Well we are off to the races already with the critiques of the forthcoming TV series Dig Fellas….before it even airs. Apparently a few of us are clairvoyant? There also appears to be another series coming sometime soon (in the development stages) called Fortune Diggers, but no date is given for that. You will just have to wait to piss and moan about that one.
I am not saying these shows, and those that came before, will be or were all that great in promoting the pastime, but hey it’s a start, and like anything else there are kinks to be worked out and improvements to be made. Who knows. Maybe a few years from now there will be a Treasure Hunting channel, devoted totally to what it is we do (I can already hear you saying, “great…more people getting involved and ruining it for the rest of us”).
EARLY ON WE WEREN’T SO LUCKY
When I started detecting back in the mid 70’s the only information one could get about the pastime came from other treasure hunters or from magazines. I might also add that there were probably two or three detectorists in my area, and you didn’t run into them that often. The internet? Not even in the dictionary.
We also had more options when it came to what to buy. We had White’s, Garrett, Fisher, A.H. Pro, Daytona, Compass, D-Tex, Tesoro, Teknetics, Gardiner, Gold Mountain, C & G Technoloy, Usika, Treasure Hunter (Phantom), Bounty Hunter, Nautilus and probably a few others I’ve forgotten about. Today, we have fewer companies, more complex machines, but more info and data available about how to use them.
When I was the Marketing Director at Garrett my orders were simple and very direct. Get our product (and the pastime) out to as many people as you can. In other words, we needed to be more visible to the masses! Of course that was precisely the same goal every other manufacturer had as well, and accomplishing that was not an easy task. I remember well my trips to “L.L. Bean” in hopes that they would feature one of our detectors in their catlog. I gave them every incentive in the world, not to mention products, but it never happened. We did eventually get into the Sears catalog, but shortly after that the Sears catalog went bye-bye, kaput!
The words metal detecting and/or treasure hunting were not household words back then. Most of our dealers were selling detectors part-time out of their basement or garage (will always remember one with a name something like Jack’s Roto-Rooter and Metal Detector Sales).
Today manufacturers still want their products to be more visible, more known to the public. It’s still called marketing and we should all be happy to have more people joining our ranks instead of discouraging it. Yes it means more competition, but it also means more acknowledgement and acceptance of the pastime, and we absolutely need larger numbers if we are to continue to even have a hobby (something you SHOULD worry about). Yes, a few newcomers will leave unfilled holes. That’s nothing new…we have had to deal with that for some time, and will probably have to deal with it for years to come.
Today, be happy you have the internet, detecting shows on TV, and zillions of YouTube videos (some good, some bad). You are probably a movie producer yourself with that camera on your head, sharing your adventures with others (who are also doing the very same thing). Nothing wrong with that, and if I were younger I would probably be doing the same thing. Likewise if you are having a problem with your detector there’s probably an answer out there at the click of a mouse.
That metal detecting shows on TV are ruining things for the pastime has some validity. American Diggers was the first and absolutely the worst (why the participants ever agreed to participate in that show is beyond me). On the other hand those shows that came after, while not great, were improvements, and I do think that trend will continue. At least I hope so.
Be patient with the new shows. Give them a chance, and cut the participants some slack. I’ve heard many say these folks would do anything for the money but I don’t believe it for a minute. Of course they get paid, but do you really think they are raking in the big money? I doubt it. I think they do it for the experience, the opportunity to hunt terrific sites, the chance to travel and see other parts of the country, and most of all I think they do it for the fun of it. They also have nothing to do with the final product, and to paint them in a bad light is unfair.
Lastly, if you read my blog you know that I have critized these shows, and have not always given them great reviews. I do however appreciate that our pastime is now out there for all to see, and we are no longer that “old man looking for pennies on the beach“, and yes, like it or not, that was the perception for many years. Watch the shows, discuss them, criticize if you must, but try to be a little more civil. Saying nasty things changes absolutely nothing, and come on, you know you would jump at the chance to be on one of these shows. Just sayin…
THE MACINTYRE EFFORT
Hope you will spread the word about our effort to help Ken MacIntyre, and to tell your detecting friends they can win new detectors in the process. Click HERE to find out more. The prizes are still coming in, and we thank all the contributing parties!
A PROMOTION FOR WARSAW WALLY AND HERITAGE HARRY
I am very humbled and honored to present the following to Harry and Wally. No two individuals have ever been more deserving…Congratulations to you both!