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Few can resist the charm of the miniature horse

Martin 6

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 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

Relaxing is Easy on Longboat Key Print E-mail

Long Island Boating World Magazine

February 2018

We arrived at the Zota Beach Resort two days before Christmas for a holiday stay. The gulf-front getaway is uber-modern and sleek, set in a secluded location surrounded by tropical blooms, lush foliage and swaying palm trees. A local gem in the charming little town of Longboat Key, Zota has been making waves since its opening in late June.Zota 1

What's up with the name? Historians believe that early Spanish explorers manning longboats spotted the white sands on the barrier island from a distance and were reminded of the Sahara Desert, thus "Zara." The native origin of the word Zota is blue waters, so the area became known as Zara Zota-- "the Sahara by the blue waters." Over time the indigenous name evolved to become Sarasota.

Longboat Key (LBK) plays the name game, too. It comes from the vessels manned by Spanish explorers such as Juan Anasco-- a scout for Hernando de Soto in 1539-- who traveled through the north pass of the barrier island. Much later Confederate soldier and carpenter Thomas Mann was awarded a homestead grant of 144 acres on both the north and south ends of the island, settling here in 1891. Mann sold his property around the turn of the century for $500.

LBK offers both a scenic and elegant environment. It boasts the rare combination of beautiful beaches and renowned visual and performing arts culture in Sarasota just to the south. Less than 11 miles in length and no more than a mile across in its widest point, manatees and dolphins play just offshore. Great egrets and great blue herons fish along the beach, while cormorants, ospreys and pelicans wheel overhead, before swooping down into the turquoise Gulf in search of a meal.

The Mystery of Edwin Drood Print E-mail

 WFIT (NPR Radio - Melbourne, Fla)

January 18, 2018

The query in The Mystery of Edwin Drood is not whodunnit, but rather why and how?Drood 01

Based on the unfinished novel by Charles Dickens, Vero Beach's Riverside Theatre is presenting a boisterous revival on the Waxlax Stage. The interactive musical was nominated for nine Tony Awards, taking home five, including Best Musical in 1985. The production runs through February 4.

Dickens began publication of Drood in 1870 in ongoing installments. When he suddenly died later that year, the novel was never finished leaving all sorts of questions hovering in the provincial English town of Cloisterham where the story is primarily set.

When Rupert Holmes was approached to write a musical for the New York Shakespeare Festival, Holmes chose to tackle this bedeviling mystery. It was the first Broadway show to have multiple endings. The audience completes the story by voting on the murderer.

Space Coast Symphony Presents "Fan Favorites" Print E-mail

WFIT (NPR Radio - Melbourne, Fla)

January 31, 2018

Who do you love? Gershwin, Stravinsky, Respighi or Rimsky-Korsakov? How about Prokofiev, Debussy, Ravel and Grieg?FanFavs 1

The Space Coast Symphony Orchestra has compiled hundreds of requests over nine performing seasons which they're turning into their next performance, "Fan Favorites," a concert jam-packed with the biggest and best symphonic works. They will be performed at The Scott Center for Performing Arts in Melbourne on Saturday February 10 at 7 p.m. and at the Trinity Episcopal Church in Vero Beach on Sunday, February 11 at 3 p.m.

SCSO Conductor and Artistic Director Aaron Collins won the 2016 Richard A. Stark Award for cultural leadership from the Cultural Council of Indian River County.

"We have a very dedicated and knowledgeable audience that has no problem letting me know what they like," related Collins with a laugh. "We narrowed down the list of hundreds of requests to create a program something like an orchestral greatest hits album. And we are beyond thrilled to have Sergey Belyavskiy with us to perform Gershwin and Liszt."

Cape Canaveral Launch Numbers Expected to Soar Print E-mail

Space Waves

January 2018

It's shaping up to be a banner year for launches on the Space Coast.Koreasat 01A

Cape Canaveral could see as many as 35 launches in 2018, a significant jump from 19 last year. The number includes several submarine-launched Trident missiles. However, as past years would indicate that number could drop a bit due to weather and hardware issues.

"I can't imagine, short of the time back in the 60s and 70s, when there was a better time to be in this business," Brig. Gen. Wayne Monteith said during a packed National Space Club Florida Committee luncheon at the Radisson Resort at the Port on January 9 as reported by Florida Today.

"One quarter of all the launches in the world come from the Eastern Range that's pretty darn remarkable considering we are in the lightning capital of America."

Livingston Taylor: Entertainer Extraordinaire Print E-mail

 WFIT (NPR Radio - Melbourne, Fla)

January 9, 2018

Anyone who has ever seen Livingston Taylor in concert can attest to the fact that he is thoroughly at home on any stage, from a classroom to a music club to a grand concert hall. Celebrating his 51st year as a professional entertainer, Taylor is a master of crafting sweet melodic songs and delivering them in a honey-tinged voice. His warm and exuberant personality shines through from the first number.LTaylor

Taylor will be appearing with special guest Karla Bonoff at the Emerson Center in Vero Beach on Friday, January 12th at 7 p.m. Over the next three months the Emerson Center stage will be presenting nine concerts-- an eclectic mix of nostalgia, country rock, celebrated song-writers and musicians as well as a trio of top-flight tribute bands. This year marks Emerson's fifth season.

"Our artists connect with a wide range of ages and musical tastes,” says concert promoter Rusty Young of the not-for-profit MusicWorks, Inc. "Local businesses and our non-profit partner the Cultural Council enjoy the opportunity to reach our audience, sharing their information and the calendar of events. This is a win-win for many.”

Early on in a home chock-full of talented musicians, Livingston Taylor discovered the knack of making people laugh. Born in Boston and raised in North Carolina, Taylor's father Isaac was a physician and dean of the medical school at the University of North Carolina. A lyric soprano, his mother Trudy trained at the Music Conservancy in Boston. He is the younger brother of legendary James Taylor, the fourth child in the Taylor brood that also included Alex, Kate, and Hugh.

Easy Going Pass-a-Grille Print E-mail

Florida Today

January 7, 2018

“See you at Sunset!” It's a frequent greeting in Pass-a-Grille. Folks gather at the Paradise Grille to watch the glowing red-orange sun sink into the Gulf of Mexico horizon. One lucky guest is chosen to ring a ceremonial ship's bell, exactly 15 times. Over the past two decades, seven thousand people from around the world have rung the bell and signed their names and remembrances in the guest books, now on their 20th volume.Pass 6

Call it a perfect snapshot of the sleepy little Keys-type community populated as much by pelicans as people. Occupying the narrow southern tail of St. Pete Beach, Pass-a-Grille is nestled between the Gulf of Mexico and Boca Ciega Bay. The quirky beach town is a mere thirty one blocks long and one block wide.

Each morning wiry kids with spinning rods in their hands line the seawall on the east side of the town. On gusty days its broad sugary white beaches play host to kite boarders. Kayakers and paddle boarders navigate the Gulf waters most afternoons. Loggerhead sea turtles nest here during the summer.

History says Spanish explorer Panfilo de Narvaez landed at Pass-a-Grille in 1528. The town is named for the 18th century "grilleurs" who would stop on the beaches here to smoke their day’s catch in order to preserve it for the trip home. It is mostly a residential community of well-preserved clapboard cottages, cozy inns, and an occasional waterfront mansion. Old Florida palms line the streets, which offer a collection of off-beat shops, art galleries, and waterfront restaurants.

Million Dollar Quartet Print E-mail

 WFIT (NPR Radio - Melbourne, FL)

January 5, 2018

Lightning strikes right from the opening notes of “Blue Suede Shoes.”MDQ 1

On December 4, 1956, the four godfathers of rock 'n roll-- Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis-- staged an epic jam session at the recording studio of Sun Records in Memphis. After that evening they were forever dubbed the "Million Dollar Quartet."

Riverside Theatre's production of “Million Dollar Quartet” is a rollicking, rollercoaster affair. The show is a fascinating window into the lives of these four monumental talents (born between 1932 and 1935) in the early stages of their careers. Directed and choreographed by Keith Andrews, "Million Dollar Quartet" performs January 2–21 on the Stark Stage in Vero Beach.

Based around that historical event, the Tony Award-winning musical time travels the audience back to what became a flashpoint in rock 'n roll. The two hour fireball of a show with one intermission features a treasure trove of legendary numbers including "Blue Suede Shoes," "Fever," "Sixteen Tons," "Who Do You Love?," "Great Balls of Fire," "Hound Dog" "Ghost Riders in the Sky," and "Whole Lotta' Shakin' Goin' On."

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