The Candles Now Cost More…

Bob Hope once said, You know you’re getting old when the candles cost more than the cake”, and that’s where I now find myself. Today, as I turn the ripe old age of 74, I’d like to share an article that I wrote for Western & Eastern Treasures ten years ago (the only change…my age).


Western & Eastern Treasures

It’s hard for this detectorist to offer up any unheard of, hidden, bet you did not know this, kinds of tips or hints that will put you on easy street.  Are there such things at all?  Perhaps….and just maybe you’ve discovered all there is for the moment, the day or the year. Setting this control to this or that, lessening or increasing your discrimination, cranking up your sensitivity, changing out your search coil….all ideas and theories that have been passed along for months  and years. Some have worked for me, and others have not.

At the age of 74 I’ve mellowed quite a bit when it comes to metal detecting, treasure hunting, whatever you care to call it. The tips I now offer to anyone who will listen are based on many years of in-the-field trials and errors, lots of valuable good friends and life experiences. They might not make your to do list for this month or year, but I hope you will put them on the back burner, and consider them somewhere down the road.

Remember Day One

First piece of advice I can offer is to never forget what it was that got you interested in this pastime. There was a sincere interest, a curiosity, something that prompted you to find out more about metal detecting and treasure hunting.  The desire to look under that rock, the urge to seek what is around the bend or down the road….whatever it was, strive to keep it alive! That curiosity, that desire to find the answer, is exactly what keeps the ardent treasure hunter going day in, day out, and will keep you going till you can’t function anymore. No one else has to understand it. It’s your passion, your thrill and that’s all that matters.

“Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional” ~Chili Davis

An Educational Experience

Next remember the educational part of your passion….the desire to get better at what you do. You knew from day one that you wanted to find treasure, no matter the definition, and to find it more frequently you became a student. You read all you could about detectors, their functions, their abilities and their limitations. You read about your local area. It’s history, it’s beginnings and if you are typical, you got involved in its future. This ongoing desire to learn more made you a an integral part of the community, and gave you an appreciation of all that went before. Remember this, and understand it’s importance to everything you find each and every day.

A Lifelong Family

Next tip….. Keep in touch with your treasure hunting family. Who are they? The folks you come in touch with as a result of your endeavors over the years. The guys and gals in your club, the folks you met at the last hunt, the inquisitive youngster, who saw you detecting and wanted to know more, the members of the local historical society.  I couldn’t begin to name all those who made my years so enjoyable. I was also privileged to be a little more involved in the business end than most, and lucky to have so many friends. I do my best to stay in touch with them, and look forward to hearing from them as well. Many have passed away, and while I mourn their passing, I am better off for having met them in my lifetime. Memories may be all I have at this time, but as long as I can recall them….they are true treasures.

“There is no pleasure worth forgoing just for an extra three years in the geriatric ward” ~John Mortimer

Defining Treasure

Treasures are what you make them. I know what they once were, but today I can see what they really were, and for that I am thankful. I hope in someway you understand what I am saying, and enjoy each and every day you get out into the field. It doesn’t matter what you come home with….it’s the possibility that today will be more exciting and surely more fun that most others will ever have!

Happy hunting…..



Well, if the weather wizards are correct, we will finally have a few days of sunshine. Here’s hoping they get it right.  I have a new site to detect (currently a mini-lake), and a new detector on the way. Crossing my fingers, and talking to my joints.


Thanks to D.J. Yost for the following…..

Young Treasure Hunters Dig Up History



Filed under Metal Detecting

10 responses to “The Candles Now Cost More…

  1. Jimnick

    Well Happy Birthday !

    The price of the candles doesn’t worry me any more. What I cannot stand is, considering the set cake/candles, that less than half of it is eatable !

    Wise tips ! Thank you

    I never forgot what brought me into metal detecting….Sundays at church, the sound of coins hitting the floor during collection. Yeah, I know, bad thoughts for an 8 years old…but I assume I’ve been forgiven.



  2. Bob K

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY Dick eat well have your favorite wine, take the day off. O forgot thats everday. LOL.
    Look at it this way another year to
    1. To agitate people.
    2. Set people straight
    3. Say the heck with it
    4. just be kind and sweet like you have been
    your choice just have a great day and better year.

  3. Happy Birthday Dick, have a great day matey.
    Some more very inspiring words from you again, thanks for that.
    As far back as I can remember I’ve been interested in the origins of man, where we came from, how we survived, how we lived. For years I used to dig old bottle dumps and beachcombing for my treasures of the past. It was a Nephew of mine who got me into metal detecting after seeing the finds he had made. Holding one of his medieval or roman coins excited me enough to buy my first machine.
    Here’s hoping you have some nice weather soon to try your new machine out.

  4. Bigtony

    Happy Birthday Dick, I hope you get your birthday wishes soon – hunting with that new machine in good weather!
    I got into detecting because of reading Treasure magazines that my brother purchased and the yearning for silver coins after the country started minting “clad coins” – wow those words still sound weird!
    Great story about the school floor treasures – too bad we didn’t think of that one – maybe the nuns would have enjoyed a bit of adventure……

  5. Arthur J Fleming

    Happy Birthday! When my Grandmother turned 80, we had a party. Grandma said there was only one thing worse than turning 80, my brother not being too quick on the draw, said ” What’s that Grandma? “, and Grandma said “Not turning 80”.

  6. paul sampson

    Happy birthday, hope your new machine was a water model if you are going to hunt in Texas. hh..

  7. “Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional” ~Chili Davis I like that one as well as this from the above poster-1. To agitate people.
    2. Set people straight
    3. Say the heck with it
    4. just be kind and sweet like you have been
    your choice just have a great day and better year.–Bob K

    My problem is I usually practice those things all at once in a post or thread and find it hard to get everybody on board. Congrats on 74 and thanks for the present. I like blogs.

  8. Packrat

    Happy Birthday Dick. I always say when a birthday comes around, Having a birthday beats the alternative. Anyway keep ‘er going and reminding us of the old days and the old hunters from the past here or not. We need to remember our history.

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