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Mark & Christina


Mark and his daughter Christina have been members for 6 years together.  Mark was previously a member back when he was a student.   Christina was 9 when they joined looking for an activity they could enjoy together.  She wasn't hooked initially until she started coming to meetings and won some of the raffles prizes.  Now they are fixtures at meetings and invaluable volunteers at the show in February.  

They both have slightly different focuses, he in minerals and she in fossils.  They have both recently have begun photographing their collection and are now totally into it.  They love getting a great shot of a mineral, sometimes even a micro mount through a microscope. 

When not perfecting their photography techniques they are busy.  Christina has been dominating the Science Olympiad for the past three years running, with no end in sight.  Mark has been on the Society Board for the past few years, helping to arrange guest speakers.   

Mark and Christina both serve every year at the show.  They are there early and stay late setting up and tearing down all the many displays and equipment.  He also serves as a docent during the show and Christina helps a family friend who comes from Missouri to be a vendor at the show.  

They have been on various Society trips to find and collect.  They've found pertrified wood, explored fat jack mine, silverbell mine, mission mine and others.  During the school year they have less time to go on the trips with her school studies, but enjoy the trips they can join.    They still make meetings regularly.

Christina offers one tip to other young collectors: "Rock Hounds are very generous to kids, often giving away good stuff at the show!"  

Mark & Christina
Ages: 59 and 15
Primary focuses: minerals and fossils (respectively)
Society Members since 2008




A legend.  Dan is one of the society's oldest members, having run the first few shows with a friend over 60 years ago.  His collection was vast and impressive until he began divesting himself of the responsibility of caring for the exquisite pieces himself a few years ago.  He still has a small collection of pieces, each unique and beautiful, all with a story.  

Dan came to Tucson in 1940 with the Army.  At that time Tucson was a population of about 40,000 and Davis Monthan was way out of town, as was his house at Ft. Lowell and Mountain.   His friend Clayton Gibson and he would explore the surrounding area and mines.  Together they  even purchased a small parcel South of Patagonia nearly Malory mine where they would go explore.  They built a cabin down there and would discover old mines, exploring places now rare to be able to gain access to.

The piece Dan holds in the image above is a spectacular Quartz found in the mud in the Huachuca Mountains with his daughter when she was 9.  It's one of his most prized pieces, mostly for the story and memories it reminds him of.  

Dan has truly left his mark on the Society.  He and his friend Clayton ran the very first show, holding it at his daughter's school on Grant.  The principle was accommodating, but everything had to be cleaned up by Sunday evening in time for school Monday morning!  After a few years they moved the show to the fair grounds, today the Tucson Rodeo Grounds. It was the only place large enough to host the largest gem & mineral show in the world at the time, until they built the TCC many years later.  He and Clayton built displays and ran the electrical themselves.

Dan also has served in a variety of roles for the Society, even as president in 1954. He loves discovering and sharing his finds and his stories.  He is a true "rockhound" through and through, deeply knowledgeable about the minerals as well as the community and history.  He is a treasure to the society himself and we're deeply blessed to have him still around to share.  

92 years old
Primary focus: story telling, previously exploring & discovering
Society Member since ~1950