|The President's Corner
From the Editor
Junior Activities Report
All American Report
CFMS Report to AFMS
Fall Business Meeting
Education Thru Sharing
Field Trip South
Earth Science Studies
A "Show" is probably the biggest undertaking, the biggest event that a club does each year. It is an outreach to their community and to other rockhounds. It is a chance to show off our talents, our interests and what we do. It is a showcase of our hobby. Also, it provides an educational experience for children and adults, alike. For most clubs it is how they earn the money that sustains the other activities of the club. Therefore, the success of a show is often measured by the profit that is made. For me, an even greater measure of success of a show is attendance and the people that we reach.
Another benefit of your club show is that it brings the club together with a united purpose. A show is a major endeavor that requires the efforts of many, of the entire club. Very often the Show Chairman and the "usual dedicated few" do most of the work. And here is the conundrum - many members are slow to volunteer and "it is easier to do it myself than to keep asking for help." But with a little encouragement many members who stand back and wait until show time do end up participating. Why do they stand back? Why are they reluctant to participate and commit? The answers are many and probably different for each person and each club. However, if we can get them involved we will have a stronger club, and they will be more interested and active in the future. It is worth the effort.
Another show topic I would like to address is the Federation Show. It is becoming an ongoing challenge for CFMS to find clubs interested and willing to host the annual Federation Convention and Show. If you have ever attended a Federation Show (and assume and hope that most of you have), it is obvious that they require a lot of work and planning. I think you will also notice that the host club is very proud and pleased with their accomplishment.
So why would a club want to host the annual Federation Convention and Show? It may sound trite, but it is an honor and a previlege to be selected to host this event. Your club will be making a significant contribution to the work and purpose of the Federation. What better way to promote and showcase your club, locally and throughout the federation? You are THE CFMS Club for the year. And you will earn money for your club and the Federation.
Over the years both large and small clubs have hosted our shows, in both large, metropolitan areas and in small, more rural communities. And we have had great, successful Federation Conventions and Shows. The Federation provides support and guidance to the host society throughout the planning and holding of the show. Since no society stepped up with an offer to host the 2008 Convention and Show, it was decided that the Federation will host and put on the show. We have accepted a bid for the 2010 show which is a combined AFMS/CFMS show. We are looking for a host for the 2009 show and for 2011 and beyond. It is never to early to start planning. If your society would like to explore hosting a Federation Show contact the CFMS Show Consultants Bob Stultz or Jack Williams for more information.
I have a quick correction to make regarding the Earth Sciences Seminar coming up. In the last two newsletters there was a flyer about who was going to be in Paradise and when. I am actually going to be there for two weeks!! Also, in addition, my better half, Ray is going to be demonstrating how to make spheres, well, in between faceting that is…
I'd like to take a moment of your time to explain how I need your articles to be submitted. If at all possible, the document should be a Word document, and a jpg picture would be best. PDF files mess me up big time and I spend a lot of time having to redo the spacing and other editing.
Please send your articles in attachment form, not in the body of the email itself. This is also a spacing nightmare, and if someone forwards you something in the body of their email that you want placed in the newsletter, please copy and paste it to a Word document before attaching it to your email to me. If you do this, then you will be able to see the problem I have with copying and pasting directly from some emails. Please fix the spacing and any font problems prior to emailing the attachment to me, please?
If you already see your picture in the newsletter, then I have it, please don't send it to me again in the body of your article, it is just one more thing that I have to edit out, sometimes with disastrous results.
When you send me something, 99.9% of the time, I will email you back that I received it. If you happen to fall into the .1% of those that do not receive a note back from me, please email me and let me know within a few days, I may have forgotten to email you back, not read my emails yet, or it may have been lost.
If I fail to put your article in the newsletter, even after acknowledging that I received it. Please forgive me. I get a lot of articles, and I really try to put each one into the newsletter, but I am human and some things fall between the cracks in my brain.
If, when you get your newsletter and your article is not included, PLEASE, call me, email me, send me a pigeon, any way that you can let me know so I will include it in the next newsletter.
You don't need to bother Pat or Dick about it, they will simply forward your email to me, and if they have taken a few days or so to send it, then it could possibly miss the deadline for the next newsletter.
I appreciate and value each person that contributes to the newsletter and would absolutely NEVER leave something out on purpose. So, please forgive my past errors and well, my future ones too, cuz I know there will be some, and I want to beg forgiveness BEFORE they happen!
Thank you very much for your attention and time!
Over the last few years we have had good participation at the Federation Shows with both competitive and non-competitive exhibits. Our goal for the 2008 show is for even better participation. The Federation is putting on the 2008 Show in Ventura on June 27th to 29th. Betty and I are in charge of the exhibits and demonstrators and have set a goal of at least 100 non-competitive cases, at least 40 competitive cases and at least 40 club cases. The building at the Fairgrounds is very large and space will not be a restriction to the number of cases or demonstrators that we can have.
Exhibiting and demonstrating is open to everyone who is a member of a CFMS society. Since we are putting on this show as a Federation that makes it your show and we need your participation to reach our goals. Exhibitor and Demonstrator Forms will be in the Show packets passed out at the Directors' meeting in Visalia and they will also be available on the CFMS website in November.
We were all greatly saddened by the sudden passing of Ray Meisenheimer on July 1. As a member of the Ventura Gem & Mineral Society, I had gotten to know Ray well in the nine years since moving to Ventura. But my connection with him actually went back to 1997. That year, the annual CFMS Show was in Ventura, and I had been invited to participate in an open forum entitled "Becoming a Program Provider," in which participants were to share ideas and experiences on conducting educational outreach on the earth sciences with children. One thing that became clear as the round-table forum progressed, the man to know in Southern California when it came to educational outreach was Ray Meisenheimer, and I greatly benefited from my association with him after moving to Ventura in 1998 and assuming the CFMS Juniors Activities Chair.
For many years prior to my arrival in Ventura, Andrei Pashin and I had been doing presentations to elementary schools throughout the Monterey area on the Central Coast as members of the Carmel Valley Gem & Mineral Society. I had also overseen kids' activities at our club show, given the occasional kids' lecture on fossils as part of the library system's summer reading program, and I had led various family field trips to a local fossil site for the Lyceum Program of Carmel. I thought I was doing a pretty good job, until I met Ray…
Not only did Ray travel throughout Ventura County to give presentations to local schools far-and-wide, he served as a one-man docent for the Ventura club's small geology, mineral, and fossil museum, perpetually on-call whether for large groups of kids in school buses or for a single mother and her lone home-schooler. Each year, he put together a display and gathered mineral specimens as handouts to further earth science education at the local school district science fair. If a local science teacher needed rocks identified in the classroom, Ray was there to give the definitive word. He hauled large dinosaur casts each year to display at the kids' booth at the annual Ventura show. He served as a club sponsor for local scouting groups and help countless Boy Scouts earn their geology merit badge. At the annual Ventura County Fair, you could count on seeing Ray at the demonstration table, giving hands-on fossil-cleaning lessons to kids and their families. And he didn't discriminate by age: he provided talks to folks in retirement communities, trying to interest kids of all ages in these earth sciences that fascinated him so much. And he and Florence were the CFMS Endowment Fund, helping to ensure a healthy Federation that could continue to support the mission we all share as educational organizations.
So while we are all saddened by Ray's passing, we can be heartened by the legacy and example he set for us to emulate. Ray was a man of generous spirit, a bright soul who also knew a lot about the art of spreading knowledge while-as always-having fun!
We have good news! The All American Program is alive and well.
The national entries last year were down to 7. Entries this year rose to 13! Also, last year's 3 Federations competing moved up to 5 this year. Of the 13 entries 7 were in the large club category, 6 in the small club.
The Sutter Buttes Gem & Mineral Society was the sole entry representing California. This book was well done and earned a gold certificate and a plaque in California judging. At the national level this club earned a silver medal award.
In the past California and Texas tied for the most entries-but not this year. Midwest had 2 small club and 4 large club entries.
Now is the time to review your club's activities so far this year. Put this in a notebook for ready reference at year's end. Let's show the country that California is alive and well!
Are you feeling lazy? Tired? Run-down? Maybe you are just old, like me. But perhaps you could do something about it. Restore yourself to that old time get-up-and-go feeling.
Eight Easy Ways to Boost Your Energy
Have you ever gotten a full 8 hours of sleep but still feel like you're dragging all day? Fatigue can be caused by more than just sleepless nights energy levels can depend on your health, diet, and daily habits. But there are some simple changes that you can make to your lifestyle to help make you feel well-rested and energized all day, every day.
Learning how to manage your lifestyle to stay healthy and energized is important. American Red Cross health and safety training is a great way to learn more about keeping yourself and others safe and healthy, through first aid and CPR courses or emergency preparedness. For more information, contact your local chapter, visit http://www.redcross.org/ or call (800) 667-2968
Because the AFMS Convention and Show this year was just a week before our own CFMS Convention and Show, I wasn't able to put a written report in the CFMS Agenda packet. An oral report was given to the directors at Lancaster…
There were a number of things of importance that occurred at the AFMS meetings. The Uniform Rules Meeting was short and to the point this year. A change in the fossil rules cleared up some misunderstandings. Instead of the rule saying "petrified wood, limb casts and plant life, the rule was changed to and/or. There were some who weren't sure if they should have all of the above or could just have one category. Unfortunately for those of you who have been waiting the beading rules, they were not forthcoming, but are continuing to be worked on. A new Mineral List and also a Lapidary List were supposed to be unveiled, but were not available.
The AFMS's 60th Anniversary was a huge success with a power-point presentation created by Carolyn Weinberger and narrated by Shirley Leeson. Carolyn is making this program available through the AFMS Newsletter (September issue). Among the eleven AFMS Past Presidents were Ruth Bailey and Isabella Burns from CFMS.
The AFMS Director's meeting was lively but Dr. Robert Carlson, president kept things rolling and the meeting was over early. Among those items of importance were the following:
Sincere THANKS to all the California contingent for the beautiful roses given to me after the installation ceremony, and to Jeane and Bob Stultz who flew in especially for the ceremony. It left me at a loss for words….
Our president, Dick Pankey has reported on the Editor's Breakfast and the awards given to CFMS editors. Way to go, everyone! As Dick mentioned, everyone from CFMS made a dash for home and the CFMS Lancaster Show, no dilly-dallying …. looking for rocks
It's that time of year again! (Already?!)
All of our club contacts have become increasingly well informed over the years we've been doing this and we thank you for being so helpful in this process. We anticipate that this year will go more smoothly than ever. All of the necessary forms should be on the CFMSI website by now and, very soon, they will also be on the website of McDaniel Insurance Services.
All of the clubs and societies of CFMSI should have now received: 1) an envelope with the General Liability and Property insurance renewal information; 2) an envelope with information about Directors and Officers insurance; and 3) if your club or society has premises or property coverages, a coverage report/renewal invoice.
All clubs and societies need to have one responsible person in the organization who will read and sign the "Coverages and Responsibilities" form, which is in the General Liability and Property insurance packet. After reading this form, this person will know if there is further action that needs to be taken and, as always, we encourage you to contact us if there is any question regarding any of the insurance procedures.
The General Liability envelope was sent to your organization's mailing address as provided by the Federation. Information regarding the scheduled premises and or property coverages for your organization was mailed to the contact person we have in our data base with a renewal invoice.
The Directors and Officers insurance information was also mailed to your mailing address as provided by the Federation, unless you currently have coverage on the D&O program. In that case, it was mailed to the contact person we have in our data base with a renewal invoice.
Please help us and the Federation by keeping us informed of your current addresses. Please try to get all forms and payments in to us by September 15th. Thank you!
The annual Fall business meeting and election of officers will be held November 9-11, 2007 at the Holiday Inn Plaza Park, off Hwy 198 on W. Airport Drive, Visalia, CA.
Room reservations at the Holiday Inn may be made by phone at (559) 651-5000. To receive the special rate of $79 per night, you must tell them you are with CFMS. Cutoff date for the rate is 0/26/07. Add 10% room tax.
The caterer no longer allows us to pick and choose from a list of veggies, starches and desserts. To allow a choice between chicken and red meat, the following menu selections are offered. Please note that there is a difference in the price. All meals include rolls and butter as well as freshly brewed regular & decaf coffee and iced tea. Let me know if a vegetarian entree is required or you have special dietary needs so I can check with the caterer about availability.
The Breast of Chicken Sonoma is $25. The Herb & Garlic Encrusted Prime Rib is $35. Make banquet reservations by October 31. Mail your check payable to CFMS and your entree selection to:
PO Box 1657
Rialto, CA 92377-1657
Plan to join us next June at the beach! Plans are underway for the CFMS hosted Convention and Show in Ventura. When no club stepped forward to host the 2008 show, the decision was made to do it as a Federation. This will be the third time that CFMS has produced a no-host show. The first one was in Anaheim in 1981 and the second was in San Jose in 1991.
There will be lots of jobs to do particularly as the show draws near. We will need volunteers to assist with setup, staff the ticket window, do daytime security duty, and staff special projects. If someone asks you to help out, please say yes.
The planning for the show will be conducted long distance using e-mail as the primary means of communication. Cell phones are also great for this purpose since most of us have oodles of minutes to either use or lose.
The show committee met at the Lancaster show last month and will meet again at the November meeting in Visalia. Committee members who have a form to include in the show promotion packet should have it to me no later than 10/20 so it can be duplicated.
The CFMS Audiovisual Program Library continues to add new programs for loan to CFMS member clubs. Here is a list of some of the new additions.
DVD-23 Geology of Caves and Caverns - A 29 minute program produced by TMW Media Group is narrated by Dr. Laurence J. Jankowski, an Associate Professor Emeritus at Bowling Green State University in Ohio.
This program illustrates what water can do below the earth's surface, over long periods of time. Using animated and real life sequences, this program explores some important caves, their formations and teaches viewers how underground water dissolves limestone to form caves, caverns, stalagmites, stalagtites and boxfork formations.
DVD-24 Antarctica: A Frozen Laboratory - This video depicts the challenges biologists, meteorologists, and geologists face as they study the continent's wildlife, climate, and formation. The program features analysis of fossils and ancient magma, shows how past weather patterns are examined in ice layers, and illustrates fish and bird population studies.
V-134 Exploring Art Clay Silver, Part 1 - In this 55 minute video, Jackie Truty, Artist, Author, and President of Art Clay World, USA leads you on an exciting exploration of the basic techniques you will need to succeed with Art Clay, including forming, refining, and finishing.
Art Clay Silver is a moldable clay that becomes pure (99.9%) silver when fired. In its wet stage, you can shape it into any form imaginable by rolling, sculpting, molding, stamping, or extruding. After drying, you can sand, file, engrave and even drill your pieces. Firing is easy using an electric kiln, a butane torch, or even a gas stovetop. Art Clay Silver is versatile - it can be added to a variety of media, including glass, ceramics, porcelain, and polymer clay.
V-135 Rockhounds - This 55 minute video is divided into segments so you choose those of most interest. Perhaps a "seasoned" rockhound can fill in some of the gaps in the stories.
For instruction on how to borrow these programs and others, see the CFMS website (www.cfmsinc.org). To place a program order between September 3 and 27, contact Colleen McGann (colleen firstname.lastname@example.org); the Gisslers are off to Russia.
This show and convention is being hosted by the CFMS. Bural La Rue, currently CFMS President Elect, is the show chairman. Right now he is recovering from surgery and can use lots of help for this show. Do you realize that you are a member of the group who is putting on this show? Now, I know that members make every effort that they can to attend their club shows and to help in any way that they can by attending this show.
Now you ask, how can you help? Start by attending the CFMS show. The fairgrounds where the show will be held is just off the 101 Freeway in the northern part of Ventura, right on the ocean. There will be camping on the fairgrounds. The Metrolink from downtown Los Angeles goes right to the Ventura fairgrounds. Other Metrolink trains from San Diego, San Bernardino, Anaheim, Palmdale, etc. travel to Union Station (L.A.) and then to Ventura. At the last CFMS show some people took the Metrolink to the Ventura Fairgrounds and walked to the Holiday Inn hotel to stay over night. They had two days at the show and a nice mini vacation.
This year the Monterey Park Gem Club took a bus to Palmdale to see the CFMS show there. They had an informative and fun trip there and back. The Palmdale club gave them a break on the admission price and some dealers gave them a discount when they were wearing their club vests. If you d not have enough members to fill a bus, check with your neighboring clubs and fill a bus, or invite your friends. Also you might be able to arrange with your city's parks and recreation department and schedule a trip. Ask your city council about this.
For the northern California folks, I recommend that you fly into Burbank and rent a car to drive up. It's a wonderful drive, if you don't mind some traffic.
George Snyder was born in Idaho in 1916, and he moved to California when he was 15. During the depression years, he worked on the Panama Canal and Hoover Dam. It was when he was in Panama that he and Mona got married. When they returned to Pasadena, George built the house on Palm Ave that they lived in for over 40 years raising their two children, JorJan and Jon.
George was very active in the Boy Scouts for a number of years, being an troop leader. He enjoyed taking the boys on their camping trips up to the Sierra Nevada Mountains and hiking with them.
The family was "bitten" by the rock collecting bug in 1957 on a camping trip to Walker Creek. It was on this trip they found a huge piece of "Jade", which they brought home, it turned out to be a piece of Jadeite, but they where hooked. They joined the Pasadena Lapidary Society and became very active members. George was field trip leader for many years, and show chairman for several years. One of the members even wrote a poem about George's field trip leading expertise, which centers around his ability to always have the right spot for the outhouse.
George took a liking to making silver chains and anything out of silver. He enjoyed trying out new designs and experimenting in silver. He taught silver making at Zzyzx for the CFMS for many years. He gave up teaching there about 4 years ago.
After Mona died, it was hard for George to live in the house on Palm Ave., so he decided that he was going to travel. He sold the house and bought a new motorhome. He went on several trips, including one to Saskatchewan and Washington State for family reunions.
Three years ago, George moved back to Idaho, but coming to California for several visits. He passed away on July 15 at 5 pm due to complications of pneumonia and a broken hip. He will be missed.
The Roseville Rock Rollers Gem & Mineral Society presents its 2007 Education Through Sharing Award to James Hutchings. Jim joined the Roseville Rock Rollers in 2001, bringing with him a wealth of information and experience. His love of rocks and minerals intrigued him at an early age, while reading his "Little Golden Book" on Geology and Minerals, and he soon found that the world has many wonders to be discovered. A former Sergeant in the California Highway Patrol, he retired after more than 25 years in law enforcement/public safety, just in time to lead our club to an extraordinary expansion.
Elected President of the Rock Rollers in 2005, Jim's ideas were instrumental in providing a fantastic show that year when we hosted the CFMS Show & Convention in Roseville. Through the years 2005 and 2006, he put forth his vision of establishing a lapidary shop and he made it come to pass, through much effort and time and hard work. He said it was a "make or break" proposition for our club, and indeed, we made it! Our shop is a magnet for more and more new members, and our club has doubled from around 80 members to over 160. We are able to offer adult lapidary classes and, under the leadership of Jim's wife, Cathy, an ongoing monthly program for junior members.
Jim's current jobs as club President, "Shop Czar," and Assistant Show Chair have not kept him from going on the road with his Mineral Identification presentations at various gem shows and school classes, his annual trips to Quartzsite and Tucson, and his field trips to search for opals and gold.
Providing the vision, exhibiting the passion, and making the dreams once talked about into reality, Jim has been the guiding light for our club for three years now, using all his outstanding skills to steer us toward having more successful shows, and more rewarding community service. Most importantly, he never stops sharing with everyone his knowledge and love of learning about rocks and minerals.
Submitted by Terry Yoschak, Treasurer
Roseville Rock Rollers Gem & Mineral Society
Oxnard Gem and Mineral Society are honored to have Dr. K. C. Hara as a member. He is a multi-talented man, the finest podiatrist in Ventura County, who takes the time to be a mainstay for OGMS. He quietly steps in where he sees the need. This has led him to work and acquire non-profit status for the club, be President several times, Show Chairman, head of Programs, Coordinator of our classes for the city of Oxnard, teach Lapidary, start classes in Opal Cutting, Wirewrapping, and one in Lapidary for Youth.
He has been our CFMS Director, demonstrated Wirewrapping at Camp Paradise as well as helping with the evening programs with his fine voice. Several times he has brought his singing group to give the entertainment for OGMS Christmas parties. Offered a gift by a grateful patient, he refused, but accepted it as a donation gift with which he proceeded to buy four Genie lapidary machines and two buffing machines to upgrade our shop. He is an accomplished artisan in making, displaying, and demonstrating beautiful and unusual jewelry at our club show and at the Gem & Mineral Bldg at the Ventura County Fair. All this and he has still managed at times to go on Field Trips.
Submitted by the Oxnard Gem and Mineral Society
Let me say first, all who entered were winners. And the public who witnessed these exceptional exhibits were winners also because of their experience. I hope that next year we will have even more entries.
CFMS Supplemental Trophies
In addition, the week before at the AFMS Convention and Show in Roswell, New Mexico the following CFMS entries won trophies:
All AFMS Trophy Winners were not allowed to re-enter the following week in Lancaster unless they entered in a different category. Vivian Roberts and Ted Magee were able to change their exhibits and re-enter in a different category.
Congratulations to all, CFMS made an impact on the AFMS/Rocky Mountain Show.
The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office is still seeking volunteers to participate on a Technical Review Team (TRT) to assist the Palm Springs-South Coast Field Office (PSSC-FO) on the preparation of the Meccacopia Recreation Area Management Plan (RAMP). John Kalish, BLM PSSC-FO manager, said the TRT was recently established as a sub-group of the California Desert Advisory Council (DAC) whose members are appointed by the Secretary of the Interior under the Federal Advisory Committee Act to advise BLM on public land management in the California Desert.
According to Kalish, the BLM and the DAC are seeking individuals representing a cross-section of interests to help BLM prepare the RAMP. Among the interests likely to be involved are: 1) special permitting groups (commercial, competitive non-competitive, organized groups), 2) California Department of Parks and Recreation, Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Recreation Commission, 3) California, motorized and non-motorized recreation, OHV organizations, 4) environmental concerns, 6) Riverside County, and 6) Native American and Hispanic concerns.
Kalish said the TRT is expected to meet two to three times a year at the BLM field office in Palm Springs between 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. during the week with meetings lasting about four hours. Two conference calls, and more if needed, will be scheduled during the week between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. and will last approximately one hour.
Those interested are asked to contact Mona Daniels, BLM outdoor recreation planner, at 760-251-4800, email: Mona_Daniels@ca.blm.gov, FAX (760) 251-4899, or mail to: the Bureau of Land Management, Attn: Mona Daniels, 690 West Garnet Ave., P.O. Box 581260, North Palm Springs, CA 92211. Individuals are asked to provide a resume describing professional and recreation background and qualifications, what interest and involvement the individual has with the Meccacopia area and their ability to participate in meetings. An address, daytime phone number, fax number, and email address if available are also requested.
Individuals have until September 15, 2007 to respond. For more information, contact Mona Daniels at 760-251-4800. -BLM- California Desert District Office - 22835 Calle San Juan de Los Lagos, Moreno Valley, CA 92553- (951) 697-5217
For Release: July 17, 2007
Contact: Stephen Razo 951-697-5217; email: email@example.com
Many people that planned to go to Nye Canyon were worried about the surrounding fires and the threat of severe thunder storms in the area that they decided to not go.
I myself was worried and kept in contact with the Forest Service in Bridgeport. Highway 395 was closed due to fires only 3 days prior to our trip. After a lot of thought and phone sessions with Jim, the ranger in Bridgeport, we decided to go.
We left Bakersfield around 6:30 with 6 people including myself from the San Joaquin Valley Lapidary Society, and Jon Black a gentleman here from Bosnia on business that heard about our trip on Yahoo. He arrived at LAX. around midnight rented a car and met us here in Bakersfield just in time to head on out to Hooneyville.
We arrived at California City around 8 A.M to meet up with CJ, Ray, and Danny. As we traveled further north the prices of gas also traveled north. In Bridgeport gas was $3.99 a gallon. The cheapest was at the Indian Reservation at $2.91. We arrived around 2 p.m. in Bridgeport to our usual meeting place "The Barn" where everybody participated in the orientation and signed the letter of release of liability. If ever you wanted a great burger and fries with a thick raspberry milk shake "The Barn" is the place.
By 3 we were fed and ready to head to the Hooney claim in Nye canyon. The weather was in the 80's, no Fires, and cloudy. We were at the "Hooney Claim" by 4.
The claim was about 5 miles off of 395. Road conditions were great where even low clearance cars could make it to the claim. Larger motor homes; I would not recommend up in the pinion pines for fear of getting them all scratched up. There is a great place about 7 miles down 395 called "Sweetwater Summit with ample parking and camping although it is a dry camp. Red and Charlotte along with CJ and Ray, and Ron and Deloris camped there and joined us the following day.
The Air force and Marines just happened to be on maneuvers that day and a C-130 landed in front of them and they were joined by our men in uniform. We were at the claim around 6 p.m. to set up camp and eat a bit of dinner. People scurried around the camp site and found shards of clear quarts along with several points. Many times you can look around camp and find ancient chards and flakes of obsidian from Indians of long ago knapping arrow heads to hunt deer and bear that populate the area. As for bears, [unless] they had long ears and a bushy tail there weren't any near camp although noises in camp did keep my wife up all night the first day.
The nights were overcast with lightning flashing a ways off. With us counting 1,2,3,4 5 and all of a sudden Kaboom, thunder rumbled through the canyon sounding like a 155 Howitzer firing off. The whole valley rumbled. We had on and off showers every night accompanied by beautiful mornings warm days for the 4 days we were there. We all headed up the hill around 7, digging our butt holes and settling down. Several went to the top to do hard rock mining. In my hole I found several nice points some with actinolite and some clear.
CJ and Ray wandered up the hill a bit with Ray sitting to the right of my wife and CJ forward and to the left of my little piece of real estate that I claimed. CJ started to pick up some smoky quartz; little ones at first and as she dug she found bigger crystals and clusters. Ray was working his piece of real estate finding one or two and as he was about to move on he would find another that would be enough to entice him to stay a bit longer looking for the "Mother Load".
My wife was digging in her hole finding cluster after cluster of one to 3 inch in size crystals when all of a sudden she came to my hole holding a beautiful 1" x 2" in size, red quartz cluster.
Red and Charlotte were hitting the yellow quartz by walking around and occasionally finding a large crystal.
I began hitting little smoky crystals and every time I dug I would unearth 2 or 3. Will and Sue were walking the creek bed and finding nice crystals and good quality cabbing material. On the second day I was looking for water feature rock for the house. The boys were up at the top with Jon and Danny, hard rock mining when Josh came running down to where I was, with a huge crystal around 5 to 8 pounds . Panting from the high altitude he told me that Danny hit a pocket with all kinds of huge crystals.
Danny found around 8 or 9 huge clear crystals and clusters between 5 and 35 pounds.
Since my walking was limited the boys and Jon helped me load the truck with rock and boulders. I found several boulders between 100 and 300 pounds that I wanted. I found this nice oblong boulder about 350 pounds that would look better in my yard than on the hill. I yelled for Josh and Caleb and Jon to lend a hand to bring it off the hill to my truck. As we rolled it over, low and behold there was a cluster of optical points around 3 inches mounted on the side of this huge boulder with clear crystal running deep within.
Night came and due to the restrictions on fires (No wood or coal), we lit our stove and grilled Tri Tip Steaks. Jon being from [the UK, but living in] Bosnia never ate such a meal. We sat around playing Uno until I got Josh interested in Snipe hunting. We were all ready to go and I had to tell him that it was a joke. Danny and Jon decided to go night exploring on the back roads. About an hour later they arrived back at camp with a huge timber rattler.
Danny skinned and prepared the snake like a true outdoor chef would. About 20 minutes of cooking we heard Danny yell "anyone up to eating snake?" After several feasted on snake we all hit the sack to get ready to pack up and head home. There were no fires locally but you could see where there was a fire several days prior before that closed 395. There were no bears or deer to see only rabbits.
What is really sad about this trip, and I only hope that the claim owner does not close the "Hooney Claim" is that the area that we dug looked like a war zone. The digging was just like always soft and easy not hard. People dug holes and just left them, not covering them up, or by covering other good digging area with their tailings.
What is most disturbing is that on the other side of the hill not only did people not fill in their holes but cut the large roots of the pinion pines and threw them aside instead of digging under them. It is no wonder that places like the Hooney Claim and many more claims are closed to the public. The bright side is that everybody came home with a bucket of crystals and cutting material.
We all had a great time. There were 3 clubs represented. San Joaquin Valley Lapidary Society, The Kern County Mineral Society, and Antelope Valley Gem and Mineral. I would like to thank all that participated and for those of you that could not go well you missed a great time but there will be others.
It has been a few months since the Demonstrators Directory has been mentioned in the newsletter, so I will bring you all up to date on the status of this new feature of the CFMS. There have been several instructors enrolled in the directory. These instructors are willing to share such skills as beading, making enameled beads, faceting, making dichroic glass, knapping, making mosaic pictures, mineral photography, and rock carving. I have also had requests from a few clubs to use the instructors from the Demonstrators Directory to enrich their member's knowledge of all things lapidary.
These are all good signs that the Demonstrators Directory is not only useful, but also something that the CFMS needs to rejuvenate lapidary skills, interest, and diversity in its many clubs. However, there is still a need for so many more instructors! Instructors are needed for: cabbing, clocks, wire wrapping, gem trees, GPS and mapping, intarsia, lost wax casting, metal detecting, micro-mounting, mineral ID, PMC, resin casting, rock painting, silversmithing, sphere making, stained glass and tumbling. The skilled artisans are out there.
We see your work all the time at shows. Some of you may feel that there is too much information that you need to teach at one setting for a skill to be learned. A way around this problem is to break up your skill into different parts. For example, I discussed demonstrating lost wax casting with an artisan just last month. He had tried to teach his craft to a class in his club but found that his 3 hour class turned into an eight hour fiasco. Upon further discussion it was decided that maybe he had tried to teach too much at once. Instead of teaching the whole process of casting he should have first given a class on making wax patterns. Then he could have offered a class on the next step of casting, investing, and so on.
Breaking up the skill into small steps can also insure that your students want to take the time and have the interest to finish a complicated lapidary procedure. Some of you may feel that there just isn't enough interest in your craft for you to waste your time and effort volunteering as a demonstrator. My response to this is that you never know until you try. You will be surprised at how many people there are that want to try their hand at your craft. You may also be surprised at the feeling of pride and accomplishment that comes with being an instructor.
The bottom line is this: The CFMS needs skilled people to be instructors for the Demonstrators Directory. If you have the talent, take the first step and fill out the form now.
From time to time the CFMS newsletter will be featuring an instructor from the Directory.
This month I would like to introduce Joy McClure. Joy lives in Mariposa and can teach the art of making enameled copper beads. She uses a torch and short pieces of copper tubing to make beads that have the look of porcelain and/or some glass beads. Joy has been enameling copper since she was 11 years old and has taught beading for over ten years. She is willing to give a demonstration, teach classes, or demonstrate her skills at a show.
In the February CFMS Newsletter our president, Mr. Pankey, discussed the need for more rockhounds to display exhibit cases at rock shows. I whole heartedly agree with him. When attending a show, one of the big attractions for my family is the display cases. Not only do we get to see a wide variety of fossils, rocks, gems and minerals, but we also get new ideas for methods in which to use these lapidary materials.
Putting together a display case is actually fun and easy. My daughter did her first display case when she was 12. We have found that absolutely NO ONE cares if, as a beginner in lapidary, your cabs, jewelry, or crafts aren't perfect. After all, everyone, at one time, was just starting out. Seasoned artisans are just as proud of their first pieces as you are. If you are not just beginning lapidary work, then your beautiful display cases will inspire others to greater efforts and teach them new ideas and methods.
In his message, our president was baffled by a reluctance of members to exhibit at shows. Some members are getting older, are tired, and don't do as much lapidary work as they used to. They are waiting for younger members to step up, "take the banner", and run with it. As one of these younger members I would like to comment on why many of us don't exhibit display cases at shows. Rockhounds in their 30's, 40's and even 50's fall into the group of people that have full time jobs and full time families. For most of us this means eight hour days, five days a week of work, plus evenings and Saturdays filled with running the kids to sports and academics. When I have displayed at shows it meant setting up at a specific time on a Friday, or early Saturday morning, and taking down on a Sunday. Between work and family there just isn't the time to drive two or three hours to a show and set up a display, especially at smaller shows that only have a small window of time to set up in. Picking up a display generally isn't a problem, as one can go early, get in on end of the show bargains, and then pack up the display.
I feel that, by cooperating within or between clubs, we can overcome this problem. If someone in a club, or even from another club in the near area, offered to be a coordinator and pick up(or just receive), drive to a show, and set up exhibits for the younger generation of rockhounds, more of us would be able to exhibit at a wider variety of shows. I know that I would be happy to create an exhibit to send to a show if I had help getting it there and getting it set up. It would be simple to create a pre-made display that just popped into a display case in three or four pieces. This display could still be a beautiful example of lapidary work, but one simple to set up and dismantle.
For all you old timers that are thinking that I am just making excuses, remember how much time work and family can involve. Then think about how nice it is to have younger lapidary members take an interest and get involved in all aspects of the club. Volunteering to take a few simple displays to a show that you may already be driving to will help bridge the gap between young and old rockhounds, create new friendships, and ensure that exhibits at shows do not become a fable of the past.
When you read this, I will be in Camp Paradise with a crew of help for the camp. Everything at this point is looking very good and the camp is filling nicely.
Because I'm getting calls on a regular basis form people who are saying they just heard about the classes at the camps, I feel it's necessary to ask why the editors of the local clubs or societies do not repeat or copy the reports from these committees in your newsletter. The information in the CFMS newsletter is for each and every one in your group, not just to the 3 people who receive it. It is your duty and job to forward the information to the complete membership.
Camp Zzyzx will be held March 23-30, 2008. Applications will be in the CFMS October newsletter and on the internet on September 28, 2007.
Applications will be accepted as of October 1, 2007. I look forward to seeing as many as possible at both camps.