Write Again…With courage and grace

Published 4:41 pm Wednesday, May 8, 2024

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Thanks to each of you who are joining me here today. Much appreciated. My almost life-long good friend, the Reverend Charles M. (Charlie Mike) Smith sent me a very special book recently. A real keeper. Actually, it’s too special
to keep. It should be shared.

So, Mr. Senior Citizen, let us in on it.

It’s titled “Our Prince of Scribes”-subtitled “Writers Remember Pat Conroy.”
If the name Pat Conroy strikes a chord with you, you’ll want to know more
about this book. If not, well . . .

As noted, author Ann Patchett (author of “Bel Canto” and “Commonwealth”) wrote “What could be better than so many voices coming together to celebrate Pat Conroy? This book is a testament to the enormous hold he had on our hearts and minds.” What could be better, indeed.

Yet I must admit that though I have read every book Pat Conroy wrote, and have seen the movies made of some of them, I did not know about nor appreciate the support, the mentorship, the loyalty he freely gave to aspiring writers.

Pat left us some years ago. The words he put on paper (he actually wrote his works in longhand, as did his idol Thomas Wolfe) are still with us. He was quite an athlete at The Citadel, fueled by his desire and intensity.
The foreword to this book was written by, well, let me share just a bit of it first.

“Pat Conroy was a force for good in our world. With courage and grace, he brought the gifts of the devastating beauty of his writing and his transcendent vision of the human heart to the lives of the readers he touched and the writers he inspired…

The writer was -are you ready? -Barbara Streisand. That should set the right-wingers’ teeth on edge.
In summary, let me just tell you that those many, many folks who wrote about Pat Conroy in this special book are, truly, exceptionally talented. That characterization is an understatement.

“The Prince of Tides.” “Prince of Scribes.” So true. Peace.

Note: Of significance to no one but me, my paternal grandfather, Walter Bartow Houston, DDS, was a graduate of The Citadel, who then went on to dental school.

I never knew him, as he died when my father was twelve years old.