An Article In Meteorite Times Magazine
by Jim Tobin


The Meteorites of May

April showers May bring May flowers, but for Paul and I it always seems that May is a big month for meteorite related activities. This year was no exception. We were on the go the whole month. I am only going to share in this article the details of our time at the Riverside Telescope Makers Conference. It is the one time of the year when we drop out of cyberspace to sell meteorites and tektites in the "real world".

I had done a great amount of cutting back in March and we had a really good supply of meteorites. We had our usual tubs of tektites. It is always fascinating to watch the people search through the tubs for the ones that catch their eye. I am surprised by the choices they make. I have such different criteria for picking tektites than most people. Maybe they know something I don't. But it is part of the enjoyment to see them find the very special tektite that they want to take home.

We had a canopy this year to give us and our customers some shade and that was really great. It gets well into the 90's most years. We are there manning the booth from 8 am till around 5-6 pm each of the three days. The weather was beautiful this year. We have had snow and rain and wind many times in the past, but not even the wind was a problem this trip.

There is always a little contingent of meteorite dealers at the camp. This year we were once again joined by Sharon and Eugene from Mineralogical Research. They have been going to RTMC for a long time and bring really nice material and a great selection of books. Mike from Mare Meteoritics is a regular as well and always stops by to say hi. He had some pretty NWAs and a large slice of Renfrow, a nice supply of micromounts, as well as some irons. Marvin and Kitty Killgore of Southwest Meteorite Lab were there for the weekend though they were selling only on Saturday during the swap meet. They are dealers at the Costa Mesa Gem and Mineral Show the week before every year. They deserve to take some rest and enjoy some play time. They had some nice Campos and some iron slices, watches and jewelry along with their really great collection book.

Each year we see some returning collectors, and meet a large number of people that have never seen meteorites or tektites up close before. It is nice to introduce them to these unique and rare objects. It is good for us too. We need to get away from the keyboard and go out into the market place and peddle our wares so to speak. We almost always meet a few people personally that have bought from us over the internet. That is really great too.

We did not do any astronomy observing this year, which is one of the real themes of the weekend. But, we did have a chance to catch up with friends. Paul and I got to make some plans after work for the near future and think about how to take advantage of the close approach of Mars in August. It was the best of endings for a month that was really full of meteorite related stuff. In the future I hope to share some more of those things, they were also pretty exciting.

Till next time, Jim