My bio by Joe Dunleavy


My name is Joe Dunleavy Iím 62 and I have been collecting rocks and tools since I can remember. I have been happily married for over 35 years and we have 3 fine sons and 2 grandchildren so far (2 sons are still enjoying their freedom but both just got engaged). I have lived in Pennsylvania all my life except for a few years helping keep our country free in the employ of Uncle. There are some of my close associates that think I have rocks in my head. Iíve been retired now, after working 33 years for ďMa BellĒ, for 6 years and enjoying every moment of it. Although Iím not an ďistĒ I spent some time in school learning from the age of 4 until I retired at 57. No I wasnít slow just interested in Technology. I made it part of my job description to attend at least 3 weeks of training each year in some new technology. Even Uncle sent me to school when I was kidnapped for my services. If I get to 65 Iím going to look into going to college at Penn State (They used to tell me when I was paying tuition for my 3 sons that I could go for free when I got to be 65).

My wife used to go collecting with me but has voiced her opinion that I not bring her along anymore (we shall see about that since she doesnít like to let me out of her sight). We have traversed the country and most of Canada, many times, collecting over the last 6 years and she says I have enough rocks. Of course we all know we can never have enough rocks. I enjoy collecting all kinds of rocks and even a few fossils now and again. I love to collect petrified wood and I consider that a fossil that has become a rock to preserve itís place in history. My wifeís favorites are fluorescent rocks, so I had to buy a ultraviolet light to find and show them to her, and anything Amethyst. I wore out 3 SUVs so far in our travels and am on the 4th. My favorite collecting areas are Maine, Ontario and most of the western states. I am an active ďRock HoundĒ who gets sick if not collecting in the field. I just started collecting in my own state a few years ago and find it difficult to find an area to collect in but late last year I found a great place to collect that is only 30 miles away. I only buy rocks if it strikes me as one that one of my friends would enjoy. My collection has no ďSilver pickedĒ pieces in it. I have rocks in just about every room in the house and the entire enclosed porch on the back of the house. Our old pool area is covered with my overflow. Iím a member of a rock club in a neighboring state. I bought myself a digital camera with all the fixins after Christmas, since Santa didnít get the hint, so Iím playing with it to see how I can document my rocks better.

Iím still teaching myself about geology and mineralogy. I love to read (at least 3 books a week) and enjoy just about any book. One of my favorite pass times is researching new areas to collect rocks. I have as much fun researching as collecting. I enjoy fixing anything and havenít found anything that has been too much of a challenge to figure out. I have been taking apart things since I can remember, unlike my 3 brothers I also put them back together. I document every site and rock along with the experience from each on CDs. I have a complete ďGenieĒ for cutting, grinding and polishing my finds that I deem worthy of such treatment also a double barrel tumbler. I also enjoy panning and use this to discover what minerals may be present in a given area. My favorite type of collecting is in stream beds (wet and dry) and eroded areas. I dig but donít enjoy it as much as just picking up finds. There isnít much I canít dig out with my favorite Geopick that I have to resort to a pick and shovel but sometimes it is necessary. Now ďPegĒ is a different matter also trying to get those wonderful ďHerksĒ from their hiding place requires heavy labor. I enjoy introducing my grandchildren to the natural world whenever I can.

I enjoy the wilderness and even take my bow and guns for a walk in season. I enjoy fishing also, especially when my oldest son takes me out on the river on his boat for stripers. Iím enjoying the geology and pick up a rock or two whenever I get out in the woods or on the water. I guess you could say I enjoy just about anything except having to work for a living (thatís why I retired). When you stop searching for learning experiences itís time to feed the worms.

Joe D.