeVore said. "He's like a dictionary. All you have to do is go to him."
And without necessarily knowing, that's exactly what people in the First State have been doing for years. Going to him, through these maps, when they need to get going.
"People from all over the country are able to use these maps and go visit places in Delaware," he said. "We love helping people down here."
Kent plans to use retirement to, as you might expect, do some traveling.
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