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March-April 2012

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Chips from the Quarry

MYSTIFYING: It's always fun to read a good mystery, so we've decided to add a column called Mineral Mysteries to Rocks & Minerals. Actually, the idea came from John White, who will write the new column in addition to his currently popular Let's Get It Right column. Both won't appear in the same issue, however; they will alternate.

If you're one of those readers who can't stand the suspense and peeks at the ending to see “who done it,” or how it comes out, you won't get any satisfaction from jumping to the end of this column to see how each situation is resolved. The conclusion is that the subject matter is still very much a mystery, with no apparent solution. We hope you enjoy being drawn into the mineral puzzlers and perhaps can share your theory of resolution with John. You'll find the first column in this issue, beginning on page 181.

Caption: Longtime friends Dona Leicht and John White, shown here at the 2003 Munich Show, each embark on new writing ventures beginning in this issue.

OUR VERY OWN WORLD(WIDE) SERIES: Dona Leicht took on the challenge of profiling Ludmilla Cheshko and Michael Leybov, of the Moscow-based Mineralogical Almanac, in our September/October 2011 issue. Readers so enjoyed learning more about these dedicated people that we asked Dona to also profile other editors/publishers of mineral periodicals worldwide in a series of articles. She readily agreed, and her next installment of “People Behind the Publications” begins on page 142 in this issue and features Rainer Bode, editor/publisher of the Hamburg, Germany–based Mineralien-Welt. Dona welcomes your suggestions for personnel of other international publications to highlight.

During the past several years, the far-flung mineral community has become more closely knit, thanks to such websites as Mindat and FMF, and such shows as Munich, Tucson, and Sainte-Marie; likewise, the international mineral publications have strengthened the sense-of-community bond with their locality, show, mineral, and collector articles. Now, thanks to Dona, we can also get to know the “faces” behind these journals.

GIVING THANKS: Even though this issue won't be out until the March/April time period, it's being edited in November, the traditional month of Thanksgiving. It is, therefore, appropriate that we extend a huge note of gratitude to those who supported Rocks & Minerals in 2011 by volunteering their time and donating to the Color Fund and benefit auctions held in Tucson and Denver as well as those conducted online. You'll find these kind and generous people, businesses, and organizations listed on pages 112–114, along with those events that provided booth space for the magazine for the sale of subscriptions and back issues.

MORE ON ARIZONA IN THIS ISSUE: Just as Arizona's centennial celebration of its statehood continues well past the official February date, so do Arizona articles continue to fill the pages of Rocks & Minerals, with three locality articles that spilled over from the January/February issue, which was devoted to that great state.

SCHOLARSHIP ESTABLISHED: Bob Jones, of Cave Creek, Arizona, shares with us news of an endowed scholarship fund to honor Mike Groben, of Coos Bay, Oregon. Mike is an active mineral collector who, in 1961, was working as a timber cruiser when a fall broke his back and paralyzed him for life. In a wheelchair ever since, he has overcome this adversity with great fortitude, continuing to collect minerals, including field collecting from his wheelchair and, until recently, attending such major shows as that in Tucson.

When Mineralogical Record magazine needed to be indexed, Mike headed up the team that indexed the first thirteen volumes. From its inception, he was heavily involved with the Friends of Mineralogy (FM), holding offices and serving as a major force in organizing the Northwest FM symposia. In addition, he served as a consulting editor of Rocks & Minerals for many years. All this is evidence of his courage in overcoming his handicap while striving to actively be involved in mineral collecting activities.

For these reasons this scholarship foundation in Mike's name has been organized by those recognizing the need to support others who, like Mike, have overcome great adversity. Foundation monies will be donated to students attending Southwestern Oregon Community College. The only criteria for recipients to receive funds is that they must be someone “who has overcome obstacles in his/her life.” This would include students who apply as well as returned military veterans.

Those wishing to support this effort to establish the Mike Groben scholarship program can make a tax-exempt contribution to the 501(c)(3) nonprofit foundation. The tax ID number is 93-6031563; contributions should be directed to the Southwestern Oregon Community College Foundation, 1988 Newmark Ave., Coos Bay, OR 97420. Credit card donations can be made by clicking on the “donate now” button on the college website,

Caption: Mike Groben, after whom the Mike Groben Scholarship is named.

WEIS MUSEUM AWARDS: Dr. Gene LaBerge and Sally LaBerge, together, were named the 2010 recipient of the Katherine G. Nelson Award, presented by the Weis Earth Science Museum, Menasha, Wisconsin. The award honors those who have made outstanding contributions to earth science in Wisconsin or Wisconsinites who have made outstanding contributions to earth science in general. The LaBerges are from Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

In a later announcement, Burnell “Burnie” Franke, of Madison, Wisconsin, was named the 2011 recipient of the Donna Nolte Award by the Weis Museum. The annual award honors someone who has served the hobby of geology with inspiration and innovation, encouraging others, especially youth, to appreciate and enjoy Earth's treasures.

DECEASED: Janet W. Cares of Sudbury, Massachusetts, passed away on 1 October 2011 at the age of ninety. She was born in Bangor, Maine, and lived in Medford and Cambridge before moving to Sudbury in 1967. She received her undergraduate degree in chemistry from Tufts University and her master's degree from Harvard University. An avid mineral collector, she and her husband, Steve (who died in 2004), were inducted into the Micromounters Hall of Fame in 1999. Together they discovered a number of new minerals, including caresite, which was named after them. The Cares were longtime volunteers at the Harvard Mineralogical Museum.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS: The Houston Gem and Mineral Society, in memory of Arthur E. Smith, and the Cincinnati Mineral Society underwrote color costs in the Connoisseur's Choice column; Maryanne and John Fender (Fender Natural Resources) did the same for the Museum Notes column; donors to the Color Fund contributed to color in the remaining articles. All are thanked for partnering with Rocks & Minerals to support color photography in the magazine.

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