75th ANNUAL GEM-O-RAMA in Trona October 8 & 9, 2016


Sponsored by the Searles Lake Gem & Mineral Society
October 8-9, 2016 Saturday 7:30AM to 5PM – Sunday 7:30AM to 4PM
SLG&MS Lapidary and Show Building – 13337 Main St. (corner of Main & Trona Rd.)



FIELD TRIPS – you drive your own car

DEALER SPECIAL – PINK HALITE – (4 1/2 hours on Friday afternoon – Price pending)

SEARLES DRY LAKE – (2 1/2 hour trips on Saturday, 4 1/2 hours on Sunday)

Registration: 7:30-9:00 am and 1:30-2:30 pm – you must register during these times to go on field trips

Mud Trip
– Saturday Only – Departs ONLY at 9AM- Cluster & barrel hanksite, trona, borax – $15 per CAR

Blow Hole
– Saturday Only – Departs ONLY at 2:30PM- Hanksite, halite, borax, sulfohalite – dry surface- $15 per CAR

Pink Halite
– Sunday Only – Departs ONLY at 9AM- In brine, beneath hard salt – $20 per CAR

Pinnacles National Natural Landmark
– Self guided, information at show – FREE

Searles Valley Minerals’ Plants – Saturday only: 10:40,11:25, 12:10, 12:55 and 1:40 – in bus – FREE



All Pink Halite collected with permission of Searles Valley Minerals


20 Dealers – 50 exhibits – Geode cutting and sales – Demonstration – Games – Gem dig – Free parking

Snacks & drinks – Grand Prize Drawing – Hourly door prizes

Good Food in Catered Cafeteria in Show Building

LUNCH: Sat. and Sun. – 10AM to 4PM DINNER: Fri. ($10.00) and Sat. ($10.00)- 5PM to 7PM



Sat. 6 to 10AM, Sun. 6 to 9AM – Adults: $5.00, children under 7: $3.00

Large groups – make advanced reservations for prompt service – call Gini Schwartz (760)372-5720

FORMER TRONAN’S PICNIC – Sat. 10AM, Trona Elementary School (on Athol St.)


TRONA’S HISTORY HOUSE – Sat. 11AM to 4PM, Sun. 10AM to 2PM


– 5.3 miles north of show, $8/vehicle (dry camp, no resv.)

(Most in Ridgecrest, 25 miles west)


Visit our web page at www1.iwvisp.com/tronagemclub/ or call Jim or Bonnie Fairchild (760)372-5356

Note: above times and prices for show may change – check here for updates – last updated on 10/16/201454


Gem Show Flyer Download

Gem Show Flyer-page-001

Gem Show Flyer-page-002



2016 has come fast, hasn’t it? It doesn’t seem like two years since the Centennial Celebration, but it’s time again to plan for the 2016 Former Tronans Picnic. This year the Picnic will be held on October 8th. That’s the second weekend in October. The Searles Lake Gem and Mineral Show will also be at that same time, so be sure to walk through and see some of our local artists and their presentations.

We would appreciate hearing from you whether or not you plan to attend. Let us know how you and your family are doing and be sure to verify your address, phone number and email address (if you have one). Thank you to all who made donations to cover our expenses last time! Please get your response forms in by 30 September at the very latest.


Our Picnic will be held on Saturday, October 8th beginning at 10:00 AM at the our usual meeting place, the Trona Elementary School (the Round School) on Athol Street.


Sack lunches (sandwich, chips, fruit cup, dessert) are available for $8 each. Please include payment with your response as these lunches must be pre-ordered. Beverages will be provided by the club.

The Trona Community Church always sponsors a pancake breakfast on Saturday and Sunday mornings from 6 a.m. until 10 a.m. The cost is $5.00 for adults and $3.00 for children seven and under. It is a great way to start your morning!

The Trona Elks will have a deep-pit BBQ (beef or pork) Saturday evening from 3 p.m. until gone. If you’re interested, call the Trona Elks and let them know. Food is also available at the Trails Drive-in and at Esparza’s Family Restaurant (old Theater) on Main Street.


The Searles Lake Gem and Mineral Society will be celebrating their 75th annual Gem-O-Rama on October 8th and 9th. Free Plant Tours by bus at 11, 11:40, 12:20, 1 p.m. and 2:30 on Saturday only. For additional information, please refer to the flier included in this letter.

The museums of the Searles Valley Historical Society – Old Guest House, History House, and the Trona Railway, will be open on Saturday from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. and on Sunday from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. The Fire Museum will be open on Saturday only.


Pinnacle Inn Clarion Inn Comfort Inn
84368 Trona Road 901 N. China Lake Blvd. 507 S. China Lake Blvd
Trona, CA 93562 Ridgecrest, CA 93555 Ridgecrest, CA 93555
(760) 372-5795 (760) 446-7910 (760) 375-9731
Hampton Inn & Suites Spring Hill Suites (Marriott) Heritage Inn & Suites
104 E. Sydnor Ave. 113 E. Sydnor Ave 1050 N. Norma
Ridgecrest CA 93555 Ridgecrest CA 93555 Ridgecrest CA 93555
(760) 446-1968 (800) 741-5072 (800) 843-0693
Best Western China Lake Inn
400 S. China Lake Blvd
Ridgecrest, CA 93555
760 371-2300

Camping is available at Valley Wells for a nominal fee (only for the weekend).

We’re looking forward to seeing all our friends. Please let us know by returning the enclosed attendance form.

See you at the Picnic!

Nicki (Weidenbenner) Johnson


The Former Tronans Picnic? takes place October 8th, 10AM – 2PM in the Trona Elementary (round) School. All Former Tronans are invited to come and it’s FREE! PDF forms (Info on the Picnic, a RSVP form, and the Gem and Mineral Show, also on the same weekend) can be downloaded here:

2016 Letter Download

2016 Letter Response Form Download

Gem Show Flyer Download



Alfred Kennedy – Class of 1954

An email from George Sherman brings the following sad news:

“I’m very sad to have to report that Al has passed away.  Thank you to Ann Tankersley for alerting me about it this morning.  I just talked on the phone to one of Al‘s sons who verified that Al passed away late last Saturday night (early Sunday morning).  His obituary should be posted in the Ridgecrest Daily Independent starting tomorrow (which can be viewed at http://www.ridgecrestca.com/obituaries), and his funeral will be at the Holland and Lyons Mortuary in Ridgecrest at 10 AM [Saturday Jan 30, 2016].  Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend because I will be in Memphis at the time.  When Al was in Trona High, he went under the name Alfred Adams, but his official name is Kennedy.  He was married to  Dolores (Abbott) Kennedy (Trona High School 1955)”

David Pillott : Class of 1956

David passed away on December 19, 2015 at 5:00 PM. He passed quickly and ever so peacefully in the home that he built in Idaho and loved and cared for surrounded by his family.

Being at home under the care of family and hospice provided a peaceful ending to a long hard battle for a little over a year and a half, with many trips to Minnesota for treatments.

WE Martin

Ralph Edward Martin – Class of 1964

Ralph Edward Martin, age 69 of Lexington, passed away following a long battle with lung cancer, Thursday, October 15, 2015 at his home. Ralph Edward Martin was born September 22, 1946 in Broken Bow, OK, the only son of John Lewis Martin and Edith Viola (Claunch) Martin. He spent his early years in the Criner and Dibble area before moving to Trona, CA. He attended Trona Unified Schools, graduating from Trona High School in 1965. While in high school he was in ROTC and was in a Chess Club. Ralph joined the United States Army in 1969, and was proud to serve his country. After being honorably discharged for medical reasons, Ralph married his best friend and love of his life, Ms. Kathy Giraud. They were married on April 10, 1971 in Las Vegas, NV. Together they raised two children, son Shad and daughter, Sarah. Ralph first worked installing water and sewer lines for a few years. Then he began working for Midwest Communications building teletypes and selling contracts. In 1974 he took a job with Teletype Corporation in OKC. After several years with this company, Teletype merged with AT&T and he was transferred to Albuquerque, NM in 1982. Because of his physical battles, Ralph returned to Oklahoma in 2012 to be close to his mother. Throughout his life, Ralph loved being in the outdoors, he enjoyed elk hunting at Mt. Taylor, NM and camping and fishing with his family and friends. More recently he and Kathy would take meaningful daytrips all over Oklahoma enjoying new scenery. Ralph will be remembered as a wonderful husband, father and grandfather. He will be dearly missed!

He was preceded in death by: His parents, John Martin and mother, Vi Martin in May of this year. Ralph is survived by: His wife, Kathy of the home; Son, Shad Martin of Albuquerque, NM; Daughter, Sarah Martin and husband Brenden Patterson of Beaverton, OR; Grandson, Eli Patterson and A host of other family and friends.

A Celebration of Life Memorial Service is scheduled for 2:00 P.M. Thursday, October 22, 2015 at Wilson-Little Funeral Home Chapel in Purcell, OK. Another memorial service will be held at a later date in Albuquerque, NM. Interment will be at Hillside Cemetery in Purcell, OK. Send online condolences @ wilsonlittle.com. In lieu of flowers the family request that you send memorials to the American Lung Association, 55 W. Wacker Drive Suite 1150, Chicago, IL 60601.

Roberta Wilson

Roberta “Robi” (Wilson) Reece – Class of 1958

Roberta “Robi” Reece
Apr. 2, 1940 – Oct. 2, 2015
San Jose, formerly of San Juan Bautista
Friends are invited to join family for a Celebration of Robi’s Life at South Valley Community Church, 8095 Kelton Dr., Gilroy on October 24, 2015, at 11:00am.
Robi was born in Trona, CA and moved to the Bay Area in the early 1960’s to begin her family. She spent 35 years residing in San Juan Bautista, where she was a teacher’s aide at San Juan School and later became the receptionist at SVCC Church in Gilroy for 20 years.
Robi is survived by her son and daughter-in-law, Dean and Gina Reece and her grandchildren, Emily and Jacob all of Aurora, Oregon. She is also survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Dee Ann and Michael Harn and her grandchildren, Mikaela and Kylee all of San Jose, California.
Robi loved life! In her memory, if you wish, the family requests donations be made to the , SVCC, or your local Christian School. – See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/mercurynews/obituary.aspx?pid=176031090#sthash.16kT6WKX.dpuf

Lois Leonadi

Lois Knight Leonardi

Lois Knight Leonardi
Oct. 22, 1925 – Oct. 15, 2015

Lois Leonardi, 89, passed away in Redlands on October 15. She is survived by her children Andrea, Katherine and Frank, her brothers Bob and Paul, 10 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren.

A graduate of the University of Redlands, Lois was a retired school teacher, talented pianist, traveler and adventurer. She lived in the USA, Germany, Mexico, Peru and Iran and had many fascinating stories about her travels to Asia, Europe, UK, the Middle East, Australia, North America and South America. An avid photographer of people and landscapes, she was rarely without her camera and leaves behind a legacy of photographs spanning her lifetime.

She taught elementary school in Trona from 1950 to 1959.  She is mourned  by many former Trona elementary students who fondly remember her.

miss knight