The Private World of Andy Wyeth

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Travel: Visiting Martin Guitar Factory

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The Magic of Monhegan Island


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.



A "Joy Ride" for Team Hardest Core Print E-mail

America’s Best Racing
The Jockey Club Website
October 2014

The Arlington Million is one of our most fabled and rousing turf races. This year the usual pack of top-flight Euros and North American horses jetted in.HardestC 1

But for Team Hardest Core, it was the overland route. They drove all night from Coatesville,  Pa. to Chicago-- 13 hours total-- to get Hardest Core to the million dollar race.  They are all longtime Chester County horse people-- trainer Eddie Graham, barn manager/groom Brianne Slater, exercise rider/champion jump jockey Jody Petty and Keith Cooper, the van driver.

The travel itinerary didn't faze Hardest Core. Piloted by a Parx jockey, Erilus Vaz, the handsome dark bay gelding roared down the stretch to defeat five Group/Grade 1 winners, including the reigning Breeders' Cup Turf champion to capture the 31st edition at the Arlington International Racecourse last August.  With the victory Hardest Core earned an automatic berth with a travel allowance to the $3 million Breeders' Cup Turf at Santa Anita Park on Nov. 1.

And, that's just a slice of this hard to believe tale. Roll cameras.

The Amazing World of Brian Selznick Print E-mail

October 2014

Brian Selznick is in the business of wonder. He creates books that challenge our notions of how fiction is supposed to work. Some say the trailblazing artist and storyteller has reinvented the genre, combining elements of the picture book, graphic novel, and film into entirely original reading experiences.Selznick 5

Selznick's books introduce an innovative strategy for blending words and images, interweaving narrative and picture sequences. His breakthrough 2007 novel "The Invention of Hugo Cabret," tells two sides of a single story about a little orphan boy, scrappy and clever, living in a Paris train station at the dawn of the 1930s, who forges an unlikely friendship with the pioneering French filmmaker Georges Méliès.

Hugo unfolds like a silent movie, with entire chapters told in mesmerizing pencil drawings. It is a book about magic-- the magic of the silver screen, the magic of family and friendship, the magical thrill of adventure, all set in the City of Light. With its cinematic feel and magical take on historical fiction, the hefty book (526 pages, nearly 300 are picture pages) set the literary world on fire, winning the 2008 Caldecott Medal, and was also a National Book Award finalist. The transformative novel was turned into the  five-time Oscar award-winning film "The Invention of Hugo Cabret," directed by Martin Scorsese.

Fans of Selznick's work can see it on a larger scale in the traveling exhibition "From Houdini to Hugo: The Art of Brian Selznick," which runs through January 11, 2015 at the Delaware Art Museum. Hugo might be Selznick's most recognizable work thanks in part to Scorcese's adaptation, but he's also the mind behind 18 other children's books including "The Houdini Box," "Walt Whitman: Words for America," A"Amelia and Eleanor go for a Ride," and "The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins," and Frindle."

Blue Mind: This is Your Brain on Water Print E-mail

Book Review

Long Island Boating World
November, 2014

On an early morning in August I'm sitting on the beach in Stone Harbor, New Jersey. As I look up from the pages of my book, there is nothing between me and the horizon but the Atlantic Ocean. The only sound is the rhythm of the waves pounding against the shore while gulls and sandpipers wheel across a cerulean blue sky. Peaceful and calm, my mind is at ease.BlueMind 5

That morning I was reading "Blue Mind," a new book by Wallace J. Nichols about how an ocean can affect our minds, bodies, and overall health and sense of well-being. Through breakthrough neuroscience (explained in layman's terms) and compelling personal stories, Nichols weaves a captivating tale on the rejuvenating power of water. It makes us healthier and happier, reduces stress and brings us peace.

Several years ago-- Nichols, a marine biologist and conservationist--  started an annual conference that brought together ocean and brain scientists, biologists, surfers and artists to explore the positive effects of water on our health. He called it "Blue Mind." Now Blue Mind  is a book, one that has quickly climbed up the New York Times Best Seller List.    The forward to the book is by Celine Cousteau, Jacque's granddaughter.  The forward to the book is written by Celine Cousteau, Jacque's granddaughter.

Nichols has spent much of his professional life studying sea turtles of the Pacific Ocean and working with fishermen in Baja California to protect the turtles from poachers. Now he's exploring the scientific reasons for why humans have such a deep connection with the deep blue. In its simplest terms, blue mind is about the mildly meditative state our brains enter when exposed to water.

Bronze Age Print E-mail

The Hunt
Fall 2014

Intrigued by pigs?  Not many of us are, but in the steady eyes and meticulous hands of Andre Harvey, pigs are one of God’s most enchanting creations.Laran 6

Take Stella.  A  delightful bronze sculpture, she garnered immediate affection from visitors at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark. A sculpted version of the barnyard breed, Stella especially engages the kids with her smart snout and friendly gaze as they travel a scenic walkway. Walmart heir Alice Walton is the driving force behind the  museum that opened its doors in late 2011.

Standing over three feet in height, two feet wide and just less than six feet in length, the full-bodied swine weighs in at a hefty 560 pounds. Harvey works from direct observation to create portraits of his animal subjects, capturing the "realness" of each creature. Inspired by a litter of pigs at Penn's New Bolton Center, Harvey showed up each week with a load of ears of corn. The  wallowing pigs took a shine to him and he translated that experience into sculptures. The artist has created a series of Stellas, each one unique.

"The ideas go back to playing in the woods as a kid, checking out frogs, enjoying nature," Harvey remembers. "I don't do cute. It's much harder to make them seem really real, make them come alive. I spend so much time on each one, for me it has to be just right. As a sculptor I use my hands, my mind and my heart. I think that's why people respond to my work."

The Maestro Print E-mail

The Hunt
Fall 2014

I’m greeted at the front door of the stately stone Colonial home by the man behind the baton. Maestro David Amado is wearing a dark v-neck sweater, a brightly striped shirt, dress jeans and his stocking feet. There is not a tuxedo in sight.Amado 4

Slight of build and vivacious of manner, Amado has reinvigorated the Delaware Symphony (DSO) with his innovative programming into a premier regional orchestra. Embarking on his twelfth season (2014-’15) as conductor and music director, Amado’s style has been described as fluid and energetic, a conductor who is fun to watch. In the words of one devotee, “on the verge of levitating.”

From the moment Amado strides onstage smartly turned out in white tie and tails to open the 2013-’14 season at the Grand Opera House, the sold-out audience erupts to welcome the 75 preeminent musicians and their gifted conductor. Initially, the tousled-hair Amado chats up the audience. Then he gets to work, creating wondrous symphonic music. The centerpiece of "Classic Romance" was a virtuoso performance by acclaimed pianist Mischa Dichter in Sergei Rachmaninoff’s great "Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini" (1934).

It had been a very tough year. The DSO’s daily economic challenges came to a head two years ago when the orchestra was facing a projected $850,000 operating deficit after exhausting its reserve fund. It was forced to suspend its planned 2012-2013 season. After months of testy negotiations the orchestra’s musicians' union ratified a new three-year agreement in June 2013.

Skullduggery: Felix Francis' Damage Print E-mail

America’s Best Racing
The Jockey Club Website
October 2014

Someone is trying to bring down the British Horseracing Authority, the austere organization that regulates the whole of the racing industry. Extortion is the game. A villain named Leonardo demands £5 million in exchange for not destroying the integrity of the sport. Sounds like a job for one of Dick Francis' stalwart heroes.Damage 1

The October release of "Damage" is the 50th book in the stable of the legendary thriller writer who died in 2010. It's youngest son Felix Francis ' fourth solo "Dick Francis" novel, and it maintains the high standard that readers have come to expect since Dick's first mystery novel "Dead Cert" in 1962.

A former Welsh steeplechase jockey who became the official jockey for Queen Elizabeth and the Queen Mother, Dick Francis won over 350 National Hunt races.  Then he stumbled into a second, even more lucrative profession on his retirement from professional racing. Francis went on to become one of the most respected and popular mystery writers in the world, winning numerous awards including three Edgar Awards, the Crime Writers' Association Cartier Diamond Dagger, and the Mystery Writers of America's Grand Master Award. He died four years ago at the age of 89.

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