AMERICAN FEDERATION OF MINERALOGICAL SOCIETIES
Volume 54, Number 1
A Labor of Love
I don't know what else to call it when the Show Chairman and his wife devote at least 6 months of their life to organizing a show. Also, when the Co-chairman and his club members work so hard to put on this show, not just a show, but an outstanding show, what else can you call it but "a labor of love'. Their main reward is the thanks we give them and the satisfaction in knowing that they have provided the public a chance to see what our hobby is about. That show was the 2000 AFMS/RMFMS Show and Convention, held in Moab, UT, October 12-15.
One thing that is remarkable is that the Points and Pebbles Club is a small club having only 30 members last year. In addition, the Show Chairman, Dean Richardson and his wife Joyce, live over 250 miles away and made many trips down to Moab to assist the clubs members. Because of the great response for exhibits, cases had to borrowed from the Grand Junction Club, the Wasatch Gem Society and I think some others. With assistance from clubs in the Utah Federation, the club was able to carry out the set up, operation and take down in an orderly fashion. These club members are to be commended for their courage to undertake such as awesome task. This should demonstrate to other small clubs that they can do it too.
For those who have attended other American Federation Shows, the things that I think makes this memorable is that this was the first show (at least for a long time) that was held in an animal arena with a packed sand floor. It made it convenient to conceal the electrical cables as all you had to do was dig a trench and bury them. Also, not many places have as scenic an area as Moab. To the east are the snow topped LaSal Mountains and close in to the west are the sand stone cliffs bordering the Canyonlands National Park. Unlike other locations for Federation Shows, there was no wall to wall traffic, no complicated exits and no confusing parking lots. Moab is a place of friendly people and really helpful business. The Moab Valley Inn, JB's Restaurant and the Spanish Trail Arena personal were very accommodating.
There were many exceptional exhibits, and those of petrified wood and dinosaur bone are those for which the Western States are known. There were four days of field trips for interesting material usually within a 50 mile radius, some roads were not so easy traveling, but they were scenic. I can also say we had an overflowing crowd at the Awards Banquet as the dining area was filled to capacity. Likewise, the Editors Breakfast had a good turn out. If you missed this show, you missed a chance of a lifetime. Everyone involved certainly deserve our thanks.
New Phone Number
There is a new phone number for the AFMS Central Office. It is (405) 682-2938.
My apologies to those of you who have attempted to reach the office using the old number...it took quite a while before I realized that we were having problems with the line and I don't know how many of your calls were lost because of these problems.
A Buzz From Izzie B
As AFMS flies into its 54th year with 53,879 members, I am honored to be given the opportunity to be your leader and wish to thank you for affording me this privilege. For my theme this year, I have chosen Education And Motivation.
It appears this years momentum is high, thanks to the many dedicated people serving as Committee Chairs, who desire to make things happen. Some very good suggestions have been made to improve our communication and strengthen our programs.
My 2001 calendar has Federation show dates on it - June 8-10, RMFMS in Roswell, New Mexico; June 11-17, AFMS/SCFMS Convention and Show in Arlington, Texas; June 22-24, CFMS in Paso Robles, California; July 13-15, EFMLS in Syracuse, NY; August 30-Sept 2, NFMS in Enumclaw, Washington, Sept. 7 - 9, MWF in Rice Lake, Wisconsin and the SFMS to be added soon. Awards at these meetings will be presented for Club Bulletins, All American Club, Scholarship Honorees and cases of minerals, lapidary arts, fossils, petrified wood, education, etc. These are not competition for the best, but they are ratings. Regulations for entering these various projects are printed in the AFMS Newsletter, your Federation newsletter, and on our Web Site. Club members should be preparing their entries during the winter months to be proud to hear their names read at shows and see them in bulletins.
We really are eager to help your club have a great year. Three copies of the newsletter is sent to each club. Your club must let Dan McLennon at the AFMS Central Office know who you wish to receive these newsletters. (Some Societies buy subscriptions for other officers or committee chairs.)
Five study programs in different Federations - Eastern hosts two sessions at Wildacres; Southeast has sessions at Wildacres and William Holland; California Federation has Zzyzx and Camp Paradise; Midwest has study trips; and a new one by the South Central at a junior college is in the works. These are my joy. I hope that the other Federations will be able to develop programs for their members as well.
Symposiums, Workshops, and Seminars are a great way to educate our members about different phases of recreational programs. Faceting, Identification of Petrified wood, Opal, Micro-minerals are some of the areas that are covered by these. There are many web sites by our federations, colleges, museums and individuals that have great programs. CD Roms, video tapes and slide programs have been developed to provide information on all phases of our hobby.
2001 is approaching on swift wings and lets fill it with all kinds of fun things. Time is a gift to be used creatively and wisely. Let us use that gift to support our ongoing programs and add new ones as they seem appropriate. It would be great if each member helped on one project. I will do my best to help you.
As The New President-Elect...
As the new president-elect, I just wanted to share a few words about my background. Although I haven't been in the hobby since the beginning of dirt, I have been in since well into the post-pleistocene epoch. During the past 30 years, I have been club president, treasurer, EFMLS 1st and 2nd Vice President and President and AFMS 5th and 1st V.P. and I've also served on or headed numerous committees for my local clubs, as well as EFMLS and AFMS. As a retired science teacher, I now have more time to persue interests in faceting, cabbing, micromineralogy and photomicrography.
This year (as are all years, I suppose), will be a challenge. I look forward to working with Izzie to help provide the various federations, clubs and ultimately the individuals with service and leadership.
Although the federations may seem remote to many, the people who serve them all do so because they want to. Their dedication to all aspects of the hobby is what helps to keep alive all of the services which benefit club members. Whether it be information on insurance needs, programs, collecting areas, display and competition, scholarship, junior activities, safety or bulletins which you need, there is always someone there to help. Remember we are all persuing the same goal - the betterment and enjoyment of the hobby.
I look forward to serving you this year as your president-elect. Please feel free to contact me at any time.
Fossils And The Lowly Amateur
One of my favorite publications is the magazine Rock & Gem. Except for its yearly issue on gold, which I find to be too repetitive from year to year, each issue is always filled with new and interesting articles about every phase of our hobby.
The September 2000 issue had several especially interesting articles on fossils. However a somewhat disturbing article was one by Steve Voynick, ""The Fight For Fossils". The magazine lacks a section of letters to the editor or I would be sorely tempted to write a response to this article, which seemed to me to be decidedly in favor of acquiescing to those who want to stop amateur collecting on public lands. While I am against being confrontational with government agencies and believe there should be more cooperation with them instead, there are several positive aspects to amateur fossil collecting that I felt were completely missed in this otherwise very informative article.
I have no problem at all with the idea that museums and institutions of higher learning should be able to study the fossil remains of rare and unusual vertebrate specimens unhindered by amateurs, and that sites where these are located and brought to their attention should remain off limits to scavenger rockhounds when an effort is being made to preserve such sites and the fossils they contain. I have no problem with the idea that these professionals have greater expertise and access to the equipment necessary to study these finds, and to provide knowledge and displays of these discoveries to the general public. I do have a problem with the idea that ALL public lands should ever be made off limits to amateur fossil lovers and collectors. I am totally appalled at the idea put forward in the last paragraph of this article that, as a trade off for being able to collect fossils, "every amateur paleontologist and fossil collector will be able to enjoy exciting new books and museum displays that answer questions ... (of the geological past)".
Can a picture of a thing in a book ever serve as a substitute for reality? If that is true, maybe I should just keep a picture of my wife and family on the mantle and let them go live somewhere else. It was being able to hold a piece of geological history in my own hands. It was the excitement of searching out and finding these fascinating objects myself that got me interested in fossils and earth sciences. It is being able to hold these pieces of earth's history in my hands and to look at the real thing whenever I want that keeps me excited about this hobby.
Somebody I met as a teenager while walking through the fields and pastures one afternoon got me started. He was looking through the gravel in an abandoned railroad cut for crinoid stem sections. He showed me the real thing so I started looking. What interest in earth science do we expect children to take if the only fossils they see are in books or museums, and they are given to understand they will never be able to collect them unless they get a doctoral degree in paleontology and are lucky enough to get a job at a university or museum?
It has been pointed out time and again that amateurs are responsible for the vast majority of important fossil and archaeological finds, and that the majority of amateur fossil hunters will, on making a really significant discovery, contact a University or Museum with their finds.
This was done by members of the Leesville Rock Club when they discovered a number of unusual fossils below the Toledo Bend Dam. There was some interest shown by university scholars, but still most of the fossils at this site are washing into oblivion downstream from the site of exposure.
It has also been pointed out time and again that most fossils will, when uncovered by erosion, construction excavation or by other means, in a short period of time be weathered away to rejoin the rock cycle as a useless sediment. A few years ago (before picking up artifacts around Lake Sam Rayburn was made a punishable crime) we discovered fragile early American artifacts that had just been uncovered by high water erosion, but were already in the process of weathering away to useless rubble. That lake has done a wonderful job during periods of high lake levels and stormy weather, of uncovering artifacts. Interesting leaf imprints and other fossil materials that had been embedded for millennia in layers of soft mudstone. Even petrified mud ripples were exposed. In only a very short period of time the mudstone encased fossils are worn away to rubble, and the artifacts are washed out into the deeper parts of the lake to be covered over again by sand and mud at depths where they will never again be seen.
Another article in the same issue of the magazine we were quoting above made me feel much better. It was a fascinating article on ""Clinker Shale Fossils" by Sam and Ruth Kirkby. They made a chance acquaintance with a Montana rancher who, on discovering their interest in fossils, invited them to go out on his ranch where he had been clearing a place for a cattle tank. He had discovered a lot of "`the prettiest" leaf fossils and thought they might be interested. He was bulldozing the fossil shale into a nearby gully, and thought they might like to save some before they were destroyed. On arriving at the location they found some fabulous fossil leaves, catkins, and filbert nuts in a burned out coal bed. The point here being that these fossils, if not collected at that time would never be seen again as they were about to become fill dirt in a gully wash.
I guess my real point is, if I have one at all, let's not just roll over, belly up, to those who feed us with the nonsense about the rarity and value of every fossil and that only those who are smarter than us should have access to public lands and fossil collecting, and that we amateurs should not be allowed to collect, display and enjoy our own specimens.
The museum can and should keep the dinosaurs and mammoth fossils, the rare and exotic items that we amateurs don't have the time or means to collect, or the space to display. But leave us to our fossils leaves and crinoids, our ammonites and brachiopods, our little fossil fishes and trilobites. They already have more than they want or need of the more common fossils we collect and they can always get more if they need them, the same way we do. Just get out there and collect them before nature `recycles" them.
AFMS Club Rockhound of The Year
Your AFMS is pleased to announce that our Outstanding Rockhound recognitions program, Each Club-Each Year-One Rockhound, name has been changed to AFMS Club Rockhound Of The Year. This change was voted on and passed at the AFMS business meeting in Moab. I hope this new title will be easier to remember. The following rules for submitting an outstanding Rockhound are as follows.
Calling All Clubs and Societies
In an effort to assist all clubs that have web sites, and to also assist those clubs wishing to develop a web site, we have added an Email Discussion List for webmasters. This gives us a forum for discussions along with questions and answers for items relating to the club websites. If you are the webmaster for you club, please join the list. If you would like to help your club start a web site, please join the list. As we discover common questions for the webmasters, we will add FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) to the resources for the webmasters.
It appears that only about 15% of the clubs currently have a web site or Home Page. So there should be a lot of clubs needing to start a web site. Your club can easily have a free web site that reaches people all across the world. Where else can you get a better value.
You can subscribe to the list by sending an email message to: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
You can also find more information on the following page: <http://www.amfed.org/web/webmasters_email.htm>
This is a new endeavor, suggestions and comments are encouraged and welcomed. You can contact me at <email@example.com>. I look forward to hearing from you.
AFMS Juniors Program
Good News! Good News!
While at the AFMS Show/Convention in Moab, Utah this October, a vote was passed for us as AFMS Jr. Chairpersons to purchase identification pins to be given free to all Future Rockhounds of America members. These pins are one of the ways young people can identify that they are an active participant in our earth science hobby. We hope these pins will instill pride of what the pin represents and that the Juniors will wear it to all rockhound events or functions they go to.
When we receive the pins from the manufacturer we will divide and send them out to the Regional Junior Chairs. They in turn will disperse them to the Future Rockhounds of America clubs in their region. At this time we have 13 clubs and 218 members.
We had a good time in Moab, Utah. The country is beautiful, the people are friendly and the show itself let us know that a lot of work went into the making; we were very impressed. The Juniors booth that we thought we prepared well for was extremely busy. We ran out of all but some of the paper material by Saturday night. This gives us an insight what we should prepare for next year in Arlington, Texas. The good time and enthusiasm the young people had picking up all of the free rocks, fossils, minerals and paper products and the appreciation they expressed let us know our hobby will continue for "future rockhounds of America!"
If you have any junior members in your club who wish to join the Future Rockhounds of America, simply contact your Regional Junior Chairman to start the application process.
May you have a joyous, blessed holiday season and a healthy, happy New Year.
"Diamonds" And "Ghosts" Top The Winners List
Four slide programs earned Awards in the 2000 AFMS Program Competition. First Place "With Highest Honors" designation and a $200 cash prize were given to two winners (those which earned more than 95 points in the structured judging process*). All Winners are duplicated and made available to Clubs across the country, who can borrow them for use at meetings, shows or other events.
In Class 1: "Educational" topics, we have a tie! Both of these programs earned First Place -"With Highest Honors" designation! Well done!
DIAMONDS by Jennie & Paul Smith, members of Micromounters of the National Capitol Area, EFMLS.
Micro diamonds are used to tell the story; how they form, where deposits are found, crystal structure, the rainbow of colors, etc. This presentation proves the fact that affordable, miniature diamonds are "lovely to look at" and interesting to boot. 79 slides
PSEUDOMORPHS: Ghosts of Minerals Past by Michael Shaw, member of Stillwater Mineral & Gem Society, RMFMS.
Pseudomorph means false shape and refers to the interesting mineralogical oddities that occur when one mineral replaces another - in the shape of the original mineral. If this sounds confusing it won't be after you view this program with numerous specimens as examples and clear explanations. 47 slides
In the same Class, earning a First Place Award: LAPIDARY MATERIALS OF OREGON by Norman McKay, member of Four Corners Gem & Mineral Club, RMFMS
Oregon is noted for the wide variety of lapidary materials found within its borders. We are treated to examples of numerous examples in close up views, showing their unique and interesting patterns. Some field trip info and other tips are also included. 131 slides.
Class 2: Field Collecting - one First Place Award:
HOW SWEET IT IS: A Trip to the Sweetwater Lead Mine by Sharon Waddell, member of Ozark Earth Science Club, MWF
"Deep in the rolling hills of the Missouri Ozarks lies a geologic feature, the Viburnum Trend" - an ore bearing strata which has produced world class specimens of lead and associated minerals. The Sweetwater is one of the many mines of this area but opportunities to visit them are rare. We are given a look inside this location and see the process by which minerals are extracted from the ore. 100 slides
Class 3: "How-To-Do-It" (craftwork topics) and Class 4: "Just for Juniors" sadly had no entries this year.
(* The highest scoring program in each Class with more than 95 points is eligible for a $200 cash prize and earns First Place "With Highest Honors" designation. Entries scoring more than 90 points are awarded "First Place" honors.)
As noted above, AFMS has duplicate copies made of all winners and gives them to each of the seven Regional Libraries so Clubs across the country have access to them. If you wish to borrow any of these or other AFMS winning programs contact your Regional Program Library.
The goal of AFMS Program Competition is to Recognize and Reward authors of excellent programs. Information (rules, guidelines, entry form, etc.) for the 2001 competition appear elsewhere in this issue of the newsletter. For more information, contact:
Trophies Won At Moab
I was delighted to see so many competitive exhibits at the AFMS Moab show. The judges had a most enjoyable time evaluating them all. Unfortunately there can only be one Trophy awarded in each category, but many, many blue, white and red ribbons were also awarded to the competitors. I hope that those who did not win the "Trophy" in their division will go back, read the judges comments and re-enter their displays next year at the AFMS show in Arlington, Texas.
Here are the recipients of the Trophy awards for this year.
Trophy 1, Open Division:
Trophy 7, Restricted Minerals III:
Trophy 10, Micromount Minerals:
Trophy 11, Restricted Minerals V:
Trophy 12, Personally Collected Minerals:
Trophy 13, Petrified Wood and/or Wood Casts IV:
Trophy 14 Cabochons III:
Trophy 15 Lapidary:
Trophy 16, Carvings I:
Trophy 17, Cabochons I:
Trophy 18, Cabochons II:
Trophy 19, Faceted Gemstones I:
Trophy 21, Specialized Lapidary I:
Trophy 22, Petrified Wood and/or Wood Casts I:
Trophy 26, Jewelry:
Trophy 28, Educational:
Trophy 30, Educational IV:
Trophy 32, Fossils:
Trophy 35, Personally Collected Fossils:
Trophy 38, Petrified Wood and/or Wood Casts I:
Trophy 39, Fluorescent Minerals:
Trophy 31, Specialized Lapidary II:
AFMS Club Rockhound of The Year
The "AFMS Club Rockhound of the Year" award (formerly known as Each Year-Each Club-One Rockhound) is made by individual clubs wishing to recognize a member (or couple) who work hard for their club and for the hobby. Nominations should be sent to your regional chairperson who will forward it to AFMS for inclusion in a future issue of the AFMS Newsletter. (The names and addresses of the regional committee chairpersons can be found on page 5 of this issue.)
Eastern Federation:Eastern Federation:
Donna Lee Hanlon, editor of the North Shore Rock & Mineral Club, MA has nominated Josephine MacIndewar for the Each Club, Each Year, One Rockhound award. Before Josephine took over as the club's Field Trip Coordinator, the club rarely had field trips. Due to her efforts, we have been able to collect in many quarries and mines that we could never have had access to without her expertise. We have also been to many museums and out-of-state trips including the Museum of Natural History in NYC and the fantastic mine at the "Fluorescent Mineral Capitol of the World" in Franklin, NJ. She has helped bring together the adult and children members of our club so that we look forward to the field trips as both a learning experience and a wonderful social event where members of all ages share knowledge and finds.
Wayne Cokeley of the Tri-County Mineral and Lapidary Society in New Jersey has been nominated by Neil Van Oost, Jr as this year's recipient of the AFMS Club Rockhound of the Year award.
Wayne is a cheerful outgoing rockhound who is always willing to share his vast knowledge of the hobby. He always makes sure that there is a presentation at our meeting nights, often conducting them himself. There is much more I could say about Wayne, but I will finish with "I am sure glad he is a member of our club".
Describing the value of Inga Wells in a few sentences is like hitting the moon with a sling shot. She is and has been the Che-Hanna Rock & Mineral Club Pebble-Pups (junior club) leader/advisor for many years. I dare brag and say she is better than any other junior advisor in the country. Her stamina and perseverance constantly amaze the rest of us. Inga hosts meetings in her home, organizes field trips outside of regular club activities, and donates expenses out of her own pocket. All this and more, she was also editor of the Shin Skinner News for more than ten years.
Editor Dan Imel, with the support of other club members, nominated Don Spencer, a lifetime member of the Rochester Lapidary Society in Rochester, NY, to be honored by Each Club, Each Year, One Rockhound.
Only a few clubs are ever blessed to have someone who, year after year, has given up his own time to invite beginners to his house, spending hours teaching them. Our club has such a person, Don Spencer. Very few clubs can claim such a high percentage of the membership who know how to facet. This is primarily a result of Don's many hours. Even the faceting members who did not learn from Don were drawn to the club because of the atmosphere he fostered by sharing designs and newly cut stones. He is truly a Master Facetor not only in the beautiful stones he cuts but in the way he leads his life and tutors and encourages others long after the lessons.
Glenn and Kathleen Bolick were nominated by Bea Kupke, a member of the Board of Directors of the Catawba Valley Gem & Mineral Club in Hickory, NC, for the AFMS Club Rockhound of the Year award.
The Bolicks have been very active in the club for many years. Both Glenn and Kathleen have acted as president at one time or another, and Kathleen also served as bulletin editor for many years. They have organized field trips and hosted parties both for fellowship and to pack up grab bags for the yearly shows. Glenn was famous for his work of putting on the regular yearly shows for many years. He put together lapidary cases of North Carolina rocks and minerals for schools, which he would use to illustrate his talks for students.
Dave Fordyce of the Chesapeake Gem & Mineral Society in Maryland has been nominated by President Lynne Luger and the board of directors as this year's recipient of the AFMS Club Rockhound of the Year award.
Even though Dave had already been holding down two key positions for the last several years, field trip chair and legislative chair, he also volunteered to become the librarian when the existing person could not continue. He reorganized the entire library and categorized it by both author and category. As the field trip chair, he arranges frequent and interesting trips while maintaining good working relationships with the local quarries. As legislative chair, he goes to great efforts to make sure that the members are well informed about local and national issues, especially those related to protecting collecting rights. He finds the time to do all this while he is still working for a living and is raising twins with his wife Mary Grace.
Diana Volcheck has been nominated for the AFMS Club Rockhound of the Year award by Wayne Urion, president of the Delaware Mineralogical Society. Diana's efforts as editor & publisher of our club's monthly newsletter - The GEOGRAM - are highly appreciated. She recently won a second place EFMLS award in the small bulletin category. She is also an active and participative club member.
Jennie and Paul Smith were nominated by George Reimherr for the Club Rockhound of the Year award from the Micromineralogists of the National Capital Area. Jennie and Paul have been members of MNCA since 1976. Over the years, they have both served several years as president, Jennie has been secretary twice and Paul was vp for three years. Both have contributed to the newsletter and done programs. They are very active in the club and in the club's annual Atlantic Micromount Conference. Paul has taken the photomicrographs and prepared materials for the auction for many years and Jennie sets up the raffle. They both demonstrate micromounting at a number of shows each year, and Paul teaches photomicrography and micromounting at Wildacres. Jennie is the Region IV vp and the Chairman of the Functioning Committee at Wildacres.
Nancy Wiser of the Northern Virginia Mineral Club was nominated by the president, David Ball, for the Each Club, Each Year, One Rockhound Award.
Nancy Wiser was this club's Editor for 13 years. She took over the duties from Fred Schaefermeyer in 1987. June was her last issue. The members and officers have appreciated her years of devoted service to The Mineral Newsletter. She has earned this well deserved rest and thanks. She has also been a Past President and Vice President of the club.
Margaret Randall Robertson nominated an extremely dedicated Monongahela Rockhound (PA) member, Tony Walker for AFMS Club Rockhound of the Year.
One of our club's best features is our school shows. Without Tony, we would not do any. For at least 15 years, we have been included in the curriculum at Steel Valley High School for the Earth Science class. Tony arranges, organizes, gets other volunteers (which isn't always easy!) to set up one day before, then spends the next day with the kids. They set up a microscope with micromounts, do a fluorescent activity, have tables for fossils, wire-wrapping, geodes & nodules, and crystals. He does the same for several other schools including two with severely disabled children, and he has presented programs for high school students at Carlow College and Duquesne University. He also does yearly scout shows and qualifies geology badges for weblows. He always has a special rock and a story for any child that comes to the club meetings. He treasures all the thank you letters he has gotten over the years, and he really deserves this recognition.
The Southern Maryland Rock and Mineral Club is proud to nominate Sandy Lyon as this year's AFMS Club Rockhound of the Year.
For the past 10 years as a founding member, Sandy has consistently demonstrated distinguished service. With quiet and unassuming leadership, she is considered to be the single most important driving force behind the success of our club. As Director of the Clearwater Nature Center, she prepares the club's meeting space and was instrumental in establishing the club's Lapidary Lab there. Her enormous mineral, fossil, and rock collection is used to educate and amuse rock club and nature center members alike. She routinely conducts fossil and mineral field trips, which are open to the public, and she introduces children to the hobby by getting them involved in jewelry making, rock tumbling, and fossil identification. Sandy plans and promotes our Annual Rock, Gem, Mineral, and Fossil Show, and this year, she also served as editor/publisher of our club newsletter and developed a mechanism to deliver it to club members over the internet thereby reducing costs.
South Central Federation:
The Texoma Rockhounds of Denison, Texas nominate John L. Taylor as our "Rockhound of the Year."
John is charter member of Texoma Rockhounds which was started in 1962. He is a driving force in organizing club events. He is also the spearhead of the activities of the Education Committee.
Central Texas Gem & Mineral Society has nominated Jim and Rose Owens for the year 2000. They are members of the South Central Federation and the club base is Abilene, TX.
Jim and Rose Owens have been active, enthusiastic and loving members of our club. Their spirit and energy have been an inspiration to all. Jim has become very skilled in lapidary arts and Rose in painted rock scenes. Rose passed away after several bouts with illness on September 5, 2000. We would like to nominate Jim and Rose Owens to receive our Rockhound of the Year award. Submitted by Jerry Davis, VP.
Texas Big Bend Gem and Mineral Society Inc, Alpine Texas for 1999:
Lester Sautter is our Club Treasurer, Kid's Korner worker, Exhibitor and Building Chairman. Lester exhibits at shows in surrounding areas and is among the few members who has helped put on our annual show for several years. He sold more tickets in our fund raising raffle of Arkansas quartz crystal as well as providing material for our show's grand prizes for several years. He seldom misses a meeting or field trip. He cuts and polishes and has started to wire-wrap and is recently remarried at the age of 80. Nominated by Phil Plimmer, Club Newsletter Editor.
For 2000: Art Worley has served as Vice President, Historian, Field Trip Chair, Show Chair, and seldom misses a meeting even though he lives 80 miles away. He has provided club membership cards, has gotten the club a page on the web and has added color to "No Stone Unturned" the club newsletter of which he is assistant editor. Nominated by Phil Plimmer, Club Newsletter Editor.
Williamson Co. Gem and Mineral Club, Georgetown, Texas.
Jesse Rolan served for three years as Show Chair, contacting dealers, getting flyers printed, putting up road signs and banners, scheduled people to work in ticket sales, information and grab bag sales. He handled the PA system, arranged security and did the banking _ All without Help! He deserves this recognition. Nominated by Jean Buell, President.
Fort Worth Gem & Mineral Club nominates Sharon Melrose. Sharon became interested in rocks as a girl scout when visiting Inner Space Caverns. She continued that interest by contributing countless hours to our club and the children of Fort Worth public schools through Mars Millennial Project in cooperation with NASA and The White House. The students participated in a poster contest, a mars landscape diorama and a sculpture contest put together by Sharon, our club and the school Art Departments. She also writes articles for our newsletter and brings her three children to help with club projects.
James W. (Bill) Chamberlain and his son, Dennis became members of the Golden Spike Gem and Mineral Society in Ogden, Utah in 1956. His wife Ilene joined a year later. Bill became very active. He served on the Board of Directors, President in 1956, Show and field trip chairman and in many other positions. As our Society became a member of the NFMS in 1960, the members adopted the NFMS Federation type show cases to replace the ones we used previously. Bill started to build show cases for most members. He later built end cases to complete the rows. He works hard at our annual shows in set-up and tear-down and at the silent auction. Through his efforts of tumbling and collecting broken rocks, we are able to sell 2,000 grab bags at our annual show. He provides specimens for our Natural History Museum and also provides materials for sale. We salute Bill for his dedication to the Gem and Mineral Hobby. Submitted by: Ivan and Liz Rudd, Board Members Golden Spike Gem and Mineral Society.
Ya Gotta Wanta
Rockhounds are a varied group,
Mini mounts to two ton rocks,
Some trace the maps and go to hunt
While others search the shows & swaps,
An editor for rockhound groups Does doubly duty gladly.
Reports the news, and maps the trips,
The call is out, "Dear Members, help!
The theme of editors everywhere?
"Ya Gotta Wanta Do It!"
2001 AFMS Program Competition
Slide or video presentations relating to the Earth Sciences are eligible. Submit entries in one of the four amateur classes or special category _ "EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION". (Inquire about CD-ROM entries)
Who May Enter:
DEADLINE for entry: April 15, 2001
Classes For Entries:
Judging (Judges look for:)
* Each program is judged on its own merits. Entrants will receive a composite score sheet.
* Judging Form and "Tips for Good Programs" are available from AFMS Coordinator or your Regional Program Library. Please send a post-paid envelope with request.
For VHS Videos
Reproduction / Duplication
How To Enter
AFMS Program Competition Coordinator, Marge Collins, 3017 Niles-Buchanan Rd., Buchanan Ml 49107 phone: (616)695-4313 2001 ENTRY FORM
I/we submit "_________________________________________________________" (title)
in [circle one] Class1 Class 2 Class 3 Class 4 OR "EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION" (program is available for sale)
Producer(s) (your name(s)___________________________________________
Office (if club entry)______________________________ Federation _________
IS THIS PROGRAM FOR SALE? No ___ Yes ____ Cost: $____________
Now that the field collecting season is about over for many of us, we turn our attention to processing the summers "harvest" of goodies. For many of us this means using our lapidary equipment, especially the rotating grinding, polishing, and buffing machines. Abrasive disks and wheels are made of bonded abrasive and are usually spindle mounted by a center hole to the grinding machine. Polishing wheels are wood faced with leather, stitched canvas, or similar materials. A coat of emery or other abrasive is glued to the periphery of these wheels. Buffing wheels are made of disks of felt, leather, canvas, or linen to which a coat of mild abrasive, such as tripoli, can be applied to the periphery.
Some lapidaries will also have brush or scratch wheels made up of protruding wires of different types, sizes and lengths. Make sure that the machine to be used is heavy duty enough to accommodate the size and type of wheel you will be using and that the surface speed of the wheel peripheral is within the operating range recommended by the manufacture.
If you do not know the recommended speed of a grinding wheel, operate below 2500 surface feet per minute (sfpm) to eliminate the risk of the wheel disintegrating and causing damage to the surrounding equipment or personal injury. Polishing and buffing wheels are operated at a speed of 3,000 to 7,000 sfpm with 4,000 sfpm a good speed for most purposes.
All machines should be connected to a power source of the proper rating for the machine and grounded. Circuit breaker or Ground Fault (GFI) circuit breaker protection are highly recommended. The shut off switch or plug should be within reach of the operator in a dry place protected from any spray from the machines coolant. Stand to the side of a grinding machine when starting up and allow at least one minute of warm up time before starting to grind.
Always use coolant when the wheel is turning and while grinding, but never allow coolant to flow over a wheel that is not turning, as the coolant may collect on one portion of the wheel and throw it out of balance, which could cause the wheel to disintegrate upon starting.
Before stopping a wheel, discontinue applying coolant and run the wheel until it drys evenly, thus maintaining balance. Only the periphery or circumference of standard grinding wheels are designed for grinding-never grind on the sides of a grinding wheel.
For bench and floor stand grinding wheels, the peripheral guard should enclose the wheel and spindle as completely as possible, not to exceed 65 degrees of wheel circumference exposure. The guard should be adjusted to maintain a maximum opening between the top of the guard and the grinding wheel of 1/4 inch (6 mm). Safety guards should also cover any exposed arbor ends and drive belts.
A work rest should be installed at the height of the horizontal center plane of the machines spindle no more that 1/8 inch from the grinding wheel to prevent work from becoming wedged between the rest and the wheel, resulting in the wheel breaking. This distance should be checked often as the wheel wears. Adjustment of the rest and the guards should only be made when the wheel is stopped, to avoid contact with the moving parts and resulting damage to the equipment and possibly fingers.
Grinding work should be done near the center plane of the wheel and moved back and forth across the face of the wheel to produce even wear. Do not force the work and take too heavy of a cut. Do not hold small pieces of work against a wheel with bare hands. Small pieces should be placed in a simple jig or fixture or attached to a dop stick to protect the fingers from injury. The floor in front of the grinder or polishing machine should be of rough cement or a non-slip rubber mat to prevent falls on the wet surface.
Abrasive wheels that are out of true or unbalanced will not only produce poor work and reduced wheel life, but could cause machine damage or operator injury. Rutted or rough wheels can be redressed with wheel dressing tools. The wheel dressing tool should have a hood guard to protect the operator from flying particles from the wheel or broken cutters and should be used with a rigid work rest set close to the wheel.
Prior to use, inspect star dressers for worn shafts and disks. If using a diamond dresser, apply to the face of the wheel at the center plane of the wheel or slightly below the center plane, never above. Never use a lathe cutting tool to dress a grinding wheel. The wheel dresser should be moved across the wheels face while holding the heel or lug firmly against the edge of the tool rest. Apply moderate pressure evenly and slowly. Before and after dressing a grinding wheel, round off the grinding wheels edges with a hard grinding stone to prevent the edges of the wheel from chipping. Wear a safety shield over your safety glasses for added protection from heavy particles. Wheels that are badly worn or out of balance should be taken out of service. Abrasive wheels should not be bumped or dropped during handling.
New wheels and wheels that have been in storage should be inspected for cracks and other damage and should be given the "ring" test by suspending the wheel by its center hole on a peg or finger and gently tapping it on the side with a wooden screwdriver handle at 45, 135, 225 and 3l5 degrees around its circumference from its vertical center plane. A good wheel will produce a clear metallic ring of various pitches, depending on its grade and size. Do not use wheels that have been in storage longer than recommended by the manufacturer. Abrasive wheels should be mounted between matching balanced flanges that have a diameter of more than one third of the wheels diameter. Mount compression washers of blotting paper (less that 0.025 inch thick) or rubber or leather (less than 0.l25 inches thick) between the wheel and the flanges to compensate for unevenness of the wheel or the flanges. Firmly mount the wheel on the grinders spindle with a spindle end nut, but not so tightly so as to distort the flanges or break the wheel. A wheel that is loose on the spindle will run off center causing vibration. Once mounted on the machine, the wheel should be turned several rotations by hand to ensure that the hood guards and work rest have the proper clearance and that the wheel is properly centered on the spindle. Mounting procedures for polishing and buffing wheels, and brush or scratch wheels are basically the same as for abrasive wheels.
When any of these wheels are moving do not touch any moving part of the machine or wheel to determine its smoothness or condition. Always wear safety glasses with side shields or goggles. Do not wear loose clothing or gloves that could get caught in the rotating components of the machine. In some cases gloves may be required for protection from some liquids used during the buffing or polishing process. Books on lapidary or chapter 12 of the AFMS SAFETY MANUAL on lapidary safety and manufactures instructions discuss these materials and there hazards. Adequate personal protection should be worn when using brush or scratch wheels, such as aprons (leather, heavy canvas, heavy rubber), leather gloves, face shields and goggles.
When applying abrasive to a rotating wheel, hold the side of the cake lightly against the wheels peripheral. Where possible apply polishing compounds with a brush. If a stick is used, apply the side of the stick to the off side of the wheel, so if it is thrown, it will fly away from the wheel.
Usually all operations should be done wet, however if the polishing procedure calls for sanding or polishing dry, wear a dust respirator or use a suction blower to remove any dust. Silica dust if inhaled can lead to a serious lung condition that is incurable, silicosis.
The lapidary is filled with other rotating machinery, such as diamond saws, flat laps, drills, etc., etc. All of these machines are supplied with operating, maintenance, and safety instructions by the manufacture. Use all safety procedures and enjoy our hobby without pain and with all your appendages.
Editor's Awards Presented At Moab
We had a wonderful group of entries in this year's AFMS Editor's Competition. Our judges reported back to me that they enjoyed their task because that the quality and variety of the entries was so good. Let's keep up the great work!
A HUGE round of applause and my heart felt thanks go to June Zeitner, Joyce Hanschu, Diane Dare, Joy Bourne, Shirley Leeson, Dolores Rose, Art Reed, Pearl Burden and Robert and Ruth Beauvais for serving as judges this year. They were all enthusiastic and thorough in their task and I know that for them this is truly a "labor of love".
I hope that all editors are seriously considering entering their club newsletters, articles and special publication in their regional competition this year. It's a rewarding process and a great way to gain another perspective on your endeavors. Look for an annoucement of your regional competition in your Federation newsletter shortly. The top three entries in each of your regional federation competition will be forwarded on to American for evaluation with awards presented at Arlington, Texas next June. We hope to see your bulletin, your club articles....and you there!
Here are the results of the 2000 Editor's Competition as presented this year at Moab, Utah.
Adult Articles - Advanced
Junior Articles - authors under 12 years of age
Junior Articles - authors age 12 - 17
Poetry - Juniors
Poetry - Adult:
Honorable Mention Awards - New Editors
Honorable Mention - Small Bulletins
Honorable Mention - Large Bulletins
Honorable Mention - Adult Articles
Honorable Mention - Adult Articles - Advanced
Honorable Mention - Poetry - Adult
My Two Cents
When we finally got home from the AFMS fun in Moab on October 31, I was greeted with several large tubs of mail, gleefully handed over by my lovely post office ladies. I think they were running out of room in our small country post office which is housed in an old railroad station. That's one of the perks of living in a small town ... there is no mail delivery and the post office is small and personal so you really get to know your neighbors quite well since the post office serves as the social center of the community. I sure hope this never changes - we need to hold on to as much of "rural America" as we can and not let those "big box" urban stores change us to the point where each city begins to look alike. Sure it's nice to know that if you need something, Wall-Mart is there, but do we really want to be "Wall-Marted" to death? What about those unique ma and pa stores that Wall-Mart has forced out of business - you know, the ones with character, hominess and items unique to the area rather than plastic, glitz and uniformity?
It took an hour to just sort out those tubs of mail...to prioritize the piles we'd made and to file the "junk" in the recycle bin for pickup. Doesn't AOL ever give up with their free offers? I counted no less than 5 CD's in the pile. Enough already - I'm NOT interested thank you!
Finally, after a day or two of sorting, bill paying, clothes washing, food shopping etc., I was able to get to the most important part of those mail tubs -- the club bulletins which had accumulated in the 4 weeks we were gone. There were at least 125, perhaps more. Wow, great reading at last!
Now a week has gone by and Steve and I have read about 50% of them. What fun we've had catching up on all the news from your clubs around the country. Thank you all for sending them to us. We enjoy reading them all from cover to cover. Please keep us on your list, and if we're not there yet, please add us if you can.
Several of us in attendance at the Editor's Breakfast in Moab were discussing a disturbing trend which we've noticed over the past couple of years. Certainly one of the purposes of any club newsletter is to inform members about upcoming and past programs, nearby shows, health of members etc., but it is also our purpose to teach our members something each month. We've noticed that fewer and fewer of the club newsletters these days include educational items. What happened to the hints, articles about minerals, gems, fossils, etc. which graced most of our newsletters up until a couple of years ago?
As editors I believe that we need to include "something" for all our members. Give them a reason to want to pick up and read their club newsletter, to remain as members of your club. It's not that hard to find good and interesting articles...you might even go back into your newsletter archives and reprint some of those goodies from 15 or 20 years ago...your membership has changed since the first printing, but lots of the information is still relevant.
I challenge each of you to look carefully at your club newsletter and, if it does not contain at least one hint, one educational article and one item each about your regional federation and AFMS, make a change. Your members will be much happier with your product....and when you enter it in your regional federation Editor's contest, you will receive a higher score...and maybe even earn an AFMS award to boot.
That's my two cents. How do you feel about this?
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