Ex-Educator Still Loves Teaching

PAYSON PEOPLE

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In the Rim country, residents need not look any further than their front yards to see them in abundance.

Rocks. They're everywhere, and this weekend, the Payson Rimstones Rock Club hosts the Seventh Annual Gem and Mineral Show.

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Bruce Berman

Bruce Berman has chaired the event for two years.

"It's not just for rock hounds," he said. "There's a lot of pretty things."

Berman, a former educator, is still passionate about teaching. He uses his affiliations with the Payson Rimstones Rock Club, along with the Rim Area Gardeners and the High Country Xeriscape Council of Arizona to continue teaching others.

"We have 17 vendors participating," he said of the rock and gem show. "There is something for everyone with a wide range of prices."

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The rough slabs used for jewelry can be as beautiful as the finished product.

There will also be two display cases of exhibits that aren't for sale, plus a silent auction with materials for both adults and children.

Two other features have been specially designed for children at this year's gem and mineral show. There is a spinning wheel, where youngsters buy a chance to spin a wheel, they then get the mineral that corresponds to the space on which the wheel stops. Another, by Mardy Zimmerman, features egg cartons filled with minerals, which the children can purchase for $1.

Many of the minerals being used for the silent auction and spinning wheel have been collected by members of The Payson Rimstones Rock Club. There are about 90 area residents who are members of the group.

At least one of the vendors will have merchandise specifically targeting children, Berman said.

He said there will be raw stones, rough slabs, minerals, gems, finished jewelry, chains, findings -- the materials for jewelry making -- tools, supplies and books. A silversmithing demonstration is planned, plus there will be information about lapidary arts.

Berman said the vendors include people who have participated in the past, such as representatives from Herkimer Diamonds of New York, but every year they have something different to share, and there will be new vendors as well.

In fact, Berman said he hopes to have more than 60 8-foot tables of merchandise on display in the Tonto Apache gym.

Door prizes donated by members and area businesses will be given away. Drawings are planned for every half hour.

Refreshments are also provided.

Admission is $3 for adults, with children under 12 admitted free. There are $1 discount coupons throughout the community. Look for them at the Rim Country Regional Chamber of Commerce, the Mazatzal Casino, the Payson Public Library, Gila Community College, area motels and the Payson Roundup.

The seventh annual Gem and Mineral Show is from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 9 and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 10 at the Tonto Apache Reservation's gymnasium.

The Payson Rimstones Rock Club meets the second Wednesday of the month at 3:30 p.m. at the Payson Public Library.

Profile

Name: Bruce Berman

Occupation: "Semi" retired, materials management.

Employer: Payson Regional Medical Center.

Age: 59.

Birthplace: New York City.

Family: Wife, Barbara, daughter, Linda in Queen Creek, son, David in New Jersey and one grandson.

Personal motto: The Golden Rule.

Inspiration: My friend, Les Booth, who was a science teacher and high school principal. He started an astronomy club and built an observatory.

Greatest feat: "I think life's accomplishments are a lot of little things added up."

Favorite hobby or leisure activity: The rock club, the garden club, the xeriscape council and playing with my grandson.

Three words that describe me best are ... "A gentleman, hard-worker, smart," supplied George O'Brien, president of The Payson Rimstones Rock Club.

I don't want to brag but ... I have a good time.

The person in history I'd most like to meet is: Leonardo da Vinci.

Luxury defined: Having enough to do without too much to do.

Dream vacation spot: Hawaii

Why Payson? We followed our daughter to Arizona, but not all the way to the Valley.

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