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Few can resist the charm of the miniature horse

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The Mystique of Martin Guitars

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SpaceX's Starman headed to the Asteroid Belt


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

Catholic Boy Geared Up for the Florida Derby Print E-mail

 Florida Today

March 29, 2018

Being a top assistant to one of the world's foremost thoroughbred trainers brought a young horseman in daily contact with some of the sport's biggest stars. Jonathan Thomas travelled the country executing a master game plan and shared the joy of winning some of the most prestigious races. He learned how to cultivate young horses into top-class runners, including the likes of Uncle Mo, Super Saver, and Eskendereya.CB 05

On the flip side, assistant trainers are first to arrive at the barn in the dark early morning hours and last to leave after sundown. They check legs and feet for signs of inflammation, refill feed tubs for missed meals, and school young runners at the starting gate. The list of duties goes on and on. There is much personal sacrifice, heartbreak and countless setbacks. And for assistant trainers anonymity comes with the territory.

The unsung status could change on Saturday when Ocala-based Thomas saddles Catholic Boy in the $1 million Florida Derby run at 1 1/8 mile at Gulfstream Park. Sitting on 14 Derby qualifying points, Catholic Boy needs a solid first or second place finish to put him into the starting gates at Churchill Downs on Saturday, May 5.

In the Florida Derby Catholic Boy is likely to tangle with a trio of speedy colts, including Fountain of Youth winner and Dale Romans trainee Promises Fulfilled and the runner-up Strike Power, trained by Mark Henning. Another prominent colt is trainer Todd Pletcher's Audible who has won his last three races, including a 5 1/2 length romp in the Holy Bull at Gulfstream Park.

 
Magical Marco Island Print E-mail

Long Island Boating World

March 2018

Off the southern tip of Marco Island sits the mysterious Star Wars-style, igloo-like Cape Romano Dome House. Some locals suggest it was the community home of a secret cult, while others claim the structures had been left behind by extra-terrestrials.Marco CapeRomano

A retired oil producing magnate and inventor, Bob Lee built it in 1981. His idea was a completely self-sufficient and eco-friendly home. For many years the rounded, concrete domes were able to sustain hurricane winds, having taken little damage from a series of powerful storms.

Not anymore. Last September Hurricane Irma caused two of the original six domes to collapse. A Naples, Fla.-based nonprofit Oceans for Youth is seeking to raise funds to load the structures onto barges and sink them further off the coast, creating a unique reef which would be home to thousands of sea creatures.

Irma made its second Florida landfall as a Cat-3 storm at Marco Island, a picture perfect resort community with a five mile sugary white beach. It was turned into a mess-- uprooted trees, downed power lines and debris as far as the eye could see. The good news was that physical damage to the tourism infrastructure was not as bad as it might have been. Within a month or so utilities were back up and running and the county was collecting debris, post-haste. The message trumpeted to visitors: "We're open for business."

 
Behemoth Falcon Heavy Rocket Ready to Go Print E-mail

Space Waves

February 1, 2018

It's showtime! Falcon Heavy -- the most powerful operational rocket in the world-- is set to blast off as soon as February 6 with a three-hour launch window opening at 1:30 p.m.FH Launchpad

It will be the biggest, brightest launch from the Kennedy Space Center since the last Space Shuttle flight. Standing an enormous 229 feet and measuring 40 feet wide, SpaceX's Falcon Heavy will produce a 5.1 million pound force of thrust at lift off, equal to approximately eighteen 747 aircraft. That is more lift capacity than any U.S. launch since the last Saturn V in the 1970s, according to SpaceX.

“Aiming for first flight of Falcon Heavy on Feb. 6 from Apollo launch pad 39A at Cape Kennedy. Easy viewing from the public causeway,” SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk tweeted on January 28.

People will be flocking to Florida's Space Coast for the test flight. The Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex has called the event “one of the most anticipated launches in recent history.” Tickets to watch from within a few miles of the launch, priced at $195 each, have already sold out. The viewing party features a champagne toast and a commemorative glass.

 
Smarty's Army a Huge Success Print E-mail

Surfrider Foundation

January 14, 2018

Saturday morning dawned bright and sunny and by 8:45 a crush of volunteers were rambling down the wooden steps by the Aquarina Beach Club swarming on to southern Melbourne Beach.

SmartyCleanUp 3

A mighty thanks to all of our enthusiastic volunteers and supporters who helped make the first "Smarty's Army" Coastal Clean Up a huge success last Saturday, January 13. We had a remarkable turn-out of 77 participants who combed and scoured the beach. Men, women and kids grabbed their clean-up bags and brought back a jumble of plastic and foam debris, shoes and sandals, children's toys and balloons, a street sign, hefty hunks of cement and wooden pier boards, tree trunks and heaven knows what else. All were inventoried the Surfrider tent. A special shout out to the AQ's sledge-hammer swinging and circular saw carving guys.

Bell and Buddha, yellow and black labs, romped up and down the beach and swam in the ocean, while several pods of dolphins glided by not far off shore. We organized the beach clean-up to honor Smarty, our fun-loving Toller retriever who left us at the end of September.

 
Spotting the Rarest Whale in the World Print E-mail

 Delaware County Times

January 15, 2018

Thar she blows!6 RightWhale_FFWCC

Each year from December through March a remarkable event takes place. North Atlantic right whales can be sighted in the warm, calm coastal waters off the Atlantic coast between Jacksonville and Sebastian Inlet, Fla. to give birth and nurse their calves. In the spring they head back home to feeding grounds in the Bay of Fundy between Maine, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.

Reaching lengths of up to 55 feet and weighing from 40 to 70 tons, some of the creatures come within a couple hundred yards of the beach. Mothers can be seen schooling newborn calves, while juvenile whales play nearby. One of the most endangered marine mammals in the world, North Atlantic right whales are mostly black with whitish patches on the head and belly. They have a graceful and deeply notched "fluke," or tail. Two blowholes on the top of its head give a distinctive V-shape to a right whale's spout.

Scientists estimate that there are only 490 right whales in existence, but thanks to a decade's work of volunteer whale watchers, that number is on the rise. Protection and stewardship of these mammoth creatures is essential.

 
The British are Coming! Print E-mail

Vero Beach Magazine

January 2018

When it came to super-cool cars in motion pictures, nobody did it better.CarShow 1

The fictional British spy James Bond was first introduced to his silver Aston Martin DB5 in the 1964 blockbuster Goldfinger. With Sean Connery behind the wheel the DB5 caused quite a stir, not only because of its timeless beauty but also all its lethal gadgets. Dubbed the most famous car in the world, the DB5 was almost as big a star as Connery. It has appeared in a half-dozen 007 movies.

For this year's Motor Car Exhibition at McKee Botanical Gardens, Aston Martins will be well represented along with Jaguars, MGs, Austin-Healys, Triumphs, Rolls Royces, Bentleys and a host of other intriguing British cars on Saturday, February 10.

The weather is typically gorgeous, the cars stunning. Elaborately dressed entrants picnic alongside their vintage cars with blankets and wicker baskets. The car aficionados come together to show off their prized treasures-- perhaps a family heirloom or just a reminder of high school glory days when cars were made of steel, leather and wood. There's nothing quite like the joy of owning these delightful driving machines.

 
Guitar Heroes Print E-mail

 WFIT (NPR Radio - Melbourne, Fla)

January 31, 218

It's one of the most recognizable items on the planet.Guitars 1

Spanning more than five centuries of design and craftsmanship, a new touring exhibition explores the design and artistry that has played a major role in the guitar’s evolution. “Medieval to Metal: The Art & Evolution of The Guitar” is currently on display at the Vero Beach Art Museum running until May 6.

Organized by The National Guitar Museum, the exhibition features 40 iconic stringed instruments, ranging from an intricately inlaid Moorish oud, a six-foot long Renaissance the orbo, to guitars displaying the modern Italian design of the Eko and one with a stunning transparent acrylic body of California's BC Rich guitars.

Through the years the guitar and its shape have been integral elements for artists such as Vermeer and Picasso, and today they are incorporated into the advertisement of everything from clothes to cars.

 
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