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Return to the Rockhound Rambling Center.
"MARK YOUR CALENDARS."
4-18-98 - Show Critique Meeting - 10.00 am - Home of Red & Nancy Jioras, 613 South Laluna Avenue, Ojai, CA.
4-18-98 - Lapidary Class - 9:00 am to 12:00 noon - (see details under "Rockhound Bulletin Board") along with the Workshop being open at VGMS Museum.
4-22-98 - VGMS Regular Meeting - 7:30 pm - American Legion Hall - Presentation on "Sharks Tooth Hill" by Mike Metz & Chuck Church.
5-7-98 - VGMS Board Meeting - 7:30 pm - VGMS Museum - All are welcome and encouraged to attend.
5-8-98 - DEADLINE FOR MAY BULLETIN - Articles to the Editor! (This is a week earlier than normal due to vacation!)
5-9-98 - Field Trip - JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) - Details on meeting etc. will be given at the April 22nd meeting or call Greg Davis at (805) 647-9214.
5-16 & 17-98 - Conejo Gem & Mineral Club Show - Get your cases ready. Call Bob Stultz, (805) 498-4220 for entry forms.
5-16-98 - Workshop Open at VGMS Museum - 9:00 am to 12:00 noon.
5-23, 24, 25-98 (Memorial Day Weekend) - Field Trip - Wiley Wells.
5-27-98 - VGMS Regular Meeting - 7:30 pm - American Legion Hall.
6-4-98 - VGMS Board Meeting - 7:30 pm - VGMS Museum - All are welcome and encouraged to attend.
6-13-98 - Field Trip - Home of Ray and Jo Anna Ritchey (includes a Barbecue).
6-14-98 - Annual Pancake Breakfast - Home of Steve and Susan Mulqueen.
7-11-98 - Field Trip - St. Francis Dam and Howlite Collecting.
8-8-98 - Field Trip - Jalama Beach.
8-23-98 - VGMS Annual Picnic.
9-12-98 - Field Trip - Pine Mountain.
10-10-98 - Field Trip - Mohave Desert.
11-14-98 - Field Trip - Fossils in Camarillo.
12-9-98 - VGMS Annual Christmas Party.
Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.
He who laughs last, thinks slowest.
Steve Mulqueen gave a great slide and talk presentation on Searles Lake. Steve worked in Trona and on the Lake for a time and the personal input makes it even more interesting. Steve had several samples of the minerals that can be collected and found on the lake. Further on in the bulletin you will find an article on "The Development of Searles Lake" which is a good follow-up to Steve's presentation. This will also allow those that weren't able to attend to enjoy the history.
Keep in mind that at the Trona show in October there will be field trips to Searles Lake and collecting allowed.
There were many interesting finds on display besides Steve's specimens, many of which were found near Camarillo.
"ROCKHOUND BULLETIN BOARD."
SPECIAL THANKS TO RAY RITCHEY - A special thanks from all the members of VGMS are sent to Ray Ritchey who filled our many, many grab bags (wonderful ones made by Marie Ehlers) used in our show for the kids. The kids just loved them as Ray put in some very nice material. The workers at the kids' games kept seeing the same faces as they would look at Ray's great material and turn right around and come back for more.
Ray has a hard time getting around, but has a heart of gold and works very hard to share his experience and knowledge with others. Ray and Jo Anna are members of our club, but live in Monrovia so we don't get to see them very much. We hope to have a field trip to Ray and Jo Anna's in June to see all their great material, share their knowledge and enjoy their company.
LAPIDARY CLASS TO START - Mark April 18 on your calendar as the starting date for our next Lapidary Class. At the last club meeting there were a number of people who held up their hand as wanting to attend. It is not necessary that you sign up beforehand, just be at the first meeting and put your name on the list at that time. The classes are held at our Museum-Workshop, 5019 Crooked Palm Road, starting at 9 am. Usually we end the class at noon but don't be surprised if it lasts until one o'clock or later. The whole series will usually be 4 to 5 weeks long. Instruction will be given in the use of both slab and trim saws, and making cabochons on both silicon-carbide and diamond cabbing machines. This is a "hands on" type of class so be prepared to get your hands dirty and wear old clothes. If you have your own rocks to cut or polish it is okay but there are rocks and slabs available at the workshop. If you want to bring your own machine it is welcome. If you need more information call me, Wayne Ehlers, at 805-482-6830.
THE "ROCK" OF THE MONTH - JADE - For the month of April, Steve has set up a display of California Jade aka Nephrite Jade at the Santa Paula Union Oil Museum in Santa Paula. This will be on display until June 1st. Susan Mulqueen has taken some pictures of this display and the two previous ones that we are going to put on the Web site. Steve furnished us some information about JADE. It is a hard, extremely tough gemstone consisting of either the pyroxene mineral Jadeite or the amphibole mineral Nephrite. It's color ranges from black and deep green to greenish white. CALIFORNIA JADE, also known as Nephrite Jade, is found in several locations in California associated with the Serpentine rocks of the Franciscan series. These rocks are from the upper Jurassic period, which means they are over 140 million years old. The most famous Jade locality in California is at Jade Cove, in the central coast, where it was once found in abundance on the beach.
This is a great museum. If you haven't taken a tour do so and check out Steve's display. This is great PR for VGMS and many thanks to Steve and all those that loan material for display.
LAPIDARY WORKSHOP - 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.
1998 INSECT FAIR (NOTE CHANGE IN DATES AND LOCATION FROM MARCH ISSUE) - June 13-14, 1998 from 9am to 4pm at the Los Angeles Natural History Museum. 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 are going to add some photos of Steve Mulqueen's display at the Santa Paula Union Oil Museum and also some Field Trip photos and information!
Just to let you know that the site is visited frequently and has some good results, I want to share the following e-mail with you from a potential new member. "Greetings - I think you have a terrific website. It's very friendly and informative. I've taken a number of geology classes and gone on some field trips around California. I am thinking of joining your group and am looking forward in taking part in field trips and using the lapidary facilities." We have sent him a message with the meeting time and place and also about our upcoming lapidary class.
We need articles and fresh material. Please help out!
FOSSIL INFO AVAILABLE FOR FREE - The U.S.G.S. has published a 24 page booklet entitled "Fossils, Rocks & Time" by Lucy E. Edwards and John Pojeta Jr., and a related poster, "Fossils Through Time" by Pojeta and Edwards. Both are free from Book and Open-File Report Sales, U.S.G.S., Federal Center, P.O. Box 25425, Denver, CO 80225.
via MWF Newsletter, et al,
via Rear Trunk 12/97,
via Rocky Review 3/98.
PUMPKIN ELIZABETH ANYONE? - Remember that great pumpkin dessert that Carlon Strobel made for the November meeting and also for the show? She had promised us the recipe and here it is:
1 large can Libbey Pumpkin (not pie) filling
Follow directions on can except use only 1 can of evaporated milk
Mix all ingredients - put in 9x13 pan
Crumble 1 box yellow cake mix on top
Chop pecans and sprinkle liberally over the top
Melt 2 cubes of butter--Drizzle well over the top
Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until knife comes out clean in center of cake.
UUUMMMM - I can taste it now!!
ROCKHOUND RAMBLING IN TOP THREE - We just received notice that OUR bulletin is in the top three of the Large Bulletin category in the CFMS Bulletin Contest. By being in the top three it will also be sent to AFMS along with the top three from all of the other federations to be judged as well. The California Federation winners will be announced at the California Federation Show in Monterey in July. I won't be able to be there, but hopefully some of you will and can take credit for us! Congratulations to all of you and thank you for your input. It can't be done without you!
We were very sorry to hear of the passing of Joe Deckard on Friday, April 3rd. Joe was 94 and died of a heart attack. His wife passed away about a year and a half ago. Joe was a member of VGMS for many years, but was not able to be too active as he cared for his invalid wife.
Joe was born in Missouri and married his wife there. The ceremony was performed by a preacher while they were sitting in a buggy. They were married 74 years when his wife passed away. They came to Oxnard in 1935 and then moved to Santa Paula. He was a finish carpenter and loved rock hounding and fishing.
Many members got to know him better the past few years, as he was selling some of his ABUNDANT material. It was like going on field trip to his place! He loved to sit out there, while you sorted, and share his knowledge and many stories of collecting.
Joe will be missed and our thoughts and prayers are with his family.
"FIELD TRIPS ARE FUN."
See "Mark Your Calendars" for the 1998 Field Trip Schedule. Any changes will be announced at the meetings and/or in the Bulletin.
FIELD TRIP TO AFTON CANYON.
Afton Canyon, just east of Barstow, is an interesting geological area. Part of the lake bottom of prehistoric Lake Mannix, Afton Canyon is formed mostly of lake sediment, some of which is over a hundred feet thick. Today, the powers of erosion and the Mojave River have carved quite a show place. At times called the Grand Canyon of California, the character and moods of Afton Canyon are many. From the multi-colored canyon walls to the spire like patterns that have been eroded in the sedimentary walls, Afton Canyon is a place where one could explore for weeks at a time and never truly see it all.
The first weekend in April, VGMS members braved threats of EL NINO to scavenge rocks in Afton Canyon. Jay Baumler, Carlon Strobel, and Red and Nancy Jioras were the first group to arrive. They spent Friday visiting Diamond Pacific for as long as finances would allow, then they foraged around the foothills near the Early Man Site. As promised in the Gem Trails books, the collecting was good for agate, jasp-agate and a few small, but cute, chalcedony roses. The desert was in full bloom and the afternoon found the explorers up a dead-end canyon whose road was so full of wild flowers it looked like the poppies along the Yellow Brick Road to Oz. Wild flowers of all kinds flashed their incredible colors. Best of all were the blossoms of the Beaver Tail Cactus.
Carlon made everyone pose so she could have a picture of them at the end of the canyon. With her camera on automatic, Carlon pushed the shutter and started her sprint around the rocks and foliage to get into the shot. As she jumped off a rock she tripped, launching herself about three feet into the air and landing face down. When the shutter went off, there were Jay, Nancy and Red all splitting a gut and looking down at the now prone Carlon (pictures to follow). Carlon, unbruised and laughing, finally got her shot and the group ended their Friday setting up camp in Afton Canyon at the BLM campground. The weather was as promised, cold (in the 30's) and windy, with occasional downpours.
Shirley and Jim Layton and Kathryn Davis arrived during the night, and Greg and Valli Davis arrived shortly thereafter. Greg mentioned that this was their 25th wedding anniversary trip. He promised Valli that he was going to take her some place warm and sandy giving her a choice between Hawaii and the Mojave desert. Valli chose the rocks. Appropriately, Greg's gift to her on their silver anniversary was a shiny new rock hammer. Greg and Valli also brought a real "rock hound," their long haired Shar Pei named Bear. Bear has such a loveable disposition he was promptly voted the trip mascot.
Shortly after Greg, Steve and Susan Mulqueen arrived and soon the intrepid 11 were off in three vehicles, fording the raging Mojave River (it was only 2 1/2 feet deep) in search of the treasures of Afton Canyon. The first canyon explored yielded very little except for burro tracks and piles of droppings and more wonderful Beaver Tail Cactus in bloom. To the delight of all, Steve saved the walk by conducting a roving classroom on the area while Susan graciously helped the newer members identify plants, rocks and bugs.
By the time the morning walk was over it was decided to go back to camp for some lunch and do more research about the area. Going back across the Mojave River Steve decided that the edge of the road was shallower. Upon exiting his vehicle back at camp, he discovered that he had run over something in the river that punctured his tire; enter the pit crew of Steve, Greg and Red. After removing the tire Greg came up with a tire patch kit, Steve had a mini-compressor, and in no time the problem was solved. Happily two of our new members, Les and Pat Isom had arrived and set up camp, ready to search out all these great rocks that Greg had told them about.
While eating lunch, Steve and Greg broke out their Gem Trails books as well as the "Rock and Gem" article that Greg had copied, and the debate began about where to go next. The article spoke of a place by an old waterfall where every rock was gem quality. It was determined that the canyon discussed in the article was directly across from the camp, so off went 13 people in search of a gem covered waterfall. Shortly after entering the wash at the mouth of the canyon Shirley found a small but beautiful piece of blue lace agate with really nice pattern. It was also at this time Kathryn was nicknamed "first in, last out Davis" because there is truly no one more tenacious than Kathryn when it comes to searching for rocks. Kathryn's persistence prevailed up to the afternoon of the last day when she found a wonderful crystal cavity in a very odd rock. We hope she will share it at a club meeting.
By Saturday evening the troops were all exhausted from crawling to the top of various ridges. Even though the quality rocks were not jumping into buckets, the views and flowers were so spectacular that no one was sorry to have made the trip. Even our new members, Les and Pat, expressed joy about being out there, although maybe Les' joy came from finding the prize of the trip in a fantastic piece of jasp-agate. The evening started with a great camp fire and a culinary feast for everyone prepared by Carlon. Her Shrimp Creole and spinach salad were out of this world. The rest of the evening found Carlon easing the tension of food preparation with copious quantities of wine, and Jay relaxing with just a few Gin and Tonics. By the end of the evening, everyone was so tired from laughing at the "world according to Jay" (ask him about 'Bunsen burner blue jeans') that sleep came easy to all. Steve and Susan were staying in Barstow and had to make that long drive back after a hard day of fun.
Sunday found the group bright eyed (for the most part) and ready to find the missing waterfall. While half the group (Greg, Valli, Les, Pat and Bear) went to explore another side canyon, the other half (Jay, Shirley, Kathryn, Jim, Carlon, Nancy and Red) took a 4X4 cruise down the main canyon, driving in the moist, sometimes wet, Mojave River. About halfway through the main canyon they turned into a small side canyon with towering walls. Driving as far as possible they got out and walked into what can only be described as a natural cathedral. At the end of the trail was a small 10 X 10 foot room with straight walls that went up over a 100 feet. The rain waters had carved marvelous shapes into the landscape. It was really hard to look down for rocks when looking up was such a compelling view.
By mid afternoon Sunday, everyone was pretty pooped and met at the camp ground to show off treasures and say good-byes. Again, Les showed off another beautiful piece of jasp-agate (this guy is a natural) and Greg claims to have found the secret waterfall, but he's not telling where. It was sad to end another great trip; but maybe the newly acquired treasures will be displayed at the next meeting. Hopefully the next field trip will see even more members getting together for another fun time.
By Red and Nancy Jioras
|The wind can blow with unbelievable intensity in the desert. Secure your camp before bedding down at night.
from "East Mojave Heritage Trail."
April 25 & 26 are the dates of the Lancaster Annual show. It is a large show, the club is very friendly, and the weather is usually perfect.
There are field trips both Saturday and Sunday. Saturday is to Lonely Butte for palm wood, palm bog and fossil cat tail. The material is super-abundant, much of it brittle agate, so be selective in what you pick up. Sunday is for agate or travertine.
The trips leave promptly at nine am. If you plan on going, be sure to take something to drink. It can be very hot out there.
Contributed by Florence Meisenheimer.
The only substitute for good manners is fast reflexes.Table of Contents.
I am planning on a field trip to Fallon, Nevada, on Labor Day weekend, 5 - 6 - 7 September 1998. We will be going after Rhyolite about 10 miles east of Fallon and camping in that area.
I will re-check the area and material the first week of March, the weather permitting. If the weather does not allow me to make the trip at that time, I will go up there after the weather is better.
Directions and a map will follow in later CFMS Newsletters.
CFMS Field Trip North Chairman,
1012 Mockingbird Lane,
Fairfield, CA 94533-2426,
Via CFMS Newsletter - April 1998.
"A ROCKHOUND ANNIVERSARY."
Greg and Valli Davis celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary March 16th.
It all started 25 years ago. We didn't have much money, Hawaii would have to wait and so for our Honeymoon, we went to Palm Desert (Couldn't afford Palm Springs!) and hunted colorful rocks in the wash. Being enrolled in a geology class at Ventura College, this type of trip interested both of us.
Well, 25 years later, I was surprised when non-rockhound friends chuckled at my anniversary gift to my wife - her very own new, shiny rock hammer and a trip to the desert to use it! I know that all of you will certainly understand such a gift as being perfectly appropriate for this occasion, and Valli did too.
Maybe I've always been overly practical!
Hope everyone comments on her lovely anniversary gift while at Afton!
Field Trip Chairperson.
(Ed. Note: I was at Afton and Valli was just more than hammering away at the canyon walls! She was thoroughly enjoying it as everyone did. It was a great field trip. Good job Greg!)
Wednesday, March 25, Ray Meisenheimer participated in Science Night at Los Colinas School in Camarillo. This is his third year there. Attendance was reportedly 500 students and adults. Ray enjoyed showing his specimens and the kids and parents certainly enjoyed his program.
Friday, March 27, Ray and Bruno Benson gave a tour of the museum to 60 school children and 6 adults. Helping with the children were Red Jioras and Florence Meisenheimer. The busload of children were from Weatherfield School in Thousand Oaks.
Wednesday, April 1, Ray and Florence conducted a tour for 40 children and 10 adults from Juanamaria School in Ventura. After visiting the museum they all enjoyed collecting small gems from the rock pile outside.
Contributed by Florence Meisenheimer.
"CFMS EARTH SCIENCE STUDIES KNOWN AS ZZYZX."
Attending were a total of 86 individuals, including staff and instructors. The weather, which can be unpredictable this time of year, was picture perfect, with beautiful sunrises every morning. The meals, provided by caterers who also cater on movie sets were out of this world. Field trips to areas recently opened to collecting were attended by a total of 91 persons, some going several times. Programs on Gem collecting in Columbia, Russian Treasures, and minerals by Bob Jones, editor of Rock and Gem magazine, printed in Ventura, were attended by almost every one. Bob has a rare and delightful story-telling ability that is very entertaining. "Fun Night" on Friday was so much fun, no one wanted it to end. At graduation on Saturday, we all saw literally hundreds of beautiful carvings, sets of beads, rings, pendants, cabochons silver work, etc. It was a great week.
Contributed by Florence Meisenheimer.
"VENTURA COUNTY FAIR."
Now that VGMS show is over, start thinking about Ventura County Fair, August 5 to 16. One of the goals of the Fair supervisors is to get more people involved--exhibiting, participating and volunteering in every department.
I would like as many members as possible from this club to exhibit. Even if you do not win a ribbon, you have participated. Entries are automatically competitive unless a special exhibit such as Bruno's fossils.
Think about it - if attendance at the Fair is 250,000 visitors, at least 10,000 will visit the Gem & Mineral Department and will have seen your exhibit.
Volunteers are needed to set up the department and to tear it down the day after the Fair closes. Many volunteers are needed to patrol the department and answer questions from 10 AM to closing every day of the Fair. There is a sign up sheet for time and number of hours.
The pessimist may be right but the optimist has fun on the way.Table of Contents.
MINUTES OF REGULAR BOARD MEETING,
The meeting was called to order at 7:45 pm at the VGMS Museum by President McCabe. There were 15 members present.
Ray Meisenheimer stated that he hosted 60 kids on Friday, March 27, 1998. He will be going to Agoura for another presentation. Florence Meisenheimer added that the teachers were very enthusiastic about Ray's programs.
Ray commented that next Tuesday, April 7, 1998, Charles Sentenry of Carpinteria, has invited the club to his house to pick up rocks which he wishes to donate to the Club.
Federation Report: Florence Meisenheimer stated that she wrote an article for the bulletin on the Federation news. The Central Coast Federation Show will be held July 3 - 5, 1998, at the Monterey Fairgrounds. Florence has drawing tickets for sale, forms for exhibitors and a list of the prizes for the "selective" drawings. Sounds like a good show. Chuck McKee has scheduled a field trip over Memorial Day.
Payment of Bills: Richard Bromser requested approval for payment of bills, check nos. 455 - 468. It was m/s/c to pay the bills submitted. Richard submitted a report on the VGMS Show of March 7 and 8, 1998 plus show reports from previous years.
Membership: Sharon Cunningham reported that we had eleven new applications for membership. It was m/s/c to accept the eleven applicants for membership.
Reports from the President: President McCabe noted: The club has been granted an exemption by the California Franchise Tax Board; Field trips will be scheduled for the second Saturday of each month and lapidary workshop will be held on the third Saturday of each month; February 8 - April 26 St. Francis Dam Exhibit at the Santa Paula Museum by Steve Mulqueen; May 16th - Show dinner; June 14th - Annual Club Breakfast; August 23 - Picnic.
Show Report: Red Jioras noted that there will be a meeting on April 18, 1998, at 10:00 a.m., to go over the show details and discuss how we might do better next year.
Red and Nancy Jioras stopped at Dad's Rock Shop, they will be staying in business and will be attending our show next year. They put a link in so VGMS will appear on their "web".
Ray Rickey, Steve Mulqueen and Bruno Benson will be putting in a display on Jade.
Regarding the search for larger site for the museum and workshop, President McCabe appointed Bret Breton as Chairman of the Museum and Workshop Committee.
There being no further business President McCabe adjourned the meeting at 9:15 pm.
Blessed is the one who has nothing to say and doesn't say it.Table of Contents.
MINUTES OF THE GENERAL MEETING,
The General Meeting was called to order at 7:40 pm by President McCabe.
Program: "Evaporite Minerals of Searles Lake" presented by Steve Mulqueen.
From the President: President McCabe asked about having a follow up dinner to discuss the VGMS show and what we might wish to do in the future.
Ray and Florence Meisenheimer will hold an open house this weekend (March 28 and 29) Saturday and Sunday, all day. They will be selling jade, agate, petrified wood and much more.
We have received our membership cards from the California State Mining & Mineral Museum Association. With our membership we receive unlimited visits to the museum and a 10% discount from the gift shop.
Field Trips: Greg Davis stated that the field trip to Afton Canyon is coming up April 4 and 5. It looks like there will be a nice turn out. We will be gathering agate, marble and turtle tone. There is a lot of history in this area and many are looking forward to the trip. The next newsletter will have a map to Afton Canyon and things you can look for in the area.
The May field trip will be to Wiley Wells, near Blythe, California.
Treasurer's Report: Richard Bromser provided a show report and noted the show broke almost even.
Membership: Sharon Cunningham commented that the visitors sign up list from the show indicated a number of people interested in becoming members in our club.
Bulletin: Shirley Layton - Deadline for the April bulletin is April 10, 1998. Shirley will be sending out the new membership directories with the next bulletin so if dues have not been paid get them in if you want to be in the new directory.
Education for Kids: Red Jioras noted that Ray Meisenheimer will give a program for about 60 kids on Friday. If anyone can help, be at the Museum at 9:00 am.
Lapidary Workshop: Red Jioras noted for our visitors that the club holds a workshop on the third Saturday of each month. We have equipment, instructors and classes available. The workshop is free to club members. The workshop is held at our museum on Crooked Palm Road. We have been getting a good response from the schools and encourage everyone to make arrangements to participate at the workshop. We have rocks available for your use.
Lapidary Class: Wayne Ehlers mentioned that he will hold a lapidary class in the Spring for members only. More information on dates and times to follow.
Next board meeting: The next board meeting will be held at the Museum, Thursday, April 2, 1998, at 7:30 pm. President McCabe invited everyone to attend.
There being no further business, President McCabe adjourned the meeting at 9:00 pm.
We had a good attendance along with some guests and also some new members. It is always great to have them with us and hope to see them again. Dave Mautz had his usual array of wonderful door prizes (the only hard part is choosing which one you want - if you are so lucky as to get your number drawn!). There is always a special drawing for the guests and another for the Pebble Pups. The name tag drawing was collected this month by an ecstatic Carlon Strobel, $30 worth of ecstasy!!
Next month I will try to include names of visitors and new members so we can give them a special welcome.
I talked with Sharlyne and with all the chemotherapy Art is having a tough time. He could sure use some cards and notes of cheer and news. Sharlyne reads them to him and he enjoys them so much. Please slip one in the mail to them or give Sharlyne a call and check out the visiting. They are such great supporters of VGMS, we need to reciprocate! I took some of my orchids over to them and he really enjoyed them. He is quite a green thumber you know!
I also talked with the Vients and they are better. Bill will have to have a hip replacement some time, but his other problems have to be resolved first. Marian is able to drive and they are able to get up and down the stairs with their walkers and are quite cheerful. They can also use some calls as they are also great supporters of VGMS and have worked so hard over the years for the club. Can picture Bill now, with his little tool box setting up cases for the show!!
One thing we failed to mention last month, was Steve Mulqueen's extensive sinus surgery. He was in the hospital for several days and took a couple weeks of recovery. He is doing good and getting stronger all the time. He was in the recovery stage during our show, however, he was there running the videos for the guests. He would put one on and go out and rest while it ran! Is that dedication or what?!
Let's get in there and support our supporters!!
Please give me a call with your good news and let us know about the hard times too. We are there to support one another, like all good "rockhounds" do!
Happy Birthday to all those born in May 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 642-2683. Thanks!
May - Happy Birthday!!
The May birthstone is the Emerald and the flower is the Lily of the Valley.
The birthstone for May holds some of our oldest traditions. No other mineral has so many virtues and superstitions attributed to it. Very few large emerald stones or crystals have ever been found. The emerald was believed to foreshadow future events and to endow the wearer with supernatural power to prevent what was to come.
Contributed by Florence Meisenheimer.
"THE SHOP PAGE."
To keep the crystal centers of geodes free from grit when flat lapping, place paper towels in the deep bottom of the cavity. Then use a bar of soap and rub the soap bar onto the crystals; smooth them down with a damp finger. Small holes and cracks can also be filled with the soap. They brush out when finished.
Original source unknown,
via Breccia, 2/98,
via Drywasher's Gazette, 3/98.
Many people think of polishing as comparable to shining a shoe. Actually, each grit used on a stone leaves scratches in the surface of the stone. So, when you go to a finer grit, it purpose is to remove all the scratches from the last grit. An estimate of the depth of scratches left on the stone by each grit is:
|80 grit - 2.6 mm;
220 grit - 0.6 mm;
600 grit - 0.16 mm;
3000 grit - 0.03 mm.
|180 grit - 0.86 mm;
325 grit - 0.3 mm;
1200 grit - 0.07 mm;
With reflected light, the unaided eye can see imperfections far smaller than 0.03 mm. On a cabachon, small grit scratches are hidden by surface imperfections and the stone looks shiny.
Via AFMS Newsletter - April 1998.
Save that water from boiled potatoes!
Drop your tarnished jewelry and table silver in it. Leave it for an hour or two and it will shine!
Via Breccia (date unknown),
via Santa Clara Gem & Mineral Society, 6/97,
via The Coral Geode, 3/98.
1 Pennyweight (dwt) - 1/20 of an ounce - 24 grains - 1.55 grams.
1 Troy Ounce - 20 dwt - 480 grains - 31.1 grams.
1 Troy Pound - 12 troy ounces - 5,760 grains - .823 pounds (US).
By Chad Gurney,
Via Drywasher's Gazette, March 1998.
A great many people think they are thinking
when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.
"THE DEVELOPMENT OF SEARLES LAKE."
Lured by the Gold Rush of 1849, John W. Searles and his brother Dennis, sailed from New York to California in search of precious metals. Like most prospectors, they found plenty of hardship and very little gold. Unlike most other prospectors, they found treasure of another kind.
While searching for gold near the Panamint Mountains in 1862, John Searles came across a crusty, dry lake bed. Noticing crystals shimmering in the sunlight, he scooped up a handful and tucked them in his ore sack, unaware that he had discovered one of the world's richest deposits of chemicals. Ten years passed. Then, in Nevada, Searles saw Francis "Borax" Smith recovering borax from similar crystals. Suddenly recognizing the value of the dry lake he had found in California, Searles back tracked. His find was worth far more than the gold that had been eluding him.
Searles and his associates staked claim to 640 acres and formed the San Bernardino Borax Mining Company. In 1874, its first year of operation, the company produced 1 million pounds of borax worth an estimated $200,000. In the late 1870s, two other operations attempted to produce borax from the lake. About the same time borax prices fell from 30 cents a pound to 10 cents, and the newcomers closed their operations. They were the first of many to fail. Searles sold his San Bernardino Borax Mining Company in 1895 to "Borax" Smith's Pacific Coast Borax Company, which sought to corner the borax market. The new owners shut down Searles' plant.
In the early 1900s, dozens of promoters and miners tried unsuccessfully to recover soda ash from the lake's surface. The California Trona Company borrowed nearly $2 million to build two experimental plants to recover soda ash, potash, borax and sodium sulfate from the lake. Deep in debt, the company was placed into receivership before the facilities were completed. Serving as receiver for the failed business, S. W. Austin began building roads onto the lake and drilling exploratory wells. The valley's earliest operators had, quite literally, scratched only the surface of the lake's mineral wealth. Early operations recovered borax by scraping crystals from the lake's surface crust. Austin discovered abundant mineral-rich brines and salt beds starting about 30 feet beneath the surface. Operators have concentrated on extracing that brine and recovering chemicals from it since that time.
In 1913, the newly formed American Trona Corporation acquired the California Trona Company's assets. Flush with money from the British firm of Consolidated Gold Fields, American Trona finished building the 31-mile Trona Railway, established the company town of Trona and completed the experimental recovery plants. But the new plants were a bust! Two years and another $1 million later, American Trona developed a way to use steam to evaporate brine and potash production began. The company produced 250 tons of potash in 1915.
A German embargo of potash fertilizer during World War I sharply raised potash prices, creating a rush of activity at Searles Lake - the only known American source of potash at the time. Pacific Coast Borax Company and the Solvay Process Company hastily joined forces and opened the Borosolvay plant, with Pacific Coast selling the borax and Solvay selling the potash. Potash production at Searles Lake jumped to 36,000 tons in 1916.
Borosolvay closed its doors in 1921 when potash prices plunged. American Trona, on the other hand, established a research and development department at Trona and improved its recovery operations.
The '20s ushered in a period of relative stability at Searles Lake. A new group of investors formed the American Potash & Chemical Corporation in 1926 and purchased the American Trona Corporation, which had finally become profitable. The investors enlarged and expanded the Trona Plant several times during the next 20 years and added facilities to produce a wider range of chemicals.
"Borax" Smith, who had once controlled the Pacific Coast Borax Company, returned to Searles Lake in 1920 and formed the West End Chemical Company. He built a townsite at Westend and a wood-stave pipeline to bring brine to the plant he built. Skeletal remains of the pipeline can still be found on the lake near Westend.
By 1925, Searles Lake had been under development for 52 years. Investors had sunk millions of dollars into the lake, and hundreds of prospectors had staked their claims. Testifying to the toil and crumbled dreams, only two companies remained - American Potash & Chemical Corporation and the West End Chemical Company. West End merged with Stauffer Chemical in 1956. Kerr-McGee acquired American Potash in 1967 and then the Westend Plant from Stauffer in 1974 resulting in just a single operator on Searles Lake.
In 1969 Kerr-McGee began a multimillion-dollar study to explore the lake, develop new extraction methods and examine market opportunities. This lead to the investment of $175 million to build the Argus soda ash plant which started operating in 1978.
In 1990 all of the Searles Valley assets of Kerr-McGee were purchased by D. George Harris and Associates which formed the North American Chemical Company. Today, North American annually sells 2 million tons of products derived from Searles Lake.
Contributed by Steve Mulqueen.
"THE JADES: COLORS AND CONTROVERSIES"
Jade and the color green are so inexorably linked that many people believe all jade to be green. Theoretically, pure jade, both nephrite and jadeite, should be white. Metallic salts in the form of oxides and silicates present, either alone or in combinations, and in varying degrees, are responsible for the vast array of colors, hues, shades, tints and tones, including multi-colors possible in jade. In rare instances, four or five colors may appear in a single stone. The green of jadeite is produced by chromium, the green of nephrite by iron. The degree of coloring agent present is presumed to determine the intensity of the color, a supposition partially refuted by the occasional occurrence of near-white nephrite with a high iron content.
That jade has a wide range of colors is not in dispute, but opinions differ as to whether jadeite or nephrite has the greater range. Gerald Hamrich writes in The Handbook of Jade that the color range of jadeite exceeds that of nephrite. Judith Moorhouse contends in Collecting Oriental Antiques that the range (of color) in nephrite is greater. While near-whites and off-whites are not extremely rare, a true pure-white jade is rare. Unusual jade colors such as red, lavender, blue, mauve and purple are acknowledged, but the existence of pink jade is very much in doubt. Of twenty books, in whole or in part, which treat jade and its colors, eight list pink as a color for either jadeite, nephrite or both. Joan Hartman in Chinese Jade of Five Centuries concludes pink jade is non-existent, having never found even one example in the course of her research,. Richard Gump in Jade: Stone of Heaven, postulates the occurrence of pink jade and includes a color plate of what supposedly is a pink nephrite cup. A few years ago on a visit to the Norton Gallery in West Palm Beach, I may have seen a patch of pink jade. I am sure I saw a spot of pink on a water cup in the Chinese collection. The collection catalog designated the area a pinkish blush, but only tentatively identified the cup as Burmese jadeite.
While it is probable that I will remain uncertain as to the existence of pink jade, it is even more probable that I will continue to hear someone exclaim, "But I thought jade was always green!"
From Jax Gems, 8/95,
via AFMS Newsletter, 2/98,
(Honorable Mention in the 1996 AFMS Adult Article contest.),
Via CFMS Newsletter - April 1998.
"1998 AFMS/CFMS SHOWS AND EVENTS."
U OTTER SEE THE SHOW - CFMS SHOW JULY 3, 4, & 5 AT MONTEREY FAIRGROUNDS.
There will be many exhibits, dealers for every one, many demonstrators, and of course very beautiful competitive exhibits.
There are many lovely and valuable door prizes, including a faceted benitoite set in a gold cross, valued at $800.00, a large opal and silver pendant, a labradorite clock, faceted citrine and gold pendant, a large amethyst cathedral, a rare, valuable, out of print book, and many more prizes.
This is a resort city and the show is over a holiday, therefore, hotels are ranged from $240.00 to $100.00 per night, motels $69.00 to $99.99 plus tax. RV parking is $16.00 for dry camping, and $20.00 for hook-ups.
A full slate of well known speakers will present programs and lectures during the show.
The Director's meeting and banquet will be in the historical old Del Monte Hotel. Monterey has many attractions outside of the show. A discount will be available at the aquarium in Monterey for visitors to the show.
The committee promises cool ocean breezes, just for your comfort.
There will not be any field trips, but the committee is offering abooklet with a list of collecting areas and directions that you may use for your own excursions.
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.
APRIL 25-26 LANCASTER, CA - Antelope Valley & Palmdale Gem/Min, Antelope Valley Fairgrounds. Hours: 9-5 both days. Fred Ebel (805)947-1306.
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 15-17 RED BLUFF, CA - Superior Calif Gem & Min Assn. Tehama District Fairgrounds, Highway 99 & Antelope. Hours: Fri & Sat 9-5, Sun 10-5. Phyllis Brouse (530) 877-9266.
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.
MAY 23-25 WEAVERVILLE, CA - Trinity Gem & Mineral Society, Lowden Park. Hours: Sat & Sun 10-5, Mon 10-5. Jack Jennewein (520) 778-3886.
MAY 30-31 GLENDORA, CA - Glendora Gems, Goddard Middle School, 859 E. Sierra Madre. Hours: Sat 10-7:30 Sun 10-4. Larry Bidwell (626) 963-4638
JUNE 6-7 SAN DIEGO, CA - San Diego Lapidary Soc., Al Bahr Shrine Center, 5440 Kearny Mesa Rd. Hours: Sat 10-6, Sun 10-5. Richard Large (619) 693-0464.
JULY 10-13 AROYO GRANDE, CA - Orcutt Mineral Society, Arroyo Grande Highschool Parking Lot, Fair Oak Road. Hours : 8-5 each day. Wes Lingerfelt (805) 929-3788.
JULY 11-12 CULVER CITY, CA - Culver City Rock & Mineral Club, Veteran's Memorial Bldg., Cor of Culver City Blvd & Overland Ave. Hours: Sat 10-6, Sun 10-5. Judith Gould (310) 820-8878.
SEPTEMBER 19-20 PASO ROBLES, CA - Santa Lucia Rockhounds, Pioneer Museum & Park, 2010 Riverside Ave. Hours: Sat 10-6, Sun 10-5. Harry Kuffel (805) 467-3457.
SEPTEMBER 26-27 DOWNEY, CA - Delvers Gem & Mineral Society, Downey Women's Club, 9813 Paramount Blvd. Hours: Sat 10-6, Sun 10-4. Frank Monahan.
SEPTEMBER 26-27 VISTA, CA - Vista Gem & Mineral Society, Brengle Terrace Community Center, 1200 Vale Terrace. Hours: 10-5 both days. Jerry & Lois Harr (760) 724-0395.
SEPTEMBER 30-OCT 4 JOSHUA TREE, CA - The Sportsmans Club, 6225 Sunburst. JAMBOREE/TAILGATER. Hours: 8am-5pm daily. Info: (760) 366-2915.
OCTOBER 3-4 NAPA, CA - Napa Valley Rock & Gem Club, Napa Valley Exposition, 575 Third St. Hours: 10-5 both days. Frank Zwetsloot (707) 255-1286.
CALIFORNIA FEDERATION SHOW - 1998,
July 3-5, Monterey, CA - Monterey Fairgrounds, 2004 Fairgrounds Rd. Show Chairman: Kay Carter (408) 422-0530.
AFMS SHOWS - 1998.
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.
NORTHWEST - June 12-14, BILLINGS, MT. - Metra Park, Montana Pavilion, 4th & Expo. Show Chairman: Doug True 2622 Broadwater Ave., Billings, MT 59102.
MIDWEST-AMERICAN - August 14-15, HOUGHTON, MI - Michigan Tech University, 1400 Townsend Dr. Show Chairman: Steve Whelan, Rt 1, Box 406, Calumet, MI 49913.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN - October 23-25, TULSA, OK - Tulsa County Fairgrounds, 23rd St. between Yale & So. Louisville. Show Chairman: Richard Jaeger (918) 481-0249.
EASTERN - November 5-8, STAMFORD, CT - Tor School. Show Chairman: Reivan Zeleznik (203) 322-3297.
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.
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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