Were They Really the Good Ole Days?…..

My dad used to throw around the term “good ole days” a lot, as if “today” didn’t stand a chance of measuring up.  I used to laugh at his stories…  how far he  had to walk to school, how much he was paid each week working at the paper mill, how much his first car cost, and on and on and on. He never  tired of telling these stories, and honestly I never really appreciated them until now. Now that he’s gone I would give anything to hear them again (he passed away in 2001).

Early photo....My dad

Early photo….My dad

In a couple of weeks I will turn 72, and I would like to tell you I feel young and alive, but damn I don’t.  I am now 25 pounds heavier,  a “12 pill a day” guy, and you know what?  I too miss the good ole days just like my dad. Funny how that happens….

If you check in here you know I just recently purchased a White’s 6000di, Series 2, detector, which was a favorite of mine back in the 80’s. I could be wrong,  but I think I found more good things with it than with any other detector since. I looked back at my finds for that period of time, and they seem to back this up.  The question of course is, was it because the detector was that good or was it because I was simply at the right place at the right time? Could it be too that I  am older now, not as involved as much as I’d like, and just trying hard  to revisit the good ole days?


When I first got the treasure hunting itch, I was fortunate to live in a small town in rural New Jersey,  and pretty much had unfettered access to a lot of old sites, and where running into another detectorist was extremely rare. I also remember never having to look over my shoulder.  The idea that a town would close a park because of someone with a metal detector was almost unheard of. My biggest dilemma? Deciding which old site I would go to on any given day!

As time went on I purchased other detector brands and models, and all of them performed well for me. I worked hard at detecting, spending every idle minute in the field,  pretty much always coming home with a few pieces of very old silver. Today I live in North Texas, and if I find just one piece of silver it’s a good day (an adjustment that  I am still trying to get used to).

As I am writing this, the temperature is in the low 90’s, and a harbinger of things to come. Summer in Texas is something you never get used to. At least not this  Yankee. The question here is not whether you will have 100 degree days, but how many.  I don’t like detecting in this kind of heat, nor do I enjoy “chiseling” out a new  penny at 8 inches, but now that I have my old 6000di ready to go I’m hoping against hope that the good ole days just might return.

Okay, so I can dream can’t I?

2003, Barnum and I ready to go…..

2013, Barnum and I...say what?

2013, Barnum and I…do what?



The Wheat State Treasure Hunters are the first club to take advantage of the “Step Up & Cleanup”  challenge, and as a result will be receiving a White’s Coinmaster detector, compliments of White’s Electronics.  If your club is interested in participating check out the details in my last post.

Here’s a blurb about their effort, and remember, entering this contest is a win/win situation for your club and your community. Hard to go wrong, and a terrific way to receive a detector for your organization’s future events.  Hope you will take the challenge and enter today.



“Bubba” Howland sent me the following writeup and I wanted to share it here. The Portable Antiquities Scheme has received additional funding, and it just proves that, given  the opportunity, metal detector users can and will be a big part of a country’s heritage. I hope you will take the time to read this article, even if Warsaw Wally has to foul it up by commenting….

PAS Receives Heritage Lottery Fund First-Round Pass for Project



Alabama City Destroying Ancient Indian Mound



Filed under Metal Detecting

16 responses to “Were They Really the Good Ole Days?…..

  1. I read a short essay not too long ago where the author also yearned for the good old days when youth had manners and a man could walk on the streets safely after dark. The essay was written over 2000 years ago by a greek citizen. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

    And the pictures of your and your dog a decade apart are priceless!

    • David you are so right, and I know that my good ole days were probably not all that good, but youth played a big part in it all. It’s difficult for me to accept getting old & not being able to do all the things I used to do, but all things considered I am a very lucky guy compared to so many.

    • Great story and love the pic of your baby 🙂

      • Thanks Larry. For the record we have two pugs. Barnum and Molly. Despite being blind and deaf, Barnum is my shadow, following me, no matter where I go. He is my buddy, my only true friend, and I don’t know what I’d do without him.

        Molly is a little black rescue pug, and follows my wife much the same way Barnum follows me. She spent the first two years of her life in a puppy mill, stuck in a 2ft x 4ft wire cage, atop two others with no bottom or hard surface to walk on. She also produced two litters while there. When we brought her home she had no clue about steps, and so many other things. It also took her a year before she let me go near her.

        Guess you can tell I am an animal lover….

  2. Nice article about the Good Ole Days… I often find myself telling someone of a “back in the good ole days” story, and recall some of the ones I use to hear told by my father and grandfather(who have both passed) and would love to hear those stories again. When I would hear them I would think how in the world was that the good ole days…lol. But now when I tell people that are just getting into detecting, or have not been detecting very long, they probably think the same thing I did.

    I have not been detecting as long as you Mr. Stout, but I have been detecting since the early 90’s. I tell others of all the silver coins, Civil War relics and jewelry I (by myself) use to find with my Treasure Hunter Phantom 6F (I would love to have another one. If anyone has one and wants to sell it, let me know) and would never see anyone else out detecting.

    These new detectorists think wow, how was that the good ole days? You were using that old detector, and now your using a $1500 top of the line detector, with the newest technology, and your hunting with all of these clubs and other buddies and making these great finds (which to a new detectorist today is a Mercury Dime, musket ball, silver quarter…lol). I agree is a great find for me nowadays, but I would find these things as often as I find clad coins today…lol.

    So, how is that possible? Well for one thing, I had more time and I also had permission to hunt a lot of places that are now off limits to metal detecting. It was also easier to get permission back then (landowners are more suspicious of strangers these days). As far as public places to hunt, like schools and parks, there are so many detectorists today compared to 20 years ago, these places get pounded (while a place is never hunted out it does make it a lot harder to come up with great finds).

    I could go and on but yes those were the good ole days, and dont get me wrong…. I have just as much fun hunting today with buddies & clubs and in competitions with my expensive detector…lol. I cherish all of these moments, whether I find something great or nothing at all, and I wouldn’t trade them for anything, especially all of the friends I’ve made along the way. Like you said Mr. Stout it is nice to dream about the Good Ole Days though.

    • Ed, thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts. I appreciate it. Suspect everyone will experience the “good ole days” syndrome at some point in their lives.

      I know Richard Ray checks in here on a frequent basis, and he will happy to hear you mention the Phantom 6F. Maybe he will respond. He made a great detector for sure….

      • Speaking of Good Ole Days again, I would love to hear Richard’s Good Ole Day stories. Actually he is one of the first real treasure hunters I ever met. I would hear his back in the good ole days stories, be astounded, and think to myself, wow I want to do that. I have not talked to him in a while, and hope he is doing okay. The Phantom was a great detector(still would be today) but they are very hard to find.

  3. Emailed Richard and told him about your mention of the Phantom…hopefully he will jump on here soon.

  4. Dan Hamilton

    Hey Bubba,
    That is the same detector I had when you and I hunted together back in the “good old days” of the 70’S. It appears to be in great shape too. The Hip Mount saves a good deal of wear and tear on the arm and shoulder. Hope you have as much fun and good luck with this one as we had together some thirty some odd years ago.

    I think the main reason we yearn for those days is because they were the days of our youth which we can never get back. Conversely, I looked forward to retirement except for the part that required me to be of a certain age to achieve it. Just can’t win. It is what it is, so enjoy the here and now and tomorrow will take care of itself.

    Let me know what you find !

    • Hey Dan, It is the same as your old machine, and looks new.

      For those of you who don’t know, Dan was my detecting partner when I lived in New Jersey, and we were both using 6000 di Series 2 detectors. Dan had the hip mount and I had the standard version. I opted for the hip mount this time around to save on the wear and tear Dan mentioned above (have enough wear and tear as it is).

      Can’t begin to tell you how much fun Dan and I had detecting. I miss those days a great deal, despite the fact that he is so damn ugly.

      Hi to the family Dan….. just maybe I will see you this fall.

  5. Richard Ray

    This is Richard Ray. I appreciate the kind words about my detector, indeed it read deeper and more accurately. I remember doing “heads up” competitions with several manufacturers and some “professional” hunters. We beat them all by a lot.. Even my wife beat two men, in a competition

    • Richard Ray

      Just to answer, I don’t know where to find a Phantom detector. My wife had to advertise to locate one for me. We lost EVERYTHING in our fire. Including a lot of artifacts and coins. My next generation of detector was years ahead of anything on the market. The engineer that helped designed pacemakers. It was very small and had modular plug ins.

    • Hey Richard, good to hear from you….was worried. The Phantom was indeed a great detector. Remember it well….

  6. Richard Ray

    IF my daughter ever gets my website done, we’ll have a lot of stories to tell. In fact, I already have a lot written. She graduated last month and should be moving back home soon..

    • I sure hope your website happens soon Richard. I have shared a few of your stories here and with friends. You’ve pretty much done it all at one time or another, and I know there’s a book or two in you. Looking forward to hearing more. Stay healthy my friend.

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