Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Veterans Day Special--Pat Conroy's Eulogy of the Great Santini

Pat Conroy is one of my favorite authors. I've read BEACH MUSIC probably five times and get choked up in the same places even though I know what's coming. One of his more famous works is THE GREAT SANTINI, based on his own father. A few years back, Colonel Donald Conroy, USMC, died, and his son Pat eulogized him beautifully.

My favorite description of Don Conroy from the eulogy:

"He did not know what moderation was or where you'd go to look for it. Donald Conroy is the only person I have ever known whose self-esteem was absolutely unassailable. There was not one thing about himself that my father did not like, nor was there one thing about himself that he would change. He simply adored the man he was and walked with perfect confidence through every encounter in his life. Dad wished everyone could be just like him."

I've always wanted to be that guy.

2 comments:

Doc Milnamo said...

Bryan - Thank you for publishing this. It's been a few years since I read it and I never tire of it.

BigFred said...

I was interviewing Dad so I asked, "how do you know you got them?"

"Easy," The Great Santini said. "They were running - it's a good sign when you see the enemy running."

There was another good sign.

"What was that, Dad?"

"They were on fire."

This is the world in which my father lived deeply. I had no knowledge of it as a child.

I read this, and heard this when I was in Korea way back when. Listened to it on NPR in an interview. Cried real man tears. A great interview.

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