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April 1998
1998 Editors' Awards February 1998 March 1998 April 1998 May 1998 September 1998 October 1998





Newsletter - April, 1998


DEES DOINGS - Dee Holland


"One Must Use the Abilities He Has!" The Gary Olson Story - By Larry G. Field

1998 AFMS-MWF Field Trip-Convention UPDATE - Steve Whelan


1998 Federation Shows

Eleventh Annual Red Metal Retreat






TUCSON TALK - DEFINITIONS - George Campbell - OsoSoft Mineral






Dee Holland
President, AFMS

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 this time.

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.



Bonnie Glissman Chair, EC-EY-OR

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 relations work.
� 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 IT.
� 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!!!!!


"One Must Use the Abilities He Has!"
The Gary Olson Story
By Larry G. Field

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 premature birth?

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
Steve Whelan

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 special.

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 Delaware" datolite.

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.


1998 Federation Shows

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


Eleventh Annual Red Metal Retreat

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: ci@mtu.edu
R.M.R. Subject-Matter Contact: Rich Whiteman phone: 906/296-9440 fax: 906/296-1055 email: rwhitema@up.net


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, Evansville, Indiana.




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 handle.
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.

SHIPPING: 1-10 ADD $1.00
11 PLUS ADD $2.00
Bob & Kathy Miller
1106 Clayton. Drive -
South Bend, IN 46614



Mel Albright
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 often.

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 true, unfortunately.

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 your ingenuity!



By George Campbell
Ososoft Mineral

*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 lamp.
*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 human hands.
*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 fluorescent specimens.
*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 shiny.

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 pain.

A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.
-- 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 mela@galstar.com
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.
Any communication concerning the content or format of the Newsletter should be sent to the editor.
Material may be duplicated for non-commercial purposes with attribution. For commercial use,the individual author(s) must be contacted for approval.



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