Friday, September 25, 2009

Coming Up: The 53 Annual Desautels Micromount Symposium

Micromount Hall of Fame Members, Pictured Left to Right:
Dick Thomssen, John Ebner, Sugar White, Phil Evanoff, Cynthia Payne, Dan Behnke, Neil Hubbard, Quintin Wight.

Most of the above Micromount Hall of Fame members and others, including two new inductees, are expected when the Baltimore Mineral Society holds its 53rd Annual Desautels Micromount Symposium on Oct. 2-4, 2009, at the MHA Pierson Conference Center, 6820 Deerpath Rd, Elkridge, Maryland 21075.

Here's what happens: Attendees register just inside the door at a table in a hallway where the walls are lined with dealers selling micromounts and micromounting paraphernalia. At the end of the hallway and to the left is the "giveaway room" where the contents of scores of open boxes full of typically vuggy material, all identified according to locality, are available for perusal and for the taking. To the right is the main conference room, which is lined with long tables and chairs where attendees select spots to set up their binocular or trinocular microscopes. Dinner is served on site Friday evening; lunch is served on Saturday and Sunday. Everyone goes out for dinner on their own Saturday evening. Otherwise, attendees share ideas and information, purchase and trade micromounts, and enjoy the slide shows and presentations.

The first of these events was held in 1957, at the behest of the Baltimore Mineral Society's late Founding President Paul Desautels after whom the Symposium is named. As such, Colonel Quintin Wight, author of The Complete Book of Micromounting notes that the Desautels Micromount Symposium "has served as a model for most of the rest" of the approximate score of other annual micromount symposia that now happen around the world. Col. Wight, who also writes an annual feature "The Year in Micromounting" for Rocks and Minerals, is always an active participant and serves as master of ceremonies for the induction of each year's new Micromount Hall of Famers.

Two new Hall of Fame members will be inducted this year: Marco Ciriotti and the late Vi Anderson. Marco Ciriotti is President of the Italian Mineralogical Association, and an author of the newly published book, Italian Type Minerals. Vi Anderson co-authored Monteregian Treasures: The Minerals of Mont Saint-Hilaire, Quebec and for many years was a well known proponent and contributor to the micromounting hobby.

Various slide shows are scheduled for Friday evening. On Saturday, at approximately 3:30 PM, after the Hall of Fame presentations, Marco Ciriotti will give a presentation entitled "Minerals of the Luserna Stone." At 5 PM, participants go out to dinner at nearby restaurants, returning by 7:00 for two more presentations. One will be by Quintin and Willow Wight on "Gems and Minerals of Russia." Mineral dealer, mineral cabinet maker, and former miner Keith Williams will follow the Wight's with a presentation on "Mining and Minerals of Bulgaria."

On Sunday, at 9 a.m., the Workshop reopens. At 10:30 a.m., Mike Skebo, President of the Canadian Micro Mineral Association, is scheduled to give a presentation entitled: "From Russia: With Memories and Minerals." Lunch will be served at 11:30 AM, and at 2 PM, the Symposium closes. As in recent past years, special recognition is due to Col. Wight, who regularly attends micromount symposia around the globe, and to BMS Officers and Executive Board Members Mike Seeds, Carolyn Weinberger, and Steve Weinberger and Al Pribula, who take on the work and planning that assures this event's continuous stature and success.
Walk-ins are welcome. Admission is $27 at the door. For more information, go to the Baltimore Mineral Society web site.

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