Friday, April 13, 2012

The Johnson Rock Shop Near Livingston, A Must See

East of Livingston, Texas is a rather unique rock shop. Run by Mr and Mrs Johnson and their kids, its a series of small buildings, all filled with beautiful rock. The buildings are connected by a walk way with inlaid stone and the last building is actually a real recording studio!
We never know what to expect when we find a rock shop but this one is one of the best! As you park you are greeted by a grove of Texas fossilized palm wood, including some massive stumps!. Continuing on you pass a covered area that's filled with beautiful rough and slabs and all of this is before you reach the first shop!,
In the first store our appetites were whetted and I realized I simply had to buy some rock, a small rough of Brazilian Chalcedony. Now I usually avoid Brazilian but this was blue and it was natural undyed stone. Undyed blue chalcedony goes for about one dollar a gram and this whole piece was only thirty dollars. So thirty dollars for a piece was ok.
The first shop also contained a slab of charoite. First identified in Siberia in 1974, it is found in only one location and is rather expensive so I hesitated a bit at the forty dollar tag. See when we buy a rock we have to be able to sell some of it to justify the cost when we add it to our personal collection.
Passing the slab up we continued on. The next store had cabs and beads and more beautiful rock. I almost bought some turquoise cabochons but they were stabilized and the lady was not sure of the origin of the stone.
Casually asking the daughter if they had any charoite rough, she lead me to a slab that weighed six plus pounds. I almost drooled as I saw it and when I saw the price I had to have it. Sometimes one must throw caution to the wind when you see beautiful rock. Besides doesn't everyone else use their ira money to buy rock?
Telling Renita we couldn't afford any more stone we continued on and again were amazed at the variety and quality of the specimens. One shop is almost entirely filled with Texas palm slabs and the color of some of the palm wood slabs is a beautiful and rare amber.
The second to last building is a museum of specimens marked not for sale. Without a doubt, it is filled with four walls of truly museum quality pieces and I almost hesitate to write about them but it is a public store.
The final stone inlaid walkway took us to an actually recording studio. Otis Johnson, the stores owner, played music for most of his life and performed with Johnny Cash, Hank Williams Sr., and many other country music stars. It was so neat to be in such a place and again we thanked our guides, Al and Joan, to have found a shop with such beauty and history.
We took our purchases and strolled down the path, taking a couple of pictures of Al and Joan as they admired the huge cypress petrified wood. It was an enjoyable day and we may have to go back there before we leave Livingston. But not to spend more money. Clear skies

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