Thursday, December 28, 2023

January 2024 Del Air Rockhounds Calendar of Events

Thursday January 4: General Meeting                                                                                                          7:30 pm in our regular meeting room at Northridge United Methodist Church

Monday January 15: Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Thursday January 18: Starry Starry Night Event- Tarzana Elementary School

Thursday January 25: Board Meeting 7:30 pm at Shellie Van Winkle's home

Saturday January 27: Annual Whale Bone Field Trip


January 2024 General Meeting Program                                                                                                    'Rock & Crocs' Some Lesser Known Geological Features in Australia                                                      Presented by Dick & Mary Pat Weber

Come join us for our first meeting of the new year where Dick & Mary Pat Weber will present a tantalizing look at some of the lesser known, but still spectacular, geological and paleontological features throughout Australia. Everyone knows about the Great Barrier Reef and Ayers Rock but there are so many more features that are equally impressive but known to only a select few. Hope to see you all there. 


The Rockhound Dennis Miller Show

Dennis will be presenting a new feature throughout 2024…The 'Rock of the Month'. Each month we will select a rock of the month and Dennis will educate us on its properties, characteristics and possible uses. All members are urged to bring in any specimens they have of the rock of the month to help highlight this new feature and to share with members and guests. 

January 2024 'Rock of the Month'

In honor of our annual whale bone trip to Refugio Beach this month, January's rock of the month will be Whale Bone. Bring in your samples for all to see and marvel over.


Del Air Shop Day Recap         

The Del Air Club had another SHOP DAY, thanks to Jeff Dengrove. We had a good group all doing rock stuff. Chris Ward brought his commercial pearl drill and everyone attending made a set of pearl earrings. Very cool, and very easy. Other members drilled holes in rock slabs, hearts and more to make interesting pendants for necklaces. Most also used the club equipment to cut rocks, polish cabs, polish special specimens and the start of bookends. We all had a very good day and walked away with a finished project. More SHOP DAYS will be coming up, watch your bulletin and sign up early. We can only handle 10 members at a time on these days. You haven’t attended a SHOP DAY? Well, remember, we have instructors present to help you with your project.


Santa Came Early to Chatsworth

Santa was in his annual Chatsworth Parade and the Del Air Club had our educational booth to help celebrate with 100’s of people. We were worried about the wind, but it turned out to be a perfect December day, in the 70’s. We were there from 9 am (set up time) to 5 pm (take down). Chris Ward played educational games with the children and adults. Bob Knox talked to all about the many great touch and feel rocks. Shellie Van Winkle was spinning our wheel and handed out many prizes. Bob Dearborn tried to sell our different boutique items, but not many takers. Jeff Dengrove and Maxine Dearborn bounced from station to station to do what was needed, talking to people about our rocks, club, and special items for sale. Steven and Coriolis Koch came by to help at our booth during their break at the Boy Scout booth they were running. We all talked about rock and club topics. It was a good day. We were tired at the end. And we hope we made some good contacts for educational talks and membership. 


Annual Del Air Whale Bone Field Trip                                                                                                Saturday January 27, 2024 - 10:00 am - Refugio Beach

It's time, once again, for our annual whale bone field trip to Refugio Beach in Santa Barbara, CA. We will meet up at 10:00 am at the Refugio Beach parking lot. Look for the red and blue Del Air car flags. Dress in layers as the weather can be cool in the shade and a bit warmer in the sunshine. Bring your own picnic lunch (not a potluck) and drinks as well as a bucket or bag to bring your finds home in. Take the Ventura Fwy (101 north) about 100 miles to the Refugio Beach off ramp. Parking is $10 and is good all day at all state beaches if you'd like to check out nearby El Capitan & Gaviota beaches. You won't have to pay additional parking. This is always a popular and well attended club field trip. President and Field Trip Chair, Jeff Dengrove, will be there to show you what to look for. In addition to fossil whale bone, there are many other beautiful rocks to collect including beach agates and San Franciscan Shale. You may even find fossil horse teeth that have washed down to the beach from the nearby mountains. If you have never attended this event, try to attend this time. You won't regret it. Refugio is a beautiful and peaceful place that you all should take the time to visit. 


Congratulations to our 2024 Board of Directors

President: Jeff Dengrove                                                                                                                              Vice President: Aileen Beckers                                                                                                                      2nd Vice President: Dan Farber                                                                                                                Secretary: Bob Dearborn                                                                                                                      Treasurer: Shellie Van Winkle                                                                                                                       Federation Director: Bob Knox                                     

Voted in unanimously by the membership at our December 2023 Holiday Party.


Wednesday, November 29, 2023

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. 


Wednesday, July 26, 2023

August 2023 Del Air Rockhounds Calendar of Events

Thursday August 3: General Meeting                                                                                                          7:30 pm in our regular meeting room at Northridge U.M. Church                                                              

Saturday August 12: Shop Day @ Jeff Dengrove's Home  

Thursday August 17: Board Meeting - 7:30 pm at the Dearborn's home


August 2023 General Meeting Program:                                                                                                    Annual Ice Cream/Bingo/Summer Finds Social                                                                                                Presented by Del Air Board of Directors

Come join us for our annual Ice Cream/Bingo/Summer Finds Social! We will be serving Neapolitan cream with toppings. Members are encouraged to bring in their summer rock finds to share with the group and we'll top the evening off with 6 to 8 rousing games of Bingo where you can win fabulous prizes.


The Rockhound Dennis Miller Show

Dennis will fill us in on August's birthstone, Peridot. 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.


Wrightwood CA Potluck/Field Trip Report

A big shout out to member Shellie Van Winkle for allowing us to use her Wrightwood home for our potluck/field trip on Saturday July 8th. We had 17 members and one guest attend the event. Members present were Shellie Van Winkle, Bernadette Friedman, Bob & Maxine Dearborn, Rudy & Martina Rodriguez, Dan & Diana Durfee, Chris Ward, Bob Knox, Jeff Dengrove, Dan Farber, Steven & Lourdes & Coriolis Koch, Jeff & Emmy Silverman and guest Mason Wynn. As always with the Del Air Rockhounds, the potluck was exceptional with a huge and plentiful variety of foods, salads, fruits and deserts. The weather was superb with a cool breeze blowing through the tall pines. We started with breakfast muffins, bagels, coffee and hot tea at 10:00 am and then headed down to the collecting site at about 10:40. Everyone returned a couple of hours later and we all started in on the potluck lunch. It was a lot of fun and we shared tons of camaraderie. After lunch some returned to the collecting site while others wandered into town to partake in the Mountaineering Days festival that was also going on that weekend. All in all, a great time was had by all. Thanks to all those who attended and also to Shellie for her wonderful hospitality.


Friday, May 26, 2023

June 2023 Del Air Rockhounds Calendar of Events

Thursday June 1: General Meeting                                                                                                              7:30 pm in our regular meeting room at Northridge U.M. Church                                                              

Friday June 2: Vintage Magnet NASA STEAM Night                                                                                See article 

Thursday June 15: Board Meeting                                                                                                                  7:30 pm at Shellie Van Winkle's home  

Sunday June 18: Father's Day                                                                                                                Remember your dad on his special day

Saturday June 24: DWP Earth Day                                                                                                                See article 


A Surprise in Every Rock Presented by Maxine Dearborn, Chris Ward & Bob Knox

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a dinosaur bone cell and a fossil whale bone cell? Or how can you look at petrified wood and decide what kind of tree it might have been when living? There is a secret hidden in many of our rocks and we hope to help you find them. Chris Ward, Bob Knox and Maxine Dearborn will bring their digital microscopes and project a secret or two for you. How about, what is that bug in a piece of amber? They will show you. Please bring a slab or two or an object of your own that is no more than a inch and a half thick to the meeting and you can see the secrets in your rock too!


The Rockhound Dennis Miller Show

Dennis will fill us in on June's birthstones, Moonstone, Pearl & Alexandrite. Dennis also asks all members to bring in something for Show & Tell each month to share with our members and guests. He will debut a new stepping stone of the month and will have collectible editions of Lapidary Journal magazine to give away.



The Del Air Club has been very, very busy during the month of May. We have given talks to a couple hundred students and we have gone to two school science events and the Antelope Valley Gem Show. Our booths were very busy at most of these events and we did talk to a lot of people about our club, geology, fossils and rocks. Fun, Fun, Fun.

Members participating in these different events were: Chris Ward, Bob Knox, Shellie VanWinkle, Bernadette Friedman, Marilyn Murata, Jeff Dengrove, LaVere Schmidt, Christine Schmidt and Bob & Maxine Dearborn. These events are not only a great way for us to present our club to the public, but they also help fund our Youth Education Outreach Program and let us purchase needed supplies and new items to show the students at our school talks.



Attention All Del Members & Friends

Remember, the Del Air Rockhounds are dark during the month of July. Except for our Field trip to Wrightwood on Saturday July 8th, there are no scheduled meetings and no bulletin issued in July. We will resume regular operations in August with our annual Ice Cream, Bingo & Share Your 'Summer Finds' social event. See you all then.


Del Air Club Rock Sale

The planned Del Air Club rock sale originally planned for Saturday June 10 has been moved to Saturday September 9th due to planning, advertising  and logistical issues. We need more time to pull all the details together so please watch this space in our August issue for all the final details. We will need the memberships help so please mark this on your calendars.


Thursday, April 27, 2023

May 2023 Del Air Rockhounds Calendar of Events

Thursday May 4: General Meeting                                                                                                              7:30 pm in our regular meeting room at Northridge U.M. Church                                                              

Saturday & Sunday May 6 & 7: AV Gem & Mineral Society's Show                                                            10 am  to 5 pm each day. Come join us for a fun filled show! 

Sunday May 14: Mother's Day                                                                                                                Remember your mom on this special day.  

Thursday May 25: Board Meeting                                                                                                                7:30 pm at Shellie Van Winkle's home.

Monday May 29: Memorial Day                                                                                                                      Let summertime begin!


May 2023 General Meeting Program:                                                                                                      'Searching for Self Identity'                                                                                                                    Presented by Ted Garcia





The Rockhound Dennis Miller Show

Dennis will fill us in on May's birthstone, the Emerald. Dennis also asks all members to bring in something for Show & Tell each month to share with our members and guests.


Rockhound Crafts — Let’s Bring More of Them Back!                                                                            By: Jennifer Haley, AFMS Historian

Part of my job description as a historian is to keep an eye out for ideas from our past that might be beneficial for our societies and club members today. One area I have admired about the history of AFMS affiliated rockhounds is the creativity in the lapidary arts and crafts. The first society I belonged to kept binders full of all the various craft tutorials with photos found in the old lapidary magazines. They did this so their club members could look through the binders to find new things they’d like to make. I loved looking at these. Whenever I am at a society show, I like going through the stacks of these old magazines to see what I might be missing in my personal collection of lapidary craft ideas. I have noticed for quite some time now that it seems like there are not as many people having fun working on the many crafts of our past. These crafts can still be wonderful and inspiring today. I have often wondered why this is. I would love to see the enthusiasm come back for the crafts aspect of our hobby. One of the ways to draw in new members is to show off what you can teach people to make. Bring back those wonderful crafts and display them in exhibits at your shows. Think about creating a program for your society’s library of the various lapidary arts and crafts. You can enter a program like this in your Regional Federation New Programs contest, where it may advance to the AFMS New Programs contest. If all we have are the memories of what we personally have made, and we don’t try to pass our skills to new members and the incoming new generations of rockhounds, our hobby will forget some of those treasured skills. Probably many of your societies have collections of the older craft tutorials from the heyday when the lapidary arts and crafts ideas were bustling. Find them and archive them before the old pages fade away. I recommend making the effort to scan them. Let’s create a new heyday for lapidary arts and crafts. It will be easy to do, and we’ll have a lot of fun too.


In Memoriam: Roy Ridenour                                                                                                                  April 13, 1930 - March 31, 2023

Roy Ridenour was born on Palm Sunday, 1930 on a farm near Mallard Iowa. His parents were Ted and Nora Ridenour. His full name was Leroy, but he preferred Roy. He graduated from Mallard High school and enrolled in an electronic trade school in Des Moines. He enlisted in the National Guard. It was in a Des Moines church where he met Dorothy. They were married in that very church 73 years ago. After the birth of their two daughters, Elaine and Connie, Roy moved the family to Dayton, Iowa where he worked for Collins Radio. Roy's parents moved to Burbank, California in 1954 and a few years later, Roy decided to transfer to the Collins Radio division in Burbank. There they bought a small one bedroom home which they remodeled themselves over the next 15 years. 

Roy and Dorothy shared a hobby - rock hounding, which resulted in a backyard stacked with rocks. Roy designed machines to cut and polish spheres, slabs, and bookends while Dorothy cut and polished cabochons to make into jewelry. That started a new business! They joined a local rock club and sold their spheres, rocks and jewelry at rock shows. Some of their finished products are displayed on their coffee table.  

Sunday mornings were always reserved for church attendance. Roy served on many church boards and committees. He was a Sunday school teacher for teenagers for many years and a Sunday school superintendent for several years at First Lutheran Church in Burbank. 

Roy is survived by his wife Dorothy, daughter Elaine and her husband Dennis; daughter Connie; granddaughter Katrina and her husband, Jason; grandson Troy and his wife, Kara; grandson Craig and his wife, Laura; two great-grandsons, Alexander and Kenji; brother Orville and his wife Dorothy and sister-in-law, Lisa.

Roy and Dorothy joined the Del Air Rockhounds Club in 1993. After 27 years of faithful and dedicated patronage (over the years, Roy tumbled and polished literally hundreds and hundreds of pounds of rocks for the club's education team) they were both granted honorary lifetime memberships in 2020. Roy, a beloved member of the club, will be sorely missed by all of us.


CFMS SHOW AND CONVENTION                                                                                                      JUNE 23-25, 2023 - LODI GRAPE FESTIVAL GROUNDS                                                                413 E LOCKEFORD ST., LODI, CA 95240                                                                                      Hours: Friday & Saturday 10 AM – 5 PM, Sunday 10 AM – 4 PM                                                Educational Exhibits, Speakers - Adults $6, Kids 12 & under FREE                                                        Free admission to MILITARY Active, Veterans, Dependents with valid Military ID card.                      For information: - Dealer information:

This year will be a no-host show meaning there is no individual club or society hosting the show along with the CFMS. The CFMS is therefore asking for any members from any club or society within the CFMS to volunteer and help set up and run the show as well as take down the show once it is over. For more information and for anyone interested in helping out the CFMS can contact Bob Rush, show chair, at 


Thursday, March 30, 2023

April 2023 Del Air Rockhounds Calendar of Events

**Important Notice Regarding Our April 6 Meeting**

The Del Air Rockhounds will be meeting in the YAC - Youth Activities Center building for our April 6, 2023 meeting only. This is due to the church's scheduling needs for their Holy Week Celebrations beginning Sunday April 2 and running through Easter Sunday, April 9, 2023. Enter the parking lot off Superior St. as you normally do but this time follow the parking lot all the way down to the end where you come to a chain link fence. The Youth Activities Center is the last building on the right. There is plenty of parking and easy access to the building.

Thursday April 6: General Meeting. 7:30 pm Y.A.C Bldg at Northridge U.M. Church
Sunday April 9: Easter. Color those eggs and fill those baskets!
Saturday April 15: Wire Weaving Class at the Dearborn's home
Thursday April 20: Board Meeting at the Dearborn's Home
April 2023 Program:

Del Air Traveling Education Booth - Presented by the Del Air Education Team
Most members have not yet experienced the wonder and excitement that is our traveling education booth. This booth, consisting of our award winning and interactive volcano, sedimentary & metamorphic rock displays & educational children's games will be the subject of our April program. See how these displays come together to the delight and enjoyment of young and old alike. Our booth has traveled the west coast to as far north as Yakima, Washington to as far south as Long Beach, California and most everywhere in between. We proudly won the prestigious CFMS President's Award in 2018 for the most outstanding display of the year. We have consistently ranked in the top 2 most favorite activities at the CFMS Show & Convention in each of the years that we have participated (which is almost every year since 2010) as voted on by the general public. These rock displays were lovingly created and built by hand by club members Bob & Maxine Dearborn. Come join us for this informative presentation and learn how easy it is to participate so perhaps you too can volunteer to work a position at our next scheduled event.
The Rockhound Dennis Miller Show

Dennis will fill us in on April's birthstone, the Diamond and will also provide a Stoddard Wells Tailgate field trip report as well as a new stepping stone of the month. Dennis asks all members to bring in something for Show & Tell each month to share with our members and guests.
Upcoming Education Outreach Events:

Here are our currently scheduled Education Outreach events. Please put these on your calendar because we will need the membership's help in running these very busy booths.

April 1, 2023 - Chatsworth Nature Preserve Earth Day Open House Entry gate on Valley Circle Blvd (there is no physical address for this location) Go west on Plummer St past Topanga, past Farralone, past Shoup, past Baden until it curves around and becomes Valley Circle Blvd and watch for the signs Booth Set up: 8 am - Booth runs: 10 am to 2 pm One 10 x 10 Boutique Booth only

April 1, 2023 - West Hills 13th Annual Spring Fest Saturday April 1, 2023 - 10:00 am to 2:00 pm Shadow Ranch Recreation Center 22633 Vanowen St., West Hills CA 91307 One 10 x 10 Boutique Booth and one 10 x 10 educational booth

April 27, 2023 - Germain Academy 20730 Germain St. Chatsworth, CA Booth set up: TBD - Booth runs: TBD Booth theme: Volcano, Rock & Mineral

May 6 & 7, 2023 - Antelope Valley Gem & Mineral Society Annual Show Antelope Valley Fairgrounds - 2551 W Avenue H, Lancaster, CA 93536 This event is for our traveling education booth (volcano & rock displays) Booth set up is on Friday May 5th Noon to 9 pm Booth runs 10 am to 5 pm on both Saturday & Sunday May 5th & 6th

May 19, 2023 - Lorne Street School STEM Night 17440 Lorne St. Northridge, California 91325 Booth set up: 4:30 pm - booth runs - 5:30 to 7:00 pm Booth theme: Dinosaurs
News of Upcoming Club Shows:

April 8-9, 2023 – Mariposa, CA Mariposa Gem and Mineral Show Mariposa County Fairgrounds, 5007 Fairgrounds Rd., Mariposa, CA Hours: Saturday 10 AM – 5 PM, Sunday 10 AM – 4 PM Contact: Website:

April 15-16, 2023 – Placerville, CA El Dorado County Mineral and Gem Society El Dorado County Fairgrounds, 100 Placerville Dr., Placerville, CA Hours: Saturday and Sunday 10 AM – 4 PM Treasures in the Rough Contact: office@edcmgs Website:

April 22-23, 2023 – Thousand Oaks, CA Borchard Park, 190 N. Reino Rd., Thousand Oaks, CA Conejo Gem & Mineral Club Hours: Saturday 10 AM – 5 PM, Sunday 10 AM – 4 PM 46th Pageant of a Thousand Gems Jewelry, Gems, Minerals, Fossils, Rocks, Hobby Supplies, Exhibits, Demonstrations, Door Prizes, Silent Auction, Plant Sales and Youth Activities Free Admission and Free Parking Contact:, Website:

April 22-23, 2023 – Santa Cruz, CA Santa Cruz Mineral and Gem Society Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium, 307 Church Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 Hours: Saturday 10 AM – 5 PM, Sunday 10 am – 4 pm The show features displays, fun activities, and loads of rocks, minerals, crystals, gems, jewelry, and lapidary arts for sale. Browse the bargains and pick up some great gifts. That’s April 29th and 30th at the Civic in downtown Santa Cruz. Contact: Website:
Shop Day Report - Saturday March 25th

Our shop day on Saturday March 25, 2023 @ Jeff Dengroves home was another huge success! In addition to instructors Jeff Dengrove, Chris Ward, Bob Knox & LaVere Schmidt we also had members Dan Farber, Anita Lichtman, Debbie Schoenmann, Dr. Oh, Emmy Silverman and guest Kyle Morris in attendance. Machines in use were the large slab saw, trim saw, grinder, two Genie cabochon machines and the Barranca contour polisher. Many beautiful stones were cut, slabbed, trimmed, cabbed and polished by everyone. Anita put the finishing touches on some free-form cabs of tourmaline in lepidolite. Emmy contour polished a slab of petrified wood and a huge chunk of onyx. Dr. Oh cabbed several small pieces of sodalite and quartz. Dan used the grinder on a big piece of Big Sur jade and then contour polished the surface. Guest Kyle made a beautiful oval cabochon out of a nodule of Big Sur Jade and the end result was near perfect considering this was his first time using the Genie. It was a beautiful, rain-free day. We started at 10 am and wrapped up at 4 pm. A great time was had by all. Stay tuned for news of our 2nd quarter shop day sometime near the end of June.
Wire Wrap Class Report - Saturday March 11th

The Del Air Club had its beginner wire wrap class for its members and it was a total success. Christine Schmidt taught us how to wrap many shapes of rock and make them into a very nice pendant. Of the nine members who took part in the class, all were able to make two nice pendants. Christine’s instructions were easy to follow and we all had a good time making our own jewelry. This was an extra bonus for being a Del Air Club member and if you didn’t take advantage of it, YOU REALLY MISSED OUT! Thank you Christine for a great time and showing us how to make something new!

413 E. LOCKEFORD ST., LODI, CA 95240
Hours: Friday & Saturday 10 AM – 5 PM, Sunday 10 AM – 4 PM
Educational Exhibits, Speakers - Adults $6, Kids 12 & under FREE
Free admission to MILITARY Active, Veterans and their Dependents with valid Military ID card.
For information: - Dealer information:

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

March 2023 Del Air Rockhounds Calendar of Events

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

Sunday March 12: Daylight Savings Time Begins                                                                                        Set those clocks ahead one hour.

Thursday March 16: Board Meeting                                                                                                               At Bernadette Friedman's Home

Friday March 17: St Patrick's Day                                                                                                              Wear your green or you'll get pinched

Saturday March 25: Shop Day at Jeff Dengrove's Home                                                                              


General Meeting Thursday March 2, 2023 - 7:30 pm

TGMS – Not Your Typical Rock Show.

The Tucson Gem and Mineral Society knows how to put on a great show. This society was the first to bring together the hobby enthusiast, the curator/professionals and the general public for this annual four day event. After 68 years, it is the largest, oldest and most prestigious gem and mineral show in the world. This year the theme was “Silica, Agates & Opal & Quartz, Oh My!”

Located at the Tucson Convention Center, attendees will find approximately 250 dealers selling a variety of minerals, fossils, jewelry, and lapidary. Throughout the show there are lectures and symposiums. Jaw-dropping world class exhibits from private collections, major universities and museums are on display.  Other exhibit cases, (both competitive and non-competitive) round out this mix.    

This month Mary Pat Weber will provide us with a visual treat of the highlights of this recent event and why this show rocks!


The Rockhound Dennis Miller Show

Dennis will fill us in on March's birthstone; Aquamarine, and will also provide Quartzsite report part 2. Dennis asks all members to bring in something for Show & Tell each month to share with our members and guests.


West Hills 13th Annual Spring Fest

Saturday April 1, 2023 - 10:00 am to 2:00 pm                                                                                              Shadow Ranch Recreation Center                                                                                                            22633 Vanowen St., West Hills CA 91307

The Del Air Rockhounds have been invited to participate as a vendor in the 13th annual West Hills Spring Fest. This is a first time event for us. We will have two (2) 10 x 10 pop-ups. One will strictly be an educational booth with our kids games, touch and feel and our dino/ice age reproductions. The other will feature our boutique items, spin-a-wheel, grab bags, jewelry and other items for sale. Set-up for the booth will be at 8:30 am and the event runs from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. As always, we are seeking club members to volunteer their time to help run the booth. Please see Chris Ward, the Dearborns or Shellie Van Winkle 


The Ventura Club will be hosting their annual show on Saturday and Sunday, March 4 & 5, 2023. This is always a great show at a super great location, the Ventura County Fairgrounds, right on the beach!

As in the past, The Del Air Rockhounds will have our educational booth at the show for the entire weekend featuring our famous Volcano, Igneous and Sedimentary Rock displays with touch and feel rocks and educational games for kids and adults alike. Please find the time to attend this fun event and see what we do outside our regular monthly meetings. Looking forward to seeing you all there.


 “Pyrite Decay” is one of the biggest problems for mineral collectors. Minerals that are made of iron and sulfur can have this problem. The two most common minerals are pyrite and marcasite. For reasons that scientists have not been able to fully understand, the sulfur and iron in these minerals combine with oxygen and hydrogen. The sulfur reacts to become sulfuric acid and the stinky gas called hydrogen sulfide. “Hydrogen sulfide” smells like rotten eggs. If you have pyrite or marcasite in your collections and it is decaying, you will be able to smell the sulfur! Open a drawer with pyrite in it and sniff. When this chemical reaction happens, the pyrite and marcasite specimens will first turn dark and lose their shiny metallic luster. Over time you will begin to see yellow and white crusts form. The crusts will be crumbly and will rub off very easily. In the worst case, the specimen will actually fall apart! As the specimens deteriorate, the acids created will attack your specimen labels, too. The paper will turn brown and very  brittle. Scientists don’t know how to stop or even control pyrite decay. There are two things that are known that can help you:

1.   When one pyrite or marcasite specimen deteriorates, it can cause other specimens nearby to deteriorate, too. If you have a number of pyrite and marcasite pieces, keep them separated from one another. If you have a specimen that is beginning to deteriorate, remove it from the collection immediately.

2.   Remember that one of the chemicals created by pyrite decay is the gas called hydrogen sulfide. Keep your specimens in a place where the fumes can’t build up. On an open shelf is a good option. In other words, good air circulation helps.

Many mineral collectors report that pyrite specimens that are more of a darker greenish color are much more likely to change and fall apart from pyrite disease. Avoiding adding pyrite specimens that are darker in color is smart. Bright, brassy, metallic pyrite crystals are much less likely to have pyrite disease. There are some pyrite specimens, like the great cubes and groups of cubes from Spain, that don’t seem to get pyrite disease. The bright, shiny, metallic pyrite specimens from Peru also seem to not break down with this disease. 

Used with permission. Diamond Dan Publications. Mini-Miner Monthly, June 2022, via The Strata Data, 2/2023. Courtesy AFMS March 2023 Newsletter




1 - TABLESPOON BORAX POWDER (can be found in supermarket laundry aisle) If you can not find the borax you can use baking soda.




Bring water to boil, pour into a glass bowl or container, add borax, salt and dissolve. Place aluminum foil in water. Place your silver article in water - it must touch the foil. Tarnish will be gone in 10 seconds or so. Heavy tarnish may take one or two times in the water. Heavy tarnish may look like it has not been cleaned. Remove from water and rub with a soft cloth and it should wipe off the tarnish.


What is silver tarnish? It is silver sulfide and comes from sulfur gasses in the air over time. Sterling silver contains 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper. This copper makes the sterling silver tarnish faster than pure silver. Remember, every time you remove tarnish, you are also removing a bit of the silver. Silver plate items have a very thin layer of silver and can wear away over time. Another type of home made silver polish is cream of tartar or baking soda and water. Make into a paste and rub on the silver. Use an old toothbrush for grooves. Rinse clean and wipe dry. Commercial silver polishes may have a tarnish retardant in it? Check the label. 


Wednesday, January 25, 2023

February 2023 Del Air Calendar of Events

Thursday February 2: General Meeting

7:30 pm in our regular meeting room at Northridge United Methodist Church 


Tuesday February 14: Valentine’s Day

Remember your loved ones on this day!


Thursday February 16: Board Meeting

At the Dearborn’s Home


Monday February 20: President’s Day

Happy Birthday George and Abe.


February’s Special People:                                                                                                                          Happy Birthday to:    

05: Ann Richardson;    11: Bob Knox;    16: Emmy Silverman;    25: Christine Schmidt


General Meeting Program - Thursday February 2, 2023 - 7:30 pm

Tips & Tricks For Tumbling Stones - Presented by Jeff Dengrove

Come and join us as club vice president, Jeff Dengrove, gives us a PowerPoint presentation on the tips and tricks for tumbling stones. Learn the techniques necessary to get the best polish and shine on your tumbled stones. Plus…club secretary, Bob Dearborn will also be giving a short presentation on how to clean Silver the easy way. Hope to see you all there.


The Rockhound Dennis Miller Show

Dennis will fill us in on February’s birthstone; Amethyst and will also provide Quartzsite & Refugio reports. He may have a new stepping stone to show off as well. Dennis asks all members to bring in something for Show & Tell each month to share with our members and guests.