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The Private World of Andy Wyeth

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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

Dream Chaser: Super Space Plane Print E-mail

 Space Waves

September 5, 2017

Just after dawn on August 30, a Chinook helicopter's two enormous rotor blades began to spin at NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center. Then the beluga whale-shaped helicopter began to rise off the Mohave desert floor with a 200-foot long tether dangled to the ground.DreamChaser Web

At the opposite end of the rope was a revolutionary spacecraft called the Dream Chaser that slowly was lifted skyward. Suspended high over the Mohave, the "captive carry" test flight was used to test out the telemetry and control systems before a planned drop test towards the end of 2017 to demonstrate its ability to accomplish an auto pilot approach and landing to a runway.

If you were dazzled by NASA's giant space shuttles from 1981 to 2011, the Dream Chaser offers an improved version, albeit smaller one measuring just 30 feet in length. Its maker, Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) calls it a "space utility vehicle," marketing it as a crew and cargo transport to low earth orbit. It's a self-launching, self-flying, self-landing small spacecraft (about the length of a Cessna) that can make 15 or more trips to space and land, after each one, on any commercial runway that’s 10,000 feet long—no Cape Canaveral necessary.

The unmanned Dream Chaser can be modified anytime to carry seven astronauts to space. It currently is equipped to only carry cargo to space. That translates to 12,125 pounds of cargo, in a space about the size of a studio apartment.

 
Sulfur Springs Print E-mail

 WFIT (NPR Radio, Melbourne, Fla)

September 21, 2017

Bad news usually starts with a phone call. However, the call that came to the home of retired Tamarack County (Minn.) Sheriff Cork O’Connor was different. The look on Cork’s new wife Rainy’s face was chilling. She had received a message from her son, Peter, and though it was garbled it seemed to indicate that he has killed someone named Rodriguez.Krueger Jacket

It's the opening to William Kent Krueger's fifteenth novel Sulfur Springs in his Cork O’Connor series. If you’re a fan of C.J. Box’s Joe Pickett series or Craig Johnson’s Walt Longmire books, then the St. Paul, Minn. author could be right up your alley. Krueger is appearing at the Vero Beach Book Center on Thursday, September 28 at 4 p.m. when he takes the stage for a free live Q&A session followed by a book signing.

Raised in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon, Krueger briefly attended Stanford University—before being kicked out for radical activities. After that, he logged timber, worked construction, tried his hand at freelance journalism, and eventually ended up researching child development at the University of Minnesota before becoming a celebrated mystery writer. Literary wonders, his last five books were New York Times bestsellers.

 
Spiny Lobster Season in High Gear Print E-mail

 Long Island Boating World

September 2017

Being on or under the aqua blue water, the spiny lobster sport season is one of the best parts of living or even visiting Florida.Lobster 1

One of the most celebrated outdoor events of the year, a two-day sport lobster season arrives in late July annually that attracted floods of scuba divers and snorklers in their quest for the tasty sweet lobster. It's projected that as many as 50,000 divers invade the state's reefs during this frenzied 48 hours. Hunters in boats big and small revel in this adrenaline-packed activity.

Closely regulated by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, scores of law enforcement officers with federal and local agencies patrol the waters to ensure that lobsters were caught in legal areas, and were of legal size (the carapace length must be at least three inches that it reaches in about two years).

Eight days later the commercial lobster season launches and recreational harvesting continues throughout the commercial season that runs through March 31.

 
Falcon Heavy rocket plans to launch in November Print E-mail

 Space Waves

July 30, 2017

They're getting ready to rumble. SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk says Falcon Heavy, the mighty rocket created for bringing very large loads to orbit and beyond, will get its first launch coming up in November. Musk posted an image on Instagram of a concept depiction of the rocket’s launch alongside the target date.FalconHeavy

The 230-foot Falcon Heavy uses the combined power of one Falcon 9 rocket flanked by two additional Falcon 9 boosters to propel up to around 30 tons to geostationary transfer orbit. The rocket's maiden launch will take place from pad 39A at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. It's the same pad that saw NASA's storied Saturn V rumble to orbit for the first time 50 years ago on November 9, 1967.

Musk said all three cores would return for individual landings – the two side boosters at and the center core on the company's "Of Course I Still Love You" drone ship stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.

The three rockets bolted together will generate 5.1 million pounds of thrust with 27 Merlin 1D main engines, making the Falcon Heavy the most powerful present-day launcher in the world once it flies. If the flight is successful two more Falcon Heavy flights are on the books in the first half of 2018, both from the Cape. While the inaugural launch will not carry a customer payload, the Falcon Heavy missions next year will deploy satellites for commercial companies and the U.S. military.

 
Lady Day Ensemble Print E-mail

 

WFIT (NPR Radio, Melbourne, Fla)

August 19, 2017

Get ready to raise the roof. The bright, brash, and sassy sounds of the Jarred Armstrong Quartet and the remarkable vocalist Kristen Warren are headed to the Henegar Center performing as the Lady Day Ensemble on Saturday, August 19. The jazz quartet is led by Jarred Armstrong on piano with Ethan Bailey-Gould on bass and Ashton Bailey-Gould on drums.Armstrong Warren

The concert in some ways is a reprise of Melbourne director Pam Harbaugh's production Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill at the Henegar last February. The show experienced a sold-out run with an additional show selling out immediately. Rather than a musical, it is a one-woman play with music. Written by Lanie Robertson, the play is set in the historic Emerson’s Tavern in Philadelphia where legendary jazz singer Billie “Lady Day” Holiday (Warren) performed shortly before her death at age 44. In the play, Billie sings and tells stories of her life, which was rife with challenges born out of racism.

"It was a very successful production, catching the hearts and minds of the region's jazz lovers," Harbaugh related. "We created the atmosphere of a legendary jazz club and told the story of the amazing challenges in Billie Holliday's life and how she rose about them and society at that time. People were blown away by it. Couldn't get enough of it. If we would revive the show, it would sell out in a day."

 
The Merry Widow Print E-mail

 

WFIT (NPR Radio, Melbourne, Fla)
August 20, 2017

In the 19th century the operetta relied on catchy tunes and popular dances of the day. One of the most famous is Franz Lehar's The Merry Widow.Merry Widow_cast_photo_courtesy_Orlando_Light_Opera

Set in 1905 in a glamorous Parisian setting, the title character Hanna has come into a substantial inheritance — and in this operetta, it seems to be a truth universally acknowledged that a widow in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a husband. When prospective bridegrooms set their sights on Hanna, rivalries swirl and romance crackles.

Farce, romance and jealousy abound when the Space Coast Symphony Orchestra and Orlando Light Opera collaborate in an updated production of Lehar's famed operetta. The Merry Widow will be performed Saturday August 19 at 7 p. m at The Scott Center for Performing Arts in Melbourne and Sunday, August 20 at 3 p.m. at the Vero Beach High School Performing Arts Center.

Directed by Eric Pinder and conducted by Aaron T. Collins, Lehar's music sparkles in this English language production, staged and reimagined for the new millennium. Lehár's score is a succession of hit tunes — the famous "Merry Widow" waltz, the "Vilja Song," and numbers based on dance rhythms like the polka, the galop, the march, and even the newest import from America, the cakewalk. It was a huge international success, and helped to give operetta a new lease on life that continued for decades.

 
Exploring “Big Blue” Print E-mail

 Florida Today

July 23, 2017

They are the original dream boats. Each summer the most powerful and pristine wooden watercraft in the world turn up on Lake Tahoe's impossibly blue waters.

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The beautifully and lovingly preserved antique and classic wooden boats will bring back a flood of memories for those attending the 45th Concours d'Elegance on August 11-12 in Homewood, Calif. on Tahoe's West Shore. Piloted by wealthy industrialists during the Roaring 20's, the “woodie” speedboats helped usher in a new era of boating on Lake Tahoe.

Each summer vintage wooden boats spill onto the lake filled with passengers donning large grins (often sipping chilled cocktails) and captained by proud owners in straw hats or yachting caps. Sponsored by the Tahoe Yacht Club, the Concours attracts more than 5,000 spectators who mingle with the owners of boats from a bygone era who share their unique experiences.

A boater’s paradise, Lake Tahoe is world renowned for its crystal-clear translucent water. Straddling the California-Nevada border in the pine-smothered Sierra Nevada range, Tahoe is one of America’s premier playgrounds. Snow can last until early May but once the melt begins, hiking, biking, horseback riding, boating and river rafting become a free-for-all.

Sculpted by a glacier, “Big Blue” lies at an elevation of 6,325 feet. North America’s highest alpine lake, it is 22 miles long, 12 miles wide and a drive takes several hours to complete its 72 mile shoreline circumference. The waters range in blues from aqua to sapphire, from cerulean to cobalt. The stunning colors occur because of the lake's remarkable depth which is as much as 1,645 feet with an average of roughly 1,000 feet.

 
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