By Valerie J. Meyers, The Crinoid Courier January 2019
It wasn’t really a “meeting” when we gathered at the Westport Flea Market on December 15th, but it was a darn good party. About 20 of us took over tables and chairs in the area by the pinball machines, but this year no one was playing the machines, so all the noise was ours. After socializing and food, we got down to serious gift opening (and theft). Steve and Charline Dumortier, making it clear who exactly has foresight in this group, brought a big trash bag in which to put discarded wrapping and ribbon.
The most coveted item was actually two items: a rock of clear quartz crystal with one especially nice terminal, paired with a stand that beamed changing colors of light through the quartz. That was originally obtained by Anthony Bertrand, who lost it to Charley Maazouz, who lost it to Ginny Farney (“You know there’s something fundamentally wrong with that!”), who lost it to Sharon Penner.
As for everyone else, we didn’t do so badly either: Trent Stigall wound up with a whole mini-collection that included barite, dalmatian jasper, a mosasaur tooth, and a thunder egg. Donn and Sylvia Crilly (who didn’t attend in person, but sent a gift through Valerie J. Meyers, who then picked up a gift for them) got two of Charlie Hedge’s wonderful kaleidoscapes, mounted on both sides of a small board.
Dan Snow got a small display case for several specimens. Pam Stigall got a great chunky galena specimen, Anthony got calcite specimens from Lake Stockton, Missouri, and Connie Snow received a black cryptocrystalline quartz “sacred stone” and the book “Love is in the Earth,” by Melody.
Cele Wood opened a box of bead strings and said, smiling, “The gift that keeps on giving.” (“I see projects in your future!” Charley called.) Charline got a National Geographic pocket guide to rocks and minerals. Steve was clearly meant to get a box no matter what: Having lost a beautiful wooden box with an inoceramus fossil on the lid to Charley, he then obtained a carved stone box with marbles inside.
Stuart Traxler got a specimen of smooth script-stone jasper from India; Brennen Barnes got a polished red-lace agate from Mexico; Charlie Hedges got a digital picture frame; and Finny wound up with a lovely wire-wrapped moss-agate pendant on a leather thong. Arienne Barnes got a rock with a lot of fossilized turritella, and Valerie got the book “Roadside Geology of Missouri” by Charles Spencer (and hey! She’s taking a road trip in a couple of months!).
If I’ve accidentally left out your attendance (hello, Carol Fergason) or your gift (hello, bag of beautifully colored rocks including calcite and sodalite), please forgive me.
Dan announced that he was planning to have another cabbing session January 20th at his place. With that, and a lot of looking over other people’s gifts, the party broke up. Dan and Connie Snow were kind enough to take both video and still pictures of the party. They can be found on the group’s Facebook page, from which the following photos are remorselessly stolen.