Keeping The Hobby Alive

by Cheri George
Palmdale Gem and Mineral Club

For years the Antelope Valley (AV) Fair has had a category for a feature booth from each 4H unit in the area. Feature booths are intended to show the public the main interests of the submitting group, thereby garnesing interest from the visiting publilc in their hobby and/or group. John and Suzy Martin thought that this was a great idea for promotion of our group and hobby. They made a suggestion to the fair committee along this line.

At the 2003 AV Fair, the brochure listed the "NEW" category of "Adult Organization Feature Booth".

With the inheritance of many wonderful lapidary tools, specimens, pieces of equipment from various parties, we ended up with enough stuff to set up an "almost a rock shop". What a little ingenuity and creativity can do for all these items is uncanny. All it takes is a strong back, some good ideas and a fine sense of humor.

John and Suzy Martin also needed to use their large backyard for the collection of the Doy-Don, John Fair, Keith/Florence Stephenson, and Bill McGheehon gear. All-in-all the gathering and sorting involved putting the rocks into their categories of specimens:

  • Garden rock
  • Leaverite
  • Equipment usable
  • Equipment unusable
  • Mscellaneous

A sample rock shop was set up in the Martin's back yard. It was labeled Bubbas Rock Shop in conjunction with good ole Bubba's squirrel rifle, Dixie flag and storage bin. It consisted of:

  • Slab light box
  • Paneled walls
  • Tables
  • Chairs
  • Ten -inch rock saw
  • Combo unit
  • Polishing unit
  • Flat lap
  • Double 3-pound tumbler
Our 2003 AV Fair entry was an exciting input for us reworking Bubba's rock shop into a more up-to-date version called "the Retro Rock Shop". The Retro Rock Shop seemed perfect for us since our main goal is to show our hobby and interest people in the same, possibly attracating new members. Apparently our feature booth was a hit as it was awarded 1st place and Best of show for 2003.

We done good!!    thanks you John and Suzy Martin.