Newsletter - April, 1998
DEES DOINGS - Dee Holland
EACH CLUB, EACH YEAR, ONE ROCKHOUND - Bonnie
"One Must Use the Abilities He Has!" The
Gary Olson Story - By Larry G. Field
1998 AFMS-MWF Field Trip-Convention UPDATE - Steve
AFMS MEETING FIELD TRIP NOTES
1998 Federation Shows
Eleventh Annual Red Metal Retreat
JUNIOR ACTIVITIES PROGRAM - Bob & Kathy Miller
HOW TO BECOME A MEMBER OF THE FUTURE ROCKHOUNDS OF
ORGANIZATION OF YOUTH PROGRAMS
FRA PINS AND PATCHS AVAILABLE
SAFETY - TOTE THAT ROCK
TUCSON TALK - DEFINITIONS - George
Campbell - OsoSoft Mineral
The deadlines for entering competition in the slide program, All-American Club Award
and the bulletin contests are rapidly approaching. If you are going to enter these now is
the time to send them to the various committee chairpersons.
With the approach of warmer weather many of us are looking forward to field trips.
Especially those of us who have seen white snow instead of ground since Thanksgiving. The
Regional Federation shows have started; the first was the South Central Federation in
Corpus Christi, Texas. I was unable to attend this one due to a work commitment, but by
the time this column is printed I will be retired and able to attend the ones in the
future. The next show coming up will be the NFMS show in Billings Montana June 12-14 then
to the west coast to the California Federation in Monterey California July 3-5. The
combined Midwest and American Federation in Houghton Michigan August 14-16, Rocky Mountain
in Tulsa Oklahoma October 24-25, Eastern Federation in Stamford Connecticut November 5 -8.
The Southeastern Federation has not set a date or place for their show as far as I know at
Referring back to the opening of this message, anyone who is going to enter a
competitive case in any of the Federation shows; please send your application in as early
as possible. "Having been there and done that," it helps the judging committee
in selecting judges and placing cases in the show.
All for now, the steelhead are running in the Salmon River.
Each club is invited to name an individual or a couple as their "Rockhound of
the year" once each year.
¨ Paul W. Thovson - Ft. Lewis Rock Club, Ft. Lewis, WA, NWFS; Paul has been a member of
the club since its inception in May 1995 and has been a very active shop and show
volunteer. He was president of the club for the October 1996 to October 1997 year. He
started his rockhounding in Iowa-- at the age of 10 when he looked for Lake Superior
agates. His 20-year Army career was followed by 17 years of fund raising and public
¨ Eleanor Miller, Peninsula Gem & Geology Soc., Los Altos, CA CFMS; The backbone of
our club. His contributions of physical ability, truck, trailer, end rocks helps us hold
our yearly show and sales. Workshops, field trips, many offices, shows. Volunteer, HE'S
¨ Sierman & Bea Griselle, Santa Lucia Rockhounds. Paso Robles, CA, CFMS; They have a
knack of setting up appropriate displays ie. dinosaurs at post office when dinosaur stamps
came out: rocks in connection with rock talks to students by another member. Active in
student field trips, producing annual club shows, great pitch for '99 Fed Show, nod to
another club. NOTE: Hope you'll go for 2001!!!!!
Gary Olson of Powell, Wyoming will demonstrate cab making at the NFMS show in
Billings, Mt on June 12-14, 1998. Gary will also identify rough, slabs and cabs for those
who need help. Gary's lapidary talent and his ability to identify materials are surpassed
by few. His positive attitude is surpassed by none. Visit Gary at the show. His positive
personality and motivational speeches and comments are very refreshing. Gary enjoys field
trips and is the former owner of a Wyoming rock shop & lapidary business. Here is a
man that lives "human success".
Oh, by the way, did I mention that Gary is totally blind and has been since his
Make plans to visit Gary, his wife Ilene, and their three younger children at our
show. Gary & Ilene also have two older children who are married and on their own. Gary
has a "few" accomplishments to his credit including: A college degree, a
successful marriage/family, he formerly owned and operated a rock shop & did a good
deal of field trip collecting. These are his loves and skills. He has other talents that
are too valuable to be ignored however, and that is where his career is now centered. He
councils, motivates & works with the handicapped. Compared to Gary's outlook, we are
all handicapped. Gary is now employed by the State of Wyoming
Education Dept. where he works with the Visually Impaired. When asked how he has managed
all of the things he has done, Gary answers, "One must use the abilities he has, not
those he is missing." When I asked, "How do you identify rocks, slabs &
cabs?" Gary answers, "Blindfold yourself and go through your basement museum,
you can do the same!" Gary has visited my museum and my stockpiles in the yard. He
really enjoys "Seeing" such things. Maybe you will have him "See" your
workshop while he is here.
For more information about him, read "Gary Olson Has a Special Talent With
Gemstones" in the Sept. 1978 "Lapidary Journal".
1998 AFMS-MWF Field Trip-Convention UPDATE
Registration packets for this August's AFMS-MWF Combined Field Trip-Convention and
Show were sent to treasurers of all 171 MWF clubs and approximately 30 individuals who had
requested show info on February 10 through Michigan Tech's Conference Office.
Registrations have been coming in steadily: several trips are already 25% full.
Response to the Internet site has been excellent; utilizing the Web has proven to be
an outstanding tool. Congrats to Ed Drown for being the first registrant off the Web- we
received his reservations via mail three days after registration forms were posted to the
Web on February 10. Personal access to the Web is obviously not necessary: one lady who
hadn't received the convention info from her club treasurer called asking for details. We
suggested that, for instant info, she contact her local public library to access the Web.
The library helped her and printed the registration forms from the site so she was able to
mail her forms within a day.
Note: DATE given in the March MWF Newsletter for the Midwest Federation Council
Meeting was incorrect: correct date for the Council Meeting is Saturday, August 15th. The
correct dates for the Field Trip Convention are August 10 through 15, the Show being
August 14, 15, and 16.
Certain field trips this coming August are of special note and provide a very unique
opportunity for collectors. This month I'll list several sites and what makes them
Delaware Mine: Considered by many to produce the finest specimens of datolite from
the Michigan Copper District. This pile is currently being used for roadfill and
construction so as a specimen-source, the end is in sight. During the past two years, the
pile has produced many fine specimens of lustrous pink and red nodules: the "true
Ojibway Mine: Has produced some fabulous groups of cubic copper crystals, and is the
only location for quartz crystals with chlorite inclusions. This past summer, some
spectacular groups of copper crystals were recovered. Effective this spring, this property
will be inaccessible to the public, so you can understand why we are elated at the
opportunity to bulldoze and collect here with the owner's permission this August.
Kearsarge #4 Mine: This particular mine has produced most of the museum-class groups
of silver crystals that you have seen in collections around the country. That is not to
say you will find a "world-class silver", but it certainly does increase the
chances of finding a "half-breed" (copper and silver on same specimen). This
will be the first time a dozer has been allowed to expose fresh material at this site. The
current owner does not allow collecting on his properties.
Minesota Mine: (Yes, this is the correct spelling, even though it is pronounced
"Minnesota") One of the most famous copper mines in the Lake Superior Copper
District. This fissure mine located in the southern portion of the District produced some
of the largest masses of native copper ever found. It's rock piles produce excellent
groups of copper crystals, and, on occasion, a nice spray of silver crystals. Once again,
it will be a first for collectors, with the current owner allowing us to doze.
Finally, I would highly recommend bringing a metal detector. Although not necessary,
a metal detector will greatly enhance your collecting success.
Next month, I'll provide additional detailed info on the Show including
demonstrators and special exhibitors, and cover another group of the field trip sites.
CFMS - Monterey, CA - July 3-5
EFMLS - Stamford, CT - Nov 6-8
AFMS/MWFMS - Houghton, MI - Aug 14-15
NFMS - Billings, MT - June 12-14
RMFMS - Tulsa, OK - Oct. 23-25
SCFMS - Corpus Christi, TX - Feb 28- Mar. 1
SFMS - Charleston, SC, Nov. 14-15
Running concurrently with the Combined AFMS-MWF Field Trip Convention and Show is an
event called the Red Metal Retreat.
The Red Metal Retreat is a fun-filled, multi-faceted week for mineral collectors,
mining-history buffs, and rockhounds. The Retreat, now in its eleventh year, takes place
in the historic Lake Superior Copper District of Michigan's Keweenaw Peninsula ---- long
recognized as the premier locality for crystallized native copper. Major Retreat
activities, centering around the A. E. Seaman Mineral Museum on Michigan Technological
University's Houghton Campus, include mine tours, a geological tour, historical tour,
mineral swap, slide presentations seminars, museum workshops, and a benefit auction.
R.M.R. Contact: Gretchen Janssen phone: 906/487-2263 fax: 906/487-3101 email: email@example.com
R.M.R. Subject-Matter Contact: Rich Whiteman phone: 906/296-9440 fax: 906/296-1055 email:
JUNIOR ACTIVITIES PROGRAM
Bob & Kathy Miller,
AFMS Junior Activities Program Chairmen
We would like to call to the attention of every club/society and each individual
member two items of importance this year
regarding AFMS Junior Activities.
1) THERE WILL BE A JUNIOR ACTIVITIES BOOTH AT THE AFMS CONVEN-TION IN HOUGHTON,
MICHIGAN. This will be a self-help booth with enough material for every day of the show.
Youngsters will be able to take home rocks, fossils, minerals, posters, stickers, crayons,
coloring books, pamphlets, games, puzzles, experiments, and projects. These will all be
related to our hobby. Be sure to spread the word, we do not want to take anything back for
lack of young people. If anyone cares to donate any rocks, fossils, or minerals for this
booth, please feel free to bring them to the booth during the show. Labeling would be
helpful. PLEASE DO NOT send them to us, we are driving and room is limited.
2) FUTURE ROCKHOUNDS OF AMERICA is a segment of the AFMS Youth Program. DO encourage
your club/society to help your juniors organize a Future Rockhounds of America (FRA) club.
We have included in this Newsletter a little history of FRA, and how to become
involved. Your Federation Coordinator is as follows:
CFMS: Debbie Bunn, .2329 Howe Ave., Sacramento, CA 95825
EFMLS Mabel Kingdon-Gross, RR1, Box 7405, Solon, ME 04979-9419
MWF: Bob & Kathy Miller, 1106 Clayton Dr., South Bend, IN 46614
NFMS: Sue Holland, Box 23, Tendoy, ID 83468-0023
RMFMS: Howell Whiting, 2300 So. Union, Roswell, NM 88201
SCFMS: Dawn A. Smith P.0. Box 402068, Austin, TX 78704
SEFMS: Rena & George Everett, 69 Jeff Street, Oxford, MS 38655
Welcome to our newest club to the FRA, the Evansville Lapidary Society Junior Rockhounds,
WITH JUST A LITTLE EFFORT FROM ADULTS, THE BENEFITS TO OUR YOUTH IS A LIFETIME OF
KNOWLEDGE IN OUR EARTH SCIENCE HOBBY.
THE FUTURE ROCKHOUNDS OF AMERICA
AFMS YOUTH PROGRAM
Bob and Kathy Miller
This is a question we hear often... "How does our group become members of the
"FUTURE ROCKHOUNDS OF AMERICA?"
The answer is very simple. All you need is a group of interested kids, a sponsor, a name
and an application to FRA'S.
1. Your group must be a member of your local Federation. This can be either through a
sponsoring club or through an independent application into your local federation.
2. Dues only HAVE TO BE PAID to the local Federation and thus into AFMS. There are no
special dues for FRA.
3. The number of youth is not important you can have as few as 2 and as many as you can
4. Age: In most clubs the age at which one become an adult is 18. We have one member who
is only a few months old. We do recommend that they are able to talk.
We said it was simple. There is no mystery to joining. Just fill out an application
which can be obtain from your local Federation Youth Coordinator or from us. We are here
to help you.
Planning and organizing youth activity clubs for the mineral, fossil and lapidary
hobby dictates that immense pre-planning be undertaken. It is not a one-person job but one
requiring input from many. Teachers, scout leaders, church youth organization leaders,
parents and adult mineral hobbyists and professionals.
THINGS TO BE CONSIDERED: 1. Meeting place 2. Day & time meetings will be held 3. What
ages should be considered 4. Will membership dues be needed 5. Will insurance coverage be
needed 6. Safety must play an important role 7. What activities should be provided 8. Will
we plan field trips 9. How will we transport the participants 10. Will refreshments be a
part of the meetings 11. Will we want to have a newsletter 12. What supplies will be
needed 13. Selection of officers from the youth 14. Shall we incorporate for non-profit
status and protection from lawsuit 15. Will a budget be helpful 16. How will we finance
the budget if one is established (ways &means) 17. How should the achievers be
recognized (plaques - certificates nice specimens) hold award ceremonies
As evidenced by the above it will take a lot of follow through and not just agreeing that
a club would be nice. If we do not get behind the effort in earnest then let's not start
as it will be a tremendous let-down to the youngsters if we fail to come through.
FRA PINS AND PATCHS AVAILABLE - MEMBERS ONLY
PINS: $2.00 EACH PATCHES: $1.50 EACH
SHIPPING: 1-10 ADD $1.00
11 PLUS ADD $2.00
MAKE CHECK PAYABLE TO: AFMS ENDOWMENT FUND
Bob & Kathy Miller
1106 Clayton. Drive -
South Bend, IN 46614
TOTE THAT ROCK
LIFT THAT TOOLBAG
AFMS Safety Chai
One thing that we rockhounds do a whole bunch - pick up rocks - little rocks, bigger
rocks, and big rocks. Rocks by themselves, rocks in boxes, rocks in buckets, rocks in
sacks - all are ways we collect and move rocks. And heavy tool bags are lifted all too
The classic joke picture of rockhounds is a bunch of people standing with straight
legs, bent over at the waist, and touching the ground with their hands. It is too often
Another thing we rockhounds do is put those heavy tools and rocks into a vehicle -
or take them out. - often by swinging things.
And - the result is a lot of bad backs, sore backs, back strains, sometimes even
permanently damaged backs. So, we need to learn - AND PRACTICE - the proper way to lift
and lower heavy stuff (actually - light stuff, too) without hurting ourselves. To lift and
move something, several steps should be followed. We'll pretend we're picking up a rock,
but the rules are the same for ANYTHING we pick up - even our dirty socks.
1. Stand with your feet apart about shoulder width, the rock between your feet, and one
foot slightly in front of the other (for balance).
2. Lower yourself by bending your knees until you can grab the rock. The rock should be
close to your body. Keep your back straight and your chin tucked in.
3. SLOWLY lift the rock by straightening up your knees pushing with your leg muscles. Keep
the rock in close to your body. Do NOT twist sideways.
4. Once standing, DO NOT TWIST your back. To move the rock sideways, turn with your feet.
Keep the rock in close to your body.
5. Once you get where you are going with the rock, reverse the steps you used to lift the
rock. Remember - KEEP YOUR BACK STRAIGHT!!
6. If the rock must go into a trunk or car or whatever, set it down on the edge keeping a
straight back. Then slide it into the vehicle. Most of us will bend over at the waist and
swing it in - a sure way to get a bad back!
7. You aren't SUPERMAN OR WOMAN! If the rock or bucket or bag is too heavy for you to
carry easily, do it another way! Get help. Use a skid made from a heavy cloth or a wood
slat with a rope tied to the end. Roll the rock using a long handled tool to pry with. Use
*Keystone: 1/2 the price marked. The real retail price. Wholesale is less in most
cases, as long as you buy in flat quantities.
*Double Keystone: 1/4 the price marked. This stuff has been in the dealer's stock for
years and hasn't sold, despite being at Tucson for two decades. But....look closely at
this stuff...the dealer hasn't looked at it for years and there may be a Sleeper
(see below) in there.
*Wholesale: The price everyone but you is paying for the same specimens.
*Flat: How my wallet looks after returning from Tucson. Also a flat cardboard box, roughly
12"x18" in size, more or less full of specimens, generally boxed and labeled.
*Mexican Flat: A flat with no boxes....each specimen wrapped in very interesting
foreign-language newspapers you can read after you get home. NOTE: The newspaper also
hides the dings, bruises, and cracks. (see below)
*Killer Specimen: One you can't afford
*Sleeper: That elusive specimen in the flat, which the seller missed. As in a Powellite
specimen in a flat of cheap Indian zeolites.
*Keeper: A specimen so overpriced that the dealer will be taking it home.
*Flat Price: How much you pay for the entire flat. Generally, there's one specimen in
there that makes the whole flat look good.
*NFS: Not for sale. But everything's for sale.
*Kid Rocks: Cheap specimens kept on hand so everyone buys <<something.>>
*New Find: The dealer just found this flat of specimens in the back of the storage locker
just before the show.
*Type Locality: Where you wish the specimen you're looking at came from.
*Gemmy: You can see some light through the crystal, as long as the light is a halogen
*Cutting Rough: Oops...the hydraulic trimmer worked a little too well.
*Museum Specimen: A specimen too large to fit in any cabinet affordable by a collector.
Double Keystone on this.
*Clearance Specimens: Buy these or they'll be in the motel dumpster when the show's over.
*Rare Species: Anything not available in at least 50% of the rooms at the show.
*Mexico: The default locality for any specimen which has an unknown locality (See also:
Pakistan) (See also: Russia)
*Bruise: A small ding
*Ding: A large bruise
*Crack: A feature of a specimen....<<always>> caused in situ and never by
*Healed Fracture: See UV Lamp
*UV Lamp: An ultraviolet lamp used to: 1. Check healed fractures. 2. Find sleepers. 3.
Knock over "killer specimens." 4. Cause premature cataracts. 5. Locate
*Wholesale Only: Sign outside of rooms containing mostly stuff you don't want anyhow.
Ignore the sign if you like.
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 - 180 grit - 0.86 mm
220 grit - 0.6 mm - 325 grit - 0.3 mm
600 grit - 0.16 mm - 1200 grit - 0.07 mm
3000 grit - 0.03 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
Two fishermen were out on the lake when one of them dropped his wallet. As they watched
the wallet float down to the depths of the lake, a carp came along and snatched up the
wallet. Soon came another carp who stole it away and then a third joined in. Remarked one
of the fisherman, "That's the first time I've ever seen carp-to-carp walleting."
§ When two service station attendants in Ionia, Michigan, refused to hand over the
cash to an intoxicated robber, the man threatened to call the police. They still refused,
so the robber called the police and was arrested.
§ The pessimist may be right but the optimist has fun on the way.
§ Blessed is the one who has nothing to say and doesn't say it.
§ Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.
§ He who laughs last, thinks slowest.
§ The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese
§ I drive way too fast to worry about cholesterol
§ The only substitute for good manners is fast reflexes.
§ When everything's coming your way, you're in the wrong lane
A bus carrying five passengers was hit by a car in the big city, but by the time
police arrived on the scene, fourteen
pedestrians had boarded the bus and had begun to complain of whiplash injuries and back
A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their
-- William James
A.F.M.S. Newsletter is published monthly by the American Federation of Mineralogical
Societies.A.F.M.S. Central Office Dan McLennan, P. O. Box 26523 Oklahoma City, OK
73126-0523(405) 682-2151A.F.M.S. Newsletter editor Mel Albright, Rt. 3 Box 8500
Bartlesville, OK 74003(918) 336-8036or firstname.lastname@example.org
ADDRESS CORRECTIONS AND CHANGE
Address maintenance and mail labeling are the responsibility of the AFMS Central Office.
All changes and questions should be sent there. The President and the Bulletin Editor of
each member club should receive the Newsletter. All others may subscribe. The publisher
does the actual mailing.
CONTENT - LETTER
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