Southwest Kansans will get the chance to meet the author and the subject of a compelling new biography just published by University Press of Kansas in a book signing and public reception set for 2 to 4:30 p.m. Nov. 3 at the Finney County Historical Museum, 403 S. Fourth St., in Garden City.
The 244-page book is entitled “Marine, Public Servant, Kansan – The Life of Ernest Garcia,” focusing on an accomplished Garden City native who served as sergeant at arms in the United States Senate. The author is Dennis Raphael Garcia, a retired attorney and teacher who now lives in Arlington, Va.
Ernest Garcia, cousin of the author, is part of a Finney County family that emigrated from Mexico. He devoted his life to serving in the U.S. Marine Corps and escorted President Ronald Reagan to the podium to deliver his initial State of the Union address. The forward of the book was written by retired U.S. Senator Bob Dole.
Copies of the book will be on hand for purchase during the come-and-go event, and afterward in the gift shop at the museum. The work has been described as “an engaging biography” that “contributes to Kansas history and culture by fleshing out the diversity of the Kansas experience in a way that very few other books have done.”
The volume draws on oral histories, laying a foundation through the story of Garcia’s great-grandfather, Pedro, and his difficult journey from Zacatecas to El Paso to Kansas, a decade of field labor, the Great Depression and Dust Bowl, as well as both world wars.
The community is welcome to join members of the Garcia family, including the retired Marine and the author, during the event. The reception will take place in the museum’s meeting room, with access through the north entrance of the building.