Table of Contents
The President's Corner
Mother Lode Mineral Society Shows Awareness
All American Report
From The Exec Sec/Treas
Juniors Activities: Collecting for Kids
From the Editor

In Memoriam
Who Pulled You Over?
PLAC South
Field Trip South
Slide, Video & CD-ROM Progbram Library
Knowing Where You Are

The President's Corner

By Dick Pankey, CFMS President

Dick Pankey - CFMS President -  2007

There are many elements that make up a gem and mineral show. But my favorite is the exhibit cases. The exhibit cases are what makes it a "show" and not just a selling venue for dealers. Our displays show off our hobby - our skills and our special interests. Exhibiting is a wonderful way to share what we do and to educate the public. Sadly, at many shows there are fewer and fewer exhibit cases. The main reason for this is that fewer and fewer people are exhibiting. There are fewer new people putting together a display case. Older exhibitors aren't bothering to exhibit. There are fewer people participating in the "guest exhibitor circuit." Bottom line: We need more people to get involved and get interested in exhibiting. The need for exhibitors is two fold: 1.) We need more people to put their first case together and start exhibiting, and 2.) We need more of the people who are already are exhibiting at their own club show to be "guest exhibitors."

I am a little baffled by this reluctance to exhibit because it is easy and great fun. What do I have to show? If you are a rockhound, if you go on field trips, if you make things (lapidary, jewelry, etc.) with rocks and gemstones, or if you are crafty, you have what is needed for a display. Decide what interests you most. Check out what you have and what you have made and chose what you would like to show off and share. But I don't know how to put a display case together. The easiest way to learn how to put a display case together is to ask club members who already exhibit. Or go to shows and see what others are doing. Some clubs hold classes for new exhibitors. Then borrow a case from your club and try different ways to set up your display. Ask for comments and guidance. Then put it in a show. It probably won't be perfect the first few times, but that's okay. With practice it will get better.

A big boost to a new exhibitor is praise and encouragement from experienced exhibitors. If you see an interesting new display or one with potential, give some feed back. Tell them what is good about their case and suggest some improvements if appropriate.

Betty and I showed our first display case at our club show when we had been members for only a year. It was a display of "Mostly Obsidian," material we collected at Davis Creek and things that we made with the obsidian. We were pleased with it. But when we took the case down Sunday evening what a surprise. An invitation to exhibit at another local show. We were pleased and honored - invited to another club's show. We went and have been on the "guest exhibitor circuit" ever since. We do about 12 to 15 shows a year. We get invited to a lot of show because we are willing to exhibit a lot. What a great way to spend a weekend - at a show, with other rockhounds.

If you enjoy exhibiting, sharing your talents and collection, consider being a "guest exhibitor" at another club's show. They want you and need you. If there is a show somewhere that you plan to attend and would like to exhibit your case, contact that show's exhibit chair and ask for an invitation. Based on past experience they would be very happy to have your case. Filling the display area is becoming a challenge for exhibit chairs and they are always looking for new and different displays.

Hope to see you and your case at a show soon, Dick Pankey

Mother Lode Mineral Society Shows Awareness

By Elizabeth Myers, Membership Committee

In a recent friendly, informative conversation with Terry McMillin she explained what happens when you change the whole attitude of your annual show by shifting the show's focus to education and emphasis on making the show a family event. She believes this change in focus has been pivotal in rejuvenating the Mother Lode Mineral Societies membership.

Terry observed people want to learn things. The special fossil displays the club arranged for their annual show is an attention getter. Fossils are a real attraction for children and adults as well, encouraging family participation.

The Mother Lode Mineral Society's annual show, Terry and husband Bud are co-chairs for the show, is held in March at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds in Turlock, California. Last year the show featured 25 club member demonstrators in addition to the demonstrating dealers. In Terry's words, "This allows our guests to see that what we do is not difficult when you have good instructors and the proper tools". Terry said the very enthusiastic Jean Hayes, a jewelry instructor at the Modesto Junior College, encourages people with her "can-do" attitude. Photos of her classes are on display at the show and Jean let's people know the Mother Lode Club sponsors the classes. Jean's classes are friendly and well attended. The club also sponsors a lapidary class at the college that is held once a week. When people join the classes it encourages them to join the club, Terry noted.

The club likes to have a variety of dealers (34 at their 2006 show) to appeal to peoples various interests. And the dealers are doing well at the show as evidenced by one dealer who sold out and had to go back to San Jose to restock his show material. One dealer said she would not be returning because she was kept so busy it took her two-weeks to recover! Perhaps one of the dealers from the club's 30 or so waiting list will get their chance at the 2007 show.

The children are kept busy at the show with a very active children's area. Speaking of children, they had over 1,200 children attend last year. How did they get so many? Modesto, as do many schools, prohibits the distribution of materials to students from outside the school sources. This prohibition does not apply to teachers. Terry emailed flyers to teacher's she knew and asked them to distribute the flyers to other teachers to share with their students. And they came through for her. They wanted to see the fossils and so did their families.

Assuring the many areas of activities are kept running smoothly requires good organization and the help of a dedicated, "fantastic membership who generously volunteers their help." Many young people and families cannot allocate the time and resources for an expensive hobby, like lapidary can be, Terry noted. But they can and will participate in day trips and less budget straining aspects of our hobby, like beading. People want to learn things. Create the place where they can start learning. Where they can see, touch and understand they too "can do".

All American Report

By Name, Dot Beachler

Dot Beachler - All American Club Chair

Attention! A last reminder.
The All American books are due February.28.

Remember, this year the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies is celebrating 60 years. Let's show the AFMS that California honors and respects the American Federation's work by entering the largest number of All American books.

Go for it!!

From The Exec Sec/Treas

By Pat Larue

Pat LaRue - CFMS Exec Secretary/Treasurer

The small Golden Bear with gavel pin for CFMS club presidents is no longer available. Our supplier advised that the price of this item would be at least $35 due to the increased cost of gold. We do not anticipate reordering this item for the foreseeable future. The sterling silver bars and the engraveable triangles are available. There is a supply of the golden bears without the gavel is also still available. These are plated brass. Refunds will be issued for any orders containing this item.

Juniors Activities: Collecting for Kids

By Jim Brace-Thompson, Juniors Activities Chair

 Jim Brace-Thompson, Juniors Activities Chair

With the New Year upon us, many of us will be making plans for our 2007 field trip adventures, tailgating swap meets, and shopping for rocky goodies at big events like Quartzsite or Tucson as well as at our local, more modest club shows. All these venues hold one thing in common: rocks, rocks, and more rocks! While we hunt in the field or shop at a booth for our own collections and for rough materials for our lapidary workshops, I'd like to put in a plug for our kids.

Whenever you're in the field, take the time to collect a quantity of smaller material that you and other club members might be able to assemble into small rock collections to distribute to any kids in your club. For instance, a swing through many readily accessible areas of the Mojave might yield a nice collection of basalt, jasper, agate, and drusy quartz. Trips along the Central Coast can produce nice collections of serpentine, beach agates, jasper, and petrified whalebone. California's North Country yields varieties of obsidian, petrified wood, and quartz crystals. And our Central Valley yields terrific fossil specimens in the forms of sand dollars, shark teeth, clams and oysters, and more. A quantity of small specimens doesn't take up much room during a collecting trip, and it's fun to assemble and glue them onto cardstock with labels identifying the rocks and their localities as hand-outs for kids at club meetings, as prizes at your club's local show, or as hand-outs during classroom visits to elementary schools.

Whenever you're at a show, talk with any especially friendly and knowledgeable dealers who might be willing to provide a flat of common specimens at a discounted price for distributing to kids. In fact, at the annual Ventura show, we're commonly approached by dealers who are happy to donate specimens to our kids table. Get to know your favorite dealer and see if you can strike a deal for the kids.

Let's all take advantage of opportunities like these not only to enhance our own collections with our finds and purchases, but also to assemble materials we can donate to our kids to help them start their collections while-as always-having fun!

From the Editor

By CJ Quitoriano

Quitoriano, C. J Hello again!

First off I would like to say a HUGE apology to anyone who might have sent me something that I did not put in the newsletter either last month or this month. I had a lot of computer problems this last couple of months, and there were some things that I couldn't read and some things that I had to delete without reading because they were freezing up my computer! I also was out of service for almost a full month when the wind blew my satellite dish out of whack!

Hopefully, everything is fixed and ready to rock! (Pun intended)

Please don't let the above problems keep you from sending in articles for the newsletter!

Although it seems that I only have computer problems when my finals are due, or when the newsletter needs to be emailed, I have great hopes that these problems will be few and far between!! ?

Thanks to all for sending articles, and thank you for your patience through my first month as editor, and all the fun stuff that my computer has decided to put me through!

In Memoriam
Bob King

By Bob & Jeane Stultz

Bob King died November 19, 2006 from complications of melanoma. He was a native Californian, born in Pasadena on March 16, 1918. He and his wife, Emma, were Charter Members of the Redondo Beach Gem & Mineral Club, members of Westside Mineralogists for many years and members of the Southern California Paleontological Society for nearly 40 years.

Bob served in numerous ways. He was a member of the Museum Committee for many years and was also Chairman of the Golden Bear Committee twice. He judged both CFMS and AFMS competitions and also judged at several local County Fairs. He also drew floor plans for many of out CFMS Shows.

He represented the Paleo Society and Redondo Beach Club as Federation Director for many years and also served in this capacity off and on for Westside Mineralogists. The California Federation recognized Bob's years of service by awarding him the Golden Bear Plaque in 1987 and the CFMS Scholarship Award in 1990.

A year ago last November, he decided he couldn't make the long drive to Visalia from Manhattan Beach any more and the Federation members surprised him on Friday night by recognizing and thanking him for his many years of service.

His first love was Fossils but he was also knowledgeable about Minerals and was quite capable of judging Educational displays. He was always ready to share hi knowledge with others and was especially fond of working with the youth. He visited many schools to tell the students about fossils and minerals and his fossil and mineral displays were seen and enjoyed at many gem and mineral shows.

This man didn't know the meaning of the word "no". An example from personal knowledge occurred in 1985 when he had drawn the plans for the CFMS Show in Ventura. About two weeks before the opening day of the show, one of the main buildings on the fairgrounds had a fire and was unusable. Bob was on vacation but we were able to contact him and he cut his vacation short, returned home to redraw the plans and the show opened on schedule with no set-up problems.

He was a friend to many in the hobby and a close personal friend. We shall all miss him and his presence at the many activities we remember him for.

Who Pulled You Over?

By Chuck McKie CFMS Safety Chairman 2007 via AOL

Chuck McKie

That navy blue sedan behind you with the flashing blue light on the dash is probably a cop -- but it could be a creep using police paraphernalia to get you to pull over.

How to tell the difference? And what should you do if you're not sure?
In the United States, almost all traffic enforcement work is done by police driving one of the following vehicles:

  • Ford Crown Victoria sedan
  • Chevy Impala sedan (some departments also use the smaller Malibu and the Lumina sedans as well, though the majority in service today are Impalas)
  • Chevy Tahoe SUV
  • Dodge Charger

The problem is that these vehicles are also sold to civilians -- and it's pretty easy to dress one up so that it looks very much like an undercover police car. In fact, there are police supply stores that will sell everything a dirt bag needs to make himself look like the real deal -- right down to the uniform and fake ID.

Some departments also use unconventional cars for pursuit work. For example, the Ford Mustang LX 5.0 was very popular in the 1980s for speed limit enforcement; today, some departments use unmarked Camaro Z28s -- and even Corvettes -- for the same purpose.

This is pretty scary, since we're all taught to obey the commands of law enforcement officers -- and when a police-looking car is trying to get us to pull over, every instinct tells us to comply.

Still, it's important to use your head.

First, have you done something to deserve being pulled over? If you've been driving within 5-mph of the posted speed limit and haven't broken any traffic laws that you're aware of, your guard should be up if all of a sudden there's an unmarked car on your tail with its lights flashing -- especially if it's out in the middle of nowhere and late at night. While radar traps are a reality, most of the time, we get pulled over for a reason -- and we know perfectly well what it is. So if you honestly haven't done anything wrong that you're aware of -- and the "officer" just appeared out of nowhere -- you're right to be suspicious -- particularly if you are female and traveling alone.

Second, If the vehicle attempting to pull you over is not a clearly marked police cruiser -- or a car or truck that isn't routinely used for police work (especially if it's an older/broken down-looking vehicle) and your "creep radar" is telling you something's just not right -- you should slow down (to indicate you are not trying to get away, in case it is a real police officer), signal your intent to pull over -- but only do so when you can find a well-lit, public place with other people around, such as a shopping mall parking lot. Or, you can pull over immediately -- but keep your doors locked and only crack the window enough to pass your driver's license and registration through.

Third, get a good look at the "officer" and his credentials. If the "officer" is not in uniform, refuses to show you his badge -- or just flashes it briefly, so you can't get a good look -- keep that window rolled up and those doors locked tightly. Ask once more to see his credentials. If he won't let you, tell the "officer" that you'd like for him to call another officer to the scene. This is your right -- and while it may aggravate the officer if he is in fact the real deal, it could save your life if he's not. A real officer will understand your concern and have no problem with calling a fellow officer (or supervisor) to the scene. There have been several case of women being abducted and raped by thugs impersonating police -- and most departments are very sensitive to people's legitimate concerns on this score.

Fourth, if the "officer" starts acting oddly when you ask to see his ID -- threatening you, behaving in a non-professional manner, pounding on your door, etc. -- seriously consider putting the car in gear and getting out of there. Tell the "officer" you are uncomfortable and that you will gladly follow him (or be escorted to) to the nearest police station. If you have a cell phone, immediately dial 911 -- and tell the operator that you have been pulled over by someone who claims to be a police officer but that you think he might not be a real cop. Tell the operator exactly where you are -- and stay on the line. If it's a real officer, you'll know very soon. If it's not, the guy will almost certainly take off at this point. (Caution: Only take this step in a situation that clearly doesn't feel right as you risk an "attempt to elude" charge if it is, indeed, a real police officer. But again, better safe than sorry given the stakes.)

These precautions -- and some common sense -- should keep you from getting anything worse than another traffic ticket.

PLAC South

Article Submitted by John Martin

John Martin

Renovation begins at former health spa
Chuck Mueller, Staff Writer

ZZYZX - More than three decades have passed since radio evangelist Curtis Howe Springer left this desert oasis and spa, which he called "the last word in health care." Its cluster of buildings, which Springer opened as a resort with indoor mineral springs and a cross-shaped pool, have weathered the desert wind and heat since the Bureau of Land Management evicted him in 1974, saying he didn't have a valid claim for the property. Deteriorated by time and the elements, the structures are now being shored up. "We're reroofing all the historic buildings from the Springer era, and stabilizing others," said Rob Fulton, who manages the 30-year-old Desert Studies Center at the site, five miles off Interstate 15 near Baker. The $500,000 project is being carried out by the National Park Service and the California State University system, which operates the center under a cooperative agreement. "Buildings used for classrooms, office, and dining room are getting new roofs," Fulton said. "The Sunrise Building, which contained 10 guest rooms, is being stabilized along with the old pool and spa." The site, known as Soda Springs before Springer opened his 12,000-acre Zzyzx mineral-springs resort, was used for hundreds of years by Indian tribes and as a stagecoach and then rail stop on the old Tonapah and Tidewater Railroad, according to the Park Service. Learning of springs in the area, Springer decided in 1944 to open a health spa at the site, recruiting laborers from Skid Row in Los Angeles to construct the resort's buildings. "Springer broadcast his daily religious programs from his powerful radio station," said authors Cheri Rae and John McKinney in their book, "Mojave National Preserve: A Visitor's Guide." Widespread response to the broadcasts turned Baker into California's busiest post office. Springer stayed 30 years at Zzyzx, catering to thousands of visitors. A lake at the site is home of the endangered Mohave tui chub fish. In 1995, passage of the California Desert Protection Act created the Mojave National Preserve, which incorporated Zzyzx and its cluster of 12 buildings into the park. The historic buildings have been nominated for the National Register of Historic Places as a historic district, the Park Service reports in its management plan for the preserve. About 6,000 students and researchers, half of whom are from other states and foreign countries, use the Desert Studies Center annually, Fulton said. It accommodates about 80 students or researchers at a time. They focus on subjects as diverse as archaeology and wildlife biology. The consortium of California State University campuses running the center are in San Bernardino, Dominguez Hills, Fullerton, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Northridge and Pomona.

Reprinted from: News.bytes, issue 262 - BLM California

Field Trip South

By Lew Helfrich

I hope every one had a Happy Holiday and a safe and Happy New Year. As this year comes to an end so do many things. One of these changes will be with the C.F.M.S. Field Trip Chairperson South. I have some big shoes to fill as Bob Fitzpatrick hands me the torch or in this case rock. I plan to continue the traditions where Bob left off. There are several trips that I would like to introduce also.

My name is Lewis Helfrich , President of the San Joaquin Valley Lapidary Society and owner of a small Lapidary school and bead shop here in Bakersfield CA. and also work for the Kern County Superintendent of Schools with Special Needs Children.

I am married to a wonderful woman who puts up with me and also enjoys lapidary. I enjoy rocks of all kinds, my favorites are jasper and obsidian and at the shop I teach lapidary and silversmith as well as casting.

My main sites to collect are in the Mojave Desert and I have hosted for the past 5 or 6 years at least 2 field trips a year successfully to collect at these sites. Most of these sites are easily accessible sites for the young as well as elderly and those with special needs.

As the year progresses I would like to introduce something that our club has implemented as well as the federation field trips North. It would be nice if we could form a Co-Op where one club would be responsible for a field trip for a particular month , so there would be a hosted Federation field trip each month as well as that person's club scheduled field trip and that person would have the option as to which and where they would like to go each month. So many people and clubs would be open to new areas to explore and collect that weren't possible before. Two heads are better than one and I am always open to any ideas or suggestions for a field trip.

If you have any suggestions or questions feel free to e-mail me at or call me at (661)323-2663. May all your field trips be F.R.A.S Fun Rewarding and Safe.

2225 River Blvd.
Bakersfield , California 93305

Slide, Video and CD-ROM Progbram Library

By Bill Gissler, Program Librarian

Bill Gissler,  Program Librarian

Of the over 120 VHS videos in the CFMS program library, a series of 26 programs entitled "Earth Revealed" have always been very popular with CFMS clubs. Each 30 minute program was professionally produced and licensed by the Annenberg/CPB Collection. The series was a gift of AFMS to CFMS in 2002.

The first program of the series "Down to Earth" focuses on the surface conditions of the planets Venus and Mars and how these conditions compare with those of Earth. Scenes of Earth's landscape lead into a discussion of how unique Earth truly is. Major topics addressed in this series include plate tectonics, geologic time, earth's structure, minerals, volcanism, intrusive igneous rocks, sedimentary rocks and metamorphic rocks. Natural resources, seismology and erosion are also introduced in this series of programs.

To order on loan these programs and others from the library see the CFMS website ( Your Federation Director has also received copies of the 2006 Program Catalog with updates. If your Program Catalog with updated additions has been lost, a copy can be obtained from Pat LaRue, CFMS Executive Secretary/Treasurer for $2.50.

As new programs become available in 2007, they will be announced in the CFMS Newsletter.

Knowing Where You Are

By Dave Muster via

"In the beginning there was Heaven and Earth", but there were no maps so everyone was lost! If you've ever traveled across our great land you have probably used a map. Maps are an asset used to navigate roads in cities, counties, states, etc. They are useful to get to an area that may not have roads.

Many if not most areas of great rock hounding do not have roads to this day. That's why these great areas are still so great. We use other means to find these locals.

Without roads and or road signs one must resort to other means of navigation it is important to know exactly where you are in accordance with private and public lands as well as the ever-changing status of BLM land, National Forest, and National Monument boundaries.

One must take time to do the footwork of location and, land status before having a fieldtrip. The BLM has always been a main source of information about land status. The County Assessor's office is also a good source to find land status.

Why is it so important to know where one is and, the status of the land? Because of laws that pertain to designated areas of land such as Army Corps of Engineering land, State and National Monuments, Wilderness Areas, Parks and mining claims. If you're not aware of exactly where you are, then you may be arrested and fined $500 dollars a day for collecting in these areas.