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Rockwood Gem and Mineral Society
St. Louis, Missouri


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November 2002

November Speaker
We are very fortunate to have John Macke as our speaker at the Nov. 15th meeting. He will tell us all about fossils and bring along his rare fossil collection. This should be an interesting and informative experience.

Election Time Again!
Our present officers have agreed to continue in the same position as last year. However, new blood is what keeps a club from going stale. Why not think about serving in some capacity for a year? It would be great if some of our new members would consider helping freshen us up a bit!

What a bargain! For the sum of $20 for families and $15 for singles, you get 10 copies a year of this wonderful newsletter (postage included) several speakers each year, a picnic and a Christmas Party. Now that is pretty hard to beat, so let us all pay our dues to Bob Morse at the next meeting.

Hank Schlichter has chosen “Concretions, Miscellaneous Rock “ as November’s “Missouri’s Rock of the Month.” If you have a nice specimen that you would like to show us, bring it along. It is great fun to share our finds with people who appreciate it.

Thanks from the Library

President Joan Schlichter received a nice thank you note from the Daniel Boone Library for the VCR and TV we donated. It was first used at a children’s Halloween Party and worked fine.

New Meeting Date
Due to budget cuts, beginning on January 2003, the St. Louis County Libraries will close at 5:00 pm on Fridays. Thus, we will be changing our meeting date from the third Friday to the third Thursday of each month. The membership voted on this day at the October meeting.

Dianne & Andy Larson have volunteered to host our annual Christmas Party on Sunday, December 8 from 2-4 pm. We found that afternoons work out well because the weather that time of year is so unpredictable.. Also, we won’t have to be running around in the dark trying to find the address.
Sign up at the next meeting and decide whether you want to bring a salad, a vegetable or a dessert. The club will furnish the meat.

News From Other Clubs

Do You have a Meteorite?
If you think you have a rock that might be a meteorite, answer these simple questions:
1. Is the object solid, not porous?
2. Is the object of irregular shape?
3. Is the object heavy for its size?
4. Is the object black or brown on the
5. Does the object show metallic iron
when ground on a surface?
6. Is the object different from the country
If you answered “yes” to all these questions, the object is almost surely a meteorite.
Things mistaken for meteorites are: earthy nodules of iron compounds, especially hematite. Artificial slag or cinders sometimes contain free iron. Slag or cinders will generally be very porous or spongy while meteorites never are. Pieces of old rusted iron tools are sometimes mistaken for meteorites. Rocks showing conspicuous or well shaped crystals are not likely to be meteorites. Volcanic rocks are often mistaken for meteorites.
(condensed from pamphlet “Meteorites” put out by the Smithsonian Institution Meteorite Recovery Project via The Tumbler)

Handy Hints

To clean silver, add a handful each of salt and soda to an aluminum bucket. Add silver. In a few minutes the silver will be like new. If you only have a plastic bucket, add a piece of aluminum foil.
When working with a soft stone such as alabaster, marble, onyx or Petoskey stone, soak the stone in water a day or two before cutting it in oil. The oil will not soak in and when polishing it later, a better finish will result.
(Via: Cabber Gabber)

You Might Be a Geologist If.....

1. You think the primary function of road cuts is tourist attraction.
2. You find yourself compelled to examine individual rocks in driveway gravel.
3. You know the location of every rock shop within a 100 mile radius of home.
4. You are planning on using a pick and shovel on vacation.
(Contributed by Kevin Conroy)

  Minutes of the October 18, 2002 Meeting of the Rockwood Gem and Mineral Society
The meeting was called to order at 7 p.m. by Vice President Peggy Nuske.

Hospitality chairperson Helen Heitland reported that 13 members and 4 guests, Amy Worsham, Gail Appel and Daniel and Troy Kniffen were present.

The minutes of the September meeting were read by secretary Marianne Toenjes. A correction was made by Dianne Larson that the Grand Glaize library exhibit will open in January, not November as reported. Ken corrected the spelling of his name as Vaisvil.

Dianne Larson reported that the Grand Glaize library exhibit will open in January.

Treasurer Bob Morse gave the financial report. 

The secretary read the board's recommendation that since the library will no longer be open on Friday nights after January 1, 2003, the club begin having meetings on Thursdays in January. Discussion followed with Bob Morse mentioning that the library will also start charging a $10 fee for each use which contrasts with other places which charge much more. Dianne thinks Thursday will be a better meeting day since Fridays often conflict with members' weekend plans. Other nights of the week were mentioned and rejected. Thursday nights have tentatively been reserved. A vote was taken and the recommendation approved.

Coordinator Dianne Larson reported getting a call from the Daniel Boone library that our display could be put in this month and next month. She called about the new library in Chesterfield which will open November 11 and will pursue an exhibit then.

Editor Claudia Uccello reported that the Gem and Mineral magazine has made an offer for subscriptions to members at a reduced rate.

There was no education committee report as Hank Schlichter was not present.

Vice President Peggy Nuske reported that John Mackie will speak at the November meeting and bring a rare fossil collection.

The Larsons have agreed to host the Christmas party on December 8 from 2 to 4.

Historian Matt Bannon was not present.

Bob Morse reported that 15% of the $4,000 profit of the Midwest Federation show would go to the club after a reserve fund is established. He said the boutique took in $800 and he will ask for the money to be released to start a scholarship fund. He also said the Show Me club donated a lot of stuff and encouraged members to donate anything that sparkles as well as seashells.

Field Trip chairperson reported that 8 members attended the trip to Springfield, Illinois for the show. It was smaller than our show but charged less and was a good show. 1200 people attended on Saturday. Barbara Sky reported that many school groups attended especially on Friday.

Bob mentioned the Lincoln Swap for a possible trip next September or Kansas City next March.

Phone committee chairperson Joyce Erard called most members about the Saturday October 19 field trip.

Nominating Committee Report: Dianne reported that the existing officers will continue except Peggy Nuske would like to resign if a replacement can be found. Peggy asked for sources of speakers. Mary Parrott said Thursday may be an easier night to get speakers.

Bob Morse will get video from his college library for future meetings.

There was no old business.

New Business: Barbara Sky reported that an official said the Midwest Federation will put on a show in 2005 but the 2003 date conflicts with the Queeny Park show.

Barbara said Kitty Starbuck found puzzles from old club bulletins and gave copies to each club in attendance at the Greater St. Louis Association of Earth Science Clubs. Barbara presented a copy to Claudia.

The meeting adjourned at 7:45. After a break, Ken Vaisvil displayed and talked about his extensive geode collection.

Submitted by Marianne Toenjes, Secretary