Vol. XXXX, No. 2 --- February 2003

CFMS Newsletter

Table of Contents
President's Message
In Memoriam
  Barvara Lammon Gross Pettit

All American Club Award Program
In Memoriam
  Robert Ray Beachler, Jr.

Seaside Gemboree
Junior Activities Report
Education Through Sharing
Field Trip Report
Brewster's Bellt
Safety Danger Outside
Faceters Conference
CFMS Slide and Video Programs

Presidents Message

By Jack Williams, CFMS President
CFMS President

Well, the way I see it . . .

Why we should all be glad and proud to belong to this CFMS family.

With all the members who volunteer to be Federation Directors, who travel to the Directors' Meetings representing each Society with their votes and club concerns. They bring back the answers and latest news of what's happening on a larger scale.

Okay, that's great. Then look at those who even go one step farther and say, "Well, I could do even more". Just look at the Officers, Chairpersons and Committee pages of the newsletter. You just have to know these people really love this hobby.

When these people say 'yes' to fill these positions, they were saying yes, how can I help to bring our societies together and make these certain tasks easier for some who might need it.

They're there for us folks, so I don't want to hear things like: we don't have field trips anymore, or all our programs are not of interest, or how do we put on a gem show with publicity, or we don't know what to do with our junior members, or who can we get to put on a training seminar on a particular subject, or where can we get tax or insurance information for our society, or ideas for our newsletter (like, have you tried exchanging bulletins with other clubs), or are your operating regs and bylaws up to date, do they have good job descriptions for your officers?

Well, of course I could ask, 'when did you last read your CFMS Society Aids Manual?'

Yeah, the way I see it, we need the caring, sharing, communicating-- you helping us, us helping you.

In Memoriam
Barbara Lammon Gross Pettit

Barbara was a prominent and dedicated figure in both the CFMS and AFMS. She served as President of CFMS in 1968 - 69, then went on to Regional Vice President of AFMS, representing the California Federation, becoming AFMS President in 1982.

In 1976 Barbara was honored with the CFMS Golden Bear Award, one of the first recipients of this top CFMS honor.

In 1977, she started as Junior Regional Vice President for AFMS. Her `tour of duty' took her to Ogden, UT in 1977; Pleasanton, CA in 1978; Tampa, FL in 1979; Lincoln, NE in 1980; Salt Lake City, UT in 1981; and as AFMS President in 1982, she presided at the Director's meeting in Houston, TX.

During her tenure as AFMS President, Barbara instigated several changes and programs which have benefitted our cause:

She and her Committee got the AFMS Endowment Program approved. She then appointed Bill Cox of South Central Federation and Charles Leach of the California Federation to begin preparations on the Fund.

They were also instrumental in re-working the AFMS By-laws and Operating Regulations to make them "politically correct".

She also spearheaded the development of the All-American Club awards.

Barbara began as a member of the Santa Clara Valley Gem & Mineral Society where she served as Editor of the club Newsletter. She and husband Obie Goss then moved to the Sierra foothills where she helped form a club and was editor while they lived there. She always had an interest in editors throughout the U.S. and served as AFMS Publications Chairman for several years. She wrote columns on editing for the AFMS Newsletter and helped at National Editors' award breakfasts, along with June Zeitner.

The Goss' then moved to Florida where they `retired'. While there, Obie passed away. Sometime later she married Mr. Pettit and they moved to the Carolinas, where he passed away. With her health failing, Barbara moved to Las Vegas, NV to be near her sister.

Barbara served the CFMS and AFMS with dignity, good humor and love of her fellow rockhounds.... We will miss this great lady!

(Thanks to Shirley Leeson for information in this memoriam)

All American Club Award PROGRAM

By Dorothy Beachler CFMS Chairman

Wow!! 2002 has ended and it is time to be hard at work preparing your application and note-book for an All American Award.

Important!! The submission deadline is February 28, 2003.

Remember that CFMS awards handsome plaques for the top scoring entries. As previously noted, application forms are available at the CFMS website (Ed. note: We apologize for not including this report in the Jan. Newsletter.)

In Memoriam
Robert Ray Beachler, Jr.

Bob Beachwear, age 82, of Rolling Hills Estates passed away at his home on December 24th from complications of cancer.

Bob was one of the early pioneers in the field of electronics, holding several patents, including parts used in B25 aircraft during WW2. He received his Bachelors (BSEE) Degree in Physics from USC and was a graduate of the UCLA Executive Program. He then spent over 17 years with North American Aviation, Inc. as Research Engineer and Manager of the Engineering Research Laboratory, Aircraft Division.

He later worked for the Craig Corporation as Vice President of Operations and Technical Director from 1964-73. In 1973 he founded, and was President of Pioneer Communications of America, Inc which developed the a•  oeQUBEa•  0 two way interactive cable TV system for Warner Cable Communications. He later founded and was President of Pioneer North America, a financial holding and management corporation for six Pioneer manufacturing and marketing companies operating in the U.S. Although he retired in 1985, he continued to provide consulting services for such companies as Futurenet Corporation, Telenetics Corporation, and Craig Consumer Electronics.

Bob was most recently known for his activities with the CFMS where he was cochairman of the All-American Committee with his wife, Dorothy and he was also a member of the Internet Committee. He was a long time member (18 years) of the Palos Verdes Gem & Mineral Society where he held numerous leadership positions, including President and Treasurer. He was also Treasurer of the La Pacifica Show Committee in 1984. Bob recently joined the Long Beach Mineral & Gem Society and was Treasurer at the time of his death.

Bob is survived by his wife, Dot, his daughter, Megan of Menlo Park, CA and his 15 year-old grandson, Ryan Card.

The CFMS extends sincere condolences to Dot and family. We have lost one of the "sharing, caring, communicating" members our President referred to in his message.

Seaside Gemboree Is Coming
Start Planning!

It's hard to believe that we are into the year 2003 already! The AFMS/CFMS show, Seaside GEMboree is just around the corner. Now is the time to start planning your vacation for June 2003 and attending the HUGE convention and gem show in Ventura, California.

The Seaside GEMboree will have something for the whole family. Our camping is right next to the Ventura Beach. Our weather will be cool with sunny afternoons. Seaside Park, (formerly Ventura Fairgrounds) is within walking distance of the beach city of Ventura and all of its local shopping. The AFMS/CFMS will have 50 dealers, demonstrations, gold panning, displays, a silent auction and many SPECIAL DISPLAYS NEVER SEEN BEFORE.

One of our special programs will be by Bob Varish, a meteorologist who has self-collected two of the MARS METEORITES. Bring your possible meteorites to our show and Bob will tell you if you have a Meteorite or Meteorwrong.

We will also have a FULL SIZE TRICERATOPS MODEL, collected by Paleontologist Marcus Erickson, who will be on hand to talk Dinosaurs and help in our Dino Dig.

There will be a HUGE BUILDING for display cases, where we will have both AFMS and CFMS competitive displays and also non-competitive displays. This will give you a great opportunity to show your best skills and material. We hope you will want to put in a display case. Our MERMAID CONTEST is creating a lot of interest. We want everyone to start creating an entry. Your (mermaid) entries will be displayed together in a display case. There will be a nice prize for the winning entry. To date, we know we will have carvings, silver work and jewelry made for the mermaid contest. HOW ABOUT YOU? What will your entry be? Get your entry form in as soon as possible.

All of the Seaside GEMboree forms-- Pre-registration and camping, Mermaid contest, Display, etc. are on the CFMS WEBSITE (www.cfmsinc.org). You can print the forms from the website or call Maxine Dearborn at (818) 883-7851.


At next June's Seaside GEM-boree you will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see lightning up close and beautiful. When lightning reaches down and fingers the Earth, sometimes it forms fulgurite. Fulgurite is a rare rock find; it only occurs where lightning strikes silica-rich sand or soil. It is believed that the intense heat of the lightning fuses the silica, creating a natural glass, Delicate fused silica tubes branch out as lightning ripples through the soil. Frequently described as having a tree-root appearance and shape, fulgurites usually have a rough exterior with a smooth glassy interior. Color is affected by the impurities in the available silica.

Typically, these rare formations are measured in inches. The Lone Pine Gem & Mineral Society of Lone Pine, California has found an incredible fulgurite specimen that measures over 5 feet in length and is believed to weigh over 70 pounds. They have built a special case so they can display this amazing wonder at the Seaside Gemboree, June 5-8, in Ventura. This is your chance to see lightning frozen in time.

The Del Air rockhounds are searching high and low to bring the new and the wonderful to the AFMS/CFMS Seaside Gemboree. If you or your club has an amazing find that you would like to display, please contact Display Chairperson, Earl Dearborn at Gem boreeDisplay@aol.com or call (818) 883-5253

Junior Activities Report
"Kids Korner Kurrency"

By Jim Brace-Thompson, Junior Activities Chair

This month's Junior Activities suggestion comes courtesy of Michele Yamanaka, Junior Chairman for the Three Rivers Gem and Mineral Society of Fort Wayne, Indiana. In a letter from Michele that was printed in the September 2002 issue of the AFMS Newsletter, she described a system of "Kids Korner Kurrency."

Pebble Pubs and Junior Members of the Three Rivers Gem and Mineral Society earn Kids Komer Kurrency by attending meetings, writing articles for the club newsletter, giving presentations, making displays, and engaging in other club-related activities. The Kurrency is like the system of Green Stamps my mother used to collect when I was growing up in Illinois. Build up enough of a reserve of the Kurrency, and kids can cash it in exchange for equipment, books, or specimens available only to club kids. (The club has even purchased an ultraviolet light just waiting for some lucky kid to earn enough Kids Korner Kurrency!)

Michele reports that their Pebble Pups and Junior Members provide a great deal of assistance at their annual gem show, giving presentations to classes that come on their School Day, manning their Touch 'n Feel Table, helping at the dub table, and installing displays of their own. As an incentive to display their collections or lapidary artwork, kids who set up a display earn a special Kids Komer Kurrency worth $5.00 to be spent only at the show. Dealers at the TRGMS show have learned to appreciate the Kurrency: it gets converted into real greenbacks for them when turned in to the club treasurer!

Kids Korner Kurrency is one of the many unique ideas out there being implemented by creative junior leaders and their clubs. I encourage anyone and everyone to share the neat things you're doing in your club by sending your activities and ideas to me (jbraceth@juno.com, email; 805-659-3577, phone). Share the wealth by exchanging ideas that will help motivate young kids to participate and-as always-have fun!

Education Through Sharing

By Barbara Matz, Chair

I have one last nomination from 2002 to share this month:

The Whittier Gem & Mineral Society Board of Directors voted to name VERN CLIFFE their Education Through Sharing Honoree for 2002. Vern was a Great help to the club this year when it was necessary to move it to a new site. Vern has been the Dealer Chairman for the annual club show for many years and has found exceptionally good dealers for it, because he realizes the value of a good show for a club. He does everything he can to make our shows great. If cases or other show materials need repair, the work party is either at his house or he is the first there to help. Vern has had nearly a perfect attendance record at field trips for a number of years and is always a great help to the Field Trip Chairman. Vern contributes his ideas at meetings on shows, programs, field trips, claim management, government regulations and other matters important to the club.
Submitted by Bill Burns, WGMS Federation Director

It's time to start submitting your 2003 nominations. Send them to Barbara Matz, P.O. Box 7086, Petaluma, CA 94955-7086; or barbmatz@yahoo.com

Field Trip Report

By Bob Fitzpatrick, CFMS Field Trip Chair - South

Hello Everyone, Just returned from a great one-day rockhound field trip to the Salton Sea area. We had 16 from seven clubs who signed the disclaimer, plus two dogs. The weather was cool but we all dressed for it.

We left Indio at 8 a.m. in caravan down the east side of the Salton Sea on highway 111 to just past the town of Niland. From there on to Obsidian Buttes on the south end of the Salton Sea. The lake is two hundred feet below sea level and is one of the lowest spots in the United States, and upon occasion can be one of the hottest too. The narrow body of water is roughly 40 miles long and 10 miles wide.

It took us an hour to drive from Indio to the collecting area where we met up with Chris Sibel from San Diego. We were all able to collect all the obsidian and pumice that we wanted. Beth Peifrey and Mike Casey from the Searchers Club collected some nice snow flake obsidian to make a sphere. Henry Torres from the Yucaipa Club took home an extra large boulder of nice black obsidian that weighed about four hundred pounds.

From there we drove to the Mud Pots (small volcanoes). We walked around the geothermal pots listening to the carbon dioxide and other gases escaping from deep underground and gurgling through the liquified mud and spewing little jets of mud. In some areas they smelled of rotten eggs, but most emitted no odor. This is definately one of those "You had to be there" moments! None of them were very hot. As always, it's a fascinating place to visit.

From there we drove to the old Bertram Sodium Sulfate Mine. Minerals that can be found there are Glauberite, Bloedite, Mirabilite, Thenardite, Gypsum crystals and Alabaster. We dug in the side of the dumps and were able to find some great Glauberite crystals. They were quite plentiful and real easy to dig in the soft soil. They occur as singles and in groups.

Everyone in our group said they had a great time and thanked me for leading them to these great areas.

Brewster's Bell

from NWF Newsletter, courtesy of Shirley Leeson

Old Zebediah was in the fertilized egg business. He had several hundred young layers called pullets, and 8 or 10 roosters whose jobs were to fertilize the eggs. Zeb kept records, and any rooster or pullet that didn't perform well went into the pot, and was replaced. That took an awful lot of time, so Zeb got a set of tiny bells and attached them to his roosters. Now he could sit on the porch and fill out efficiency reports simply by listening to the bells.

Zeb's favorite rooster was old Brewster. A very fine specimen he was too, only his bell had not rung all morning. Zeb went to investigate. Several roosters were chasing pullets, bells a-ringing, But Brewster had his bell in his beak so it couldn't ring. He'd sneak up on a pullet, do his job and walk on to the next one. Zeb was so proud of Brewster that he entered him in the county fair.

Brewster was an overnight sensation! The judges not only awarded him the No Bell Piece prize; he was also given the Pullet-surprise.

Safety Danger Outside:
Hypothermia and frostbite are ready to grab you!

By Chuck McKie, CFMS Safety Chairman, 2003

Exposure to cold can cause injury or serious illness such as frostbite or hypothermia. The likelihood of injury or illness depends on factors such as physical activity, clothing, wind, humidity, working and living conditions, and a person's age and state of health.

Follow these tips to stay safe in cold weather:

  • Dress appropriately before going outdoors. The air temperature does not have to be below freezing for someone to experience cold emergencies such as hypothermia and frostbite. Wind speed can create dangerously cold conditions even when the temperature is not that low. If possible, dress in layers so you can adjust to changing conditions. Avoid overdressing or overexertion that can lead to heat illness.
  • >
  • Holiday traveling and winter can be a dangerous combination. Allow extra time when traveling. Monitor weather conditions carefully and adhere to travel advisories. Keep a winter storm survival kit in your car. This should include blankets, food, flares, chains, gloves and first aid supplies. Visit the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website for a more extensive list.
  • NEVER allow anyone who has been drinking alcohol to drive.
  • Cold and heat-related emergencies can occur quickly. To learn more about signals of and how to care for cold and heat-related problems, take a Community First Aid and Safety course from your local Red Cross.
  • Learn more about how to prepare for winter weather! Read "Winter Storms: The Deceptive Killers." "Are you ready for a winter storm?" The Weather Channel NOAA's interactive Weather Site National Warnings Area.
  • This information is in the public domain and is intended to be used and shared without copyright restrictions.
    Via: Talking About Disaster: Guide for Standard Messages. Produced by the National Disaster Education Coalition, Washington, D.C.. 1999

And more DANGER INSIDE your home! Falls are the leading cause of injuries, hospitalizations and deaths among the elderly. In the United States, one of every three adults aged 65 or older falls each year. The majority of falls happen in the home. Many falls can be prevented by following these guidelines:

  • Maintain a regular exercise program. Exercise improves strength, balance and coordination. Talk with your health care provider about the best type of exercise for you.
  • Make your home 'fall-proof. Remove tripping hazards such as papers, books and shoes from floors and stairs. Remove throw rugs that may slip - or secure them with double-sided tape. Use non-slip mats in bathtubs and showers. Have grab bars and/or a bath chair installed in bathrooms. Make sure that your home is well lit and that staircases have handrails.
  • Have your health care provider review your medicines to reduce side effects and avoid drug interactions. Have your vision checked by an eye doctor. Poor vision can increase the risk of falling.
  • Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (http://www.cdc.gov/) American Red Cross Lifeline is a Personal Emergency Response Service that can help elderly people and those with physical limitations live independently in their own homes.