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November-December 2010

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Chips from the Quarry: November/December 2010

FABULOUS FABRE COLLECTION: Have you ever wondered what specimens appeal to dealers so much that they just can't resist tucking them away in their personal collections? With thousands of specimens passing through their hands on a regular basis, which are the favored ones they set aside for their own display cases? This issue focuses on one mineral dealer, Jordi Fabre, of Barcelona, Spain, providing an insider's peek into his collection with photographs and a bit of his biography and collecting philosophy. Fabre's good taste in minerals has always been evident in his booths at the major shows worldwide; now you can see how he applies that keen eye to the select specimens he treasures as his very own.

MASTHEAD CHANGES: This past summer we were saddened to hear of the death of Dr. J. Thomas Dutro, paleontology editor of Rocks & Minerals since 1984. Dr. John Pojeta, his colleague at the U.S. Geological Survey, not only provided a fitting tribute to Dr. Dutro for this issue (see pages 563–564), but he also agreed to fill his position on the editorial board.

Dr. Pojeta was employed by the U.S. Geological Survey's Branch of Paleontology and Stratigraphy from 1963 until his retirement in 1995, at which time he was granted scientist emeritus status. In addition to being actively involved with many professional organizations and publishing 143 scientific papers, Dr. Pojeta has twelve patronyms of fossil species using his name, plus Pojeta Peak in the Ellsworth Mountains, Antarctica, was named after him. We are honored to add his name to our masthead.

Caption: Dr. John Pojeta, new addition to the editorial staff.

Caption: Dr. John Pojeta, new addition to the editorial staff.

UNDER THE RAINBOW: There have been photos aplenty of the Quincy mine in the Tom Rosemeyer series of articles on the Copper Country in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, but none quite so lovely as the rainbow shot pictured here. The fleeting image was captured by Dr. John Jaszczak, of Michigan Tech, during the Copper Country Mineral Retreat this past August.

Caption: In August 2010, a downpour chased many visitors away from the Quincy No. 2 shaft-rockhouse during the Copper Country Mineral Retreat's rock swap, but this rainbow briefly rewarded those who stayed, including photographer John Jaszczak.

Caption: In August 2010, a downpour chased many visitors away from the Quincy No. 2 shaft-rockhouse during the Copper Country Mineral Retreat's rock swap, but this rainbow briefly rewarded those who stayed, including photographer John Jaszczak.

A ROADSIDE LEGACY: One of the best rock exposures in Maryland, perhaps in the northeastern United States, is located at a rest area along Interstate 68, approximately 6 miles west of Hancock in Washington County, where highway construction cut through Sideling Hill revealing almost 850 vertical feet of a textbook example of a syncline formed nearly 350 million years ago. A fenced, paved walkway and an observation bridge allow visitors a close-up view of the dramatic road cut, and geologic wayside stations interpret what can be seen.

Caption: Dr. Kenneth N. Weaver, who for nearly thirty years headed the Maryland Geological Survey. One of his lasting accomplishments before retiring was overseeing the design and construction of an exposition and public rest stop at Sideling Hill.

Caption: Dr. Kenneth N. Weaver, who for nearly thirty years headed the Maryland Geological Survey. One of his lasting accomplishments before retiring was overseeing the design and construction of an exposition and public rest stop at Sideling Hill.

Until 2009, there was also an elaborate Sideling Hill Exhibit Center, established in 1991 as part of the rest area. It featured interpretive geological displays of the road cut and an orientation program. Several hundred thousand visitors annually were introduced to science here over the years. With the closing of the center for budgetary reasons last summer, the many displays were relocated to the Hancock Museum, 42 Main Street, Hancock, Maryland.

Here they will remain as a lasting tribute to Dr. Kenneth N. Weaver who, while state geologist and director of the Maryland Geological Survey, developed the Sideling Hill Exhibit Center. Dr. Weaver died on 7 July of this year at the age of eighty-three. But the educational resources he oversaw will continue to instruct far into the future.

Caption: An aerial view of the geologically mesmerizing Sideling Hill road cut along Interstate 68 in Washington County, Maryland.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: As always, the Cincinnati Mineral Society and the Mineral Section of the Houston Gem and Mineral Society underwrote color costs for the Connoisseur's Choice column. Donors to the Color Fund contributed toward color in the remaining articles. All are thanked for their generosity.

We also thank Paul Pohwat for stepping in as guest columnist for this issue's Connoisseur's Choice, giving Robert Cook a well-deserved break. And we thank William Besse for continuing to provide custom-made locality maps for our articles and Jeff Scovil and Dan Behnke for supplementing photos on a regular basis.

M.E.H.

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