Vol. XXXX, No. 3 --- March 2003

CFMS Newsletter

Table of Contents
President's Message
In Memoriam Johnnie Short
Field Trip Gold Rock Ranch
Selecting Materials for Cabochons
Junior Activities Report
Seen Any Tectites Lately?
Historian's Report
Slide & Video Programs on the CFMS Website
New AFMS Rules Changes for 2003
No Naked Gem Trees Allowed
CFMS Slide and Video Programs   (Pg. 7)
Seaside GEM boree Forms
Endowment Fund Form   (Pg. 15)
CFMS Historian   (Pg. 16 & 17)
CFMS Shows and Events   (Pg. 18 & 19)
2003 CFMS Officers, Chairpersons & Committees   (Pg. 20 & 21)

Presidents Message

By Jack Williams, CFMS President
CFMS President

Well, the way I see it . . .

By the time you get this Newsletter you should have sent in your club dues, insurance payment, roster and 2003 , change of club officers information to the CFMS Secretary/Treasurer, Pat LaRue.

How about it, is your club increasing its' membership? Or are you on the list of clubs with a declining membership? There are lots of things that can be done. Some work better for some than others. But which ones work best for you? We must always try the ones we can.

Meeting the public can be done in so many ways to get the exposure of our hobby and activities by giving talks at schools and libraries. Setting up rotating displays in our schools, museums, libraries, public offices, hospitals and many other places that see a lot of public traffic.

It is all in letting people know what our hobby is all about and the fun they can have by joining with us in a club. Letting them know where and when we meet and what all we do.

Are you running newspaper articles in your local newspapers about meetings and special programs, activities or speakers at your club meetings?

Are we making visitors at our meetings feel welcome? Are we showing an interest in them so they will be interested in us and our hobby. Do visitors receive club information handouts telling about our activities, workrooms, club library, field trips, programs, etc. Do you have someone assigned to meet and talk to visitors at meetings to make them feel welcome and enjoy the meeting so they will want to come back?

Perhaps your club has had some "successful stories" you could submit to the CFMS Newsletter. Yeah, the way I see it, we want YOUR ideas.

In Memoriam
Johnnie Short - April 27, 1920 ~ January 1, 2003

Johnnie was President if CFMS in 1961-62. His original local club was the Arrowhead Mineralogical Society, Sam Bernardino County, California.

Johnnie exhibited over the years and received many awards at the regional and national level for his extensive mineral collection. He was also interested in photography and contributed some of his mineral slides to Rock & Gem magazine.

While going up through the AFMS chairs, Johnnie supported the new AFMS Scholarship Foundation and as AFMS President he presented the very first award to Professor Richard Pearl at the AFMS banquet in Yakima, Washington. The grant was for $ 300.

Johnnie didn't fade away after his tenure as AFMS President. He constantly attended AFMS shows throughout the country and also attended CFMS shows. He was among the AFMS Past Presidents who attended the 50th Anniversary in Jackson, MS in 1997. The last AFMS show he attended was at Port Townsend. WA in 2002.

Over the years Johnnie lived in the Northwest and at Tucson, AZ. He involved himself in the famous Tucson Show for many years from 1994 through 2002. He was Treasurer of TGMS for several years.

Johnnie was never seen without a smile. He always had a good word for everyone. He was one of those people who believed he never saw a rockhound he didn't like. And EVERYONE liked Johnnie. Johnnie loved field trips, attending shows, his extensive mineral collection and most of all the many, many rockhound friends he made all over the world.

We shall all miss you, Johnnie....
We would like to offer condolences to his wife, Alice and family.

Any donations in his name should be sent to the AFMS Endowment Fund Treasurer, Toby Cozens, 44401 SW Hill St., Seattle WA 98116-1924

Shirley Leeson CFMS/AFMS Historian.

Field Trip - Gold Rock Ranch
Feb. 28, March 1, 2

By Bob Fitzpatrick, CFMS Field Trip Chair South

I will be leading a field trip on Feb. 28, March 2nd & 3rd to the Gold Rock Ranch area. Come for a day or come and stay as long as you would like to. We will be collecting Dumortierite, Petrified Palm Wood, Kyanite and much more. We will be camping at or near the ranch. The ranch is located 12 miles west of Yuma on 1-8, then north on S-34 (Ogilby Road) just 9 miles, then left on Gold Rock Ranch road for 1& 1/2 miles and you are there. Everyone who would like to stay at the ranch needs to contact the ranch and make arrangements. Their web site is http://goldrockranch.tripod.com/. or Gold.RockRanch@cs.com The new rates at the Ranch are for any available site (with or without utilities) at $20.00 per night. We honor Passport America, Enjoy America, Happy Camper and Coast to Coast Good Neighbor for half the daily rate. At this time we are in overflow and have only electric sites available with 15 amp service.

The chuckwagon will be open the days you are here. They serve breakfast and lunch from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Arizona time. On March 1 we are having a 1950's day with a rock-nroll dance at 7 p.m. by Jim Thompson with lots of contests ($5.00 per person) and a dinner at 5 p.m. that night (lasagna) for $5. per person. No rental units are available at that time.

If you can't or don't want to stay at the ranch, there is a lot of open desert nearby to dry camp in. Or, you can get a room in Yuma. But plan on being at the ranch at 8:00 a.m. to eat breakfast. We will be leaving from the ranch at around 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday we will be going to the Kyanite Mine. Sunday to the Indian Pass Road area to collect Dumortierite, Palm Wood and much more.

You must observe the AFMS code of ethics and sign a consent and assumption of risk and waiver of liability form.

For more information, email me at RUROCKY2@aol.com or RockhoundBob@aol.com Bob Fitzpatrick, CFMS Field Trip Chair South

Selecting Materials for Cabochons

by John Sinkankas

A beginner is often confused by the great variety of cabochon material offered for sale. Selection should be based on quality. Carefully inspect the material of your choice. It must be solid, free of any cracks or holes, and be uniform in texture. Certain kinds of jasper contain soft spots because all the pores did not fill up with the silica-bearing solutions. Check slabs of this kind by wetting the surface and watching to see if water remains on top or is soaked up. The material with soft spots will not polish.

Many slabs are displayed at dealers' tables in flat pans of water. Porous spots will soak up the water so it is best to allow the selected slab to dry thoroughly. To check it for uniformity in texture, hold it up to a strong light at an angle.

When the beginner chooses a material for his/her first attempt at gem cutting, agate, such as Montana, Mexican or Brazilian is a good choice. These agates are hard and tough enough to allow for mistakes that will be made and corrected. It is wise to make the first cabochon about one-half inch in size and gradually work on larger cabs as one gains experience.
  (from The Pegmatite, 2103; via The Pick & Shovel, 9/02 Original source unknown)

Junior Activities Report
Partnering with Your Local College or University

By Jim Brace-Thompson, Junior Activities Chair

While recently exploring web sites of college geology departments throughout California, I was amazed by one in particular. The Geological Sciences Department web site of the University of California at Santa Barbara not only contains the usual links introducing faculty, describing curricula and courses, etc., but also had one link labeled simply, "Outreach." With a single click, a wonderful world of opportunities opened!

For instance, I learned that the department promotes classroom visits and department tours and provides educational resources for earth science teachers. They encourage teachers and other youth leaders to bring kids to visit the department to see displays of minerals and fossils and to enjoy a presentation by a faculty member. Presentation topics include rocks and minerals, Santa Barbara geology, fossils and the history of life, plate tectonics and mid-ocean ridge geology, earthquakes, and volcanoes. Presentations are customized for students' age and areas of interest. The department has a teaching collection of rocks, minerals, and fossils, and maintains lab equipment and materials. Can't bring your group of kids to the school? No problem! They'll make arrangements to send a faculty member to you.

As if this wasn't enough, they also offer "freeware"-a whole assortment of computer software developed by faculty and freely available for downloading or obtaining as CD ROMs. These include QuickTime movies illustrating plate tectonics and the changing face of Southern California over the past 85 million years; a "Dynamic Planet" CD showing topography, quakes, volcanoes, etc.; a "MacOrogeny" program illustrating mountain-building activities that have shaped North America; and an "Origins of Life' program animating the chemical reactions that may have led to life on earth.

A third feature provides "Geoscience Links" to web resources with particular appeal for earth science educators as well as to other major geology programs in the University of California system (Berkeley, Davis, Irvine, LA, Riverside, San Diego, and Santa Cruz).

Finally, the UCSB department is home to the Edward R. Bancroft Collection, an internationally recognized collection of gem crystals and minerals. Teachers and other youth leaders can arrange for their kids to tour this spectacular collection at Webb Hall. If you're unable to get to the university itself, you can still share this amazing collection with your kids simply by clicking on a link in the web site that takes you on a tour of 67 minerals with vivid color photos and info on the properties of each, maps of their source areas, and pictures of the mines from which they came. (For anyone wishing to see this site right away, the address is http://www.geol.ucsb.edu/L2/Outreach.html)

Take some time and explore similar educational outreach opportunities at colleges and universities near you. You'll find that it's not just for your juniors, but for your club as a whole. For instance, the Fossils for Fun Society has forged links with Sierra College. As a result, members sometimes accompany college faculty on scientific digs, faculty provide presentations at club meetings and are available to help members identify fossils they find, and educational and volunteer opportunities have emerged with the college and its natural history museum. Forging a link with your local university or college is a great way not only to open doors but also-as always-have fun!

Seen Any Tectites Lately?

By Dr. Rolfe Erickson

Dear members of the California Federation of Mineralogical Societies,

I am a geologist at the Sonoma State University studying a possible tectite fall in Sonoma County.

We presently have three occurrances of the glass objects in question, and I want to ask the assistance of CFMS members in finding more. I would like you to publish my request in your next Newsletter. Hopefully, one or more of your member societies will have someone who has seen such objects. Thank you for your consideration of this request.

I am engaged in a hunt for a particular rock type in the Sonoma County area, and want to enlist your help in finding more occurrances of it. The material in question is tectite. Tectites, as you may know, are small glass bodies up to a few inches in diameter that are generated in large numbers in asteroid impacts. Impact melt is thrown into space, breaks up into zillions of small drops which chill to glass, and these reenter the earth's atmosphere, heating and melting their surfaces as they travel back to the surface.

The glass bodies of tectites are usually ovoid to platy, but other shapes also occur. The local ones are black. Their surfaces are pitted and grooved from partial melting on reentering the atmosphere, and they look rather like peach pits or walnuts. I now know of two localities in Sonoma County west and northwest of Healdsburg where large numbers of these objects have been collected. Tectites in general are widely distributed in strewnfields, up to thousands of miles across, so they should exist elsewhere in the county and beyond.

Please contact me if you have ever seen anything like these objects. I will be glad to come look at what you have.
Call me at:
        (707) 664-2296 or-
Email me at :
        rolfe.erickson@sonoma.edu or-
Send a letter to:
        Rolfe Erickson, Geology Department,
        Sonoma State University,
        Rohnert Park, CA 94928

Historian's Report

By Shirley Leeson, Historian

At the Visalia Director's meeting in November I displayed three panels of cabs that have been donated to the CFMS since a request for cabs from the AFMS 50' Anniversary Committee asked for some in 1997.

I asked everyone to take a good look at the material and see if they had something at home that wasn't shown and if they would donate it to the collection. We will be hosting the CFMS/AFMS combined show in June. It would be wonderful to have as many historical locations represented as possible.

At Visalia I received a cab from Prentis Mitt of the Tule Gem & Mineral Society. He went home during the lunch break and brought back a beautiful cab of Thulite (Oolitic Jasper) from Exeter, Tulare County, CA.

Several people said they had specimens at home and would forward them to me for the exhibit. I will need these specimens before the show so I can mount them and make the proper tags for each cab. If you've been putting off this project, please try and get them to me as soon as possible.

Additional cabs have come from Kevin Erickson, of the Porterville Area Gem & Mineral Society, who sent me a cab of Nephrite Jade, Porterville Jade from the Janoko Mine, east of Porterville, CA.

A recent field trip to Danby Drylake, Amboy, CA resulted in a beautiful large spearpoint style cab of Chapenite, donated by Simon King of the San Diego Mineral & Gem Society.

Many thanks to you all, I await further donations to the CFMS Historical Cab Collection.

Shirley Leeson, Historian
6155 Haas St.,
La Mesa, CA 91942-4312

email: shirleyleeson@email.msn.com and
Please send emails to both addresses

Slide & Video Programs
on the CFMS Web Site

By Bill Gissler, Librarian

The web page is an interim supplement to the CFMS Slide and Video Program Catalogue. The updated catalogue is in work at this time and will be released later in 2003. The web site Index provides a link to the following:

  1. The Junior Programs Listing is an abbreviated slide and video list of programs that are considered suitable for Juniors. The list is not all-inclusive. Look over the Slide and Video Program listings for other programs that may be used.
  2. The Slide Programs Listing is a list of slide programs. These are numbered as they are received. The exception is when a program is dropped due to condition or other good reasons. The numbering scheme is F-1 thru the highest number.
  3. The Video Program Listing is a list of video programs. They too are numbered as they are received. The numbering scheme is V-1 through the highest number.
  4. The Slide Program Description section presents a brief description of each slide program. The slide programs are arranged in numerical sequence. Each Program Description notes the number of slides, approximate viewing time, the year made (when known).
  5. The Video Program Description section presents a brief description of each video program. The video programs are arranged in numerical sequence. The description notes the source of the video, approximate running time, and the year made (when known).

The Order Form is on the web. It also was published in the February Newsletter. It is preferred that you use the written form when making requests. Please include a Zip code.

Regarding the condition of programs the Librarian cannot be expected to know the condition or validity of any program except as the users submit reports. If a slide is lost or damaged, the librarian will do all that is possible to keep the program usable.

New AFMS Rules Changes for 2003

By Dee Holland, URC Chairman, 2002

At the AFMS/NFMS show in Port Townsend the Uniform Rules Committee met and passed the following proposals:

SCRIMSHAW - Division H was proposed and passed by the committee.

GEMTREES - Division A, Open was passed but there will be a change made to the scoring of this new proposal at the next meeting in Ventura, June 3, 2003.

JEWELRY - Modification to Division D, this has to do with the variety of work and the scoring for the more difficult techniques.

LAPIDARY - Modification to Division C, this has to do with the class cc-7 with size restrictions.

FOSSILS - Modification to division F, there has been a change in units - setting up one group for classification and one group for locality, time or rock unit.

Proposal to form a committee of judges to arbitrate controversies arising during judging of competitive exhibits at the AFMS show. This was worked out and passed. Correction made to the AFMS Rules book on CF-4. CF-4 was removed from the out of class section.

DIATOMITE was added to the AFMS Lapidary List.

Discussion on putting the AFMS Rules on the AFMS Web Site. This was approved with the restrictions on how it would be put on. When Downloading, SECTION 1 must be down loaded when any other section is printed. And with the provision that all Regional Federations would have an up-to-date hard copy to refer to. Open discussion: It was strongly suggested that any points taken off should have a written explanation. This is for the benefit of the exhibitor.

TUMBLED STONES OUT OF CLASS - In Division C & G, tumbled stones will be out of class with the exceptions of CA-4 and CA-9 Carving Diorama.

AD HOC COMMITTEE: Formed after approval of the URC Committee and AFMS Directors. Proposal for judges classes for regional representatives at Eastern Federation's Wild Acres for a three-year trial period.

Bob Carlson of RMFMS volunteered to make a data base of judges from Regional Federations for an AFMS Judges list. Approved.

More information about all of these proposals will be forthcoming as soon as your regional supply chairman receives this information.

No Naked Gem Trees Allowed

By Dee Holland,
3rd Year CFMS Rules Committee Person

Now that we have your undivided attention, we'd like to introduce you to the newest categories in the AFMS Uniform Rules.

The first is GEM TREES, which has been added to Division A, Open. For those of you who have learned the fine art of gem tree making at ZZYZX and Camp Paradise, you will now have someplace to show them off.

The rules are thus: On page A-1, and page A-2, 2003, rule 1.7 describes what can be shown, and what is out of class.

Materials may be natural or polished, the base must be stone, all materials must be identified, and materials must be listed in the AFMS Lapidary Material Reference List. Page A-3 shows the scoring points.

If this is confusing to you, why don't you sign up to attend the Rules Seminar, March 29 in Monrovia, CA. Application forms have been in recent Newsletters.

The second new category is SCRIMSHAW, this is a new division "H" in the AFMS Rules book for 2003.

Page numbers H-1 and H-2, 2003 describes the rules and materials that may be used.

NOTE: Ivory banned by the U.S. Government may not be used. Only traditional hand techniques may be used. No mechanical turning, vibrating or heat emitting tools may be used.

In any classes in which you are competing, ALWAYS be sure to read the first section of the rule book, Section 1, Part 1 thru part 7.

There are approximately 40 pages of updates to the AFMS Uniform Rules Book this year, 2003. If you are going to compete in Ventura, be sure you have these new pages. Many are because of updates, clarifications and simplifications to past rules. These may be ordered through your Executive Secretary and Supply Person, Pat LaRue. (The Rules will be coming out on the AFMS Web Site soon).