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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.



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."

Flights of Fall Print E-mail

September 2014

If a species of bird lived in the rich avian environment of the Brandywine Valley over the past two decades, chances are it was stalked and photographed by Derek Stoner, and its tweets, coos and whistles heard and sometimes recorded by him.DStoner 1

And this time of the year is one of Stoner's favorites. Daylight is growing shorter and there is a chill in the air, so birds are packing their bags for warmer climates. Swarms of warblers, vireos, thrushes, orioles, tanagers, and other neo-tropical songbirds come streaming out of northern boreal forests and will soon  be filling the skies to pass through the Delaware Valley on their mind-boggling journey to Central and South America, where they will spend the winter.

"These birds visit the Delaware Valley, a classic 'stopover' habitat that has the necessary requirements for these long-distance travelers: food, shelter, and space," Stoner said. "Visit the right rest stop for birds during fall migration and you will witness a spectacle of colorful songbirds zipping around as they fuel up for their major migration to the southern hemisphere."

Fall birds often travel in larger, more impressive flocks than spring migration and include both adult and juvenile birds. Some species of birds can fly several thousand miles on their migration as far south as Argentina grasslands, journeying  through the night to avoid predators at speeds of 40 miles an hour. Once they take flight, the birds take whatever help they can get. A variety of songbirds time their departure with the onset of stormy weather so they can take advantage of tailwinds.

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.

Force of Nature Print E-mail

September 2014

They were kindred spirits. Two of the greatest watercolor artists of the American 20th century, both Andrew Wyeth and Charles Ephraim Burchfield drew constant inspiration from nature through landscapes surrounding their homes and studios.Burch 1

Place, memory, and emotion are closely intertwined in the paintings of Burchfield (1893–1967) at a major exhibition currently on view at the Brandywine River Museum of Art which runs through November 16.  "Exalted Nature: The Real and Fantastic World of Charles E. Burchfield" features over 50 paintings borrowed from public and private collections across the United States, providing a remarkable opportunity to examine the artist’s luminous and spiritual interpretations of the world around him.  

Wyeth met Burchfield in 1945 when Wyeth travelled to the artist's Gardenville, N. Y. studio. What drew the legendary realist painter to Burchfield was the way he obsessively studied nature. Burchfield enhanced specific sites with his imagination and spirituality to make them mystical, fantastical, creating a kind of sublime nature rooted in reality.  

"People that come to the exhibit will see something similar, but see how nature can be expressed in very different ways," explains Audrey Lewis, curator of the show. "They were both so absorbed in their surroundings with very different results. They transformed even the most ordinary things through their imaginations. Burchfield's works explode. Wyeth's are reductive. Burchfield had a wild adventurous use of color. Wyeth was exploring something more dark and serious."

The Epic Journey of Jimmy "Wink" Winkfield Print E-mail

America’s Best Racing
The Jockey Club Website
September 2014

He was on the doorstep of becoming America's greatest black race rider. One of just five men to win back-to-back Kentucky Derbys  (1901-1902), he barely missed a third victory the following year.Wink 1

But, the story of Jimmy "Wink" Winkfield being a great jockey would just be a slice of his existence. Has any jockey led a more incredible life?

In the early 1900s a combination of big money, violence by white jockeys, and threats from the Ku Klux Klan was forcing the great African-American jockeys from the racing game. A professional jockey for just five years, Winkfield headed abroad with nothing but a Russian/Polish/English dictionary in late 1903. He regularly rode winners in Russia, Poland, France, Austria, Hungary, England, Spain and Italy, ultimately winning nearly every marquee race on the continent. He was celebrated in the sports pages, and the gossip pages too. In 1919 Winkfield escaped the Bolshevik's thundering cannon fire leading 250 top-tier thoroughbreds, Polish noblemen and horsemen on a harrowing 1,100-mile journey to a safe haven in Warsaw.

Winkfield resurrected his career in France in 1922. His father-in-law presented the newlyweds with a three-story chateau and private stables in the lush countryside outside Paris. When the Nazis stormed the property in 1941, Winkfield defended himself with a pitchfork. Returning home to America sixty years after his first Derby victory, Winkfield found his legend at home all but forgotten.

Farm-to-Table Feast Print E-mail

September 4, 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. In mid-September Haskell's Farm, on the outskirts of Chadds Ford, will be staging the last of its three such dining summer adventures.SIW 2

The son of a former mayor of Wilmington and Delaware Congressman, H. G. Haskell's grandfather bought the former Pyle farm around 1910 and renamed it Hill Girt Farm. For many years it was a working dairy farm. Sections of the massive bank barn-- where the farm dinners are staged-- date back to the 1600’s and the main house to 1816.

Twenty-eight years after its self-service debut, Haskell’s is arguably the best local produce stand in the Brandywine Valley. The late summer bounty of seasonal produce will supply the September 12 farm dinner that features Wilmington chef Bryan Sikora. He is the founder and chef of Wilmington's La Fia, a breezy hybrid bistro on Market Street across from the Queen Theater.

Sikora's menu creations are driven by his dedication to made-from-scratch elements and seasonality. Foodies have taken note in a big way. Earlier this year Sikora was named one of nine semifinalists for the James Beard Foundation awards as the Best Chef, MidAtlantic. The prestigious Beards are often called the Oscars of the culinary world.

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