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Rockwood Gem and Mineral Society
St. Louis, Missouri


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What a great Christmas Party we had at the Toenjes Home! We had a good turnout even though the weather tried to interfere. However, we just changed the time to Sunday afternoon. The food was great, the rock exchange :was fun and the singing was half way decent! Best of all was the fellowship! Thank you, Marianne and Larry!

We would also like to thank Ann Doing, Marianne and Larry's daughter, for doing our pages for so many many years. These pages have helped make our newsletter look very professional. Ann did this out of the goodness of her heart!

We are sorry to report that Alan Parrott has been in the hospital again. The tests have been inconclusive so, he is home recovering now. His address is 14212 Spring Dr., DeSoto, MO 63020.

In Memory
The club was saddened to learn of the recent death of Dor Wheeling in December. Dor and Lee were lifetime members of the Rockwood Rock Gem & Mineral Society. They retired several years ago and moved back to Pennsylvania to be near their children. We will always remember Dor playing the piano for our Christmas Parties. Our prayers are with Lee. Lee's address is 260 - C Menno Village Chambersburg, PA 17201

Comments, Etc.
In this time of rising costs, your editor has decided to adjust the format of the News in an effort to save money on printing without changing the quality. We will still try to print news from other clubs, flyers, etc. but hope to condense it. Since we put our newsletter on-line, this way should make life easier for our Web-masters, Craig & DeAnna Cottrell. Let us know how you feel about the results.

Exciting New Project!
Our historian, Roy Cottrell, would like to enlist the help of current and past club members in identifying some of the many pictures that we have. He will take this information and use it to build a scrapbook on a web site for us all to enjoy. Larry &. Marianne Toenjes have volunteered to do a "Strawman Summary" of the club's history to go along with it. Perhaps, we could set aside a meeting just to do this and reminisce about the "Good Old Days." What do you think?

News From Other Clubs
17th Century Bungled Heist of Crown Jewels One of History's Unsolved Mysteries
Security wasn't always as tight as it is today at the Tower of London. In fact, back in 1671, the jewels were almost lost to a bungled robbery attempt. There were no security guards at that time stationed in or outside the Tower. Instead there was a single keeper, Talbot Edwards, who would let the public in to see the jewels for a fee, which he pocketed.
A certain Colonel Thomas Blood, dressed as clergyman, took along a woman who he claimed to be his wife, and struck up a friendship with Edwards. It was under the guise of a matchmaking-Blood's supposed nephew with Edward's daughter that Blood arrived with three other men, struck Edwards on the head with a mallet and promptly took the crown, the scepter and the orb.
Unfortunately for the robbing crew, Edwards' son, who was on leave from the army, stopped by just in time to foul up the robbery. The robbers beat a hasty retreat. One of them dropped the scepter on his way out. One of the robbers was caught in the Tower, and the other two never made it to their horses for a safe getaway.
An odd footnote to this story, King Charles I! granted Colonel Blood an audience, and he and his accomplices were granted a free pardon. Not only that, Blood was given an appointment worth 500 pounds a year. This led to public speculation that it was the king himself who was behind the robbery. The London tabloids would have had a field day with this story, if it were current.
(Clarkson Jewelers Newsletter, Ellisville, MO)

Wonders of a Crystal
A crystal is one of the strangest objects of nature. It is not alive, yet it grows. A crystal attracts the same kind of materials of which it is composed, arranges them with great accuracy in geometrical forms, cements the parts together and holds them. Place a crystal in a liquid or vapor composed of the same ingredients as the crystal and the process of accumulation immediately begins. If a crystal is broken
into two parts and placed in a bath of liquefied crystal, the broken surface will be repaired and each part will grow into another crystal, providing the other conditions favorable for crystal growth are present.
Even after a crystal has been worn until it is but a rounded grain of sand, it will speedily become a crystal again if placed in a solution containing the ingredients of which it is composed. There is no known limit to the ability of a crystal thus to repair itself and resume its growth.
Under a microscope a crystalline solution can be seen forming into crystals. It is a wonderful sight. First, innumerable dark spots form in the fluid; they stand still and then begin to move. It is soon seen that the
movement arranges the spots in straight lines, like beads. The bead speedily coalesces into rods, and the rods arrange themselves into layers until a crystal is created. The process proceeds so rapidly that it is almost impossible to follow it closely.
(Via Achares, 4/00, Chips & Licks, 11/00 and The Gemrock, 12/00)

Thought for the Day
When you are up to your ears in trouble, try using the part that isn't submerged.

Makes Sense!
Here are some more creative answers to test questions.
The terrestrial planets are much larger than the gas giants.
Wegener found matching bedbugs on opposites sides of the Atlantic.
The main problem associated with limestone aquifers is Lyme disease.
Erie, Pennsylvania has no volcanoes because it is too cold there.
The rear end of a trilobites is called a trilobutt.
(Via Rock Pickings)

Questions Asked of Park Rangers
How much of the cave is underground?
What's in the unexplored part of the cave?
Does it ever rain in here? 

Where are the cages for the animals?
What time do you turn on Yosemite Falls?
Can I get my picture taken with the carving of President Clinton?

Does Old Faithful erupt at night?
How do you turn it on?
We had no trouble finding the Park entrance, but where are the exits?
(Via Fossilnut, MWF, ESCOMO 4/2000)