Tucson 2009
By John Cornish


Hi Everyone,

Just a quick note, an invitation actually. I'll soon be out the door and would like to invite all of you to come visit as I participate in this year's spectacular Tucson Show. From January 24th - February 15th, I'll be in my room, number 186, at the Inn Suites.

This is going to be an incredible show and I can hardly wait! I'll keep the display lights lit and will have a smile ready when you arrive!

All the very best everyone, be safe in your travels!



Hi Everyone,

I was in Quartzite and visited the Desert Gardens Show yesterday. I wandered through quite quickly as usual not seeing much. But, that may be due to the fact that I got very little sleep the night before and started my drive east to Quartzite at 4:45 a.m.! Two mega long days of driving!

At Quartzite, I found a lady who had some very nice dinosaur bone for sale. I snapped off several photos and will share these in my report upcoming. While there, I returned a broken Arkansas digging bar which had snapped through an inch thick section of steel! Hopefully, the new bar replacing it will be a tad bit stronger!!

As I write, I'm in Tucson and will check into my room at the Inn Suites tomorrow and then my adventure will truly begin. I'm being a tourist today and only stopped at one place, the mineral dealership of Superb Minerals. They have a brand new building stocked to the rafters (a small exaggeration only) and are open and already conducting business. I took a dozen or two photos of some of the real killers they are offering this year and know you'll as equally be impressed with their treasures. Apophyllites, calcites and a plethora of zeolite goodies. They even had one room filled exclusively with MONSTER-SIZED specimens all exceeding several feet and very impressive.

It is raining off and on here today and the temperatures are comfortable by NW standards. I'll try to post little updates here throughout the show... wish me luck! All the very best everyone, take care,



Hi Everyone,

It's 7:58 pm as I write here at the Inn Suites. In the back round the wailing cries of bagpipes surreally fill the air. A local Scottish group is celebrating with music, singing, dancing and haggis! While a private affair, the music carries throughout the lobby area.

I checked in today. Stripping the room down is always the first priority. Then come the display cases. Here we hit a small glitch and a broken window resulted. Thankfully the guys had this fixed without delay and we were off and flying like nothing had happened. Afterwards, I made a run for food, both from the restaurant and from the grocery store. Then back here and I've been cleaning glass ever since. This is the ultimate drudgery of the show and takes sooo long to do. But, with it behind me, next will come the minerals and the room will begin to shine!

There are only a few other dealers here that I've seen and a few buyers as well. Ol' Howard down the way made his first sell today and he was all smiles.

The weather here was awesome today, sunny and in the 70's. Well, that's about it for now. The bagpipes are switching back and forth between them and a group of fluters and violinists. It'll be a grand festive time here this evening. More soon. Have a terrific weekend. All the very best,



Hi Everyone,

It's a bit after 8 pm as I start this note. I've just returned from dinner with friends at one of the local Mexican food restaurants. It was a good meal and I ordered a second dinner to eat in the room tomorrow. The room looks a lot more colorful this evening, all a glitter in soft pretty pink. I've several shelves filled and will be back at it again tomorrow morning. As predicted in my last report, I finished cleaning the last of the glass shelves this morning and then the rocks came out. And soon there after, folks started coming into the room. Fun!

Lots more people have arrived today and the parking lot was a'buzz with display cases being delivered. This is the part I love, everyone will be so frantic to set up while mine own experience has been so much more relaxed. A little goes a long way some times!

Other than my own, the only rocks I've seen thus far are in friend Joe Dorris's room. As many of you know, Joe mines Amazonite and Smoky Quartz from claims he owns in Colorado. This year his premier specimen is a monster well over a foot wide and tall. I'll try to get a photo of it later when he's a bit less busy. What a rock!!

It was another gorgeous day here today, it felt really nice when I went outside and took a break from the room.

And there you have it. More when next I get the chance. I've a shipment coming in tomorrow which I'm looking forward to and I know the shelves will look a lot more filled come this time tomorrow evening. Take care and all the very best,



Hi Everyone,

Just a quick note...

It was chilly last night and will be under 60 degrees here today with a breeze. I've already had my breakfast, complimentary from the folks here at Inn Suites and am ready. I've some basic set-up scenarios to continue through, but I'm close.

I explored last night, looking for open rooms, and found one of a Russian dealer whose specimens were mainly polished slabs and spheres of rarer native materials. Among his treasures were several examples of kyanite. I've friends who collect this mineral and one of them, Everett Harrington is visiting the show here for the first time this year. In an earlier conversation, he'd mentioned his hope to acquire a Swiss specimen of kyanite in combination with staurolite. I inquired and was pleasantly surprised to find this gentleman had Russian specimens in his inventory with both present. I'll share the room number with Everett when he gets to town. Ya just never know what you'll find!

Well, it's getting busier out in the Lobby and I best be moving on so someone else can use the terminal. From Tucson, have a great day everyone and all the very best!



Good morning Everyone,

It's just after 8:30 as I begin this post. Outside while brisk, the sun is shining. Yesterday was a very busy day as I received the last of the inventory for the room. The last shipment arrived at 11:00 pm. I'll be working with it this morning and then with that completed, the room will be 100%. Lots of pretties.

It was a slow day yesterday which was fine as it allowed me the time I needed to walk around and hang my flyers on the reader boards. With that task behind me, it was back to the room for more fun.

I've still not had the chance to visit any of the other rooms. More are opening each day but it is obvious that there is a slow start to this years show. Both dealers and customers continue to be slow to arrive. More will open today and more folks will arrive to visit them. While a slow start, who knows on what note the show is going to end?

I've been blessed and have already been included to one online show report which can be seen at the following link... Trinity Minerals Tucson 2009

I'll try to get out some in the following days to fill these reports with more "meat and potatoes" so to speak. Still, in the end, I'm here!

Welcome to Tucson! All the very best, take care,



Hi Everyone,

I've been unable to get to a terminal as the Inn Suites has become a very busy place these last couple of days. The show here officially opened yesterday and it was a busy day with folks coming and going steadily from 10'ish to after 6 when I finally called it quits and headed out to a wonderful dinner. There are less folks here as one may expect due to the economy, the hassles of air travel, etc. Still, many of my friends are here and I feel very fortunate to be a part of this years experience. As usual when working alone, I've had near zero opportunity to visit anyone and have only managed a couple of rooms on the way to breakfast or later as I walk the grounds at night. Thank goodness for folks coming to visit me!

I've heard of few good new things, though a group of new Russian cuprite on copper has many excited. New for me, I've some crystalline golds from Mexico which were worthy of a write-up as you can see by going to the following link... Mineral Man Tucson

This is the second Show Report that I've been mentioned on (to my knowledge) and I'm absolutely thrilled.

The weather here has been getting warmer and I believe that this pattern is going to continue. I'm sorry that I've been unable to really and truly report on all of the happenings here. Being locked into the room is tough, especially knowing all of the cool and groovy things that are all about me!!!

Thankfully I did manage some rooms, Collectors Edge as always has lots of terrific things, azurites from Australia, amazonite and smoky quartz combos from Colorado, amethyst japan-law twinned quartz from China, etc. Lots of eye candy. Kristalle and Crystal Classics are sharing a wholesale room and they were full of goodies, the dioptase groups they had were especially nice to my eye. And from there, my exposure to the new drastically falls away. Maybe I'll get out more later, though I hope I'm way too busy!

Take care everyone, I wish you were here! All the very best,



Hi Everyone,

Just a quick note this morning. I'm on my way to breakfast and saw a terminal open and here I am. I was able to get out in the morning yesterday and found a few rooms open early. Don Olson had a new thumbnail collection which included some real beauties. The best of which was a one inch dioptase on a bit of crystalline matrix to my eye. Additionally, he had a wonderful selection of Michigan Upper Peninsula copper and associated species. Calcites and silvers and analcimes. A wonderful grouping! In the room of Northstar Minerals, Ross displayed several beautiful examples of manganoan calcite from Romania (?). One large spectacular specimen was nearly 3 feet across and a riot of soft luscious pink color. I'll try to get out a bit more this morning and hope to see more goodies. Ricardo and Claudia are here, though I have not seen them (their banner is hanging on the railing to the upper floor at their room). Maybe later...

Another good day is here and I'm positive and am looking forward to it.

I hope you all have a good day too. Take care and all the very best from Tucson!!!



Hi Everyone,

It's a nice if windy morning here in Tucson. Since my last post I've seen several specimens that have really sent my heart all a'twitter. First were some fine US wulfenites shown to me by a friend. Next came a terrific dioptase. An elongated crystal about a 1/2 an inch wide and nearly 3 times that long. There was a trace of associated cerrusite clinging to it towards its base. It is darker colored as compared to the bright and shiny typical material more often seen from Tsumeb. But its size, really impressive. There were other specimens offered in the small lot and these sounded even more spectacular. Another killer specimen was a fantastic Tsumeb azurite. It was monstrous dark and brooding, its dark blackish blue color offset by its complex form and large cabinet size made this the finest azurites I've personally held. Neat, really neat rock! There were some fantastic fluorites too, these come from the Erongos and had a neat sceptered shape. Complex faces surrounded the stems and caps of the little inch and a quarter soft green colored wonders. I saw a lot of about a hundred individuals.

These are the types of treasures that are here at the show. These and so many more wonders await. In the section of building where I call home, my neighbors are from all around the World and the things they offer... fluorescent minerals, pegmatite minerals from Colorado and Pakistan, meteorites, minerals from Russia, fossils from Wyoming and on and on!

It truly is incredible, all the natural treasures that are offered here in Tucson!

Another great thing... those of you out there who have stopped by the room to say hi! I'm posting these reports at Mcrocks.com and on the Rockhounds list at Drizzle.com. From both sites, folks have come in to say hi and I've really enjoyed meeting you all! Well, it's getting late and I've got to get back. Today is going to be a busy day! All the very best, take care!



Good Morning!

Another day in Tucson! I'm on my way to breakfast and found an open terminal. Yesterday was a L-O-N-G day. I'd bet show attendance is down at least 50 to 60 percent. Lots of folks are missing from this years show. The parking lot has been wide open every day thus far and a person can get right into the shows without any big hike like in years past. I'm doing fine and have been steadily busy throughout the entire time I've been here. Still, yesterday was a long day.

The high-end Westward Look show starts tomorrow. I'll brave the crowds and will visit early in the morning on Saturday so as to see the Collector's Day offering from Jim and Gail Spann. Every year this show offers the opportunity to see a premier collection. I've been to all of these showings and have thrilled each time to the treasures offered. This is also a wonderful opportunity to talk to the collectors themselves. Fun!

Today my friend Keith is showing up and this evening, I've a wonderful dinner planned with friends Regina and Laura... Sushi... Yum!

Take care everyone and I hope you all have a great day!



Hi Everyone,

It's the beginning of another beautiful day here in Tucson and I'm looking forward to it! I enjoyed new friends coming into town yesterday and have more coming in today. Very exciting! Yesterday was slow to start, but as has been the pattern, by late afternoon and early evening, everything works its way out. I enjoyed a terrific Sushi dinner last night and will hit breakfast after I finish here. I received new stock yesterday to replace inventory I'd sold-out of and also received the newest FREE magazine published by Justin and Brandy over at... The Vug

The first issue they gave me for distribution is a Fakes and Forgeries issue that was presented originally to folks at the Munich Show. Having extras, they've been passing these out too. Next came the current issue on Mineral Oddities, the theme issue specifically designed for this show. I feel quite honored that they are giving me the chance to promote our hobby through their efforts.

I had a friend of mine, Wayne, come into the room yesterday bringing me his newest mounted specimens which he'd just picked up from Bill and Elsie over at the Sunnywood Collection. Sunnywood.com

Wayne showed me a half dozen Pakistan specimens representing such species as quartz, tourmaline, topaz, etc. A wealth of killers. I enjoyed his little showing as these were the best new specimens I saw all day. Fun!

It is beautiful here again today, the sun is shining and I wish you were here too.

Take care and all the very best,


PS The Westward Look Show opens today. I'll try to get out tomorrow morning to visit the dealers and see the collection of Jim and Gail Spann which will be featured most of the day there tomorrow. See ya! Westward Minerals


Hi Everyone,

Good Morning!

I've just finished breakfast here at the Inn Suites and while I'd hoped adventurously to visit the Westward Look Show this morning, reality has me centered here. I'll hope and rely on friends getting some good photos and sharing the fun as I'll unfortunately be staying close to the room in hopes of maximizing sales. Darn!!!

Yesterday ended with an incredible BBQ dinner at Lil Abner's last night (my 3rd trip there thus far). Yum, yum the pork ribs!!!

It was a busy day yesterday and I received another shipment to the room, my last until next week. Lots of friends and fun here continues. Not too many people hereabouts as I'd reported earlier and this has many folks concerned. I'm doing fine and have had steady sales since the first day. Nothing to go get a new truck over, but steady and satisfying. With the weekend here, today and tomorrow should be hopping hopefully.

I'll be out the door here in a second and will soon have the door open and ready for the day. If your reading this, come on by and say hi. Have a great weekend everyone! Take care,



Hi Everyone,

A rainy morning here in Tucson as I write. Yesterday was a L-O-N-G day. I was likely feeling a bit off as I really would have liked to have visited the Westward Look Show. From reports I got later, it was a fine day there and the rocks were as incredible as one has come to expect. Suffering, I held close to the room. While a Saturday, the crowds were again down. Even knowing the way of things this year, I was still surprised there were so few folks around.

Thank goodness for friends! Several stopped by and visiting was awesome as we had the time to catch-up. In addition to great conversation, friends Mitch and Ann brought by dinner too. That Ann is sure something special! (Thank you!).

Later that night, the big FMI party was scheduled. Danny Trinchillo of Fine Minerals International each year throws a party sharing his fine inventory and a terrific dinner with all the fixings. Everyone was there and it was a great time. I went with my friend Allison and we stayed for several hours.

Today, I'll soon head to breakfast and then back at the room, I'll clean the glass and flip the lights on and will be ready. Have a terrific day everyone.

All the very best, John


Hi Everyone,

Just a quick PS to my last post. I've discovered I've been written up in a third Tucson Show Report, please see... Crystal Classics News Story

All the very best,

John 02/10/09

Good Morning!

Tucson is a chilly place this morning. Fresh snow coats the mountains and my breath is a fresh puffy white cloud. Yesterday was a long day again, thankfully friends came by and this really helped make everything worth while. After, and with my belly growling, I headed off with friends for a BIG dinner. I love these affairs, shared smiles and laughter... the very best of times!

The Westward Look Show closes today and tomorrow set-up starts for the Main Show at the Tucson Convention Center. This is the culminating event for the show and demonstrates that things are beginning to wind down. I'm going to try and walk about this morning in hopes of seeing a few more rooms. I took some photos yesterday and maybe with a few more, I'll be able to compile a decent report when I get home.

Wish me luck!

Take care and all the very best!!!



Hi Everyone,

It's been busy these last several days and it's been a fun time too! Last night was a hoot! I was among a wonderful group of folks all meeting for a Mindat dinner arranged by friend Roy Lee. Gathered among these wonderful folks were our very own Everett Harrington and Jim Beam. It was a terrific evening and I had a great time while there. These types of after hours get-togethers are among my most memorable moments each show!

This morning, I visited the Tucson Convention Center and attended the Main Show of the Tucson Gem and Mineral Society. Mineral Oddities is the theme for this years show and I was looking forward to seeing the displays. Among the treasures generously shown by collectors and institutions alike, were some truly mind-blowing specimens. A rather unique calcite after banana "pseudomorph" was a special favorite (recovered from dump material dating to the Great San Francisco fire of the early 1900's). Another favorite was a mineral whose name was new to me. It began with an "S" and unfortunately, I can't recall it right now. If I remember the information from the display correctly, it is a mineral that forms from "us" after we've passed away. The display featured a eerie grave yard back drop. Definitely a mineral oddity!

While taking in the other displays, I enjoyed... fantastic silver crystals in wonderful branching groups featured within one theme case. A tourmaline scepter and a malachite Christmas tree (from the collection of Jim and Gail Spann, attendees of the Mindat dinner), wonderful smoky and clear, open and closed qwindel quartz's and a rhodochrosite pseudomorph replaced by red andradite garnet. There were pegmatite monster gems such as a 10 inch light pink colored morganite crystal on matrix and an approximately 30 pound gem purply-pink kunzite spodumene crystal! There were japan-law twins and twinned feldspars and there were even "alien" fluorites with bright glowing green eyes (more later when I add photos!). There were so many awesome specimens, I love coming to and being a part of Tucson!

While I walked, it was my good fortune to tour the displays with Everett and Jim until all to soon, I had to get back and open the room. I bid them and several other friends good-bye and then hit the road.

Back at the room, I've been busy. I've had the pleasure of meeting so many nice folks. With some, I've shared story's of their/my collecting or of our newest acquisitions. For some, the viewing and the visiting were enough, for others, some times they'd find a little treasure to take home. Among this group of folks is the newest Museum I can add to the list of institutions housing and displaying specimens which I've collected and this one, the prestigious Museum of Natural History located in London. Curators Alan Hart and Mike Rumsey acquired a stunning pair of Rat's Nest specimens and I feel especially thrilled for this honor (Alan and Mike were also participants at the previously mentioned Mindat dinner I'd just attended).

As I mentioned, it's been a busy fun time! Well, it's going on 11:00 pm here and I'm starting to get tired. I think I'll call it quits for the time being. Tomorrow will be another busy day. I'll visit the Main Show again and then I'll repeat today and will make tracks back to the room after-wards. I'll look forward to seeing more friends and more killer rocks... I can't wait!!!

From Tucson, all the very best, take care,



Good Morning!

Things are winding down here in Tucson. I'll visit the Main Show again this morning and then will come back to the room and open it for the last time. This afternoon/evening, I'll start to break things down and will begin my packing. I've had a great time as usual and am so thankful I've been able to be a part of this years show. The friends, the rocks, the sights and sounds of the World's biggest Gem, Mineral and Fossil show are all just the very best!

Yesterday, I visited the TCC and had a great walk through. I snapped off several photos and will try to do the same today too. After, I headed back to the room and stayed open until about 7:30 when I finally took off to eat dinner at The Garland. Following this, I took off for the annual party at Peter and Allison Megaw's and there had a wonderful, wonderful evening. It was near midnight when I finally arrived back at the room.

Today will be a melancholy day. The desire to be here and the desire to be home. Tomorrow will be a packing day also and if I get time, I'll head back down to the Main Show for a last walk through. On Monday, I'll hit the road. Have a great weekend everyone! Take care,



Hi Everyone!

I'm back home and finally have the truck unloaded. I'm buried in paperwork, etc., but I'm home. Tucson was a wonderful, thrilling challenge this year in regards to sales, but with regard to friends, it was as pleasure filled an experience as ever one could ask for!

I am so happy to be a part of the Tucson experience. It really is an incredible World we all live in!

With regard to the show, after my last report, I soon began my tear down. Packing and packing and then finally, after nearly a month, I had a bed to sleep on! Ahhh...

The drive home went well and now I've over 431,000 miles on the ol' S-10! Thank you so much all of you who wrote and commented, I really appreciate your taking the time!

And so, until next year my friends... when we'll hopefully see you too at the show... take care and Happy Rocking! All the very best,


PS I found the following additional Tucson Show Reports which feature the room at the following links, enjoy!


Mineral Forum

Everett Harrington Tucson Picture Report