My Friend & My Foe….

By now you surely know that I will on the American Digger Magazine’s Relic Roundup this coming Monday night.  I will be debating someone who I have a lot of respect for, yet someone who is not totally familiar with what it is we do.  That someone is archaeologist Lisa Hume MacIntyre, from Jacksonville, Florida.  If you do a search for her name (lower left column) you will find posts and comments about or from her over the past few months.

I actually like Lisa (did I really say that?) because she “tries” to understand us.  She is a breath of fresh air amongst the old school, “our degree is what counts“,  archaeologists that we typically deal with.  I have no idea where things will go during this hour long session, but hopefully we can tackle a few contentious areas, and come up with ways to improve the tekkie and the arkie relationship.  I must say however that I am not optimistic.

Now here’s where I am going piss off a few people amongst our ranks.  If there’s ever going to be a meeting of the minds between the tekkie and arkie factions, it will necessitate a very strong organization that represents us all, and as I’ve said in the past, I do not see that happening unless it’s a manufacturer supported and funded, full time group with salaried officers and/or employees.

While the Task Force has made great strides of late (actually hiring attorneys), we still need something more.  Meeting once every couple of weeks to take a vote or come to a consensus on something,  doesn’t cut it. Sometimes decisions need to made quickly,  and actions already taken need to be followed up on and  sometimes pushed along.  And while I know I am repeating myself, I would also like to see more frequent updates so that members can keep abreast of problem areas, as well phone numbers for the officers.

I am hopeful that the proposed meeting at the FMDAC get-together in October actually takes place, and that all the interested parties sit down, put aside their egos & differences, and find a way to come together.

Okay, now shoot off those nasty emails and comments….. I am used to them).


If you decide to call in Monday night, remember the topic is “Tekkie vs. Arkie”…..



There’s been an update on the Task Force for Metal Detecting Rights website concerning the situation with the parks in New York city, as well as the one in Cook County, Illinois. Hope you will take the time to read it. Thank you Allyson Cohen!



Filed under Metal Detecting

26 responses to “My Friend & My Foe….

  1. Big Tony from Bayonne

    Hi Dick, this is starting like you are going to have your own dig war!
    Good luck and go slow! Watch out for bottom feeding!

  2. Dick,

    While it certainly sounds like you’re trying to elicit “nasty email” responses, I’ll just chalk your comments up to unawareness. Not in a mean way, just by the simple fact that you are not involved with the Task Force.

    If you were involved with the Task Force, you would understand the amount of time and effort it takes. Do you really think the Task Force just called a few attorneys, gave them a brief description of problem areas, and then the attorneys ran with it by sending a letter? You should know, nothing happens unless things are pushed along.

    I agree with you – that the hobby needs a “Task Force” type organization funded by the industry with paid employees in order to adequately address the detecting issues full time and keep everyone abreast full time. But until sales in the metal detecting industry noticeably start to plummet due to increasing public areas being closed to the hobby, I don’t see the manufacturers stepping up to support the cause by funding full time employees to protect the hobby.

    For now, the Task Force is entirely made up of volunteers. We all know what you would like to see and we all know you have ideas on how things could be better. I’m sure the hobby would welcome your support as a volunteer in making sure our right to enjoy the recreational hobby of metal detecting stays alive for years to come. We have on-line meetings a few times a month and we would welcome your help.


    Carter Pennington

    • Carter, I was not “trying” to elicit anything, just expecting the usual cast of characters to respond, and please, “chalk up” anything you want….have a ball.

      I am indeed unaware, and I think a lot of detectorists are too. I personally need to see more communication from the Task Force, the FMDAC and WWATS. When your websites never change for three or four weeks, or when the information there is out dated, I, and I think most people, will not bother to check back in.

      Lastly I would be more than happy to “volunteer” my services if and when the three groups decide to join forces….

      • Example:

        All City Parks Closed in Louisville KY

        Posted December 27, 2011

        Vote to be Held January 2012

        Our fellow Detectorists in Louisville have been harassed and actually threatened with arrest
        for enjoying their hobby in public parks. All city parks are closed for metal detecting and the good people of Louisville have been working hard to have someone listen to them. This January there will be a vote on the state senate floor. We will be sending contact information to our supporters advising who to email/call in support of our fellow Detectorists in Louisville. We will update this posting as we get closer to the vote date.
        Please click on the HAVE YOUR VOICE HEARD link and join us so we can directly email you updates.

  3. Dick,

    As you stated, you are “indeed unaware” yet you comment on the frequency of our meetings, what we do in our meetings, how quick we make decisions and how we follow up. Those are bold observations from someone who is out of the loop. JMO

    I understand that you would like to see more from the Task Force. It’s unfortunate that you choose to talk about how things should be and not actually get involved yourself.

    Regarding the ideal concept of the three groups joining forces, we sent an invitation to Mark (new president of FMDAC” on June 14th, 2013, inviting him to join our weekly meeting.

    “I received your letter regarding the revival of FMDAC and reviewed it with the Task Force at our meeting two nights ago.

    We are in agreement that there should be one “entity” which strictly focuses on protecting, defending and educating the public about the hobby of recreational metal detecting. As you are aware, we have a lot of things in motion now relating to these goals.

    A meeting in late October between everyone outlined in your letter is a good idea but I am afraid there will be quite a bit of overlap considering what we (the TF) are currently working on and will be working on between now and October.

    We would like to invite you and one of your officers to our next on-line “video meeting” so we can brainstorm on the best way to move forward in one cohesive effort. Please let me know what days are good for you during these last two week of June and we’ll set up a meeting via”

    Mark responded that he is busy but will try to make time soon. To date we have not heard back. The invitation remains open.

    Should you decide to become involved, we would welcome your help. The hobby needs all the help it can get!

    Thank you,


    • Carter I am out of the loop, but I stay in contact others involved in the pastime, and they share a lot. I comment on what I see and what I hear, and will continue to do so here on my blog.

      And for the record, the definition of a blog is:

      “A Web site on which an individual or group of users record opinions, information, etc. on a regular basis.”

      Note the last 4 words…..

      The Task Force website was null and void for almost one year, Not one update, not one word, nada! If I had not gotten on your case here it might still be in that state. It’s all here in the archives….

      I am happy you are all back on track again, and I like what I am seeing from the Task Force. It does not however change my view that we need to have one, very strong and viable group to represent the pastime. From what I can see it’s probably not going to happen for some time. And yep, it’s “just my opinion”.

  4. Scott Jacobs

    Not a single archeologist has written a reference book about Civil War relics. Not one has catalogued, identified, grouped, explained, compared relics in a way useful to those of us who want to understand the ACW. All that was done by amateur diggers. They are the ones preserving knowledge and our history. Viva les diggers!

  5. Bob Kerr

    Dick l agree with your comment.
    If websites never change for three or four weeks, or when the information there is out dated, I, and I think most people, will not bother to check back in. That’s my feeling. Sorry but that’s the way most people are.

  6. Dick-
    I understand how you feel, as it wasn’t too long ago that I was one of the folks commenting and complaining about the Task Force (see my April 2nd post)

    I have been passionate about the Task Force since learning of its existence and was out of the loop for a while; but am happy to once again be promoting the Task Force’s Mission.

    I have been present at all the Task Force meetings over the last few months, and I have to say I am pleased with the interactions and discussions within the group.

    It may seem like the Task Force is doing nothing, but in reality there is constant activity. Phone calls, meetings, letters, emails, etc… It is very humbling to be behind the scenes, and I’ve had to eat my words as I have experienced first hand the reasons behind what I was complaining about. It is a slow process… a very slow process.

    I have taken on the task of updating the website, and realize there has been a lag in time between updates–I could say I would be the first to complain, but I think you would, and I would be the second 🙂 –but I can’t complain about myself, or can I? Anyway, the reason for the lag is the learning curve combined with the lack of information to report.

    Should I post every week that NYC Parks has yet to respond to our letter? It seems kind of silly, but maybe I should so that folks at least know we’re active.

    I know you were involved with the Task Force before, and you had your reasons for leaving but it would be great if you got involved again. We would welcome the help!

    • “I know you were involved with the Task Force before, and you had your reasons for leaving…. ”

      That pretty much sums it up. It would be difficult if not impossible to jump back in at this time. Thanks however….

  7. Allyson,

    As you pointed out, there was a time when you were one of those people who sat back and pointed out “you should be doing this” or “it should be done like that” and then you decided to get involved and see for yourself……

    I have a lot of respect for you volunteering your time to help the hobby by joining the Task Force. The entire board is happy you became its newest member!

  8. Good luck..We are still here Dick

  9. Robbie

    A very interesting exchange.

  10. Lisa

    I was thinking about Scott’s comment concerning archaeologists never writing a reference book about Civil War relics. If this is true, and I am not in any way saying it is not, then I began to wonder, why? I know that when I was in school I had a hard time finding reference books on pottery types (with pictures). Since the Civil War is not my area of interest, with regards to archaeology, (I am a history minor and my focus was wars, including the Civil War, but purely from a historical/cultural point of reference, not necessarily from an archaeological reference) I never really thought about the lack of said reference material in relation to “other” artifacts. This is quite an interesting, and puzzling, piece of information that Scott pointed out. I am going to make inquiries to some fellow colleagues and see what kind of responses I get.

    • Thanks Lisa. I do know that detectorists have written books, and very good ones at that. I have also heard that archaeologists refer to them often. Look forward to hearing what you come up with. Last night was a lot of fun, and look forward t next week….

  11. Big Tony from Bayonne

    Last night’s Shootout was a great start. Plenty of folks signed on and listened or contributed to the evening. I can’t wait to see a written recap of the entire evening.
    Thanks again!

  12. Lisa

    Where exactly is Bayonne?

  13. Big Tony from Bayonne

    Actually there are two cities named Bayonne. One is in France and the other one is as Dick put it a mere 8 miles from NYC.
    Bayonne are surrounded on three sides by water, Newark Bay, New York Bay and the Kill Von Kull. During WWII – a now famous boat was built here it is PT109. Also Chuck Wepner who fought Mohamed Ali and was the main character called Rocky – lives here.

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