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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

Regular Joe Surf Festival Revving Up Print E-mail

 WFIT (NPR - Melbourne)

September 7, 2016

If there's a more original surfing competition than "Regular Joe," it's hard to imagine what it might be. Touted as a "Surf Contest for the Rest of Us," it's a two day bash for dedicated recreational surfers that delivers all the cachet of a pro surf contest, but without the added pressure of taking on pro surfers. Staged at Sebastian Inlet's famed First Peak, Regular Joe is held smack in the middle of Florida's hurricane season.Surf 1

The 4th Annual Regular Joe Surf Festival takes place Sept. 17-18 (with back-up dates of Sept. 24-25). Joes and Josies competitors will surf four full heats over that weekend at the Inlet. There is a mixed bag of divisions such as Suits & Scrubs (legal and medical); Surf & Protect (active military, police, fire, first responders and lifeguards), Keepers of the Coast (members of Surfrider Foundation), and Forever Hippie (you know who you are).

Regular Joe is put together by Sebastian Inlet Surf & Sport and the Sebastian Inlet chapter of Surfrider Foundation, a community of everyday people nationwide who passionately protect and preserve our invaluable coastlines and beaches. There will be a supervised beach clean-up on Saturday to take care of everything that has piled up due to the recent storm activity.

 
Songbird Dazzles in the Coaching Club American Oaks Print E-mail

 PA Equestrian

August 2016

Race after race she is marching her way into the ranks of female racing royalty. Zenyatta. Rachel Alexandra. Royal Delta. Rags to Riches. All were thoroughbred magnets that connected so passionately with racing fans. Now it's Songbird's time.Songbird Aug

A perfect 8 for 8, Songbird faced her toughest foe yet in Carina Mia in the $500,000 Coaching Club American Oaks at Saratoga on July 24th. Bolting out of post 1, Songbird shot to the lead carving out swift fractions of 23.86 for the opening quarter, the half in 47.52 with Grade-1 Acorn winner Carina Mia a length back. Heading into the far turn Carina Mia made her move matching strides with Songbird to the top of the stretch. Jockey Mike Smith tapped her twice to open up in the stretch, hitting the wire in 1:49.56 for the 1 1/8 mile race. It was yet another dominating performance with 5 ¼ lengths back to Carina Mia.

“She has such a big, beautiful stride,” Smith said. “When Carina Mia got on top of her, the more it made her aggressive. It was a good test for her, made her do something she had never done before. If this race moves her up like I think it will, there’s no telling how good this filly is.”

 
Off and Running at Saratoga Springs Print E-mail

 Florida Today

July 17, 2016

Like the mythical Scottish village of Brigadoon, Saratoga Springs comes to life each magical summer.Saratoga 3

Legions of fans will watch and wager on many of the world’s fastest and finest racehorses during the six week season beginning July 22 . With its steeply raked roof, lazily spinning ceiling fans and Victorian grandstand, Saratoga Race Course salutes a bygone era.

Already a summer destination for the well-heeled in the mid-19th century, Saratoga was celebrated for its brilliant architecture and its mineral springs' curative powers. John ("Old Smoke") Morrissey was the kingpin. A gambler, former boxing champion, and casino owner, Morrissey organized Saratoga's first thoroughbred four-day meet. It drew thousands of locals and tourists a month after the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863.

Today, big crowds, big payouts and top-flight racing are hallmarks of the "Spa" summer meet. Fans and bettors fill the hotels to capacity ready to "go racing," turning up for such storied races as the Coaching Club American Oaks, the Sword Dancer, the Alabama, the Whitney, and the Woodward stakes races. The highlight is the 147th running of the $1.25 million Travers Stakes, a pivotal race for three-year olds at a mile and a quarter on August 27.

 
SpaceX Nails Historic Ocean Landing Print E-mail

 Long Island Boating World

June 2016

It was a scene straight out of a science fiction movie.SpaceX 3

Elon Musk's SpaceX launched one of its Falcon 9 rockets into space and a few minutes later the first stage booster glided smoothly to a hover before landing on a floating droneship in the Atlantic Ocean, 200 miles offshore of the Cape Canaveral. The rocket's main component landed upright on a barge the size of a football field while dealing with 50 mph winds. History was made on April 8.

The barge was anchored, still the ocean is the ocean.

"Landing a rocket vertically on a barge is really, really hard,” said Ray Lugo, director of the University of Central Florida’s Florida Space Institute. “It’s like a pilot landing on an aircraft carrier. It's a lot harder than landing on a runway. The barge is rolling and pitching in the water. You have to bring in a vehicle [rocket or airplane] in a controlled manner and land it softly. I was confident they would have success eventually. It wasn’t about if, but when."

In four previous attempts, the SpaceX first stage rocket managed to hit its target but tipped over on the deck and exploded. The historic sea landing was a crucial milestone, as SpaceX attempts to show that rockets can be recovered and reused, making launches more affordable.

"The rocket landed instead of putting a hole in the ship or tipping over," Musk said with a laugh at a follow-up news conference. Not since Steve Jobs has an American engineer/inventor/entrepreneur so captured the country's collective imagination.

 
Cocoa Beach: Surf City Print E-mail

 Delaware County Times

May 8, 2016

Heard of an Ouroborus? Thought so.Cocoa 6

It's an ancient symbol of a serpent eating its own tail. On a sun-splashed April weekend, artist Todd Brittingham turned up in Cocoa Beach, Fla. to create his own giant Ouroborus. It marked the 28th Annual Earth Work, during which the artist along with a gang of helpers built a massive environmental sculpture in the sand. He called it a "Sky Message," and it took up the length of two football fields.

The sand art seems a natural fit. An iconic and quirky beach town, Cocoa Beach is celebrated for wide beaches and surfing teachers, fishing rigs and dinosaur digs, a surf megastore and art galleries galore, rocket launches, oceanfront happy hours and candy colored sunsets.

Set in the heart of Florida's Space Coast — that stretches 72 miles along Florida's east coast — the kitschy beach town has 321 for its area code. For good reason: it's just a short drive north on Route A1A to the John F. Kennedy Space Center.

 
Bright Lights of Broadway Print E-mail

 WFIT (NPR - Melbourne, Fla.)

June 15, 2016

Strike up the orchestra. Jerome Kern, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Broadway's greatest composers are coming to the region as the Space Coast Symphony Orchestra (SCSO) salutes their biggest shows at The Scott Center for Performing Arts on June 18 and at the Community Church of Vero Beach the following afternoon.wind players

Led by conductor Aaron T. Collins, the SCSO kicks off its 2016-17 season with a powerful performance of Broadway’s storied past and recent blockbusters. The show features show tunes from "South Pacific," "Flower Drum Song," "Phantom of the Opera," "Showboat," "Mamma Mia," "Fiddler on the Roof," "Grease," "Wicked," "Chicago," "Jesus Christ Superstar" and more.

"These are the names of the musical giants who wrote some of the biggest shows in Broadway history," Collins says. "We'll be performing a medley of 11 or 12 songs. It's a nice break from our larger, much more involved subscription programs. For the musicians it's a different approach and style. It's a fun evening, especially for me conducting."

What make these composers so popular?

 
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