The Houston Fine Mineral Show

14 May 2010

The Embassy Suites, complete with swans

The Embassy Suite's location could not be better....behind the famous Galleria and an abundance of good restaurants. The two swans in the fountain are permanent residents at the hotel. Parking is somewhat limited but the hotels next door granted permission to use their lots. Dave Waisman who also manages the Westward Look and San Francisco shows, does a wonderful job of organizing, promoting and making certain everyone is a happy camper. Thanks Dave.

With any event, it's always the people who make the difference. I have to say that those Texans, with a few exceptions, are a friendly and happy bunch. All of the usual "suspects" were at the show but it does not attract (YET) many from overseas or out of state, except for the dealers that had showrooms. Hopefully each year the show will grow in importance and we'll get some "fly ins" from various parts of the world.

Mike Bergmann and Doug Wallace             
Mike Bergmann and Doug Wallace                          Happy campers! Wayne with Pete Megaw

In 2009 Joel Bartsch graciously offered the mineral hall at the Museum for our kick-off party and it was incredible. This year the Museum was not available because of the spectacular opening events for the incredible Archaeopteryx exhibit. Joel, however, offered to underwrite a party at the hotel, along with show organizer Dave Waisman, the great group of HAMS and ourselves. While the venue was not as spectacular and the food not what I could obtain from my favourite caterers in town (I was locked into the Embassy Suites kitchen staff) the mood was jovial and it is always good to gather everyone together and catch up on the news.

Embassy Suites BallroomAndreas Guhr
Embassy Suites Ballroom                                    Andreas Guhr from Germany

                   Jaye & Bill Lawrence                      Marc Countiss & Dave Waisman     Dave Bunk, Joe Budd and Will Larsen

Our room this year was a visual delight - if I may say so myself....we've got some dandy rocks! Lois and Wayne were on board for the show - Lois driving the van from California by herself! What a trooper! Foot traffic was steady for the three days and sales were running hot and cold. The potential is here to develop this into one of the "must go" shows.

Our beautiful booth!

Over the past year we have acquired an outstanding array of golds from around the world. With Ian Bruce of Crystal Classics running all over Europe and Africa and Wayne scouting the States, Australia and South America we are acquiring specimens and entire collections almost on a monthly basis.

   our booth   our booth
Lois and Wayne with our minerals on display

Our golds
Some of our gold specimens for sale

I know, I know....I forgot to show you any minerals! BUT....take a look at Gail Spann's show report on Fabre Minerals - tons of good photos! Me....I'm busy "schmoozing" instead of taking pictures.

Will, Bill Larsen with Lois    Bill and Elsie Stone
                                   Will and Bill Larsen, Lois Nelson                                    Bill and Elsie Stone

                           Simonoff family
Lois, Bunky, Gail Spann, P Megaw & Me (only for the party!)                Jessica Simonoff and her dad

Leonard and Linda Himes            
    Leonard and Linda Himes                       Cal Graeber & Leonard Himes               Andreas Guhr & Bryan Lees

  Dining down the Racin' Cajun
Dining down at the Ragin' Cajun - We're always looking for fun restaurants and this is certainly one of them! - about a mile from the Embassy Suites - absolutely no decor but filled with fun (a complete stranger stopped by our table for a chat for instance). Great seafood and reasonable prices.

This last bit is my blatant endorsement of the Houston Museum of Natural Science. This is one museum I have a connection with that is more than mineral interest. Wayne brought Joel Bartsch (now President of the museum) home with him one summer after a Houston show - I can't remember how old he was but he worked along side Wayne and I like to think he learned alot. Shift to a few years later when he was "of age" and he
was back again. We had a lovely gal named Susanne Mancusco working for us (I lured her away from her job at the local bank and her family owned probably the best Italian deli in town and it was dadʼs meatballs that first brought us together). Well....stolen glances across the room, the whole bit.....they are happily married with three excellent children. Oh, yes....we really didnʼt lose Susanne because her identical twin, Stephanie,

stepped in and has been with us since Susanneʼs wedding in 1991. We watched the young Mr. Bartsch go on to curate the Lyman Museum in Hilo, Hawaii (Mr. Lyman was a good customer and he requested our opinions on filling the position and we thought Joel would do a good job there and he did! - then onto the California State Mining and Mineral Museum (, and then to Houston where he not only put together one of the finest mineral collections on the planet but made a meteoric rise to his current position.
Under Joel's leadership the museum is currently making a major addition to the present building and ground breaking took place earlier this year (see
So.o.o. if any of you have a few million dollars you don't know where to about a hall named after you at the new addition???

Below are just some random images from the museum for those of you who have not been there YET!

Houston Museum of Natural Sciences

    Susanne and Joel Bartsch                Joel's book "Masterpieces" on the museum's minerals (available from us!)

Author: Dona
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