From Your Editor
CFMS BUSINESS NEWS
All American Report
Earth Science Studies
Field Trips - South
Junior Activities Report|
Scholarship - CFMS
AFMS Show & Convention Reports
CFMS Representative to AFMS
Bulletin Winners in 2009
Hello Fellow Rock Hounds!
This month has flown by. Is it just me, or does it seem to you, as well, that this summer is going to be over before we know it?
As you all know, we lost Chuck McKee last month. Chuck was a truly great asset to our organization, and a real nice guy, too. I know that we can in no way replace him, but we do need to fill his chair.
These are going to be some really big shoes to fill. We need someone who has safety on the brain, so if you know one of those types of people in your local society, or if you are one of those people, we need you! Please come forward to volunteer yourself or with a suggestion of a person you think would do well in this job.
We also need someone to fill the position of Public Lands Advisory Committee (PLAC) - South. So if you or someone you know may have an interest in attending BLM meetings and the like, and you live in the southern part of the state, then please let me know and I’ll put you to work!
Finally, don’t forget to order your tickets for Paradise! They’re going fast, and you need to get your club entered in the second drawing.
Take care and see you soon in Visalia,
While preparing the newsletter, I received word from John Martin that Dick and Betty Pankey were involved in a wreck less than two hours from their home while en route to the AFMS Show The accident damaged their truck and destroyed their trailer.
They obviously did not continue on to take part in the AFMS meetings. Thank goodness they and their dogs are reported to be okay. Though obviously rattled, they remain indomitable, with plans already in the works to repair the truck and purchase a new trailer.
Dick and Betty: We're glad you are safe and sound and we look forward to seeing you in Visalia. Everyone: Be safe out there!
- Jim & John
Fall Business Meeting Reminders
The annual Fall Business meeting and election of 2010 Officers will be held November 6-8, 2009 at the Holiday Inn Plaza Park, off Hwy 198 in Visalia, CA. For those who have not been to this location in the past, take Hwy 198 exit east from Hwy 99. You will see the hotel located just south of the first off ramp past the airport. MAKE A NOTE THAT THIS IS THE FIRST FULL WEEKEND OF NOVEMBER! The second weekend conflicts with the beginning of Zyzxx and many of our attendees would be forced to choose between the Directors Meeting and Zyzxx. Moving our date was the prudent thing to do. This was the only date offered to Marion and it was a matter of take it or leave it.
Room reservations at the Holiday Inn can be made by phone at (559) 651-5000. To receive the special CFMS rate of $89 per night, tell them you are with CFMS. This rate is not available on the Internet. Cut-off date for this price is October 23. The first night’s deposit or guarantee by credit card must accompany your reservation.
An informal Cracker Barrel will be held Friday evening at 7:30 p.m. As in the past, the Holiday Inn policy forbids our bringing snack foods to any of the meetings. The Business Meeting will be called to order on Saturday, November 7, at 9 a.m. President-elect Fred Ott will have a brief meeting of his 2010 committee chairpersons on Sunday a.m., time to be announced.
Mixed Green Salad with Assorted Dressings & Vinaigrettes; Country Cole Slaw with a Cracked Pepper Sweet Vinaigrette; Country Style Ribs with Home Style Barbecue Sauce; Grilled Honey Glazed Chicken Breasts & Natural Jus; Spicy BBQ Shoulder Tender; Country Baked Beans; Corn on the Cob and Chili con Carne; Cornbread with Honey Butter; Dessert; Coffee and iced tea service; price, $36 (includes tax & gratuity).
Make banquet reservations by October 31, 2009. Mail your check payable to CFMS to:
PO Box 1657
Rialto, CA 92377-1657
Newsletter & New Postal Service Rules
You've no doubt noticed that your CFMS Newsletter arrived lacking a staple. Allow me to explain.
When I went to the post office to drop off the August newsletter, I had a very unpleasant surprise. The Postal Service now forbids use of staples in any mail pieces qualifying for the machineable bulk rate.
The non-machineable rates are 4X what we currently pay! So I now have two ways to deal with the newsletter. The least labor intensive, as well as least expensive, is to mail it without a staple and secure it in four places with tape.
The recipients can supply their own staple. The other is mail it in an envelop and hand-stamp the ancillary move-up statement (return service requested), return address and permit imprint. Envelops would cost about $50 a month.
For now, I will try the "no staple" method and secure it with four tabs. This new rule also affects any of our local clubs that uses a non-profit bulk mail permit for mailing newsletters, so newsletter editors doing so, check with your post office branch.
As promised last month, to help you move step-by-step through the process as you prepare for the 2010 competition, here is Section 2 of the All American form. This section deals mainly with service: service to members and service to guests. Consider the following:
There - Section 2 is finished! Most of the information can be obtained from the secretary, field trip chairman, junior leader, and show chairman. Section 2 is very good for every club to use as a guide to see how the club is doing with ‘service to members and guests.’ Next month: on to Section 3!
Don’t panic! The rules and score sheets for the Bulletin Contest have disappeared from the CFMS web site. But they won’t be gone for long.…
Where did they disappear to? I’m in the process of adding categories for poetry and features. The rules will be the same as the AFMS rules. The other CFMS contest rules are the same, but I was not able to locate the originals and am having to recreate the rules and forms in a format that can be edited.
The deadline for the 2010 contest (items and bulletins from this year) will be December 10, 2009. That may seem a long way off, but it’s not too early to begin thinking about what will be entered! If you have comments or questions, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I am writing this on Aug. 5, on returning from the AFMS/NFMS combined show, and I am catching up on the Zzyzx program. I am proud to say the rooms are filled and a short waiting list is started. The bad part: my total count of participants is down due to a lack of RV'ers. If you can come in an RV, there is still room for up to 10 or more people, but I want to reiterate NO rooms are available. Our favorite chef is back with his own helper, so I will be a bit more at hand to be sure everyone behaves themselves.
Camp Paradise is on track to be two weeks long again, and I have worked out a 3- or 4-day work party starting on Wednesday prior to the first week. Dates for Camp Paradise are May 16-22, 2010, and May 23-29, 2010. The workdays will start on May 12. At this time, I am planning to have applications for Camp Paradise ready for November newsletter.
I also want to take this opportunity to thank Jim Brace-Thompson and Frank and Roy Boulch of the Ventura Gem & Mineral Society for their efforts in obtaining a pickup truck load of stack chairs for use at our Camp Paradise facility. Thank you, Jim, Frank and Roy.
Editor’s note: Following is a combined, condensed version of multiple field trip reports. Full reports, with photos, may be seen on the CFMS web site.
You Hounders seem to love tourmaline! After 5 months of planning, Adam, his better half (Teresa Felix), and I (Shep) were pleased to see such a huge crowd turn out for “Two Tourmaline Mines in Two Days.” With limited spaces, over 60 showed up Saturday and almost 50 Sunday. There were few no-show’s, denying those on the wait list an opportunity. Hounders attended from the Mexican border up to Carson City and Reno. We drove through heavy rain, with many arriving Friday to stay at hotels, casinos, and the Lake Henshaw Resort.
Saturday weather was perfect for some serious dirt screening: mid-60s, slightly overcast, and a nice breeze. We eagerly greeted friends who had converged on The Oceanview Mine in Pala to sign in and pay fees. After an orientation with helpful tips by mine owner Jeff Swanger, we were off-and-digging at the rich tailings.
Shovels and rock moved in every direction. Elbow-to-elbow, we were like ferrets on steroids, hauling off bucket after bucket to sift through for colorful gems. And, boy, were they found!! Everything from small, gemmy pink and green chips to large, finger-sized crystals. Many found walnut-sized pieces of gemmy green & pink tourmalines, kunzites, quartz crystals and beryls, including a sweet bi-color beryl going from light blue on one side to pink on the other.
Jeff told Ellen Moe of the Culver City club that he had spent most of Friday driving his skip loader all over Chief Mountain getting grade-A tailings from several mines—the Elizabeth R, the Chief, and the Oceanview. Ellen had been to the Oceanview 6 times in the last year, and she reports the tailings this day had the most variety and the most goodies.
She was growing a little frustrated finding mainly tourmaline chips and spodumene crystals until a perfect 5-inch quartz point popped out of the pile. In addition, she was filling her “give-away bucket” with quartz chunks, schorl and other specimens to use for the Culver City kid’s program when Jeff walked by, glanced in, and asked why she would want to give away a doubly terminated, bicolored beryl (aquamarine and morganite) with small quartz crystals on the base. The colors were pale, so Ellen just thought it was ugly quartz!
Rudy and Hannah Herbert of the Orange Belt club found 3 large nice tourmalines early in the day. I (Shep) found my best piece to date: a complete tourmaline crystal with clevelandite at the base, twinning and terminated in an eye-clean green gemmy portion with a thin blue cap weighing in at 61.7 grams. Others found even larger crystals. Michelle Patrick estimates buckets weighed 10-20 pounds, depending on how many large pieces of rock you picked up, and she confirms after 20 of those buckets, shoulders begin to ache!
To alleviate some of that ache and make the trip more enjoyable, Jeff gave free raffle prizes to lucky CFMS members ranging from rough to faceted gems to a pink-and-green tourmaline butterfly pendant. Thanks, Jeff!! Jeff also led 3 tours throughout the day of the working mine for anyone needing a break from digging. Jeff extends a welcome to anyone who would like to come back anytime by making reservations at www.digforgems.com. For the record, the facilities were very clean and the entire day was well managed by a friendly, helpful Oceanview team.
For those camping at Lake Henshaw Resort, I suffered with you! Whoda thunk there’d be hundreds of Royal Ranger Christian Scouts on their revivalist retreat with stages, bands and sermons lasting into the night? Thankfully, they were MUCH quieter late Saturday night than Friday. Beautiful campgrounds, though, with cabins, RV parking and developed campgrounds for tents with a thick canopy of trees.
Also good news: that’s where the Himalaya Mine holds their digs, trucking in tailings. Owner Chris Rose came in from his Oregon Spectrum Mine to meet us at the café near Lake Henshaw. Despite a somewhat warmer morning, once again we were ferrets on steroids quickly going through truckload after truckload of dirt searching for gems.
We’re not sure Chris and his staff were ready for 44 serious screeners plus about another dozen walk-ins (no reservations are needed for the Himalaya). Since the pile of dirt was disappearing quickly, a dump truck with fresh tailings from the hill near the mine arrived about 11:00.
But, by lunch, we had that pile down to the parking lot. Another dump truck came after a lunch break, and the guys barely had time to empty it before buckets were being filled again. Several finger-sized tourmaline crystals were found along with nice pencil tourmalines. At this site, children were finding some of the best pieces, so parents were offering to rent them out to people who weren’t having luck!
Chris also had free raffles, ranging from large bags of unsorted tailings to rough to faceted gems to jewelry. While enduring a moderate wait for the last truck, Chris went above and beyond, offering more raffle prizes: cut tourmaline and sunstones, nice tourmaline specimens, and rough pink opal. It seems half of our people won prizes.
But we also found material! Michelle and others felt that the tailings from this mine included lots more rock with less gem material per bucket, but that the gems found were truly beautiful. She reports finding a gem-quality chunk of pink tourmaline that one of the helpers told her could be cut into a 7-carat stone. Many gemmy, facetable pieces like these were found by others, along with more finger-sized crystals. Ellen reported her best find was a fist-sized schorl, found on the road before screening even started!
Even at day’s end, as we were packing to leave, a lone woman named Bonnie was killing time by sitting and sifting through the skimpy remains of the tailings pile when we heard her call out “Is this anything?” We came over to look, and some of us said “Nah, toss it,” hoping she would. It was a gemmy, 75-carat eye-clean green crystal cross section they valued at $10/carat, as-is. Congrats to her persistence!! All-in-all, this trip left many happy hounders and was a success. Check out Robyn Hawk’s blog for a trip report & pics: http://flyviewsandreviews.blogspot.com
This summer Adam and I are taking a timeout from organized trips but plan more when we resume in the fall.
Meanwhile, we do have one important announcement to make, namely: It's a Rockhound Wedding! Adam Dean & Teresa Felix are getting married Nov. 7 2009 at Afton Canyon Campground. A ceremony at 10 a.m. will be followed by a potluck lunch and at Noon sharp we will line up for a field trip to rockhound at one of their favorite sites near the campground.
This is a little-known area with many kinds of rocks in float. There will be agates, jaspers, and even a wonderful plume agate. Easy walking and beautiful rocks! This will be a come-as-you-are event. We would like to welcome all CFMS Members. Members will need all the typical collecting equipment as well as cameras, a chair and a dish for the potluck lunch after the wedding.
Please come and celebrate with us at our favorite place. We do not have a registry. If you feel inclined, we will have a money tree at the luncheon.
If coming from the north (Las Vegas): South on Interstate 15. Exit on Afton Road and make a left. Cross over the freeway overpass and follow the dirt road 3 miles until you come to a rise in the road. The campground is on the right side just over the rise.
If coming from the south (Barstow): North on Interstate 15. Exit on Afton road and make a right. Follow the dirt road 3 miles until you come to a rise in the road. The campground is on the right side just over the rise. Program GPS: Dunn, California, will get you to Afton Road exit.
From Shep, happy hunting, and from Adam, best wishes and better stones!
- Shep, Adam & Friends
There will be an Insurance Question & Answer session starting 1:00 pm, Sat., Nov. 7, at the Visalia Board of Directors meeting. Patt McDaniel from McDaniel Insurance Services will be there to field questions. This is your opportunity to get answers to all those insurance questions that you have been wondering about. If you are a Federation Director and have no interest in insurance, I urge you to get with your Board of Directors and ask if they have anything they would like to have you go over with Patt.
If your club is unable to send a Director to the meeting and you have an insurance question, please send the question to me at my email or give me a call with your questions and I will present your questions for you. I am looking forward to filling the room with Directors with lots of questions; after all, what else is there to do in Visalia on a Saturday afternoon (no offense Visalia)?
See you in Visalia!
On a family trip to Maine recently, Nancy and I visited several small mom-and-pop rock shops. (Yes! They do still exist!) One carried an especially neat book for kids: Julie the Rockhound, written by Gail Langer Karwoski and illustrated by Lisa Downey.
I was told by the owner of the rockshop that Gail and her husband own a quartz quarry in Georgia. Here's a portion of her bio from the book's dust jacket: "Gail married a rockhound. On their honeymoon, they hiked through lush western forests and stark 'forests' of petrified wood, and dug into crumbly turquoise deposits in the Southwestern desert.
Since then, they've gone 'treasure hunting' for geodes, fossils, and crystals. Before becoming a full time author, Gail taught in Georgia public schools and her classroom was famous because of the 'rock box.'
She wrote Julie the Rockhound to share this delight in our earth's treasures with children and their parents." The book is a terrific read, telling the story of a young girl who finds a sparkly rock in the dirt that turns out to be a beautiful quartz crystal. Her dad then shows her how to dig for minerals and explains how crystals form.
The book concludes with a "For Creative Minds" section that differentiates minerals from plants and animals, gives tips on how to become a rockhound (the tools you need and how to hunt), explains how rocks form and the three rock types, and gives the basics of mineral identification with the Moh's Hardness Scale. Lavishly illustrated, simply and clearly written, it's the perfect book to introduce your club's pebble pups to mineralogy in a way that's informative and, as always, great fun!
The Nominating Committee hereby submits the following slate for our 2010 CFMS officers:
Jennifer has served as Federation Director for the Napa Valley Rock & Gem Club since 2004, and she is the current CFMS Scholarship Chair. In past elections, you received backgrounders on Fred, Jim, Susan, and Bud. Now it's our pleasure to provide one for our newest nominee for elected office, Jennifer Haley. The following was provided by George R. Shepard of the Napa Valley Rock & Gem Club:
"It is my privilege to tell you how fortunate you would be to have Jennifer Haley serving in the position she seeks. Since 2004, we have enjoyed and appreciated her service in the very many specialties she has filled: President, Treasurer, Federation Director, Librarian, Editor, Refreshments, Silent Auction, and a great loving member-at-large.
As Club Librarian, she took some 300 books our members had collected over the last 62 years that were in storage and created our open library for all the members to enjoy. She gave presentations about collecting local material and how to cut and polish it for hand made beads and also the same East Indian minerals. Then too, programs and materials about fun and safety of rock hounding.
Jennifer has taken club displays to the CFMS Annual Show and Convention and she also exhibited in them. She gave many talks to local schools and has taken children's groups on field trips over the years, exposing them to local geology, identifying rocks, collecting them, and teaching rockhounding safety. As Club Editor, she entered the CFMS Bulletin Contests and won 1st and 4th place and AFMS 10th place, all in the small bulletin category. Thank you for your consideration!"
- Frank & George
Shayda Nikjoo was one of our scholarship students this year. She was not able to attend our banquet because she was on a required field trip with her classmates. I asked her if she could write up her experience so I could share it with all of you.
As a senior at California State University, Fullerton, one of the last classes she has to take is what they call the capstone class, Field Camp for 5 weeks which takes place in Dillon, Mt. Here they visit six field sites and use what the students have learned to construct geologic maps of the area, making cross sections and stratigraphic columns and write reports interpreting the geologic history of that particular site.
Their first few projects focused on pluton emplacements and surrounding metamorphism, resulting in several ore-bearing mines. They used in-depth descriptions of the mineralogy of the indicator minerals in the mine tailings to try to decipher what ore was being mined in the different locations. She found the skarn deposits containing malachite and azurite to be extremely interesting, and since her undergraduate thesis is regarding possible undiscovered nano-minerals in skarn deposits, naturally she says her rock collection seems to have doubled in size.
Shayda wanted to say thank you to everyone for supporting her and the students at CSUF. As you can see, your donations to the CFMS Scholarship Fund are rewarding in many ways. Let's keep those donations coming in so we can continue to support students like Shayda every year.
Editor's Note: As we go to press, the American Federation of Mineralogical Shows has just wrapped up in Billings, Montana, and we have several reports to share. My thanks to everyone who sent these in!
John Martin sends the following photo of Doug True, shown at the Awards Banquet receiving an appreciation award for a job well done in putting on the Northwest Federation/AFMS Show and Convention.
John reports 160 Display Cases and 38 Competitive Cases, over 2 dozen dealers, and terrific field trips. In addition, Dee Holland of the CFMS Rules Committee kept track and says the CFMS was represented in competition. Cheri George of the Palmdale Gem & Mineral Club received a Northwest Trophy for her D-10
Jewelry exhibit. Unfortunately she didn't go any further. Dick Friesen of the Livermore Valley Lithophiles received a trophy both at the Northwest level and also at the AFMS level for his case of Carvings, CA-7.
Our congratulations to both! Cheri and Suzi Martin both had beautiful exhibits of BEADING, to show off what the beading exhibits may look like next year when beading will be allowed for the first time in competition.
John Martin exhibited his educational exhibit about California gems, minerals, fossils and rocks. A good showing from California!
- John & Dee
This year I was the AFMS 5th VP representing CFMS at the AFMS meeting in Billings, Montana, hosted by the Northwest Federation of Mineral Societies. The show was held at the Holiday Inn in Billings with plenty of room for the meetings, lectures, and show. Many fieldtrips were planned for the week after, but I had to return to California. So knowing local silent auctions might have local rocks, I bid and won a sweet black-and-white fortification agate in matrix rock that was to be found on the Monday fieldtrip to Bear Canyon, south of Billings.
The AFMS meeting was held on Wednesday, and I was sorry that CJ and Fred Ott were not there as traveling to different states is always a good time, but they did send in their reports, and Shirley Leeson and Ruth Bailey stood in for them. Nearly all of the regions' officers and committee chairs had sent in reports early, so after voting in a couple of regulation wording changes, we were done in two hours. Whooee!
Back to the show we went: vendors with lots of rocks, minerals, beads and more than 100 display cases. Thursday was the competition judging on 38+ cases, first on NFMS cases and then on cases for AFMS. There were plenty of judges available and it went smoothly with only a couple of bumps. Many awards were won and distributed at the Saturday banquet. Saturday also had a faceted stone auction and the Endowment auction and raffle. I had to leave early on Saturday, so other California officers will be bringing back the awards from the banquet and the Editors breakfast. The lectures were diverse. Our own Walt Wright spoke on petrified wood, and there were also lectures on the geology of Montana and on sapphires found in America—after which I purchased sapphires from South Carolina and Colorado. I visited the Gem Mine, outside Philipsburg, and sifted for my own pastel Montana sapphires.
The entire rock show was a great success. The next AFMS show will be our CFMS show in La Habra, June 2010. See y’all there!
I'm pleased to congratulate everyone in the CFMS who won awards in this year's Bulletin competition at the AFMS Show and Convention. Those winning awards from within CFMS are:
Even if you didn't win an award, I offer thanks to all who took the time to enter. Every article is a winner in that each enriches our local societies and regional federations.
Addie Davis called me the other day and informed me that Chuck Davis passed away July 1. As stated in the obituary Chuck did a lot of work in the past, both in the clubs he belonged to and in the CFMS. One of the last drawings he did was of a frog that was used on the mugs at the CFMS Show in Calvaras, by the federation for the 70th anniversary of the CFMS. Below is the obituary that was printed in the Sacramento Bee on January 9 and 10.
Charles W. "Tut" Davis. January 17, 1923 - July 1, 2009. A resident of Fair Oaks, CA, Charles W. "Tut" Davis was a Canadian-born American raised in Arizona. He enlisted in the US Navy during WWII and served in the South Pacific on the Destroyer USS Gillespe. Charles worked at McClellan AFB for 30 years as an Aircraft Armament Specialist.
He was active in the Sacramento Mineral Society, Carmichael Gem Society, Fossils for Fun Society, Ye Old Timers Mineral Club, and the Society of Paleologgers. He held offices in all, including either President and/or bulletin printer.
Evidence of the God-given talent for art was shown in the pages of the club bulletins. He also designed many show pins for the California Federation of Mineralogical Societies, along with any other artwork needed.
Deceased from heart failure. He is survived by his wife Adelaide (Addie) of 64-1/2 years; children Barbara and Carol; sons-in-law Barry and Dennis, four grandchildren Kira, Bryson, Elizabeth, and David. Services are planned for family only. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Shriner's Hospital for Children of Northern California, 2425 Stockton Blvd., Sacramento, 95817, noting "In Memory of Charles Davis". Place of birth: Canada, Place of death: Fair Oaks, CA.
Shirley Leeson adds the following: Many may have no idea of the contributions of Addie and Chuck. He was a gifted illustrator and gave us many club and show pins, as well as the bear pin for the CFMS Endowment. His last act for CFMS was the mugs for our 70th CFMS birthday at Angeles Camp; even though at the time he was frail and ill, he couldn't turn us down. He will be missed, another super volunteer gone.....
- Sincerely Submitted, Frank Mullaney
Club Name: _________________________________________