Table of Contents
President's Message
From Executive Secretary/Treasurer
Junior Activities: Gearing Up
All American Report
Earth Sciences Studies
Bulletin Aids
Program Aids
CFMS Rules Committee
CFMS Endowment Fund
Inter-Regional Field Trips

Arlene Billheimer, In Memoriam
CFMS Slide and Video Program
Cerro Gordo Field Trip
Exhibiting at Our Federation Show
From the Editor of Rock and Gem Magazine
Nominating Committee
Show Updates
AFMS Scholarship
Show Demonstrators/Demonstrator-Dealers

President's Message

By Bural LaRue, CFMS President

Bural LaRue - CFMS President -  2007 Greetings!

I visited Zzyzx this past weekend and was greeted by many friends I only see at this yearly event. It was a great trip. The instructors recruited by Marion Roberts are the very best. Numerous silver chains, pendants and earrings were made using silver wire and silver clay.

The soapstone carvings, wire wrap, bead stringing, enameling and cabochon areas were very busy. They were all producing beautiful pieces. I hope to see some exhibited at the Ventura show.

Applications are now available for Camp Paradise where we can accommodate many more students. This is a great opportunity to learn new skills or improve on old ones. Last year 30% of the participants were first timers and there were several first time attendees at Zzyzx.

Our show committee met at Zzyzx. The Ventura show is just around the corner and coming together well. The committee voted to have a drawing so donations are needed. Please help if you can.

Hopefully March was a great month for you. Remember•  have fun!

From the Executive Secretary/Treasurer

By Pat LaRue

Pat LaRue

Please send your reports to me no later than June 15 so they can be duplicated and included in the Directors packets for the June meeting at Ventura. If unable to meet this deadline, please bring 100 copies of your report to the meeting for distribution to those attending. Thank you.

You can e-mail these to or snail mail to PO Box 1657, Rialto, CA 92377. Please do not send files saved in Word 2007! My software won•  t be able to read them.

Gearing Up for 2008 CFMS Show!

By Jim Brace-Thompson

Jim Brace-Thompson

With the 2008 CFMS Show drawing ever closer, I wish to reiterate my call for help•  

  • Help by calling me to volunteer your time assisting in the Kids' Booth during the show. We'll have several on-going activities (the traditional spinning wheel and sand-sifting, along with Paint-a-Fossil, jewelry making, and more), all of which will need your help to conduct and oversee. Please call me today if you'll be attending the show and will be able to pitch in.
  • Help by calling me with donations of rocky prizes. I'm especially in need of tumble-polished stone and any especially colorful and/or sparkly mineral specimens of small size. Please don't wait until the show itself opens. If you will be able to bring donations of rock or fossil prizes for the kids booth, please contact me in advance to let me know what you'll bring so I can make sure we'll have enough when we open the door to the show.
  • Help by encouraging kids in your club to enter displays. Dick Pankey wants to make this the biggest show ever in terms of exhibits, so encourage and help your kids along in crafting either competitive or noncompetitive displays.
  • Help by volunteering to become the CFMS Juniors Chair in 2009! In the January newsletter, I asked that we pave the way toward the future by having someone come forward to volunteer to be CFMS "Junior Chair in Training" this year, but to date, my phone has remained silent. Please break that silence today! A phone is a terrible thing to waste•  

Here's how to get in touch. By mail: 7319 Eisenhower St, Ventura, CA 93003. By phone: (805) 659-3577. By email: Or stop by and see me in person. I welcome communication in any form I can get it!

Finally, I have news that is both sad and inspiring to convey. The sad news is that we lost a member of the South Bay Lapidary Club last fall when Bill Robards passed away. However, Bill's legacy lives on. His family asked that a donation in his name be made and directed toward our juniors program, and I wish to thank the South Bay Lapidary Club for the check they've sent. On behalf of the Federation, I express both condolences and gratitude for this gesture to help keep our efforts for kids vital and active!

All American Report

By Dot Beachler

Dot Beachler

The books that entered in the program this year are being judged at this time. Then the books will be sent on to the AFMS for national judging.

Now is the time to start looking at next year•  s book.

  • What has your club done so far this year?
  • What areas seem to need an uplift?
  • Don•  t overlook your junior members, individually or as a group.
  • If your club is too small for a show, how about a one day sale?
  • This will help publicity and attract new members.
  • Don•  t overlook joining ALAA, our lobbying group, to help support our hobby.

By checking the application form, it is easy to check off areas that you do presently and to note areas that need help.

These are some suggestions to consider in assembling your club•  s history book.

By starting now it is easy to record this information early in the year.

Earth Science Studies

Marion Roberts

By Marion Roberts

Today is April 2, 2008 and I have just gotten home and unpacked from Zzyzx where Vivien and I have spent 2 weeks preparing for and conducting the E.S.S program and I really wonder where the time has gone. It seems more like a day or two than a 2 week excursion.

The program came off with almost no hitches and they were very minor. We had 61 paid participants, of which approximately 20 were first timers. This is a factor of which I am very pleased as it gives us the chance to enthuse more people with the hobby. These people go home and spread the word to more new people and hopefully the snowball just gets bigger.

I want to express my heart-felt thank you to all participants, to my committee, my instructors •   Tom Burchard, Anna Christiansen, Betty Eggar, Dale Nichols, Margaret Kolaczyk, Judi Gooch, Mary Ann Sands, Patti Tostenson, Dick Flaharty for programs, Francis Pedneau for field trips, and a special thanks to Audrey Harvey and Vivien for their hard work from September to March helping me get this all together.

It is not in stone yet but I will pass on the possibility of a 2 session program at Zzyzx in the future. It would be a 5 day and a 4 day program, as I see it working because we would have to leave the facility by 10:00 A.M. on the second Friday. More information to come as I get the details worked out. REMEMBER no promise as yet.

Now for Camp Paradise: applications are being accepted as of now. I have 7 applications in and 8 inquires as of today so this is looking great. I will be contacting the camps director as soon as possible to possibly do another work week prior to the first week of classes, if this interests anyone. It•  s a chance for camaraderie and to butter up the host, it won•  t hurt. I will keep information coming as I acquire it.

Bulletin Aids

Doug Arnold

By Doug Arnold

When you are making plans to attend the CFMS show in Ventura don•  t forget to have breakfast with the editors on Sunday morning.

It is a fun and relaxed way to get together with CFMS members and others to show your support of the winners of the bulletin and writing competitions. You just might be a winner this year.

If you are an editor bring along copies of your club•  s bulletin to distribute. Your bulletin may offer ideas to someone else about what they want to do in their bulletin.

If you have any questions drop me a note at

Program Aids

Cheri George

By Cheri George

Hope that this finds all of you having a wonderful spring! The Podium People Brochure is coming along and I still have several people who have not answered my summons, but I have faith that all will work out in the end.

My husband and I are suffering from that rotational creeping crud that seems to have been traveling around the state this year. I hope it goes away soon, it is boring being sick.

I am still accepting end of year program reports from the Program Chairpersons, and thank you for your help in this matter.

We are looking forward to the CFMS Show in Ventura, hope to see you all there!!

CFMS Rules Committee

Dee Holland

By Dee Holland


June 5, 2008 is absolutely the last day you can get your application for competitive exhibiting at Ventura in to TOM BUCHARD, 875 E 4500 S, South Ogden, UT 84403-2931 We will go by the postmark. Please don't wait till the last minute, we all have horror stories about the Post Office.... ]

We are hoping for a huge turn out, but that's up to you. PARTICIPATE is the key word here. We've had glowing reports at the AFMS meeting each of the last three years because the CFMS has had the highest competitive exhibits in all the regions; please let's continue the bragging rights.

For those of you who will be exhibiting on the non-competitive level, and you'd like a judge to go over your exhibit with you to see where you are in terms of competitive exhibiting, let me know at Ventura and we'll see that someone is available.

I would like to offer this last suggestion: NEXT YEAR, after we're not on the road so much, I plan to make the effort to attend several local shows and go over exhibits with the each exhibitor. I'd like to make it a learning process and come to the show on Sunday, usually during the hours just before the close of the show when it's relatively slow and have a small seminar picking out several exhibits. I would prefer to have the exhibits that have not been in competition, but in which the exhibitor would be interested in competing. In order to do this, I would need the club to contact me and let me know when their show is and if there are several exhibitors who would like to take the opportunity to have their exhibits evaluated. Unfortunately, this would depend on our schedule between California and Idaho as to which clubs we could accommodate. Please let me know your thoughts on this, and we will begin to assess the situation for next year.

p.s. Please note: New email: and
Please use both emails.

CFMS Endowment fund

Ray Quitoriano

By Ray Quitoriano

Hello all!

The Endowment Fund will be having a fundraising raffle at the CFMS show in June.

So far, we have had a metal detector and other items donated through Bural LaRue; thanks Bural!

Now we are asking for help from all of the CFMS clubs to donate at least one item for the raffle.

No item is too big or too small! Bring •  em all!

We will continue the precedent established by Ray Meisenheimer: we have no shame and will beg, borrow..•  or steal! As long as it•  s all for a good cause!

So, please, don•  t make us steal! Bring your items to the Endowment Fund table at the show, or give them to your Director to bring along to the meeting at the show!

Thank you all in advance for your generosity and help!

Inter-Regional Field Trips

dick Pankey

By Dick Pankey

Tri-Federation Rockhound Rendezvous and Field Trip

The planning is completed and the schedule is set. Betty and I head off to Jackpot, NV on May 19th; it is an over-night-on-the•  road trip for us from our home in Pittsburg, CA.

Tri-Federation Rockhound Rendezvous and Field Trip checklist:

  • E-mail Dick Pankey that I/we are going to attend.
  • Maps for the Map Exchange.
  • Rocks or whatever for the Tailgate Display/Swap
  • Wood for the campfire
  • Potluck food and happy hour treats.
  • Rockhound tools and camping supplies.
  • Re-read the trip flier to remind myself of all of the trip details and directions.
  • Plan on having a great time and meeting other rockhounds from all around the AFMS.

We will be watching for you at the Tri-Federation Camp. First collecting trip leaves on Thursday morning at 8:30 AM (Mountain Time), SHARP, from our camp. Assemble at 8:15 for details and instructions for each day•  s trip.

Come join us for a great Tri-Federation Rendezvous of collecting, fun and fellowship!

Dick Pankey - California Federation or 925-439-7509

Arlene Billheimer

Arlene Billheimer

CFMS President 1991

Arlene Billheimer was a special person. She gave so much to so many•  .

I remember fondly seeing Arlene and Harry at a show in San Diego in the 80s with kids all around them. Arlene and Harry were demonstrating carving and encouraging the kids to take a piece of soft stone, a file and •  do something with it.•   I still have one of these pieces and it•  s a treasure. It continues to remind me of Arlene.

Arlene took the few threads left of the Mineral & Gem Section of the Los Angeles County Fair and built it up into something memorable. She single-handedly went to all the clubs in the Los Angeles area and pleaded with them to PARTICIPATE in the Fair, reminding them that it would help each club gain more members and it worked. She was tireless in this endeavor and unfortunately when she retired because of health, there was no one to take over her huge task and the mineral & gem section finally went away. A pity.

Arlene belonged to a number of clubs in the Los Angeles area, the Gem Carvers Guild and Pasadena Lapidary Society, and probably more that I was unaware of, but she could have been an honorary member of many because of the time and effort she took in encouraging the clubs. She was passionate about exhibiting and I remember several times when she demonstrated how to put together an exhibit case, with lining, risers, mounts for specimens, labels, and material showing what could be used and what was unacceptable, and all the little things that go in to putting an exhibit together. I only wish today that we had more dedicated people willing to give of their expertise like Arlene did.

Unfortunately, after Arlene was CFMS President in 1991, she slipped into the background because Harry, the love of her life, had serious health problems and eventually they dropped away. Arlene was also a dog lover and had two long haired dachshunds that she was especially proud of.

We shall miss you Arlene, but remember the good times at all the CFMS shows, the ice cream, the pictures taken by Harry, who was a wonderful photographer, and the meetings of the Royal Flush Society•  .

- Shirley Leeson
CFMS Historian and friend

CFMS Slide and Video Program Library

Bill Gissler

By Bill Gissler

Recent Additions to Program Library

Since the Fall Business meeting of CFMS in November 2007, several new programs have been added to the Slide and Video Library. The format and content of these programs have been described in the previous five monthly Newsletters. In case you missed them, here is the summary version of these programs. As an economy measure, we won't be publishing a new catalog until November 2009. So •  cut and tape•   these into the copy of the 2008 catalog distributed to your Club Federation Director at the November meeting. But remember, you can always view the current catalog on the CFMS web site.


  • F-155. WONDER-FULL FOSSILS. 20 slides, 2007. A good general subject introduction on a variety of fossils.
  • F-156. JEWEL CAVE. 53 slides, 2007. Views and Information about Jewel Cave, 13 miles west of Custer, South Dakota in the Black Hills.

In VHS format: The following six programs are from the Paleo World Series, produced in 1966; each is approximately 30 minutes running time:

  • V-136. AMBER HUNTERS. Paleontologists in the Dominican Republic find new life forms embedded in Amber millions of years old.
  • V-137. DINO DOCTORS. Paleontologists use high-tech medical equipment to study fossils.
  • V-138. TREASURE ISLAND. Paleontologists unearth fossils of extraordinary and weird creatures in Madagascar.
  • V-139. MONSTERS ON THE MOVE. Paleontologists examine and decipher dinosaur tracks to unlock mysteries of dinosaur migrations.
  • V-140. THE LEGENDARY T. REX. History of T. Rex fossil specimen discovery and what paleontologists are doing to learn more about T. Rex.
  • V-141. MAMMOTHS. Paleontologists at a mammoth fossil site in South Dakota study clues to answer mysteries of the past.
  • V-142. AGATES CLOSE-UP. 40 minutes, 2007. Specimens from around the world are magnified to examine structures in agates.

In DVD format:

  • DVD-28. AGATES CLOSE-UP. 40 minutes, 2007. Specimens from around the world are magnified to examine structures in agates.
  • DVD-29. KENTUCKY AGATE. 30 minutes, 2007. Shows examples of this colorful gemstone; how it is collected, cut and polished.

In Power Point format:

  • CD-9. GEOLOGY - WHY BOTHER? 28 minutes, 2006. A non-technical exploration of geology in our daily lives by earth science educators.

In PAL-DVD format:

  • PAL-1. THE STORY OF OPAL. 19 minutes, 2004. Tells the whole story from opal's birth deep in the earth, to early and modern mining methods.

Cerro Gordo Field Trip

By Ray Ramirez
Lone Pine Gem and Mineral Society

Our annual trip is scheduled for Sunday, June 22nd, and is open to all CFMS clubs and their guests. This is a day trip only.

We will be meeting at the Lone Pine Chevron station just south of town at 8:00 AM. Four-wheel-drive and high ground clearance vehicles are highly recommended. This is about a 45 minute drive up a steep dirt road but is generally graded well. This will be an all day outing so plan to bring a lunch.

Cerro Gordo was primarily a silver mine in the 1870's and a zinc mine around 1911. The Mine is at an elevation of about 8000 feet and has a small museum. The old hotel is being restored and several of the old buildings and mill still remain. Collecting will be in old tailings piles and we will be looking primarily for smithsonite and other copper and lead minerals.

Cerro Gordo is noted for over 49 different minerals. The primary tools that one should bring are a small rake to go through the tailings, a spray bottle, small shovel, rock pick and a bucket or bag to put what you collect into. The fee for the day is 5 dollars per person that will be given to the mine owner and goes toward a memorial fund and restoration of the old town site; this fee will be collected when everyone signs up in Lone Pine at our meeting point (Lee's Chevron, also know as Lee's Frontier) at 8:00 AM that Sunday morning.

I will be the point of contact for our club; anyone who is interested or has any additional questions can contact me via e-mail at or by phone at (760) 872-0624.

There are a few camp grounds in and around Lone Pine and many hotels and motels as well.


Chuck McKie

By Chuck McKie

•  Falling•  

Falling. stumbling , going down•  •  •  
Going down HARD! I hope not!
I've mentioned this before:
Be SAFE! Don't fall down.

That is easy to say, but hard to do. But, dear friends, Romans and country gentlemen, I say again: don't fall down! It seems to me that I hear nearly every day that one of my friends has fallen down. That breaks bones, or at least, causes aches and pains!

Sunday, Dot was getting together a dinner for 12 of our relatives. She was very tired, having just celebrated the night before with me our 50th wedding anniversary. Yes, she was tired and rushing and started to go past a stool in the kitchen. The stool should not have been there; unfortunately, it was! She caught her toe on the leg of it and down she went•  ..HARD•  .on both knees, arm and head. Luckily, it only gave her a small bruise on her arm and a couple of sore knees which were already sore.

Today, as Dot was leaving to go get her hair done, I was standing watching her back out of our garage and getting ready to go shave. Since no one could see me, I was undressing. With my back pain (another very long story), I cannot bend over, so I dropped my pants and stepped on one of the pants legs as I tried to pull my pants off the other leg. STUPID! I lost my balance because the leg I tried to move was still in my pants! So I fell, hitting the coffee table (which broke my fall, but then I hit my arm on it). No aches no pains, except my back hurts maybe a little bit more.

And as I said I hear all the time some one has fallen. Many times I believe it is because of hurrying, carelessness or just plain stupidity - like me.

Please, dear friends, move those stools, boxes or whatever out of the way. Slow down! Think about where you are stepping. Be careful. Be VERY careful. Please! I don•  t want to hear of anyone else having fallen down. PLEASE!

Hopefully my back will be better soon; my oncologist is hopeful!

Via nobody but me this time!

Exhibiting at our Federation Show

Dick Pankey Bety Pankey

By Dick and Betty Pankey

We are not down to the wire, but we can see it from here! The due date for non-competitive case and club case entries is June 13th. Deadline for Competitive cases is June 5th. I know it can be hard to plan and commit, but now is the time to say •  I•  m going to display in Ventura so I better get my entry sent today!•  

For those of you who are borrowing/renting cases for the show, the Mother Lode Mineral Society is loaning us their cases. The Federation is paying the transportation cost; that is why we need to charge for the use of the cases. These are excellent new cases with wood-panelled inside walls. So you can plan for your risers/liners, the inside dimensions are 45•  •   wide X 22•   deep X 23•  •   high.

We have room for everyone and every club that would like to display. Exhibiting at the CFMS Show is open to all members of Federation clubs. Betty and I have set what we think is a very achievable goal of at least 100 non-competitive cases, at least 40 competitive cases and at least 40 club cases. We would just love to exceed these goals and we have the room to accommodate all who would like to participate. But to meet/exceed our goals, we need your case!

This is the Federation Show, hosted and put on by the Federation, and your club and your members are the Federation. This is your show and every club should want to participate and be represented in the show.

If you need forms for non-competitive case and club case entries, they are available on the CFMS web site, WWW.CFMSINC.ORG, or from your Federation Director.

This is your show; be part of this great event! Enter your non-competitive case and have your club enter a club case, TODAY!

From the Editor of Rock and Gem Magazine

By Lynn Varon

Today, I received a show date submission on a pre-printed form bearing the CFMS logo. The form has obviously been handed down through generations of show publicity chairmen and bears an out-of-date mailing address for Rock & Gem. Could you possibly announce in your federation newsletter that Rock & Gem moved from 4880 Market Street in 2004 and ask club publicity folks to update their records? Our address for the past four years has been 290 Maple Ct., Ste. 232, Ventura, CA 93003. People who continue to mail their show dates to the Market Street address will be very disappointed if their letters are not delivered and their show dates are not included.

If you're able to publish this notice, it will save me the trouble of contacting every California Federation club individually.

Thank you for any help you can give.

Lynn Varon
Managing Editor, Rock and Gem Magazine
(805) 644-3824 ext. 29

Nominating Committee

Frank Mullaney

By Frank Mullaney

The Nomination Committee is looking for nominations for 2009 officers. We can accept nominations for 1st and 2nd Vice Presidents and for Secretary and Treasurer.

The Deadline for submissions of Names will be 1 September.

If you wish to nominate someone, please contact a member of the Nominating Committee and provide information about the person. Include their name, home address, phone number and email address. Nominations should be submitted by the Club President or Federation Director.

Send your Nominations to me or to another member of the Nominating Committee.

Frank Mullaney
5705 Begonia Dr
San Jose, CA 95124
Phone: 408-266-1791
Cell: 408-691-2656

Show Updates

Pat LaRue

By Pat LaRue

What are we going to eat?

We were finally able to finalize the Banquet menu as well as the menu for the Editors Breakfast with the fairgrounds caterer. We must thank Nancy Brace-Thompson for finalizing this project. After interviewing several outside caterers the decision was made to stay with the in-house person. Both events will be held on the fairgrounds in the Island View Room at the Derby Club. A no-host bar will be available beginning at 6:30 pm prior to the 7 pm banquet. The dinner will be served buffet style and will feature your choice of entree. Featured entrees are Chicken Florentine and roast Baron of Beef. Both will be served with a steamed medley of broccoli, cauliflower and carrots, roasted rosemary and garlic whole red potatoes. Spring salad mix with balsamic vinaigrette or ranch dressing is the featured dinner salad. The meal will be topped off with dessert of cheesecake or chocolate decadence cake. Coffee is included. Iced tea and soda will be available at the bar.

The Editors Breakfast will be breakfast burritos with sour cream and salsa on the side. Orange juice and coffee will be available. The burritos will feature eggs, cheese, potatoes and sausage. A limited number of burritos without sausage will be available.

Please indicate on the registration form what entr•  e is preferred so the correct meal count can be given to the caterer.

What about the camping?

As previously advertised, there is plenty of camping available on the blacktop parking area next to the exhibit buildings. Placement is first come, first served. The fairgrounds will collect the parking fee. No reservation is required. Cost is $25 per night with no hookups.

What about motels in the area?

A page listing some of the hotels/motels in the area was included in the information packet distributed to Directors last November at Visalia. It is also listed on the website under forms. A paragraph at the bottom of the same page mentioned the camping. There is no formal •  host hotel•  .

AFMS Scholarship

Fred Ott

By Fred Ott, 2nd V.P.

Each year, the California Federation selects one individual to be honored by placing with that individual the privilege of selecting the university of his or her choice for the selection of two students to receive the A.F.M.S. Scholarship for that year.

Details and instructions for submitting nominations can be found by going to the CFMS website,, clicking the tab marked •  Manuals•   and selecting #5 Society Aids Manual. Then click on Part I - CFMS/AFMS Information and choose the •  bullet•   entitled: The California Federation AFMS Scholarship Honoree. Nomination should be mailed to me at: PO Box 992, Shingle Springs, CA 95682.

Show Demonstrators and Demonstrator-Dealers

CJ Quitoriano

By C.J. Quitoriano

Hey Everybody! Long time, no write, eh?

As you all know, the big show is coming up very fast, and I am still looking for more talented people to demonstrate and to demo-deal during the show!

I have sent out applications, and there is one on the website, and I am sending Fred the demonstrator and the demo dealer applications to include in the newsletter. So, if you want to demonstrate, you don•  t have to go all three days; a few hours here and there will do! I just want to show the public what great talent is out there, and encourage them to join the local clubs!

If you have a talented friend, please encourage them to demonstrate, and if you have something to sell and demonstrate, that•  s even better!

So please, spread the word so we can have all of our clubs represented by someone demonstrating or demo-dealing, and show the people of Ventura and the surrounding areas what we do!

If you are a show chairman of your club, please feel free to email me a list of people who you have had demonstrate at your club events, so I can put the screws to them too!

So, please help me make your CFMS show a great success and fill up all the table space we have with the best talent in the state!

Just fill out the attached application that applies to you, and if you are a demo-dealer, send me a check for the amount of space you need, and whether you need more tables or not. Mail the application to me at the address on the application. If you only want to demonstrate a certain number of hours or for one day, let me know that too. Or, you can email me the information at

Thank you all in advance!