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March 2002
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SERVING SEVEN REGIONAL FEDERATIONS                                            March, 2002


bulletDare Devil Faceters Donate Gem
bulletScholarship Foundation "Dare Devil" Faceted Gemstone Award Rules
bulletHey! There’s a Rockhound in That Vehicle
bulletThe Critical Link
bulletAFMS Endowment Fund Program for 2002
bulletPublic Relations - A Story for Our Future Success
bullet“Learn All You Can”—Lewis and Clark Signature Events
bulletCharles Leach
bulletAFMS Juniors Program
bulletThe Education of a Competitor
bulletAFMS Club Rockhound of the Year

Dare Devil Faceters Donate Gem

from Jon Spunaugle AFMS Scholarship Foundation President

The famed “Dare Devil Faceters”, members of the Intermountain Faceters Guild and the Northwest Federation have done it again! Spurred on by the love of a challenge, the Dare Devil Faceters have completed many huge and spectacular gemstones which they proudly display at Federation and club shows. They’ve had to build special equipment to handle the huge stones and the members usually work in teams because of the difficulty of handling the large and awkward equipment and rough.

Now the Dare Devils have donated one of their gemstones to the AFMS Scholarship Foundation. Dubbed the “Dare Devil”, it is a 5, 854 carat salmon colored Cubic Zirconia. And, best of all, you can own the stone!

The “Dare Devil” can be yours if you hold the lucky ticket when it is drawn at the AFMS Convention in Port Townsend this July. Tickets are $5 each or 5 for $20. All proceeds will go to the AFMS Scholarship Foundation where they will be deposited and the interest used to help deserving graduate Earth Science students complete their education.

The gemstone will be traveling to most of the regional Federation shows between now and the AFMS Port Townsend Convention. It has already been on display at the South Central Federation Convention and at the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show. Later this spring it will be at the Rocky Mountain and Eastern Federation meetings and this summer will be in California and of course Port Townsend. You can purchase your drawing tickets at any of these Federation shows or you can purchase them by mail simply by sending your check, payable to “AFMS Scholarship Foundation” to Jon Spunaugle, AFMS Scholarship President, 1000 SE 144th Ct; Vancouver, WA 98868-7033. Be certain to include your name, address and phone number and a stamped self-addressed envelope with your request. We will enter your tickets in the big barrel and send you your ticket stubs by return mail.

The complete Award Rules can be found on page 7 of this issue. Please be certain to read them carefully. YOU might just be the lucky recipient of that wonderful CZ!

Scholarship Foundation “Dare Devil” Faceted Gemstone Award Rules

1. Any individual making a five dollar ($5.00) contribution to the AFMS Scholarship Foundation, Inc. (herein after termed the “Foundation”) during the award period shall receive, for each such contribution, a chance to be awarded the gem stone “the Dare Devil” through a drawing to be held at the AFMS Annual Convention and Show in Port Townsend, Washington on July 20, 2002 at 4:00 p.m.. pacific daylight savings time.

2. Any individual may, upon written request, made during the required period, request a ticket representing a chance to be awarded the gem stone “the Dare Devil” at a drawing to be held at the AFMS Annual Convention and Show in Port Townsend, Washington on July 20, 2002 at 4:00 p.m., pacific daylight time. Such written request must be mailed to the Foundation at the address: AFMS Scholarship Foundation, 1000 SE 144th Ct., Vancouver, WA 98683 and received at this address from October 1, 2001, to no later than July 13, 2002. Such letter request shall contain a self addressed, stamped envelope along with the request for such ticket. Only one such request will be honored per individual.

3. Further, any individual who contributes twenty dollars ($20), and increments of twenty dollars ($20), to the “Foundation” during the award period shall receive one additional chance to be awarded the gem stone “the Dare Devil” at a drawing to be held at the AFMS Annual Convention and Show in Port Townsend, Washington on July 20, 2002 at 4:00 p.m., pacific daylight savings time..

4. The award period shall be from 12:00 a.m.., pacific daylight time, October 1, 2001 until 3:30 p.m., pacific daylight time on July 20, 2002.

5. The individual awarded the gem stone “the Dare Devil” through the drawing shall be responsible for paying any State and/or Federal income tax based on a fair market appraisal of the gem stone “the Dare Devil” at the time it is received and shall have full title to the stone “the Dare Devil” upon receipt.

6. The drawing to determine who shall be awarded the gem stone “the Dare Devil” shall be conducted by the Officers of the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies, Inc. who, along with their immediate families, will not be eligible to receive the award. The officers of the “Foundation” and their families shall also be ineligible.

7. The “Foundation” and its agents shall have the sole right and responsibility to receive the donations, present tickets representing the opportunity to be awarded the gem stone “the Dare Devil”, and to award the gem stone “the Dare Devil” to the contributor/ticket holder as determined by the drawing. If the ticket holder is not present at the drawing, the Foundation will mail the gemstone “the Dare Devil” to the person listed on the ticket drawn at the address indicated thereon by registered insured mail.

8. This offer and corresponding award is void in any state or locality in which it is prohibited.

9. Ticket holders should contact their tax professionals for the tax status of any donations made to the “Foundation” during this award period.

10. The stone the “Dare Devil” was cut and donated to the “Foundation” by the group of faceters who call them selves the “Dare Devil Faceters” and was cut from material donated to the “Foundation” through the cooperation of Ceres Corporation of Niagara Falls, New York, and Grady & Phyllis Harris of Creative Gems, Seagoville, Texas.

11. The faceted gem stone know as the “Dare Devil” is certified to be a synthetic Cubic Zirconia, salmon colored and weighing 5,854 carats. It is cut in a cushion rectangle with a Barion type pavilion. It shows slightly different coloration under different light sources. The estimated value of it is approximately $5,000.

12. Both the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies, Inc. and the AFMS Scholarship Foundation, Inc. are 501(c)(3) Exempt Organizations as recognized by the Internal Revenue Service.

13. Individuals wishing to mail qualifying donations should mail them to: AFMS Scholarship Foundation, PO Box 87543, Vancouver, WA 98687-0543. Checks should be payable to the “AFMS Scholarship Foundation” and received no later than July 13, 2001. Tickets will be returned by regular mail.

Thank you for your continued support of the AFMS Scholarship Foundation.

Hey! There’s a Rockhound in That Vehicle

by Richard Pankey, Field Trip Chairman North, CMFS

Over the years I have seen a need for some kind of easily recognizable way for rockhounds to identify themselves to other rockhounds and to the general public, especially on field trips or on some backcountry road. It would also be very useful in campgrounds and other gatherings. In the summer of 2000 I discussed my idea with friends for some sort of sticker that a rockhound could put on his vehicle, much like the scuba diver’s red and white sticker. It would say to the world “there’s a rockhound in this vehicle”.

I designed a prototype sticker and presented the idea to the CFMS Public Relations Committee in June of 2001. The concept was enthusiastically accepted, and for the past several months we have developed and are refining the artwork on several alternative designs. The Public Relations Committee and the Executive Board of CFMS sees the need and supports the concept of a rockhound sticker/symbol, but would like to know what other Federations and societies of the AFMS think about the idea.

A Rockhound Sticker would be an easy way to identify yourself to others as a rockhound. It provides an easy way to recognize other rockhounds. The sticker not only promotes and publicizes rockhounding, it is a service to rockhounds to facilitate meeting one another. The sticker is a universal identifier for club members as well as unaffiliated rockhounds. It lets everyone know you are interested in collecting rocks, minerals, or fossils and you are willing to discuss collecting, to share rockhounding experiences and to help other rockhounds. It’s an invitation to others to ask questions and seek your help. It tells others that you are a rockhound friend.

While working on this project I discovered that a “Universal Rockhound Emblem” had been promoted in the past. In the early 1970’s a Universal Rockhound emblem pin and sticker was developed and distributed widely in Australia. It was also offered in the United States, but for some reason did not gain acceptance. I have seen a few pins but have never seen a sticker on a vehicle.

The rationale and need for such a symbol to help identify rockhounds to others still exists. I am ready and anxious to help make it a reality. I would like to hear what other federations and societies think about this idea. Please contact me at <dickpankey@juno.com>. or at 4310 Kingsly Dr., Pittsburg, CA 94565. It is our plan and hope to finalize artwork this spring and present the concept at the AFMS meeting in July.

The Critical Link

from Steve Weinberger, President

Last month we looked at the communication structure from AFMS to regional federation, then to club and individual level, and we concluded that the flow of information goes both ways. This is as it should be.

There is one critical link in this chain, and that is the information that is transmitted by the club to its members. I receive numerous club bulletins each month and read each of them. I enjoy them and it provides me with a better understanding of not only what is happening across the country, but it gives me a feel of just what each of these clubs is all about.

Many of these are fine bulletins which provide information about club and board meetings, field trips, social and program notes, hospitality issues, and other concerns particular to that club. The one item that has become less frequent over the past years has been the inclusion of educational articles. Most of us are in this field as hobbyists - we are here to learn, to share, and to do. What better way is there to reach all club members than to include a variety of educational articles each month? Remember, everyone does not attend meetings, but everyone does get your bulletin.

There are a variety of ways to obtain articles of interest: exchange bulletins usually allow reprinting with proper credit given, club members are often willing to write short articles if asked properly, even “old” articles from ten or more years ago, if still current, can be used because newer members haven’t seen them.

I occasionally see a photocopied article from a commercial source such a newspaper or magazine with no indicated permission to reprint. Carolyn and Barkley (Sir Barkley Bigfoot is the assistant editor-in-training and part-time poodle) can see me shudder when that happens. Please don’t do this.

You can see that my regard for the role of editor is utmost - the editor is the glue that can bind the club together, provide all information necessary for its operation, and be a vital source of communication between members.

I also edit a newsletter for a small organization and I know how frustrating it can be to try to get out an issue when people don’t send material or they miss deadlines. The editor’s job is complicated further because he or she must glean important information from federation bulletins.

So, in the end, we can say that the ultimate job of the editor is to communicate, and the editor is the final link to all club members. If communication is the key to our success, then lack of communication can be the lock.


from Ron Carman, President-elect

Now that the New Year is here, I hope everyone is recovering from the recent holidays and not getting too cold here in the middle of winter. It won’t be too long before we can think about Spring and a new season of field trips and shows. The Tucson show is just around the corner also.

Let me thank all the clubs for the fine newsletters I have been receiving from all over the country. I know there are a great many clubs out there, but I have really been amazed - I receive more bulletins almost daily from clubs everywhere, and I really appreciate their thoughtfulness in sending them. Unfortunately, there just isn’t enough time in the day for me to read every article in every newsletter, but I do try to scan through each one to get an idea of all the activities of our members. I can read about jewelry, fossils, polishing cabs, field trips, shows, and much more! This is really a very diverse hobby we all share. Please accept my thanks for all your bulletins, and I ask you to keep them coming. I wish I had room to give credit to them all here, but there is only so much space.

Along the same line, I have found that one of the most important yet undersung jobs in any club is that of newsletter editor, whether the club is rock and gem related or not. The editor has one of the toughest and most thankless jobs in the club, with the responsibility of putting out an informative bulletin every month or two. Many clubs publish bulletins monthly, and I know there are many that cannot, but they do publish them periodically - bi-monthly or quarterly or whatever. As one editor once told me, “it is a way to keep my finger on the pulse of the club”. Believe me, a good editor is not easy to find, and should your club be fortunate enough to have one, treat that editor with great respect. From what I have seen, there are many fortunate clubs around, and I know that you all want to keep your good editors. A good newsletter is one of the best ways that members use to communicate with each other and other clubs.

Even the best editor can only be as good as the articles he or she receives from members to put in the bulletins. Now is my opportunity to encourage everyone to feel free to write articles for your club bulletins. I don’t know a single editor who doesn’t welcome contributions for the news letters, and anything you submit will be considered. With the advent of computers and word processing, you can write and send an article by E-mail directly to the editor; many of them have E-mail addresses where they can receive articles for inclusion in the bulletin. If you don’t have E-mail, don’t let that stop you - you can still type an article on paper and send it via the post office, or snail-mail as the E-mailers call it. Select a subject that you like: a field trip report, how to make something, preparing a case for showing, just about anything that’s hobby related. I do recommend typing it to make it easier to read. Then check it over for spelling and grammatical errors, although the editor will (hopefully) do that chore also.

That is probably enough on the subject of newsletters; I hope many members will write articles; if you have done so already, feel free to write some more. At each federation show and especially the AFMS show, there is an editors’ breakfast held where credit is given to the outstanding articles and bulletins from clubs around the various federations. It is only a small way we can give proper recognition to those folks who work so hard for all our clubs. I will be at the SCF show in Tyler and hope to see many of you there. Otherwise, I will be in Port Townsend in July and hope to see as many as possible then - at the Editors’ Breakfast and otherwise. And do keep the letters coming - I thank you all for doing a great job!

AFMS Endowment Fund Program for 2002

from Lewis Elrod, Chair

Things are looking up for this year.

We have a beautiful sterling silver chain made and donated by Ruth Bailey for the California Federation donation.

The Southeast Federation has come through in the person of Jim Robinson who is making one of his intarsia stones for us.

The Midwest Federation has Marvin and Kitty Starbuck who have donated a beautiful rhyolite stone wire wrapped in gold with a gold chain for their donation.

Walt Wells, President of the Rocky Mountain Federation has donated a beautiful ceramic white seal pup for that federation, and it is adorable.

AFMS President Steve Weinberger is faceting a lovely garnet which will be set in a pendant. The other federations have not yet sent in donations but I hope they will soon as we are getting near the time when we must start pushing for sales of tickets. The tickets will be prepared and mailed soon and only the prizes we have can be advertised during the sales effort. Photos of the prizes will be on our AFMS website, <www.amfed.org> in a few more days.

How about it you other federations, look around and select something to donate and lets get the ball rolling.

You can mail your donations to me or request tickets for the raffle from me by writing to:

AFMS Endowment Fund
Lewis Elrod
2699 Lascassas Pike
Murfreesboro, TN 37130-1541

Public Relations - A Story for Our Future Success

by Barbara Fenstermacher, Public Relations Chair

Our future success lies with spreading the word and the good will of the hobby to the young folks, especially those in the elementary grades who absorb the most by seeing and doing. The Pennsylvania Earth Sciences Association in Allentown PA did just this in their first “PESA Scout-a-rama” at the November meeting last year. Cub Scout Pack 102 from Kempton, PA and their parents and friends were invited for the evening activities with twenty four present.

One at a time, twelve PESA members presented their particular expertise, each set up at a table around the room. As a moderator introduced each presenter, the Webelos went from station to station with other visitors seated nearby or observing with the scouts. Topics were: tumbled stones, gem trees, micro minerals, fossils, general collecting, how to display, Macungie agate, gold panning, lapidary, mineral hardness, crystallized petrified wood and fluorescence.

Refreshments were served first, giving the children some time to prepare for the learning session that lasted about an hour. Also, the meeting started earlier so there was enough time for the demonstrations and additional viewing or questions before the club business was carried out.

Participation was enthusiastic with some of the favorite topics, gold panning and fluorescent minerals. The “Scout-a-rama” was such a success that preparations are underway for next year’s event planning to have more scouts attend.

Thanks to Sue MacInnis, PESA member, for providing information for this story.

“Learn All You Can”—Lewis and Clark Signature Events

from Brenda Hankins

Studying the Lewis and Clark Expedition on the Internet, you will find the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory site (http://www.nwrel.org/teachlewisandclark/home.html). NWREL is a highly respected, federally funded educational agency for the Great Northwest that “improves educational results for children, youth, and adults.” On the homepage of their Lewis and Clark Project, they use Thomas Jefferson’s instruction to Meriwether Lewis—”learn all you can.” I believe that quote represents what we aAre about as the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies. We want to learn all we can about the rocks, minerals, and fossils along the Lewis and Clark Trail.

The National Council of the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial has invited us to “learn all we can” by attending the Signature Events planned around the United States to commemorate the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial. What great field trips these events would make for local clubs! What a great way for a family or a group of friends to spend a day! Even the solitary rockhounds who cling more to quiet places might find the experience worth the effort!

Those of you who do attend can help all the rest of us learn more by reporting what you learn about rocks, minerals, and fossils related to that site and event. Write us an informal and informative friendly letter that begins, “Dear Rockhound Friends.” Send your letter to the AFMS Lewis and Clark Committee at MissAgate@aol.com or Brenda Hankins, 1041 Raintree Dr. N, Pelahatchie, MS 39145-2920. We will continue the “learn all you can” theme by sharing your letter with others through the amfed.org website!

Each of the 14 Signature Events planned “was chosen for its place in the expedition’s chronology, its historical relevance, cultural diversity, tribal involvement, geographic location, and sponsoring organizations’ capacity.” Visit the National Council of the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial website at www.lewisandclark200.org for more specific information on each event and to keep up to date with changes and additions.

1 Bicentennial Kick-Off January 18, 2003, Monticello, Charlottesville, VA

2 Falls of the Ohio October 24-26, 2003, Louisville, KY & Clarksville, IN

3 Three Flags Ceremony/Expedition Departure, Spring, 2004, St. Louis, MO, Hartford/Wood River, IL, and St. Charles, MO

4 A Journey Fourth July 3-4, 2004, Atchison and Fort Leavenworth, KS, and Kansas City, MO

5 Tribal Council July 30 to August 3, 2004, Omaha, NB

6 Circle of Cultures, Time of Renewal and Exchange Late Fall, 2004, Bismarck, ND

7 Discovering the Big Sky July 3-4, 2005, Great Falls, MT

8 Destination 2005: The Pacific Fall, 2005, Lower Columbia, OR and WA

9 Clark on the Yellowstone July 25, 2006, Pompey’s Pillar, Billings, MT

10 Home of Sakakawea August 17-20, 2006, New Town, ND

11 Summer 2004: Dakota/Lakota/Nakota Tribes and the State of SD

12 Spring 2006: The Nez Perce Tribe and the State of ID

13 Early Fall 2006: City of St. Louis, MO

14 Late Fall 2006: City of Philadelphia, PA

Watch the next edition of AFMS Newsletter to “learn all you can” as your travel to attend Regional Federation meetings and the AFMS 2002 meeting in Port Townsend, WA!

Charles Leach

by Shirley Leeson and Dee Holland

Charles Leach died this morning, January 20, 2002. He would have been 82 on February 3rd. He died of a broken heart. The doctors just couldn’t fix it.

Many of you knew Charley, he was the one of those who worked hard behind the scenes doing what was best for the Federation. He is one of the last of those people who really cared...

He was one of the ‘three Musketeers” that sat at the Endowment Table for years at the annual AFMS shows asking for your contributions to further enhance the financial stability of the AFMS. Along with Glen and Dorothy Lee and Bill and Edna Cox, you could expect to see a booth with wonderful donations from all their friends and wait with expectation as to who was going to win something special. Some of those items have become priceless collectables....because of who they came from. Charley was able to talk his way around any barrier anyone put up to deter his enthusiasm in “giving” And he watched over it with the fervor of a father watching over a child. We knew it was in good hands because Charley was in charge.

Charley was proud of three things; Betty, the Marine Corps, and his Oklahoma roots.

There were lots of wonderful times. New Orleans, Disney World, the ice cream at Notre Dame, Chocolate by Death, dinners and too many other times that pass through your mind when you think of Charley. He was the one with the button, “Charley Who.”

Betty asks that you think of the last time you were with Charley. To give, in his name, to the charity of YOUR CHOICE, if you feel a need to honor him, and to know he’s on the parade ground in heaven with the Corps. He’ll wait for us, and keep things in order till we see him again.... to a friend and mentor, we’ll miss you Charley.

AFMS Juniors Program

Bob & Kathy Miller, Junior Co-Chairs

Junior Members
Join the Future Rockhounds of America

There are 21 clubs and 250 members of the FRA active in the United States. If any junior members in your club wish to become members of the FRA just fill out the application form that is found in this issue of the AFMS Newsletter and send it directly to your Regional Junior Chairman to start the process. By becoming members you will have the opportunity to correspond with young people across the United States. You will be able to establish a camaraderie of sharing ideas, e-mails, websites, possible combined field trips, swaps, furthering earth science knowledge, and much more. If your club has only a few juniors or several dozen it will not make a difference.

This year the American Federation of Mineralogical Societies is able to offer each member of the Future Rockhounds of America a beautiful Cloisonne FRA pin to be worn with pride at all rockhound functions and meetings. This pin will distinguish you as a member of a national earth science organization and, it is free to all FRA members!

We encourage, we invite, we welcome juniors to become involved, you are our/your hobby’s future.

How To Become A Member of FRA, the AFMS Youth Program

1. Your group must be a member of your regional federation. This can be either through a sponsoring club or through an independent application into your regional federation.

2. Dues only HAVE TO BE PAID to the regional 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 becomes an adult is 18.

We said it was simple; there is no mystery to joining. Just fill out the application below and mail it in. We are here to help you.

Honor Roll of AFMS /FRA Clubs

Antioch Lapidary Youth Club, Antioch, CA

Charlotte Future Rockhounds of America (Charlotte Gem & Mineral Club), Charlotte, NC

Che-Hanna Pebble Pups (Che-Hanna Gem & Mineral Society, Ithaca, NY)

Chippewa Valley Gem & Mineral Society Jr. members, Chippewa Falls, WI

Colorado Springs Mineralogical Society Pebble Pubs, Colorado Springs, CO

DeRidder Gem & Mineral Society Juniors, Burkeville, TX

Eldorado County Junior Rockhounds, Rescue, CA

Evansville Lapidary Society Junior Rockhounds, Evansville, IN

Everett Rookie Rockhounds, Marysville, WA

Indian Wells Gem & Mineral Society Pebble Pubs, Ridgecrest, CA

Jacksonville Gem & Mineral Society Youth Group, Jacksonville, FL

Junior Clackamette Gem & Mineral Club, Vancouver, WA

Juniors Program (Dallas Gem & Mineral Society), Dallas, TX

K.C.M.S. Mineral Mites (Kern County Mineral Society), Bakersfield, CA

Lakeside Junior Rock Club, Kennewick, WA

Northwest Wisconsin Gem & Mineral Society Dirt Devils, Cumberland, WI

RMFMS Chapter at Large Juniors (Rocky Mountain Federation), Roswell, NM

Three Rivers Gem & Mineral Society, Spencerville, IN

Rock ‘n Kids (Searchers Gem & Mineral Society), Santa Ana, CA

Tulip City Gem & Mineral Junior Club, Holland, MI

Ventura Gem & Mineral Society Pebble Pups, Ventura, CA

Columbus Gem & Mineral Society, Plain City, OH

Future Rockhounds of America - Application Form

Please fill out the following questionaire:

Name of Youth Group:______________________________________________________

Sponsoring Adult Club:_____________________________________________________

Federation: California_______ Eastern_______ Midwest_______ South Central______

Southeast______ Rocky Mountain______ Northwest_______

Contact Person:__________________________________________________________



Year Organized:_____________________Current Number of Members:______________

Mail to:    Kathy & Bob Miller
                1106 Clayton Dr
                South Bend, IN 46614

The Education of a Competitor

by Barbara Jacobsen from the Northwest Newsletter, 2/02

[AFMS Ed. Note: It’s been my pleasure to have known Barbara for about 30 years now. She is a member of the Roxy Ann Gem & Mineral Society of Central Point, OR and the Tuscarora Lapidary Society of Media, PA and has won many AFMS competitive trophies for her outstanding lapidary work. Barbara is one of only a handful of competitors to earn a perfect 100 points for one of her displays of jasper cabs (Jackson, MS, 1997). Needless to say, her work is spectacular.]

My education in lapidary began with individual lessons in cutting and polishing cabochons from someone whose idea of teaching was to demonstrate once and then disappear - a style that I confess I rather liked. After many years of teaching students at various levels, I found that formal education processes, such as lectures, were not especially appealing to me during my non-employment hours.

But I do enjoy nontraditional approaches such as trial and error, occasional conversations, observation of demonstrators, and purchases of tapes. These approaches were timely and practical in learning about cabbing. The positive informal comments of friends, relatives, and club members encouraged me, and I thought I was learning from them too.

And then I decided to compete under Federation rules. I read my first scorecard (an 80) and went home, and had a really good cry. No one had ever told me that my cabs had scratches and poor polish, that i had badly arranged lighting, that my risers were “shopworn” or that my material was not “show quality”. Depressed, I vowed never to cut any more cabs or compete again. Fortunately, a long, long walk and the purchase of a headband magnifier proved to be remedies for this sort of thinking.

Gradually it began to penetrate my frontal lobes that I was receiving an education from the judges at shows. My friends, relatives and club members who told me how wonderful my displays were too nice to be negative or simply did not know how to properly judge lapidary items. The Federation judges, on the other hand, were telling me to set higher standards.

I began to view competition as welcome education, and I began to see the critiques of judges as personal gifts. And one of the best parts of these critiques is that they are free, that is, if your club belongs to the Federation or you are an at-large member. In any other area of our lives, we pay lots for expert opinion.

In more than 25 years of competing all over the USA, I have yet to meet a malicious or deliberately nasty judge. Most judges are simply educators - they want your display to improve and are willing to give you their advice. I have been privileged to have quite a few famous lapidary people judge my case over the years. Yes, I have also met some oddball judges. For example, I was once told that I should not label a tiger eye cabochon “tigereye” if I cut it on the bias. Another judge said that the “fire” in my fire agate must have been painted on. But even these comments have served an educational function. One of the best parts of competing is trading laughter and “war stories” with fellow competitors. These discussions have led to friendships lasting many years, and the exchange of lapidary and display secrets not mentioned in any books.

A past president of AFMS once advocated de-emphasis of competition because it creates losers and a denigrating, non-cooperative spirit (William Maloney, President’s Message, AFMS Newsletter, April 1989). But I believe competition is healthy. It challenges you to achieve goals; teaches you to be disciplined -- you’ve got to practice to be skilled; and teaches you how to deal with the frustration of not winning. The feedback from judges is quick, often useful, and particular to you.

Why not join us in this non-traditional form of education? Just don’t forget to read the AFMS Uniform Rules first. You may find your display improving, and perhaps judges will begin to find it more difficult to take points off from your case. It takes a bit of nerve to compete and receive criticism, but then it takes some nerve to be a judge too.

The wisdom of that ancient Greek author Anonymous about receiving criticism seems applicable here:
    - If it’s truly unfair or unjustified, then simply ignore it or laugh about it.
    - If you suspect there may be a grain of truth in the criticism, then learn from it and add to your education.

AFMS Club Rockhound of the Year

from Bonnie Glismann, Chair

South Central Federation

Micah Adams of the Ark-La-Tex Gem and Mineral Society is a perfect candidate for our 2001 Rockhound of the Year. Although Micah is a junior member, he is knowledgeable of rocks, minerals and fossils. Micah’s enthusiasm is very contagious, especially when he is talking about dinosaurs. Micah will whole-heartedly fill in when asked to do so. He recently gave a report at one of our club meetings on findings he had made on a field trip.

Submitted by Ike House

Okley Davis of the Ark-La-Tex Gem and Mineral Society is one our most faithful members and has served the club in many ways. He has been our president on several occasions as well as our show chairman for the past several years. When a demonstration is needed to promote the club, Okely is always willing to come with his cabbing machine. He is the epitome of what a good club member should be and is very deserving of Rockhound of the Year for 2002.

Submitted by Ike House

Art Smith has been nominated by the Houston Gem and Mineral Society as their Rockhound of the Year for the year 2001. Art is a career geologist and has been club librarian for nearly 20 years. He has up grated this library to be one of the finest earth science book collections of any club in the state. He has won numerous awards for his mineral articles at the SCFMS and AFMS levels. He has guided numerous Rockhounds to localities gleaned from the library of sources and his personal data from field trips. He has directed the Conoco School Collect identification kits for teachers to use in earth science classes. He was awarded honorary life time membership in 2000 for his continued efforts in Houston Gem and Mineral Society.

Submitted by Jill Rowlands
2001 President of HGMS

John Moffitt has been chosen by the Houston Gem and Mineral Society as their 2002 Rockhound of the year. John has been very active in leadership, public speaking and writing for the Houston Gem and Mineral Society. He has had numerous awards from the SCFMS and The AFMS for his fossil and field trip articles. He served as 200l show chairman where he initiated a positive location change to enhance our growth. He is now the 2002 President of HGMS. He has led many paleontology field trips for local school children and adults. He also has given lectures on fossil and fossil preparation at schools and other organizations. He has actively promoted free and open collection of fossil material on public lands. John’s collection of trilobites is considered world class and was featured as a special exhibit at the Houston Museum of Natural Science in 1996. Submitted by Jill Rowlands

Texoma Rockhounds Inc. would like to nominate Mr. Neil Chauncy as AFMS Rockhound of the Year for 2001. Neil is currently publicity chairman for the club and he writes a monthly newsletter about our club meetings that appears in the Herald Democrat. Over the years Neil has also been involved in education, field trips and almost every aspect of our club. In addition to club activities Neil teaches club and community members lapidary skills at Grayson County Community College. Neil is a longtime active and vital member of our club and we are proud to nominate him as our Rockhound of the Year.

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