The 2004 Tucson Show Report
A Rainbow over the Inn Suites
The Entrance to my Inn Suites showroom and the new window display

I first would like to say that my Dad and I are back safely from a very busy Tucson show this year.  The travel stats for my show were as follows: 23 days on the road and 1900 miles of driving. I had worked for months in advance of the show, preparing for "the big one".  

This year, I thought it would be of interest to document the behind-the-scenes adventures of some of our Tucson experiences. So, without further delay, on with the show!

Day 1 (Sunday, 25 Jan 04):  Last minute work is being finished and the cars are packed and ready for the 900 mile drive that lay ahead.  My Dad will be joining me to do some serious Tucson sun-birding in his convertible, and also to help out during the show. We are fortunate this year, it looks like the timing of our journey south will be between storms.  Our caravan begins!

Day 2 (Monday, 26 Jan 04): We made it to Arizona and stayed the night. The next morning we drove the rest of the way to Tucson. We then checked into the Inn Suites and got right to unpacking our vehicles. This wasn't much fun after driving 900+ miles, but we were driven with motive. When our work was finished for the evening, we all headed straight for Lil' Abners Steak House!  After a very enjoyable 2-pound porterhouse dinner for me, ribs for my Dad, we headed back to our showroom and moved all the furniture. We then set the alarm for 7:30am, got bedded in and quickly fell dead asleep.

Day 3 (Tuesday, 27 Jan 04): The case movers were knocking on our door a few minutes past 8am.  We had rearranged (to put it mildly) the furniture in the room and with a mild bit of modification, we fit 3, 6-foot cases and a 4-foot case in the room, AND still has access to the 2 mattresses each night!  This was a tiny room to begin with, barely 15x12-feet. But, the way I designed it, and with the mirrors in the backs of each case, it still felt comfortable and we could fit about 10 people without too much crowding. I then strategically placed a big box fan on top of the case closest to the door, which supplied the room with excellent air circulation.  

Setting Up

Day 3, Ready for battle!
Scott, pulling down his 50th bottle of water after a full day of cleaning glass, day 4
Scott building shelves in his sleep at  2am, day 6
I'm getting close! 12:30am, day 7, OPENING DAY!
After a few hours sleep I finished in time for us to open at 10am sharp, Saturday
All the hard work paid off and the room looked great!
My Inn Suites showroom is open for business!!
The window display case my Dad and I worked on for 2 days

My Show Highlights-

Here is my mixed top shelf, including: The finest North American stibnite at this year's Tucson show (20cm long), a super-rare Reese River Nevada silver smcab, a superb peterson mnt quartz scepter on matrix, a superb hoppered gold crystal from Majuba Placers Nevada, Utah lorandite, Junnila fresnoite, Brazilian topaz, aquas and tourmalines, very fine Colorado goethites and Peruvian japan-law twinned quartz, among the many.
This year marked a great one for the Meikle mine, and quality barites were very popular with customers from all over the world
I offered a reasonably-price lot of quality Eagles Nest golds, specially presented for the Tucson gold show. They were very popular and many pieces found happy new homes
There was a better-than-usual selection of the classic Chinese spessartine-feldspar-quartz-mica specimens this year. I very much enjoy the color and aesthetics of these combos when they get good, so I stocked up.
I also proudly offered a fine selection of reasonably-priced Virgin Valley opals. This was a memorable display!

At the show, many folks came by to see us and buy minerals. We had the pleasure to meet many new acquaintances and fellow collectors, and to catch up with old friends and longtime customers.  Sales and traffic were both definitely up from years' past.  My sales were across the board, with more and more collectors interested in fine Nevada minerals.  Scores of people picked up the new Minerals of Nevada book or brought their copy of the Olinghouse article in Rocks & Minerals magazine for me to sign. They also came to admire the shelf of Olinghouse gold I had on display-

Bob Keller

stopped by to visit and take pictures

Here's what Bob saw-


TGMS Gold Show

Months prior, Dr. Bob Cook of the Friends of Mineralogy invited me to give a presentation on the Olinghouse gold district during the Tucson Gem & Mineral Show, on the 14th of February. I happily accepted. To my delight, it was standing-room only, with about 120 people in attendance!


The 2004 TGMS Golden Anniversary Show
People from all over the world attended

GOLD Displays at the show

The famous "root" Red Ledge gold leaf, Wayne Leicht Specimen
The Seaweed Gold from the Smithsonian Collection
A fine California dendrite, ~10cm
The 389-ounce "Boot of Cortez", the largest surviving gold nugget from North America. I had the honor to hold this nugget 3 DIFFERENT TIMES at the show!!!
Yet another outstanding gold display
Kristalle's magnificent gold case
Keith Proctor's gold case

And my vote for finest gold at show????

This was my first time seeing Harvard's Gilman, Colorado, gold rope. All I can say is that it is unprecedented! Weighing around 6oz and 10cm tall, it looks more like a superb Kongsberg silver, yet is truly one of the most beautiful golds I have ever seen!

Elmwood Rules!
How about a 2-foot rutilated quartz from Brazil?

Fun and games are over, it's time to tear down and get ready for the long drive home

The last evening of the Tucson show, Sunday, Feb 15th, day 21
Busy packing, with Lil' Abners steak house on my mind!
My friend John Greenfield helped me pack up
Slaving away!

Our Last Dinner at Lil' Abners Steakhouse For Yet Another Year

Nothin' smells finer than Lil' Abners BBQ!

It's Time to Drive Home

And off into the sunset we go!

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