I miss you, Pat Conroy

For starters, I mostly hate book jackets. Except for this one. I cannot bear to throw it away because PAT CONROY is on the cover. Barefoot. And he’s wearing rolled-up khakis with a navy blue sport coat while standing in a pond that looks a tiny bit like a fire pit. I want to call it “precious” but I know he would not approve.

His death on March 4, 2016 left a giant void in my reading world. Fortunately, his people got together and came up with a tribute which has been fascinating to read. I didn’t think there was anything new to learn about him, but I was mistaken.

I first met Conroy at a South Carolina book festival in Columbia back in the late 1990’s and at the time I had my young daughter with me. He walked past us and I couldn’t resist stopping to let him know I was his number one stalker fan and even owned a paperback copy of “The Boo”. In typical Conroy fashion, he was exuberant and gracious. Then, regarding the book, he said: “Burn it”. Over the years, I’ve read and collected all his books. I’m especially fond of the “The Pat Conroy Cookbook” but my favorite will always be “The Lords of Discipline”. In 1985, a Citadel graduate gave me a copy and it was my first experience peaking into the life and times of an author. I had no idea I’d spend the rest of my adulthood reading Conroy’s books, going to hear him speak, and now, writing about him.

My PC shelf

“Our Prince of Scribes – Writers Remember Pat Conroy” is a keepsake volume of essays from fellow writers, actors, close friends and family. If you are a fan of Conroy, this book is a MUST READ. I personally loved the contributions from Ashley Warlick (M. Judson Booksellers owner), Nathalie Dupree (one of my favorite chefs), former judge Alex Sanders, columnist Kathleen Parker, his brother Tim Conroy, and writer Rick Bragg. This would be a treasured gift for the Conroy fan in your life.

2013 – SC Book Festival, Columbia

Currently reading: “We Were the Lucky Ones” by Georgia Hunter and re-reading “The Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren

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