TGMS Member Post by: John Callahan
In 2007, TGMS members Kathy and John were asked to host a Swedish couple for the 2-3 weeks of the Tucson Gem and Mineral extravaganza. But what if they didn’t speak English, drank too much, or hollered at each other? What if they wouldn’t care for John’s jokes or his cooking? No worries. That initial visit went so well that Lena and Urban have returned multiple times to enjoy Tucson weather and hospitality. Anxious to reciprocate, the Swedish couple invited their Tucson hosts for a summer visit to Sweden. A most spectacular and educational tour it was. The Swedish excursion included an authentic Ikea viewing and even mineral collecting (Zinkgruvan and Långban Mines). Lifelong friendships were established, with credit given to the attraction of the January-February Mineral Show here in Tucson.
Situated near Lake Långban, written records of the Långban Mine date back to 1667, operating until 1972. The mine is known for the variety and uniqueness of minerals with 260 species and 60 type species.
Urban Strand attends TGMS meetings when in Tucson. He is a coauthor of Långban, The Mines, Their Minerals, Geology and Explorers. Urban contributes his time and energy to the mineral collection at the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm. And he has a jaw dropping systematic/eclectic mineral collection (relegated by Lena to their basement).