The Private World of Andy Wyeth

Martin 6

Travel: Visiting Martin Guitar Factory

Don 01

The Legendary Don Cesar Hotel


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 web sites.  Currently my work appears in Blood Horse magazine, Long Island Boating World magazine, The Hunt magazine, and PA Equestrian as well as the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Delaware County Times, the Montgomery County Newspapers and Newsworks, the website of WHYY-TV.  I am a regular contributor to JustSayGo,  GallaghersTravels  and SeeTheSouth -- topflight travel websites - and have contributed travel articles to the International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association website.

While many of my articles have spotlighted the world of art and special travel destinations, many folks ask, why horse racing? Well, it was America’s first sport. Andrew Jackson kept a stable when he was in the White House (1829-1837). Only four sportswriters have won the Pulitzer Prize and all of them wrote at one time or another about horseracing. It is all about chasing dreams, the fiercest rivalries, the wildest flukes and larger-than-life personalities, equine and human. The stories are personal, often laced with humor. And, unlike most professional athletes when you show up, the horse’s connections are pleased to talk with you.


Bio RanchCreekRide

I have been a regular contributor to The Blood-Horse magazine since 2003, and I have been a racing correspondent to ESPN.com, where I focus on historical racing stories. My work also appears on America’s Best Racing - the website of the Jockey Club, Equidaily.com, and TheRacingBiz.com. I have covered racing for Pennsylvania Equestrian since 2006; wrote a Sunday column on racing for several years for the Chester County (Pa.) daily newspaper; and write about racing and the horse world for The Hunt magazine in the mid-Atlantic region.

I represented clients for nearly a decade in the areas of marketing and publicity such as the Kahunaville restaurant chain, Baldwin’s Book Barn and Thoroughbred Charities of America. In a former life I was the editor, publisher and owner of Life Sports Magazine.

Smarty XmasCard

My wife Jane, our toller retriever Smarty and I live in the historic neighborhood of Wawaset Park in Wilmington, Del. A century ago it was the state fairgrounds, home to a top-tier standardbred racetrack. Today, the grand old track can be visualized on a stroll along a pair of crescent-shaped roads that together circle the inside of the park. A couple of hitching posts still remain and occasionally, a time-worn horse shoe is dug up. Life sure does turn circles.


Photos of Terry, Riding in Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains, and Smarty on the homepage - by Jane Conway.



The Magic of Monhegan Island Print E-mail

Long Island Boating World
August 2014

We're queuing up on the docks of the charming village of Port Clyde ready to climb aboard a 65-foot vessel, the Elizabeth Ann.  With the passengers, mail and freight loaded, we steam out of the harbor past Marshall Point lighthouse and a series of pine and spruce-clad islands before reaching the open sea to ply our way toward Monhegan Island.Monhegan 12

Navigating among the  schooners and other boats that traverse the Gulf of Maine, Capt. John Haines points out puffins winging across the water on their northern migratory route. We get up-close views of porpoises, and families of brown seals frolicking in the sea or basking in the sun on Seal Rock. Hundreds of buoys mark lobster traps, each marker color coded to identify its owner. Each lobsterman is allowed a maximum of 475 traps during the season that stretches from November through May.

After an hour ferry ride, my wife Jane and I stepped off into a tidy coastal village and hiked up past the Island Inn that sports an  American flag whipping atop its cupola. Monhegan boasts impossibly quaint houses surrounded by colorful flowers. There are no cars, and no paved roads, just narrow lanes and footpaths. A handful of tailgate-less work trucks haul pallets of building materials, propane, produce and food, beer, wine and other cargo from the docks to businesses operating on the island.

Isaac Murphy: Greatest American Jockey Print E-mail

America’s Best Racing
The Jockey Club Website
August 2014

He was the Eddie Arcaro, the Willie Shoemaker of his era. One hundred forty years ago, the son of a slave began to carve his indelible mark on the tree of American Thoroughbred history.

A slight man, Isaac Burns Murphy was known for his soft hands and bowlegs. He rode upright, rather than in a crouch, and was a superb judge of pace. His mounts tended to close with devastating speed in the deep stretch, often winning by a head or less. Those tight finishes came to be known as "Murfinishes."Murphy 1

Many consider Murphy the greatest American jockey of all time. By his own account Murphy won 44 percent of his races. Racing historians can only verify 34.5 percent from the era, but it's likely that some of Murphy's races were not documented. Either way, Murphy set a standard that no other jockey has come close to matching. Consider that Eddie Arcaro-- recognized as the greatest U.S. jockey of the 20th century-- had a winning percentage of only 22 percent. Murphy was the first jockey inducted into the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame in 1956.

Murphy was born on a farm near Frankford, Ky., the same month the Civil War broke out in 1861. His father James Burns, by then a free black man, was a bricklayer and his mother, America, was a laundrywoman. Burns joined the Union Army and later died in a Confederate prisoner of war camp.  Meanwhile, Isaac and his mother had moved to Lexington, Ky. to live with her father, Green Murphy, a bell ringer and auction crier. When Isaac Burns became a professional jockey he changed his last name to Murphy as a tribute to his grandfather.

Down on the Farm Print E-mail

Foodies Flock to Haskell's Summer Dinners

July 2014

Think about it. What's the best way to enjoy a farm-to-table dining experience? I vote alfresco dining on an actual farm. This summer Haskells Farm, on the outskirts of Chadds Ford, will be staging three such farm dining adventures.CSA 1

As the sun dipped below the trees last Friday, a mixed bunch of guests tromped along the land viewing fields of plentiful produce that spread out toward the horizon. They were on their way up to a bank barn that dates back to the 1600s that was festive with arrangements of local wildflowers, strings of twinkling lights and a vintage chandelier. The sounds of crickets, conversation and music ebbed and flowed in the gentle calm of the farm's natural beauty. Friends and family were set to savor a bounty of food harvested just hours before it lands on the plate.  

"As a grower, some of the most rewarding things are seeing how the chefs use our products and how creative they are at putting these delicious dishes together," said proprietor H. G. Haskell. "I also enjoy talking with our guests. They are quite curious as to how we're able to grow such a variety of crops and how  the farm operates."

Stone Harbor Celebrates Centennial Print E-mail

July 2014

They're perched 400 feet above the Atlantic, hanging below a large bright blue  parachute. The man and woman are parasailing, soaring through the sky like a pair of shorebirds. Below, a towrope keeps the couple tethered to  the speedboat racing through the coastal waters of Stone Harbor, N. J.SH01a

Just another day in paradise. The picturesque beach town of Stone Harbor is located on the southern end of a narrow barrier island it shares with Avalon between The Wildwoods and Ocean City. This summer marks the 100th anniversary of Stone Harbor’s incorporation.

The beach is Stone Harbor’s star attraction, and great effort is taken to preserve it. Last summer upwards of 800,000 cubic yards of sand were dredged offshore and added to the Stone Harbor beaches, the first line of defense during any coastal storm.

Beachgoers over age 12 must carry beach tags, sold in daily, weekly or seasonal increments. In part the fees help support healthy living sand systems full of trees, shrubs, and plentiful reed grass with roots that fan out beneath the dunes. Dynamic systems that grow and shrink, the dunes rise to more than 40 feet in places in Stone Harbor.

Lure of the Brandywine Print E-mail

July 2014

For more than two centuries the Brandywine Valley has been celebrated for its picturesque streams, rich farmlands, dazzling gardens, the abundance of mills and its distinctive architecture.Lure 02

The Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art provides a fascinating look at the art of the region through the lens of land conservation in its current exhibition, "Lure of the Brandywine: A Story of Land Conservation and Artistic Inspiration." It pays homage to generations of top-flight artists who have drawn inspiration from its natural beauty and its historic sites.

The show celebrates the Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art’s dual mission-- to display art from the Brandywine region and to preserve the environment. Organized by an interdepartmental team of staff members, it runs through August 10.

“The core of our mission is to protect the Brandywine watershed and associated waterways. Our programs focus on a multifaceted approach to conservation, aimed to preserve and restore water quality and quantity,” said Sherri Evans-Stanton, director of the Brandywine Conservancy.  

Canine Detectives Print E-mail

The Hunt
Summer 2014

On a crisp blue sky morning at the South Bank campus, Thunder sits quivering on the opposite end of a leash from his handler.  Thunder is ready to roll.

The 14-month old chocolate Labrador Retriever is a member of the inaugural class of seven canines at the University of Pennsylvania’s Vet Working Dog Center program that trains and researches detection dogs.  Sometimes referred to as “sniffer dogs,” they utilize their sense of smell to identify and uncover particular odors associated with explosives, drug stashes, or missing people in search-and-rescue operations.Hunt Dogs1

Wearing a helmet, heavy clothing and thick canvas gloves, trainer Jonathan Bell has already scrambled over a mountain of broken pallets, concrete blocks and rubble to drop himself  into one of several half-buried plastic barrels. Bell yanks a wooden lid tight over the opening.

Roughly 100 yards away Thunder’s leash is unclipped and the command “Find!” is given. Thunder tears across the scrap yard, scaling the mountain of rubble to launch a frenzied, yet methodical search. The Lab stops to sniff a barrel where Bell climbed in and out. Then he zeroes in on the one where Bell is hiding.  Thunder barks loudly 25 times. Suddenly, Bell’s hand pops up through the lid into the sunlight presenting Thunder with a hefty rope, and a brisk game of tug-of-war commences.  “Attaboy, Thunder, thank you for finding me,” Bell shouts in congratulations.

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