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Return to the Rockhound Rambling Center.
Eucalyptocrinites crassus (Hall), restored,
showing the calyx, stalk, and divided roots.
Silurian (Niagaran), central United States.
LAPIDARY WORKSHOP - The lapidary workshop program, initiated in the last part of 1997, will be continued in 1998. The lapidary shop at the museum will be opened the third Saturday of each month and will have an instructor present to help you with your project. This is the Saturday after the field trip so that everyone has a chance at cutting or polishing specimens collected during the field trip.
These organized workshops are part of your dues and are free to members. The shop can also be accessed at other times of the month by contacting one of the instructors listed below and making an appointment to use the equipment. When the shop is used on an appointment basis, there will be a $1.00 an hour charge to help defray the replacement cost of items such as saw blades, polishing wheels, etc.
This is YOUR museum and workshop. It's your opportunity to be able to cut and polish your treasures without investing money in a home shop. Mark your calendars and come share in the comraderie and joy of unlocking the beauty in the rocks and minerals that you have found.
1998 INSECT FAIR - May 16-17, 1998, from 9am to 4pm at the Los Angeles County Arboretum, 301 N. Baldwin Ave., Arcadia, CA 91007. (626) 821-3222. There are 6000 to 8000 visitors. GO GET BUGGED! I will have an exhibit there. - Susan Mulqueen.
OUR WEB SITE http://www.vgms.org/ - We get many "hits" (people visiting our site) from all over the Country and even from other Countries. There are even a couple of Gem & Mineral Clubs in North Carolina that have us cross referenced! We would appreciate any thoughts or articles you would like to share with others in our hobby and education of others. See Bonnie Demianiw's article "On the World Wide Web" regarding her experience.
Our show is well underway and almost upon us. Presently we have between 55 to 60 exhibits including jewelry, petrified wood, fossils and more. The Museum of Natural History in Santa Barbara has some GREAT exhibits entered as well.
The programs / lectures to be held in the Pro-Arts building that are confirmed at this point are:
The confirmed Demo-Dealers, Demonstrators and Dealers at this point are:
Last, but definitely not least we have the donation awards.
We have some wonderful donations, so please get out there and SELL THOSE TICKETS!. They are $1.00 each or 6 for $5.00. If you need more tickets give Inez Shakman a call at (805) 642-4957 or catch her at the February meeting.
Some of the donations she has so far are:
In addition to all of the above, there will be the Kid's Games, A Silent Auction, The Country Store and Plant & Magazine booth.
Remember to let the Chairperson know (list was in last month's bulletin) where you can be of help and the times. If you don't care where, just let them know the times! We need everyone. Besides it is great fun and fellowship as well as a learning experience. The setup starts on Thursday, March 5th and will go through the tear down on Sunday evening. Give me a call at (805) 646-7184 with any questions or with any show needs. Thank you to all of you for being there!
SILENT AUCTION MATERIAL - We have decided to hold a silent auction during the show and need some of that extra material that you have collected (You know how it is, we always find one more a little better, well bring your seconds!). Be it fossils, rocks, minerals, we will need some nice specimens that can be sliced for cabs or whatever, or just displayed. You can bring it to the Museum on the 21st from 9am to 12 noon, or to the meeting on the 25th. If you aren't able to attend these and have material, give John McCabe a call at 805-654-1968 and he will arrange to have it picked up. Please identify the material and where it was found if at all possible.
PLANTS ARE NEEDED - Please bring your plants and cuttings to the fairgrounds on Friday, March 5th. We will be happy to get them all weekend, but that will give us a bit of time to get them set up. We also have magazines in the booth, so bring these along. Any type of Hobby type magazines do well, especially the Gem & Mineral ones. If you need help getting them there, call Shirley Layton 805-642-2683 (leave a message if no answer) and we will see that they get picked up.
COUNTRY STORE ITEMS NEEDED - We did have a workshop and got much in order, however, we are still in need of much more. This is our fund raiser to help us with the education of the kids in the area to the wonderful world of Earth Science. Spring Clean Now!!
You can bring the items to the Museum on Saturday, the 21st, between 9 and 12 or to the meeting on the 25th. We will have a pricing workshop again on the 26th at the Museum at 7:00 pm so you can also bring items then and help with pricing and packing as well! You can also bring them to the Fairgrounds any time during the show set-up or show. The more we can get priced before set-up the easier it is.
Anyone who can help with the Country Store and/or the plant booth please call Shirley or Marie Haake or just come to the Fairgrounds. It's fun!!
Call Shirley Layton, 805-642-2683 (leave a message), if you need help getting the items to the Museum or Fairgrounds. THANK YOU!
The field trip for February was Quartzsite!! Many of our members spent various amounts of time there, including Inez Shakman our Donations Awards chairperson. She picked up some wonderful awards for the show. We look forward to sharing their treasures at the February meeting.
The field trip for March will be in conjunction with our show. On Saturday, March 7th, John McCabe will lead a group to Mugu Rock at 9:30 am. Anyone who is interested, meet at the Main Ticket Entrance to the Fair Grounds at 9:15. Bring a collecting bag. This is a great area for fossils.
Greg Davis has many good ideas in the works for field trips this year. He is always interested in your wants as well, so share them with him.
Tuesday, January 20, Bruno Benson conducted a tour of the museum for a group of adults and children.
Wednesday, January 21, Ray Meisenheimer gave a program on rocks, fossils and minerals to a second grade class of about 28 students and teacher at Portola School in Ventura.
That afternoon he repeated the program to another second grade class of about the same number of students.
Thursday, January 22, Bruno and Ray were again at the museum, giving a program and tour for a home study class of children, instructors and parents, 20 children and 10 adults.
Saturday, January 24, the Orcutt Mineral Club visited the museum with Bruno as docent. Following that they went on a field trip to Coal Oil point for fossils.
Coming up - Ray has a group of home study students at the museum February 11. Also, a group of Cub Scouts on February 14.
Contributed by Florence Meisenheimer.
Here is a brief outline of the tools useful in collecting and working with fossils in the field.
Sometimes in collecting fragile specimens, we have to remind ourselves when we see it is impossible to get a specimen out, not to destroy it. It is better to leave it until a later date, until we can get the proper tools, or conditions are such that we have a good chance of getting the specimen out in reasonably good condition. We don't want it said that we destroyed in five minutes what nature preserved for millions of years.
Field tools vary with each collector and with the material being collected. The usual basic tools are:
This list of tools will get you by most types of fossil collecting, but you will be missing half the fun if you don't have a 10x or 15x hand lens to observe the details and to look for microfossils.
By Bruno Benson,
Gems & Minerals,
The meeting was called to order at 7:40 p.m. at the VGMS Museum by President McCabe. There were 11 members present.
Greg Davis reported that Don Rickey, Santa Barbara Gem & Mineral Club, will be the guest speaker at the January 28, 1998, General meeting. Rickey will talk about the gem and mineral shows in Quartzsite and Tucson and let us know how best to enjoy the trip. There will be a field trip to Quartzsite in February.
Show Committee Report: Red Jioras met with the fairground management and has placed a deposit for the Creative Living Building complex. Red commented that he needs to obtain our insurance policy from the Federation. There will be a Show Committee meeting Saturday, January 10, 1998.
Red displayed the "Gems and Minerals" banner purchased for the show. The banner is 2' x 16', yellow with blue letters. The Board discussed obtaining a small 24" x 48", "Free Admission" sign. Red will research and report back to the Board.
Nancy Jioras has the posters and small flyers for the show. One source of distribution will be school bus drivers. The posters and flyers will also be distributed to the schools.
The possibility of organizing an advertised field trip as part of the show was discussed.
By Laws and Working regulations: It was noted by Ray Meisenheimer that the By Laws may only be changed by a majority vote of the membership. The Working Regulations may be changed by a majority vote of the board members. Ray recommended that distribution to the members of the By-Laws be made after any amendments have been added.
Regular Meeting Location: President McCabe will contact Past President Breton and discuss the status on possibly changing the location for the regular meeting. Until further notice VGMS will continue to meet at the American Legion Hall in Ventura.
Education for Kids: Red Jioras gave acknowledgment and thanks to Ray Meisenheimer for all the work he does with school children.
Annual Report: Richard Bromser related that Sharlyne Holloway is working on the annual report and should have it ready by the next regular meeting.
Payment of Bills: Richard Bromser requested approval for payment of bills, check nos. 424 - 427. It was m/s/c to pay the bills submitted.
Federation Report: Florence Meisenheimer stated that Pat LaRue, California Federation Endowment Fund, has acknowledged receipt of our check in the amount of $1,500 on behalf of the following three clubs: Ventura; Conejo; and Oxnard.
Florence has the entry forms for the Central Coast Gem and Mineral Show, which will be held in Monterey, should anyone wish to put in a case.
February Board Meeting: The February Board meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 3, 1998, due to the Quartzsite show.
Genie Cab Machine: President McCabe stated that a police report would be filed on our missing Genie Cab Machine. Should the Genie Cab be located, the police report can be canceled.
Museum Door Lock: It was discussed and agreed that the lock on the museum door should be changed. It was m/s/c to authorize expenditure for a new lock and the new keys would be issued to the four instructors, Ray Meisenheimer and Bruno Benson.
Lapidary Shop: The lapidary shop will be opened the third Saturday of each month and there will be an instructor present to assist with projects.
There being no further business President McCabe adjourned the meeting at 9:10 p.m.
The General Meeting was called to order at 7:38 p.m. by President McCabe.
Guest Speaker: Don Rickey, from the Santa Barbara Gem & Mineral Club, provided a slide presentation of he and his wife's trip to Quartzsite, Tucson and various mineral collecting experiences in Arizona. Rickey provided helpful information for those planning a trip to the gem and mineral shows in Quartzsite and Tucson.
Show Report: Red Jioras, Show Chair, reported that the Show Committee has been working hard and the show preparations are corning together nicely. Jioras reminded the members that this show is our show and everyone is needed to participate. Greg Davis is arranging special presentations to be held during the Show. Shirley Layton will hold a "Pricing Party", February 5, 1998, 7:30 p.m., at the Club Museum, for articles donated for the Country Store. Inez Shakman will provide a list of the donation award prizes. Nancy Jioras has the Show posters and small flyers prepared for the members to help distribute. Nancy has already distributed posters and flyers to the libraries, Girl Scout Troop and Boy Scout Troop in Ojai.
From the President: President McCabe shared a postcard received from Wayne and Marie Ehlers from Australia. Thanks and recognition to Florence and Ray Meisenheimer for their service. Florence is our Federation Director and Ray is on the Golden Bear Committee. Our Bulletin placed 7th in the AFMS National competition for large bulletins. Congratulations and thanks to Editor, Shirley Layton. Dues are due. The Board Meeting will be on Tuesday, February 3rd, instead of Thursday, February 5th, due to members planning trips to Quartzsite and Tucson. Pricing meeting for Country Store, Thursday, February 5th, at the Club Museum. If you haven't already, take a look at our web site. Workshop will be opened the third Saturday of each month from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. Our Genie has been borrowed. Please return it. If the Genie is not returned the Club will need to decide if we want to replace it. The American Legion Hall has been reserved for our General Meetings for the rest of the year. Please take tickets for the show drawing. $1 each or 6 for $5. The prizes are great.
Field Trips: Greg Davis is setting up the schedule for field trips in the up coming year. The January field trip was to Bruno and Opal Benson's back yard. February field trip will be to Quartzsite and Tucson. Davis will provide the year's schedule as soon as the field trips are set.
Treasurer's Report: Richard Bromser distributed a copy of the Treasurer's Report for the year of January 1 thru December 31, 1997, submitted by Sharlyne Holloway.
Membership: Sharon Cunningham reminded the members that dues are due. $20 for single membership and $30 for couples. We have no new members. Sharon will include applications for membership in the show program.
BuIletin: Shirley Layton commented that the more people who submit articles, the better our bulletin. February 13th is the deadline for the February bulletin.
There being no further business, President McCabe adjourned the meeting at 9:30 p.m.
The meeting was called to order at 7:40 p.m. at the VGMS Museum by President McCabe. There were 10 members present.
Dave Mautz requested $55 to replenish prizes for the drawings held at the General Meetings. It was m/s/c to approve the expenditure.
President McCabe reported that the rental has been paid for the use of the American Legion Hall for the General Meetings for 1998.
Florence Meisenheimer will show how to set up a display case for any members who are interested, on Wednesday, February 18, 1998, at 7:00 pm.
Ray Meisenheimer related that for people exhibiting in the Ventura County Fair, August 5-16, they can start putting in their cases on July 31. Ray recommended saving cases from the VGMS Show and entering them in the Ventura County Fair.
Show Committee Report: Red Jioras stated that there will be a meeting this Saturday, February 7th, at 10:00 a.m. This will be the last meeting before the Show. Need help for the set up for the "Old Timers" Breakfast. Nancy Jioras would like to prepare a "Field Trips are Fun" poster for the Show. Red related that there will be two news articles on the Show and he will try to put together a history on the club.
By Laws and Working Regulations: Shirley Layton distributed copies of the most current By Laws and Working Regulations. It was recommended that a committee be appointed to review the club's minutes and bring both these documents up to date, after which they may be distributed to the members.
Board Meeting for March: The Board Meeting for March will be held at the Fairgrounds, 6:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m., Thursday, March 5th.
President McCabe recommended that the VGMS be more positive in their support of the Cub Scout Troop. Ray Meisenheimer commented that on February 14th, he would be bringing Pack 3124 to the Museum.
It was m/s/c that any additions to the current list of people who have keys to the Club Workshop or Museum must be approved by the Board. The people who currently have keys are: John McCabe, Jay Baumler, Greg Davis, Red Jioras, Ray Meisenheimer and Bruno Benson.
President McCabe related that California State Mining and Minerals Museum Association would like VGMS to sponsor them. It was m/s/c to sponsor CSMMMA and send $85 to reflect our membership number. President McCabe recommended that we find more ways to promote our club.
Bulletin: Shirley Layton stated that February 13th is the deadline for the February Bulletin.
Ray Meisenheimer requested permission to borrow the club's paper cutter. Permission was granted.
Payment of bills: Richard Bromser requested approval for payment of bills, check nos. 428 - 441. It was m/s/c to pay the bills submitted.
There being no further business President McCabe adjourned the meeting at 9:20 p.m.
Somehow I was out to lunch with the information on our January meeting. Sharlyne Holloway, our hospitality person, hasn't been able to attend because of Art's illness and her own. We miss them both and need them back!
We had a good attendance including three pebble pups and as always Dave Mautz did a great job with the door prizes. I do remember Maureen Breton's name was called for the Name Tag money and she wasn't there. I was sitting next to Bret and he could hardly wait to get home to tell her!!!
I have been waiting to hear from anyone who has an illness or sunny news to share.
Art and Sharlyne Holloway are still in need of our support and prayers. Art, as of last week, was transferred to the Venturan Convalescent Hospital Unit. He will remain there until his chemo treatments are finished and he can gain some strength. I talked with Sharlyne last week and he is eating fairly well and when I saw him he seemed in good spirits. He and Sharlyne can use visits, telephone calls and cards along with our thoughts and prayers during this time.
I hope the flu bug has taken flight and all of our members have had a great time at Quartzsite, even with the bad weather. Please keep me informed of anyone who is under the weather.
The membership chairperson had a note from Allie Buck and she states "My Gem & Mineral Hobby is now reading the Bulletin and enjoying it very much. I wish everyone the best in 1998." We wish the same to Allie and it was good to hear from her.
The club also had a card from Marie and Wayne Ehlers, which John read at the meeting. For those who weren't able to attend it is as follows - "Hi, We are having a GREAT trip. 3 weeks ago in the ice and snow (temp 20 degrees) and now in Darvin with temp and humidity 98 degrees and rain almost every evening. We are getting better at driving on the left! Lots of rocks up here in Kimberley, but not good for lapidary use. See you soon, Wayne & Marie". Wayne and Marie have been in Australia.
One very Sad note. We just learned that Wayne with Dad's Rock Shop in Arroyo Grande passed away in his sleep very peacefully last Thursday, the 12th. They have been dealers at our shows for many years and good friends of many of us. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife Shirley and their family. He will be missed.
Happy Birthday to all those born in March and we hope you have a Great Day! If you see anyone missing, please give me a call and leave a message with the information at 805-642-2683. Thanks!
March - Happy Birthday!!
The March birthstone is the Bloodstone or Aquamarine and the flower is the Jonquil or Primrose.
Bloodstone or Heliotrope, a chalcedony green stone with red jasper drops throughout. It is generally considered of minor importance as a mineral. In early times it was believed to be a sacred stone by the Christian church. It was used extensively for seals and engraved and carved religious objects.
For many centuries various races and religions had their own set of birth stones. In 1939 the American Jewelers Association decided to do away with all the confusion and have one list for the United States. For March bloodstone was retained, with aquamarine as an alternate choice.
Contributed by Florence Meisenheimer.
Bloodstone is a member of the quartz family. Bloodstone is also known as heliotrope. It consists of dark green plasma with blood-red and orange spots of iron oxides.
Via Victor Valley Gem and Mineral,
"The Bulletin" March '95.
Aquamarine is one of the 'Beryl' family. Beryl is a beautiful transparent stone in various colors: colorless, white, light green, olive green, blue green to blue (Aquamarine), deep green (emerald), pink or peachy pink (morganite), greenish yellow, yellow (heliodore), pinkish orange, and red (bixbite).
Hardness is in the gem range of 7.5 to 8. The density is 2.66 - 2.80.
Crystals are hexagonal in shape with the length several times longer than the thickness. Aquamarine crystals are found embedded in quartz or feldspar.
via Victor Valley Gem and Mineral Club,
"The Bulletin" - March '95.
Hello everyone! In my happy wanderings on the internet I have come across some very interesting sites that I'd like to share with you. Since I'm still very new at all of the ins and outs of fossils, rocks, and minerals, etc.... I like to read about them when ever I come across some great articles. So bear with me as I ramble on, and if you're lucky enough to be on-line, these sites are worth looking at.
DesertUSA Magazine: www.desertusa.com.
This site has a lot of information. This month they have two interesting articles, one is "Hauser Geode Beds", and the other is "Quest for Fire at Opal Hill". Both have great information and they come with maps, and site guides. Since this is a monthly magazine they have their Animal, Plant, Person, and my personal favorite, Rock of the month. They have a Wildflower Watch, to let you know what is blooming and where. Places to go and Things to do, they have just about everything. Plus access to back issues and all their articles. Looks like I have lots of reading ahead of me.
Collecting Fossils in California: www.gtlsys.com.
This site was just fun to log on to. Music and animation when you open it up. There is a fossil site index that includes: shells, sharks teeth, ammonites, trilobites, trees, & leaves. Each site includes a map, tools and equipment needed, the rules and regulations and information for each area.
Fossils of Rancho La Brea: www.lam.mus.ca.us/page/exhibits/fossils.
Very interesting, and in our very own back yard! Many articles, some topics included are, geology, entrapment, formation of fossils, microfossils, excavation techniques and MORE! Worth browsing through.
Strange Creatures - A Burgess Shale Fossil Sampler: www.nmnh.si.edu/paleo/bshome.html.
This was a very simple but informative site. Black-and-white drawings indicate what some of the half-billion-year-old, soft-bodied sea creatures found here looked like; brief text descriptions accompany the illustrations. Also there is a site address for color photos of actual Burgess Shale Fossils.
Well, that's it! Enjoy! If you don't have a computer, ask someone who does to print up some of these articles for you, it's well worth it. See you at the next meeting......
Contributed by Bonnie Demianiw.
This will feature a little background and history of some of our much experienced and treasured members. We hope to feature several during the year.
Bruno and Opal Benson are our longest and, perhaps, our most treasured members. They joined the Ventura Gem and Mineral Society in the early 1950's.
Bruno came to California from Minneapolis, Minn., when he was 12 years old. His parents were followers of the philosopher Krishnamurti and were called theosophists. Ahead of their time, they arrived in the Ojai valley a few years before thousands more came to the valley forming a huge tent city on Krotona Hill. At first Bruno's family rented an Ojai house, but a year later, his father built the home Bruno and Opal live in today.
Occasionally Bruno's parents would go to L.A. where they would drop Bruno off for the day to dig at the La Brea tar pits. Later his father built him his "first museum" a simple lean-to in the family backyard. His parents clearly valued their children and encouraged them to pursue their interests. Bruno has a sister, Lillian Greene who runs Turtle Town, a five acre refuge for ordinary and exotic turtles. She conducts field trips for school children just as Bruno conducts them for our earth science museum.
Bruno made a living as a heavy equipment operator driving a roller, skip loader and finally a crane. Eventually he owned his own crane business for 12 years.
After high school, Bruno continued his education by reading and searching for fossils. Bruno attended Ventura college for thirty five years, taking any course that interested him including: lapidary, Blow pipe analysis, mineralogy, and geology as well as non-geology courses in photography, welding, and machine shop. Not surprisingly, Opal sat in on most of these classes.
Opal is a native Californian born in Santa Ana. She was one of four children. It wasn't difficult for Opal to understand Bruno's livelihood as a heavy equipment operator because her father was also in that profession. He helped build Balboa Island. Using a fresno scraper drawn by horses he moved earth and rock to help form the foundation of the island. Later he supported his family as a professional house mover. Besides this, he owned the first car in Santa Ana! It had no steering wheel just a stick.
Bruno and Opal had four children; three daughters and a son. Family love is evident throughout their home. An entire wall is devoted to pictures of their children, their 14 grandchildren and l4 great grandchildren. Many of-these grandchildren and great grandchildren have 1ived with Opal and Bruno from time to time. (In fact, not long ago, Opal was chosen by her church as mother of the year.) The two cutest pictures on the wall are those of Bruno and Opal doing gymnastic tricks. One is on a giant innertube that Bruno calls his "trampoline" and the other is of Opal standing on Bruno's shoulders.
Bruno later became an expert on micro fossils and has, on occasion, been called to educate professors and museum curators about them. He once wrote a column for the magazine Gems and Minerals called "Whats new in Fossils". Bruno's love of fossils has given us a huge part of our Ventura Gem and Mineral Museum with his dinosaur petting zoo, great self collected fossils, educational displays, and more.
When Bruno married Opal she had no interest in fossils but she grew to love minerals and petrified wood. They traveled often in search of all three. Bruno said that for years he was given one weeks' paid vacation but he and Opal would take 4 or 5 weeks in addition to "really pursue their interests". They counciled their family to enjoy life but to work hard as well. They have many wonderful stories from their rock pursuits.
Both Bruno and Opal are small in stature but it never stopped them! They struggled once with 6 huge ammonite fossils (sea snails the size of people); first to free them from their matrixes, and then to use them as seats in their camper because they were so big.
In their youth Bruno called Opal his Fire Opal because she had a quick temper. Once, angry at her broken sewing machine Opal reached her end and tossed the machine out the second floor window. Luckily Bruno caught it "on its way out the window". Opal was a serious seamstress making all the family's clothes for years. She missed only one of Bruno's V.C. classes when she took a course on tailoring. Another "fire moment" happened when the wringer on the washing machine failed. She gave it giant kick sending it down the hallway and straight out the backdoor. (Bruno bought her new machines on both occasions.) Opal still has great strength and fire. At their recent rock sale she lifted a 30 pound garden rock she'd sold and pushed another into the empty spot refusing to wait for help.
Opal, like rockhounds everywhere endured much in pursuit of her hobby. Once, in Bisbee, Arizona a city built on hills, Opal climbed two flights of stairs to check out a place advertising minerals for sale. Bruno waited in the car. When Opal reached the top landing she found herself face. to face with a vicious dog who snarled leaped at her. She made the split second decision to leap off the balcony. Bruno, sitting in the car, suddenly saw her sail off the second story balcony in a seated position backwards. He tells about this vision while chuckling. Opal sustained a mild sprain to a little finger and that was all! Bruno believes she was saved because the building was on a hill. "She kind of rolled," he said mischieviously. "She went right back upstairs to check out the minerals" he said, "once the store owner had control of the dog of course."
Bruno suffered a devastating stroke when he was 54 years old. Doctors believed it happened because he worked 4 months straight, seven days a week from sun up to sun down operating a crane to repair Santa Paula bridges that were damaged in the floods of 1969. This stroke left him unable to speak or walk. For two long years Opal struggled to help him and Bruno struggled to help himself. One day Bruno was trying to button his shirt and Opal reached to help him. Bruno said "Leave me alone!" They looked at each other and then just held each other and cried with happiness. Bruno had finally uttered his first words.
Bruno and Opal have been active members of both our club and the Federation. They have created earth science educational cases for local classrooms, club programs, served refreshments for years and happily volunteered whenever they were needed. They have served in just about every capacity in our club. If all that isn't enough, they're also active in their church and they both volunteer for the charity Food Share.
Opal and Bruno are also artists though I'm sure they will both deny such talent. Opal has made exquisite clocks and bookends from some of the petrified wood and minerals she's collected. Bruno is very artistic too. Opal casually mentioned that she once packed a peach in Bruno's lunch nearly every day. Bruno would return from work and bestow on her something he whittled from a peach pit that day.
"If you can guess what this is", he would say, "then you can have it." She only failed to guess correctly once. "It was," Bruno said, "a portrait of myself in New York City, looking up at the tall buildings." This pit carving did look exact1y like people look with their eyes all goggled and mouths shaped like O's. Opal still keeps these peach pit creations in a special box. Every one of these carved animals is beautifully rendered, and all of them have a touch of whimsy.
Bruno's knowledge of geology is vast, his patience wonderful and his sense of humor is the best. He always makes us laugh and he is always approachable.
Opal is still his "Fire Opal" though he insists she is now his "Calm on Opal." She is just as intelligent in her way as Bruno is in his. Opal is sparkily, highly perceptive, warm, funny, shy sometimes, modest always, and just a total delight to those who know her.
It is clear that the Ventura Gem and Mineral Society is blessed to have them with us all these years.
Contributed by Inez Shakman,
Ever sence I rote to ya last month me an Ol' Liz been follerin those same two rockhouns down in Mexico. Ben kinda interestin too--like the time the lady rockhoun bent over with a cactus too close in back of her. She yelled so loud her husband thought a bear or somthin wuz after her. He came to her rescue and it wuz purty funny him havin to use a pair of pliers to seperate vegetation. She did mostly standin fer quite a spell.
Anuther time he takes her out in a boat an she wuzn't too happy when a whale came swimmin over to investigate there boat.
They witnessed a wonce in a lif-time scene wen they were watchin a pelican scoop up fish in his pouch. When he got it full of fish another pelican dived down to steal the fish. His bill went rite thru the other pelican's pouch an they proceeded to reely git tangled up. It took both the rockhoun man and woman to git them untangled. They didn't have no needle an thread to sew up the one whose pouch was slit so they kinda worry for fear he can't catch anymore fish. We follered them cleer back to the U.S.A. and they reely had a nice trip (the rockhouns not the pelicans).
Now me an Ol' Liz is biddin ya a fond fairwell as we won't be follerin rockhouns no more but will jes be settin in the sun. It's ben nice ritin to ya weather ya ever red what we rote or not.
Ol' Liz and Ol' Horn Tode.
Historians Note: It's ben 40 years since Ol' Liz and Ol' Horn Tode stopped writin their poplar colun for the VGMS bulletin, Rockhound Rambling. Ol' Liz and Ol' Horn Tode never did jes set in the sun. They dont foller rockhouns no more cuz the rockhouns purty much come to them with all kindsa questions about where thins ar found and what thar called. Ol' Liz and Ol' Horn Tode had a big sale jeslast month in Meiners Oaks that wer a 'coomalation' of rocks and fossils they done persnully found.
A fine felt tip permanent marker pen is great for marking non-porous polished or rough stones. This can be for tracing cabs, marking defects, etc. It can even be used in faceting. These marker pens should not be used on opal, turquoise, or other porous or fragile materials.
The above helpful ideas were via Wayne Ehlers,
from The Lapidary Journal.
That's a lesson we learned in our travel trailer on our way home from the Jackson Show. We stopped Friday afternoon in a trailer court along Highway 50 out of Lamar, CO. Rain began during the night and soon turned to snow and by morning a blizzard was raging and drifts were several feet deep. The blizzard continued all day Saturday with snow blowing into the trailer through the windows and door and by evening the electricity and phones were out and the court's water supply frozen. The wind blew even harder Saturday night but died down Sunday morning. However, drifts completely blocked the highway so that no traffic could get through. The court had no propane so we were completely dependent upon the propane, water and batteries in our trailer as the temperature dropped to 13 F. Fortunately, we had not stopped on empty (except for our holding tanks). After three very uncomfortable (but survivable) nights, the highway was plowed and by Monday afternoon we could continue on our way home, but we hate to think of how it would have been had we not had propane, water, good batteries and gas in the truck.
via AFMS Newsletter,
Editors Note: Ray & Florence Meisenheimer have met the Lees many times at Federation shows. They live in Oregon.
Environmentalists are anti cattle grazing, fishing, mining, open roads, logging, and many other necessities of life.
The organization People for the West is working for people's rights--the right for logging companies to work, the right to use roads that have been open since the 1800s, the right to do mining, etc.
With the new year the name has been changed to PEOPLE FOR FOR THE USA, to include all 50 states, for a good reason. Read on--
The Green Movement began in the West because this is where most of the federal public lands are. The Green Movement is pushing east with their campaign of overregulation and economy-crippling obstruction. Recent headlines are revealing--
"The U.S. Forest Service has halted virtually all logging on its East Texas lands to comply with a sweeping court injunction granted to environmentalists."
"A lawsuit to halt logging in Pennsylvania marks a growing trend of legal challenges to timber sales in the East. Over the last two years, environmentalists have also gone to court in Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri and Vermont."
"A federal judge on September 5 ruled that the U.S. Forest Service must suspend logging in two areas of Wayne National Forest in southern Ohio pending a hearing".
"A group of House of Representatives and senators is calling for a moratorium on logging in 750,000 acres of national forest lands in southern Appalachian Mountains.
Not to mention strong new Green assaults in Minnesota, the Carolinas, and other non-western states. Westerners have put forth a heroic effort to reclaim a voice in the decision affecting our communities and resource-based culture. But we in the West do not have a monopoly on hard times, nor on Green interference. If you think it's become difficult to sustain a way of life as a Western rancher, for example, try being a farmer in the middle U.S. today, where nearly one half of the work force has either no job, or an inadequate one. Like the West, the East contains farms, oil and coal production, timber harvesting, and all of the resource production activities that are the backbone of our grassroots organization.
From People for the USA 1/98.
Contributed by Florence Meisenheimer,
Via People for the USA 1/98.
The American Federation is made up into seven regional federations - Eastern, South Eastern, South Central, Midwest, Rocky Mountain, Northwest and California, which includes parts of Arizona and all of Nevada and Hawaii. Each year the American Federation show is combined with one of the regional shows. The most recent American / California show was l996 in Riverside.
Every member of a federated club is also a member of the American Federation. Our dues, paid to CFMS the beginning of. each year, are $1.50 per member. Fifty cents of that goes to AFMS.
AFMS and most of the Regional Federations now have an endowment fund. It is established by donations and fund raising activities. No one is "required" to pay money into it. The funds are invested and only the interest may be used as decided by the Board of Directors. The fund is a good back-up for emergencies, rather than asking clubs for an increase in dues.
What is our benefit?
Santa Lucia Rockhounds are hosting a tailgate affair on the parking lot of WallMart in Paso Robles, April 4 & 5. This will be the first tailgate party at WallMarts. There will be a number of dealers selling their gems, minerals, rough rocks, and jewelry. The hours are from 10 to 6. If any one wishes to sell, contact Mickey P. Smith, P.O. Box 119, Paso Robles, CA 93447-0119 (805) 238-4167. There will be a vast assortment of things and goodies to buy.
Contributed by Florence Meisenheimer.
The annual Boron show and tailgating will be April 4 & 5 at the Boron High School. There are between 50 & 60 outside dealers with great bargains. This is the only time field trippers are allowed to go on the Borax Dump. The field trip starts promptly at 9 am Saturday; I believe 10 am on Sunday.
Contributed by Florence Meisenheimer.
50 dealers will have all of the material and goodies you want or need. More than 200 show cases will be on display with all of the beauties of nature.
Hotels and motels will charge summer rates, also be booked early, so plan to make your reservation early. Salinas, 17 miles away, may have motels with more reasonable charges.
Dry camping, or with hookups is on the Fairgrounds, $17.50 or $20.00 per night. Showers and restrooms are available.
You Otter C the show!
The combined AFMS / Midwest Show and Convention will be in the heart of Lake Superior copper country. Convention activities will be on the campus of Michigan Technological University. There will be over 20 guided surface collecting trips and 3 underground guided collecting tours. There is a fee for each trip, those underground slightly higher. Some trips will be to privately owned rock piles made available just for this show. Each trip is limited to a pre-set number of collectors so preregistration is a must.
Field trips are Tuesday through Sunday. The show is Friday through Sunday.
The emphasis on this show is field trips. The show is small, with only competitive exhibitors, 18 dealers, demonstrators, silent auction and swap area.
FEBRUARY 21-22 STOCKTON, CA - Stockton Lapidary & Mineral Club, Scottish Rite Temple, 33 W. Alpine. Hours: Sat 10-6, Sun 10-5. Jim Dunlap (209) 478-0747.
FEBRUARY 21-22 NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA - Del-Air, Sierra Pelona, VIP, & Woodland Hills clubs. Valley Plaza Rec Center, 12240 Archwood St. Hours: 10-5 both days. Mary Backus (805) 578-9886.
FEBRUARY 27-MARCH 8 IMPERIAL, CA - Imperial Valley Gem & Mineral Soc, Gem & Mineral Bldg, Calif Mid-Winter Fairgrounds - Hwy 86. Hours: Fri Noon-10, Sat & Sun 10-10, Monday thru Thursday 4-10. Jacque Swerdfeger (760) 344-6230.
FEBRUARY 28-MARCH 1 SAN JOSE, CA - Santa Clara Valley Gem & Mineral Soc., Santa Clara County fairgrounds, 334 Tully Road. Hours: Sat 10-6, Sun 10-5. Chuck Boblenz (408) 734-2473.
MARCH 6-8 HAYWARD, CA - Min & Gem Soc of Castro Valley Centennial Hall, 22292 Foothill Blvd. Hours: Fri & Sat 10-6, Sun 10-5. Laurie Denton, (510) 233-8821.
MARCH 6-8 PHOENIX, AZ - Maricopa Lapidary Society, Mt. Preserve Conference Center, 14th St. & Dunlap. Hours: Fri & Sat 10-6, Sun 10-5. Ann Baker (602) 267-1926.
MARCH 7-8 VENTURA, CA - Ventura Gem & Min Soc, Seaside Park (Ventura County Fairgrounds). Hours: Sat. 10-6, Sun. 10-5. Richard Jioras (805) 646-7184.
MARCH 7-8 MONROVIA, CA - Monrovia Rockhounds, Masonic Temple, 204 W. Foothill Blvd. Hours: Sat 10-6, Sun 10-5. Mark Carney (626) 303-6355.
MARCH 14-15 TURLOCK, CA - Mother Lode Mineral Society, Stanislaus County Fairgrounds. Hours: Sat 10-6, Sun 10-5. Marion Sampson (209)848-2709.
MARCH 14-15 SALINAS, CA - Monterey Bay Mineral Soc of Salinas, Spreckels Veterans Bldg., 5th & Llano. Hours: Sat 10-6, Sun 10-5. Gene Hagberg (408) 663-2698.
MARCH 14-15 SAN MARINO, CA - Pasadena Lapidary Society, Masonic Temple, 3130 Huntington Dr. Hours: Sat 10-6, Sun 10-5. Vern Cliffe (626) 355-6964.
MARCH 14-15 HAWTHORNE, CA - Northrop Grumman Gem & Min Club, NGRC Clubhouse, 12329 Crenshaw Blvd Gate 16. Hours: Sat 10-6 Sun 10-5. Jimmy Lapham (310) 331-1406.
MARCH 28-29 VALLEJO, CA - Vallejo Gem & Mineral Society, Solano County Fairgrounds, Solano Co. Building. Hours: 10-5 both days. Mr. & Mrs. Nowak.
MARCH 28-29 SAN DIEGO, CA - San Diego Mineral & Gem Society, Al Bahr Shrine Temple, 5440 Kearny Mesa Road. Hours: Sat 10-6, Sun 10-5. Phyllis Borchardt (619) 299-6489.
MARCH 28-29 TORRANCE, CA - South Bay Lapidary & Min Soc, Torrance Recreation Center, 3341 Torrance Blvd. Hours: Sat 10-6, Sun 10-5. Leslie Neff (310) 318-2170.
MARCH 28-29 ROSEVILLE, CA - Roseville Rock Rollers, Placer County Fairgrounds. Hours: Sat 10-6, Sun 10-5. Charlie Brown (916) 652-4240.
APRIL 4-5 BORON, CA - Mojave Mineralogical Soc, Boron High School Multi-purpose room. Hours: Sat 9-7, Sun 9-4. David Eyre (760) 762-6575.
APRIL 11-12 PAMISE, CA - Paradise Gem & Mineral Club, Veteran's Memorial Hall, Skyway & Elliott Rd. Hours: Sat 10-5, Sun 10-4. Charles Brouse (916) 877-9266.
APRIL 17-19 HENDERSON, NEVADA - Las Vegas Gem Club, Henderson Convention Center, 200 Water St. Hours: 10-6 each day. Jim Paulis (702) 597-5104.
APRIL 25-26 SANTA CRUZ, CA - Santa Cruz Mineral & Gem Soc, Santa Cruz Civic Aud., 307 Church St. Hours: 10-5 both days. Patricia Clarke (408) 479-8759.
MAY 2-3 BAKERSFIELD, CA - Kern County Mineral Society, Kern County Fairgrounds, Ming & South P St. Hours: 10-5 both days. Frank Sterling (805) 366-5230.
MAY 2-3 ANAHEIM, CA - Searchers Gem & Mineral Soc, Brookhurst Community Center, 2271 W. Crescent Ave. Hours: Sat 10-6, Sun 10-5. Milt Green (714) 633-6505.
MAY 9-10 RENO, NV - Reno Gem & Mineral Society, Reno Livestock Events Center, 1350 N. Wells Ave. Hours: Sat 10-6, Sun 10-5.
MAY 16-17 ANTIOCH, CA - Antioch Lapidary Club, Contra Costa Co. Fairgrounds, 10th St & "O" St. Hours: 10-5 both days. Emmitt Smith (510) 439-8071.
MAY 16-17 NEWBURY PARK, CA - Conejo Gem & Mineral Club, Borchard Park Community Center, 190 Reino Road. Hours: Sat 9-5 , Sun 10-5. Bob Stultz (805) 498-4220.
MAY 16-17 YUCAIPA, CA - Yucaipa Valley Gem & Mineral Soc, Community Center First St. & Ave B. Hours: Sat 10-6, Sun 10-5. Henry Cobb (909) 795-2318.
JULY 11-12 CULVER CITY, CA - Culver City Rock & Mineral Club, Veteran's Memorial Bldg., Corner of Culver City Blvd & Overland Ave. Hours: Sat 10-6, Sun 10-5. Judith Gould (310) 820-8878.
July 3-5, Monterey, CA - Monterey Fairgrounds, 2004 Fairgrounds Rd. Show Chairman: Kay Carter (408) 422-0530.
There will be seven AFMS shows, including the show in Monterey. If you are traveling in or near the areas, you may want to visit one or more of the shows.
SOUTH CENTRAL - February 28, 29 & March 1, Bayfront Plaza Convention Center, 1901 N. Shoreline, Corpus Christi, TX.
NORTHWEST - June 12-14, Metra Park, Montana Pavilion, Billings, MT.
MIDWEST-AMERICAN - August 14-15, Michigan Tech University, Houghton, MI.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN - October 23-25, Tulsa County Fairgrounds, Tulsa, OK.
EASTERN - November 5-8, Tor School, Stamford, CT.
SOUTHEASTERN - No information at this time.
THE AMERICAN FEDERATION SHOW will be in Upper Michigan this year with early trips to copper country mines. This is a unique experience, you won't want to miss this one.Table of Contents.
THINK LEAD'S HEAVY at 710 pounds per cubic foot? Try palladium at 717, thallium at 740, rethenium at 767, rodium at 776, hafnium at 830, mercury at 849, tantalium at 1035, uranium at 1166, tungston at 1174, gold at 1204, iridium at 1298, platinum at 1333, and osmium at a whopping 1404.
via Rock Rustler's News,
via AFMS Newsletter, Feb. 1998.
DON'T THROW PLASTIC INTO A CAMPFIRE because it may first melt forming a bubble with liquid inside and then explode when the liquid turns into steam. Persons nearby could be burned seriously.
via AFMS Newsletter, Feb. 1998.
Just for the record any unsigned articles are by the Editor. Thank you to all who help make the bulletin more interesting by contributing articles and information for events. We all appreciate it!!!Table of Contents.
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