Retired Architect Tim Unruh was fascinated with meteorites since he was a boy growing up in Santa Rosa. His father owned Unruh Camera shops which are still sorely missed by professional photographers in our area. “When I was around ten years old an uncle, who was somewhat a geologist, gave me several little meteorites – rocks from space – which I still have.” Unruh has become a dealer in ‘space rocks’ and loves to spend time with curious people who love to hold meteorites in their hand and think about where and how this bit of the universe came to be here.
At the various gem and mineral shows he works, he supplies a meteorite fact sheet to buyers, “I really enjoy the interest people show as they visit my exhibits.” Unruh has built his own telescopes and feels his interest in meteorites is a natural extension of rock hounding and astronomy. Today he gives lectures at Christian and church groups on biblical correlation of astronomy and the biblical references thereof. You can meet Tim Unruh at the 42nd annual mineral and gem show on October 20 & 21. This would have been the 43th annual show but for the fires last October. The rock club was geared up to do the show at the Veterans building when the Tubbs fire hit, club president Connie Acton said. People were living in the building. Mayor Coursey asked us to delay our show. That was an easy decision to make, although the show is our major source of income for the club. Visit the SRGMS web site for details. Kids under 12 are free all others $7 with a buck off if you download the coupon on their web site.
One popular booth at the rock show that kids love is the Gold Diggers. This the local chapter of the deadly virus Gold Fever! Their mission statement can be found on their Facebook site:(santarosagolddiggers) ‘To be good stewards of the environment, be good mentors and teach ethical and safe prospecting techniques, and to share knowledge and enjoy the camaraderie of our fellow prospectors.’ In addition to that you can watch your young one catch gold fever and be wide eyed at the ‘color’ in their pan. Members will guide your kids through the process of panning for gold. It is curious that even a young child has a latent knowledge of the intrinsic value of gold. Little ones will keep their bit of color for years in their treasure box. There will be craft workshops to make stuff out of beads and rocks, a wheel with great rock prizes and other family exhibits and workshops.
Another worthwhile family outing this weekend is the last ‘Steam up’ of the restored steam powered saw mill, Sturgeons Mill, about half-way between Occidental and Graton. The cost is reasonable, Free, parking is the same. The weather is often better than inland and you can pack your lunch or buy it from the volunteers, a nice adult size lunch can be had for under $10. Docent led tours begin as soon as a group forms. As a working museum the mill is a wonder to behold. The old steam engine was of a River Boat design, think of old Sam Clemens in the captain’s chair up on the top of the building, guiding the mill up the Mississippi. This analogy might be a stretch but I wanted to see if I could still spell Mississippi. Sam changed his name to Mark Twain, do you know how deep Mark Twain is? Answer in next week’s column. A word of caution, little ones with sensitive ears should not attend unless you provide ear protection, the steam whistles are very loud.