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.
The 2018 Spring Gem and Mineral Show in Kansas City is coming soon! Here’s a flyer in PDF format in case you want to print one, and here’s the coupon as promised.
Our annual Christmas Party will be Saturday, December 16, 2017 at 11:00am at the Westport Flea Market Bar & Grill. Don’t forget to bring a wrapped rock-related gift for the gift exchange and CASH ONLY if you want to buy lunch. Even if you haven’t made it to our meetings lately, or if this would be your first meeting ever, we would love to see you there!
Despite the rain, there was a sizeable turnout at the picnic, with members from Show-Me, IGAMS, the Bead Society, and more. Bruce, Martin, and Jim Ray grilled, with plenty of umbrella helpers keeping the rain off. Every picnic table in Shelter #3 was covered with interesting items during swap time, but it was cleared off quickly to make room for food and auction action. There was a lot of good food and if anyone went away hungry they have only themselves to blame. Kara was the auctioneer and sold things like trilobites, ammonites, calcite crystals, Dr. Gentile’s book (he was at the picnic, so the winner got it signed!), a specimen of garnets on chlorite schist, necklaces, beads, and even a set of all-beef hot dogs with matching buns. The proceeds will go towards the Scholarship Fund, which will be awarded next March.
After our meeting on July 15, 2017 we decided to go on another mini field trip and look for fossils. There were crinoid stems, composita, and other fossils, as well as lots of blue shale. There was also something red and nobody knew what it was. I don’t have many pictures because it was very hot outside and my phone said something about battery temperature too high.
The Association Picnic will be Sunday, August 27 at Antioch Park. 6501 Antioch Rd, Merriam, KS 66202. There will be a swap starting around 8 am, lunch will be around noon, and then the auction will be sometime after lunch. Please bring a side dish or dessert, stuff to swap if you want to swap, and cash so you can buy something at the auction. Proceeds go to the Scholarship Fund.
At the end of our meeting on May 20, 2017, David said, “Hey, we should go to [redacted] to get some fossils. It’s really close by.” Several members came along and looked for fossils.
We had to climb a little bit to get to the good spot, but once we did, there were crinoid stems, brachiopods, encrusting and branching bryozoa, and other things. It was easy to get fossils out of the ground because it had recently rained. Afterward, David suggested another place nearby to go to find composita, so some people came along for that, too.
In the summer weather, we expect to go on more spontaneous field trips like this in the Kansas City area. Make sure you come to our meetings dressed for adventure* if you want to come along!
*dressed for adventure= long pants, closed toe shoes, bring gloves and bug spray
Update: We took another mini field trip in July.
A while ago, we went over to Mr. and Mrs. Snow’s house and learned how to make cabs. Dan provided the equipment and Connie provided a delicious lunch and took photos so I would have something to write about. Everyone had a lot of fun.
The Spring 2017 Gem and Mineral Show was very successful. The parking lot was filled to capacity and we made over $3000 for the scholarship fund. I think it helped that it was so cold on Saturday, because people wanted to do something indoors. Here are some of the highlights.