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.



A Rousing Salute to "Fats" Waller Print E-mail

April 2014

More than seventy years after he left this earth, Thomas "Fats" Waller's joie de vivre and infectious humor continue to be a strong calling card. Yet Waller's talent as a brilliant entertainer sometimes overshadowed his unparalleled skill at the keyboard, both as a composer and a performer.AintMis 1

Sitting nightly at a piano, Waller pounded out his ditties, pouring himself  a shot or two of gin and cracking wise with the crowd. One of the most prolific musicians during the golden era of jazz and an originator of swing music, the 6' 2", 285 pound Waller had a hearty appetite in every sense of the word.

One of his most popular recordings was “Ain’t Misbehavin,” heard first on Broadway in 1930. Nearly fifty years later Richard Maltby, Jr. co-created the original stage version-- a high-spirited musical revue and tribute to the black musicians of that era. In 1978 Ain't Misbehavin' took home four Tony Awards and ran for 1,604 performances on Broadway.  It also launched the jukebox musical genre that is still going strong on Broadway today.

Genuine Risk: Lady Was a Champ Print E-mail

America’s Best Racing
The Jockey Club Website
April 2014

No filly has done it better.GR 1

None in history can match Genuine Risk’s performance in the toughest, most grueling three races on the American calendar-- the Triple Crown Series. On a bright spring day in 1980 Genuine Risk challenged  a dozen colts in the 105th running of the Kentucky Derby. They weren’t good enough to catch her. At the finish it was all Genuine Risk — only the second filly, since Regret in 1915, to ever win the Kentucky Derby.

Two weeks later in the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico, the blazed-face chestnut was making her move coming into the final turn when jockey Angel Cordero Jr. allowed eventual winner Codex to drift out, carrying Genuine Risk almost to the middle of the track on the turn for home just as she was challenging. The filly's jockey and owners screamed bloody murder.

Three weeks later in the Belmont Stakes, Genuine Risk took the lead in the stretch, but was passed near the wire by Temperance Hill.  She was beautiful, classy and tough. She remains the only filly to finish in the money in all three Triple Crown races.

Kicking Back on Anna Maria Island Print E-mail

March 2014

Tucked along the teal-colored Gulf of Mexico, Anna Maria Island sits on a tiny spindle of land at the mouth of Tampa Bay. There is no grand dame hotel, no sprawling wildlife preserve,  no historic waterfront. The island is dominated by palm trees and low-slung Crayola-colored beach cottages and scores of renovated old-timey motels.AMI 1a

Set on a slim barrier island about an hour south of Tampa, the ladle-shaped seven mile long island is actually three small communities  - Anna Maria to the north, Holmes Beach in the middle and Bradenton Beach to the south. The beach is never more than a few blocks away with wide open stretches of sugary white sand that slopes down to the vivid emerald water. You can spot residents. They slap those oval, European-style stickers (AMI) on their car bumpers.

When you get the urge, there is plenty to do. Snorkel in the placid Gulf waters. Rent a kayak and paddle Robinson Preserve, a 400-acre mangrove and salt marsh where you might spy mullets jumping high in the air or bald eagles sitting regally in a tree. A manatee swims lazily out in the Gulf, while ten yards from shore dozens and dozens of young stingrays migrating their way down the coast.

An Epicurean Journey Print E-mail

Delaware County Times
March 30, 2014

Over the past decade the pop culture prestige of chefs has risen dramatically, evolving them into the rock stars that have foodies buzzing. They celebrate the indulgence in, and accessibility of, delicious and inventive dishes.  Along the way some have built vast empires that include hit TV shows and far-flung restaurants. Dining out has grown akin to theatre, with chefs as the headliners drawing huge crowds.Epic 3

That brings us to the latest cutting-edge addition to the culinary world, the Epicurean Hotel launched in Tampa last December. It has serious ambition-- to lure foodies on deluxe culinary-centered vacations at its sunny environs in Tampa’s hip SoHo neighborhood.

The hotel’s goal is to be a national culinary destination on the strength of its exhibitions, festivals and visiting celebrity chefs. They’ve also zeroed in on the locals, offering cooking classes from novice to advanced in a custom theatre that looks like it belongs on the Food Network.  Patrons will be learning in a culinary playground equipped with professional Viking stoves, ovens and refrigerators, All-Clad cookware, and plenty of other top-of-the-line features.

A Great Ride Print E-mail

The Hunt Magazine
Spring 2014

The last of the moon still hangs in the sky as the sun peeks over the far edge of the Fair Hill training track. Over at the clocker's stand, trainers, owners, and onlookers gather to drink plenty of coffee, swap tall tales, and watch their horses train.Patterson 1

2013 Kentucky Derby winner Orb steps onto the dirt track. The handsome bay colt gazes off into the distance. With a signal from exercise rider and Wilmington native Jen Patterson, Orb starts into a jog, a gallop and then a swift breeze.

Dressed in all black with cardinal red trim, Patterson is balanced confidently in the irons, motionless except for her arms which move in rhythm with Orb’s stride. Her hands are quiet on the reins. Beneath her, the colt glides over the surface, contracting and then bursting forward with each stride. He thunders past us just off the rail. The thud of his hooves is punctuated by blasts of heavy breathing. For the entire half-mile workout and beyond, Orb points his ears skyward, alert to a morning birdsong.

You will find exercise riders out on the track before sun-up. They work outdoors in sun, rain or snow, on sweltering or bone-chilling days. Often anonymous, they are excellent riders with a figurative clock in their heads. Their job is to work the horse into prime fitness. They're critical to a trainer's success.

Birdman of the Brandywine Print E-mail

The Hunt Magazine
Spring 2014

It is an annual pilgrimage for artists, nature enthusiasts and curious onlookers.

They turn up at the Myrick Conservation Center in search of sunflowers-- 20 acres of the burgeoning vibrant, yellow blossoms-- which peak at the end of September. Planted in July, the fields attract mourning doves for the fall hunting season, but also cardinals, bluejays and scores of migrating songbirds that feed on fallen sunflower seeds.Stoner 3

Still, the highlight of the avian year is springtime when millions of brightly colored songbirds pass through the Brandywine Valley. It’s an optimal stop-over point for refueling during long-distance journeys from Central or South America to northern breeding grounds. One of the most stunning birds is the Scarlet Tanager with a blood-red body set off by jet-black wings and tail with a staring doll’s eye.

A spring layover at the Myrick Center is ideal since the grounds are flush with insects that provide ample food for raising young. There is also an added bonus-- perched high in the forest canopy, their joyous songs can brighten any day.

Six miles west of West Chester, Myrick’s 318 acres provide a varied habitat for more than 125 bird species. Skipping from treetop to treetop the birds can be spotted in the woodlands, wetlands and meadows that are also home to white-tailed deer, squirrels, wild turkey, and waterfowl.

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