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November 2002
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SERVING SEVEN REGIONAL FEDERATIONS                                     November, 2002


bulletA "Seaside Adventure" Awaits You in 2003
bulletFaceters Symposium 2003
bulletHave Your Officers Changed?
bullet2003 AFMS Program Competition
bulletAFMS Club Rockhound of the Year
bulletDonations Wanted
bulletRocks-Friend and Foe of Meriwether Lewis
bulletAudit Committee Procedures
bulletObservations From the Prairie Schooner

A "Seaside Adventure" Awaits You in 2003

from the Del Air Rockhounds

It is time to start thinking about the Seaside Gemboree 2003. Plan your vacation to join us in the cool, clean beach air of Ventura, California!

June 5, 6, 7, 8, 2003

Early June will be a beautiful time to visit Southern California. The Del Air (Seaside Gemboree) Field Trip Committee has been working very hard to open new areas or reopen areas long closed to rockhounds for this Show. So sign up early for the Special Field Trips for the rare Nipomo Agate and more. This will be an opportunity to explore areas that have not been accessible to rockhounds for years.

Seaside Gemboree 2003 will be a joint show of the American and California Federations of Mineralogical Societies. Together this show will be a celebration of America's rocks and minerals from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

Watch for more information about the 2003 AFMS/CFMS show in coming months.

Faceters Symposium 2003

from Glenn Klein, Symposium Chairman

Presented by the
Faceter's Guild of Southern California
At the Seaside GEMboree
AFMS/CFMS Convention & Show
Ventura, California June 6-7-8, 2003

You are invited to participate in the Faceters Symposium 2003 which will be held at the Seaside Park (Ventura Fairgrounds) at Ventura, California during the AFMS/CFMS Convention & Show. The Faceters Symposium dates are June 6th, 7th, & 8th. That is Friday, Saturday, & Sunday. The CFMS GEMboree is on those dates as well as on Thursday the 5th of June. All of this is at the same location, just a hundred yards from the beach.

The Faceters Symposium will feature ten speakers, who will have presentations covering various parts of gemstone faceting interests. A Hospitality Hour on Friday evening and a Saturday Awards Luncheon are also part of the Symposium. There will be competitions at the Novice, Advanced, & Masters levels. Get started on your competition entry soon.

The CFMS GEMboree itself will have buildings that have exhibits on display, dealers with their wares to offer, demonstrators to show how it is done, and speakers with presentations covering other lapidary fields of interest.

For information & costs regarding the Faceters Symposium (including competition information), your contact is listed below. Ask for one of the Packets. Be sure to state your snail mailing address so that a Packet can be mailed to you.

Glenn Klein, Chairman
24001 Muirlands Blvd., Space #79
Lake Forest, CA 92630


from Ron Carman, AFMS President

This is my first message as your AFMS president, and I'm looking forward to the year with some real enthusiasm, since Steve and his administration seem to have things doing quite well. Hopefully this coming year we can keep advancing the federation's purposes. Thanks to Steve for a job well done, and to all the other members who work so hard to help keep us going. I know I'll need all the help I can get, and I am thankful for lots of capable assistants and their capable assistance (pun intentional).

Our two new committees for uniformity in judges' training and for obtaining collecting sites seem to be getting an enthusiastic start. They address two of our main concerns: that of being able to continue field collecting and more consistency in judging exhibits. I know that I have heard several concerns from members over the past few years about these issues, particularly the loss of more and more collecting sites. Personally, I am an enthusiastic field collector, and over the past years I have seen several of the sites I used to visit being swallowed up by development or other non-geologic uses. It is disappointing when a good mineral or fossil collecting site is cemented over and covered by houses or parking lots.

Some clubs have had the good sense to make their own claims on their favorite collecting sites, and there is no reason why we as a federation couldn't follow their good examples. If we abide by all pertinent government regulations and by our own AFMS rules, we could potentially obtain and keep some of our favorite sites from being lost. People are always asking "What does the federation do for us?" Here is another advantage to federating: by being members of federated clubs we can preserve some of our favorite collecting areas and share them with brother and sister federated clubs. We need to do all in our power to preserve this most important aspect of our hobby.

Look for me and come tell me hello at a field trip or a show sometime. I will be glad to listen to any ideas or suggestions our members may have.


from Marve Starbuck, AFMS President-Elect

I consider myself a native Michigander even though I was born in South Dakota, and lived in Colorado as a kid. I was at the right age, entered the armed forces, and spent a couple years in Germany. We got interested in the rock hobby when our kids, Kay and Dennis were little. We joined our local club, the Kalamazoo Geological and Mineral Society in September, 1963 and have been going full bore ever since.

Thinking back a couple years, there were a few goals that seemed to stand out. One of course, is communications. You can work and work, and fine tune all you can, but there is still a long way into the tunnel. Communication will be high on my priority list, but our greatest concern is our Scholarship Fund. With the investments not paying super dividends right now, it is more important than ever for clubs and individuals to make contributions so that we can continue to grow the principal and award scholarships as we've done in the past.

I would like to tip my hat to Steve and his committee for the revision of the Operation Procedures, The revision of was much needed. Thanks for a job well done.

Until next month.

Have Your Officers Changed?

from Lewis Elrod, AFMS Central Office

We want to make sure that your current President, Editor and Secretary each receive their copy of the AFMS Newsletter each month. Has your club recently elected new officers? Have any of your current officers moved?

If the answer to either of the questions above is YES, then you should immediately send the name and address of your new president, secretary or editor to the AFMS Central Office. The address and e-mail for the Central Office are on page 7 of this issue.

Please include the name of your club along with the office the individuals you tell us about hold in your club.

Remember that it is up to you to let us know of any changes so that the AFMS avenue of communications can remain open.

2003 AFMS Program Competition

from Marge Collins, Chair

The purpose of this Competition is to Recognize and Reward authors of presentations about the Earth Sciences and to make winning programs available to affiliated Clubs across the country. Slide, video or CD-ROM presentations relating to the Earth Sciences are eligible. Submit entries in one of the four amateur classes or special '"professional" category - "EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION". (Inquire about CD-ROM entries)

* Each program is judged on its own merits.
* Entrants will receive a composite score sheet with comments / score.
* 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.


Any Club, Society, or members thereof, with 2003 dues paid to a Federation affiliated with AFMS may enter.

DEADLINE for entry: April 15, 2003


Class I -

Educational - about geology, minerals, gems, fossils, etc.

Class 2 -

Field Collecting - showing site(s), specimens, with some geology, collecting methods and other aspects of interest.

Class 3 -

"How To Do It" - techniques/equipment for fossil preparation, jewelry, metal work, carving, faceting, other lapidary, etc.

Class 4 -

"Just for Juniors" - any of the above for youngsters.
Special Category: Programs produced "for sale" are judged separately.

JUDGING (Judges look for:)

- accuracy of information / educational value
- quality of photographs / visuals
- completeness of story
- narration that reads/moves well, one slide/view to the next
- presentations that explore an area of interest or demonstrate ideas/ techniques which viewers may try
- title, credits and "The End" slides
- phonetic spelling of unfamiliar words in script example: Sault Ste. Marie (SUE saint marie)


- submit a copy. Winners will be contacted regarding duplicates.
- may be 'live action' or static slides with narration.


- must be 35mm, in standard mounts.
- must be relatively new originals on Kodak compatible film, otherwise good copies may be impossible. FOR EXCEPTIONS - contact Coordinator
- must be spotted for projection, preferably with a red dot in lower left corner and coded with entrant's initials.
- must be numbered to match script.
- a script (written narration indicating when each slide is to be projected) should be typed, double spaced on 8 1/2 x 11" paper, ready for duplication. (sample formats available upon request)


A $200 cash prize for the highest scoring program (with 95+ points) in each Class 1 - 4. In addition, Winners receive national recognition. A copy is given to each Regional Program Library, thus winning programs are available to Clubs across the country. 2003 Winners will be announced at the AFMS Awards Banquet at Ventura, CA (6/7/03)


Adult programs - 40 minutes is optimum Juniors - 2O minutes suggested maximum Suggested maximum slides - 138 (+ 2 Award Slides = 140)


By entering, all winners grant permission for AFMS to duplicate their entry for the Regional Libraries. Winning slides are returned after duplication by a professional service. Arrangements will be made for video copies. Non-winners will be returned after AFMS Convention.


Fill out entry form (or copy) and ship with carefully packed program to address below. Please include post-paid envelope for notification of receipt. AFMS will take reasonable precautions to protect program.


AFMS Program Competition Coordinator, Marge Collins, 3017 Niles-Buchanan Rd., Buchanan Ml 49107 phone: (269)695-4313 email: margaret@qtm.net

2003 Entry Form

I/we submit "_________________________________________________________________________________"

        in [circle one]       Class1       Class 2       Class 3       Class 4
        "EXCELLENCE IN EDUCATION" (for programs produced "for sale")

Producer(s) __________________________________________________________________________________
                         (your name/s)


    Office _______________________________ Federation _____________________________________________ 
                [if Club entry]

                [street address]

                [city] [state] [zip]

    Home phone ___________________________ e-mail _______________________________________________

IS THIS PROGRAM FOR SALE?        No _______      Yes _________                Cost: ____________

AFMS Club Rockhound of the Year

from Bonnie Glismann, AFMS Chair

California Federation

Pasadena Lapidary Society nominates Harry and Arlene Billheimer as their 2002 Rockhounds of the Year for forty-four years of dedicated service. Both have been through all the society positions up to and including president. Arlene taught jewelry making for many years, and was active in the CFMS, eventually becoming CFMS President in 1991. They organized and designed the popular Gems and Minerals Exhibit at the Los Angeles County Fair for nineteen years. Harry has been society show chairman for a number of years. He and Arlene have been instrumental to the show for many years. In addition, they have served families of club members as estate executors, arranging for disposition of estate valuables. Their dedication and service to the society continues to serve as an example to members of Pasadena and other gem and mineral clubs throughout the area.

Submitted by Vern Cliffe
Federation Director, Pasadena Lapidary Society

Santa Cruz Mineral and Gem Society has chosen Felice Di Geronimo, better known as Fel, for Special Member Recognition by the California and American Federations of Mineralogical Societies this year. Fel has been a foreman of the SCM & GS lapidary workshop for many years, helping to keep it open on Saturdays and maintaining the equipment in good condition. He also runs the drawings at monthly meetings and the silent auction at the annual picnic. At our annual holiday dinner he brings handouts of the words to songs and carols, and he accompanies the singalong with his mandolin. His solo whistling of "Oh, Holy Night" is a beautiful highlight of the program. At our Annual Show every spring he has a table near the entrance where he welcomes visitors, especially children, giving them a choice of small mineral specimens and back issues of mineral magazines donated by members. Soon after the show Fel and his wife Lee run in the "Human Race" to raise money for local programs helping less able seniors. Seniors? Fel says he s 86, but he hardly seems like a "senior" yet.

Submitted by Marion Fowler, Federation Director

Southeast Federation

The Knoxville Gem & Mineral Society nominates Danny Miller as candidate for the AFMS Club Rockhound of the Year. Danny joined our club as a junior. He immediately took an interest in the organization of various club activities. He plans, direct and leads most of our field trips, taking particular care that all ages gain maximum enjoyment from these endeavors. Danny volunteers his time and expertise at every show the club has hosted, willing to help in any way. He is one of our most loyal members and despite his young age one of the most respected. Danny is our greatest asset, a credit to the society in general. He inspires members with his enthusiasm. We respectfully submit his name as AFMS Club Rockhound of the year.

Submitted by Eileen Price, Secretary
Knoxville Gem and Mineral Society

The Jacksonville Gem and Mineral Society nominates Paul Casteel as its Rockhound of the Year. Paul worked hard to establish lapidary workshops for JGMS and was instrumental in securing a building and construction of the workshop's interior. Over the years he has taught silversmithing at the club's workshop and many sessions at Southeast Federation workshops. Paul's knowledge of silversmithing and dedication has been a bonus for the club and federation.

The Kyana Geological Society nominates Gordon and Jean Unger for the AFMS Club Rockhound of the Year 2002. Gordon and Jean have been a positive influence on our club since 1969. Because they have a had a diverse interest in fossil collecting, stone carving and minerals, they have been a great source of knowledge to our members. Polling the various members of our club, they have been described as: inspirational, gracious, crafters, photographers, have a good "nose" for fossil finding, faithful and helpful. They have chaired the fossil group, served as board members, co-chaired the annual show, won various awards for their displays, and given numerous talks to our group and others about their interests in the natural sciences. Their dedication to the club over many years has added to our nurturing and stability, and we greatly appreciate the time they have given to us.

Submitted by: Milt Leet, President

The Greensboro Gem and Mineral Club, Inc. would like to nominate Mr. Ray Kisinger for the AFMS Club Rockhound of the 2002. Ray is a lifetime honorary member of our club. Ray's passion is to teach everyone lapidary art. To this end, he was the driving force to associate our club with the local center for Creative Arts. Ray teaches two courses on silversmithing every week. Ray also teaches a children's summer camp in cabochon stone cutting. Ray is most happy teaching children some as young as nine years old and wants to pass on his skills to the younger generation.

Submitted by: Joseph P. Maguire, Jr., President
Greensboro Gem and Mineral Club Inc.

Has your club honored someone for 2002? You still have a few weeks time to send me the name of a person or couple that you wish to recognize for their contributions to your club.

Send me the name of the person or couple and a brief (50 words or less) paragraph telling why they should be recognized. What a nice way to say "thank you" and to brag about your good fortune in having these members.

Send your information to me at:

Bonnie Glismann
4326 S 200 W
Ogden, UT 84405

Donations Wanted

from the mailbag

Two teachers have contacted AFMS looking for donations so they can teach children about rocks and minerals. Can you help? The future of our hobby depends on our youth.

Looking for mineral specimens - preferably thumbnail size. Send donations to:

Jean Longstreth
%Glenelg High School
14025 Burnt Woods Rd
Glenelg, MD 21737-9799

Looking for rocks (polished or not) and minerals - any size. Send donations to:

Mike Ferski
5236 N. Verde Ln.
Prescott Valley, AZ 86314

You need not send your most expensive or precious specimens, but please do not send "leaverites" either.

Rocks-Friend and Foe of Meriwether Lewis

by Brenda Hankins

Rocks have served as aids and tools of outdoor adventure since man began using his hands, his feet, and his head at the same time. We have all felt the special excitement of seeing a life-lasting view from a rocky ledge. Our own handiwork has amazed us as we have created a fire ring, a cairn, or a table from rocks. And, though we could come up with many other helpful uses for rocks, we also have to admit rocks can be very hazardous. On May 23, 1804, his second day of travel with the Corps of Discovery, Meriwether Lewis learned first hand about the ups and downs of the rockhounds' experiences.

Members of the Expedition had been exploring Tavern Cave, just above St. Albans, MO, observable from the River but on private land. Tradition suggests the cave, about half the length of a football field, almost seven yards high and only slightly over a yard deep, may have been a haven for weary river travelers or a corn cache-or both (Moulton, Ambrose, Fifer & Soderberg).

Lewis' natural curiosity took him above the cave where he climbed to a height of around 300 feet. There the rock ledges were jutting out over the Missouri River. Though we do not know the actual details, we can imagine Lewis enjoying the view when suddenly his world turned up side down. He probably felt himself sliding toward the drop off when he instinctively grabbed his knife and began trying to push it into a dirt-filled slit or a fracture in the rock. Through skill, physical strength, and presence of mind, Lewis came to a halt and edged his way back to solid footing.

Just how close this incident came to being the end of the Lewis part of the Lewis & Clark Expedition, we really do not know. We do know that Lewis' experience demonstrates how rocks can be friend and foe-a lesson that all rockhounds should remember.


Ambrose, Stephen, 1996. Undaunted Courage: Meriwether Lewis, Thomas Jefferson, and the Opening of the American West. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Fifer, Barbara, and Soderberg, Vicky. 1998. Along the Trail with Lewis and Clark. Great Falls: Montana Magazine.

Moulton, Gary. 1986. The Journals of the Lewis & Clark Expedition: August 30, 1803-August 24, 1804. Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press.

Audit Committee Procedures

from Mike Kokinos

These procedures are intended for organizations with substantial assets.

The term audit as used in the accounting profession varies from the term used by non-profit organizations in appointing an Audit Committee. However, if an organizations financial records are carefully examined by an Audit Committee, the examination can serve an organization just as well.

An Audit Committee should function all year long not just a once a year examination. This method makes it easier to catch bookkeeping errors and is more likely to prevent embezzlements.

The Audit Committee should consist of members with some basic bookkeeping knowledge. In addition, the Treasurer if the person authorized to receive and disburse funds is someone else.

Monthly activities:

These activities can be assigned to different members of the Committee.

Copies of the monthly bank statements and the receipts and disbursements journals should be reviewed to verify bank deposits and that disbursements are all accounted. The appropriateness of the disbursements can be questioned it an unusual amount or payee is recorded. Bank statement reconciliations prepared by the person maintaining the financial records should be reviewed.

A copy of all brokerage statements should be sent to a member of the Committee each month. The Committee member should verify all cash income from investments is properly accounted and traced if the funds are sent to another account.

The person maintaining the financial records should provide members of the Audit Committee a monthly statement of assets and liabilities and a statement of income and expenses. These should be reviewed and compared to the previous year. If the records are maintained with computerized software such as QuickBooks or Quicken, a member of the Audit Committee should have the same software. Each month, the person maintaining the financial records should send a backup disk to the Audit Committee member. The Audit Committee Member can load the backup on their system and generate the financial reports mentioned in this paragraph.

Quarterly activities: The person maintaining the financial records should send copies of quarterly statements for any investments held outside of brokerage firms. This would include passbook accounts, certificates of deposit, etc.

If any governmental forms, such as sales tax reports, are due quarterly, confirm they were filed.

Yearly activities:

One or more members of the Audit Committee should do a year end review at the location where the financial records are maintained. For this review, the originals of the year end bank statements, brokerage statements etc. should be examined. In addition, the first statement of the New Year should be examined to verify balances forwarded.

Sampling of actual receipts and invoices should be verified to the entries posted in the financial records.

Receipts and disbursements should be compared with prior years and any material differences verified.

Once the annual non-profit reports are prepared for mailing to the Internal Revenue Service and the State where the organization does business, the Audit Committee should review a copy before mailing.


from Trudy Martin, SCRIBE President

S.C.R.I.B.E. - the Special Congress Representing Involved Bulletin Editors was established to improve communications and public relations between gem, mineral, fossil societies, their federations, and other related organizations through involved bulletin editors and authors. The organization also was formed to advise and assist new editors with old ideas and old editors with new ideas while giving all editors a share in all ideas for publishing better club newsletters.

Are you, or is your club newsletter editor a member? The cost is nominal - $6 per year for an individual and $8 for a couple. Your membership fee includes a quarterly newsletter packed full of ideas and "freebies" for use with your club publication. New editors can also have their newsletter evaluated by a SCRIBE member so that they can get additional ideas and encouragement.

S.C.R.I.B.E. also has available for members a nifty CD Rom packed full of articles, clip art and other items which can be used in club newsletters. The cost of the 2002 CD is just $2 per copy. A 2003 version is being prepared for release at the annual S.C.R.I.B.E. meeting in Quartzsite, AZ this February.

Want to become a member? You can download an application by visiting http://scribesite.home.att.net. A S.C.R.I.B.E. membership makes a wonderful holiday "thank you" to your club editor.

Observations From the Prairie Schooner

by Sir Barkley Bigfoot Weinberger, Assistant Editor-in-Training

I knew something was up when those suitcases appeared at the end of September and the folks I live with began piling things into the prairie schooner. I watched everything with my eagle eyes until finally I saw MY SUITCASE being packed...lots of biscuits, my dog food and dishes and my favorite toy. Boy o boy...I was going along too! I was so excited I could barely sleep the night before we left, but I forced myself so I would look my handsomest.

This time we traveled to Springfield, IL for the Midwest Federation Convention. I enjoyed our two days drive riding on top of the luggage in the back of the schooner and watching as we passed the highway markers. I even got to read and answer my p-mail at the motel where we stopped for the night. And then, we were in Springfield and the real fun began.

When the show opened on Friday I was delighted to see lots of yellow busses drive up to the fairgrounds. Each bus represented a 4th grade class that had been invited by the Lincoln Orbit Earth Science Society (Loess), the host club, to come to the show. These kids were well behaved as they looked, oohed and aahed, and purchased a few things from the dealers. I later heard that the club had raised money through corporate sponsors so they could pay for the busses that brought the 1,400 kids. Each child was given a fluorite specimen to take home plus a variety of paper activities. The club also gave each child an adult "get in free" pass so they could come again on Saturday or Sunday with a parent. I think many of them did because there were a lot of kids at the show on both Saturday and Sunday.

The members of Loess had lots of things available to teach the children and adults attending the show. There were demonstrations going on all 3 days in cab cutting, faceting, micromounting, thumbnail mounting, bead making, sphere cutting, fossil preparation, wire-wrapping, silversmithing, and much, much more.

And then there was Sue. I fell in love with Sue the minute I saw her...or at least the minute I saw her head. Sue is the enormous T-Rex that was unearthed several years ago. Her bones are now owned by the Field Museum in Chicago and they had loaned a cast of Sue's head to the show. It was big, awesome and wonderful.

I think the display I liked the most was done by a museum and it showed how copies of fossil remains of creatures like Sue are made. They had a large display of fossils and casts on their table for people to see. Just looking you could not tell the real thing from the copy....but my excellent nose detected the fake in a minute. While in Springfield my owners also got to meet Mr Llincoln, the towns most famous resident. I wasn't allowed to go into his house (he must have preferred cats) or to the gravesite, so I spent my time sleeping. A fellow has to maintain his good looks!

I did get to go geode hunting at the famous Scheffler Mine in Missouri. They had lots of really cute cats and kittens and I wanted to take several home with me, but my owners rejected that idea. I helped dig the geodes though and was rewarded with an extra bone when we got home. I also got to go to Cohokia to see the famous Indian mounds there. I easily climbed the 150 steps to the top of Monks Mound and was rewarded for my effort with lots of great smells and a look at the St. Louis arch.

I had a wonderful time in Springfield, thanks in large part to the members of the Loess club and the Midwest Federation officers. I even got introduced at the Midwest meeting! Does that make me famous or infamous?

Now it's off to regain my handsomeness. Writing is hard work and I've used many of my creative juices writing this message to you. Maybe I'll dream of Sue or those lovely kittens and cats or the 4th graders at the Midwest Convention. What sweet dreams they will be.


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