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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 JustLuxe.com and SeeTheSouth.com. 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 ESPN.com, 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

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.  

Isaac Murphy: Greatest American Jockey Print E-mail

America’s Best Racing
The Jockey Club Website
August 2014

He was the Eddie Arcaro, the Willie Shoemaker of his era. One hundred forty years ago, the son of a slave began to carve his indelible mark on the tree of American Thoroughbred history.

A slight man, Isaac Burns Murphy was known for his soft hands and bowlegs. He rode upright, rather than in a crouch, and was a superb judge of pace. His mounts tended to close with devastating speed in the deep stretch, often winning by a head or less. Those tight finishes came to be known as "Murfinishes."Murphy 1

Many consider Murphy the greatest American jockey of all time. By his own account Murphy won 44 percent of his races. Racing historians can only verify 34.5 percent from the era, but it's likely that some of Murphy's races were not documented. Either way, Murphy set a standard that no other jockey has come close to matching. Consider that Eddie Arcaro-- recognized as the greatest U.S. jockey of the 20th century-- had a winning percentage of only 22 percent. Murphy was the first jockey inducted into the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame in 1956.

Murphy was born on a farm near Frankford, Ky., the same month the Civil War broke out in 1861. His father James Burns, by then a free black man, was a bricklayer and his mother, America, was a laundrywoman. Burns joined the Union Army and later died in a Confederate prisoner of war camp.  Meanwhile, Isaac and his mother had moved to Lexington, Ky. to live with her father, Green Murphy, a bell ringer and auction crier. When Isaac Burns became a professional jockey he changed his last name to Murphy as a tribute to his grandfather.

Canine Detectives Print E-mail

The Hunt
Summer 2014

On a crisp blue sky morning at the South Bank campus, Thunder sits quivering on the opposite end of a leash from his handler.  Thunder is ready to roll.

The 14-month old chocolate Labrador Retriever is a member of the inaugural class of seven canines at the University of Pennsylvania’s Vet Working Dog Center program that trains and researches detection dogs.  Sometimes referred to as “sniffer dogs,” they utilize their sense of smell to identify and uncover particular odors associated with explosives, drug stashes, or missing people in search-and-rescue operations.Hunt Dogs1

Wearing a helmet, heavy clothing and thick canvas gloves, trainer Jonathan Bell has already scrambled over a mountain of broken pallets, concrete blocks and rubble to drop himself  into one of several half-buried plastic barrels. Bell yanks a wooden lid tight over the opening.

Roughly 100 yards away Thunder’s leash is unclipped and the command “Find!” is given. Thunder tears across the scrap yard, scaling the mountain of rubble to launch a frenzied, yet methodical search. The Lab stops to sniff a barrel where Bell climbed in and out. Then he zeroes in on the one where Bell is hiding.  Thunder barks loudly 25 times. Suddenly, Bell’s hand pops up through the lid into the sunlight presenting Thunder with a hefty rope, and a brisk game of tug-of-war commences.  “Attaboy, Thunder, thank you for finding me,” Bell shouts in congratulations.

Longwood Celebrates Centennial of Open Air Theatre Print E-mail

June 2014

He was America's favorite bandmaster whose name is  synonymous with rousing  marches. In the summer of 1922, John Philip Sousa first strode onto the stage of Longwood Garden's open air theatre.Long 1

An elderly, bespectacled gentleman, Sousa was accompanied by two dozen superb musicians in snazzy uniforms. Then 71, Sousa still displayed remarkable energy that people marveled at almost as much at his dynamic conducting of such favorites as "The Gladiator," "Semper Fidelis," and of course, "The Stars and Stripes Forever." That march made Sousa world famous.

The distinctive sound of Sousa's marches came in part from his rich and colorful instrumentation. With crashing cymbals, bombastic brass and piping piccolos, "The Stars and Stripes Forever" got everyone on their feet, clapping and cheering at every performance. A personal friend of Pierre S. du Pont, Sousa would go on to perform with his band 14 times at Longwood Gardens in the 1920's.  

Chasing California Chrome's Maryland Roots Print E-mail

America’s Best Racing
The Jockey Club Website
May 2014

With a light mist falling California Chrome set foot on the Pimlico racetrack for the first time. Surveying the new surroundings the flashy chestnut colt let out a loud whinny to announce his presence before leisurely bouncing along the dirt strip with exercise rider Willie Delgado aboard.Heritage 9

California Chrome's life had coe full circle. Though California-bred, the Kentucky Derby-Preakness winne's roots run deep in Maryland. There has been much talk of his obscure and unheralded breeding. The colt was sired by Lucky Pulpit ($2,000 stud fee) out of Love the Chase, purchased for $6,000. But if you dive into the colt's pedigree you will discover the high quality stallions that sired California's Chrome's dam and second dam.

The broodmare sire of California Chrome is Not For Love (by Mr. Prospector- Dance Number, by Northern Dancer) and the next dam is by Polish Numbers (by Danzig- Numbered Account by Buckpasser).

Both have been stellar stallions at Northview Stallion Station in Chesapeake City, Md.,  owned by Richard Golden in partnership with the late Allaire du Pont and Tom Bowman, DVM, until last year when Bowman left the organization after 25 years.

Shore Thing: Stone Harbor Celebrates Centennial Print E-mail

Long Island Boating World
May 1, 2014

Were you to whiz back as a time traveler to Stone Harbor, New Jersey in the early 1900s, you would step into heavily wooded stands of juniper trees punctuated with sand dunes, some towering as high as 70 feet. Earliest guests arrived via the West Jersey railroad line that rumbled along what is now Second Avenue.SH 001

This summer marks the 100th anniversary of Stone Harbor’s incorporation. Located on a narrow barrier island it shares with Avalon, the picturesque beach town is set between The Wildwoods and Ocean City. Three to four city blocks wide, Stone Harbor comprises the southern end of “Seven Mile Island.”

Both Stone Harbor and Avalon have preserved a large portion of the natural vegetation-covered dunes, one of the few remaining high dune systems on the East Coast and the highest on the Jersey shore. The dunes keep the upscale towns from flooding and create the perfect home for plants and small animals indigenous to the area.

The entire barrier island sits a mile seaward than other shore towns, giving Stone Harbor a reputation as a beach with delightful ocean breezes and great for surfing and boogie boarding. While boardwalks, carnival rides, and commercial development have overpowered most of the Jersey shore towns, Stone Harbor has stayed relatively sprawl-free.

Bedazzled by Bern's Print E-mail

May 2014

It's a rococo temple of red meat and red wine. Come hungry.Berns 01

Located in the So-Ho section of Tampa, Bern's has been an iconic dining destination since 1956. A second generation family-run steakhouse, it's celebrated for its eight ornate dining rooms that serve up a gastronomic adventure that stamps Bern's not as a meal but as a wondrous experience. New patrons are bedazzled by the foyer's blood red velour, marble busts, gilt and the carved wood banister. Some say it  resembles a high-end French bordello with steps leading to the upstairs rooms. (More on that later.)

Steaks are dry aged for five weeks, hand cut to your specified thickness and weight, and seasoned with salt, pepper, and butter. Bow-tied waiters train for more than a year learning all stations of the kitchen. They are eager to help you navigate the menu, asks questions about your tastes and do everything to ensure your satisfaction. Sommeliers chat up well-heeled regulars, extolling the exquisite vintages that lurk in Bern’s 500,000 bottle collection. Yes, I said a half-million.

The Daily Meal website ranked Bern's as the second best steakhouse in America in 2013, trailing only Cuts in Beverly Hills. Input from 174 judges examined the quality of the steak, where it’s purchased, whether dry-aged or the level of freshness, the way it's served and the overall steakhouse experience. In addition, Bern's was saluted in The Daily Meal's list of 101 Best Restaurants in America, coming in at number 28.

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