Chrissy and I spent last Friday, March 19, 2004, at the Ivey Farm near
Warrenton, Georgia digging for amethyst. We were joined by 13 of our closest rockhounding
friends from Georgia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Florida.
On March 19th, Chrissy and I arrived
at the sight just after sunrise. Ron and Lisa Maddox and
Ron and Faye Burke were right behind us as we entered the site. Soon after, we were
soon joined by Jeff Deere, Don Henderson, Bob Madden, Gary Maddox, John Whatley and
the entire Cecil family, including Mickey, Barbara, Rachel and Mathew. It didn't take
long before we scattered like ants onto the spoil piles. As the digging commenced,
all heads were all down with eyes on the ground as everyone competed to see who would
be the first to recover a crystal.
It didn't take long before Mickey Cecil let out a whoop as had found a palm-size
and well-formed amethyst crystal.
Mickey and Barbara Cecil (facing camera)
Opal, the true rockhound, offered moral support for those of us who were still
amethyst-challenged. Even our little Sparky was able to make this trip and he kept
everyone in line.
Opal, Ron and Faye Burke (above left) and Sparky
Bob Madden and Don Henderson (below left) and John Whatley (below right) took up
positions on the outermost spoil piles. John's ergonomic rake was easier on his back.
It was fun to dig on the same pile of dirt with the Maddox brothers. Needless to
say, there was more than enough good-natured banter to go around, especially when I
opened up my big yap.
Gary (above left) and Ron Maddox
Mike, Ron and a tuckered-out Opal
Chrissy and Jeff Deere seemed to be as happy as two ants on a stale ham sandwich
as they pulled out clods of dirt to sort in their separate holes.
Chrissy (above left) and Jeff Deere
Right after lunch, Mr. Ivey, himself, honored us with a visit. He was quite spry for a man in his late 70s. We all enjoyed listening to him tell us about digging in the old days.
Mike Streeter (left), Mr. Ivey and John Whatley
Most of us chose to dig in the largest spoil pile that just happened to be shaded
by the adjacent pines throughout the entire day. This was a good thing because the
temperature reached an unseasonable 78-degrees. A wonderful breeze from the North
made more than one of us think about stringing up a hammock to take an afternoon
siesta but we settled for sitting and scratching on the fairly soft pile of earth.
Afternoon digging in the shade
The amethyst was not as plentiful as we had been assured by the lessor of the property, but there were some respectable specimens found by everyone. I won't name names but it did take some of us jeff
longer than others to finally
come up with a keeper but I believe that everyone left satisfied with their take.
I know that Chrissy and I would have driven home with smiles on our faces just from
being able to spend the wonderful day with our friends. As you can see below, we
did manage to find a few amethyst crystals to clean up when we got home.