Some rooms were shuttered.        Some had partly filled cases and crates.                     But some were full of happy collectors

A very useful project of the city is the FREE gem Ride, a shuttle service that travels to many venues. That is especially nice because parking lots at most venues  is limited and on-street parking is often 1 or 2 hours only. We are fortunate to have a shuttle stop at he Elks Lodge where the Just Minerals Event is held. That stop also serves four other nearby shows. Flyers for the routes are available. The routes include trolly stops and Parking Garages. and www.ParkTucson can provide all you need to know.

         We all talk about the Tucson Gem, Mineral & Fossil Showcase (the Chamber of Commerce's official name of the craziness) as amazing, and for good reason. We have done a lot of shows in a lot of towns over the decades, but no place appreciates the shows as much as the City of Tucson. There is a good reason for that too, Tucson businesses and tax collectors profit mightily from the mineral gem and fossil tourism; according to BizTucson, the regional business magazine, the 2014 event (the latest I have figures for) generated $120 Million in direct spending by visitors and dealers and $10.7 million in sales tax collections. We pack the hotels and restaurants and dealers spend huge amounts for storage facilities and support items. I've purchased business supplies, carpet, lighting and display equipment, car tires, batteries, and repairs and I'm sure I am not alone. I understand that the show weeks account for 20% of the annual  hospitality business income! I have also attended concerts and opera performances and enjoyed many tourist attractions. Tucson is like a second home; I calculate that I have lived there an accumulated four years, at least, without ever being a resident. So it was particularly nice when I saw the following cartoon on the editorial page of the Tucson Daily Star, the city's best newspaper this year.

A big deal in town this year is the opening of the Mineral City Show in a custom built facility across the street from the Elks Lodge. This was announced last February and construction started in summer. It was to open officially today. Reports through Autumn were that construction was behind schedule. I drove by last week and saw lots of workers still there. There were also lots of frustrated dealers with truckloads of cabinets and inventory waiting to get I, But the available date slipped back daily. The Grand Opening party was scheduled for Feb. 1 long ago. Tonight it happened, although the building will not be fully one until next week (we hope) as the parking lot has not been coveted among other things. Nonetheless, most rooms were open tonight with drinks and snacks available and lots of fine specimens on display. It was a social success!

This page features Show Reports, Travel Notes, and other Items of Interest as they strike my fancy.

For some reason this picture insists on being sideways. Maybe it is to help this Century plant  find its way around this ceiling so it can grow taller. We are al watching and rooting for it. Please turn you computer sideways if you can.

I hope you enjoy seeing some of the non-mineral happenings. For being patient here is a 150 pound amethyst for your pleasure.

I mentioned the Tucson Daily Star and the city's support of the show above , well, here is some more on that topic. Asan organizer of and  the contact person for the Just Minerals Event that opens on Sunday (see my events page) I was invited to A Chamber of Commerce reception for the official kickoff for  what they call the Tucson Gem, Mineral, and Fossil Showcase. The Showcase being the 48 venues operating for the next two weeks. Speakers include the mayor who honored the Tucson Gem and Mineral Society who started all of this decades ago, the police chief whose department does yeomen work to protect the shows and are really pretty lenient with the mass of folks who attend, particularly those accustomed to driving on the opposite side of the street. The show promoters who are present and recognized and thanked fo their contribution to the local economy and a pleasant time is had by all and included tasty snacks and a free bar. Pretty darn nice, I say.

Note the man in the left photo and the desk lamp in front of  the right side vug.

I encourage you to become members of the Friends of the Geology Museum of the Colorado School of Mines  one of our area's real treasures. The Friends sponsor monthly  lectures, field trips, and special events.

​I'll be posting Tucson reports here during the shows. See below. And check me out on FaceBook at Leonard Hime

Last week                                                                                              Partly paved lot February 1

First Report form Tucson 2019

​The weather is great , I'm cruising the show venues in shorts. Many venues have some dealers open although the shows are just starting to be official operating. There isn't too much to report on new minerals, though. China seems to be keeping its new stuff and Pakistan/Afghanistan appear to be producing little unless it is going to China, too.

​But the USA is doing okay. Their are incredible graphite crystals at Geologic Desires at Hotel Tucson (Inn Suites). We seldom get to see the undeniably best specimen of a species in the world, but it is there! And there are many others that are very affordable.

I recommend that everyone stop at Superb Minerals showroom on Main Street and go to the wholesale warehouse area. There is a side room there filled with HUGE complete pockets of Indian Zeolites. It was a mining crew with super ability that saved these. See below for an inadequate representation.

Leonard Himes     Dealer in Fine Mineral Specimens

I'll keep adding things here daily (or about), so check back. I'll also busy setting up or first of my three shows, Just Minerals, in two days.