“For a long time, I thought I was born into a mythology instead of a family.” –Pat Conroy
For a long time, I thought I was born into a family, instead of a living mythology.
Pat Conroy was my father’s best friend. He was always a teacher at heart and an imp by nature. He was with me, influencing me, holding me up, challenging me, pissing me off, inspiring me, helping me, disappointing me, making me laugh, and quick to tell me how it’s done (at least his way), and instructing me how it’s not done “kid,” at pretty much each formative transition of my life: birth (mine), childhood, adolescence, career changes, marriage, and, of course, death (his). It is no wonder I find it challenging to answer prompts like, “How did Pat influence you most?” or “What is your strongest memory of Pat?” Pat is as natural a part of my life as my fingernails—and sometimes as ratty. He is an extension of my family fabric. That remains true after his death.