Wednesday, May 14, 2014
If I could be a fly on the wall ...it would be this Saturday in Columbia at the annual South Carolina Book Festival, where Pat Conroy ("The Great Santini," "The Prince of Tides," "The Lords of Discipline," and his most recent, a memoir: "The Death of Santini") and four of his seven siblings will hold a round-table discussion about their fighter-pilot father Donald Conroy, who, according to Conroy, terrorized their childhoods and turned family life into nightmare. If you've read Conroy, you know to cower when the shadow of this despot looms. However, on several occasions, back in the day, I've seen Conroy and his father signing books together. You would've thought they were the greatest of pals, carrying on, laughing, telling stories to autograph seekers. Who knows what creates those mysterious bonds between father and son, and who knows what breaks them. It would be interesting to hear tales from the other Conroys, fascinating to learn if their views are as equally dramatic.