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Travel: Visiting Martin Guitar Factory

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Dr. Fix-It -- Equine Surgeon Mike Ross


About Terry Conway

 For the past fifteen years I’ve been a contributing writer to a variety of national & regional magazines, daily newspapers 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.

Most recently 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. 3,500) offers unspoiled beaches with sparkling blue-green waters and thousands of beautiful seabirds and long-legged shorebirds.MB 04

Head north 25 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 2016.

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

Kennedy Space Center Delivers An Epic Journey Print E-mail

 Long Island Boating World

July 2016

Here's a question: why are rockets launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida?

Set on the Atlantic Ocean and relatively nearer the equator compared to other KSC 1U.S. locations, Cape Canaveral is a prime spot because rockets traveling eastward get a boost from the earth's natural spin. So, they save on fuel as well as rocket power. The rate of spin is at its highest on the equator and slowest at the poles. Cape Canaveral's southern latitude of just 28 degrees above the equator is a nice fit.

In the early 1960s the area around Cape Canaveral was a rural beach within a short driving distance of both Navy and Army bases. Since infrastructure was in place for transportation and there was a fair amount of reasonable privacy and isolation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) established its command post here.

The Kennedy Space Center (KSC) became the gateway to the cosmos. Today, KSC's landscape is dotted with towering launch pads and support facilities filled with massive buildings and high-tech hardware and gear. But the space launch complex has a wild side.

Residing roughly midway between Jacksonville and Miami, the space center shares a boundary with the Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge. Established in 1962 and operated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, it provides a protected habitat for migratory birds and endangered and threatened species. It's a strange marriage of colossal technology and exquisite natural beauty that has co-existed for more than 50 years.

 
NASA Art Exhibit Launched in Vero Beach Print E-mail

 WFIT (NPR - Melbourne)

July 2016

He was thinking outside the box decades before that metaphor became a business cliche. On March 16, 1962, NASA administrator James Webb sent out a two paragraph memo to his staff suggesting a group of artists to help tell the agency's story of space exploration and adventure.WFIT 1

Webb understood that the average citizen would learn more about space discoveries through visual arts rather than dry and technical reports. That initiative would go on to produce a striking catalog of nearly 3,000 works of art by more than 200 artists spanning NASA's first 50 years. The first series of artwork depicted the last manned Mercury mission in 1963, the rocket Faith.

Fast forward to 2016: "Out of this World: The Art and Artists of NASA," is a captivating collection from the NASA Art Program housed at the Kennedy Space Center now on display at the Vero Beach Museum of Art through September 25.

Most of the artists in the Vero exhibition are painting in oil, acrylics, or watercolor. But visitors will also find pencil, lithography, mixed media and photography. The show spotlights a diverse pool of artistic talent, from painters to photographers, musicians to poets. Many are icons of the art world: Andy Warhol, Annie Leibovitz, Jamie Wyeth, Roy Lichtenstein, Nam June Paik, and William Wegman to name a few.

 
Bright Lights of Broadway Print E-mail

 WFIT (NPR - Melbourne, Fla.)

June 15, 2016

Strike up the orchestra. Jerome Kern, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Broadway's greatest composers are coming to the region as the Space Coast Symphony Orchestra (SCSO) salutes their biggest shows at The Scott Center for Performing Arts on June 18 and at the Community Church of Vero Beach the following afternoon.wind players

Led by conductor Aaron T. Collins, the SCSO kicks off its 2016-17 season with a powerful performance of Broadway’s storied past and recent blockbusters. The show features show tunes from "South Pacific," "Flower Drum Song," "Phantom of the Opera," "Showboat," "Mamma Mia," "Fiddler on the Roof," "Grease," "Wicked," "Chicago," "Jesus Christ Superstar" and more.

"These are the names of the musical giants who wrote some of the biggest shows in Broadway history," Collins says. "We'll be performing a medley of 11 or 12 songs. It's a nice break from our larger, much more involved subscription programs. For the musicians it's a different approach and style. It's a fun evening, especially for me conducting."

What make these composers so popular?

 
"The Price" Paid for Life's Choices Print E-mail

 WFIT (NPR - Melbourne, Fla.)

May 23, 2016

Honoring the centennial of Arthur Miller's birth, theaters throughout the country have been staging revivals of the works of one of America's playwright giants.MCT 01

The Melbourne Civic Theatre has joined the parade with a powerful staging of "The Price" that runs through June 26. One of Miller’s last works for the stage, the two-act chamber drama tells the story of long estranged brothers-- Victor, a disheartened New York police sergeant, and Walter, a prosperous surgeon whose personal life is in shambles.

After a 16 year gap the brothers finally reunite to negotiate a price for their deceased father's possessions because the building is to be demolished. Set in an old brownstone attic crammed with furniture and heirlooms, the memories evoked stir up anguish, resentment and jealousies. Blistering accusations fly.

Miller crafted iconic plays such as "All My Sons," "A View from the Bridge," "The Crucible" and the Pulitzer Prize-winning "Death of a Salesman." Originally premiered at the Moroso Theater in February 1968, The Price was nominated for two Tony Awards, including Best Play and Best Scenic Design.

 
Looking Back at My Ride with Barbaro Print E-mail

 Florida Today

May 3, 2016

It’s hard to believe that 10 years have passed since Barbaro’s dominating victory in the 132nd Kentucky Derby.Barbaro 1

With his trademark long fluid stride, Barbaro roared down the stretch to win by 6 ½ lengths — the biggest Derby winning margin in 60 years.

Two weeks later the strapping bay colt with the white star on his forehead headed to the 2006 Preakness Stakes with a perfect 6-for-6 record. A boisterous crowd gathered at the colt’s home base, the Fair Hill Training Center in northern Maryland, to cheer him on. No one could have imagined he would never return to his barn.

Less than 100 yards from the start, Barbaro took a bad step that shattered his right hind leg into more than 20 pieces. He would spend the next eight months in intensive care at the University of Pennsylvania’s New Bolton Center. He became a symbol of courage and determination as millions of hearts around the world embraced the colt as he fought gallantly to survive.

I wrote and lived Barbaro’s story for all those months as a features writer for the national horse racing magazine Blood-Horse, as well as a Sunday horse racing columnist for the West Chester Daily Local newspaper.

 
Cocoa Beach: Surf City Print E-mail

 Delaware County Times

May 8, 2016

Heard of an Ouroborus? Thought so.Cocoa 1

It's an ancient symbol of a serpent eating its own tail. On a sun-splashed April weekend, artist Todd Brittingham turned up in Cocoa Beach, Fla. to create his own giant Ouroborus. It marked the 28th Annual Earth Work, during which the artist along with a gang of helpers built a massive environmental sculpture in the sand. He called it a "Sky Message," and it took up the length of two football fields.

The sand art seems a natural fit. An iconic and quirky beach town, Cocoa Beach is celebrated for wide beaches and surfing teachers, fishing rigs and dinosaur digs, a surf megastore and art galleries galore, rocket launches, oceanfront happy hours and candy colored sunsets.
Set in the heart of Florida's Space Coast — that stretches 72 miles along Florida's east coast — the kitschy beach town has 321 for its area code. For good reason: it's just a short drive north on Route A1A to the John F. Kennedy Space Center.

 
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