Wyeth

The Private World of Andy Wyeth

Martin 6

The Mystique of Martin Guitars

KSC 7

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

Port D'Hiver, a Beachside B&B Treasure Print E-mail

 Melbourne Beachsider

March 2, 2017

Linda Rydson's roots run deep. Her great-grandfather built a home in Melbourne in 1906. Growing up near Baltimore, her family visited the place several times a year.Port 1

"We would often spend the day at Ocean Park Beach," recalled Rydson, a resident of Melbourne Beach for 30 years. "I knew that historic house on the bend and was always intrigued by it."

Back in May 2003, a realtor friend alerted Linda and her husband Mike that the legendary "Pinky Brown House" was going on the market. They met with owners George and Cheryl Schmidt and fell in love with the original sand chimney, fireplace, French doors, longleaf pine floors, exposed beams, and a courtyard that features a coquina fountain, all paying homage to the beach town's eclectic history.

The couple purchased the home that would become the luxury B&B Port d'Hiver for $550,000. It offers a dazzling view of the Atlantic, but came with strangely tilted hardwood floors.

"The floors were uneven, one side of the home raised about four inches above the other," recalled Mike Rydson, a former mechanical engineer at Harris Corporation. "Linda thought it was sort of quaint, but I thought if people have two glasses of wine they would tip right over."

 
Spotting the Rarest Whale on Earth Print E-mail

 Long Island Boating World

February 2017

Thar she blows!6 RightWhale_FFWCC

Each year from December through March a remarkable event takes place. North Atlantic right whales migrate to the warm, calm coastal waters of the southeast Atlantic coast to give birth and nurse their calves. Then in the spring they head back north to feeding grounds in the Bay of Fundy between Maine, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.

Some come within a couple hundred yards of the beach. Mothers can be seen schooling newborn calves, while juvenile whales frolic nearby. One of the most endangered marine mammals in the world, North Atlantic right whales reach lengths of up to 55 feet and can weigh from 40 to 70 tons. 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.

In the early 1900s whalers, ironically, tagged them the "right whale" to kill. Residing in shallow coastal waters the whales stayed close to land and swam slowly. Easy to harpoon, they tended conveniently to float after they died, thanks high levels of blubber, which whalers turned into valuable oil. Even more valuable was the baleen from its upper jaw. A tough yet flexible material in long strips that was finely fringed, it was coveted for everything from buggy whips ( "I'm going to whale on you") to corset stays and umbrella ribs.

 
Bird Land: Parrot Rescue and Adoption Print E-mail

Melbourne Beach 32951

January 20, 2017

Say hello to Kiefer. He's a talker, or should I say squawker. The handsome white cockatoo accentuates his conversations with frenetic head bobs while madly flapping his wings in upward scoops. Kiefer tends to get his point across. Native to Maluku Islands in Indonesia, this 18-inch high bird has resided at LuAnn Apple's non-profit parrot rescue and rehab facility in Melbourne Beach for the past 16 years.Parrot 1

Known for their bright plumage and intelligence, parrots are the third most popular pet in the U. S. Cockatoos, in particular, have strong personalities that can get them into trouble.

"These birds are so misunderstood," Apple laments. "They are friendly and loving birds, but people give them up because they scream or screech too much. They are sociable and curious, can learn tricks and be trained. An isolated cockatoo will instinctively call out. But if you keep a cockatoo in an environment with other people or pets, he relaxes, making him a well-behaved avian companion."

Apple has been working with cockatoos and other members of the parrot family for the past 35 years. She grew up in Valley Forge, Pa., and knew little about parrots when she moved to Ft. Lauderdale in the late 1970s. There she met a cockatoo that pulled at her heartstrings and soon Apple developed an affinity for exotic parrots.

 
"Private Lives," It's Complicated Print E-mail

 WFIT (NPR - Melbourne)

February 3, 2017

He was Brit's first pop star. An English actor, director, painter and raconteur, Noel Coward was known as ‘The Master’ among his friends and colleagues for his artfulness in writing plays and composing songs. His breakthrough moment in playwriting occurred with the controversial Vortex (1924) which featured the themes of drugs and adultery.Private Lives_1

Coward's runaway celebrity reached a peak in 1930 with Private Lives. Considered his greatest success, the play took him just three days to write. It earned an astonishing £3,200 for him every week on stage, making him the highest-paid writer in the western world.

Nearly ninety years ago, Coward cleverly spotlighted human shortcomings, delivering barbs at the mores and marriages of his time. It still works today in this crisp James Brennan production with an excellent cast. Amanda and Elyot are quintessential creations of Coward in Private Lives at Vero's Riverside Theatre.

Private Lives is what every romantic-comedy strives to be: laugh-out-loud funny, sexy, rambunctious with bucket loads of bad behavior. Recognized as one of the most sophisticated, witty, and entertaining plays ever written, Brennan brings the high octane story to life with the adventures and misadventures of two couples honeymooning in a swanky Deauville, France seaside resort.

 
Food for Thought Print E-mail

 WFIT (NPR - Melbourne)

January 19, 2017

 At the Café du Grand Boeuf in Paris, no menu is necessary. Why? “Because we have everything,” asserts Claude, the mercurial Maître d’.

EmptyPlate

The story unfolds in July 1961 around Victor Bullard, an expat American newspaper magnate. About a dozen years before, Victor created the finest cafe in the world that is devoted solely to fulfilling his appetite for the world's best cuisine. The staff is always available to prepare the most sumptuous of meals for just one customer, Victor. An Empty Plate at Café du Grand Boeuf is presented on the Waxlax stage at Vero Beach's Riverside Theatre through February 5.

A great connoisseur of life, love, and food, Victor is obsessed with Ernest Hemingway, and his idol's suicide — three days before the play unfolds — has clearly blackened Victor's world. When Victor who shows up at the cafe, he's disheveled and depressed. He has just returned from a Hemingway-like sojourn to Madrid and the "Running of the Bulls" where his longtime girlfriend Louise (Katherine Puma) refused his offer of marriage. Victor's response: to slowly die of starvation at his own table.

 
It Shoulda Been You Print E-mail

 

WFIT (NPR - Melbourne)
January 17, 2017

Didn't see this one coming.

Fresh from a David Hyde Pierce directed Broadway hit run last year, the Henegar Center It Shoulda Been You serves up a far from traditional wedding comedy. Proving that when it comes to that madcap wedding day, this twistedly twisting plot just might take the (wedding) cake.Shoulda 1

Is it a revival of some long-lost screwball classic? No, it's a snappy musical comedy with a strong cast under the sprightly and masterful direction of Hank Rion based on the book and lyrics by Brian Hargrove and music and concept by Barbara Anselmi. The production runs through January 29.

The groom is Catholic. The bride is Jewish. Her mother is a force of nature. His mother is forever polishing off gin on the rocks. A know- it-all, the wedding planner is dressed in a pink suit and is flamboyantly gay. A plus-size older sister deals with fat jokes and quietly despairs in search of her own happy ending. Did I mention the rogue ex-boyfriend who pops up on the day of the wedding looking to cause even more mayhem?

Oh happy days. Two strung out and dysfunctional families battling a mixed marriage where neither side is on board. A non-stop, 90-minute laugh-riot, it's a true ensemble show featuring 15 characters in well conceived roles from old to young. It Shoulda Been You is a wonderful choice by Rion to show off his first-rate cast. And in what has become a familiar pattern, the Artistic Director smartly obtained the rights to the play from Music Theatre International, making The Henegar Florida's first venue to debut the show.

 
Big Cypress Swamp: A Watery Wilderness Print E-mail

Long Island Boating World

January 2017

Call it America’s Amazon. A place of immense natural beauty with orchid species and bromeliads (air plants) everywhere. Stillness and serenity reign.BCypress 1

The Big Cypress National Preserve is a mosaic of open sawgrass prairies, lush cypress stands, and pine islands, comprising nearly 730,000 acres. The flow of its freshwaters support the rich marine estuaries that serve as nurseries for life along Florida's southwest coast. Known as "Big Cypress Swamp," it was designated as a national preserve in 1974.

In this rugged terrain native tribes outfoxed military intruders and drain-the-swamp developers thrived for years. From the late 19th century through the 1960s, it was the site of the world's largest cypress-logging industry until most of the trees were cut down. Government entities stepped in and snapped up parcels of lands. "Big" refers not to the new-growth trees but to the swamp, jutting into the north edge of Everglades National Park like a jigsaw-puzzle piece.

Today, nearly half of the swamp makes up this national preserve. The watery wilderness is devoted to recreation as well as to research and preservation. Compared with Everglades National Park, the preserve is less developed and hosts fewer visitors which makes it superb for naturalists, birders, and hikers who prefer to see more wildlife than people.

 
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