I Have Been Busy Rockhounding but . . .

October 23, 2022

I’m most active today on Instagram and at my personal blog site. I have been doing a great deal in the graphic arts over the last several months, but I have also been rockhounding at the same time. Just yesterday I found a nice field of Apache tears, good quality, and I am eager to go back. I am also moving to a small town called Goldfield.

Here are links to what I am up to these days:



My Etsy Store:


My Artist’s portfolio


My Personal Blog Site:


Goldfield Lays Bryan Smalley to Rest

Bryan Smalley died in Goldfield on October 30, 2021. He was 61 years old. The family does not wish to disclose the cause of death. His obituary in the Pahrump Valley Times is available by clicking this link -> Obituary of Bryan Smalley

Goldfield Lays a Town Father to Rest

By: Thomas Farley / [email protected]

More than a hundred people attended Bryan Smalley’s funeral on Saturday (10/06/2023) in Goldfield’s historic cemetery. Those included town folk, family, close friends, and members of Bryan’s church.

Notable was law enforcement from Esmeralda and Nye County as well as fire and ambulance services. They all remembered and honored Bryan’s twenty years as a deputy sheriff of Esmeralda County. Deputies helped lower the casket into his grave while a strong wind whipped the cemetery and the sage covered hills. An officer designated as an honor guard made sure a carefully folded United States flag was placed on Bryan’s coffin with silent ceremony and solemnity.


Family friend Randy Wilson conducted the service, observing that Bryan had carved many of the cemeteries’ crosses and headstones surrounding the mourners. A close friend of Bryan’s, Sharon Artlip, later said that he never charged for that work and that, “Bryan would have preferred to build his own coffin and to carve his own headstone.”

Folding the flag before presenting. / Click image to enlarge

Artlip owns Goldfield Art and Business in Goldfield at the center of town and collaborated with Bryan on many projects. She said, “Brian was my friend. He owned Hidden Treasure in town which is a rock shop. He was a partner with my sister Nadia and I with the Gemfield Gem claims that we own outside of town. He helped me do my porch on my building. He helped people with their businesses. And he always promoted Goldfield and had the best in mind for everybody in Goldfield. But most importantly, he was my friend.”

Lowering Bryan’s coffin into the grave. / Click image to enlarge.

Stacey Smalley is a younger brother. He talked about how Bryan got Hidden Treasure going even before he retired from the sheriff’s department. It was a love of rocks and the land. “He was always, always into rocks and minerals. And he just loved this area. He loved Nevada and he loved Goldfield.”

Some of the mourners. / Click image to enlarge.

After the funeral, the day’s event moved to the high school auditorium in downtown Goldfield for a community get-together and a pot-luck lunch. An appropriate forum since Bryan did a great deal for the local school district. Stores were shuttered throughout town with perhaps half of Goldfield’s residents in attendance. Everyone was exchanging their favorite stories about Bryan. Erma Greegh said she met Bryan in 1993 and that he didn’t like wearing shoes in restaurants.” Always had to kick them off.” And if you needed a sign made for any cause, Bryan would carve or paint one for you.

The grave awaiting a headstone. / Click image to enlarge.

Some people traveled hours to get to the funeral since Bryan’s help extended far beyond Goldfield. Many rocks in the Mineral County Museum, for example, were donated by Bryan years ago. Further north of Hawthorne by Walker lake is Schruz, Nevada, home to the RockChuck Gem and Mineral Gallery, owned by Chelsea and John Keady. Bryan affectionately referred to the couple as the “kids.” I talked to John Keady who was there with his wife and young son after a two and a half hour trip.

Overall picture of the Goldfield Cemetery. / Click image to enlarge.

”Bryan was really helpful to Chelsea and I. When I was learning to flint knap, Brian would stop in every time he passed by to show me a few new tricks. He taught me how to complete the edge of my knives so that the blade would be centered. He would just grab the obsidian from me that I was working on and start chipping. And pretty soon his hand would be bleeding all over the place, and he would just keep on going, never skipping a beat. He told his customers to check out our store on their way to Reno. Just a great guy. When my wife was pregnant, he brought us a dozen donuts on every visit. When he heard I needed help with my saw blade, he gave me new blades. We’ll never forget him.”

Bryan in 2019 at the counter of one of three shop buildings he built himself.. These formed the  best rock shop in Nevada. / Click on image to enlarge.

Bryan’s love of people, place, and helping shone through most vividly with what twenty-three year Esmeralda County Sheriff Kenneth Elgan told me at the cemetery. He said, “To be successful you have to have good people behind you. Bryan would do anything at any time to help. He was with every search and rescue operation we conducted and he knew every road in the county. With the large area that we serve, everyone in my department especially relies on each other. Bryan typified that. Bryan was also a pillar of the community and he will be missed.”

While Goldfield may now be missing some gold in human form, Bryan Smalley certainly left golden memories for friends, family, and town folk to  cherish forever.

Bryan shown here in June, 2020 cutting some of my copper in quartzite from the Striped Hills of Nye County near Lathrop Wells, Nevada.

The jewelry room with Bryan at the end of the video along with a guest appearance by Fred the Dog.  Bryan told me that customers saw Fred on my Instagram post and knew him by name when they visited.



Denver is Back On!

From their press release:

Hello Science Lovers and Nature Appreciators,

We thought that you’d like to know that our huge show begins in 12 days. There will be no capacity limits like last year and so there will be no wait to get in. We are more than twice the size as in 2020 and this is our biggest show ever! Of course, parking and entry are still free. But please leave your pets at home.

If you couldn’t visit us last year, then you may not know that we moved out of the Denver Coliseum and into the larger, more modern Events Center at the National Western Complex. That’s the building with the green awning on the other side of I-70. Now we have 2x more indoor space and 2x more parking. However, because we have more tents than ever before, we will retain the Coliseum parking lot to make it convenient for customers to park there (for free) and visit the South West Tents and/or enter the grounds from that direction.

Another addition is the inaugural SHOWCASE on Level 3. This floor is reserved for dealers who display the majority of their items in glass showcases. It is the place for exquisite mineral specimens, gems and gemstones, fine and artisan jewelry, rare fossils, gold, crystals of distinction, handmade knives, and more. It will debut with a modest 16 booths and grow quickly as more high-end dealers learn about the low cost for a booth in this prestigious section. Reach them via elevator or stairway.

Tent dealers will now be located in three areas:

The 30+ South West Tents will be sited across the street from the Coliseum parking lot where you can park for free. This is where you’ll find the yummy foodtrucks as well.
The 15 Triangle Tents are in a triangular area about 700 feet further north.
The 30+ Barn Tents are the north-most tents and they are sited behind the Barn and reach towards the Metro Station.
All three levels of the Main Building and both levels of the Events center will be occupied by 500 dealers ranging in size from 1-table newbies to 20,000 square foot market leaders. To make more room for all these folks, we’ve moved the on-site UPS store into the pedestrian tunnel. If you are from out of town, you can drive right up to the UPS Tunnel and drop off your goodies for packing and shipping home. Look for Gate #2.

You’ll see other changes because a long section of the I-70 viaduct was recently demolished and the new I-70 roadbed was lowered into the ground. But we are still at exit 275B and there will be few if any construction delays.

We thank you for supporting our dealers and we look forward to your visit.

Kind regards,
Heather, Russell and Lowell
Eons Expos, RLLLP

I’m Back. I Hope.

I was making sure my sat phone worked when I made an inappropriate joke to the friend I was talking to. By inappropriate, I mean that sort of joke shouldn’t be made in public. But I am not on the public airwaves. Am I?

I was wondering at the time I made that joke if someone monitors sat phone calls originating in areas of cellular service.

They shouldn’t of course, because that would mean that satellite telephone calls enjoy no privacy. A government agency would normally have to have a wiretap order to monitor one’s communications or I would have to be a subject of an investigation. I can’t see how that would be possible since I have no criminal record.

Still, I worry that the FBI will soon show up at the door. I’ll let you know what happens. If I can.