Vol. XXXVIII, No. 3 --- March 2002

CFMS Newsletter

Table of Contents
Presidents Message
CFMS Earth Science Studies
  at Camp Paradise
CFMS Officer Nominations
Education Through Sharing
Junior Activities Report
In Memory - Charles Leach
Why Enter Competition
From Your Historian
Safety Fireplace Heating
Endowment Fund Form
AFMS Newsletter Subscription Form
**Press Back to return from Forms

Presidents Message

By Jo Anna Ritchey, CFMS President

CFMS President

It is with sorrow that I heard the news of the passing of Charles Leach. He has been an active participant in the CFMS for many years (I think I saw him at every meeting that I have attended over the years). One of the last offices he held was Chairman of the Golden Bear Committee. One of the criteria used to select members of this committee is that they be a previous recipient of the Golden Bear Award.

Per the CFMS Officers and Chairmen's Manual:

  1. The Golden Bear award shall be presented only for recognition of outstanding services to the CFMS. The person must be or have been a member of a CFMS member society.
  2. Nominations for this award may be made by the Executive Committee, a Federation Director, or by a CFMS Committee Chairman and shall be sent to the Chairman of this Committee.

I have been told that, as Chairman of the Golden Bear Committee, Charlie had not received any nominations for the current year's Golden Bear Award. Please send nominations to the Golden Bear Committee--either Bob King or Frank Mullaney.

We appreciate the people who have received the Golden Bear. They are very special and we need to remind them occasionally how special they are to the CFMS.

Don't forget to remember your special people, either by nominations to the Education Through Sharing, Scholarship Honoree, AFMS Scholarship Honoree or Golden Bear Awardee.

Jo Anna Ritchey

CFMS Earth Science Studies
At Camp Paradise

By The Earth Science Committee

There will be some changes in the very popular CFMS Earth Science Studies at Camp Paradise in September 2002.

There will be two separate week-long seminars, consecutive weeks, with identical workshops and the same instructors.

Each seminar will be restricted to 60 or so attendees. This will enable instructors to spend more time with each person. The dates and information will be published at a later date.

The Earth Science Committee
Cal & Dee Clason (661) 589-4169
Ray & Florence Meisenheimer (805) 642-3155

CFMS Officer Nominations

By Toni Ewers,
Nominating Committee Chairman

To All Member Clubs of CFMS
Subject: Nominations

Now is the time to make your nominations for officers of the California Federation - i.e. treasurer, secretary, 2nd vice-president, and 1st vice-president.

All nominations must be accompanied by their qualifications and must be received by the nominating chairman by June 1, 2002. (Refer to CFMS By-laws, pages 6 and 7.)

Toni Ewers
12 Hillcrest Lane
Boulder City NV 89005

Education Through Sharing

Member Recognition

By Barbara Matz, Chairman

The Mariposa Gem and Mineral Club is proud to nominate RUSSELL AND HELEN CAPERON their Rockhounds of the Year, 2001-2002, for CFMS Member Recognition.

Russell has been field trip leader, program chairperson, CFMS representative, vice-president, president, and past president of the club. He reaches out to other clubs, drawing them into fellowship with our group. He knows where to find the best crystals and cross rocks in the county. He knows how to make beautiful things from lovely minerals. He's always ready to teach anyone "how to do it." He has been a driving force behind the Shop, helping materially in its planning, construction and operation.

Helen began her rockhound career as a neophyte, a beginner, even, but she learned fast under Russell's tutelage. She has also been deeply involved in the Shop from its inception. Before this she was very helpful in the educational aspect of the Club, preparing and presenting informative articles on mineralogy and gemology. She has, almost single handedly, organized and run several successful summer Gem and Mineral shows. She has been an invaluable liaison through her membership in the Board of Directors with the California State Mineral Museum, hanging in there in the difficult years before it became a State Park under its present organization.

As a pair they have been with the Club through thick and thin. They also reach out in the mineralogy world, sharing their knowledge, skill and artistry in numerous shows in the past several years. In truth, these two have been a backbone of our club for many years. This nomination was submitted by Erik and Dora Bruun.

Any CFMS club may send a member recognition nomination at any time during the year to:

Barbara Matz
P.O. Box 7086
Petaluma, CA 94955-7086
or email to barbmatz@yahoo.com.


Forming or Enhancing a Youth Group within Your Club,
Part Two: Specific Resources

By Jim Brace-Thompson, Junior Activities Chair

In my February column, I offered four general "rules" for anyone wishing to start a new youth group or to enhance the current youth activities of their society. I promised that I'd return to the subject with suggestions of more specific resources to assist such efforts. Five resources in particular should give you a wealth of activities to choose from in building on the foundation provided by the rules I suggested last month.

Working With Young People, Mabel Kingdon Gross. This excellent guide to everything you need to know to set up a juniors' program (along with tips on activities) was prepared for the Eastern Federation of Mineralogical and Lapidary Societies. According to AFMS web site, this is available for $2.50 plus shipping from: EFMLS Supply Person, Ned Reynolds, 37 Broadway, Amenia, NY 12501-0394, (914) 373-9548.

Janice VanCleave provides great ideas for youth activities in three books published by John Wiley & Sons: Earth Science for Every Kid, Dinosaurs for Every Kid, and A+ Projects in Earth Science: Winning Experiments for Science Fairs & Extra Credit. VanCleave was an award winning science teacher who now devotes her time to writing and giving science workshops. She's authored more than 40 children's science books.

The American Federation of Mineralogical Societies' web site (www.amfed.org) has a "Kids Corner" section. Here, you'll find over 50 links assembled under the following categories: "Links to Sites of Interest for Youth," "Growing Crystals", "Dinosaur Links," "Fun with Science," "Links to Resources & Homework Helpers," and "Ask an Expert." Information, activities, on-line articles, links to youth leaders at clubs across the country. This site is a true gold mine for any youth leader!

"Kids Dig Fossils" is the title of an article I wrote for the September 1994 issue of Rock & Gem magazine. In it, I provide suggestions on how to build kids natural interest in fossils via memberships in rock clubs and museums, activities, and field trips. I have copies I can send to anyone who might be interested.

Finally, consider signing up your club's Pebble Pups in &qupt;Future Rockhounds of America" (FRA) Bob and Kathy Miller of the AFMS (phone: 574-291-0332: e-mail: KanBrock@aol.com) have established FRA to encourage and maintain a network of youth leaders from AFMS-affiliated clubs across America. By joining, you'll get names, phone numbers, addresses, and e-mail addresses of the most active members in our hobby, making this the single-best way of establishing a network from which to exchange tips and ideas. Contact Bob and Kathy or me for further info on enrolling your Pebble pups. (An application for FRA membership is also available in the "Forms" section on the CFMS web site.)

If you've been thinking about starting a youth division within your own club- or revitalizing an existing youth division- I hope this helps you to get up and running and, as always, have fun.

In Memory - Charles Leach

By Shirley Leeson & 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 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" who 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 from whom they came. .

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. W e 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.

Charley was President of the CFMS in 1984. After his term of office he continued to help in any capacity the current president asked of him, and it was usually regarding funds or finances. He was awarded the Golden Bear and CFMS Scholarship Honoree, both of which he treasured.

Why Enter Competition

By Jeane Stultz,
Rules Committee Member

Most of us enjoy displaying our creative abilities or our collections at various gem and mineral shows. But when a suggestion is made that your case should be entered into competition, many people reject the idea for a number of reasons.

Some are just afraid of the idea of competition because they have never tried it. There are those who have no confidence in themselves and feel their work or material isn't good enough to compete with others in the same field. Some don't like the idea of competing against their friends who do the same kind of work or have a similar collection. Others consider it too much work to prepare their case for competition because they have to make labels and be so careful about the way they set up their case. And the most common heard complaint is that the judges are too hard and critical of the material and the way it is presented.

These are all legitimate reasons to hesitate before entering competition. But let's look at the other side of the coin. It is always difficult to try doing something new, something you have never done before. But everything we do with confidence now had to be done for the first time at some point in our lives. It is called "The Learning Process".

How can you know if your work or material isn't good enough for competition unless you try? And if it is marked down, don't be discouraged but try to work on the problem so you can do better next time. Most friends won't mind a little friendly competition with someone who shares the same interest and will be happy for you, even if you should outscore them.

It is a lot of work to prepare a case for competition but the satisfaction of seeing your case looking its very best means a lot and if you should win a trophy, you know that the extra work and time spent on your exhibit was worth it. And last but not least, you need to understand that the judges are human too and they are truly trying their best to do an honest, careful, and unbiased job of judging your case. They really don't take off points just for the fun of it, and they don't enjoy picking on you or your display! You may not agree with their opinion but you always have the opportunity to talk with at least one of the persons who judged your case after the judging is over. If you are willing to listen to their comments, you just might win that trophy on your next attempt at competition.

Whatever your motives, you can improve the general appearance of your display and gain a great feeling of pride in your work if you will accept the judges comments as suggestions to help you do better next time. Why not take the plunge and start planning now to enter a case in competition at the CFMS Show in Placerville this July. You might be surprised at the results. Your Federation Director should have the Competition Entry Forms on hand, and when it is filled out, send it to Jeane Stultz, Rules Committee Member. Her address is on the form. If you need help deciding which Division and Class you should enter, you can contact any member of the Rules Committee and we will be glad to help you. Phone numbers and e-mail addresses were in the last Newsletter and are in each Newsletter. Why enter competition? Because it's fun and can improve the appearance of your exhibit when you learn and follow the rules.

From Your Historiam

By Shirley Leeson, CFMS Historian

At the Fall Business meeting in November 2001, I had the pleasure of accepting a piece of Big Sur jade for the CFMS' Historical collection. It was donated by Jim Foskett of Sacramento Mineral Society. He also gave me a slab of mottled blue jade from Covolo, Highway 101, Northern California. Jim decided to take the Covolo jade back and polish it before donating it, but we got a sneak preview, and it was beautiful. Many thanks, Jim.

Also at the meeting, Bob King reminded me he had sent a packet of newsworthy papers regarding the removal of the CFMS specimens from the Ferry Building in San Francisco to the Los Angeles County Museum. Interesting reading -- and now the information lies in the CFMS Historian's files. Thanks, Bob.

Also received were two boxes of Lapidary Journals, Earth Science magazines, Gem & Mineral, and miscellaneous others...

Lapidary Journals
Apr, June, Aug, Oct, Dec 1952
Feb, June, Aug, Dec 1953
Feb, April, June, Dec 1954
Feb, April, June, Oct, Dec 1955
Feb, April, June, Aug, Oct, Dec 1956
Feb, June, Oct 1957
Feb, Dec 1958,
Feb, June, Aug, Oct. Dec 1959
Feb 1960
Nov 1974, June 1987

Gems and Minerals
Jan-April, June-Oct, 1956
Jan-Feb-Apr-June-Dec 1957
Jan-Dec - 1958 Complete
Jan-Dec - 1959 Complete
Jan-July Sept 1960
Mar 1977

Earth Science
July 1952
Mar, May, Sept 1953
Mar/Apr, May/June/ July/Aug 1954
Jan/Feb, May/June, Nov/Dec 1955
Mar/Apr, Sept/Oct, Nov/Dec 1956
Sept/Oct, Nov/Dec 1957
Mar/Apr 1958
June, Aug, Dec 1959Oct 1960
April 1962
Sept/Oct 1964
Nov/Dec, 1965

Rocks Digest, Vol. 7, #1, Sept/Oct 1994

Marilyn McCummins gave me the following AFMS Newsletters for the files
Nov, Dec, 1991; Feb, Mar, Apr, May, June,
Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec, 1992; Feb,
Mar, Apr, May, July, Aug, Sept, Oct, Nov,
Dec, 1993; Feb, Mar, Apr, May,
June, Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec, 1994; Jan,
Feb, Mar, May, June, Aug, Sept, Oct,
Nov, Dec 1995; Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May,
June, Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec 1996;
Dec/Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May,
June/July/Aug, Sept, Oct, Nov, 1998; Jan,
Feb, Mar, Apr, May, June, Sept, Oct, Nov,

And last from Vern Cliffe, CFMS entry
blanks from the CFMS show in 1961,
and also map of the Pomona Fairgrounds
associated with the show.
Thanks to you all, please keep looking

Shirley Leeson, CFMS Historian


By Chuck McKie, CFMS Safety Chairman 2002
Via City of Phoenix Source 1997

Baby it's cold outside. I'm freezing. Let's start a nice warm fire. Hand me that charcoal lighter fluid and a match Whoa! Wait a minute! Lets think about that!


A fireplace removes more heat from your house than it puts in? Even though you are roasting in front of an open fire, the temperature of the room is not changing significantly and can even be dropping? There is no chemical on the market that will clean a chimney? You lose more heat through a fireplace opening, than through the equivalent size hole in the wall? Burning trash in your fireplace will damage your chimney and create a safety hazard? As little as one millimeter of creosote lining the chimney can reduce a stove's efficiency by up to 15 percent?


Infrared energy is radiated outward from the fire. This energy is converted to heat on the surface it strikes, such as skin, the surface of a chair or your clothes. But if something comes between you and the fire, you notice the difference. The temperature of the air has not gone up one degree, and chances are it has dropped because air needed to supply the fire comes from outside at much cooler temperatures.

A wood stove, accompanied by a glass enclosure on the fireplace, is the best way to heat with wood. The average volume of air that is pulled through an open chimney in an hour is equal to twice the total volume of air in your house. This varies slightly depending on the chimney and the size of the house but not by much. So all night while your furnace is busy pumping hot air in, the chimney very efficiently pumps the hot air out. This is why glass enclosures are important in helping to stop heat loss.


There are five good reasons to have a chimney cap:

  1. It keeps out the rain. Rain can soak into the mortar joints, weaken them and, therefore, weaken the chimney. If you have a metal firebox, rain will cause rust. If you have a wood stove insert, rain will rust it rapidly.
  2. A cap will keep out birds and other varmints. Bird droppings down the chimney can cause a bad smell and a breeding ground for mites.
  3. Installing a chimney cap can prevent roof fires, as its spark arrestor will trap the hot embers.
  4. A cap inhibits down-drafting. Back-puffing of smoke can result from several factors. One of these is down-drafting, blowing smoke back down into the room.
  5. A cap keeps out leaves. Leaves can choke a flue and set off a chimney fire in a dirty flue.


A build-up of creosote in a chimney is a potential fire hazard. Dust-like carbon deposits called creosote collect on the inside of a chimney flue, impairing the draft. Creosote is a natural by-product of burning wood. The build-up will vary depending on the type of wood most used in the fireplace.

Softwoods, including pine and artificial logs, produce the highest level of creosote. These burn fast and leave a high deposit of creosote. Juniper is a little better. The best woods to use are hard woods, which include cedar, oak and mesquite. These burn slower, hotter and leave fewer deposits of creosote.

Creosote burns with an intense flame that can damage mortar. In a matter of seconds the fire spreads up through the flue, as the creosote is burning, creating a draft that only helps the fire burn. This is a chimney fire; it sounds like a roar, like a rocket taking off in your living room. If you think you have a chimney fire, leave the house and call 9-1-1.

The National Fire Protection Association recommends that chimneys be inspected once a year and cleaned if needed. When used regularly, the chimney should be checked every six months. How do you know whether your chimney needs cleaning? You may be able to tell by using a powerful light and a mirror to look up the flue from the bottom. If the bricks look pink, you're okay. If they are black or furry looking, it's time for cleaning.


  • Don't build a fire too big for the fireplace.
  • Don't use fire starters such as charcoal lighter, kerosene or gasoline to start the fire.
  • Fireplaces radiate heat just like space heaters so furniture and other combustibles should be kept a safe distance from the fire.
  • Be sure the chimney is clean and in good condition.
  • Be sure the damper is open before starting a fire.
  • Don't burn trash in the fireplace.
  • A screen or glass doors should cover the front of the fireplace to prevent sparks from flying out into the room.
  • Seasoned wood is safer than green wood. Hardwoods have less creosote build-up than softwoods.
  • Ashes should be removed into a metal container and allowed to thoroughly cool before being placed in the trash container.
  • Don't leave small children alone in a room with a fire.
  • Do not leave a fire burning when you go to bed or leave the house.