Vol. XXXXII, No. 4 --- April 2005

CFMS Newsletter

Table of Contents
President's Message
From The Editor's Desk
Roseville Show Update
All American Report
The Way It Used To Be
Exhibits for the CFMS Show
WANTED: A Few Good Programs
Surfing the Web
PLAC Needs Your Help
Paleo Preservation Bill 263
Museum Corner
Earth Science
Education Thru Sharing
Field Trip Report

Prez Message

By Marion Roberts, CFMS President

CFMS President

Hello to all and hope everyone has faired well this past winter without too much serious damage, as I know that the south state had severe precipitation. We, here in Modesto have only a fraction of an inch to go to have full years average rainfall, with four more months left for the season. On Feb. 26th, we visited a collecting area near Coalinga where a creek bed is the source of the fossils and jaspers. In over 10 years of collecting here, this is the first time that there has been anything but a dry wash. This time it was running ankle deep with beautiful clear water.

I want you all to know that it is really great to read so many reports from so many of the committees in the newsletter. My sincere thanks to these people for keeping us all informed as to what is going on throughout our organization. This is one way of answering this adverse question "What does the Federation do for me." Also, Thanks to Mr. Dick Pankey for making this an important part of his publication. I have seen indications that more information from the newsletter is being passed on to the general membership. I was gratified to find my newsletter message in a club newsletter. My heart felt thanks to those that are doing this and my encouragement to those that still are not. You can help yourself as well as us that are considered leaders.

Spring is springing and it is show time all over the state again. Costs of facilities and materials to put on these shows are becoming some what of a problem for some so lets help these clubs by attending other club shows as much as we can, every little bit helps. Remember that word of mouth is one of the strongest advertising tools, so talk up your show as well as other shows anywhere near you. Even take a friend and if possible someone who has never been to a lapidary display. The CFMS Federation Show hosted by the Roseville Rock Rollers is an excellent place to take that friend. I have followed its progress through the meeting minutes and everything is sounding very good. So remember June 10,11, & 12,2005 at Roseville.

ATTENTION Officers and Committee Chairs: Reports for the Directors' Meeting are due May 30. If unable to meet this deadline, chairmen should bring 100 copies of their report to the Directors Meeting.

From The Editor's Desk

By Dick Pankey, Editor

Exchange Bulletins

One of the nice surprises and great perks of being the CFMS Newsletter Editor is Exchange Bulletins. Every few days they show up in my mailbox. One, two, three, sometimes more at a time. And I read everyone cover to cover. They come in a variety of styles and colors but each one is full of the specialness and uniqueness of its club. Each newsletter is distinctive, expressing the attention and care put into it by its' editor. Each newsletter represents a lot of work and dedication of the editor.

These newsletters come from all around our Federation. And from some of the other Federation, too. This is a great way to "get to know" the various clubs and societies of CFMS. Even though I attend many shows, meetings and field trips each year I only get to a fraction of the 135 or so CFMS societies. These newsletters not only tell the facts of what is going on - the show news, field trips, classes and shop news, etc., they express the dynamics and personality of the club in the meeting minutes, sunshine report and member articles and the like.

I like to read the newsletters in the evening while watching television; therefore I appreciate getting "hardcopy." But with the increasing cost of copying and postage many clubs are cutting back on mailing out their exchange bulletins. Technology to the rescue! The computer saves the day. Many clubs now have their newsletters available on e-mail or posted on the club's web page. In pdf format it is almost like reading the hard copy. Now these newsletters are available to a wider audience and at almost no cost.

The articles from CFMS Newsletter have been available on our web page for several years. Now Don Ogden is posting the Newsletter in pdf format. You get to read the newsletter in the style and format that it was published. For years I have wished we could get the CFMS Newsletter to more of our members and with the Internet it is available to everyone with a computer. Just log on to www.cfmsinc.org and click on newsletters.

One last thought. When I finish reading the Exchange Bulletins I take them to our club meeting to share with others. Hopefully that is what happens to all the other Exchange Bulletins out there. I would be such a waste if they were just thrown away.

A Big Thank You to all of the bulletin editors that send me an exchange bulletin. Dick Pankey, Editor

Roseville Show Update

By Gloria Tomczyk, 2005 Show Chair

The Roseville Show is coming!!! The Roseville Show is coming!!! Are you ready? We have made plans, and are expecting you! Hotel reservations made? Show and Banquet forms sent in? Exhibitor/Demonstrator forms submitted?

Many people within the Roseville Rock Rollers Gem and Mineral Society have contributed outstanding ideas and action to make this an exceptional show. Over the past 9 months, talk has transitioned into ideas, ideas have created actions, and these actions are what will make this show a "BLAST." Over the months, we have talked to many, many, CFMS folks, obtaining input, on what makes up a good show, trying to make it the way it has always been - Classy! We hope to provide a multi-faceted fun event, bringing items of interest, and new activities to this Roseville Federation show. We have just added Metal Detecting, as our newest attraction. Have you ever entertained the thought of using a metal detector? You know, looking for lost treasures in the ground using a hand held electronic contraption that finds money and jewelry. This could be your golden opportunity to give this a go and see what it is all about. The "Sacramento Valley Detecting Buffs" will be on hand providing an opportunity to search for real coins, and answer questions, should you or your family decide to give it a try.

The Awards Banquet is REALLY coming together. I hope you have your tickets; you won't want to miss this one! I won't give up too much info on what we have planned for you, but I will say, IT WILL KNOCK YOUR SOCKS OFF!

Besides a top quality dinner, you will definitely want to bring your camera!

Sometime back I mentioned that GOLD NUGGETS (yes plural, more than one) would be raffled off at the Directors meeting, remember??? Well the only way you can get a chance on winning one of them, is to simply attend the Saturday Director's meeting, at which time you will receive a ticket for the drawing. Nothing to buy, nothing to sell, JUST BE THERE! So do you have your reservations in yet?

Please take a look at our website for more information about the show: www.rockrollers.com

PS: Last month, I had a last call, if you will, for exhibitors. We may still have room for you, if you are interested, please contact Florence Brady. In this month's newsletter, Shirley Leeson, CFMS Historian, provides history on the way it once was. I would like to mention that, Shirley and Dee Holland, contributed a lot of time in this area, working with Florence Brady and others, to help make this 2005 show successful. Hopefully with this show in 2005, we will be moving in the right direction for all of us to enjoy successful shows in the years to come via continuous improvement.

All American Report

By By Dorothy Beachler

The due date for clubs to enter this year's All American Award competition has passed. These club books are being judged at this time and the results will be reported later in the CFMS bulletin.

Now is a good time for clubs to start collecting information for next year's awards program. Ask your club chairmen to assist in relaying this information early in the year. Assembling these reports will be much easier and much quicker. Remember that this is a history of your club's activities.

The Way It Used To Be

By Shirley Leeson, Historian

In the 1970's and '80's there were four categories of exhibits. The first and highest category was the SPECIAL EXHIBIT. It was usually a museum exhibit or something from a well-known collector. It was categorized in this way because we could usually get the newspaper and/or TV reporter to come out and see the exhibit. Sometimes we even had pictures, courtesy of the exhibitor, of the items that were going to be shown.

The second category was the GUEST EXHIBITOR; these were people who had exhibits of interest to the public. They were exhibits that were earlier award winning displays or displays that the host show people had seen at other shows and found them interesting in their showmanship or workmanship. Or they were whimsical or educational. These exhibits were on a list of available exhibitors who enjoyed sharing their collections and didn't mind driving great distances, at their own expense to show them off. Exhibit cases in both the "Special" and "Guest: categories were provided by the host society at no expense to the exhibitor because these cases were considered to be important to the show.

At one time, up through the late '80s, there was a list of the first two categories that was maintained and passed on from one host society to the next. I'm not sure when this stopped, but I'd like to suggest this be started again. The third category was the COMPETITIVE EXHIBITS. These exhibits were considered an integral part of the show. Because of showmanship, most of the exhibitors brought their own cases so that liners and risers would fit properly. But occasionally an exhibitor in this category needed a case and it was provided.

The fourth category was the NON-COMPETITIVE EXHIBIT. These exhibits were by clubs and/or individuals who might not have exhibited in the past or were on a one time bases, just for the CFMS show, and were unknown quantities. These people were prospective exhibits that could eventually move into the upper categories. Many host clubs had exhibit cases for their own shows but had to borrow cases for a CFMS show. Because of expenses of obtaining additional exhibit cases; in later years these people were the first ones to be asked to pay a fee for the case. Unfortunately when this took place it wasn't long before all exhibitors were asked to pay a rental fee for exhibit cases, and the categories were only listed as competitive and non-competitive exhibits.

It takes all of these categories to make up a well-balanced, well-rounded show. It's my feeling that we again make a "data base" of special and guest exhibitors the host society can contact, and to pass this on from year to year. It's not enough to put a note in the Newsletter asking for non-competitive exhibitors to contact the show committee for space, the show committee should reach out and ask the special and guest exhibitors to exhibit in the show. It's nice to know, as an exhibitor that you are recognized as having something worthy of being asked to exhibit. It makes the exhibitor feel it's worth the EXPENSE of motels, mileage and meals to bring their exhibit to the show if the host society wants you to show what you've collected or crafted. Host societies these days have a budget, but this area doesn't seem to be addressed. Cases for special and guest exhibits should be part of the budget and not made an additional expense of the exhibitor. Just think of what would happen if there were no exhibits at the show. If the exhibitor decided that paying for a case was the last straw of exhibiting after paying for motels, meals and gas mileage in this day and age.

I hope we can go back to the four categories mentioned above.

Exhibits for the CFMS Show

By Dee Holland, Rules Chair

It's already April and there isn't too much time left before the BIG SHOW in JUNE! Have you gotten your exhibit ready? I'm concerned that exhibits, both competitive and non-competitive are getting as scarce as endangered species!

We encourage everyone to exhibit either as a competitive or non-competitive exhibitor for the CFMS show in June because this is the biggest part of any show. The public will learn about us through our exhibits. We will all learn through seeing others exhibiting items that we have but have been unable to exhibit ourselves because of lack of experience and knowledge. We are trying to change this by offering to put on exhibit clinics throughout the CFMS. If your club is willing to put on a clinic to help your members learn the art of exhibiting, we'll be there. All you have to do is contact me or First Vice President, Colleen McGann and make arrangements. We will see that someone comes to help you.

First we have to have exhibits, and then we need those exhibitors to want to compete. Competition isn't hard when you have people who are willing to share their expertise too help explain the ropes. Think of the judges as "teachers" who want to see you do your best. Don't wait till after the case has been judged to ask questions. As we mentioned in the January Newsletter, put your case in as a non-competitor and check the box on the entry to have a judge go over the case with you during the show. This will give you an opportunity to check your labels, get advice on showmanship, quality and workmanship. Rules Committee and judges will be available to go over your case with you after the CFMS Business Meeting on Saturday and also Sunday.

There are plenty of cases at many of the County Fairs, but these don't seem to get to the CFMS level. If you would like someone with CFMS/AFMS Rules background to help you upgrade your case for CFMS/AFMS competition let us know. There isn't that much difference, BUT THERE IS A DIFFERENCE between the Fair Rules and the CFMS/AFMS Rules. Sometimes it's a matter of reading the CFMS/AFMS RULES, and knowing which category, class and division to enter. Too many times the exhibitor is encouraged by well meaning friends to enter the Master Category instead of novice or advanced on your first effort.

We have not received any additional inquiries regarding EXHIBITOR'S WORKSHOPS. If any club is interested in hosting a workshop, please contact the CFMS First Vice President, Colleen McGann, immediately. Time is running out for help before the show, but if you're interested in hosting a workshop after the show, we can arrange for someone to be there.

WANTED: A Few Good Programs

By Bill Gissler, Slide and Video Program Librarian

It is time to replace some of the aging programs in the CFMS Slide and Video Program Library. New "field trips," "hands-on" and special current interest topics are needed to capture the interest and enthusiasm of newcomers and old timers as well.

Participating in the annual AFMS Program Competition is a way to share your knowledge and special interest with fellow club members and viewers across the country. For information about the competition and an entry form, see the attached 2005 AFMS Program Competition announcement. Can't make the April 15, 2005 deadline, and then let's do it for April 15, 2006.

For more information, contact Bill Gissler, CFMS Slide and Video Program Librarian; wgissler@juno.com or 408-241-0477.

Surfing the Web,
Part Three: Lapidary Arts

By Jim Brace-Thompson, Juniors Activities Chair

In my February and March columns, I noted how today's kids are "wired-to-learn" via computers, the Internet, and the Google search engine. To help youth leaders capitalize on this now-natural proclivity of today's kids, I present Part Three in a 4-part series to provide annotated listings of Web sites organized around various aspects of the rock-hounding hobby. So far, we've covered fossils and minerals. This month: lapidary arts. Here are a few helpful sites to check out:

Check under "Manuals," then "CFMS Slide & Video Program," and finally "Video Program Listing" for several how-to video programs available through the CFMS on everything from wire-wrapping to intarsia, soapstone carving, beading for beginners, lost wax casting, opal cutting, cabochon cutting, electroplating, enameling, faceting, and more.

First brought on-line in 1995, "Bob's Rock Shop" is the Internet's first 'Zine (or on-line magazine) for rockhounds. This is a non-commercial site has teamed with Rock & Gem magazine to provide a first-class resource on topical information and connectivity for hobbyists. It includes excellent reference lists of books on all aspects of lapidary arts.

This is the official website of the Gemological Institute of America, perhaps the world's foremost authority in gemology. You can learn about GIA courses, browse and shop for gemology instruments and books, and stay up-to-date on diamond and gemstone news and research.

This site includes an "Introduction to Faceting" guide with over 20 pages on the craft of faceting: its history, equipment, terminology, materials, and an abbreviated step-by-step guide.

Together with Hanna Cook-Wallace (a professional gemologist with a jewelry studio in Madison, Wisconsin), Jill Banfield of the UC-Berkeley Department of Earth & Planetary Science provides lessons on Gems & Gem Materials from an on-line course she offers. This is a terrific web site, packed with useful lapidary info.

These web pages provide a comprehensive introduction to gemology and the lapidary arts for the general public and a handy resource for the jewelry trade.

As with the sites I shared last month, these sites scratch just the surface of what's out there. You can make this into a fun activity for your juniors by encouraging them to surf the Web themselves for interesting sites related to the lapidary arts and having them share and report on what they find with their fellow members at your next meeting. Let's capitalize on the tools today's kids use for learning while-as always-having fun!

PLAC Urgently Needs Your Hekp

By Frank Monez, PLAC-North

We need your help on the Public Lands Advisory Committees (PLAC - North and PLAC - South). The need is for additional Committee members to review various government (Federal, State, and local) actions affecting public lands. Ideally, we want committee members coming from CFMS member societies located in close proximity to BLM, and other federal and state offices. They publish a variety of documents that pertain to environmental impact, related scoping documents, access to wilderness areas, access to areas that may become wilderness, and other plans and programs relating to roads and public lands.

Ideally, each of these published documents should be reviewed, by one or more members of PLAC, with the results of the review reported to the CFMS membership. The Government agencies often have local meetings to review the plans and documents with the public, and receive comments and suggestions from the users that have an interest in the areas under discussion. It is these areas that the concerns of our members require consideration by those that generate the documents.

The PLAC Committee members are urged to attend the government sponsored meetings, held in their local area, as a member of CFMS, and can identify their membership in other clubs and societies having an interest in the meeting's agenda. They will be urged to actively participate in discussions of the documents, take notes, and provide comments (if appropriate). After each meeting, the PLAC members will keep the respective PLAC chair informed as to status, potential affects on our hobby, and possible action that can be taken by CFMS members. The PLAC Chairs, and/or the reviewing members, will consolidate the individual reports for inclusion in upcoming CFMS Newsletters.

Appointment to the PLAC is based on a recommendation by the president of the member's society. The recommendations are to be sent to the incoming CFMS President, Marion Roberts for review and approval. The CFMS President will then make the appointments to the PLAC Committee. (It is desirable the recommended committee members have access to the Internet for rapid communications).

A description of the "Public Lands Advisory Committee," what it is, what it does, and its general responsibilities can be found on page 8 in the December 2004 CFMS Newsletter.

Paleo Preservation Bill S 263

By Marion Zenker, Black Hills Institute, South Dakota

Once again a Paleontological Resources Preservation Act has been introduced into the U. S. Senate (we are watching for reintroduction in the U. S. House as well). The number of the Senate bill is S 263 and was sponsored by the same senators as the bill introduced in the 108th Session of Congress with Prime Sponsor being Daniel Akaka of Hawaii. It has been referred to the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources who has already passed in out of committee without amendment for action on the floor. We have alerted our entire Congressional delegation in South Dakota about this introduction and hope passage by the Senate this time by a simple voice vote. This is most certainly the planned strategy. The best defense at this time is to immediately (today) alert the Senators from your state to watch for this strategy and request their help in blocking any passage by voice vote on the floor of the Senate. If enough Senators are alerted this move can be averted and then we have an opportunity to provide some testimony in committee and possible block Senate passage. It is certainly worth a concerted effort. So ask as many people as possible to contact your Senators at once with this request.

I have not read this through yet but looks to be nearly identical if not completely so to the bill introduced into the 108th Congress in 2003. We need to rally the troops to try to stop this in the Senate if possible.

Sponsors of this bill are: Feinstein of California, Durbin of Illinois, Roberts of Kansas, Baucus of Momtana, and Inouye of Hawaii. As you can see Diane Feinstein is a sponsor. PLEASE relay this information to all you know. If we can shower her with emails regarding the passage of this bill, maybe it will help. Ask her for the opportunity of testimony in committee and not a voice vote on the floor. Remind her that it has been "amateurs" who have found many of the major fossils through the years and now we will be charged with a crime and our vehicles impounded if we collect any kind of fossil. National Forest and BLM personnel will be making uninformed decisions on what are vertebrate fossils. You might suggest that along the California coast school children collecting shells could be subject of arrest. (This might get her attention)

I would suggest that not only should people send emails but also make calls to the nearest Congressional Field Office of Senator Feinstein and ask those staff people to inform Ms. Feinstein of their concerns about S 263 as well as request her support in ensuring that this bill be returned to committee for open hearings with testimony from those in the amateur fossil collecting community before any further action is taken. Senator Feinstein has Field Offices in San Francisco (ph: 415-393-0707), Fresno (ph: 559-485-7430), Los Angeles (ph: 310-914-7300) and San Diego (ph: 619-231-9712).

p>(Ed. Note: We just received this. It is urgent you tell your club members and anyone else you can think of. Please include this in your newsletters. Contact your Senators and especially your House members. It was in the House that the Bill was held up last time and finally died. Please don't delay in writing and calling.)

Museum Corner

By Debbie Bunn, Chair, Museum Committee

Nevada has some fine museums too. One of my favorites is the Northeastern Nevada museum in Elko, Nevada. Located along the main drag, this is one museum that's easy to find and has plenty of parking. When you enter the front door, you are at the fossil exhibits. This spectacular display features local crinoids, brachiopods, bones, and leaves. Many of them were collected and identified by Fossils For Fun member, Don Johns. There is also a mastodon on display that was dug up locally.

There are fine displays about local geology, ghost towns and mining camps and a really great mineral collection. You can learn about the local Basque culture, the old Chinese, and Native Americans, plus cowboy poetry. What makes this museum something out of the ordinary is the Wanamaker Wildlife Wing. Here you can see Nevada's largest collection of stuffed wild animals from around the world. I know that stuffed animals are not politically correct these days, but I found the collection fascinating. And it's the only way I'm likely to ever see a wooly nosed wombat.

The museum is located at 1515 Idaho Street, #775-738-3418. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 seniors, and $1 children. Open Monday thru Saturday 9 am to 5 pm and Sunday 1 pm to 5 pm. Website: www.nenv-museum.org. Be sure to bring extra money for the great gift shop. There are books, paintings, jewelry, and all sorts of neat stuff. So the next time you are driving thru Nevada on I-80; stop off in Elko for a couple of hours and visit the Northeastern Nevada Museum. You'll be glad you did.


By Stephen Blocksage Publicity/Public Relations Committee

It has been said that in ancient China a test was used to determine if a person was sane or not. It involved a small stream with a pond. The person was given a pot and told to empty out the small pond with it. In order to do so the person had to dam the stream so that the water would not refill the pond as water was removed. In our clubs today the circumstance is opposite the ancient test if we are sane then we will make sure that the stream is indeed flowing into the pond since it is our object to refill the pond and not empty it.

What is this stream, it is the new membership both in terms of age of the new members and their time associated with our club. Without this stream the club will first shrivel and eventually die. A good portion of the work the club should do is in the area of maintaining the stream if the club is interested in tomorrow. To often the venerable gray heads, mine included, become concerned with matters not related to our own replacement in club membership.

Ask yourself when was the last time your club held a day when the public was invited in the form of an open house? Have you been to your local middle school or elementary school with a program teaching earth sciences or lapidary arts? Have you set up a display at your city hall or library identifying your club and what it offers? Have you contacted the earth sciences teachers in your area with offers to put on programs and to hold field trips for their students? Gone a summer science camp to put a seminar? Visited a Boy or Girl Scout Group? These programs are outreach where the club extends itself to become familiar to members of the community, especially those young people who will replace us all in the years to come.

Ask yourself this question if I were new to the community or had a new interest in our hobby how could I find our club? You may want to have somebody unfamiliar your club to try to do this to see how easy it is to find and then contact your club or know when and where your club meets. You might be surprised at how hard you are to find Some ideas to ease the search problem include:

  1. Associate your club name with one or more defined communities
  2. Make sure that you have an Internet address that uses that association with e-mail response ability.
  3. Maintain a phone number where a live person or at least voice mail response is available detailing when a response will be sent.
  4. Make sure that your club is listed in the white pages with that community reference in place.
  5. Passive advertising at places where people would buy mineral samples, fossils or crystals such as Natures Treasures, Natural Wonders and Discovery and lapidary stores in your area. Also advertise your field trips so the public can come along
  6. Maintain a mailing address or P.O. box
  7. Advertise at your own show and other clubs shows
  8. Involve your club with community business shows and annual celebrations especially in parks and road closures.
  9. Dedicate some of the annual budget to advertising in the form a banner with you clubs name and loge, a canopy so that you can have a booth to work from and so on.
  10. Your community recreation and senior citizens directors should know about your club activities and meetings.

Several years ago a television program wanted to do a show on rockhounding they spent considerable time seeking a club in the Los Angeles area to do the show on. They finally found our club because we used the term rockhounds in our title. There are at least a dozen clubs in the greater Los Angeles area. What does that say about their and our ability to be contacted by a group experienced in doing investigative journalism? It also shows an opportunity for CFMS and its need to do public relations work then and now.

Earth Science

By Cal Clason, Chair, Earth Science Studies

What is Earth Science Studies? A question I am frequently asked, and almost impossible to answer. The basic premise is to make available a time and place to expose participants to many facets of our avocation. They began 20 years ago as a weeklong adventure in the Mojave Desert. The Desert Studies Center at Zzyzx was the venue Izzy and Bill Burns had attended a session at Wildacres in North Carolina and thought CFMS could, and should, do something in that fashion. Through a lot of hard work and perseverance our Earth Science Studies program was launched. In an effort to better serve all of CFMS a second Session was started in Northern California, at camp White Meadows. A series of changes brought it to Camp Paradise, an Apostolic Church Camp near Clipper Mills. Both programs became quite popular so a second session was held at Camp Paradise with overtures made to initiate a second session at Zzyzx. Unfortunately, the popularity of the Desert Studies Center, administered by a Consortium of Seven State Colleges and Universities, for research at springtime precluded this happening. Unpredictable weather further limits our using the sight at other times.

The foregoing is just a brief history of how we came into being. Some other people who deserve a lot of credit: Virginia Hansen/Grafton, who has taught bead stringing since the beginning, Ray and Florence Meisenheimer who for many years have influenced the success of the program, and were my predecessors as chairman, and last but not least, the many instructors who have given their time and expertise to enhance the Program.

Our commitment to CFMS is to provide an arena to enable the participants to experience different techniques in the many facets of lapidary, jewelry, and rockhounding in general with the hope they will pass it on and contribute to keeping our hobby a viable one.

So much for that line of thought. Our spring fling at Zzyzx has or is about to happen and again we have a full house for the week, the Instructors are ready to assist in every way possible, entertainment, and the Kitchen Crew planning a well thought our menu. Also on Saturday, April 9, we will sponsor an Open House for anyone who would like to see what Zzyzx is all about. Reservations must be made!!! If you would like more information you can call me at (661) 589-4169, or Marion Roberts at (209) 538-0197. We will accept reservations until March 28. A $12.50 donation includes steak or chicken Barbeque with all the trimmings.

Camp Paradise is on the horizon and Jack Williams is planning a good one. Applications should be available in the next CFMS Newsletter and on the Internet at: www.cfmsing.org. The dates are: September 11 - 17 and 18 - 24. Make your plans early. More later.

Education Thru Sharing Awards

By Loretta Ogden, Education Thru Sharing Chair

As I am sending the articles to the CFMS & AFMS Newsletter in March 2005, I hear from a club that their 2004 nomination was never published. Come to find out I had no record of it and it was supposed to be sent to me in Nov or Dec. 2004. That was too late to be in either newsletter. This incident made me think it would be a good idea for clubs to decide on their nomination early in the year. Talk to your members and decide for yourselves when you would like the article to appear but remember if it gets too late in the year it may not happen the way you planned.

We would like to nominate Al Wilkins for the "Education Through Sharing" award. He is a medical doctor with a very busy schedule in a large HMO. Yet he is very generous with his time and energies on behalf of the Club. For instance, he single-handedly does the entire setup and take-down of tables and chairs and electrical connections for our annual micro conference, makes the computer generated badges for the attendees, and has served as Treasurer this year and last. We appreciate Al's willingness to make a major effort on our behalf.

Beverly Moreau, CFMS Director
Southern California Micro-Mineralogists

The Whittier Gem & Mineral Lapidary Society voted to at their November general meeting to honor Sylvia Cliffe the society's choice of Rockhound of the Year 2004. Sylvia joined the Whittier club in 1951 and has been an outstanding example to old and new members in her devotion in supporting the activities and goals of the society ever since. The list of offices, chairmanships and committees she has participated in during the fifty-pus years of service include, but not limited to, vice-president, president, treasurer for ten years, by-laws chairperson, show chairman several times and show cases display person. In addition, Sylvia tumbles and polishes many pounds of gemstones for the show and grab bags, which she fills in the weeks prior to the show. As an avid gem carver, she not only demonstrates carving at the club show and other shows including the annual CFMS show where she puts in a display case and has judged competition cases many times. Sylvia has been responsible for arranging the Gem Carvers Guild of America CFMS sponsored seminars held in conjunction with the Whittier show on several occasions. Activities outside the society include setting up display cases and demonstrating at other local or statewide shows, including the Los Angeles County Fair.

Sylvia took responsibility for the society's boutique, which she organized and set up at the city of Whittier's outdoor annual Walnut Tree, and at the society's annual show prior to the club having show dealers. She is an enthusiastic field-tripper, having been field trip leader and assistant over the years including leading field trips out of state during Easter weeks in the '60's and 70's.

Sylvia taught cabochon making to young people at the Whittier Boys and Girls club twice a month for two years until her knees acted up. She is the "Keeper" of the club's gem stone club crown, which is exhibited annually at the club show in October. Her home has been the location of many summer swim and potluck events. Sylvia's total involvement in the society's activities for over fifty years has been exemplary and an outstanding example for members to follow.

Field Trip South Report

By Bob Fitzpatrick, Field Trip Chair - South

I just returned from Quartzsite where I was selling at the Desert Gardens Tail Gate Show for 45 days. I sold a lot of minerals and made a little money. After returning home it was time to get my better minerals ready for competition at the Riverside County Fair & National Date Festival in Indio. It was a ten-day event and I did quite well getting 10- 1st place and 8- 2nd place ribbons. The SGM&G and SMG&M Clubs are in charge of the mineral show during the Date Festival.

March will be a busy month for me, there will be a tail gate show at Stoddard Wells and the week after that a show in Bakersfield, which I am planning on selling at both. If it's been hard to get a hold of me it's been due to all my running around (rockhounding trips, attending the functions for three clubs, going to the Federation meetings, selling at the tailgate shows and Quartzsite).

Last April 23rd - 25th a group of 67 CFMS members went on a field trip to the North-East Cady Mountains where everyone had a great time and found a lot of nice minerals.

September 1st - 14th, four of us went on a two week Rockhounding trip to Colorado (Barbara and Richard Catlin, Kenny Irwin from Palm Springs and myself). Every day we would search for minerals at a different location in Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona. I could write 100 pages about this great trip but the kicker is I had to rent a U-haul truck in Holbrook, Arizona to haul all of my rocks back home to California. This was one of the best rockhound trips that I have ever been on.

During Thanksgiving week 24th - 29th 93 CFMS members attended a great field trip to Wiley's Well (the members came from all over CA & NV). Each day we went to a different collecting areas. On December 17th - 19th a great group of CFMS members went collecting minerals at the Gold Rock Ranch area, where everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. The reason I'm mentioning all these field trips is that hopefully some of our new members will enjoy getting away for the weekend and join us for some upcoming rockhound adventures. I always try to make these field trips interesting and take the groups to places where there are a lot of minerals to collect. Our next CFMS field trip south will be to Cady Mountains April 29th - May 1st 2005. Hope to see you there.


By Fred Ott, Insurance Chairperson

Should you buy extra insurance when renting vehicles or equipment?

When renting vehicles or equipment, the question is often posed: "Should I buy the insurance coverage that is offered at the car or equipment rental agency?" Generally speaking, the safest thing to do is to buy the insurance - even if it may be a bit "pricey." This will typically eliminate any exposure that you may have pertaining to damage or loss to the rented item.

Renting vehicles: Most automobile insurance companies provide coverage to their clients for vehicles (but not equipment) that they rent for short periods of time. The coverage that is extended to the rented vehicles is usually the exact same coverage that is provided on the policy for your own vehicle.

Renting equipment: Most homeowners insurance policies provide limited coverage to things (other than vehicles) that you may rent (e.g. fire and theft), but they typically don't provide any coverage for damage that you do to such rented items.

In either of the above two situations, be sure to contact your own insurance agent to determine exactly what benefits you may enjoy under your existing automobile and homeowners insurance policies as well as what losses would not be covered.