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Kennedy Space Center Delivers an Epic Journey


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.

I'm currently a regular arts & culture contributor to WFIT's website (the NPR radio station in Melbourne.), Vero Beach Magazine and Florida Today newspaper on a number of topics . Over recent years 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. 3,000) offers unspoiled beaches with sparkling blue-green waters and thousands of beautiful seabirds and long-legged shorebirds.MB 04

Head north 35 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 2017.

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

The Prince of Sea Turtles Print E-mail

Vero Beach Magazine

October 2017

It was nearly 60 years ago, but the memories come flooding back.Archie Carr_01

Chuck Carr was a child when he first travelled with his two brothers to the black sand beaches of Tortuguero on Costa Rica's northeast shore to assist an energetic and charismatic zoology professor. A remote tropical village reachable only by boat or light aircraft, Tortuguero boasted the last big colony of sea turtles in the western hemisphere. Green turtles were so thick, they laid nests on top of nests.

The professor was Chuck's father, Dr. Archie Fairly Carr, Jr.-- a pioneering conservation biologist, an inspiring educator, and gifted nature writer.

"We landed on a grass airstrip and our guide Birdie hustled us into a large dugout canoe where we paddled two miles up the river to Tortuguero," remembered Carr, 71, who had a 30-year career with the worldwide Wildlife Conservation Society of the Bronx Zoo.

"Monkeys chattering, spectacular green and scarlet macaws, huge iguanas dropping out of trees, at 11 years old it was mind blowing. No telephones. No electricity. We were the Robinson Crusoe family. Daddy was there sizing up the village logistically to put a program together to protect these docile creatures from the influx of turtle hunters."

 
Champion Songbird Retired from Racing Print E-mail

Pennsylvania Equestrian

October 2017

Where have you gone, Songbird? That was the tune the two-time champion's legion of fans were singing throughout her 4-year old campaign. The power and acceleration Songbird displayed the past two seasons where she dominated her competition just wasn't there.Songbird Oct1

After a pair of narrow one-length victories early this summer the dark bay filly was run down in the deep stretch by multiple Grade-1 winner Forever Unbridled in the $700,000 Personal Ensign Stakes at Saratoga Race Course on Aug. 26. Afterwards owner Rick Porter had seen enough.

“Of course, it's frustrating, very disappointing, I knew we had a decent field to run against," said a clearly discouraged Porter. "Something's not right. She is just not right, and I will get her checked out. She doesn't let horses pass her, that was probably part of it. I am not comfortable that she is 100 percent healthy. Anyway, this is not the Songbird we have been seeing the last three races, just doesn't seem to be the same Songbird, it's only right to have her checked out.

“I thought we would see the real Songbird today, but we didn't see it. I just want to make sure it is not something physical which I would do with any good horse. I always do that.”

Songbird was scheduled to fly out of Saratoga, switch planes in Louisville, Ky. and then fly on to trainer Jerry Hollendorfer's barn in southern California. It never happened. Porter insisted Songbird be directly vanned to Lexington and undergo a full evaluation and testing by Dr. Larry Bramlage at Rood & Riddle Hospital.

 
8K Solutions developing latest technology in filming NFL, college practices Print E-mail

 Florida Today

October 7, 2017

Talk about a scary job.

Perched on a hydraulic scissor lift 50 feet up in the air, for decades the camera crews of NFL teams filmed daily practices often battling thunderstorms, gusty winds and sheets of sideways rain.8K 01

Mike Dougherty was the Philadelphia Eagles video director for 37 years. On a sweltering late summer morning a bolt of lightning struck Dougherty's all-metal camera and bounced off his head. His hair shot straight up. An assistant coach got Dougherty down to the ground. Luckily, he wasn't seriously hurt.

Fast forward to 2017. Twenty four NFL teams and 18 teams from the college power-five conferences have switched from the traditional manned scissor lifts to the new mobile “mast cams.” The systems boast high-definition cameras atop a 55-foot telescoping mast-- sort of like a periscope on a submarine-- that are controlled remotely from the ground. The video station that looks like the front of a boat includes a comfy bench seat with protective canopy, color monitors and the capability to run for several days on a single charge.

Rated for 55 miles per hour winds, the MastRcam operator sits at a console with a pan zoom tilt control to shoot practices. The cart can easily be moved around the practice fields. Coaches and players can replay practice highlights in one-on-one meetings and film sessions.

 
Where the Wild Things Are Print E-mail

WFIT (NPR Radio, Melbourne, Fla)

October 2, 2017

In 1956 when Maurice Sendak published his first book, Kenny's Window, the world of children's books was a very safe place. Stories were light and happy, set in a world without disorder.Sendak 01

Seven years later Sendak turned the children's book world upside down with his masterpiece Where the Wild Things Are, gaining international acclaim for his illustrating and writing. The book captured the public's imagination with a tale of a boy's journey into a strange land inhabited by grotesque yet appealing monsters. The main character Max-- like many of his protagonists-- acted like a real child, not some idealized version of youth.

All his life Sendak challenged the idea of childhood innocence.

"In plain terms, a child is a complicated creature who can drive you crazy," Sendak once said in an interview. "There's a cruelty to childhood, there's an anger. And I did not want to reduce Max to the trite image of the good little boy that you find in too many books."

 
The Cuban Affair Print E-mail

WFIT (NPR Radio, Melbourne, Fla)

September 21, 2017

This time around it's a tropical caper for Nelson DeMille. The legendary New York Times bestselling author sets his just released suspense novel-- The Cuban Affair-- on the exotic but troubled island 90 miles from Key West's shores.DeMille 01

DeMille introduces readers to Daniel Graham "Mac" MacCormick, a provocative new character. At age 35, Mac seems to have a pretty good life. He is living in Key West, captain of a 42-foot deep-sea charter fishing boat, The Maine. Mac served five years in the Army as an infantry officer with two tours in Afghanistan. He returned with the Silver Star, two Purple Hearts, scars that don’t tan, and a $250,000 bank loan on his boat.

One of today’s most iconic thriller writers, DeMille brings his 20th book (his first with new publisher Simon & Schuster) to the Vero Beach Book Center on Wednesday, September 27 at 7 p.m. when he takes the stage for a free live Q&A session followed by a book signing.

"Growing up I was influenced by some of the greatest British mystery writers such as Agatha Christie, Dennis Wheatley and Dorothy Sayers as well as iconic characters like Nero Wolfe and Sherlock Holmes," DeMille remembers. "Their stories were deceptively simple. I learned the structure of murder mysteries. Plus I knew everyone loves a good who-dunnit."

 
Rhinebeck: A Hudson Valley Gem Print E-mail

 Florida Today

September 3, 2017

Washington Irving wrote the famous short story" The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" almost 200 years ago, telling the fearsome tale of the gangly and superstitious schoolteacher Ichabod Crane being menaced by a mighty headless horseman on a lonely night ride. Ever since, it has captured the imaginations of millions.RB 01

Readers of Irving’s evocative prose will be pleased to learn that the lush landscape of the Hudson Valley Irving once described still exists. Heading north across the Tappan Zee Bridge (I-287) over the Hudson River, the spectacular views are what Dutch explorers gazed upon almost 400 years ago.

Journeying along the majestic Hudson River is like time traveling through America's history. You follow the trails of Native Americans, sailing ships, and George Washington's Continental Army. The U.S. Military Academy at West Point dominates the western banks, while the eastern shore boasts the opulent Vanderbilt Mansion and many of the grandest estates of the Gilded Age.

Flanked by the Catskill Mountains, the valley’s rolling countryside drew artists to its beauty and inspired America’s first great art movement, the Hudson River School of Art, in the early years of the 19th century. Sharp mountain peaks, deep valleys, spreading woodlands and a patchwork of farms divide the artsy and gentrified communities. Just 90 miles north of Manhattan, the region is celebrated for its plentiful mom-and-pop organic farm stands, “u-pick” apple, berry and wildflower fields.

 
Child Prodigy in the Spotlight with Space Coast Symphony Orchestra Print E-mail

 

WFIT (NPR Radio, Melbourne, Fla)

May 2017

Meet Jacob Velazquez. He's got a busy weekend. The nine-year old boy from Pembroke Pines won't be zooming around on his scooter or dialing up his favorite video games.Jacob 1

Jacob has a date with to perform Haydn’s piano Concerto No. 11 in D Major in two concerts with the Space Coast Symphony Orchestra. Diagnosed with high functioning autism in 2012, Jacob will be playing the 25-minute movement from memory in his orchestral debut on Saturday, April 8 at 7 p. m at Vero Beach High School PAC and Sunday, April 9 at 3:00 p. m. at the Scott Center for the Performing Arts at Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy.

Shortly after Jacob's fourth birthday, Tina Velazquez heard a song coming from the family piano at their south Florida home. Her husband had been playing the night prior, but Willie was now at work. When Tina entered the room, it was Jacob playing.

"I was shocked, couldn't believe my eyes. So I asked, 'How did you do that?' Jacob turned and looked at me and said, 'I watched Daddy.'"

 
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