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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 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 am a regular contributor to the websites and JustLuxe is an online magazine featuring the best of luxury lifestyle and travel, while SeeTheSouth features truly unique southern destinations. My travel articles also regularly appear in Florida Today, Long Island Boating world and the Delaware County Times, a major daily newspaper just outside Philly.

I've also contributed a variety of 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, America's Best Racing, the Paulick Report and Thoroughbred Racing Commentary.

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

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.

St. Petersburg’s Renaissance Print E-mail

Delaware County Times
TheHuntMagazine.comSP 01
March 2014

Talk about an extreme makeover. Once taunted for its green benches, bingo nights and sluggish snowbirds, today St. Petersburg, Fla. is a textbook case for urban reinvention.

Sitting midway up the west coast of the Sunshine State, St. Pete is powered by its gorgeous waterfront, the stunning Dali Museum, and a stream of trendy dining options and new hotels and inns. So much so, earlier this year it was tabbed among the “52 Places to Go in 2014” by the New York Times. It clocked in at No. 49, ahead of Belize, New Caledonia and Niagara Falls, N. Y.  

Peter Demens named the area after his birthplace. Born Pyotr Dementyev, the Russian aristocrat had immigrated to America. In June 1888 he brought the Orange Belt Railway to St. Petersburg, opening up the region to become a tourist destination for wintering retirees up north.

By the early 1900s St. Petersburg Times editor W. L. Straub and a group of like-minded civic pioneers unveiled plans for a grand city with broad streets, artful Mediterranean revival office buildings and hotels, brick-street neighborhoods skirting downtown, and miles of publicly owned green parks along the western shore of Tampa Bay.

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.

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.

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.

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