Rocky start expected for annual gem show

Lola Lamb has been intrigued by rocks since the 1970s, when her mother got her interested in the Big Spring Prospector's Club.“It's a learning process every day. Every rock you cut open, you are the first to see what the good Lord made there,” she said with a smile. “it's never ceased to amaze me how just a dull rock can hold something so beautiful inside.”Crossroads area residents will have the opportunity to see some of what Lamb is talking about — and a whole lot more — at the 43rd Annual Gem and Mineral Show, set this weekend at the Howard County Fairbarn. Times will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free. Children receive a tumbled rock when they enter, and door prizes are given away each hour.This weekend, fair barn visitors will find rough rocks, finished jewelry, glass and stone beads and a wide variety of other merchandise. There will be displays made by the Big Spring, Lubbock and Midland prospector's clubs. Show goers can vote on their favorites and at the end of the day, one club will win the People's Choice Award.At least 10 vendors from across Texas will be selling wares.One other popular item is the spinning wheel. Children — and adults — pay a nominal fee to spin the wheel and win a prize fashioned by Lamb herself.“I've been working on them since way back in the summer,'” she said. “It started out years ago as something for the kids, but a lot of adults spin the wheel, too. There are no losers. Each spin wins a prize and each prize is worth more than the 50-cent fee.”Also available will be a full snack bar with chairs and tables. Hot dogs, hamburgers and nachos will be among the fare, as will all types of drinks and sweets.Those attending can also learn about the Big Spring Prospector's Club, which maintains a clubhouse near the downtown area. The club accepts all ages, even children.“Very seldom do you find a kid that doesn't like rocks. So we don't have any trouble identifying with kids,” Lamb said with a laugh.