Okay, so who are the Indiana Joneses in our pastime? Who are the experts…the best of the best? The successful tekkies who always seem to bring home the bacon? Do you know any? If so what sets them apart from the rest of us? What do they know that we don’t? What’s their secret?
Well first maybe it’s a mistake to even throw such a label or designation out there? I mean how do we define success within the pastime? Just what sort of criteria would we use to determine that? I know in my case success is just being able to swing a coil and find a coin or two, especially the older I get. How about you? What is your definition of success? What keeps you going? My guess is most of us are weekend warriors, just looking forward to spending some time in the field, looking for that one neat find that will make our day or better yet, put us on easy street.
I think it’s important too that we always remember that what we do is a hobby. Some people love to fish, play golf, tennis or in the case of Paul Barford, piss and moan and play victim. We tekkies just happen to like finding treasures, big and small, and we all know the Mel Fishers within our ranks are nil and none. It’s a fun pastime that offers outdoor exercise, a little mystery and a lot of excitement. A manufacturer pretty much summed it up when he said….”we sell dreams”!
Now having said that, there are detectorists out there who are very successful in finding the better treasures and on a regular basis. They are few and far between but they exist. They exist because they have patience, perseverance and the time to pursue their dreams. They’ve been there and done that a lot more than you and I. Chicago Ron is a good example. He has pounded the beaches near his home day in and day out, and he knows when to hunt, where to hunt and how to maximize his time. He is also fortunate enough to be able to spend a few weeks hunting Roman, Celtic and Anglo-Saxon treasures in the UK. No question Ron lives and eats treasure hunting.
Ron is not the only successful detectorist out there. There are a few others I can think of, but I won’t throw names out there lest I leave someone out. I use Ron because he is probably the most recognized name in the pastime. There are others who are also well-known for mastering the sand & surf, and some who do themselves justice hunting old homes, cellar holes and Civil War sites . Their secret? In my mind it’s their durability, their perseverance, and their ability to keep at it day after day after day, no matter the obstacles or setbacks. They also know how to research, how to ask the right questions and how to follow-up after the fact.
Now before some of you start getting discouraged, remember that Terry Herbert, the finder of the Staffordshire Hoard, was unemployed at the time of his discovery, and while he had been detecting for almost 18 years, he was hardly an Indiana Jones kind of guy. He merely happened to be in the right spot at the right time, and as a result discovered what is considered to be the largest Anglo-Saxon treasure found to date (He no longer needs to think about working). I also doubt that Mr. Herbert was consumed with having the latest coil for his 14-year-old White’s Spectrum or a camera to stick on his head. I suspect he, just like you and I, enjoyed the thrill of the search and nothing more. So keep on keeping on….you never know what tomorrow might bring or what that next beep might be…
Charlie Parker, one of the greatest jazz saxophonists ever, used to say….“You’ve got to learn your instrument. Then, you practice, practice, practice. And then, when you finally get up there on the bandstand, forget all that and just wail….”
…there would be days like yesterday. Headed out with the MXT Pro and came home later with a whopping 41 cents….all clad! Guess I should have known better given the three Merc outing last week. Oh well, I can take it and buy a uh, er, um…. well, something dammit!