Hardrock Hendricks & Heavy Metal Nut…

You’ve heard me talk about Dave Wise and Todd Hiltz here a few times (see here).   They are very successful colonial cellar hole diggers in the Northeast and their finds never fail to knock me out.  In any case Dave, (a.k.a., Heavy Metal Nut on all the  forums) for whatever reason, has decided to start a Facebook page Legends & Inspirational People of Metal Detecting.


I was not aware of this until he messaged me the other day and mentioned that I was one of his first inductees, nominations, flunkies, brainfarts, whatever.  Needless to say I was flattered, but also somewhat embarrassed since I don ‘t consider myself legendary or inspirational.  You see his first four names were Jimmy Sierra, Ron Guinazzo, Ken White Jr. & I.  I think I understand why Dave came up with these names  but found it a somewhat interesting mix.  Now Dave is being inundated with names for both categories and the list is growing by the minute.

When Dave first messaged me about being included in the first four, I tried like hell to opt out, and even told him to kiss my butt.   Apparently he really liked  the thought of that (talk about grossing me out), and my name stayed on the page.  Anyway I then started throwing out a few names of my own, and yep, he wasn’t familiar with any of them.  He wasn’t familiar because he is from a whole new generation of TH’ers, detectorists, diggers, tekkies (thanks Wally) and hunters. Understandable for sure. I must say I was not familiar  as well with a few of the names thrown into the ring from the younger detectorists as well….obviously “after my time” (now that’s a first)

So, who were my old idols and inspirations?   In no particular order…Karl von Mueller, Charles Garrett, Bob Marx, Hardrock Hendricks, Abe Lincoln, Ray Smith, Lucille Bowen, Betty Weeks, Eleanor Hube, Kay Modgling, George Mrockzkowski, Richard Ray, Roy Lagal, Paul Tainter, Ernie Curlee, Van Fossen, Sandy Cline,  Larry “Packrat” Bateham, Jim Warnke, Glenn Carson, Roy Volker, Dick Richman and W.C. Jameson.

Who remembers Kay Modgling?

Who remembers Kay Modgling?

I would also have to add in three from the manufacturing genre….the late Ken White, Sr., the founder of White’s Electronics (whose phone calls and correspondence were  what kept me going early on), Alan Holcombe, currently the Corporate Manager at Whites, and the late Jim Lewellen (Fisher Research Labs). I am sure I have left out a  few names here and will do my best to add them later.

And so Dave Wise you have your work cut out for you.  Be prepared for lots of other names to be added to your Facebook page. It’s an effort that is fraught with yea’s and nay’s and bravo’s and hisses.  Everyone has their own opinions and it really depends on who you ask and how far back they go.

There’s no doubt that today’s hunters are in a league of their own, and should most certainly be recognized and remembered for years to come. My hope, however, is that they will make room for those who came before. They were my idols and heroes for good reason…

Dave, good luck with this new Facebook page.  It should be a fun one, and it will be interesting to see where it leads. I also promise not to sabotage your effort with bawdy photos and corny jokes (well, maybe..).



Why do detectorists keep bringing up the age old question of “do items keep sinking in the ground?”  No one knows the answer to that, nor does anyone really care! Just go  hunt for crissakes

If deer hunters wore pink, would tekkies do the same?

Suggestion to all coinshooters.  Start hunting rural fields. Easy to get permission, less worry with digging techniques, and chances are that farmer or land owner can steer you to a few old cellar holes (and don’t forget those stacked stone walls).

I once asked a female tekkie why there weren’t more gals in the pastime?  After all it was a healthy outdoor pastime and you can come home with money in your pocket. She replied, “Easier to marry a lawyer or doctor”.

If camo is now the rage, can face paint and swat teams be far behind?


Lastly, from the Malamute Saloon…

“As I hurtled through space, one thought kept crossing my mind – every part of this rocket was supplied by the lowest bidder”..John Glenn



Filed under Metal Detecting

25 responses to “Hardrock Hendricks & Heavy Metal Nut…

  1. Our’s were the old southern Civil War relic hunters: Tom Dickey, Beverly Dubose, Francis Lord, etc. That’s the problem: there are so many facets of detecting its hard to get them all.

  2. Roy Rutledge

    I am sure that there are lots of areas that have local well know hunters, maybe not known nation wide but still great hunters in their areas. A couple come to mind in the Houston, TX area. One was E.S. “Rocky” LeGaye. He wrote one of the first good books on” Authentic Civil War Battle Sites. I met him in the late 60’s and he always had stories to tell. Another was Jim Alexander, He was the owner of Alexander Enterprise in Houston. He had the first metal detector shop I ever went into.. I hunted with both of these men along with several others in the Houston area. John Smith and his wife Jaye were some of the good hunters in the Houston area. Lots of others but time makes the mind forget the names of these fine people. Most of these old timers are all gone now. And we have lost the knowledge that these people had.

    • Forgot to add Rocky LeGaye….thanks Roy. I have his Electronic Metal Detector Handbook from 1969. I also knew Jim Alexander….was one of our distributors when I was at Garrett. I was not, however, fortunate enough to hunt with them. I also know what you mean about how time affects the mind.

      I have wondered over the years why the books that were written back then were so detailed and so informative. Charles Garrett’s “Successful Coin Hunting” is a good example. The first of edition of that book was fabulous and still is. As each updated edition came out, the number of photos increased but not the material. Seems people like to just look at photos anymore. JMO.

  3. Roy Rutledge

    I also have his 1969 book, My Mother and Dad just lived about 4 blocks from Rocky. They helped him put his Civil War book together in his living room. Lots of memories.

  4. “Still” useful info in that book…won’t part with mine.

  5. Roy Rutledge

    One more I thought of. Tom Townsend. Went to Costa Rica with him and Richard Ray. Tom wrote a book called Texas treasure Coast and also The Last Grey Wolf. Both are good books.

  6. Packrat

    Hi Dick. I remember most all of the people you mentioned and met many of them. I knew some of them very well. Many are gone now and I miss them.

    As I said before, your website is needed to help remember the greats from the past who helped build this hobby to what we have today, and thanks for including me in such an important list.

    • Larry, it was easy to include you in that list. Things were a lot different years ago, and we didn’t have computers or the internet to spread the word. We had to travel to do that, and because of that we got to meet a lot of shakers and movers.

      I know a lot of the tekkies today will not appreciate or understand our list but that’s okay. We will remember them, as well as the good times. I know too how special Lucile and Betty were to you, and we lost a pair of ladies who have not been replaced and probably never will be.

      Larry, please say hi to everyone in the great Northwest. Sure wish I could move up there…

      • Roy Rutledge

        I met Lucile and Betty in Oklahoma city or Tulsa (too many years ago to remember for sure) at one of the big hunts that was held there. This would have been in the late 70″s or early 80’s.
        Very nice ladies.

        There were several of us from Texas that went to the hunt, and after the hunt we were talking to these fine ladies, and we all loaded up and went to eat at a local restaurant. Very informational just listening to Betty and Lucile talk about where and how they hunt in the Northwest. After eating we all went back to the motel and talked for another couple of hours. Very personable and easy to talk to.

      • Thanks Roy…they were indeed “ladies” yet could out hunt the best of them. Was that hunt the Lost Treasure Classic?

  7. Roy Rutledge

    Yes that was the hunt. One of the fields we hunted in had buried nickels as targets, it also had hundreds of small pieces of aluminum. Very hard to hunt that field. Lots of hunters just gave up in that field.. I think the winning total was just 20 or 21 nickels by one person and I think he was from Dallas.

    • Yep, that was the final hunt, and Jessie Blackshire was the winner. Think Jessie was from Oklahoma, but I am not sure of that. I was with Garrett at the time, and he came over to borrow an AT3 if I remember right. He notched out everything but nickels and walked away with $2,000. He was one fast and savvy hunter. At that time he was winning pretty much any event going.

      I will always remember that hunt because I got to meet Karl von Mueller and spent a couple of hours listening to him and Michael Paul Henson share stories. What a night…

  8. Forgot to add the name…this is Jessie Blackshire right after winning the event…

    • Roy Rutledge

      Jessie was a great hunter. I also hunted with him from Seymour, Indiana to Memphis, Ten. and down to Dallas and in Okla. At one time he was using a Mighty Mite detector and had it covered up with tape so no one could see what his settings on the machine were. He went to Canada and found lots of silver ore. A mild mannered man soft spoken and very easy going.

  9. Dave Wise

    I wish I had been born earlier so i would have gotten into colonial cellar hole foundation hunting in the 1970’s or so.I can only imagine what the people found back then from these sites. To think of the stuff we are still finding at hit sites just makes me drool at what they have in their collections

    • Dave, I remember finding a few large cents but I think I need to go back and look through my UMO’s to see if I don’t have something good.
      When all you are looking for is coins, it’s easy to overlook other things, especially buttons.

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