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.



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."

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.

Damascus: A Nobly Named Champion Print E-mail

America’s Best Racing
The Jockey Club Website
September 2014

It's been said no horse could finish on the far turn quite the way Damascus did.  With an explosive turn of foot, he pounced on his rivals like a cat on its prey.Damascus 1

Known for his toughness, versatility and durability, Damascus' accomplishments -- especially his three-year-old season in which he scored 12 wins from 16 starts -- were superb in a decade full of remarkable racehorses. He retired with 21 victories in 32 starts, finishing out of the money only once and that was his last race which produced a career ending injury. He would go on to a stellar career at stud.

Damascus came into the world on April 14, 1964 at John Bell III’s Jonabell Farm. His owner and breeder was Edith Woodward Bancroft, the daughter of the late William Woodward Sr., patriarch of one of America’s great racing dynasties, and the breeder (Maryland's Belair Stud) of 96 stakes winners in America and Europe. The famous white silks with the cherry red dots had been carried to victory by Triple Crown winners Gallant Fox and Omaha, as well as champions Nashua, Granville, Vagrancy, and Happy Gal.

Sired by 1959 Horse of the Year Sword Dancer from Kerala (*My Babu), Damascus was given a name laced with religious symbolism -- a reference to Paul's conversion on the road to Damascus. A handsome chestnut, Sword Dancer was only 15.3 hands, but had  buckets of heart and toughness. A late-developer as a two year-old, Sword Dancer tore up the track at three when he was crowned Horse of the Year.

The Magic of Monhegan Island Print E-mail

Long Island Boating World
August 2014

We're queuing up on the docks of the charming 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. Each lobsterman is 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 stepped off into a tidy coastal village and hiked up past the Island Inn that sports an  American flag whipping atop its cupola. Monhegan 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.

Stone Harbor Celebrates Centennial Print E-mail

July 2014

They're perched 400 feet above the Atlantic, hanging below a large bright blue  parachute. The man and woman are parasailing, soaring through the sky like a pair of shorebirds. Below, a towrope keeps the couple tethered to  the speedboat racing through the coastal waters of Stone Harbor, N. J.SH01a

Just another day in paradise. The picturesque beach town of Stone Harbor is located on the southern end of a narrow barrier island it shares with Avalon between The Wildwoods and Ocean City. This summer marks the 100th anniversary of Stone Harbor’s incorporation.

The beach is Stone Harbor’s star attraction, and great effort is taken to preserve it. Last summer upwards of 800,000 cubic yards of sand were dredged offshore and added to the Stone Harbor beaches, the first line of defense during any coastal storm.

Beachgoers over age 12 must carry beach tags, sold in daily, weekly or seasonal increments. In part the fees help support healthy living sand systems full of trees, shrubs, and plentiful reed grass with roots that fan out beneath the dunes. Dynamic systems that grow and shrink, the dunes rise to more than 40 feet in places in Stone Harbor.

Lure of the Brandywine Print E-mail

July 2014

For more than two centuries the Brandywine Valley has been celebrated for its picturesque streams, rich farmlands, dazzling gardens, the abundance of mills and its distinctive architecture.Lure 02

The Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art provides a fascinating look at the art of the region through the lens of land conservation in its current exhibition, "Lure of the Brandywine: A Story of Land Conservation and Artistic Inspiration." It pays homage to generations of top-flight artists who have drawn inspiration from its natural beauty and its historic sites.

The show celebrates the Brandywine Conservancy & Museum of Art’s dual mission-- to display art from the Brandywine region and to preserve the environment. Organized by an interdepartmental team of staff members, it runs through August 10.

“The core of our mission is to protect the Brandywine watershed and associated waterways. Our programs focus on a multifaceted approach to conservation, aimed to preserve and restore water quality and quantity,” said Sherri Evans-Stanton, director of the Brandywine Conservancy.  

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