Mayor Billy -- Verdier House Lecture Series

Daufuskie Photographic Memoir of the 1970s. Presented by Mayor Billy Keyserling, Monday, March 22nd, 5:30 p.m – 7 p.m.

Mayor Billy provides his photographic memoir of life at Daufuskie Island School during author Pat Conroy’s short tenure as teacher. Keyserling’s photos were part of his work toward an undergraduate degree at Brandeis University and later illustrated Conroy’s book, The Water is Wide, about his life teaching on the island, and were featured in a Life Magazine article, “Conrack, You’re Crazy.”

The Library has a long standing interest in documenting the life and career of (almost as good as) native son author Pat Conroy. [In fact, if you are in possession of a copy of the original essay given to attendees of "The Green" reception on 26 February, we would love to have a copy to add to the extensive Conroy, Pat (1945 -- ) vertical files.]

Library customers may remember that The Water is Wide was the "One County, One Book" selection for the Library system in 2003. To read about the program, click here. It is also a frequent choice of local book clubs. Therefore, the Library has boocoodles of printed copies (and some in audio formats) in our holdings.

For the more research minded, the Beaufort District Collection has a specific vertical file of information called Conroy, Pat (1945-- )--The Water is Wide about the author and this particular book. The file has a copy of the Life Magazine article referred to above. There is also a vertical file titled Water Is Wide (made-for-tv film, 2005).

For additional information about Daufuskie Island, check out the contents of my Daufuskie Island bookbag which hooks you into the SCLENDS catalog. You'll notice lots of archaeological reports and some materials that you can check out, including the Hallmark Hall of Fame fictionalized version of Water is Wide DVD that is available at our Hilton Head Island and Bluffton Branch libraries.

For more information about the HBF Lecture & Dinner series, contact Maxine Lutz, Historic Beaufort Foundation, 379-3331 or

For information about the holdings of the Beaufort District Collection, contact me.

About the Author

Grace Cordial has been responsible for the day-to-day operation of the Beaufort District Collection at the Beaufort County Library since 1999.  The Beaufort District Collection exists to acquire, preserve, maintain and make accessible a research collection of permanent value which records the history, culture, and environment of our part of the South Carolina lowcountry.  Besides the research room, Cordial manages the “Virtual BDC:” the BDC web pages, the Online Obituary Index, two digital collections, a new BDC.BCL Facebook page, and the Connections blog.  
Among her duties is to coordinate or present programs about local history, Gullah culture, and our coastal environment, including occasional instructional sessions about how to perform historical and/or genealogical research.