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tucson gem and mineral


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It was my first visit to the show and man what a venue. After figuring out how to get off the freeway and into town we set out to see some of the displays along the freeway that afternoon. The next day we went to the convention center and spent about four hours there. My wife spent a bunch on decorations for the house but there was no way I could talk her into buying that $15,000 gold nugget belt buckle for me. Ran into RonB. and his wife and another Jim. They said they had spotted John B. and Reno Chris but I never spotted them. If you have never been to the show plan on more than a day and a half. You might come close to seeing it all in a week. :icon_mrgreen:

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I dragged John B around the Tucson show for several days, and nearly wore his feet completely off by the time I had to leave (that is, by the time I had fully worn out my welcome and John was about to throw me out anyway).

John was the most awesome tour guide, he knew the show venues like the back of his hand. The gold, meteorite and mineral specimens were just spectacular. He even tried to get me into the Wholesale Access Only tents, by telling the registration staff that he was a brothel inspector and he thought there must be something or someone inside the tent for him to inspect. :innocent0009: When the lady at the registration desk started calling the police, we left abruptly - but John did give it his very best effort. :innocent0009: .

As our guide, John spoke fluent Russian with the Russian dealers, spanish to the mexican dealers and even Austrailian to the Australian dealers (right, mate). He only beat up one dealer from Oman (oh wait, I wasnt supposed to say anything about that) :Huh_anim]:

John was a very tough negotiator when it comes to buying gold, metorites or mineral specimens. The first thing he asks the dealer is "what is available for free?" Basically, John starts his offer to make a purchase at zero, and then makes the seller meet his terms. Once in a while he offers a dealer $50 for everything he has in the room - the dealers total inventory (but thats only where the dealer has at least several million worth of goods in stock). After watching John exhibit his bargaining skills, I was able to perform a little semi-larceny in purchasing a few bottles of mexican opal.

We got to see some really fantastic stuff at the Flandrau museum - including a very nice portion of John's collection of gold and metoerites. I got to hold both a piece of Mars, and a gigantic ring shaped nugget.

John even took me out to find some gold, and although the area was very interesting geologically, the gold hid itself from both of us. It was just great to get out with my detector. In spite of what so many folks say, the Dodge is actually not that bad a truck.

Anyway, John was a great host, I had a lot of laughs, and I look forward to seeing the show again next year. It was just a fantastic experience.

Thanks again, John.


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Hi Jim and Chris

Jim I did look very hard for you at the TCC but I was babysitting a gentleman (Perry) and a crazy geologist (Reno Chris) :shrug: . I was really worried they would get bamboozeled by some foriegner rock dealer or fast talkin Az prospector or beeper salesman :POsmiley01: !! Then of course there was Jim B running loose in the hall ( I had bail money for him ) :nutty: . Chris I had a good time even though my dogs took a beating :sadwalk: !! I'm glad you didn't get arressted by the rock cops for takin advantage of that poor gal babysittin some hustlers booth :Huh_anim]: !! It was a good score on some mexican potch though :innocent0009: !! I'm just disapointed you didn't haggle her down some :confused0013: !! I thought I taught you something down here :angry-smiley-010: !! If you would have started at a price of free you might have made a couple bucks by convincing her you were doing her a service by hauling the stuff off :laught16: !! I did learn a bunch from you on rock names and types but I'm still confused on Zeolites or was it Zelots :idea: ?? I guess I will see you guys next year or sooner at an outing of something :whoopie: !! Happy Huntin John B.

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I have also had the JB tour ( a couple times) and just gotta say...well....John's just a sweetheart :escape: Knows all the cool spots, cool dudes, cool booths, and where to sneak into a back lot for parking. Just be damn careful riding with him around the college :yikes::WOW: :rofl2:

I'd have done it this year, but finding the time :bang:

Cheers, Bill

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Both times we went to the Campus, there were basically no co-ed females to be seen.

John was very disapointed with the lack of campus views (I was not sure what we were going to the campus to see, gold, meteorites or cute young girls).

But at least there were no car wrecks, and no one was injured.


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I've got to ditto what everyone has said about JB's tours. In between trips out even had his daughter have pizzas delivered, when we got back to the house!

My brother and I had a great time. And if John couldn't come up with a quick lie (fairytale), Chris was there to give the real skinny!

The ol Dodge made the whole tour (that day) without breaking down or anything!!!!!!!!

Thanks Again JB !

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