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I am very grateful for the outpouring of praise for my latest book my memoir about my life with Pat Conroy TELL ME A STORY. I’d like you all to know that I read everyone of them and the private messages. Until recently (about beginning of March 2020) I was on an extensive book tour where I tried to meet as many of you, my wonderful readers, as I could… Sadly, the world has taken a scary turn; my prayers are with all of you…
Over a period of 40 years I have read all of his books but feel that I never really got to know him up front and personal until I read TELL ME A STORY by Cassandra King Conroy. When we moved to Hilton Head Island from Asheville 40 years ago, I found myself living 30 miles from his adopted Beaufort home. Still Pat Conroy was a very private person and even had I not gone to his book signings I would have never gotten to know him—until I read the book by Cassandra and the book by Pat Conroy’s other best friend Bernie Schein.
I believe I have found someone in Cassandra who appears to hold the proverbial Thomas Wolfe key to the “unfound door” and “Remembering speechlessly we seek the great forgotten language, the lost lane-end into heaven.” She writes about the golden bridge that magically appears as the sun sets as Pat Conroy makes his last voyage—the longest, the best.
“What bridge?” Thomas Wolfe writes. “Great God, the only bridge, the bridge of power, life and joy,
the bridge that was a span, a cry, an ecstasy—that was America. What bridge? The bridge whose wing-like sweep like space and joy and ecstasy was mixed like music in his blood, would beat like flight and joy and triumph through the conduits of his life forever.”
As you look across this bridge to the west as it sets over Manhattan, the Hudson and lands beyond as its golden glow touches the heart of America, you then again ask: What bridge? “The bridge whereon at night he had walked and stood and watched, a thousand times until every fabric of its soaring web was inwrought in his memory, and every living sinew of its million cabled nerves had throbbed and pulsed in his own spirit like his soul’s anatomy.
“The—the Brooklyn Bridge he mumbled. “ All who have read Thomas Wolfe and Pat Conroy would know that this bridge alone was the one that “throbbed and pulsed in his own spirit like his soul’s anatomy.” And was his “lost lane-end into heaven.”TELL ME A STORY and all of Sandra’s books are must reading for those who want to get to know who the real Pat Conroy was and who the real Cassandra King Conroy is. King Ray Conroy has opened up the LOST LANE—END INTO HEAVEN.
(I placed this on Amazon reviews as well..)
I just finished Tell Me A Story. It was nice to spend a little more time with Pat Conroy and to discover your sassy little writer's voice. 🙂
Thank you for sharing your personal stories and intimate memories with us. It does a heart good to know that Pat was happy and well-loved for so many years. I hope that writing this book brought you peace and joy. I look forward to reading your work next.
Keep writing and looking up for the birds and signs... HUG
I found your description of your relationship so similar to my own marriage and created a new thankfulness for it. While driving to work Friday morning I was thinking about you Ms. Conroy, (I had never read your books and had no idea how much I would love you) and how much I admire some of your quirks and then I realized that I think we have a lot of the quirks/habits/issues and it was a nice experience to realize that I do like myself.
I do wish I could be more of a grasshopper instead of an ant, but old habits are hard to break. Dale calls me secret squirrel for the same reasons you were called Helen Keller. Honestly, I paced myself the last 72 hours to not consume the book in one setting, and as I finished I was in awe when I thought a few pictures would have been nice, and there on the next page was the instructions to see the pictures very nice touch. I am unsure if I will read The Girls or the Preachers Wife first, but I am so thankful that I didn't let my fear keep me from enjoying this treasure. Thank you so much for sharing your self and your life with him.
My heart was broken a few years ago when I heard of Pat's passing.
My first thought was selfish: I will never again know the feeling of pure intoxication while reading one of Mr. Conroy's books, I will never feel as if I’m saying goodbye to a beloved friend when finishing a story he wrote, (even his cookbook, whose recipes I use time and again. While reading the cookbook in which he constantly referenced you, I immediately wondered about the woman who was lucky enough to be married to PAT CONROY!
Indeed, I now know how lucky he was to be married to you). I’ve laughed and cried at his beautiful prose and I’m still just so sad I will never again get to stay up late savoring his lyrical way with a word or phrase. When I finished reading about the life you shared, I knew this time I was indeed saying goodbye for real to a man who forever changed the way I looked at the world.
Oh, you did him so so proud.
Thank you, Cassandra, for sharing your life with him with us. I can’t wait to get started on my first Cassandra King Conroy novel, and my second, third and so on. They will be lining my bookshelves very soon.
With love and much admiration
A FLOOZY FROM NEW JOOZIE
I did not know at the time that you had been married to a preacher. It was quite the fish bowl life wasn’t it? My husband was also a preacher. We had two sons and lived in parsonages for 18 years. In our case my husband died of a heart attack when he was 44 and I was 37.
My boys were 17 and 12. When we moved out of the parsonage into a home I bought in my hometown we had a piano, a stereo, and a lawnmower. I had to furnish our new home through my friends generosity and from my parents attic.
I had the money to buy a few necessities like refrigerator, washer and dryer. It was the first home my boys and I had ever owned. The day I moved into that house I sank down into the soft couch that my father bought for me and took the longest nap of my life. I did not realize until that day the heavy burden of stress that I was carrying. So I identified with that book and have read it more than once. I am getting ready to read it again.
Thank you for Tell Me a Story. I cried and cried at the end. My marriage was a good one and I was devastated when my husband died. I do not, however miss living in the fish bowl that our life had become. No one really knows what a lonely existence that is.
I am now happily remarried as a retired teacher and elementary school counselor. I have a lot of stories in me, both from my previous life and the life as a teacher/counselor.
I had the pleasure of meeting Pat when he came to Columbia, SC for a book signing. He was staying in the hotel that I worked. It was a pleasure to meet him and to have a conversation with him. I found him to be both interesting and intriguing. I, also, found myself wanting to hear more, but he had to be on his way.
He was kind enough to sign several of his books for me. I told him my favorite was The Water Is Wide, and that still remains true to this day. Thank you so much for allowing his fans to see, in your story, the man behind his great works. I really loved your book and look forward to reading more of your books.
I did meet the Colonel in Charleston one weekend in the late 90's. He was staying at The Church Street Inn where I happened to be staying with Jacksonville girlfriends, while Pat was there to speak at the Citadel homecoming the weekend of November 18th. He invited me to ride in his rattletrap car with him to pick up my car. He was wearing his Marine flight jacket with all the sewn on patches. He was charming, but then, my Dad could be too.
I just wanted to say that I look forward to seeing you tomorrow and that you'll have a Lowcountry lady in the audience that totally appreciates you as an author, a Southern woman of strength and a kindred spirit of the soul. My best,
I finished the beautiful love story in 2 days, and now am well into "Moonrise". I lived near Highlands for 13 years...and know the area so well. Now, a true "low country " woman, I love the smell of pluff mud and the warm breezes off the May river. Pat was my favorite author whose books were inhaled as soon as they were published. My marvelous 3rd husband has 16 books on Amazon- also a beautiful writer.
I cried heartfelt tears over , " The Sunday Wife" , as I was the lost wife of a Headmaster for as long as you were the "preacher's wife"... I was also a full time RN for over 40 years.
Thank you for the JOY you bring to so many with your skill and heart.
Judith E. Harlow
Never before have I read a book, hearing the words come to life, as I laughed, smiled and cried with the print as I was reading....thank you for sharing your life and love with all of us... Can I pick a favorite part? The part where you reclaimed your life after Preacher man? King-Ray name? Foodie part? Friends? Highlands? Elton John? Nurse Sarah? Pat's illness?... no, can't pick a favorite... I choose the entire book... the sunshine and the rain... and the rainbow... or, bridge made of gold...
I have loved his books as I have yours. Thank you for this personal insight into yall’s life together.
What a loss it was for you and the reading public when he passed. Please find comfort in the wonderful years y’all had together no matter how short they were.
I just finished Tell Me A Story and loved every page. I can picture you both down in South Carolina with your many friends and family.
I fell in love with Pat’s books with his book The Water is Wide. An amazing man and storyteller.
Thank you for sharing with us your lives together.
Just finished your new book "Tell Me a Story" and that is exactly what you have done with this manuscript, what a tribute to you and Pat's relationship and devotion to one another.
I have read just about everything that he has written and loved everyone of them, he was a character that told stories that we can all relate to in one fashion or another.
Like they say in the south "You Done Him Proud".
Congratulations again on a fantastic job.