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Rockwood Gem and Mineral Society
St. Louis, Missouri


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Rockwood Rockhound News

Welcome back to another year ! 

Please mark your calendars for our October 5th field trip to the Midwest Federation Show sponsored by Lincoln Orbit Earth Science Society (LOESS) in Springfield, Ill. Details will be worked out at the September meeting.

September 20th Meeting
Instead of the “Mineral of the Month” it’s going to be the “Washington County Missouri” month. Bring your best find from that area. We will talk about and show specimens, PLUS see a vintage Midwest Federation slide program put together by yours truly. Joan & Hank
(Bring your Washington County specimens to the meeting!)

Farewell, Dear Friend
It is with great sadness that we must report the loss of another dear friend. Lee Wheeling died on June 23, 2002 after a battle with lung cancer. His family was with him when he left this earth to join Dor in Heaven.
Lee and Dor were two of the founders of our rock club. Both Lee and Dor loved kids and loved the hobby. We all have many fond memories of them. One of your editor’s fondest memories of the Wheelings was when they were moving to be near their daughter, Jean Druckenbrod, in Chambersburg, PA. They decided to donate a good part of their collection to the earth science classes at Parkway. Well, Lee would give us some specimens. We would collect up a nice little pile and then Dor would say, “Do we really want to part with that?” Then Lee would look at the pile that Dor had donated and pull something back out. This went on for quite awhile. Finally they compromised and gave ialmost all to us. We will never forget that afternoon. Not only was it a geology lesson of a lifetime , but it was a chance to see a couple who truly loved each other, their hobby and humanity.
A couple of years ago, Jean brought them back to St. Louis to our picnic. Thank you, Jean.

Queeny Show
Thank you to all the members who helped at the admission table for the August show! It was a bit of a stretch this year to keep it staffed but you came through! Over all the show went well and the attendance was similar to last year's, with a slight increase, 1551. Thank you, too, to those who put in displays. Those of us who didn't should begin to think about it for next year. Cases are available on a first come first serve basis. It will be some time before our piece of the show profits is determined, as outstanding bills have yet to be submitted, but our club has done well through manning the table, having displays and providing the
show chairman, secretary, treasurer and admissions officers.
Dianne Larson

June Picnic
A Big THANK YOU also goes to Joyce Erard who hosted our “End of the Year” picnic at her home. Joyce’s big back yard with all her beautiful shade trees and gardens was a perfect setting. As always, the food was great and the company was fantastic.

Astounding Facts About the Earth

The Earth is a great Space Ship which we travel on every day. Every time the clock ticks off a second we have sped 18.5 miles through space. In the time it takes to read this we have traveled 500 miles. Earth travels 66,000 miles/hr in its path around the sun. It takes 365 days to complete a round trip of 3,427,750,000 miles. (Via: The Glacial Drifter, Via Gemrock)

A Petrified Wood Fact

Many pieces of petrified wood, especially from the northwest, have a center that looks like wood, but with a layer of chalcedony or pumice between the center and the outside. This indicates that the tree was green when it was buried in hot ash. The water in the green wood evaporated making the wood shrink. The outside was made into a cast by the heat, so the areas left between the wood and cast were filled with chalcedony, making beautiful pieces of petrified wood.
(Via: Golden Spike News)

What is a Phantom Crystal?

A phantom crystal is actually a crystal within a crystal. The makeup of one phantom must be the same as the one that encloses it. There may be more than one inside a single crystal. The usual explanation of phantoms is intermittent growth: growing for a while, then stopping. For a period the crystal is exposed, and a very small amount of foreign matter (dust, etc.) falls on the surface. The conditions then change and the crystal starts to grow again with the possibility of this happening several times. The result is a crystal that appears to have one or more crystals enclosed within it.

Sometimes phantoms are oriented the same as the enclosing crystal; at other times they are not. In clear crystals, such as quartz, the enclosed crystal appears shadowy and faint, and therefore we have the name “phantom”. The difference between a phantom and an inclusion is that the inclusion must be a different mineral species.
(Via: The Pegmatite)

R.J.’S Trivia Vug
R.J. Harris, Central PA RMC

1. What gem is traditionally known as the “Gem of Spring?”
2. What is the official state gemstone of Alaska?
3. Where does the U.S. Government keep its supply of silver?
4. A lump of pure gold the size of a matchbox can be flattened into a sheet the size of which of the following: a tennis court, a basketball court or a football field?
5. What is known as the “Gem of the Gods?”
6. What distinction does the dinosaur, “micropachycephalosaurus” hold?
7. What is known as the “Stone of Courage?”
(Answers at Bottom of Page)

To clean pyrite and try to make it look nice and brassy, first wash it carefully in water. Put it in a plastic bowl, dish, etc., and pour vinegar over the specimens making sure all pyrite is covered. Turn the specimens over several times. When they look clean and shiny, rinse with water. Put on paper to dry. Children can use this method.

Making an Impact
As a jet was flying over Arizona on a clear day, the co-pilot was providing his passengers with a running commentary about landmarks over the PA system.
“Coming up on the right, you can see the Meteor Crater, which is a major attraction in Arizona. It was formed when a lump of nickel and iron, estimated to be a 150 feet in diameter and weighing about 300,000 pounds, struck the earth at about 40,000 miles/hr, scattering white-hot debris for miles in every direction. The hole measures nearly a mile across and is 570 feet deep.”

From the rear of the cabin, a small voice was heard to exclaim, “Wow! Look! It just missed the highway!”
(Via: Quarry Quips)

The Geologist’s Lament
by R.L. Frism
Gather ‘round me, hear my story,
I’m a rockhound in distress:
I’m a rockhound bathed in troubles.
I’m an outcast, more or less.
I have fossils in the kitchen.
I have crystals in the Hall.
I have min’rals in the bathtub.
I have relics on the walls.
I have oxides on the carpet.
I have oil upon the floor;
I have black light in the parlor;
I have bones behind each door.
Attic rooms are fairly sagging;
Flat rocks pave the cellar floor-
Pockets bulge with gemmy pieces.
All this and millions more.
Wifey thinks hat I am goofy:
I don’t know: she may be right;
She insists I’ve silicosis
or some horrid form of “ite”
Says my head is lined with agate
(Freak replacement of the bone);
Claims my brain is just a nodule,
Says my heart has turned to stone.
Threatens me with separation:
Storms about our rock-lined home;
Says my life is just a geode
Or a hunk of mammal bone.
Are you rated as a fossil?
Or obliged to live alone?
How can you maintain a hobby,
And still have a happy home?
(Lodestone 1940)

Answers to R.J.íS Trivia Vug
1. Emerald
2. Jade
3. U.S. Military Academy at West Point, NY
4. A tennis court
5. Opal
6. It was the dinosaur with the longest name
and it was also the smallest dinosaur.
7. Ruby