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And I cannot help riding on rocking or eating meat. I think I have found an avenue for. The second largest craft hobby in America today is said to be rock hounding with all of its branches of interest some of which are GM cutting making jewelry and the collection of gemstones rocks minerals and fossils. This universal hobby has grown to astonishing proportions in the last 25 years and shows signs of even more rapid growth as the need develops for more people to pursue more leisure time activities. Due to the fact that they are working few hours have more days off and get more vacation time. Rocks and minerals are specimens of extreme importance to the rock out. Of our most people do not realize the important role rocks and minerals play in everyday living. For example fluorite used in toothpaste and clothing. This
series of programs is designed to give an overall picture of the rockhound. Offer encouragement to the newcomer in this hobby. And present information of general interest to everyone. All of this will be examined as we explore the world of the rock. Today's programme is entitled stories legends and writings the narrator is Len folk. Last week we discussed local and national publications and their influence on the enthusiastic rockhound in addition to these periodicals innumerable textbooks and hobby books about rocks and minerals have been written for both children and adults. However we know of only one story book for children concerning this hobby of rock hounding which so many children indulge in. The book Rosie the rockhound was published
by Abingdon purse in 1963. Today we are talking with the author of the book Francis Brendan who is presently teaching science for children in the education department of Mississippi State College for Women where she also instructs in the language arts. In addition Mrs. Brandon serves as a consultant on the curriculum Planning Commission for the Mississippi authority for Educational Television. She's always been a rockhound with a great love for nature. Although Francis Brendan has written many books and articles for publication her primary interest is teaching and I like teaching but I think the reason I am a teacher is because I like boys and girls and things that they do particular animal gangs. And. Things of that so I'm still if you'll pardon my saying so a little bit on the child side myself. And you taught all ages of children. Yeah I taught first through
six and I also have taught college girls. You're teaching college girls now is that right. Yes I am. I'm teaching them before they go out to teach young children. When are you taking them any particular subject. Science for children and sometimes language arts. And where is it that you teach. Mississippi State College for Women. Columbus Mississippi. It's called the W W for women is one of the only just women's colleges that is state supported in the United States and perhaps in the world. How long have you been there. This starts My full of here and previous to that you grew in Nashville Tennessee. Yes. And what grade children did you teach their. Usually second and third billing and. Now let's get down to this book in order to write this book. Rosie the rock on you must be Sam got Iraq out of yourself.
Yes I like rocks. But the reason for writing this book was to please a certain quiet. I had third graders at this planet cell in Florida and we had a lovely study from prehistoric animals and of course you find that prehistoric animals found in the fossilized light in the rocks sedimentary rock. So we took a field trip and we found a Cephalopod. And the central thought is the germ of my story. Well before we go any further will you explain exactly what a cephalopod is where we had to learn this through but a cephalopod is a fossilized animal print. It was it is the remains of an animal that knew well an early paleo. Pan I think times and it was something like a squid land. A sort of animal that had tentacles and a large or small body as a case
might be and the body resembles somewhat the shape of a crayfish or a syringe in his saying so a segmented effect on the body. How large was this animal. The first seven bob that we find young was perhaps about three or four pounds when it was the last. But we found another one that musta weighed when it was a lad ten or 15 pounds and the rock itself is on the fragment that we have is eight and pounds in weight. Without. The fossilized animals why are they in the animals when they were alive. This would be so because they are now turned to stone. This is how we say it. Sediment. Settles in the plant. The animal as indicated they said imitation moving in over the centuries and becomes quite quite solid in fact
that this god is as heavy as a stone he would pick up in fact it's almost marble so. Now this one you have here with you. Yes it is have we had that debate and it's sort of grey color and it has the markings on the top and I just thought what do those markings indicate there on the top. Have you have a sing a cry fish land. Yes. Well you know the flipper part and with the little toy you know what in front of the tail there is a series of segments with a brown crossed over it. This is what this looks most like that makes it this is the interior of that it would appeal the cross back all of us right up you pay off the hook and you have this body part with the sentiment. I. Wonder how did you find this yourself. One girl found this film. How would you recognize a thing like that if you were walking along and saw a lot of rock. How would you recognize that.
Well we knew that. From our study that that might be a cephalopod in this particular deposit because of the age of the stone. And we also knew that a cephalopod had this shape we had talked to one of the individuals at the Children's Museum. What out was that just by itself or did you have to chip away at other rock and dirt that might have been around it. You know one or two to know what it was. This particular piece had fallen down amongst a lot of rubble of all the rock. Perhaps a machine in a crack in the rock fall off loading the rocks you know for the trucks. This he does wrong. It was at the base of a large declivity. And this was on a field trip that you found it. Well it was a field trip of your car. Or a museum fieldtrip you remember. Yes I do. It was this very easy to remember it was a museum museum fieldtrip sponsored by the museum on Saturdays for any classes all
groups interested in rock. All fossil formations and we had to study so we joined it and I think about it and I had a terrible problem that they me and I had a 4 year old. I couldn't get a soda. I had to take him alive. And we had many adventures that day with this four year around this rock lottery. Any particular ones that you'd like to tell Well about 10 o'clock. Exhaust the surrounding terrain in them was mud real sticky mode and my 4 year old got it so in the moment matted down that we had to go up pull him out and he's left issues and socks in the mud and there we were this cold morning in January with the drought high from we had to build a fire and follow him out. That's one of the extracurricular things that goes along with it. That's what I'm a class of third graders were so proud they all thought they were helping me baby see it you know. Well I know you had a lot of other interesting experiences do feel dribs and
fossil hunting in rock and liking me but added this particular experience. You wrote the book Rosie the rock. That's right and a chance remark that the little girl made me think about how parents don't know that people do like rocks and fossils. This little girl would not take her herself the pot home she wanted to give to me. A mountain but should keep its prey. You know. He said why my mother would just throw it out but oh well he wouldn't think of it and you know rock she wouldn't making it. That's a black athlete and an adult. They were to surprise with a client. The story is about Rosie that their grade child who wanted to win a contest so she wouldn't be a nobody at school and the contest was to determine which student could bring in the most interesting rock. Rosie remembered a rock at her grandmother's house when what she had found the previous summer there were all sorts of complications in getting back to her grandmother's and even more difficulties
in locating the rock because the grandmother hadn't realized that this long grey rock which resembled a loaf of French bread was actually a very special 12 pound cephalopod the grandmother was using this heavy rock to hold the door the tool she had closed so the weasels wouldn't get into the chickens. Rosie finally got the faucet and took it to school. But there were more problems and complications. One of them being that the trail fossil fell off the table and landed on Rosie's toe and incident which eventually proved to be helpful to Rosie at the end of the story. Rosie gets a prize and makes many new friends. Those who read the book without realizing it will have learned much about rocks and fossils. We asked Mrs. Brandon how much of the story is true. The names are fictitious and the situation of a little girl being in
a large city is quite different. The young scooter where from here. Pictured a huge city school where you had pre-code moving back and poet and this little girl had no friends and their little psychological story. With this you mean the girl in the book or the girl that found the fossil. The girl who found a fossil they had at home with both her parents and not a rosy look at her father and she was new in the city and he needed a friend and so I built the story around and counted the different little girl that I imagined. How did you happen to get the idea of this child say you know I think people make friends with their habits. And so I thought if a current of if a person girl a boy had a real fine hobby and they might meet people and make friends this way. So I chose to make the story about a little girl who wanted to find friends and who had a hobby and her habit
gave her new friendships. This I think is true in a way. And the book certainly indicates that that's true. What a child would you say the book is written. Right in there in your old age in the Abbey to get a good read a third grade reader can read this book and also it's nice for the takes you to read to the child. I think that if the teacher read the book that first and second enjoy it very much you teach your reason why. How long is the book is several pages I know is how long would it take to say read the book to. Our child at home. Usually it takes two readings layan. It can be read in one at one time but. Class periods us such that usually if you divide it right about the center it's the best place to stop and then with the next thing it's a story. In reading this book do you gentlemen in your classes have a have they you and you notice that they're interested in
rock collecting has increased tremendously. They always bring me their own rock and they tell me they want to go rock hunting in the summer and they've learned a new expression during the third and second grade Iraq. But during that hour just preschool it was called Gravel popping out in Arizona they call them pebble puppies I believe it is pebble puppets. This is a very popular me with children is it not apt to be wherever I go. Many boys have collections of rocks and fossils. In your teaching of the young teachers to be where you are now do you encourage them to do this sort of thing with their guys. I certainly do encourage them to always take a rock or two to handle. And to touch. And then if possible take the class on a wall and look at the rocks that are typical the mineral rocks of that area. You speak of minerals. You not only collect fossils you collect minerals too as they are.
Yes in many areas we do not have a layoff. I have fossil life in it. Isn't it true that this area right here in Tennessee is the best fossil collecting area in the in the country. I have heard that this is true of course in Montana and other states do have some doubts I'll run it you know. I want to ask you the circumstances that led to the rioting and how you were with this hat How did you do it. What does one do if one wants to read a book. It was so strange the year before I had had a girl in my clients who missed school one day and we had been a very nice you know to work. And I knew the girl wanted to kind of grew and I taught my classes anyway and I want to ask why she was absent. And her little friend said oh she hurt her foot. And I asked how this particular girl hurt her foot and she said that her mother had put a can of tomatoes on top of the refrig
you're right and that the girl walked into the kitchen and the vibration from her steps cause that the maid again can of tomatoes to fall on her. And it made her foot so so she couldn't wear her HEU the next day. So that instance I used in the story and used cephalopod all the fossil would you know would certainly hurt a person's throat. So then you decided to write your book and you said Dad did you just write it out when writing or did it take you a long time to do it. I wrote this down all right and I use black and white in what we call a manuscript book and drew pictures from my class and surprise them at the end of our unit. The last day of the unit as I'm going to have a surprise for you. They had a nice little show for me so I read the book and actually had used one of the other girls in the class whom I could sketch while as my little model my girl my rosy and they could recognize this child so I held the pictures but I didn't want to thrust at you and I read the story and they liked it so much. But their disappointment law that they had to wait two years before they could see it in book home
would take two years about to publish a book. I was going to ask you when you wrote it for the class did you were you thinking then of publishing it art did that thought come afterward. I had thought I might submit submit this book and I did submit it and it just happened that it did I meet the approval adding to the hearing issue. And I understand it says that time you've written another book. Can you talk about that. The book is about flickers this time another major subject merge as you know the flick got is a beautiful bird that is kinda I would pack up. And this too came from a real experience. I think most books come from experiences that we've had and it is about our love family. Obviously those. Who were in the room and rescued back then rescued after a storm of a little boy in the city and they were raised to maturity are allowed to go for you that's the general basis. With me a little. Adventures in between and that is probably by that Macmillan textbook division
and that is that Will that be like a textbook in the schools or. I'm reading for pleasure book. And more reading for pleasure. It is a supplementary book to be on the reading table after they have completed their third grade reading. Have you written any other books or do you have ideas for future books that you'd like to discuss here. When I write all the 10 and I always have some stories that I haven't shown anyone. And sometimes the stories I never show and sometimes I get them at. The moment I do have a story that we may hear about later and I cannot help loving him and I can help eating a sleeping it's their right as I was 11 years ago. Why do you write you have said your busy life I don't see how you had time to sit down and actually create something. I take my writing in spurts and I. Grabbed. Like. In between two classes at the college or sometimes late at night and sometimes on Sunday afternoon when it's raining and I can get me into a quiet place I write.
There these ideas just come to you and then you sit down and write it after you've gotten the idea. Usually an idea will come to me land and then I will maul over it it will be a murmur and I just let lad they are play with it maybe when I'm drifting off to sleep and then suddenly the great thrill comes I must get the pencil I use soft pencil yellow paper about the why. Right because that way first. And hour by a rough dry and then of course I go pop right in there. This story about Rosie I noticed is dedicated to your father. Does that have special significance. My father was my first science they three he is well known by the older people of this community Leon as a bird expert. He would call hunting and fishing swinging his name is Ajab Sweeney and he got me a great deal about nature and about wildlife. When I was four years ago three years ago I went with him hunting and fishing. I learned to love the animals rather than to destroy them. How do you think a child should be before he should be introduced to this sort of thing.
I say that because the other day I talk to a boy who is now 12 years ago and he said he had been a rock and since he was 3 I was going to say four year low. I would say from then on because they can begin to collect and to observe them for you for years I think so wonderful. And then too when your people your relatives go on trips to the west they should bring you a stone of that locality to put with your collection. As Mrs. Brandon mentioned her love of nature began at an early age. But this was not something confined to the childhood years alone. She's still an animal lover and her animals are well disciplined. Would you like to tell me a little bit more about yourself personally about your animals and the trips that you take. Lynn we all of my family. Enjoy animals and we have had in the past the pit show that was a little dramatic show in which we let the different dogs play different parts and we like to dress them up and
then we usually use music and that you were taught to sit on. He has a hermit's who now wait for his turn to do his particular trick and sometimes one of the dogs were old woman doll is blind. Well let that dog be the sick one all the grandmother and others have to wait on it. We make of the game out of the right and we go to children's hospital rooms and we make them a program to entertain shut in. You must have to spend quite a bit of time training the dogs to do their you don't train the dogs the dogs train you. Each dog has its own little tricks and if you watch it you will find it can do certain things and it needs to learn and the word that you get for it. Excuse me I just thought it. If it's a Speak oh if it see it or thing in a wall does this naturally and does encourage going to see one of your performances. How many dogs do you have right now we have six at the moment and my husband says that's too many. But they are well-behaved and they travel well and we enjoy them very
much you taking with you when you go on three. When you ask who we do you can find out why they would think like that. We have trained them to ride in a certain position in the car and they know their play and they know they'll be exercise after two hours and we're careful not to feed our animals before they rub it. In this way we don't have any trouble with them. Well as you go down the highway do you notice people staring at you. Yeah we've had quite a bit of publicity from people who just look know what our family and all our dogs. At one time and we had a three day literal three day old puppies and the mother we had to move from one place to another we just got a large block thing. We had a very night we had a care and warm milk for the babies to supplement her diet and we did. In addition to training dogs writing books teaching children and raising a family. Frances Brandon keeps busy with many other activities. I understand that you participate in science fairs.
Yes and often we have. Exhibits of fossils or. Exhibits of the plant life at the salt you know and fires missiles. If you you know where I am now in Columbus we have a trunk deposit. And we are near a great love that is of the same materials chemically as the trial at The Oval. England. And we have found some interesting things there that we don't have in the open sea. Well what a rock collector. Be interested in going there and getting a chart. Do you collect among other things with a chart we find these very large Ponderosa shells. And they were once a bad valve which has been worn away you actually in the creek the remains of the fragment of the creature and we no longer have this shale and it's interesting to have it also shocks to you that a fossilized you have allied in Mississippi along with the child of.
My own. You see Mississippi where I am is a young girl to then Middle Tennessee from a geological aspect. You thrive on pay day. Like do you lecture 7 PE You know you can usually like to get with a bunch of young teachers Auntie just who want to come back for new ideas and tell them about various experiments how to set up aquariums into rary in the sand. Of course fossil studies and. How to do geological surveys with children on their terms and in simple language talking about that strike as a areas of the earth and the history of the earth. Do you have to make these terribly simple for a young child to understand. Not if you take it into a beautiful bluff and show them the land and the different colors of the saw and rocks as you go down. First there's a top soil in the grass and Next comes the church of gravity part and then you have a more solid layer I'm going to have the way you see beautiful coloration that shows different ages of our earth. But after that it is being a rock that year and it
cannot be interested in just rocks. I'll be interested in jewelry and precious a semi-precious stones. And that you can bring focal Oh look into this the stone of the Turco you know being a good luck. And the fact that stone through all the ages have been used. Sometimes by which doctors all by doctors and priest to cast a spell or to cure a disease because of that beautiful magical quality of the witchery about a beautiful stuff. Now of course pearls are interesting because of the fact that they were once made by an animal you know. Make the tears of the eyes that make the pearls and I found that if you can't interest you in one way you can take another route and bring about precious stones all semi-precious And of course the diamond being the hardest of all of us. Would you like to tell me some of these legends around this folklore are you going to detail on any of them. I think I have. The bird is the legend of the ABA Terkel was used by an Indian that way.
And when they're out of your role as the turquoise which is blue of color with in the center they point the silver up a ring of dots around it. And at each end of the ring there is a cloud effect that we're on and the raindrops at the other end it's about the raindrops being drawn up from the earth into the sky and then released again is running. It is something to do with almost religious significance in a very beautiful story about the Ring cycle of the water. Do you think that people are ever going to read out of rock there so many rock bands around now. Will there always be a plentiful supply. Alice I have no fear because you know next the oxygen in our universe that silicon comes second and I think that as we build roads and buildings we're going to be continually turning up new ferns in rocks. Metal rocks and fossils. But the thing for us to do is to be very
sharp and not let opportunities be missed the excavation of a new building might be a wonderful chance to study rock formations in that area. But unless children have been introduced to the hat they won't know they hit and miss a whole lot of one thing I have a ha people perhaps bearing a beautiful dinosaur skeleton somewhere in that realize how wonderful it would be for us to have it by musing on what to study the BCO saw was the animal that marooned on a saw that inhabited the area where at now we have been Columbus Mississippi and I'm always hoping to find a PC also. Joe was part of a place he owes a lot. Would that be a through. What I have a feeling you get when you discover something like that I can't explain it when it's a thing as if you were the only one that found anything I don't know you just one of those this is your discovery it's all yours the same reason I guess I'll stop bothering I. Never want to think of burdocks that rock people but the me it's a beautiful thing and the fact that these animals are no longer here
with us. If you want to keep anything the lasting spell and the witchery of a rock continues through legend history and story books like Rosie the rock hound which has been discussed in this conversation with its author Frances Brandon the book was Illustrated by Ruth and Skiver published in 1963 by Abingdon Press of Nashville and New York. This has been another in the series of programs exploring the world of the rock. The narrator was full this series is produced by the service of the public library of Nashville and Davidson County in Nashville Tennessee. Next week Mrs. fal will discuss the fascinating aspects of this hobby and a program entitled
professional art. Part one. This is Charles Mitchell. This is the national educational radio network.
World of the Rockhound
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University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Series Description
World of the Rockhound is a twenty-four part program about rock collecting produced by WPLN, the service of the public library of Nashville and Davidson County, and Nashville, Tennessee. Episodes focus on topics specific to rock hounding, like collecting, cutting, displaying, and creating artwork from rocks, gemstones, and fossils. The program also discusses broader topics related to geology, like earth science, consumer interests, and professional uses of rocks and minerals.
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Producing Organization: WPLN
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University of Maryland
Identifier: 69-4-18 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
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Duration: 00:30:01
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Chicago: “World of the Rockhound; 18,” 1969-11-14, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 28, 2024,
MLA: “World of the Rockhound; 18.” 1969-11-14. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 28, 2024. <>.
APA: World of the Rockhound; 18. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from