Sunday, March 10, 2013

My Rockhounding Pedigree Runs Deep

Today my mother showed me some images she recently received of herself and her parents (Dr. and Mrs. J. Vernon McGee) taken back in the 1930's and 1940's. The source of the images are the Dunn Family whom attended Lincoln Avenue Presbyterian Church in Pasadena, CA, people whom the McGee's liked and respected. Amongst the images a member of the Dunn Family recently sent mom are three showing my grandparents out on the Mojave Desert on a rockhounding excursion with the Dunn Family. We already knew the McGee's liked to do that sort of thing back when my mother was a child. Mom had childhood memories of making such trips out to the Mojave Desert back in the 1940's into the 1950's including to Scotty's Castle back when it was still managed by the Gospel Foundation which repeatedly allowed the McGee Family to lodge there. What we did not know was that my grandparents went on rockhounding jaunts prior to my mom's birth and that they specifically visited the mining town of Calico, CA, in the late 1930's, something we realized as a result of viewing the images below. Calico is a place that has always been special to me and my parents as they used to take my brother and I out there when we were growing up in the 1970's into early 1980's. I visited the place again twice in the 2000's. Now that I know more fully my family connection to the place I feel compelled to get back out there as soon as I can make the trip. I also now know that my family rockhounding legacy goes back about 75 years. It is also worth noting that my paternal grandfather James Edwin Noyes also cast about on the Mojave Desert back in the early days around this same time and ultimately worked for Continental Conveyor which designed and built conveyor belt systems for mines and quarries around the world. Special thanks to my friend Mark Wiberg for digitalizing these images for me and to Lin Kerns for cleaning them up for me.

Grandpa McGee at far right and Grandma McGee second from left.
Grandpa McGee resting on a blanket while Grandma McGee snacks.
Grandpa McGee (foreground) walking out of the Calico General Store circa late 1930's.
All photos by Gene & Alice Dunn or Luther & Helen Dunn courtesy of Margie Dunn (All rights reserved).

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