The 1958 Tucson Gem and Mineral Show opened on the last day of February, the 28th. And it was a Friday at that! This accident of the calendar brought about a change in the length of the show. It became a three-day affair when it opened on February 28, followed by March 1 and 2. However, it really wasn't a full three days, as on Friday the show didn't open until 6:00 p.m. and closed at 10 p.m. On the other two days the doors opened at 10:00 a.m. and closed at 9:00 p.m. as usual.
The Dudleys chaired the show again, and attendance hit 4,000 for the first time. And, for the first time, the show received national publicity. The Ford Times magazine had text and some sketches by Cornelius C. Smith, Jr. showing a show-sponsored field trip to the Helvetia area. So many people signed up for the field trip that local police had to escort the caravan of 75 cars full of eager collectors so they could leave the Fairgrounds safely and proceed to their destination.
Special exhibits this year offered a greater variety than ever before. Most exciting was dealers Norman and Violet Dawson's display. Mr. and Mrs. Dawson had first signed on as dealers at the show in 1956. They exhibited a marvelous assortment of California pegmatite minerals from the Tourmaline Queen mine, San Diego County. The exhibit was made up of specimens Norm had mined himself, and included delicate pink morganites, pink-red elbaites and pale blue aquamarines. The display was the talk of the Show.
The University of Arizona loaned its working geyser model to the show. This delighted the kids who attended. Ernest Harms exhibited an exciting working model showing how lightning strikes sand and fuses it to create fulgurites. His exhibit of fulgurites, including one he had dug which measured six feet in length, rounded out that display. This working model was later moved to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum. Fred Foster came all the way from Indiana to exhibit a very interesting selection of quartz-family minerals.
A very effective educational display was placed by the College of Pharmacy, University of Arizona. It featured minerals which are processed to make useful medicines for us. Competitive exhibits were still going strong and club member Richard Bideaux took the Best-in-Show ribbon again.
It is interesting to note that the weekend after the Tucson Show, the Phoenix Show was held, March 7-9. That year it hosted the prestigious Rocky Mountain Federation of Mineralogical Societies Show.
This was also the year when the Tucson Gem and Mineral Society began producing its club bulletin, predecessor of the current Rock Talk club newsletter. Two new members, Bill and Millie Schupp, also joined this year. They quickly became deeply involved as show chairpersons and later as publicity chairpersons for many years to come.
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|Title Annotation:||Show Highlights; Tucson Gem and Mineral Show|
|Publication:||The Mineralogical Record|
|Date:||Jan 1, 2004|