Rachel Hennick spent ten years documenting her father Bill Hennick’s experiences working as a paramedic and firefighter predominantly in Baltimore’s westside from the height of the civil rights movement to the 1990s. Her biographical memoir Ghetto Medic: A Father in the ‘Hood published by BrickHouse Books (250 pgs. $22.00), available from major booksellers, includes previously undisclosed scenes from the race riots, the attempted assassination of Mayor Schaefer, The Beethoven Apartments’ inferno and more.
“These were my bedtime stories—that is when Dad wasn’t out protecting people and property in some of Baltimore’s poorest districts,” Rachel says.
Local artist Mark Cottman’s painting illustrating Bill’s career appears on the cover of Ghetto Medic, and the book has received advance praise internationally. Bestselling author and founder of Firehouse Magazine Dennis Smith says, “If H.L. Mencken were here, he would say go out immediately and buy a copy of Ghetto Medic.”
In a climatic chapter, a dramatic rescue effort is performed by firefighters from the famed Steadman “Superhouse,” the busiest fire station in America today
Rachel hopes that Ghetto Medic will pay tribute to her father’s life, African-American firefighter history and the historical legacy of the westside: “My father’s heart has always been in West Baltimore. It’s where he worked, lived, slept and ate. To him, West Baltimoreans are his other family. My father and I share a dream that this book might somehow make a difference.”
Ghetto Medic, her first book, will be launched Wednesday, July 11, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. in The Enoch Pratt Free Library Central Branch’s Edgar Allan Poe Room, 400 Cathedral Street, Baltimore.
(7/14) A launch party is being held at the Minas Gallery in Hampden on Saturday, July 14 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm.
(7/20) The author and her father will be signing books on Friday, July 20th from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm at the Barnes and Noble, Power Plant at Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.
(7/26) The author and her father will be signing books at the Barnes and Noble, downtown Philadelphia on Thursday, July 26 from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. Rittenhouse Square, 1805 Walnut Street.
(8/4) The author and her father will be signing books on Saturday, August 4th from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm at the Fire Museum of Maryland in Lutherville.
(8/11) The author and her father will be signing books Saturday, August 11th from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm at Greetings and Readings Hunt Valley.
About the Author
Rachel holds a PhD in English (Creative Writing) from the University of Adelaide (2009), a B.S., in Business and Writing from Stevenson University (2002), and an A.A. Degree, Communication Arts from Stevenson University (1990). In 2004, she was awarded the Arts South Australia prize for creative writing and an International Scholarship. Her short stories have appeared in the literary journal Island, The Australian Women’s Book Review and on Radio Adelaide’s Arts Breakfast.