Wednesday, July 2, 2008

2008 C.F.M.S. Show Report

Greetings to all Del Air members and interested guests!

It turned out to be a banner year for Del Air members at the 2008 C.F.M.S show at the Ventura County Fairgrounds this past weekend. Member Richard Haering took the Blue Ribbon First Place Award in the novice category for his exemplary display of Australian Metamorphic Rock.

Del Air's very own treasurer, Bob Knox, took First Place in the advanced fossils category and was awarded the Blue Ribbon and a plaque for his wonderful collection of Stromatolites.

And finally, your humble blogger himself, Chris Ward, took the First Place Blue Ribbon and a plaque for my dispaly of Fortification Agates.

We also displayed a Del Air Club Case at the show. The club cases were for display only and not in a judging category, but if they were, I bet we would have taken a First Place Blue Ribbon for this case as well.

The three of us attended the awards banquet on Saturday night after the show closed for the day. We had a delicious prime rib dinner with garden vegetables and roasted baby red potatoes with rosemary. Cheesecake and coffee was served for dessert and good time was had by all those in attendance. We made many new friends and got reaquainted with some old ones.

The weather was incredible with highs in the upper 70's and a cool and refreshing ocean breeze. Foot traffic was much improved over last years show in Lancaster. We volunteered to work in the kids booth on Sunday manning the Spin-a-Wheel, sand sifting for treasure, paint a fossil dinosaur bone and other fun games for the kids. We ran into Del Air members Bob and Maxine Dearborn who showed up on Saturday and also volunteered to work in the kids booth. We saw Jason Badgely, Oscar and Julie Marin and Bob, Leilani, and Jamie Backus as well.

Our heartfelt thanks to those who were able to come out and support the Del-Air's in their quest for victory. And a very special thank you to Bob Backus for his amazing carpentry work on the cases. It took a lot of planning and some good old fashioned knuckle busting to pull off four cases for this show but it was worth every effort and speaking on behalf of all three of us, we are already planning for next years C.F.M.S. show in San Jose. Del Air's ROCK!!

See you all at the July 10th meeting.

Chris, Richard and Bob

July 2008 Mineral of the Month: Gypsum

July 2008 Mineral of the Month


Named in antiquity from the Greek word "gypsos," meaning plaster. It can be found as a massive material including the Alabaster variety and also as clear crystals in the Selenite variety. It can also form as a parallel fibrous growth known as the Satin Spar variety. Commonest of the sulphate minerals, gypsum is found in marine evaporates, in caves where the air is dry enough to allow it to be deposited and remain, at fumaroles, and, on occasion, in the oxidized zones of sulfide deposits. Crystals are tabular and diamond shaped. Rosette shaped masses are known as Desert Roses and radiating forms are termed Daisy Gypsum.

Its chemical properties are as follows:

Crystal Structure…Monoclinic
Mineral Group...Sulfates
Chemical formula...Ca(SO
4) . 2H2O
Specific Gravity...2.32
Color...Colorless, White, Gray,
Reddish, Greenish, Brownish, Yellowish

Luster...Vitreous (Pearly on cleavage)
Transparency...Transparent to Opaque