Tucson Party 2011 - 'The Californian Gold Rush'

1 March 2011

I think Wayne and I run the most 'social' business around, beginning back in the 1970's with our famous 'pre-Tucson' parties in Laguna Beach.  In those days Tucson was still a one week show experience (oh, those were the days) and just about everyone in the 'who's who' of the mineral world showed up for a full day of partying, talking minerals and buying and selling.  Unlike today's mineral business where it is sometimes a cut-throat operation, we encouraged our other dealer friends to bring their best to our parties and many a deal was made in the parking lot, the garage and over dinner.  One year when Perkin Sams was in attendance mention of the party was made in an article about him in the Wall Street Journal....

We still try to keep the social aspect going, and in Tucson this year we hosted yet another party with a gold rush theme.  All of our team members were dressed in period costume but I never expected our guests to 'get with the program' but they did!  It was a fabulous evening and it would be hard to say what the best part of it might have been, but certainly the live mules were a constant source of amusement.



The entrance to the Wild West

Some cactus to add to the desert feel

Entrance to the Suenos Saloon

Has anyone seen this man?

The tariffs

We once again had the fantastic catering of Albert Hall, owner and chef of the Acacia restaurant in Tucson, and two-time Iron Chef winner.

Albert and two of his staff prepare the Gold Rush food - authentic stews, chili, cornbreads and oatcake desserts.

The Kristalle and Crystal Classics Team was ready to greet the guests...

The Dream Team - Gold Rush style

The Madam of the house, and the Miner - Dona and Wayne

Ian the River Boat Gambler trying to hustle Wayne out of the prized Gold Nugget

Dave and Audrey Lloyd

Sheriff Dave and Liz Hacker

Roberta, Lois and Tana

Ed and Robin

Outside the Saloon were two Mules to greet guests on the way in, how much more authentic can you get!


Lois and the Mules (the other guys are two miners that drifted by for some fun at the Saloon)

And the guests arrived... we were so impressed by how many chose to come in costume and get into the mood of the evening.

Paul Harter, show chairman of the TGMS, and his wife Marilyn

Shields and Frances Flynn

Boots and Barbara Cureton

Lois and Tana with Brice Gobin

Peter and Cheryl Williams

Andy from Siber + Siber of Switzerland and his lovely wife

Jesse Fisher, his wife Joan, and English collector Ian Jones

Robin with Belgium collector Mario Pauwels

Cal and Kerith Graeber

Herb and Monica Obodda

Alan Hart, Curator at the Natural History Museum in London

Alan with fellow NHM curator Mike Rumsey, Terry Ottaway (curator at the GIA in Carlsbad, California), and Katherine Dunnell, curator at the Royal Ontario Museum, Canada

Mike, one of the local Tucson Police who have kept a watchful eye over the mineral shows for many years.

Wes (retired Tucson Police department) and his wife

Lois and Robbie with Jim, also of the Tucson Police

Dennis Beals with Dona

Steve Behling of the Collector's Edge, and his wife Brenda

Australian collector Paul Melville and his partner Tricia

The late Dick Bideaux's sister Janet and her friend George

Dr Peter Leavens and Sharon Fitzgerald of the University of Delaware

Texan collectors Jim and Gail Spann

USA dealers Linda and Leonard Himes

Ludmilla Cheshko of Mineralogical Almanac magazine of Russia, and her assistant.

John White and his wife Merle

Australian collectors Susanne Koepke and George Stacey

Good friends Elna and Dick Hauck of the Sterling Hill Mining Museum, New Jersey

Australia dealer Allen Arnold, and his lovely wife Olga struggle with the 'Welcome Stranger' nugget.

The Nugget quickly became a highlight of the night......

Jian-Rong seems taken by the Nugget - they don't find them this big in China... yet!

Christophe Gobin and Jean Claude Boulliard of the University of Paul and Marie Curie (formerly Sorbonne), France

Tony Kampf, curator of Natural History Museum of Los Angeles

Definitely one of the best outfits of the night - worn by Kirby Siber of Switzerland aka. the Undertaker.

Tana and Gene Meiran

George Stacey horses around with the Mules

Wiebke Sass with Allen and Olga Arnold

Steve and Brenda

Wayne and Mario

Ian with Munich Mineral Show organizer Christoph Keilmann, and Alan Hart of the NHM, London minus his moustache.

Scott Werskey of Miner's Lunchbox, Allen Arnold, and Colorado dealer Dave Bunk

John Lucking and Gene Meiran

Wayne enjoying his stew

Dave and Liz Hacker

Penny Williamson - curator of Geology at University of Wollongong, Australia with Ian and John Lucking.

 Marcus Origlieri of the University of Arizona

San Francisco collector Jack Halpern and Diana

Claudette and Michel Cabrol

Richard Jackson of Collector's Edge and Safaa Yu

Barbara Cureton and Elna Hauck with Ian

Mr Gao with Penny and Tana


Kirby Siber and Kerith Graeber

Australian Collector Paul Melville, and John Veevaert of Trinity Minerals

Two powerful men - Rick Trapp TGMS Mineral Dealer Chairman and Paul Harter TGMS Show Chairman

Ian with Doug Wallace

Ian with Doug's lovely wife Terry

Wiebke Sass, Olga and Andreas Weerth

Mike Rumsey of the Natural History Museum, London

David Hacker (don't mess with the Sheriff) and David Lloyd

We once again had live music by our favourite Bad News Blues band, who get the crowd dancing in no time at all.

Lois with Mike and Alex from the Bad News Blues band

Joan and Ed on the dance floor

There was even a jail to help keep the guest under control...


John White

will anyone bail this man out?

You know that the night has gone wrong when it is the Sheriff that ends up in Jail!

Audrey thanks Albert for the catering


Author: Dona
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