— August 2018 —
Table of Contents
- From the Top of the Rock Pile
- 50th Anniversary Logo Contest Comes to a Close
- Fredericksburg Rockhounds 50th Anniversary
- Jim & Jackie Chude — A Biography
- Patti Felts & Frank Rowell — A Biography
- Facts About Opals
- 4M Ranch Trip October 19-21, 2018 — Fall Trip
- Club Membership Forms
- Fredericksburg Rockhounds Minutes
- This Month’s Events
- August’s Birthstone & Flowers
- Newsletter Hard Copies & Mail-Outs
- Club Info
- Club Officers and Committee Chairs
- Monthly Meeting Map
- Newsletter Articles and Club Info
- Print or Save This Newsletter
From the Top of the Rock Pile
Lee Adams — President
I have procrastinated so long over this issue that I am writing this at midnight the day before deadline.
It is really hot—too hot for field trips or anything out doors past 1:00pm. I am thankful every day that I have a portable swamp cooler in the shop. Within 20 feet it does well: 5-8 degrees below the surrounding air and if need be, a quick 5-minute break, directly in front of the cooler, does a great job of cooling me down.
I also like to play in the water when it’s hot. Wet cloths have a great cooling effect and I’m getting some grinding and polishing done at the same time. I swear I could work 10 hours a day, 11 days a week and still not get done the things I needed done yesterday. So I think I’ll take a break and start again tomorrow.
Another trick I’ve discovered to beat the heat is to work in the shop earlier. Try getting up at 5:00pm and start working before 6:00pm. GOOD LUCK WITH THAT!
Have a great month—stay cool
50th Anniversary Logo Contest Comes to a Close
The contest for designing a pin and/or patch logo for the Fredericksburg Rockhounds 50th Anniversary will close at the monthly meeting on August 8th. If you have designs for the contest, please be sure to enter them before the meeting as all designs will be judged to determine a winner at that time.
If you have any questions, please direct them to Lee Adams (830) 796-8890.
Thank you and good luck to all who enter. May the best design win!
Fredericksburg Rockhounds 50th Anniversary
The hobby of rock hounding is so multi-faceted it has the interest of a wide span of people. As part of the Fredericksburg Rockhounds Club’s 50th Anniversary, we are writing a series of biographies for some long time (not old) members. It is our hope you will see the diversity of people that are interested in rock hounding.
Jim & Jackie Chude
— A Biography —
Jim and Jackie Chude have been ongoing and active members of the Fredericksburg Rockhounds longer than most other current members, joining in 1991 when they first moved to Fredericksburg.
Jim was born in Houston in 1950. His dad worked for Houston Lighting and Power Company; his mother was a “stay-at-home” mom raising Jim, his brother and his two sisters. They moved to the tiny country town of Fairchilds, Texas, southwest of Houston when Jim was 9 years old. He spent a lot of time watering new trees and exploring the open countryside with his dogs. He attended secondary schools in nearby Needville. Jim then attended the University of Houston, planning to go into Electrical Engineering.
After a couple of years, he was lured away into the geology department instead. He graduated from U of H in 1972 with a major in Geology and a minor in Geophysics. Jim was hired by Amoco Oil Company as a geophysicist immediately after graduation and he worked there for six years. In 1973 he married the love of his life, Jackie Matusek, and in 1976 the first of their children was born. In 1978 Jim accepted a position as a geophysicist with Terra Resources and the family moved way out west to Midland, Texas, the main attraction being that it was closer to lots of great camping and collecting spots. Jim worked for that firm until it closed in 1988. From 1989-1991, he worked as a private consultant to various oil-affiliated firms.
Collecting and working with rocks has been Jim’s hobby as well as his vocation. His mother collected “pretty rocks,” so Jim was attracted to them at an early age. This attraction was intensified by an uncle who was an avid rockhound. Jim still has a piece of mica that he was given by his uncle. Jim and Jackie were members of the Houston Gem & Mineral Society from ’73-’78 and had judged cases in their annual shows. Jim was also a member of the Midland G&M Club while living in that town. When Jim learned that the Seven Oaks Rock Shop in Concan, Texas, was for sale in 1988, he submitted a bid and acquired the entire inventory — rocks, equipment, display cases, etc. All of this was placed in storage for a vague future venture, their Plan B for an economic downturn.
The Chudes were attracted to the Fredericksburg area soon after their marriage when they visited Enchanted Rock in 1973 on a camping/rock collecting trip. Jim’s family was already familiar with the Hill Country south of Kerrville, where they took an annual vacation. In 1991, Jim and Jackie decided the time was right to leave the oil business and they moved to a home with a “million-dollar view” north of Fredericksburg. The house, however, needed a lot of remodeling to accommodate a family of seven. At that time, Jim and Jackie also purchased a house on East Main Street that had been used as an antique store and they converted it into a rock shop called Sticks and Stones. They operated the rock shop until 2005, when they closed their store and leased the property to another rock shop called Earth Treasures, which still exists.
Jim and Jackie also own property in West Texas near Terlingua and visit that area frequently. Some years ago, Jim found an unusual mineral in the mercury mining area which he sent to an independent laboratory in Canada where it was eventually confirmed to be a previously unknown mineral and named Terlinguacreekite. A second mineral which he submitted is still under investigation.
Jim and Jackie have been active in the Fredericksburg Rockhounds since they moved to Fredericksburg in 1991. Jim is credited with keeping the club in existence during the early 1990’s when there were few members and some discussion of abandoning the show. He served as President and also First Vice President at various times and acted as Show Chairman for several years. His expertise is still drawn upon at annual shows as the Mineral ID expert.
Jim has excellent woodworking skills, as demonstrated by the beautiful oak and walnut furniture in the Chudes’ home. He is also a fair “shade-tree” mechanic and maintains his dad’s 1955 Plymouth which is seen frequently in Fredericksburg. After retirement in 2012, Jim has taken up organic gardening as well as the preservation of the resulting bounty. At the end of a hard day, Jim enjoys sitting on the front porch with a mug of his home-brewed beer. Jim assists the Texas A&M – Kingsville Geology Dept. with their field trips two or three times a semester and during their summer field camp near Big Bend National Park.
Jim and Jackie are people of faith who are active in the church and have raised their children to have similar strong convictions. After Jim closed the rock shop in 2005, he found that his numerous years of do-it-yourself repairs qualified him for a maintenance position at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, which he held until 2012. He continues his association with the church as a volunteer tour guide, since St. Mary’s is one of the Painted Churches of Texas. Jim has also been a volunteer at the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store in Fredericksburg since 1991; he served as President of that facility from 2005 to 2011.
Jackie Matusek was born in Houston in 1953. Her father Louis owned and operated a heating and air conditioning firm; her mother Georgia worked as receptionist and bookkeeper for the family business while still maintaining a home for Jackie and her four brothers. Jackie attended Sam Houston State University in Huntsville for two years. After marrying Jim in 1973, she transferred to the University of Houston and graduated in 1975 with a degree in accounting. She held a few short-term jobs before their first child was born in 1976. Between 1976 and 1994, Jackie was more than busy being a full-time mom and homemaker.
After the Chudes moved to Fredericksburg in 1991, Jackie assisted at the rock shop with bookkeeping and running the store so that Jim could remodel their house or go rock hunting. When their youngest started school in 1995, Jackie was hired at Blumenhandler Florist and worked there full time as Office Manager until Dec. 2015. She still works there during especially busy times. Jackie’s primary responsibilities were taking phone orders and bookkeeping; however, she helped out in other areas when needed — including making floral deliveries. She retired so that she can keep her ninety-one-year-old mother company and collect family stories while she can.
Jackie is not an avid rockhound; her attitude is more of tolerance towards Jim’s passion. All their camping trips seem to involve rocks, and she admits that she enjoys a hunt if it’s not too hot. She also loves quilting (her one connection to “art”) and reading almost anything she can get her hands on. For many years, she has also been doing genealogy research on their Czech ancestry and is thrilled with the availability of information online now.
Jim and Jackie have five children and much of their time, energy and resources have been devoted to their children’s upbringing and wellbeing; they are justifiably proud of the results. Rebecca works for British Petroleum as a Petroleum Engineer. Colin is a teacher in a Catholic school in San Antonio, Veronica works as a commercial Interior Designer, and Joanna is a full-time mom but has a degree as an ASL (sign language) Interpreter. Mariah has a Bachelor’s degree in Geography-Water Resources and a Master’s degree in Groundwater Hydrology and works for the Edwards Aquifer Authority. All their children are married, and Jim and Jackie have thirteen grandchildren, with a fourteenth expected in July. The grandkids already love to “mine” gems along Omie and Opa’s driveway. Opa helps by “salting” the mine.
Even though Jackie and Jim have had significant family and business responsibilities, they have been able to travel and have visited Scotland, Norway, Spain, Holland, Egypt, Yugoslavia and Australia. They even drove all the way to Alaska and back. Now that both are retired and their children “have flown the coop,” who knows what they might do next? Rockhounding on Mars?
Patti Felts & Frank Rowell
— A Biography —
Patti Felts was born in Fort Worth in 1947. Her father was a machinist and her mother worked for a time as a motel manager. Patti attended elementary and secondary schools in Forth Worth. After high school graduation, Patti attended Texas Christian University in Fort Worth and earned two Bachelor’s Degrees—one in Biology and the other in Medical Technology. She was married while attending Texas Christian University. Patti became a Forest Ranger and worked in the Santa Fe Forest for seven years—mostly on Fire Prevention Patrol. Her marriage ended and she left her position as a Forest Ranger to enroll at Colorado State University, graduating in 1982 with a Master’s Degree in Forestry. She met Frank Rowell at a rock concert in 1980 and they were married in 1980.
Frank Rowell was born in Marlboro, Massachusetts, in 1954. His father was a sheet metal mechanic in the aerospace industry; his mother worked as a machinist during World War Il and in a series of retail shops following the war. Frank attended public schools in Marlboro, Massachusetts, Nashua, New Hampshire, and Hudson, New Hampshire. Frank assured the author that this was not due to expulsions, but rather to his family’s frequent moves. After high school graduation in 1973, Frank worked as a machinist for a year and a half. Disliking work during the “graveyard shift,” he moved to Drake, Colorado, where he was employed at the River Bend Resort. He also worked part time in a shop selling furs and Native American jewelry. During the massive Big Thompson Flood in 1976, Frank lost all of his belongings. During that catastrophe he worked with the American Red Cross helping survivors. For the next five years, Frank sold furs and jewelry at fairs and other events throughout the western part of the country. During the winter time, he worked in a store in Wyoming. He and Patti Felts were married in 1980.
Patti and Frank started selling turquoise jewelry from a folding table at peddlers’ markets in 1981. They expanded their operation and traveled throughout the Western United States living in a fifteen-foot travel trailer pulled by a used pickup truck. Their merchandise and the poles and tarpaulin for a canopy over their booth were stored in the bed of the pickup. They also traveled to New Hampshire where Patti met Frank’s parents and they sold jewelry at fairs in New England. They returned to Colorado so that Patti could enroll at Colorado State University and complete the requirements for a Master’s Degree in 1982.
Patti planned to apply for a position as a forest ranger after graduation, but openings in that field were basically nonexistent in 1982. To make ends meet, Patti and Frank traveled up and down the Pacific Coast selling jewelry and other items at flea markets. They then moved from event to event across the country to Florida, where Frank’s parents spent their winters. From Florida, Frank and Patti returned to New Mexico, where they purchased property. For twenty-five years they traveled to fairs and flea markets far and wide with their home in New Mexico as their base of operations. They worked in New England during the summer and in Texas during the winter. After achieving a degree of financial solvency, they acquired a large box truck and outfitted it for sales and living. Later, they purchased a large sales trailer so that they could expand their offerings. Patti looks back on these years of their nomadic life and reflects “We never had much money, but these were good years—fun years.”
Patti and Frank moved to their present home on Lost Hollow Road in 2001 and continued to sell jewelry and other merchandise at events near and far. A few years later, they rented a building in North Llano and sold rocks and other items from that location for over two years. In 2008, they rented the rock shop at their present location on the Llano Courthouse Mall and moved their operation to that location.
Enchanted Rocks and Jewelry is an old-fashioned rock shop with a wide variety of items for sale. People are encouraged to bring in rocks for identification and Frank and Patti are always ready to assist experienced rockhounds or individuals interested in becoming rockhounds. They also can provide suggestions regarding where to search for rocks. Their website is wnw.enchantedrocksandiewelery.com
Frank has been active in community activities in Llano. He developed and maintained a website for the Llano Chamber of Commerce. He and a friend have organized several events for prospectors and rockhounds and for several years Frank has organized the annual Llano Opry event. He has been involved with the Llano Main Street Program and has served as President Of that organization. He was one of the founders Of the organization restoring the Red Top Jail. For several years he ran the Theater in Llano on weekends. Patti is a Master Gardener and enjoys growing plants throughout the year in her garden and in her greenhouse. She is an excellent source of information about all aspects of floral or vegetable gardening and native plants.
Patti and Frank have been active Fredericksburg Rockhounds members. They joined the club in 1999 while they were still living in New Mexico. Frank has served as President and Patti has been Program Chair—twice. Both of them have organized and led field trips.
Both Patti and Frank are avid rockhounds. Based on their experiences, they have an innate ability to predict whether or not an area is likely to produce collectible material. Patti, in particular, is fearless during her expeditions. By herself she explores remote areas of Arizona and New Mexico, sleeping in the back of a van or in the bed of a pickup. There is no creek bed too deep or slope too steep for her to negotiate during her quest for material. It is truly awe inspiring to see the number of rocks that she can load into the back of her Honda. She produces beautiful jewelry using a variety of techniques. She has recently acquired a Foredom tool and is looking forward to adding carved stone items to her offerings. Frank has the unique ability to relate to anyone, old or young, rich or poor. His charisma quickly puts others at ease and this stands him in good stead in his work and in his relationships with community organizations. When first meeting Patti and Frank, their different personalities might cause a person to wonder “How did those two get together?” However, almost four decades of marriage is proof that “Opposites do attract.”
- The information above was acquired by Glenn Thompson during interviews with Frank and Patti on April 18, 2018.
Facts About Opals
Because the story of the Opal gemstone at our July meeting was such a hit I thought everyone would like to read some facts on this gemstone from Wikipedia.
Opal is a hydrated amorphous form of silica (SiO2·nH2O); its water content may range from 3 to 21% by weight but is usually between 6 and 10%. Because of its amorphous character, it is classed as a mineraloid, unlike crystalline forms of silica, which are classed as minerals. It is deposited at a relatively low temperature and may occur in the fissures of almost any kind of rock, being most commonly found with limonite, sandstone, rhyolite, marl, and basalt. Opal is the national gemstone of Australia.
There are two broad classes of opal: precious and common. Precious opal displays play-of-color, common opal does not. Play-of-color is defined as “a pseudo-chromatic optical effect resulting in flashes of colored light from certain minerals, as they are turned in white light.” The internal structure of precious opal causes it to diffract light, resulting in play-of-color. Depending on the conditions in which it formed, opal may be transparent, translucent or opaque and the background color may be white, black or nearly any color of the visual spectrum. Black opal is considered to be the rarest, whereas white, gray, and green are the most common. In addition, opal may exhibit adularescence, a form of iridescence.
- “Opal.” Wikipedia.com. Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. July 3, 2018. July 3, 2018.
4M Ranch Trip October 19—21, 2018
— Fall Trip —
Fall will soon be upon us and the owners of the 4M Ranch have invited us to come out and have a good time over the weekend of October 19th to the 21st. This invitation apples to all club members and their guests.
The ranch is located in the hills about 15 miles south of Sonora, TX.
We will be allowed to collect a few cactuses: Ferocactus (West Texas fishhook barrel), Coryphantha, a couple types of Echinocereus, Epithelantha micromaris, and others.
For the rock collector, there is an ancient riverbed to explore where one can find fossils, shells, petrified woods, flint, and a few arrowheads.
The 4M Ranch is a hunting ranch for exotic animals, so bring your camera as you might see some unusual animals.
The night skies are awesome!
DETAILS: October 19—21, 2018 at the 4M Ranch in Sonora, TX.
Check in noon Friday; check out noon Sunday, after which the gates will be locked.
Included in the hunt is a 3-day, 2-night stay in the bunk house.
All rooms are for 2 people, except for room #3 which is for 4 singles. Linens furnished.
WHAT TO BRING: A small bucket to carry your goodies to your car. Boxes to transport your goodies home. A small digging tool. The heaviest digging should be a horse crippler cactus which has deep roots.
COST: $120 per person—includes everything.
To secure your spot, a deposit of 50% is required.
Make your check out to 4M Ranch and mail it to:
Claude H. Townsend
5102 Village Green
San Antonio, TX 78218
When sending your deposit, please enclose your phone number and email address.
Upon receipt of your deposit you will be assigned a room and sent a confirmation email that will include a map.
If you have questions, contact Claude at (210) 655-8959 or firstname.lastname@example.org
DAY HUNT: One day hunt only. Check in at the club house after daylight and pay $20, then sign all the paper work. You must sign out and be off the ranch before dark.
Club Membership Forms
Membership application forms for the Fredericksburg Rockhounds are now available to download and print from our website. Please navigate to the new Resources Page located at this address:
Once there, simply click the link for the 2018 Membership Form to download or print a PDF copy.
Fredericksburg Rockhounds Meeting Minutes
— July 2nd, 2018 —
Lee Adams opened the 7:00 PM meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance.
The Social Committee:
Reported Karen Anderson is recovering after knee surgery and Ed Beauford is recovering from hip replacement surgery. Our thoughts are with them and we hope they have a speedy recovery.
Program Chairman Patti Felts presented:
The Opal of Coober Pedy, Australia that was given by Lee Adams. Thanks to everyone that brought opal samples (so beautiful). Anyone care to guess the dollar amount of the opal that was on that display table?
John Roup brought a Sutter Rudite specimen from Norway for show and tell.
Sara Verstuyft advised she will bring the club history book with her to every meeting. Everyone is encouraged to browse through the book to see Sara’s work.
June was the club picnic and therefore there were no meeting minutes to be approved.
Lee reminded everyone that the contest for a Fredericksburg Rockhounds 50th Anniversary Logo for pins/patches will be closed/judged at the August Meeting.
Lee suggested classes of various types could be held before the regular club meetings. Lee is willing to bring his grander to hold lessons in cutting and polishing stones and Virginia Adian said she is also willing to give wire wrapping lessons before the regular scheduled meeting time.
A signup sheet was passed for those interested in having lessons in wire wrapping or cutting and polishing stone. (One person signed up for both)
The Fredericksburg Rockhounds Membership Form is now on our website.
Ask Lee Adams if you need information about where to find reasonably priced club vests.
Thank you to all who brought food dishes to share.
|Lee Adams||Opal specimen|
|Virginia Adian||Roadside Geology of Texas|
|Virginia Adian||Mexican Opal|
|Jim Gedeon||Archail Hide Scraper Gillespie, TX|
|Keith King||Montana Agate|
|T.W. Mitchell||Nag/Hagg Stones|
|Al & Miriam Poteet||Slab with stand|
|Al & Miriam Poteet||Specimen Box with Dendritic Agate & Jade|
|John & Carolyn Roup||Mineral Photos|
|John & Carolyn Roup||Smokey Quartz Geode|
|John Roup||Metralogical Record|
Judy Adams, Secretary
This Month’s Events
— August 2018
August 2018 Fredericksburg Rockhounds Meeting
August 6, 2018 — FREDERICKSBURG, TEXAS: This meeting will take place at 7pm on Monday, August 6th, at the Golden Hub Senior Center located at 1009 N Lincoln, Fredericksburg, Texas. See Monthly Meeting Map.
For the August meeting, I will be showing a DVD of a NOVA program entitled Life from Rocks. The show is about how the minerals that compose our earth made life possible in the first place and how this life has, in its turn, influenced the surface mineralization of our planet. Hope to see you there!
- For more shows at later dates, or outside Texas, visit www.rockngem.com
August’s Birthstone & Flowers
The August birthstone is the peridot; the flowers are the gladiolus and the poppy.
The peridot is a symbol of strength. It is light green in color and as such is sometimes called the evening emerald. It can be found in the volcanic lava of Hawaii as well as in meteorites.
The largest peridot found to date weighs in at 319 carats and is on display in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC.
The gladiolus, also known as the sword lily, stands for remembrance and calm.
Poppies come in different colors and have various meanings. Red poppies are for pleasure; white for consolation; and yellow for wishes of wealth and success.
- Majoros, Martie. “August Birthstone: Color and Meaning.” Almanac.com. Yankee Publishing, Inc. n.d. July 17, 2018.
- “August Birth Flowers.” Alamanac.com. Yankee Publishing, Inc. n.d. July 17, 2018.
- Judy Carswell — August 1
- Bonnie Dietrich — August 8
- Thomas Mitchell — August 10
- Al Poteet — August 14
- John Farmer — August 15
- Tony Steele — August 16
- John Roup — August 18
— Please note: If we missed your birthday or have listed it incorrectly, please let us know so we can correct it! email@example.com
Newsletter Hard Copies & Mail-Outs
The club will no longer mail out hard copies of the newsletter to members. Those who have provided the club with an email address will continue to receive notifications via email when the newsletter is published for viewing online.
Every online newsletter will now feature a link to a PDF version of itself in the section titled “Print or Save This Newsletter” where you can save or print your own copy.
If you need a hard copy of the newsletter each month and cannot access the online newsletters — http://fredericksburgrockhounds.org/newsletter/ — to print your own, then please let the president, Lee Adams, know. He will provide printed copies for those who need them at each monthly meeting.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask us.
— Josh and Melissa Hazer, firstname.lastname@example.org
Your ad here for $25/year
For more information, please contact the newsletter editors by emailing us at:
- Purpose of the Fredericksburg Rockhounds:
To share knowledge and appreciation of gems, minerals, fossils, and other natural wonders, and the art of jewelry making. We do this through educational monthly meetings, field trips, an annual gem, mineral, & fossil show, and donations to schools. We’re affiliated with the American Federation of Mineral Societies, and the South Central Federation of Mineral Societies.
- Membership and Meetings:
We meet at 7:00 P.M. on the first Monday of each month at the Golden Hub Senior Center, 1009 N Lincoln, Fredericksburg, Texas (except in June, when we have our annual picnic). See map, below.
- Annual dues are $3 for juniors (under 19 years), $8 for individuals, and $15 for families; due in January.
- Newsletter correspondence and newsletter advertising: email@example.com
- All other correspondence: Fredericksburg Rockhounds, 412 S. Adams St, Fredericksburg TX 78624
- Visit our website at fredericksburgrockhounds.org for more club info, field trip news, club photos, resources, and previous newsletters.
Club Officers and Committee Chairs
Club Officers for 2018:
- President: Lee Adams – (830) 796-8890
- 1st Vice President: Tom Carswell – (830) 792-2160
- 2nd Vice President: Patti Felts – (325) 248-6040
- Past President: Andy Anderson – (830) 370-2177
- Treasurer: John Roup – (830) 896-4955
- Secretary: Judy Adams – (830) 796-8890
- Programs: Patti Felts – (325) 247-6040
- Field Trips: Patti Felts – (325) 247-6040
and Sam Rodgers – (210) 240-7721
- Hospitality: Susan Olson – (830) 997-8516
- Membership: Brenda Smith – (830) 895-9630
- Historian: Sara Verstuyft – (830) 998-7350
- Media Equipment: John Crone – (830) 990-9823
- Annual Show: Jim Gedeon – (830) 456-5419
- Newsletter: Josh and Melissa Hazer
Monthly Meeting Map
Newsletter Articles and Club Info
Articles for each month’s newsletter must be received by the 15th of the month.
Send them to your newsletter editor via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
You may also use the form on our Contact Page to submit your articles:
A copy of the Club MEMBERSHIP LIST is available TO MEMBERS ONLY, via email (or paper mail if necessary). Contact Virginia Adian at email@example.com or 830-755-6105
The Club CONSTITUTION & BY-LAWS are posted on our website: fredericksburgrockhounds.org/constitution
Print or Save This Newsletter
To print or save this newsletter, click the following link for the PDF version.
The PDF has the same information as what you see here online, but it is in a printer friendly format. If you have any questions, just drop us a line and we’ll be happy to help you.