I’d like to start by reminding you that this issue of the Chronicles is for both December and January. Please notice that TBFC’s December 14th meeting is on NOT on the first Saturday of the month as it normally is. Due to scheduling conflicts with the University of South Florida TBFC’s December meeting is on the second Saturday. TBFC’s first meeting in 2014 will be on January 4th.
December 14th Meeting Ben Waller Memorial Scholarship Auction with Dr. Bob Sinibaldi
Can you believe the Holiday Season is already here? Regardless of which holiday you may celebrate, I think everyone agrees that this is the season for giving. And in that spirit, TBFC offers you the chance to both give, and to receive.
As is tradition with TBFC, December’s meeting will host our annual Ben Waller Memorial Scholarship Auction. This will be your best opportunity to pick up some fossils, artifacts, and all sorts of “paleo” related goodies to wrap up for your favorite fossil hunter. Or, what the heck, to keep for yourself! And it’s all for a good cause. Proceeds will benefit the numerous scholarships TBFC awards throughout the year.
There will be lots of “paleo” items available in the auction from all of the generous folks who donate to this worthy cause. So, if you have a bunch of those pesky meg teeth laying around, or too many mammoth molars to fit under your bed, consider donating them to this excellent cause! If you don’t have any fossils you’re ready to part with yet, a big heart and a deep wallet is all you need. What makes the Ben Waller Memorial Auction a success… is YOU!
TBFC’s auctioneer extraordinaire will once again be our very own Dr. Bob Sinibaldi. His booming voice and silly antidotes keeps the auction interesting and a not to be missed show. I hope to see a good crowd on hand to help us raise some money for TBFC.
And… to make it easier for you to purchase products from TBFC’s auction, paleo store and other items, we now take credit and debit cards!
January 4th Meeting The Prehistoric Fish of Fossil Lake with Joseph Branin
Fifty million years ago tectonic forces warped an area of land near today’s southwest corner of Wyoming. A depression was formed and a lake filled in.
Today, the deposits formed by this prehistoric waterway are called Fossil Lake. These sediments located near the small town of Kemmerer, Wyoming contain one of the richest fossil deposits in the world. Preserved in limestone are abundant fish and other animals and plants of the lake’s ecosystem including alligators, crocodiles, turtles, insects, water lilies, and crayfish. Less common, but actually found in the same deposits are animals from ecosystems surrounding the lake such as horse, bats, lizards, birds, flowers, and insects.
Like a lot of TBFC’s “kids”, Joseph Branin grew up with our fossil club. The first time I remember seeing him at a club function he couldn’t have been more than seven or eight years old. Since then, he and his Mother, Leslie, haven’t missed hardly a single TBFC function or meeting. Much involved, Leslie is a Board member (Joseph not yet of a legal age to sit as an agent of TBFC’s Corporation), and both can be seen volunteering at most of our events. And if you don’t see them at a TBFC event, they usually have a great excuse; they’re out on expedition!
Joseph and his Mother have made many impressive trips around the country, and the world, in search of relics from the past. One such adventure took them to Kemmerer, Wyoming to dig in the quarries for the fish of Fossil Lake. Always the entrepreneur, Joseph worked out a deal with the quarry owner to return by himself the following summer and spend his time out of school being paid to dig fossil fish. I keep telling this kid, “He’s living the dream”.
Joseph did return to Kemmerer the following summer where he “slept with the fishes”, literally. His lecture and presentation will explain the history and science of Fossil Lake, as well as describing the fish and other fossils found there. As a 17 year old kid, living alone for the summer, out of state, I don’t know if we’ll hear too many wild stories from his time in the small town. After all, his mother will be in the audience.
Many of our monthly presenters tell us about great fossils that have been found and great fossil sites here and all over the world. Problem is most of the places aren’t accessible to the average amateur fossil hunter. Joseph’s presentation will be just the opposite. Not only will you learn about the great fossils being found in Fossil Lake, he’s going to explain how you too can go collect these great fossils for yourself! Don’t miss this one!
Happy Holidays to everyone. I look forward to seeing you all at both the December and January meetings.