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The Mystique of Martin Guitars

KSC 7

Kennedy Space Center Delivers an Epic Journey


About Terry Conway

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've also contributed 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. I am a regular contributor to the following top-flight travel websites: JustLuxe, JustSayGo, Gallaghers Travels and SeeTheSouth, as well as the International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association website.

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.MB 04

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.

MB 02Nearby 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.

Smarty XmasCard

Biography: Leonardo da Vinci Print E-mail

WFIT (NPR Radio, Melbourne, FL)

November 2017

Simply put: he is history’s most creative genius.DaVinci Isaacson

Leonardo da Vinci was a passionate and brilliant artist. He produced the two most famous paintings in history, The Last Supper, and Mona Lisa. But in his own mind, Leonardo was more a man of science and technology. With a obsessive way of examining life, he pursued innovative studies of anatomy, fossils, birds, the heart, flying machines, botany, geology, and weaponry.

A biographer of other big thinkers-- the acclaimed bestsellers Steve Jobs, Einstein, and Benjamin Franklin-- Walter Isaacson brings Leonardo (1452-1519) to life in this lavish and masterful new biography.

Isaacson takes the reader backstage behind this legend-- a legend very much touted by Leonardo himself-- and conveys the man as "as a misfit: illegitimate, gay, vegetarian, left-handed, easily distracted, and at times heretical.”

 
The Middleburg Mystique Print E-mail

 Florida Today

November 19, 2017

Driving along Highway 50 you feel as if you've been transported into the middle of an English countryside where low stone walls gracefully wind through rolling pastures that stretch to the horizon. Hay bales dot the landscape. Welcome to the heart of Virginia’s horse country.MiddleburgHuntReview

Forty miles southwest of our nation's capitol, the tiny community of Middleburg (pop. 750) is set in the lush foothills of the Blue Ridge and Bull Run mountains. In 1750 an enthusiastic 16 year-old named George Washington came to survey the surrounding lands. More than 200 years later Jackie Kennedy galloped on horseback across its lush hills as she rode with the Orange County Hunt.

One of the quaintest destinations on the east coast, its fox hunts, antiques shops, and nearby vineyards are year-round attractions. The Virginia Gold Cup is one of the nation’s most prominent steeplechase races attracting a crowd in excess of 50,000 at the Great Meadow in Plains, Va. the first Saturday in May.

Still, the most festive event is the annual “Christmas in Middleburg,” a three-day yuletide extravaganza beginning December 1. On Saturday the Middleburg Hunt & Hound Review takes to the streets creating the spectacular sight of 150 horses with riders in black leather boots, breeches, and pink and black hunting coats. In keeping with the animal friendliness of the town, the parade includes horses, foxhounds, ponies, llamas, alpacas and a variety of dog breeds, all trotting down Washington Street. Treading on the coattails of the foxhunters, floats, bands, and troops pass by, and the signature antique fire trucks-- and, of course, Santa, who closes the parade riding on an ornate horse-drawn coach.

 
It's a Jungle Out There! Print E-mail

 WFIT (NPR Radio - Melbourne, FL)

November 2017

You never know what kind of offer will turn up in an email. For Christine Hobart, executor director of McKee Botanical Gardens in Vero Beach, one she received earlier this year suggested a possible exhibit for featuring welded scrap metal sculptures of African animals.McKee 1

After thinking about the offer, Hobart agreed to host the playful exhibition featuring 24 beautiful sculptures hand-crafted specifically for McKee that opened Nov. 4. Nestled among the towering palm trees is a 16-foot giraffe foraging silently on the leaves high above in the jungle canopy. Two playful and mischievous young elephants prove that big hearts come in small packages, while the matriarch elephant is nearby watching them closely.

Back in the day animals roamed the 80 acres of tropical hammock and engaged with visitors wandering the lush jungle trails. It was one of the most popular pre-Disney Florida attraction.

"It really did seem like a perfect fit for us because of our history,” Hobart says. "Back then there was an elephant, monkeys, two chimpanzees and even a bear. It drew thousands of visitors each year until it closed in 1976."

 
Florida manatees taken off Fed's endangered list, but danger still lurks Print E-mail

 Long Island Boating World Magazine

November 2017

The battle rages on.Manatee 01

Earlier this year the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) announced it downlisted the Florida manatee from “endangered” to “threatened.”

In its review, the feds considered the status of the roly-poly West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus) throughout its range, which includes the Florida manatee subspecies, found primarily in the southeastern United States, and the Antillean manatee, found in Puerto Rico, Mexico, Central America, northern South America and the Greater and Lesser Antilles.

Gentle giants sporting whiskery faces, the Florida manatee have large, seal-like bodies that taper down to powerful flat tails. Averaging nine to ten feet in length, the "sea cows" weigh around 1,000 pounds but can grow as large as thirteen feet and weigh 3,000 pounds. They have a pair of agile forelimbs that act like arms or flippers to help them maneuver where they graze slowly on plants in shallow waters along the state’s coast. Slow movers, most of their time is spent eating vegetation (100-150 pounds per day), resting, and traveling.

 
Hank Williams: Lost Highway Print E-mail

 WFIT (NPR Radio, Melbourne, FL)

October 27, 2017

More than 60 years after his death at age of 29, Hank Williams still holds a magical power today. Dubbed the "Hillbilly Shakespeare" for the striking imagery of his songs, Williams successfully fused “hillbilly” style with Southern blues, changing the landscape of American popular music forever.Hank 1

Vero Beach's Riverside Theatre kicked off its 44th season with the powerhouse show Hank Williams: Lost Highway at the Stark Stage that runs through November 12. Written by Randal Myler and Mark Harelik, the toe-tapping musical is a humorous and heartfelt tribute, revealing an intimate portrait of the passionate and troubled man behind the music.

Riverside is hoping to build on their heady success achieved last October with "Ring of Fire" that told the story of Johnny Cash's life. This bio musical follows Williams from his roots in Alabama to his meteoric rise to stardom on the stage of the world-famous Grand Ole Opry. He had 35 top 10 country singles, most of them in a five-year span between 1947 and 1952. Eleven reached the top spot, including timeless classics such as “Move It On Over,” “Jambalaya,” “Your Cheatin' Heart,” “Cold, Cold Heart,” "I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” and “Hey, Good Lookin’.”

The production is co-directed by David and Sherry Lutken with David also serving as Musical Director. The first act unfolds concert style, as we see Hank and his crack band of sidemen work their way up from their earliest performances on the “Louisiana Hayride" to their resounding success at the famed Grand Ole Opry and all the stops along the way.

 
The Prince of Sea Turtles Print E-mail

Vero Beach Magazine

October 2017

It was nearly 60 years ago, but the memories come flooding back.Archie Carr_01

Chuck Carr was a child when he first travelled with his two brothers to the black sand beaches of Tortuguero on Costa Rica's northeast shore to assist an energetic and charismatic zoology professor. A remote tropical village reachable only by boat or light aircraft, Tortuguero boasted the last big colony of sea turtles in the western hemisphere. Green turtles were so thick, they laid nests on top of nests.

The professor was Chuck's father, Dr. Archie Fairly Carr, Jr.-- a pioneering conservation biologist, an inspiring educator, and gifted nature writer.

"We landed on a grass airstrip and our guide Birdie hustled us into a large dugout canoe where we paddled two miles up the river to Tortuguero," remembered Carr, 71, who had a 30-year career with the worldwide Wildlife Conservation Society of the Bronx Zoo.

"Monkeys chattering, spectacular green and scarlet macaws, huge iguanas dropping out of trees, at 11 years old it was mind blowing. No telephones. No electricity. We were the Robinson Crusoe family. Daddy was there sizing up the village logistically to put a program together to protect these docile creatures from the influx of turtle hunters."

 
Endurance Print E-mail

WFIT (NPR Radio, Melbourne, FL)

October 24, 2017

Scott Kelly needs his space. No, not that kind of space. He is talking how much he misses outer space.Endurance ScottKelly

The veteran NASA astronaut set the record (340 days) for the single longest mission by an American astronaut aboard the International Space Station (ISS). He embarked on a historic mission in 2015 — blasting into orbit to begin his mission to help study the effects of long-term space flight on the human body. Kelly worked on more than 400 scientific studies during his time on the ISS and conducted three spacewalks before returning to Earth in March 2016.

His new book, entitled "Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery," reflects on his time with NASA and his famous mission. Scott will appear at The Saint Edward’s School Waxlax Center for the Performing Arts on Wednesday, November, 1 at 7 p.m. when he takes the stage for a free live Q&A session followed by a book signing. The event has been organized by the Vero Beach Book Center.

The book is a candid account of his remarkable voyage and of the journeys off the planet that preceded it as well as his colorful formative years. Kelly hopes the experiences he describes in "Endurance" can serve a similar purpose for readers. He viewed his time at the ISS as a mission of endurance, not only in space, but from the time he was a kid when he struggled in school.

 
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