Monday, October 25, 2010

Meeting the Prince...of Tides

I remember being a little girl on our annual summer vacation to Fripp Island.  The beach house was swarming with cousins, aunts and uncles, Grandpa, and friends.  Sandcastles were built, crabs were caught near the bridge, cards were played, golf carts driven, even haunted houses were created (I guess we were bored or maybe just creative?) and a lot of memories were made.  It was our trip together, every July. 

One particular year, I remember being asleep and hearing a loud knock on the door.  I have vague memories of chaos ensuing amongst the adults in the house.  I found out the next day that the producer of "The Prince of Tides" knocked on the door, informing my parents and the others, that they would be filming a scene with Nick Nolte and Barbra Streisand on the front steps of the house we rented at Fripp.  Because of the tide and needing the perfect moon light, it had to be done in the middle of the night.  The movie was filmed, I believe, in 1991, meaning I was 7 years old. 

Little did I know that, one day, I would read and love the novel, The Prince of Tides.   

Saturday, was a day I won't ever forget.  I met and talked with Pat Conroy, the author and one of my favorites!

He was doing a book signing in Beaufort.  It was actually a signing for John Warley's first novel, Bethesda's Child, but Pat Conroy wrote the Preface to the book, so he was there, as well.  

It was such an awesome experience.  This world-renowned author has an incredible passion for words and story-telling. 

We talked for a few minutes; however, it was so loud in the room, I couldn't hear everything he was saying.  He, being a former teacher, was interested in talking about teaching.  He wanted to know what it was like to be in a classroom these days.  His words were encouraging as we spoke, from one teacher to another, about education.  He told me about his new book, My Reading Life, coming out next week.  He said it was a tribute to all great works of Literature, English teachers, and those who love to read.  I can't wait to get my hands on it!

He was so animated and seemed genuinely interested in our conversation.  It was as if he forgot about the winding line of people and really took the time to connect with me.  

He signed the book, "To Eve, For the Love of Teaching.  Pat Conroy."  I walked out with chills.

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