Our 2016 Tucson Gem and Mineral Show®, “Shades of Blue: Minerals of the World” theme was a huge success! Folks exclaimed constantly at the quality and diversity of the blue minerals on display and how good everything looked in our new exhibit cases. There are rainforest societies that have over 50 different names for green … we now have 100 different names for blue! Everything from the expected Azurite and Aquamarine to the unexpected Liroconite (British Museum of Natural History) and type specimen of Spangolite(!) (Yale) were present in profusion. And that’s not to mention the huge sapphire (Smithsonian) and amazing array of blue gems and semi-precious carvings (GIA, Helen Serras-Hermann). Arizona blues from Bisbee, Morenci and Miami were everywhere (UA, AZDM, Presmyks, Graemes etc.) and the Best of Theme case was packed for a change. Blues of the World cases were prolific (Rudolph, MAD, Smithsonian, Sanders/DeMark, NMIMT etc.). The Blue theme was also different enough from past themes that it brought out the best in science/education from many of our exhibitors; at least six cases were devoted to detailed explanations of the multitude of ways why we see Blue. Clearly a popular theme … popular enough that the “loyal opposition” pitched up with Reds (Meieran and Larson) and Orange (complement to blue) (FM) to represent the rest of the spectrum. I don’t know how many people asked me if we’re going to use ROY GBIV as our theme choices for future years …
As always, the TGMS volunteers came through handily, despite decimation of the ranks by a particularly nasty flu bug this year. As always, the teams of volunteers who roll up their sleeves and get things looking shipshape deserve the lion’s share of the kudos for exhibits, not me. Wayne Klement and his crew (Donna Pugh, Jerrold & Anneliese Foley, Ted & Janet Rupp, Bob & Jeannette Barnes, Larry Klement, Denise Zimmerman-Collins, Marilyn Reynolds, Deborah Alderman) did a great job with case lining … which he tells me is much easier than it used to be with the new case features (and the cab don’t hurt). Robert Crowell and his crew (Louis Pill, Tim McClain, Elaine Hughes, Bob Melzer, Bob Barnes, Richard Nassi, Ellen Alexander) got our cases together and in place in fine form. Nancy Howard (with bed-ridden John by her side in spirit) did a sterling job wrangling the exhibits move-in & move-out forces (Tim McClain, Eric Weiland, Mike Hollonbeck, Bob & Yvonne Lind, David Clement, Karyl Lynch, Dave Cormier, Marilyn Reynolds, Jeannette Barnes, Kathleen Heitzman, Bob O’Donnell, Ron Pellar, Bob Morgan, Susan Weiland, Laura Schauss, Bill Beese) who keep our exhibitors happy … and their specimens safe. We can’t overlook the great job of security accomplished again by our friends from TPD, especially Officer Mark Evanoff, who again watched the Smithsonian case and learned the story of the Logan Sapphire cold. And Ellen Alexander again led her docent team (Richard Nassi, Bruce Kaufman, Kim Filips, Jerry & Mary Glazman, Victoria Fila, Steve Slaff, Ortrud Schuh, Brad & Linda Ross) to drawing people’s attention to things they might otherwise overlook. This program has really gained traction over the last few years. Finally of course I have to acknowledge the huge effort that Pat and Rose put in to make exhibits … and the entire Show … special and just right in all respects. I get emails from them both regarding some detail I’ve overlooked … at midnight or 2 am in the weeks leading up to the Show (I usually get them the next morning after I’ve had a decent night’s sleep) and marvel at their dedication to TGMS and our Show; it goes way beyond anything I could ever expect from a simple employee!
Once again we also have to credit the genial welcoming attitude extended by our TGMS members and volunteers to all our exhibitors, vendors and attendees …It is this personal touch that sets us apart from the commercial shows and similar shows worldwide … and makes our exhibitors and the public come back every year. Pat yourselves (and each other) on the back for another job very well done … and then roll your sleeves up again for “Mineral Treasures of the Midwest.” (You might want to consider some weight training too since this encompasses some of the finest ever fluorite and galena localities!)
Peter Megaw - Special & Guest Exhibits Chair