Dave Babulski, Ed.D.
("Tips and Trips", Vol. XXXI/10, October 2002, page 8.)
Hello everyone. The Micromount Corner took the last month off as I was preparing for a micromount symposium. On August 31, 2002, my wife and I traveled to Hendersonville, North Carolina to participate in a meeting of micromounters in the Southeast. I brought some mineral art and was the featured speaker for the event. Now I have been collecting micro mounts for over twenty years, and this was the first big micromount gathering that I have attended. Boy was it a blast! There were over 60 micromounters in attendance. I counted over thirty microscopes set up around the room. That was a sight! It was interesting as well to note all the different types of stereo microscopes, everything from some genuine antiques to new state of the art scopes, all quite obviously lovingly cared for.
The meeting took place in the Hendersonville Salvation Army Building on the activity room main floor, so we had plenty of space. A group of tables were set up in the middle of the room which were piled high with specimens that were free for the taking (the give-away table). In addition to the vast array of stereo microscopes, there were almost as many different mounting techniques on display. Most of the micromounters in attendance were very interested in trading specimens. These folks brought specimens loosely mounted in snap boxes or held in place with a little mounting clay. It was a lot of fun to talk with other micromounters, who are a very friendly bunch indeed.
There is an etiquette to a micromount symposium. You should definitely bring specimens to give away. It is considered bad form to take from the give-away table without putting some specimens on the table for others to share. The old, trusty egg carton was the predominant specimen holder on the give-away table. When you mount for your own collection, set aside those extra specimens in a box and then bring them to the next get-together of micromounters. You would be amazed how many really nice specimens can be obtained from the give away table or swapping with other collectors.
Most of the people in attendance were from the Southeast, however, one fellow came all the way from England to attend the symposium. Many new friendships were made along with a great many warm memories.
May the sky be blue and all the vugs you find be crystal filled...
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