It's shaping up to be a banner year for launches on the Space Coast.
Cape Canaveral could see as many as 35 launches in 2018, a significant jump from 19 last year. The number includes several submarine-launched Trident missiles. However, as past years would indicate that number could drop a bit due to weather and hardware issues.
"I can't imagine, short of the time back in the 60s and 70s, when there was a better time to be in this business," Brig. Gen. Wayne Monteith said during a packed National Space Club Florida Committee luncheon at the Radisson Resort at the Port on January 9 as reported by Florida Today.
"One quarter of all the launches in the world come from the Eastern Range that's pretty darn remarkable considering we are in the lightning capital of America."
Anyone who has ever seen Livingston Taylor in concert can attest to the fact that he is thoroughly at home on any stage, from a classroom to a music club to a grand concert hall. Celebrating his 51st year as a professional entertainer, Taylor is a master of crafting sweet melodic songs and delivering them in a honey-tinged voice. His warm and exuberant personality shines through from the first number.
Taylor will be appearing with special guest Karla Bonoff at the Emerson Center in Vero Beach on Friday, January 12th at 7 p.m. Over the next three months the Emerson Center stage will be presenting nine concerts-- an eclectic mix of nostalgia, country rock, celebrated song-writers and musicians as well as a trio of top-flight tribute bands. This year marks Emerson's fifth season.
"Our artists connect with a wide range of ages and musical tastes,” says concert promoter Rusty Young of the not-for-profit MusicWorks, Inc. "Local businesses and our non-profit partner the Cultural Council enjoy the opportunity to reach our audience, sharing their information and the calendar of events. This is a win-win for many.”
Early on in a home chock-full of talented musicians, Livingston Taylor discovered the knack of making people laugh. Born in Boston and raised in North Carolina, Taylor's father Isaac was a physician and dean of the medical school at the University of North Carolina. A lyric soprano, his mother Trudy trained at the Music Conservancy in Boston. He is the younger brother of legendary James Taylor, the fourth child in the Taylor brood that also included Alex, Kate, and Hugh.
“See you at Sunset!” It's a frequent greeting in Pass-a-Grille. Folks gather at the Paradise Grille to watch the glowing red-orange sun sink into the Gulf of Mexico horizon. One lucky guest is chosen to ring a ceremonial ship's bell, exactly 15 times. Over the past two decades, seven thousand people from around the world have rung the bell and signed their names and remembrances in the guest books, now on their 20th volume.
Call it a perfect snapshot of the sleepy little Keys-type community populated as much by pelicans as people. Occupying the narrow southern tail of St. Pete Beach, Pass-a-Grille is nestled between the Gulf of Mexico and Boca Ciega Bay. The quirky beach town is a mere thirty one blocks long and one block wide.
Each morning wiry kids with spinning rods in their hands line the seawall on the east side of the town. On gusty days its broad sugary white beaches play host to kite boarders. Kayakers and paddle boarders navigate the Gulf waters most afternoons. Loggerhead sea turtles nest here during the summer.
History says Spanish explorer Panfilo de Narvaez landed at Pass-a-Grille in 1528. The town is named for the 18th century "grilleurs" who would stop on the beaches here to smoke their day’s catch in order to preserve it for the trip home. It is mostly a residential community of well-preserved clapboard cottages, cozy inns, and an occasional waterfront mansion. Old Florida palms line the streets, which offer a collection of off-beat shops, art galleries, and waterfront restaurants.
Lightning strikes right from the opening notes of “Blue Suede Shoes.”
On December 4, 1956, the four godfathers of rock 'n roll-- Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis-- staged an epic jam session at the recording studio of Sun Records in Memphis. After that evening they were forever dubbed the "Million Dollar Quartet."
Riverside Theatre's production of “Million Dollar Quartet” is a rollicking, rollercoaster affair. The show is a fascinating window into the lives of these four monumental talents (born between 1932 and 1935) in the early stages of their careers. Directed and choreographed by Keith Andrews, "Million Dollar Quartet" performs January 2–21 on the Stark Stage in Vero Beach.
Based around that historical event, the Tony Award-winning musical time travels the audience back to what became a flashpoint in rock 'n roll. The two hour fireball of a show with one intermission features a treasure trove of legendary numbers including "Blue Suede Shoes," "Fever," "Sixteen Tons," "Who Do You Love?," "Great Balls of Fire," "Hound Dog" "Ghost Riders in the Sky," and "Whole Lotta' Shakin' Goin' On."
Patrick Merrell swears he's not trying to drive his legion of followers mad.
With crossword puzzles there is a fine line between entertainment and torment. Merrell should know. He's a crossword "constructor" who has been composing puzzles for the New York Times (a total of 86 including 20 Sundays)-- the world's leading puzzle institution-- since 2001. He also creates puzzles for the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, People, Sports Illustrated, and MAD magazines, Crayola, the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament, the World Puzzle Championship, and many more.
Merrell has illustrated, designed, and or written over 300 books, including 60 puzzle books and is one of MAD’s “Usual Gang of Idiots.” Patrick and his wife Mary Dee moved from Mount Vernon, N. Y. to Vero Beach in July 2016 after visiting his wife's sister who has a home locally. The couple was intrigued by the small town lifestyle, the beaches, the parks and cultural scene, while Merrell regularly carves out time for thirty mile bike rides with the Vero Cycling Club.
Merrell's father Charlie was a financial manager with U. S. Steel which meant growing up in San Francisco, Pittsburgh, and then Chatham, N. J. for his high school years. Both of his parents caught the crossword puzzle solving bug.
By nature, Allen Cornell is a builder. It's in his genes.
For four generations the Cornell family were general contractors who built scores of the stately brownstone homes in Philadelphia and on the Main Line, as well as many of the city's landmark buildings, including the historic restoration of Independence Hall.
Allen Cornell III took a different path. After college he headed to a theatre in northern New Jersey and later into New York City where he worked on scenic design and lighting. In the early 1980s he moved to Vero Beach where he landed work as a set builder at Riverside Theatre. This year Cornell is starting his 35th season, now serving in the CEO capacity on the business side as well as its creative leader in the role of Producing Artistic Director.
As a kid growing up in a family of builders in Newtown Square, Pa., the garage was always full of tools.
SpaceX's next cargo flight to the International Space Station (ISS) on Dec. 15 will be a landmark occasion. The Falcon 9 will be a "flight proven" rocket that originally launched last year will blast off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station's Complex 40, transporting cargo for NASA in a previously flown Dragon capsule. The flight will mark SpaceX's 13th commercial resupply mission to the ISS.
The development of reusable rockets and spacecrafts is at the core of SpaceX's billionaire founder and CEO Elon Musk's space business to explore the heavens. Musk has long touted reusable technology as the key to slash the cost of spaceflight and thereby open the heavens to greater exploration.
Over the past three years SpaceX has successfully brought Falcon 9 first stages back to Earth 19 times during orbital missions, and three of those landed boosters have flown again.
The only currently operational cargo vehicle capable of being re-flown, the Dragon capsule returns to Earth for soft, parachute-aided ocean splashdowns versus all other "uncrewed freighters" that are designed to burn up in our planet's atmosphere after their time at the ISS is done.
For the past fifteen years I’ve been a contributing writer to a variety of national & regional magazines, prominent daily news-papers and websites. I have written about an array of topics such as arts & culture, chefs, food & drink, business entrepreneurs, travel, history, thoroughbred racing, and the animal and natural world.
I'm currently a regular arts & culture contributor to WFIT's website (the NPR radio station in Melbourne.), Vero Beach Magazine and Florida Today newspaper on a number of topics. Over recent years my work has been published regularly in Blood-Horse, Long Island Boating World and The Hunt and PA Equestrian magazines.
I am a regular contributor to the websites JustLuxe.com and SeeTheSouth.com. JustLuxe is an online magazine featuring the best of luxury lifestyle and travel, while SeeTheSouth features truly unique southern destinations. My travel articles also regularly appear in Florida Today, Long Island Boating world and the Delaware County Times, a major daily newspaper just outside Philly.
I've also contributed a variety of articles to the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News, the Delaware County Times, and the Montgomery County Newspapers. I have been an Arts & Culture correspondent for Newsworks, the website for WHYY-TV (PBS in Philadelphia). I have been a correspondent to ESPN.com, America's Best Racing, the Paulick Report and Thoroughbred Racing Commentary.
After spending the past two decades in Wilmington, Delaware, my wife Jane, our Toller retriever Smarty and I have moved to Melbourne Beach, Fla. Located on a barrier island between the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian River, Melbourne Beach sits on the southern end of Florida's "Space Coast." The famed coastal highway A1A runs directly along the Atlantic. Melbourne Beach (pop. 3,000) offers unspoiled beaches with sparkling blue-green waters and thousands of beautiful seabirds and long-legged shorebirds.
Head north 35 miles on A1A and you arrive at Cape Canaveral, for decades our nation's gateway to exploring and understanding our universe. Today, Cape Canaveral is a hub for many of the most exciting new private space projects such as SpaceX, the rocket and spacecraft company founded by Elon Musk (manufacturer of Tesla vehicles). Upwards of 30 launches are planned in 2017.
Back down to earth traveling on two-lane A1A south from Melbourne Beach's compact business area brings you to a series of secluded and undeveloped natural beaches. Bonsteel Park's two-acre beach provides an excellent vantage point to catch glimpses of passing dolphins, while the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge is recognized as the most important nesting area for loggerhead turtles in the western hemisphere. It's also home to the gigantic leatherback turtles.
Nearby is Sebastian Inlet State Park which connects the Indian River Lagoon with the Atlantic Ocean. Its jetty break is recognized as one of the surf world's high-performance hot spots. Three generations of world-class surfers have surfed here, including 11-time world champion Kelly Slater. The 600-acre park is also celebrated for world-class fishing, and plenty of seabirds and wildlife.
Through my writing over the past decade I have traveled to spectacular destinations such as Lake Tahoe, Calif./Nev. and Sun Valley, Idaho; Cody, Wyoming/Yellowstone Park; Saratoga Springs, the Adirondacks, Saratoga Springs and Rhinebeck, New York; Port Clyde and Monheghan Island, Maine; Avalon and Stone Harbor, New Jersey; Middleburg, Charlottesville and Richmond, Virginia.
Other travel adventures have included Tampa and St. Petersburg, Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key, Florida; and St. Simons and Jekyll Island, Georgia. My travel articles thoughtfully explore the history of the region along with museums, music and the arts, chefs and restaurateurs, wineries and craft breweries, outdoor and sporting adventures as well as profiling intriguing personalities of those regions.
In addition to my writing career I owned a marketing company where I represented a diversified list of clients in the areas of publicity, marketing and business development-- such as the famed Baldwin's Book Barn, Thoroughbred Charities of America and the Kahunaville restaurant chain. In another life I was the founder, publisher and editor of Life Sports Magazine.
Along with Jane and Smarty I look forward to writing about new adventures in Melbourne Beach, the "Space Coast" and other Florida destinations. That's Smarty below with his pals Willie and Nelson.