This is a retelling of The River is Wide, Pat Conroy’s autobiography of teaching kids living on a South Carolina barrier island for one year (Here, he talks about the experience.)
Pat Conroy, an Irish Catholic, Air Force brat (IIRC) from South Carolina, may have worked on his accent since he was in his twenties. Yamacraw Island is isolated enough that even today there is a lot of Elizabethan English in the local dialect. I got the impression that between two heavy accents, the students couldn’t understand his name as he said it. He introduced himself as Conroy and they heard Conrack.