The first book that J. Malcolm Garcia ever bought would impact his life in a way that the then twelve-year-old could have never imagined. The Day the Red Baron Died plunged Garcia into the intrigue and excitement of the World War I German flying ace's life and death. Garcia was enraptured and brimming with questions. His mother encouraged the curious boy to write to the book's author, Dale M. Titler. When the author replied, a friendship began that shaped Garcia's life.
In Riding through Katrina with the Red Baron's Ghost, Garcia chronicles his relationship with Titler. It was that connection that brought Garcia to New Orleans only two weeks after Hurricane Katrina devastated the city and its citizens. Not having heard from his friend in years, Garcia made the split-second decision to go to New Orleans to try to find the man who meant so much to him.
A harrowing account of New Orleans directly after Katrina—told in Garcia's award-winning journalistic style—Riding through Katrina with the Red Baron's Ghost tells a personal story of a thirty-year bond that defined a young man, as well as the universal story of the horror and devastation Katrina left in its wake.
J. Malcolm Garcia is a freelance journalist and the author of The Khaarijee: A Chronicle of Friendship and War in Kabul and What Wars Leave Behind: The Faceless and the Forgotten. He is a recipient of the Studs Terkel Prize for writing about the working classes and the Sigma Delta Chi Award for excellence in journalism. His work has been anthologized in The Best American Travel Writing, The Best American Essays, and The Best American Nonrequired Reading. He lives in Kansas City, Missouri.