— June 2018 —
Table of Contents
- From the Top of the Rock Pile
- Fredericksburg Rockhounds 50th Anniversary
- Wendell Smith — A Biography
- Claude H. Townsend — A Biography
- Fredericksburg Rockhounds Minutes
- This Month’s Events
- June’s Birthstone & Flowers
- Newsletter Hard Copies & Mail-Outs
- Club Info
- Club Officers and Committee Chairs
- Monthly Meeting Map
- Newsletter Membership Info
- Print or Save This Newsletter
From the Top of the Rock Pile
Lee Adams — President
There will be no regular meeting in June because it is time for our annual picnic.
- When: Monday, June 4th
- Time: 5pm for the rock sale, swap, and show & tell. We’ll eat at 6pm
- Place: The covered picnic area at Lady Bird Johnson Park
The BBQ meat, BBQ sauce, pickles, onion slices, bread, plates, napkins, cups, and drinks will be provided by the club. Everyone is asked to bring a side dish, salad, or dessert to share.
- To clean a thermos bottle—fill the bottle with water—drop in 4 Alka-Seltzer tablets—Let soak for an hour.
- To unclog a drain—clear sink drain by dropping 3 Alka-Seltzer tablets in the drain and add a cup of white vinegar, wait a few minutes, then run hot water down the drain.
On the lighter side:
A little boy was attending his first wedding. After the service, his cousin asked him: “How many women can a man marry?”
“Sixteen,” the little boy quickly responded.
“How do you know that?” his cousin asked.
“Easy,” answered the little boy. “All you have to do is add it up like the bishop said: 4 better, 4 worse, 4 richer and 4 poorer.”
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.
— A Biography —
Wendell Smith was born in Grand Junction, Colorado, of Cherokee and Scotch decent. During his high school years, Wendell and his best friend found plenty of mischief and adventure. They also found unique ways to earn extra money. They planted about 10 acres of tomatoes and when they were ripe, would load them on an old truck and take them some miles to Meeker where they would sell out in one day. It was good that Wendell was able to find adventure because he found that high school didn’t hold his interest very well. In fact, he said that it was a wonder that he graduated at all. Wendell was also a commercial photographer and film developer at that time.
While in high school, Wendell started learning the machinist trade and continued in that path after graduating. The day after graduating he began his career in Denver in an apprenticeship program working for a large pump manufacturing company. That training consisted of math, safety, and lots of machine time. After serving the apprenticeship, Wendell was let go to gain experience elsewhere. After a few months, he responded to an ad in the newspaper looking for a machinist to work for the University of California, Los Alamos National Labs in Los Alamos, New Mexico. He was hired and married Gayle and they moved to Los Alamos in August of 1957.
Wendell started as a machinist, but over the years worked his way up to design and then to management. The scientists would describe what they needed and Smith and his co-workers would design and build the units. One of his accomplishments during those years was the extended time he spent working on the government’s linear accelerator that is used to product nuclear energy. Wendell was a master tool and die maker as well as a certified nuclear welder. He worked at the Nevada Test Site for a year on the Nerva Projects that included a very small nuclear engine for the trip to Mars.
Smith never attended college for book learning, just hands on training a “just doing what came naturally.” Wendell worked in Los Alamos for 32 years and retired in 1988. As a hobby during his years there, he improved his love and appreciation for the Native American culture that lead to his learning lapidary and silversmithing. He started making jewelry from the leftovers after the Indians had chosen what they wanted to work with. Wendell’s welding and machining training gave him an advantage in creating the dies and stamps required for the manufacture of silver jewelry.
After his retirement in 1988 and some traveling around the southwest in a 5th wheel trailer; he became a self-taught dry brush watercolorist. Smith’s Kachina paintings are as authentic as possible to the original carvings, dances and descriptions of the Hopi, Zuni and Navajo Indians. His paintings are living in Australia, England, Puerto Rico, Alaska and throughout the United States. Settling in Las Cruces, New Mexico and 1992 and painting and attending shows for a few years, Gayle developed health problems that lead to their having to leave there and move to Kerrville in 1998.
Wendell and Gayle enjoyed rock hounding while in New Mexico and joined the Fredericksburg Rockhounds in 2010/ 2011. Wendell and Gayle have enhanced the club’s display cases at the yearly show with their work in silver and various stone settings. Even with failing health, Wendell has been the “go to person” for many when the need help identifying and pricing turquoise. Wendell can often identify where the turquoise was mined.
- Written by Wendell and Gayle Smith.
Claude H. Townsend
— A Biography —
Claude was born in December of 1930 in Ashford, North Carolina. Claude says he grew up on a one mule farm in the mountains. The reason for the one mule was that the fields were so steep the mule on the high side kept stepping off onto the back of the mule on the down side. The school Claude attended had all twelve years in one school, in mostly one room. Claude graduated in a class of 13 students.
Claude’s interest in plants began at an early age, his father worked in a nursery for $1.00 a day. Claude received his first cactus from his dad when he returned from a plant collecting trip to the coast of North Carolina. During world war two, Claude and his grandfather spent most of the summers collecting plants in the North Carolina Mountains.
Claude’s love of rocks also began early because he and his family lived near the Linville Caverns, North of Ashville, North Carolina. Over many years Claude, Eula and other members of his family earned extra money by being managers, guides and all-around workers at the caverns. Claude says he learned how to operate a jack hammer and pour cement building walkways in the caverns.
After high school Claude went into the U.S. Marine Corps and fought in Korea in 1950/51. After his term in the Marine Corps was up, he used his GI Bill to attend Lees College where he studied Pre Lab and X Ray. He and Eula were married around that time; Claude says, “it was love at first sight.”
After completion of college, there was no sign of a job so Claude decided to join the U.S. Army. He began his intern training at Fort Sam Houston, TX. Claude was then transferred to Springfield Mass., to the Military Induction Center, where he was the only lab and X Ray Technician. From Springfield, he was transferred back to Fort Sam Houston for the advanced Medical Lab Course. Then he was transferred to Madigan hospital in Tacoma, Washington and on to Germany to the Field Clearing Company.
Claude was then transferred from Germany to Natick Army Research Center and then to South East Asia and from there back to Brook Army Medical Center to the burn unit. Claude’s last transfer was to the Troop Clinic at Fort Sam Houston where he stayed until his military retirement in 1973 after 20 years of service.
Claude enjoyed being retired for about a year until Eula “could not put up with him messing up the house and being in her way.” They still had children at home. One morning at 5am, Claude was awakened; someone was standing over him saying get up, work starts at 7am this morning. What Claude soon learned was that his wife and friends had gotten him a job. His old position at Brook Army Medical Center had opened for a Civil Service position and his wife and friends had applied for him and he was hired. Claude worked in that position for 15 years.
Claude had always wanted to sell desert flora for landscaping. Before he and Eula retired they collected, bought and propagated enough plants to start selling at shows all over Texas and sometimes out of state. Claude has been a Master Gardner for 28 years. He graduated from class #1 for Master Gardening in Bexar County. Claude and Eula have taught a class titled “Native Desert Flora for Your Landscape” to school children and many others over the years.
Today, Claude and Eula have been married for 64 years, raised two children, and are doing the things they really like; traveling, photography, fishing, and collecting rocks & fossils. Claude and Eula are members of the Fredericksburg Rockhounds and the San Antonio Geological Society. Claude is a certified Wation Judge for the Cactus Society of America and a Life Member of the San Antonio Cactus Society. Claude and Eula’s interest in rocks began in the Caverns in North Carolina and continued through Claude’s days in the Army. Claude says he brought 1,000 pounds of petrified wood with them when they transferred from Tacoma, Washington back to Texas. Today, Claude says he never saw a rock that he didn’t like. He said to stop by their house and look in their yard to see how much they like rocks.
- The above was prepared by Judy Adams based on an interview in April 2018 and other information provided by Claude and Eula.
Fredericksburg Rockhounds Meeting Minutes
— May 7th, 2018 —
Lee Adams opened the 7:00 PM meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance.
The Membership Committee:
Introduced and welcomed new members Aaron & Jennifer Mendoza and Susan Stevens. The Membership Committee is in need of a volunteer.
The Social Committee:
Reported Eula Townsend is recovering after hip replacement surgery and Agnes Thompson is recovering from oral surgery. Our thoughts are with them and we hope they have a speedy recovery.
Program Chairman Patti Felts presented:
The program “All You Need to Know about Tumblers” was presented by Mr. Keith King. Thank You Keith King. There will not be a program in June because of our yearly picnic and rock swap/sale. July’s presentation “The Opal of Coober Pedy Australia” will be given by Lee Adams.
A motion was approved to accept April 2018 minutes as they appeared in the newsletter.
It was suggested that the club 50th Anniversary patch become a pin. John Crone said he has already designed a patch to enter into the competition. Lee is looking into the cost of patches/pins and the sales history of patches vs. pins.
Lee Adams attended the South Central Federation of Mineral Societies (SCFMS) meeting/show in Lubbock, TX. Lee provided information he brought back from that meeting.
Lee and Judy Adams attended a rock hunt at the Willow City Loop Mine with the Geological Society of San Antonio Club to look for serpentine. The club obtained permission from the Ranch owner for the field trip. There were 65 rock hunters in attendance. Lee is working toward a field trip for the Fredericksburg Rockhounds to that same area.
Lee and Judy attended a rock hunt at the House Ranch with the Southwest Gem and Mineral Society on April 28, 2018. The other Fredericksburg Rockhounds members at the hunt were Keith King and Trish Wilson.
The House Ranch had been closed to collectors for 30 years. The Ranch had recently root plowed a large field in preparation for seeding it to pasture. Keith King was able to set up a field trip for April 28th. The cost was $25.00 per person and the Southwest Gem and Mineral Club asked an additional $1.00 to cover insurance costs. The material Lee and Judy found was agate, jasper, flint, petrified wood and petrified palm. Most pieces were pint jar to coffee cup size. Thank you to Keith King for setting up the field trip, acting as guide and collecting the attendance and money. Also thanks for providing a four wheeler to carry full buckets from the field to the vehicles.
The Fredericksburg Rockhounds and Geological Society have a second hunt scheduled for May 19th with a cost of $25.00 per person. This will probably be the last rock hunt on the House Ranch for a while because the ranch is seeding the field June 1st.
Jim Chude advised that there is an annual rock hunt at the Christmas Mountain Symposium, anyone can sign up. All information will be provided in time for next year’s sign up.
John Roup brought a Calcite Geode from the Frio River for show and tell.
Thank you to all who brought food dishes to share.
|Patti Felts & Frank Rowell||Fluorite from the Zuni Mountains, New Mexico (near Grants)|
|Lynn & Lola Post||Amethyst|
|Lee & Judy Adams||2 Pieces of petrified wood collected at the House Ranch|
|Lee & Judy Adams||2 Pieces of serpentine|
|Sam Rodgers||Compact viewer|
|John Crone||Cabs in progress and a bolo|
|Tom & Judy Carswell||Book|
|Richard Brzezicki||Ohio Flint|
Judy Adams, Secretary
This Month’s Events
— May 2018
Fort Worth Gem & Mineral Club Annual Show
May 26-27, 2018 — FORT WORTH, TEXAS: Annual show; Fort Worth Gem and Mineral Club, Will Rogers Memorial Center; 3401 West Lancaster; Sat. 10-6, Sun. 10-5; Adults $5, Seniors/Students $4, Children 16 and under free; Gem, mineral, fossil, bead & jewelry shop. Contact Janice Craddock, PO Box 123975, Fort Worth, TX 76116; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: www.fortworthgemandmineralclub.org
— June 2018
June 2018 Fredericksburg Rockhounds Meeting
June 4, 2018 — FREDERICKSBURG, TEXAS: In lieu of the regular meeting this month we will have our annual picnic. Please see Lee Adams’s “From the Top of the Rock Pile” article in this issue for more details.
Arlington Gem & Mineral Club Annual Show
June 30-July 1, 2018 — GRAPEVINE, TEXAS: Annual show; Arlington Gem & Mineral Club; Grapevine Convention Center (10 min. from DFW Airport) 1209 S. Main St., Grapevine, TX 76051; Sat. 9-6, Sun. 10-5; General Admission $6, Seniors (60+) and Children Under 12 $5, Scouts in Uniform and Military ID get in free; Arlington Gem and Mineral Club’s 61st Annual Show will feature 25+ Vendors selling Artisan and Fine Jewelry, Gemstones, Geodes, Fossils, Minerals, Rough- Cut- Polished Rocks, Tumbled Stones, Paleontological Books, Metaphysical Crystals, Petrified Wood, Tools, Glass Creations, SteamPunk Designs, Beads and much more. Members will be demonstrating jewelry designs, teaching on-site jewelry classes, Identifying Gemstones, hosting a Silent Auction every hour, and offering activities to Juniors. Contact Nadira Charaniya or Andre Meyer at (469)751-2944; email: email@example.com; Web site: www.agemclub.org
- For more shows at later dates, or outside Texas, visit www.rockngem.com
June’s Birthstone & Flowers
The June birthstone is the pearl; the flowers are the rose and the honeysuckle.
Pearls can be found in a variety of soft hues and palettes. They are formed inside of an oyster’s shell, usually via a grain of sand that enters the shell. The clam cannot eject this irritant and so it encases it in a hard substance that eventually forms the pearl.
Both of June’s flowers are tied strongly with love.
Roses of different colors have multiple meanings. For instance, white roses can stand for innocence or purity. Red roses are synonymous with love. Conversely, yellow roses mean a loss of love.
The number of roses also have meaning. A bouquet is given for gratitude; a single rose amplifies the meaning behind the color.
Honeysuckle is a strong symbol for the bonds of everlasting love.
- Majoros, Martie. “June Birthstone: Color and Meaning.” Almanac.com. Yankee Publishing, Inc. n.d. May19, 2018.
- “June Birth Flowers.” Alamanc.com. Yankee Publishing, Inc. n.d. May19, 2018.
- Joyce Mechler — June 6
- Sara Verstuyft — June 8
- Karen Anderson — June 11
- Sam Rodgers — June 12
- Bill Fair — June 15
- Paula Ahrendt — June 23
- Dan Moreno — June 23
- Linn Brady — June 24
- Julie Lawhon — June 25
- Don Magee — June 28
- Claudette Hollis — June 29
- Frank Rowell — June 29
— Please note: If we missed your birthday or have listed it incorrectly, please let us know so we can correct it! firstname.lastname@example.org
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, email@example.com
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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, and lots of interesting hobby-related website links.
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: email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.