Vol. XXXIX, No. 12 --- December 2002
Please note: articles for the January 2003 Newsletter are due on or before December 5, 2002
This is my last President's Message as my term of office is almost over. It has been an honor to be your president. I have gotten to know some more wonderful people. It is an experience I will always remember. Thank you for letting me have this privilege.
A parting thought: Consider communication. We need people to write in a bulletin about what they are doing, either the CFMS Bulletin or your local club bulletin. If you are spending time doing work on a committee, don't you want others to know what you are doing or have done? Shouldn't members of your club (either local or state level) hear about your accomplishments? One of the hardest things for me to do is to start writing. It is much easier if I have something to say. I am sure it is the same for many others. Realize that when you take an office and do the work, you now have something to say. So, take the time and write it. Remember that all the members of your club do not come to every meeting and must depend upon what you write in the bulletin for their information. Also consider that sometimes several one column messages spread over several months are more interesting than a two page message that is not read.
The Carmichael Gem & Mineral Club would like to honor one of their founding members, BOB HAMILTON. Bob is one of those "ambassadors of rockhounds" that every club should have. He is the first one to welcome guests show them around and greet them each subsequent month.
Bob is a consummate collector of all sorts of things and is always ready to share his knowledge and experience. We are very
pleased to nominate Bob Hamilton as our Rockhound of the Year.
Fossils For Fun would like to nominate HUGH & FLORENCE BRADY as their Rockhouds of the Year. Hugh and Florence are fairly new members but they jumped in almost immediately to become involved in our club.
Florence served as Secretary one year and when our secretary for the next year became ill, she continued to fill that role. Hugh is very involved with field trips. He attends almost every one and has led
some too. He is especially noted for his knowledge of where to find Roseville
petrified wood. Their "rock kitty" Sierra also can be seen on most of the field trips! Both Hugh and Florence help with hosting our meetings and are always ready to help; whatever the task. We are very lucky to have them in Fossils For Fun.
The Amador County Gem & Mineral Society nominates MARILYN CUMMINS as their 2002 Rockhound of the Year. Marilyn is a charter member of the Society and has been deeply involved in its functions ever since its second meeting. She has held nearly every position including President, Vice President, Recording Secretary, Corresponding Secretary, Treasurer, Director-at-Large, Scholarship Chair, County Fair Committee, Hostess, Telephone Committee, and Publicity. Of particular note, she has been Federation or Alternate Director and attended CFMS meetings for almost ten years, served as Historian/ Librarian for 14 years, and was Editor/Publisher for 23 years! In 1996 she was inducted into the CFMS Editors' Hall of Fame. Marilyn has spent untold hours working on behalf of the club. She was a driving force when the club put on "Gold Dust Days" with Unice Drake. Over the years she gave demonstrations, placed displays in local schools and worked tirelessly for the club's booth each year at the "Pow Wow."
With these three nominations, we had a total of 17 clubs participating in the member recognition program this year. That's just over 12% of CFMS clubs! I'd like to see twice as many nominations in 2003. My report at the CFMS meeting included a copy of the submittal form, and you can print a copy from the CFMS web site. You can also send your nomination as a letter or email. And remember, you can now nominate a Junior Rockhound of the Year in addition to the usual adult nominees.
P.O. Box 7086
Petaluma, CA 94955-7086
The CFMS Scholarship Committee, at their meeting in Visalia on September 1, named two Scholarship Honorees for the year 2003.
Jim Brace Thompson was recognized for his work as CFMS Junior Activities Chair, developing educational programs for the benefit of young people. In the process, he has been very effective in encouraging adults to become involved in these activities, and makes a practice of recognizing many of them for their participation not only in their own clubs, but in the community. Jim's articles in the CFMS Newsletter have offered a wealth of information and recommended reading for Junior and Pebble Pup leaders. His leadership role has demonstrated his devotion to, and enthusiasm for, the task of educating young folks-the rockhounds of the future-in geology and earth sciences, and the gem and mineral hobby. Jim is a member of the Ventura Gem & Mineral Society.
Sugar White has become a household name within the micromounting community. Her beautiful slide presentations on mineral localities have been shown nationwide. Each year she photographs the specimens to be auctioned at the Pacific Micromount Conference in Redlands, California, and was recognized several years ago by the Tucson Gem & Mineral Society at their show for her outstanding mineral photography. She worked on two books about Mojave Desert mines-the Mohawk and the Blue Bell. These were published and sold as projects by the San Bernardino County Museum, where she also volunteers her time to identifying and preparing specimens for the Museum collection. Sugar always has the time and patience to assist a new or less experienced micromounter with questions of mineral identification and goes out of her way to promote this aspect of mineralogy. Sugar is a member of the Southern California Micromineralogists as well as the Northern California Mineralogical Association.
Each of the Honorees will select a college or university from an approved list, and then will assist in selecting an undergraduate student majoring in the Earth Sciences or Lapidary Arts to receive a $2,000 scholarship from CFMS. Both Honorees and their students will be invited to attend the Awards Banquet at the combined AFMS.CFMS Show and Convention in Ventura on June 7, 2003.
We're surrounded by evidence of our mining heritage, from the gypsum in our walls to the brass knob on the door, gold ring on your finger, and the clay in our flowerpots. We Californians are further surrounded by the mines and quarries that yield this mineral wealth. A great activity for pebble pups is a field trip to active and historic mining operations to teach appreciation for the uses of minerals in everyday life and the ultimate origins of everyday things like toothpaste, laundry detergent, or the copper in pennies. Such a field trip also teaches kids California history and the role mining has played in that history. Here's just a tiny sampling of the many opportunities out there:
A whole host of gold mines, some still in operation, put kids in direct touch with an important aspect of California history (to name but a few of the many options, there's Marshall's Gold Discovery State Historic Park in Coloma that spawned California's gold rush with James Marshall's discovery of a gold nugget at Sutter's Mill in 1848; Hangtown's Gold Bug Park in Placerville; the Hidden Treasure Gold Mine in Columbia; the Original Sixteen to One Mine in Alleghany that offers tours into the heart of a working gold mine; etc.).
Equal to gold in historic value for building the early California economy were silver mines, such as Calico Ghost Town, described as "Southern California's Greatest Silver Camp" and nestled in the colorful Calico Mountains, with equally colorful legends of mining and Wild West lore.
Check around your local area for potential tours and operating quarries and mines and/or historic mining camps and museums near you. Help educate pebble pups on California's mining history and the importance of rocks and mining to everyday life while-as always-having fun!
The Department of Defense Safety Officials have some safety tips. There are two important things to keep in mind during the holidays:
Christmas trees are central to many families' holiday celebrations and yet can be among the most dangerous. Keep these tips in mind when selecting and decorating yours:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta suggest the following safe-handling tips for your holiday eats. Additional information can be found on the Internet at www.cdc.gov.
Other holiday safety tidbits gleaned from various sources are:
The Euphorbia pulcherrima, the poinsettia plant.
You would have to eat a lot of this plant to get as much as a belly ache. If this comes as a revelation to you, don't be too surprised. A poll sponsored by the Society of American Hodsts found that a full 66 percent of the American public mistakenly believed the poinsettia to be poisonous.
Wherrrre's the proof!!!??? As a public service for you Doubting Thomases, here we go.
The report implicating the poinsettia as being a poisonous plant was made in 1919. The plant was never positively identified. Also, Ohio State University did scientific studies some years ago that proved the plant to be non-toxic.
In addition to that, other professional groups have also cleared the plant of its toxic label, and POISINDEX (TM), the computerized information system that the majority of poison-control centers use as their database, states that a 50-pound child would have to eat the equivalent of 500-600 leaves to exceed the experimental doses that found no toxicity.
If that's not enough proof that the poinsettia is nothing more than a misunderstood plant, in 1975, the Consumer Product Safety Commission denied a petition requesting warning labels be put on poinsettia plants due to lack of evidence that the plant was in fact toxic. On the other hand, and in the interest of equal time, the American Medical Association's Handbook of Poisonous Plants does state that the plant may produce nausea and vomiting, but no other effects are produced.
Let's face it, you are not supposed to eat any household plant, but let's not deny ourselves one of nature's more beautiful symbols of Christmas simply due to the mistaken notion that it is poisonous.
Source: the Fort Sam Houston, Texas, News Leader.
In our ongoing endeavor to better serve more members of CFMS, the Earth Sciences Committee submitted to, and received approval of the Executive Committee to engage in negotiations to hold another annual Seminar. The present, tentative plans are to conduct it in the Big Pine, California area, probably in August of 2003.
At present both Zzyzx and Camp Paradise almost preclude participation by our school aged members because of facility availability - April and September. Our plan is to orient this event toward ages 8 - 18 and conduct the classes with this in mind. They will possibly include, but not be limited to - soft stone sculpture, lapidary, wire artistry including ming trees, bead stringing, baroque jewelry, rock painting, introduction to geology and paleontology and collecting expeditions to accessible sights.
Although we have this orientation, we will require that an adult accompany the participants; and will have some classes available to them. Meals and lodging will be provided and dry camping for RV's on site. We will keep the cost as low as possible and as projected will probably be in the $175.00 per person range.
With the approval of the Executive Committee, the Earth Sciences Committee can proceed to establish some definite perimeters, and costs, and will keep the membership up dated as it becomes available.