I took the weekend of June 4th off so I could drive down to the B.E. Clement Mineral Museum and visit my friends in Marion, Kentucky and see the show this summer. I used to see my Marion friends a few times a year, back when my group and I were going down to dig out the Eureka Fluorite Mine to help the Board of Directors provide a good digging location each year to the hundreds of rockhounds who visited each month during the public dig season. We truly miss those opportunities these days, as do hundreds of rockhounds who are no longer allowed to go dig there any longer. It is especially saddening, after all the time consuming leg work that Bill Frazer put into getting the mess straightened out, that brought those public and private digs to a screeching halt a few years ago. Bill put his heart and soul into making things right for everyone, exhausting himself doing so, only to then find out that the Board members were split on their decision to re-open it to patient rockhounds who desperately wanted to return to dig there some more. Disheartening to say the least.
I wasn`t able to see Bill or Sherry while there…I had been told by a Board member there, that neither one was at the show and she had no idea where they were even at. I didn`t find out til after I returned home, that Sherry had been at the show and Bill was at home. Needless to say, I wasn`t happy that I had been lied to about that matter, either, as Bill and Sherry are dear friends of mine.
I did get to visit with Gary and Walter Griffith, while I was there…as usual, they were sitting just inside the entryway at a couple of tables covered with fluorites. I had talked to Gary by phone a few weeks before and he told me that they were completely sold out of fluorites, yet here they had some on the table in front of them. When I mentioned that, he grinned and said they had managed to put some back with the show in mind and were able to provide another dump truck load of fluorite chips for the children to dig for outside the Museum. Good people, very resourceful, and great friends.
Walter`s wife came in shortly after I arrived, with their lunch and the grandkids, so I left them to have lunch and went to visit with other dealer friends there, like Jay Tripp from the Bowling Green area of Kentucky, who sells Elmwood Mine material as well as Fluorites from Worldwide sources, and Steve Manley from the Belleville area of Illinois, who collects and sells a variety of crystals and minerals from all over the world….their booths were next to each other so it was easy to visit with them…
the 2 flats at the top are some of Jay`s fluorites and the flat below is Spirit Amethyst from South Africa.
While standing there talking to them, Ed Clement came around the corner and stopped next to me, he was being driven by his daughter, as Ed was recuperating from surgery and unable to walk at the time…I told him it was good seeing him although I would have rather seen him in better health. We visited for a few minutes and then she whisked him off to visit with more folks there. I stayed a few hours and then headed back home. I have been going to the Clement Mineral Museum Shows since 2010.