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March-April 2018

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Chips from the Quarry

MINDAT MEMORIES: It was a repeat of a hit! In recent years Mindat conferences have lured participants to such exotic places as Morocco, Madagascar, and Myanmar. But in 2017 the destination was the same as that of the first year (2011): Poland, where not only the conference but also field trips, festivities, food, and fireworks welcomed the group. Beginning on page 164, Monica Rakovan recaps highlights of this past year's event and accompanying adventures, including mines, mineral collections, and museums, and she also previews the 2018 conference.

Participants at the 2017 Mindat Conference came from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Poland, Germany, Spain, and Hong Kong.

MIDWEST ARTICLES CONTINUE: Our coverage of the Midwest began with the January/February 2017 issue as a tie-in with that year's Tucson Gem and Mineral Show® theme. When not all of the solicited articles fit in that issue, they spilled over into subsequent issues, and still they continue. This issue's lead article is on “Fluorite of the Findlay Arch Mineral District: Ohio, Michigan, and Indiana.” For those of us who cut our collecting teeth on northern Ohio quarries back in the 1960s and '70s, it's a meander down memory lane. (Little did we know that someday all those prolific localities would, for the most part, be closed to collectors.)

JIM HURLBUT: Good-byes are difficult, especially with special friends. I remember going to the Denver Show back in the 1980s and '90s. There was this quietly effective gentleman juggling a seemingly multitude of tasks there, something he continued to do for decades. He and his signature bow tie were as much a fixture at the show during those many years as “Mr. Bones” is today. Later, I remember this same man playing up a storm on his clarinet with his jazz band at Denver's Saturday night program and auction. And I remember this past year, when the buzz zipped through the Denver Show on Sunday afternoon that “Jim Hurlbut (then ninety-six) had entered the building.” The warmth with which he was greeted by longtime friends and colleagues alike was both heartfelt and heartwarming. It was his last Denver Show; he died the next day. You can read the inspiring tribute to him by Larry Havens in this issue's In Memoriam column, and pictured here is Jim being welcomed to the 2017 Denver Show by Larry.

Larry Havens (left) greeting his longtime friend Jim Hurlbut at the 2017 Denver Gem and Mineral Show.

EXPANDED MUSEUM NOTES: Because of space limitations, Museum Notes didn't appear in the January/February issue. To make up for it, this issue's column is twice as long and covers everything from Hurricane Harvey, retirement, special exhibits, and donations to, unfortunately, museum thefts.

QUARRY OPENS: And it was for a good cause. Close to three hundred residents in Southern California raised thousands of dollars for the local school district during the Fourth Annual Run Around the Rocks and Open House at the CEMEX Lytle Creek quarry near Rialto. The event took place this past October and attracted runners from across the area to participate in the 5K run through the quarry. The money was earmarked for Rialto Unified School District's STEM program, an initiative that awards scholarships to students pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering, and math. The open house following the run gave residents a glimpse of operations and the large equipment at the facility used to help deliver much-needed aggregates to Southern California.

Runners taking off for a 5K “Run Around the Rocks” at a Southern California quarry. The fundraiser brought in thousands of dollars for the local school district’s STEM program.

2017 ACKNOWLEDGMENTS (AND YEAR-END THANKS): This issue acknowledges and thanks those who supported Rocks & Minerals by volunteering their time and by donating to the Color Fund and to the benefit auction held in conjunction with the Dallas Mineral Collecting Symposium this past August. Their names are listed on page 109; also given are the shows that provided subscription booth space for the magazine.

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; Laura Delano, of LLD Productions, did the same for the Museum Notes column. Donors to the Color Fund contributed toward color in the remaining columns and articles. All are thanked for partnering with Rocks & Minerals to support color photography in the magazine.



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