A Good Friend is Moving On…

I’ve known for a while now that my dear friend Alan Holcombe, Whites Corporate Manager, was about to retire.  Now that it’s official, I can share my feelings and they are both happy and sad.  I say that because I have been privileged to know and work with Alan and I will miss him.  I also know that he has more than earned the right to finally take it easy.

Alan and I go back a long ways….30 years to be exact. Thanks to the late Ken White, Sr., we first met in College Station, Texas, back in 1984 and we have been good friends ever since.  Even when I accepted the director of marketing position at  Garrett Electronics, we remained friends in the truest sense despite being competitors.

Charles Garrett, yours truly and Alan Holcombe, mid 80's

Charles Garrett, yours truly and Alan Holcombe, mid 80’s

Two years later when I lost my job at Garrett I was pretty depressed, having moved my reluctant family half way across the country.  Not surprisingly, Alan Holcombe was the very first to call, not only to offer moral support but to ask if I wanted to come to work for Whites.  I will never forget that and as tempting as the offer was, I was not about to put my family through another move.

Then later on that same year Alan was in Dallas and we met for lunch.  While discussing all things detecting, he asked if I would consider writing a book for Whites…. an easy to read, easy to understand beginner’s book for those looking to enter the hobby.  That book, “Metal Detecting, the Hobby”, was my first but not the last for Whites.


Over the years we have shared a lot.  Alan has kept me abreast of what was going on at the factory, within the industry, and I did my best to keep him up-to-date on what was taking place out in the field.  Also, thanks to Alan, I was privileged to be part of White’s field test team and asked numerous times what my thoughts were about new ideas and projects. Visiting the factory in Sweet Home was always like visiting family.

Lastly what a lot people don’t know about Alan is that he is a very caring individual on a personal level, and over the years he and Whites have helped a lot of folks who were facing difficulties, be it with their business or personal life.  I can’t count the number of times I would share a story about someone going through tough times and he would always say “how can we help” or “what do they need”…..and it was always without fanfare or publicity.  I could go on and on with stories about Alan but I won’t embarrass him. Suffice to say, he’s a good man and will be missed by many….

Fun times over the years....

Fun times over the years….

Alan’s last day will be October 30th, which also happens to be his 70th birthday (jeezus, just a kid).  So Alan, let me be the first to wish you a happy birthday and a very enjoyable, fun-filled retirement.  Knowing you, it will not be easy to sit around so let me suggest you give metal detecting a try.  I know of a great manufacturer up your way and I would be more than happy to put in a good word for you….


 Gary Micheau, currently Product Development Manager, will be taking Alan’s place….



Filed under Metal Detecting

16 responses to “A Good Friend is Moving On…

  1. Happy birthday Mr. Holcombe, I hope you have a long and healthy retirement 🙂

  2. Roy Rutledge

    I also met Alan at College Station in 1984. A very nice and knowledgeable man. I am sure that Whites will miss him.

  3. As you authentic Texans say….”Ah heard dat”

  4. Dick,

    What a nice write up of Alan. You’ve done a great job summarizing who Alan is and some of his accomplishments. I along with our mom Sondra and my brother Michael first met Alan thirty years ago while traveling and promoting our business. We would see Alan at many of the metal detecting hunts and gold prospecting shows as we represented our companies.

    Alan was the marketing manager for many of his years with White’s Electronics. Very early on, Sondra told us kids that “Alan is a marketing guru and could very easily be working on Madison Avenue” and I have to say she was spot on!

    Alan has said many times that he would be retiring soon. I first heard that about twenty years ago. So while I believe October 30 will be his birthday, I’m not so sure on the retiring part.

    Thanks for sharing the news and the Bernzweig family wishes Alan all the best!

    Daniel Bernzweig

  5. I truly hope Mr Alan enjoys every moment of his retirement. I wish I was able to thank him for the opportunity he gave me. Congratulations to him on his retirement.

  6. Big Tony from Bayonne

    I heard that he is moving to Jersey to do Revolutionary War relics and cache hunting too. Nah, but it was fun to get folks to read that one!

    Best of luck on retirement, but I am sad to say you will be a busy beaver now that you made retirement. I don’t know why this happens and I didn’t believe it myself but it does happen to most retirees

  7. Tony, Alan lives in Oregon….doubt New Jersey would ever be a consideration. As for my retirement…..it’s slowly killing me.

  8. Lisa MacIntyre

    Alan…while I have never met you personally, I feel I do know you as I have felt your kindness firsthand. For any that do not know, Alan played a huge part (along with Dick, American Digger, and many, many others) in a fundraising for my son when he was diagnosed with cancer last year. Alan donated quality merchandise which undoubtedly boosted ticket sales. At the time my son had very basic insurance with a low cap and was told without some money up front he would have to go to ER’s to receive his chemo treatment. We did eventually get him some better insurance, but in the meantime this fundraiser literally allowed him to go to a cancer treatment center to get quality care. I have no doubt that it helped save his life. Mr. Holcombe went a step further and even donated a detector to my son. In our lifetime we are sometimes fortunate to cross paths with truly good people. Our family has been very lucky to have crossed paths with Mr. Holcombe. I wish for you, Alan, a joyful, peaceful, and long retirement. In my book, you deserve all good things. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

  9. I met Alan at the ’86 AC bash, and I doubt he remembers me, but I have to say…have a happy retirement.

  10. Dave Wise (HeavyMetalNut)

    Wish you all the best and enjoy your retirement. Happy Birthday!

  11. Big Tony from Bayonne

    Wow, he lives in Oregon but can he find a 1947 Roosevelt dime or a 1956 wheat penny, like I did today?
    He probably can but it’s more fun in NJ

  12. Best wishes, Alan! White’s will miss you!

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