Wednesday, November 29, 2023

The Del Air Rockhounds Club Welcomes You!!

The Del Air Rockhounds Club was founded in 1954 with members mostly residing in the San Fernando Valley area of California. Our club is a non-profit organization dedicated to sharing knowledge of the lapidary arts and techniques, geology, mineralogy and related fields. We own our own lapidary equipment with members available to teach and demonstrate lapidary techniques to other members. Our members enjoy lapidary related programs, demonstrations, exhibitions, displays and lectures. We also take monthly field trips to our local deserts & mountains for exploration and the study and collection of lapidary and mineral specimens.

Member of the California & American Federation of Mineralogical Societies

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 7618, Van Nuys, CA 91409 - Phone # 818-439-0217

December 2023 Del Air Rockhounds Calendar of Events

Thursday December 7: Holiday Party & 2024 Elections                                                

Thursday December 7: Hanukkah Begins at Sundown                                                             

Sunday December 10: Chatsworth Kiwanis Holiday Parade & Festival                                                     

Thursday December 21: Board Meeting - 7:30 pm at the Dearborns home

Monday December 25: Christmas Day

Saturday December 31: New Years Eve


December 2023 Holiday Party & 2024 Board of Directors Elections

Join us at our 2023 Holiday Party & 2024 Board of Directors Elections and a beginners introductory PowerPoint presentation on the many colors and forms of Silicon Dioxide or more commonly known as Quartz. As is customary for our holiday party, the festivities will begin at 6:30 pm, one hour earlier than usual. As of this writing, we have 32 members and 2 guests who have confirmed their attendance. The pot-luck menu is chock full of delicious dishes and desserts sure to please even the most picky of palates. See you all there!


 A Message From Your Treasurer

It's time to renew your annual dues for 2024! Please submit your dues to treasurer, Shellie Van Winkle, either at the January meeting or via mail to Shellie's address. Please DO NOT bring your dues to the December meeting/holiday party as there are many other things going on that evening and the board will be very busy coordinating the evening's events. Dues are $26 per adult 18 years of age or older. $10 per junior member 17 years of age or younger and $15 per associate member. Remember, we have to pay our 2024 liability insurance to the CFMS in January so we need all members to be paid up.


Chatsworth Kiwanis Holiday Parade & Festival - Sunday December 10, 2023

The Del Air Rockhounds will once again have a double booth at this event. Set-up begins at 9:00 am. The event runs from 12:00 noon to 5:00 pm. We will be in the festival area on Canoga Ave at Devonshire St. In addition to selling our boutique items, we will also have our Spin-a-Wheel, grab bags, touch & feel items and an educational game. We are looking for volunteers to spell our regulars who will be there all day. So if you can spare an hour or two between noon and 5 pm please let an education outreach team member know and we'll fit you in. Keep your eye out for our January 2024 bulletin, to be released in about a month's time, that will include a list of upcoming Education Outreach events we already have scheduled beginning mid January and going into February. Hope to see you all there!   


 Del Air Rockhounds 2024 Slate of Officers 

President: Jeff Dengrove    

Vice President: Aileen Beckers                                                         

2nd Vice President: Dan Farber        

Secretary: Bob Dearborn 

Treasurer: Shellie Van Winkle    

Fed. Director: Bob Knox

Our parliamentarian, Bernadette Friedman, will be taking additional nominations from the floor during our December meeting for all 6 positions. If there are no additional nominations from the floor, Bernadette will declare the above slate of nominees as being duly elected for their corresponding positions to the 2024 Board of Directors for the Del Air Rockhounds Club, Inc.



Thursday, October 26, 2023

November 2023 Del Air Calendar of Events

Thursday November 2: General Meeting - 7:30 pm in our regular meeting room at Northridge United Methodist Church

Sunday November 5: Daylight Savings Time Ends - Set those clocks back one hour

Saturday November 11: Veteran's Day - Time to honor our Veterans

Thursday November 16: Board Meeting - 7:30 pm at Bernadette Friedman's house

Saturday November 18: Shop Day - See article

Thursday November 23: Thanksgiving Day - Everybody give thanks and eat turkey!


Nov. 2023 Meeting Program: Plate Tectonics, Continental Drift & Plant Distribution Through Time  Presented by Walt Wright

Who is Walt Wright? Walt is an expert Botanist, Ecologist, Geologist, and Paleobotanist from Brea, California. He has professional experience in these fields, including working as a Naturalist for the U.S. Forest Service in the Angeles Forest, education and research at the University of California, Riverside, and as consultant to federal government agencies on endangered species restoration and resource mitigation. Come join us as Walt discusses Plate Tectonics, Continental Drift & Plant Distribution through time illustrated with fossil specimens.


The Rockhound Dennis Miller Show:

Dennis will fill us in on November's birthstones, Citrine & Topaz. Dennis also asks all members to bring in something for show & tell to share with our members and guests.


Del Air Shop Day - Saturday November 18, 2023:

Hello Members! It's that time again. Announcing our final Shop Day for 2023! Saturday November 18, 2023 10 am to 4 pm at Jeff Dengrove's house. In addition to the usual Genie's, Barranca Contour Polisher, Slab Saws, Grinders and Trim Saws, we will be introducing a new Drill Press and a new Pearl Drilling Machine as well. These two new machines will drill softer material such as pearls, shells, wood beads, nuts, seeds and the like. Genuine pearls will be provided. Please keep in mind these machines will not drill harder materials such as quartz, agate, jade etc. As with past Shop Days, I will announce this at our November general meeting on Thursday November 2. We have room for 10 people only. (must be club members) I will advise all members to contact me via email ( or via text (818-439-0217) anytime after 10 am on Friday November 3. The first 10 to contact me accordingly, will be the ones to attend the shop day. This allows all members a fair chance at a spot. I will respond to all that reply to me for a spot and advise if you are attending or not.



The Del Air Rockhounds had another great night visiting Vintage Magnet School during their NASA NIGHT. Our booth was manned by Chris Ward, Bob Knox, Jeff Dengrove, Aileen Beckers, Pam Abbott, Bernadette Friedman and Maxine & Bob Dearborn. We had a very busy 2 hours talking about our Ice Age Display, touch & feel rocks, playing our free educational game, spinning the wheel and selling our goodies. We had a packed room of kids and their parents and it was a fun time. Our Education Outreach Program was a success again! Remember, we can always use your help at these functions. Let us know when you can help.


Our current proposed 2024 slate of officers is as follows:

President: Jeff Dengrove                                                                                                       Vice President: Open                                                                                                                                  2nd Vice President: Open                                                                                                         Secretary: Bob Dearborn                                                                                                                Treasurer: Shellie Van Winkle                                                                                                                        Fed. Director: Bob Knox                                     

We will be taking additional nominations from the floor during our December meeting for all positions. Both the VP and 2nd VP positions are currently open. Please consider volunteering for one of these positions so we may move forward with a full slate for 2024. It involves only a couple hours of your time on the third Thursday of each month. It's fun! It's rewarding! It's EASY!


Del Air Rockhounds 2024 Holiday Party

Dec 7, 2023 @ 6:30 pm (1 hour earlier than usual)

SiO2 - Silicon Dioxide - More Commonly Known as Quartz:

Our program theme this year is Quartz in all its forms and colors. We are asking all members to bring in something from the quartz family to add to the centerpiece of the table you will be sitting at. Our dinner will be member-provided potluck dishes reflecting your cultural background. Either a main dish, side dish or dessert. A blast email to all members will go out mid November asking you to provide the name and type of dish you will be bringing. Please, please, please pay attention to your emails and respond promptly. The email will be updated periodically with the menu items and resent out to the membership. Your dish should provide for approximately 8 people. Hot dishes should be prepared and cooked at home. We have ovens and warming drawers at the church to keep your dish warm until meal time. We already have a designated kitchen staff to oversee the hot dishes. Coffee, holiday punch, water and all dinnerware will be provided. We are greatly looking forward to yet another successful Del Air potluck!


Thursday, September 28, 2023

Del Air Rockhounds October 2023 Calendar of Events

Thursday October 5: General Meeting                                                                                                        7:30 pm in our regular meeting room at Northridge United Methodist Church

Friday October 6: Vintage Magnet NASA Night - See article

Saturday October 14: Quilting in the Valley Event - See article

Thursday October 19: Board Meeting - 7:30 pm at Shellie Van Winkle's home

Tuesday October 31: Halloween - Spooky Spooky Trick or Treaters! 

October 2023 General Meeting Program: Annual Del Air Rockhound Silent Auction                              Presented by Board of Directors

Come join us for our annual Silent Auction live at our October general meeting. Many wonderful items will be up for auction starting at $0.50 and up. There will be an extended auction table with some higher end items starting at higher minimum bids. We will run three (3) auctions lasting 10 to 15 minutes each plus the extended auction which will begin at the same time as the first auction and will end at the same time the third auction ends. Please bring your money in quarters and dollars as it will be difficult for us to make change for a twenty dollar bill on a one dollar purchase. Also bring a bag or box to carry home your treasured wins. Hope to see you all there!

The Rockhound Dennis Miller Show:

Dennis will fill us in on October's birthstones, Opal & Tourmaline. Dennis also asks all members to bring in something for show & tell to share with our members and guests.


September 8th & 9th were the days for setting up and running our 2nd successful ROCK SALE. The days were HOT and we had a LOT of rock to move and equipment to get ready to sell. We had OUTSTANDING participation from our membership in both setting up for the sale and getting out in the heat and selling the rock. FIRST WE WANT TO THANK BOB KNOX - FOR LETTING US HOLD OUR SALE IN HIS FRONT YARD AGAIN! WE DO TAKE IT OVER FOR THE DAY! Next we want to THANK all our members who helped set up the sale, run the sale and then take it all down and make the yard back to normal; THANK YOU ALL! Our crew setting up on Friday afternoon included: Bob Knox, Chris Ward, Dan Farber, Aileen Beckers, Shellie Van Winkle, Tricia & Kai Kalma, Marilyn Murata, Michael Lawshe and Maxine & Bob Dearborn. Saturday sale day crew included: Bob Knox, Dan Farber, Chris Ward, Shellie Van Winkle, Tricia Kalma & Kai Kalma, Aileen Beckers, Dan & Diana Durfee, Anita Lichtman, Marilyn Murata, Doctor Oh, Rudy & Martina Rodriguez and Maxine & Bob Dearborn. We want to THANK our members who did the major grunt work of moving the heavy rock and digging through the many crates of stored rock and fighting spiders, ants and more to get the rock ready to sell. This was messy, heavy work and we really do appreciate you doing this. This sale put a good dent in our annual storage fee, which is good for all of us. THANK YOU ALL AGAIN! PS: Those members who could not or did not attend our ROCK SALE missed a good time and a good chance to find the best rock in your collection so far. We missed you and hope you can be with us on our next club project.

A Message From Your President:                                                                                                                  As many of you already know, I will be relocating to Inverness, Florida the second week of January 2024. This is more due to necessity than to choice. I officially retired this month and financially speaking, I simply cannot remain in California. It has become ridiculously expensive to live in this state while on a fixed income. While there are many things I will not miss in California, the one thing I will definitely miss the most is the family I've come to know in the Del Air Rockhounds Club. It has been my honor to have been a club member for 17+ plus years and even more so as your president for the past 5 years. While I will not be able to continue on as your president moving forward, I fully plan to remain a member and will still handle editor duties for our monthly bulletin. I plan on attending the meetings either via Zoom or via phone call and am working on the details to make this plan come to fruition. My email and phone number will remain the same. We will be needing a replacement for me as president and I encourage each and every one of you to consider stepping up and volunteering for the position at our December meeting/party/election. It's really easy and very rewarding. Nothing to be afraid of. I'm excited for a fresh start and to explore the rockhounding possibilities the east coast has to offer. I will miss you all dearly but rest assured, you have not seen the last of me. In the meantime, we still have October, November and December to whoop it up as rockhounds. Much love!                                                                                                                            Chris Ward - President


Report on September Field Trip - Thornhill Broome Beach
Saturday September 23, 2023:

We had another fun day on our September field trip to Thornhill Broome State Beach on Saturday September 23rd. Members attending were Chris Ward, Bob Knox, Dan & Diana Durfee, Jeff Silverman, Dr Oh and Bob & Maxine Dearborn. Most of us arrived at 10:00 am and the first thing we noticed was the lack of rock on the beach. This beach used to be covered in rock from end to end and from surf to shore. This time around the beach was all sand with nary a rock in sight. I spoke with a lifeguard who was on duty and he told me the recent California storms washed the majority of the rocks back out to sea and some of it was pushed way down the beach past the reserved campground area. So our members made their way down the beach, past the campground area where Coquina was plentiful. The weather was beautiful and everyone filled their collecting bags and buckets with all they could carry. We saw an abundance of seagulls, sandpipers, sea lions, dolphins and pelicans frolicking in and around the ocean and beach. We ended the day eating our packed lunches while sitting on a big old log that washed up on the beach. A fun time was had by all.


Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Del Air Rockhounds September 2023 Calendar of Events

September 2023 Calendar of Events

Monday September 4: Labor Day                                                                                                              Time to honor America's workforce.

Thursday September 7: General Meeting                                                                                                    7:30 pm in our regular meeting room at                                                                                                  Northridge United Methodist Church

Saturday September 9: Del Air Rock Sale                                                                                                     

Friday September 15: Rosh Hashanah                                                                                                            Celebrate the Jewish New Year

Thursday September 21: Board Meeting                                                                                                     7:30 pm at Bernadette Friedman's home

Saturday September 23: First Day of Fall                                                                                                      My favorite time of the year!

Saturday September 23: Thornhill Broome Field Trip

Sunday September 24: Yom Kippur                                                                                                                  A holy day of atonement.


September 2023 General Meeting Program:

The Death Valley Rock: Wingate Plume Agate                                                                                    Presented by Charles O. Walker Jr.

15 years of collecting hard to find specimens from the United States. I started collecting petrified woods, off-limits rocks, and specimens from exhausted collecting sites. Some examples are Death Valley, Porterville and Morgan Hill. I have read and have an almost complete set of lapidary journals. I spent many hours listening to those that were the founding members of some Southern California Gem Clubs and Societies. A plethora of information about the old days and the good times collecting the most popular agates in harsh environments back in the 1950's 1960's and 1970's.


The Rockhound Dennis Miller Show

Dennis will fill us in on September's birthstone, Sapphire. Dennis also asks all members to bring in their summer finds for show & tell and share with our members and guests. Dennis will share his summer finds as well.


Del Air Rockhounds Club - Early Club History                                                                              Compiled by - Carolyn Morris - Del Air Historian, 1974

The Del Air Rockhound Club was founded by James Moore in October of 1954, with 12 members. These were all fellow employees of the Adel Precision Co. At this time the “Club “ was called the “Adel Rockhounds” and Jack Reynolds was the first President. The first meeting was held at a local rock dealer store and the first field trip was in November 1954. This first field trip was to Gem Hill near Rosamond, CA. It is obvious that everyone enjoyed this trip and the club really officially started. Jack Reynolds was authorized to set up the first Club “By-Laws”. In 1955 the club grew to 17 members, with more field trips. The camping at this time was done in motels or tents. In 1956 a group from Hydro-Aire Co. joined the club (10 members). The club then voted to drop the “A” from Adel and added Aire, dropping the “E” to become known as the “Del Air Rockhounds Club”. From here the club became more active and attracted more members. At this time the club started going on a field trip each month, as we also do today! Then on July 6, 1957 the Del Air Rockhounds Club became affiliated with the California Federation of Mineralogical Societies, Inc. In 1961 the club voted to allow 50 members, instead of 40, because it was growing each year. The club became Incorporated and filed as a nonprofit club in that same year. Also in 1961, the club became involved with the “Golden Bear Gem Fair” and made 1750 prizes for the show! We had our 1st workshop in 1964. It is noted that on early field trips the club would show slides in the field. This was before campers. The club had a portable generator which ran the slide projector. It also heated tents on cold nights. In 1966 the extra rocks collected on their various field trips were boxed and donated to the Los Angeles Zoo, which were used in the early reptile cages. 1967 had the club involved in a campaign supporting the recommendation of the State of California adopting ”Benitoite” as the state gemstone. In 1968 the Del Air Rockhounds formed its first Junior group, called the Pebble Pups. It had 13 juniors present at its first meeting. At this first meeting, the juniors voted to change their name to the "Air-Dels”, which has been changed at the present time to “The Rock Finders”. In 1968 the first official San Fernando Valley “Gem Fair” was held, with the Del Air Rockhounds Club as one of the 5 club sponsors. As you know, this Gem Fair is still an annual show today, with 3 sponsor clubs, Del Air Rockhounds, being one of them. The first “San Fernando Valley Gem Fair was held on Feb. 22 and 23, l969. In 1971, the Del Air Rockhounds won the “BEST OF SHOW” at the Gem Fair and was awarded an engraved, gold plate as the prize. This brings us to 1974 and through the first 20 years of our club. This year, 1974, we are still going on monthly field trips - from Castle Butte to Salton Sea and still involved in the annual “Gem Fair” as well as our club picnic’s and Holiday Parties. I hope you liked this early history of our club as it helps you see where we came from and how we started. Also I hope it helps us all understand where we are today, still a very active club and a group who likes to be together doing things together.


Del Air Rockhounds Rock Sale                                                                                                                                                          Saturday September 9 - Setup 7:00 am - Sale Starts 8:00 am                                                                                                         10037  Louise Ave., Northridge, CA 91325

Attention all club members! We will be needing help running our rock sale. We need people beginning at 4:00 pm on Friday September 8, the day before the sale, to organize and price the inventory and again on Saturday September 9 beginning at 7:00 am, the day of the sale, to help run the sale and help customers with their purchases. Cashier services will be handled by our treasurer, Shellie Van Winkle. Please find a little time in your busy schedules to come and help us out. 


September Field Trip - Thornhill Broome Beach                                                                                                                          Saturday September 23, 2023 - 10:00 am                                                                                                                                               9000 Pacific Coast Highway in Point Mugu State Park.

We will meet up in the parking area which is either directly across PCH from the beach entrance. (Be extremely careful when crossing the highway) Or, to be on the safe side, you can park on the beach side of PCH just a bit down the road from the beach entrance. Google Maps will get you there. Just enter Thornhill Broome Beach in the search box. Look for the cars with the blue and red Del Air Flags on them. Do not park in the campground parking area. This is for paid reservation guests only. It is just about an hour drive from Northridge. Bring lunch and drinks with you as there is no shopping nearby. Also bring a bucket or sack to carry home your finds. We will be hunting for Coquina, a beach tumbled conglomerate made up of a host matrix rock and small skeletal remains of long dead sea life and crushed sea shells. Non members will be required to sign a waiver of liability form to participate.