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The Private World of Andy Wyeth

Martin 6

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

Marvelous Monhegan Island Print E-mail

 Florida Today

August 22, 2016

We're queuing up on the docks of the 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. Lobstermen are 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 step off onto Monhegan and hike up past the Island Inn that sports an American flag whipping atop its cupola. The tidy village 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.

Barely a square mile in area, Monhegan is a down to earth and hard working culture, where fishing and lobstering families still live and work by the tide clock. The summer resident population hovers around 200, but day-trippers can add another 600 or 700 to the mix. Winter is a quiet and lonely time; the island shrinks to its bedrock population of 65.

 
Songbird Dazzles in the Coaching Club American Oaks Print E-mail

 PA Equestrian

August 2016

Race after race she is marching her way into the ranks of female racing royalty. Zenyatta. Rachel Alexandra. Royal Delta. Rags to Riches. All were thoroughbred magnets that connected so passionately with racing fans. Now it's Songbird's time.Songbird Aug

A perfect 8 for 8, Songbird faced her toughest foe yet in Carina Mia in the $500,000 Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga on July 24th. Bolting out of post 1, Songbird shot to the lead carving out swift fractions of 23.86 for the opening quarter, the half in 47.52 with Grade-1 Acorn winner Carina Mia a length back. Heading into the far turn Carina Mia made her move matching strides with Songbird to the top of the stretch. Jockey Mike Smith tapped her twice to open up in the stretch, hitting the wire in 1:49.56 for the 1 1/8 mile race. It was yet another dominating performance with 5 ¼ lengths back to Carina Mia.

“She has such a big, beautiful stride,” Smith said. “When Carina Mia got on top of her, the more it made her aggressive. It was a good test for her, made her do something she had never done before. If this race moves her up like I think it will, there’s no telling how good this filly is.”

 
The Great Sea Turtle Race Print E-mail

 WFIT (NPR - Melbourne)

July 23, 2016

Was it pre-race jitters? Dash was feverishly thumping her flippers at the wooden sides of her beach corral. An attentive volunteer placed a white towel atop the sea turtle's head to calm her down. Meanwhile, the countdown was on for the 2015 Tour de Turtle.TourDeTurtles

Sporting a 27- inch long curved shell, Dash was going loggerhead-to-loggerhead with Myrtle (with a 43-inch shell). Close to a 2,000 spectators turned up last July at the Barrier Island Center located in the heart of the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge in southern Melbourne Beach to cheer on the two competitors.

Ladies, start your engines! Then the checkered flag was dropped. Turned out it was not much of a contest as Dash (appropriately named) scooted out of the corral and down the beach slope where she paused just a moment, then duck dived under a wave into the sea. Home at last. Time to the sea, impressively under two minutes. Left in the dust, er sand, was Myrtle still lumbering along. Well, she is a turtle, right.

 
SCSO Performs Russian Masters Compositions Print E-mail

 WFIT (NPR - Melbourne, Fla.)

July 2016

Russian composers have created some of the most beautiful and powerful classical music compositions. Some laid down the rules of composition, while others smashed those rules. Still others preserved Russia’s history and folk stories in their pieces, or re-imagined medieval music. A few even sought to define the music of the future.Russian 1

The Space Coast Symphony Orchestra will bring to life emotional works by Alexander Borodin, Sergei Rachmaninoff and Igor Stravinsky-- three Russian composers who communicated joy, pain and hope through their music from the age of gilded Russian aristocracy up to the 20th century. The compositions will be featured in the first masterworks concert of the SCSO’s 2016-17 performing season on July 23 at 7 p. m. at The Scott Center for Performing Arts and at 3 p.m. at the Community Church of Vero Beach on July 24.

Over the past seven seasons, the orchestra has explored many works from Russian composers including Mussorgsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Tchaikovsky, Shchedrin, Glinka, Gluzanov, Shostakovich, Prokofiev, as well as the three composers on the July program.

 
Florida Sea Turtles Spike in Record Numbers Print E-mail

Delaware County Times

August 7, 2016

It was another successful launch on the Space Coast.

Turtle 6

Under hazy skies on a late May morning a pair of juvenile green sea turtles were released into the Atlantic at the Barrier Island Center in southern Melbourne Beach, Fla. "Chad" was found stunned and covered with barnacles at Indian Harbour Beach in January. "Mr. President" was discovered after what was thought to be a predator attack at the Barrier Island Sanctuary on President's Day. The two turtles were rehabilitated at the Brevard Zoo.

A pair of volunteers from the Sea Turtle Conservancy carry Mr. President and Chad-- their flippers flapping wildly-- in a plastic tray to the water's edge and lower them into ocean. The turtles float for a moment before diving under a blue-green wave and push their way to the sea. Floating and weightless again, they begin an uncertain decades-long journey. More than 150 folks cheered them onward.

 
Off and Running at Saratoga Springs Print E-mail

 Florida Today

July 17, 2016

Like the mythical Scottish village of Brigadoon, Saratoga Springs comes to life each magical summer.Saratoga 3

Legions of fans will watch and wager on many of the world’s fastest and finest racehorses during the six week season beginning July 22 . With its steeply raked roof, lazily spinning ceiling fans and Victorian grandstand, Saratoga Race Course salutes a bygone era.

Already a summer destination for the well-heeled in the mid-19th century, Saratoga was celebrated for its brilliant architecture and its mineral springs' curative powers. John ("Old Smoke") Morrissey was the kingpin. A gambler, former boxing champion, and casino owner, Morrissey organized Saratoga's first thoroughbred four-day meet. It drew thousands of locals and tourists a month after the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863.

Today, big crowds, big payouts and top-flight racing are hallmarks of the "Spa" summer meet. Fans and bettors fill the hotels to capacity ready to "go racing," turning up for such storied races as the Coaching Club American Oaks, the Sword Dancer, the Alabama, the Whitney, and the Woodward stakes races. The highlight is the 147th running of the $1.25 million Travers Stakes, a pivotal race for three-year olds at a mile and a quarter on August 27.

 
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