AMERICAN FEDERATION OF MINERALOGICAL SOCIETIES
Volume 53, Number 9
The Honorary Award Winners for the AFMS Scholarship Foundation have been selected by their respective regional federations for the year 2000. These honorees have been chosen for their contributions to the Earth Science field and to our hobby. Each one will assist in the selection of two graduate students who are pursuing their advanced degrees in a branch of the Earth Sciences. The Foundation will then provide scholarship grants for each student in the amount of $2,000.00 per year for the school years 2000 - 01 and 2000-02.
Rocky Mountain Federation:
South Central Federation:
You may read this before the AFMS/RMFMS Show and Convention in Moab, but most likely it will be about the time of the Show. If it is before, I hope that you are planning to participate, if after, then I hope you attended and found it informative, educational and enjoyable.
As you know, this is my last official message as President and I want to thank all of you who have helped to make this Federation's activities helpful to the clubs. If I tried to enumerate all of the Officers, Directors and Committee Chairs who have contributed so much of their time and energy to this Federation, I would likely leave out someone. Therefore, I want to thank all of them for their dedicated service to this Federation. You see some of their names in the side panels of this newsletter and in their printed reports but others who kind of work behinds the scenes are only evident in the annual reports. However, everyone, whether in the newsletter or not is important to the operation of this Federation and in most cases are important to the operation of their Regional Federations and clubs.
This has been an interesting, educational and enjoyable year. In traveling to the Regional Federation Shows and Conventions I have met a lot of nice people and visited with those we have known. That is the one satisfying benefit of this position. I have also heard of a lot of accomplishments but unfortunately also heard of things that are somewhat disturbing. In not hearing both sides of an event, it is hard to know what to do. However, my limited observation suggests there is a problem, or as I call it 'an occupational hazard', that some of us have as Federation or Club Officers. That hazard is that some of us have been involved so long that sometimes we are reluctant to consider new suggestions about how the Federation can help the clubs carry out their purposes. We are inclined to think that those suggestions won't work or "we tried that before and it didn't work" or "we have always done it this way". This then stifles the enthusiasm of those who make the suggestions. This sometimes causes divisions among the clubs or members (or Federations). We all need each other and if we lose someone because of our actions or in actions, it is a loss to all. The insurance program of the Rocky Mountain Federation is an example of one of those suggestions that didn't originally get the attention it needed. However, through the perseverance of a club member, not officer, it succeeded and provides a great benefit to many of the clubs. In this case the person who presented this was willing to put in the effort to get it completed.
I know it's hard to know if a suggestion is going to better the clubs, but some of us are automatically inclined to say no. However, those who make the suggestion must be willing to help carry out the task and not expect someone else to make all the effort. I applaud those people who try to mend broken relationships among members, clubs or federations. We all need to recognize our mistakes and try hard to make sure that we haven't alienated someone by our actions. If the above two paragraphs seems like too much preaching, I apologize, but remember we all need each other and any member or club who leaves is a loss to all.
I hope I have responded to everyone's requests and suggestions this year. In some cases you may need to remind me again. I'll be around next year as your Past President. If by chance next year you are called on to help, I hope you will be inclined to say yes as Isabella Burns, our next President, has some great plans in mind. This is a great hobby with great people and if we all help it will still continue to benefit this society of ours.
Note From Your Red-Faced Editor
According to The Urban Legend website (< www.snopes.com] this story first appeared in the Readers' Digest in 1958...and it is NOT true.
At least I'm in good company. The Chicago Tribune published a version of it in 1988 and of course this latest incarnation was circulated via the Internet just recently. Neither Cathy Gaber, who sent me the story, nor I was aware of the "facts" surrounding this Urban Legend.
So please, don't reprint the story in your newsletters unless you add a caveat about its authenticity.
a.k.a. "The Red-Faced Editor"
Have we got Pizzazz?
Recently an ad in a magazine said "Does your organization have Pizzazz?' "What is pizzazz? or is it pizazz or pazazz? Webster says " 1 energy, vigor, vitality, spirit, etc. 2 smartness, style, flair, etc. " Do we have it?
Club Shows are usually done with much flair showing that a great deal of energy went into the accomplishment. But, do we always put that much effort and energy into our club meetings, programs, community activities, etc. Much was said last year in bulletins about how visitors to our meetings are treated. News articles about this brought about serious thought by some and action by others. Some clubs write about visitors in their next bulletin and, of course, send a copy to the visitor to the club. I think the "spirit is there when most club members greet a new member, but often other club business takes pressident. Saying thank you to those who work or a project or do something for the club is sometimes neglected and that doesn't have to be done with "flair", but it does help to remember to acknowledge what members do.
Some clubs have been thinking of other services. A request was made last year for a place provided to our members on identification of minerals, fossils or rocks that could be accomplished quickly without taking months for a simple answer. At a recent meeting someone had a rock that he had cut. The discussion before and after meeting was 'is it - cave onyx, ...petrified reeds, or coral" It would be neat if we had lists of experts on identification in our areas, Federations and American Federation. It does often take a long time at the colleges or museums to have something identified. This would give us credibility instead of pizzazz.
Displaying in libraries, museums and other public places is usually presented; so that our clubs are exemplified as great organizations with much spirit, smartness and style.
What is in the name? Think about this When Monterey Park Gem Society is translated into Chinese, it means a Gem business. We receive phone calls requesting the prices of the gemstones that we sell. I am not proposing a change in our dignified American Federation of Mineralogical Societies, but do hope that we can be clever with our Internet programs, and other events sponsored by our organizations. Wildacres, and Zzyzx seem to draw attention.
See you in Moab! If you have ideas or thoughts about our pizzazz, let me hear about them.
With the end of the fiscal year in sight, I would appreciate bills from any and all committees to be submitted so that there won't be quite as much to do at the last minute.
Re: travel: If you are one of those who can be reimbursed for travel, please note:
Allowable reimbursement is the lower of coach air fare or ground travel. IRS is currently allowing 32 cents/mile. If you are driving, please call a travel agency and see what the coach fare WOULD be and have that information for me when you submit your request.
I can figure out from my atlas what the driving distances are and will have that figured out in advance.
Numbered Limited Edition pins for the
Pins will be on sale at the AFMS/ RFMS
Send order and check to
The next AFMS / SCFMS Convention and
The Endowment Fund Committee has been active in obtaining three main prizes for the Moab, Utah Convention this year. We have a beautiful Amethyst pendant and earring set in gold for a main prize with an ocean picture rock picture as a second prize and a calcite sphere as third prize. These prizes will be awarded at the Moab show by reverse order drawing.
Tickets have been distributed to committee members and will be sold at the show. A report on the sales cannot be made at this time as the sales are far from complete. A large number have been sold and a reprint of tickets has been made.
We are using a new style of ticket this year that has sufficient room for entry of the name and address of the purchaser. We hope this will make the sales easier for everyone.
For the 2000-2001 federation year we are proposing a new system of awards. Discussions have been held with several regional federation people and all have been most supportive of the idea. The following paragraph will outline the procedure that will be followed next year.
Each Regional Federation will be asked to donate one major prize. This may be an intarsia agate cab set in a sterling bola (as one federation has already agreed to donate) or some other great item. Tickets will be provided to each federation for distribution to their member clubs/societies for sale. Sales may be made at any meeting; gem show etc. persons attend and desire to sell. When the year concludes with the awards at Arlington, Texas we will then determine the net profits for the year. One half of the net profits will be placed in the AFMS Endowment Fund Account. The balance will be divided between the Regional Federations in the same ratio as their sales. If a federation sells twelve percent of the total sales then they will get twelve percent of the funds available to the Regional Federations. This holds promise of creating a good system of fund raising for each Regional as well as the AFMS. A little friendly competition never hurts either and we can certainly provide this. Sales made by the AFMS, at the convention, will be included in the distribution.
It is hoped that all Regional Federations will meet this with enthusiasm and we look forward to a successful year.
Recently, a rockhound died. He went alone to the desert and never went home. This caused considerable discussion on the "rockhounds" e-mail swap group. Of course, most said "Never go alone". Others said "tell someone where and when you are going and returning so they can send help if you don't return". A few announced that they went alone gladly and took the risks as just part of the hobby. Some even compared their attitude toward the hobby to the extreme sports you see on TV.
Finally, Ed DeWindt-Robson, a rockhound from North Carolina, ended the discussion with an analysis in depth that every field-tripping rockhound should read. Here it is:
"OK, so maybe it's putting it too strongly to suggest that no one should ever rockhound alone. I've done it myself, though not in situations where I thought I was taking substantial risks by doing so. Please bear with me while I qualify that warning.
As a psychologist, I am keenly interested in the way people make decisions. The real challenge in most therapy is getting people to recognize that they have decisions to make at all. This is one example; I want my fellow rockhounds to be aware that field trips may involve some danger, and to consider how much danger that may be when deciding whether or not to take a trip alone.
Several people have challenged my assertion that a companion is essential equipment in the wilderness. I have no problem with their reasoning, because they are at least taking stock of the risks. That is part of a good decision-making process. I do have a problem with any suggestion that those risks are not real.
An experienced hiker who knows his territory and takes appropriate precautions is generally going to return safely. An expert may be fairly confident even in unfamiliar territory. Does this mean the wilderness is safe for everyone? Of course not!
I have spent enough time in quarries to feel pretty safe even in a new one, but that does not mean they are safe, but only that I am familiar with the dangers and know what precautions to take. I would never advise an inexperienced rockhound to enter one alone.
This list has many subscribers who have joined specifically to learn more about a new interest, as well as novices who lack sufficient experience to know what is safe and what is not. For the benefit of those-and not the experts who have long since learned how to do dangerous things safely-I offer these cautions:
Consider the risks before you travel alone into undeveloped territory. These questions will help you determine the danger level of a field trip:
1. How well do you know the route and the site? It is easy to get lost in strange surroundings, and impossible to evaluate or prepare for the dangers and obstacles until you have seen them.
2. How far will you be from civilization? Could you walk back if your car broke down? How far would you be from help if you got hurt?
3. Will anybody notice if you don't come back at the end of the day? Will they know where to look for you?
4. Can you drive all the way to the collecting site, or will you have to hike some distance? You are obviously much safer as long as you are close to your vehicle, and the hike back (when you are tired and heavily laden) may be the most dangerous part of the excursion.
5. Will you be driving on unpaved roads? Getting stuck in the mud or sand is no joke if you are in the middle of the wilderness.
6. Will there be steep climbs, sharp drop-offs, or uneven ground where a misstep could mean a sprained or broken ankle?
7. Will you be facing extremes of heat or cold, or the possibility of severe weather? The air at the bottom of a quarry can easily be twenty degrees hotter than the air at the surface, presenting a far greater danger than many people realize. Mountains pose the opposite problem, turning a cool day into a threat of hypothermia. A sudden shower may render your exit route impassible.
8. What kind of physical condition are you in? Strength and stamina provide a margin of safety. Do you have any health problems which could turn into emergencies requiring medical assistance?
9. Do you have the proper equipment and supplies? The issue here is preparation; a well planned trip is always safer than a spur-of-the-moment outing. Your basic safety equipment begins with a jug of water.
10. How long will you be gone? After a few hours of strenuous activity, fatigue begins to multiply other dangers. By the end of a day of rockhounding, you will be less sure-footed, less accurate with the hammer, less patient, and less sound in your judgment. This is when accidents are most likely.
If your answers to these questions suggest that the danger level is significant, it is simply common sense to schedule the trip at a time when you can go with another person, preferably one who is more familiar with the territory and the risks. The presence of another person cuts the risks substantially. A friend can help you spot dangers, assist or get help if you get hurt, lend a hand at digging, lifting, and pounding, and help you make correct decisions when fatigue starts to affect your judgment.
Yes, people do like to take risks. But extreme sports are for the extremely prepared. The rest of us, especially those with loved ones counting on us to return, had better think carefully about how much risk we want to accept."
The AFMS Endowment Fund is enjoying a successful year in its fund raising efforts. We have three main prizes that will be awarded in Moab, Utah during the convention and show. You do not have to be present to win and the prizes will be shipped to the winners if they are not present.
We are in need of additional items to be sold at the Endowment Fund booth at the show. We will be set up and in operation during the entire time of the show. Items will be raffled using a ticket drawing system as Charley Leach has done for many years. This is a good system and is a lot of fun to those taking part.
If you would like to donate items please bring them to Utah, give them to someone who is going to attend if you are not able to come or ship them to me at the address below. We will be grateful for all donations of rocks, minerals, jewelry or other items you may provide.
The endowment fund is of great importance to the federation and it is having a growing impact on the federation and its activities. The role of the fund will increase even more in the following years. An announcement of value to all federations and clubs will be made at the Utah convention. It should cause even more participation in the next year.
The mailing address for contributions is below. If they are received too late for this year at Moab, they will be held for the fundraiser next year at Arlington, Texas.
Lewis F. Elrod, 2699 Lascassas Pike; Murfreesboro, TN 37130-1541
Bob Livingston of the Gem and Mineral Society of Syracuse (NY) nominated lifemember, John L Davis, for this honor. This 84 year young guy is an avid mineral collector who goes back to the days when collecting was really something - the 30s! With his knowledge, John has been curator of the mineral collection for Syracuse University for more than 10 years. In addition, John is always ready to help at the drop of a hat, such as driving to board or regular club meetings (which he almost always attends), putting in two additional exhibit cases in this year's Syracuse show, helping Barbara Sky with fossil judging at the Johnson City, NY show, and talking to kids at two organizations/schools in the last year. John is an "work out" guy who we hope to have as an active member into the distant future.
Larry Cohen was nominated by E. Michael Kessler, president of the Brooklyn Mineralogical Society, for the Each Club, Each Year, One Rockhound Award. For over twenty years, Larry has been very active in the club. He has served as the president, vice president and bulletin editor, and is currently the secretary. Over the years, he has regularly been a lecturer and has created and distributed folders of researched materials related to each lecture. In addition, members of several other local clubs have also benefited from his generous donations of specimens, his contributions of time and his companionship in the hobby. His illness this year, at age 79, which has forced him to reduce his participation, has caused him to be sorely missed.
The Gem & Mineral Society of Lynchburg, Inc. would like to nominate George Crowel, of Danville, VA for the Each Club, Each Year, One Rockhound Award. President Tony Faller reports that George received the overwhelming majority of "mentions" from the club members for this award. Although George lives an hour away, he regularly attempts to make our monthly meetings and most of our scheduled Field Trips. In addition, his generous support of other Society functions and programs is obvious; in fact, he just contributed a significant amount of self-collected material to our "Swap-for-Rocks" program.
Would your club like to recognize an individual or a husband and wife team who make a difference for your club? The ECEYOR Program is a continuous program in which each club is allowed to recognize one member each year for their outstanding work as rockhounds. Nominations can be submitted at any time during the year. There is no deadline. The only restriction is that each club may submit only one nomination per year.
Send the name of your nominee, along with a brief (25 words or so) description of why you are submitting their name and the name of your club to your regional chairperson as listed below:
NFMS / Chair
Hi Everyone. Boy, is my face red! The last article I put in the Newsletter mentioned the AFMS Rules books - These were the ones I had, not
the ones I wanted. If you will go back and look at the list, and you have something not on the list, then that's what I want. I think this is
Now for the good news. I received all the AFMS newsletters I asked for from Jeane Stultz of California. As a past editor, and automatic pack rat, she still had the newsletters in his files. So I am pretty well caught up with the AFMS Newsletters through the pre-newspaper era. I'll begin researching those newspapers and see what ones I still need. Unfortunately, not knowing I would some day take over as Historian, I used many of them for other projects.
If you have memorabilia from any of the early shows/conventions, before about 1975, I'd like to hear from you. I will be bringing five (5) 3-inch binders with memorabilia with me to Moab, and hope you can search them to see if you have something you'd like to donate. I am in desperate need of pictures. Didn't someone take pictures of the events over the years? I have some and hope when you see what I have, it might jog your memory. But, REMEMBER, when you send them on, please have: the date, location and name of those people in the picture. I am also the CFMS Historian and in those files I have found great pictures of events but with no date, location or the names of the people involved. Thankfully Jessie Hardman and Juanita Curtis were able to help me with many, but for those others ....... At this point it is probably too late to even find someone who was around in the 1960's and 1970s who might have the information I need. So please, do some research and include date, place and names with all photos.
I thank all who had contributed to date. Especially Dorothy and Glen Lee, Jack Streeter, and Charles & Betty Leach. And to Diane Dare for a great deal of material and expertise. I have mentioned many additional people in the past who have also contributed. Won't YOU please check your files and see if there is something you'd like to contribute too.
The 2000 Editor's Contest is over, and below is a list of the Regional BEAC's , the AFMS Judges, and the statistics:
There were 137 entries which were judged by the following nine judges:
And here are the statistics for the years 1998 - 2000:
For the sixth year in a row an "AFMS Award Winning Articles & Poems booklet has been printed. This book contains all of the articles and poems submitted to the AFMS contest this year. The booklet will be available at the Editor's breakfast in Moab for $5.00.
The top three in each category will receive a trophy, and a badge stating their position and the category. Others will receive a certificate.
I hope to see you all in Moab!
I am pleased to announce that the following editors have been added to the Bulletin Editor's Hall of Fame. Each of these honorees has served his or her club with honor.
Elsie Kane White
Rocky Mountain Federation
Tee & Lois Green
South Central Federation
The AFMS Nominating Committee is pleased to announce the slate of candidates to lead YOUR AFMS in the coming year. Elections will be held at the Annual Meeting in Moab this month and of course nominations may be made from the floor prior to the election by any of the AFMS Directors.
President Elect -
First Regional Vice President -
Second Regional Vice President
Third Regional Vice President -
Fourth Regional Vice President
Fifth Regional Vice President
An updated version of the has been issued. It is available from the AFMS Central Office or from your Regional Federation Supplies Chair. Have you updated your AFMS Rule book?? The update for the year 2000 is also available.
At the Moab meeting of the rules committee two major items have been submitted for changing the rules. One is to change the references in the Division B (minerals) rules. The second one is to change the number of specimens required in Division C (lapidary) in Class CC-3. Some other items were submitted but not in time to be mailed to the members as required 60 days in advance of the meeting. These item will be discussed and a committee appointed to study them and submit them for approval next year.
Seven "new" videos were presented to each Regional Program Library, in recent months, funded by a special allocation from the interest generated by the AFMS Endowment Fund.
The topics cover a broad range of interests and will appeal to novices as well as advanced viewers.
T-Rex, The Real World takes viewers to the actual sites were five skeletons of Tyrannosaurus rex have been recovered by the Black Hills Institute for Geological Research, since 1990. Scientists take you from the dusty prairie into their laboratories as they uncover ancient bones and exciting secrets. VHS 35 min.
The Stewart Tourmaline Story. Since it is not possible to tour this mine, noted for its rubellite and blue capped pink specimens, this presentation offers the next best thing ñ views of the mine and tells how tourmalines are formed, discovered and extracted. The processing of rough gems into finished jewels is also presented. VHS 57 min.
Hidden Fury: The New Madrid Earthquake Zone. In 1811 and 1812 a series of great earthquakes struck the Mississippi Valley in Missouri. In recent years the earth has been rumbling again, renewing interest in this little known earthquake zone. 3-D maps, animations and "live" scenes tell the story. VHS 27 min.
The Physical Properties of Minerals. Close-up photography and clear explanation of the basic tests every rockhound should know to determine the identity of unknown minerals. All the physical properties are explained and demonstrated. VHS 45 min.
The following 3 videos are from a series of live presentations about "Sciences" - for the general public - at University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Each makes use of a wide range of visual materials and demonstrations with a down to earth style and humor. They are suitable for all ages (except early elementary).
Sugar, Quartz and Diamonds: Crystalline Perfection. The properties of crystals, how diamonds are cut; why it is important for ice to float; how stalagmites grow and many other facts about this magic of nature, are included in this lively presentation. Solid information along with the fun and relevance of science in everyday life, are included. VHS 57 min.
On the Trail of the Thick-Skulled Dinosaur. How do we know what dinosaurs looked like? How do we know where to look for dinosaur fossils? In answering these and other questions, geologist, Emily Giffin shows how being a detective can help to locate previously unknown species of dinosaurs and then describe them. VHS 60 min.
Erratic Rocks and Cream City Bricks. Although this presentation uses the city of Milwaukee as the setting, all cities / places are built upon ground that has a long history. This is a journey back through time, explaining the formation of the deposits we life on, the animals that lived here before man arrived - geology brought to life. VHS 62 min.
In addition, 6 slide programs with professional slides will be sent to each Region before the end of the year. (titles: Introduction to Crystal Systems, Common Rock Forming Minerals, Useful Non-Metallic Minerals, Metallic Minerals and Geology of Yellowstone.)
To reserve these (and other) programs for your Club's use, contact
Direct questions to:
Last Revised on
October 17, 2011