With the exception of Fairview and Caldwell Lanes, the primary streets and roads throughout the neighborhood are named after Southern authors and writers. The narrow “byways” are all named for local people who were in the chain of title for property purchased for the New Neighborhood.

Pat Conroy

Born on October 26, 1945, Pat Conroy was the oldest of seven children. His father was a career military officer from Chicago and was a violent and abusive man. His mother was a “Southern beauty” from Alabama. Conroy’s childhood involved many moves to different military bases around the South. At his father’s insistence, he attended the Citadel Military Academy in Charleston, South Carolina. His first book, The Boo, was written while he was a student and was a tribute to a teacher.

Conroy went on to teach English in Beaufort. There he married a Vietnam War widow with two children. At one point, he taught underprivileged children on Daufuskie Island, off the coast of South Carolina. This experience led to publication of The Water is Wide in 1972. He won a humanitarian award from the National Education Association for this book by exposing the racism and poor conditions suffered by the students. This book became a film Conrack, starring Jon Voight.

The Great Santini was published in 1972 and is an autobiographical work. It also was made into a film starring Robert Duvall. The picture in this book of an abusive father led to a low period in Conroy’s life, resulting in his divorce and that of his parents.

In 1980, Conroy wrote The Lords of Discipline about the Citadel and its strict military discipline, racism and sexism. [Editor’s Note: I have just finished reading this novel and would put in on my top ten list of all books.]

After moving from Atlanta to Rome, Italy, wrote The Prince of Tides, published in 1986. This book easily became his most successful and, with over five million copies, made Conroy an international figure. This book also became a film staring and directed by Barbara Streisand and also starring Nick Nolte, who won an Oscar nomination for his performance.

Beach Music, written in 1995, was his sixth book and takes place in Rome and South Carolina. It also has sold internationally and reaches back in time to the Holocaust and the Vietnam War.

Conroy has also authored a book entitled My Losing Season, a non-fiction piece about his last year as a basketball athlete at the Citadel and the 21 games that changed his life. This book has a Davidson connection, since The Citadel was and is in the Southern Conference and so would have played two conference games against the Davidson Wildcats each year. The book begins, “I was born to be a point guard, but not a very good one.” Two chapters describe games against Davidson. Chapter 18, “Davidson,” recounts the January 11, 1967, game in Charleston. “Lefty Calls My Name,” Chapter 27, is about the game in Johnston Gym at Davidson, now part of the student center. It was Conroy’s last regular season game of his basketball career.
On the cover of the paperback edition is a blurb from the Houston Chronicle: “A wonderfully rich memoir that you don’t have to be a sports fan to love.” [Webmaster's comment: My Davidson roommate recommended this book to me, and I agree with him and the Houston Chronicle.]

His latest book reflects his interest in cooking and a career as a food critic. The Pat Conroy Cookbook: Recipes of My Life, released in November 2004, remained on the best seller list for a number of weeks.

Conroy now lives in Fripp Island, South Carolina. His present wife, Cassandra King, is also a novelist.

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