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Rocks and Minerals
James Mallonee


Rocks and Minerals

Why I collect rocks.

A long time ago my Dad, Carthel Mallonee, showed me a carnelian agate. It was a beautiful orange-red stone that he picked up in Bickleton, Washington. My Dad taught me that many of the things that most people just walk over are valuable and worth looking at. I love my Dad and in a lot of ways I have tried to be like him, just like my brothers have. My Dad taught me to pan gold and to melt silver and how to polish metal.

Years later, while I was stationed in Monterey, California, I started working on Fort Ord at the rock shop. I polished a few rocks and cut some other ones. I also found out about Jade Cove and some of the other places to hunt rocks. I also met Cal Keeter. Cal was in his 80's at that time and he had a collection of rocks that someone had given to him to pass down to younger rockhounds. I picked up some of those rocks from Cal. I wish I had met Cal earlier, because shortly after that I PCS'd to Southern Italy. While in Italy, I bought a tumbler, a polishing unit, and some more rocks. I also found some ... interesting ... places. You can read about them with the links on the side. I came back to California in 1993 and joined the Carmel Valley Prospectors. Cal Keeter helped me get into rockhounding by introducing me to the rock clubs in the area. I ended up belonging to the Hollister club as well. It was about that time that I met Bill Maison. Bill was an amazing person and a big influence in my life. I miss Bill, he passed away some years back. You can see one of Bill's Opals on this page. I can't really get the pictures to come out the way they should, but it pretty much speaks for itself.

After a stint in Northern Japan where I chased wild snow monkeys and mountain goats up and down the hills, I arrived here in Alabama. I have been VP of the Montgomery Gem and Mineral Society since 1998. I enjoy the club and I normally lead the field trips. Some of these pages will highlight some of the field trips.