Sit Down, Have a Beer With Me…

and Let Me Bend Your Ear…

Summer has arrived here in Texas and, and even though we haven’t hit triple digit temps yet, I’m already tired of the heat.  If I need anything at all I make it a point to pick it up in the early morning, and the same pretty much goes for detecting.  Hunt early or die a slow death later…

I am also tired of detecting the same sites, over and over again, hoping against hope that they will give up just one more silver coin, and when they do, it’s usually a Roosevelt dime.  Anything older than that is reason for a champagne celebration.

You see I’ve been spoiled…

I started my treasure hunting pastime in the Northeast…New Jersey to be precise, and I miss it a lot. I miss the old picnic groves, old schools, and I miss the old home sites deep in the woods. I miss detecting areas where pulltabs are almost nonexistent, and where the newest silver coin is a Barber or Liberty Seated.  I miss the farmer up the road who would give me a call, and tell me about an old foundation or stone wall he just found.

Top: Hunterdon County, New Jersey Bottom: Dallas County, Texas

Top: The before
Bottom: And the now….

I miss the abundance of old churches, meeting places, fairgrounds and I miss the boy scout camp where I was always welcome. I miss driving the back roads looking for overgrown lanes, stone foundations, and I miss communities and townships who have zoning regulations that make it extremely difficult for anyone to ruin the landscape with urban sprawl.

I miss the easy to dig soils of Hunterdon, Warren and Bucks county, and I miss all the fun times I had hunting with my detecting pal Dan Hamilton. I miss living on Spring Hill Road, and I miss our old homestead, set on two and a half wooded acres.

Springhill road has now been paved....

When we lived on Spring Hill it was just a dirt road….it has now been paved.

I miss the late Joe Attinello and Wayne hunt, who always kept me in stitches on the way to the monthly FMDAC meetings, and I miss getting together with the delegates for breakfast, at the Haddon Heights diner. I miss the Treasure Weekends in Atlantic City, and the Treasure Expos in Fremont, Nebraska, where all the manufacturers and treasure hunting notables would show up.

I miss the people in the Northeast who are nonjudgmental, always open to new ideas, and who, whether you like or not, will tell you how it is.  I miss having neighbors, who cared enough to stop in and see how we were doing, often inviting us for dinner, and who would always be there when you needed them.

Most of all I miss my youth.  The old “let’s get it done” enthusiasm has now been replaced with “I will think about it” and “I’m not sure I can”.  I miss being able to be on my feet for long periods, and I miss playing basketball with my grandson. I’ve learned that it only takes a year or two to change a great many things in my life, but it is what it is, and I am reminded every day that things could be a lot worse than they are.  All things considered, I am one lucky guy.

Want another beer? 


I know those of you who are reading this (if you haven’t already tired of my bs) are the face of the hobby today, and that you are, in many ways, me forty years ago. I envy you, but I worry because I see a complacent, “devil-may-care” attitude, a “live for today” mentality. You go detecting, you make a video, you brag your finds and then you do it all over again, and while you have no idea who Peggy Lee is…… “is that all there is?”.

Sooner or later your fun, your exuberance, your pastime is going be challenged and be honest, are ALL of you prepared for that? Will you ALL be ready to respond, or will it be just YOU alone against the parks department, the county, the archaeological community?  It’s not a question of if, but a question of when, and if you are not prepared it may well be your turn to tell everyone what YOU miss, and it won’t be because of your age….

“It’s time to swap spit and hit the road…..”



Filed under Metal Detecting

15 responses to “Sit Down, Have a Beer With Me…

  1. Bigtony

    Dick, I too grew tired of the same old areas and dreamed that a newer more expensive machine would do the trick….you have talked about this many times…right?
    Well, I got to thinking about the expensive equipment that I already have….no one tells us how to really use them or what all of the stuff really means….so I started to experiment with different settings…guess what happened….I have a new machine and I can now go back to those old areas that I was so bored with…..I am not getting rich by no means in this hobby but hey it’s a hobby and I like it – so far this has been my best spring ever detecting because I took the time and answered my own questions.
    After all – who else would listen to me?
    Stop the whining, change your settings and get out there before the bricks get so hot it would fry a beetle in the mid day sun.
    Oh – no brag on my part – just happy that I listen to myself sometimes!

  2. What can i say ? Here is a current thread I have going. Sadly i am running out of places to share the reality of the hobby. If I were wanting to change my username and IP address i would have to get another keyboard as this one often fails to print a capital ” I ” That would surely do me in and Hell i don’t even know where to start finding out which keyboard passed the latest air test. Isn’t that what’s important ?

  3. Big Tony

    Dick, I know you wrote this article to get a response from the younger folks in this crazy hobby and I am checking back often to see their responses.

    I too have wishes – for this hobby – I almost quit this year and looked into sky diving – but I finally decided to (re-learn) adjust to the current enviroment and or equipment that I have and get back at it. So far so good and I am enjoying myself once again while detecting.

    I also have to deal with folks saying to me “how are you going to top that Rev War breast plate that you found and donated?” I am over this now but it did bother me a bit for awhile. And as you know – no brag here I am just happy that I can continue in some form – I call it the “Gray Form” . Last week a bunch of pre teens said that the area I was detecting iin wasn’t a “Grayt area” – ouch I was taken aback. but after a few minutes I said they are right! And I wonder what they will be doing to pass their time later in life? I know what I will be doing when and if I can.

    So please the younger folks – post away

  4. Big Tony

    Dick, you wrote it because you care about this crazy hobby so much that you rack your brain to give it your best at helping the folks and the industry and of course metal detecting future!
    God Bless you and thanks again for all of your effort and personal time at the wheel.

  5. Dick, you’ve been an inspiration on have laid the groundwork for the rest of us. Not to give you a big head, but I’ve always looked up to you, and enjoy reading your blog posts etc. Time does pass us by quickly, and your point is well taken about it’s not a matter of “if, but when.” I understand the down days, I have many of those myself… but just keep your head up and do what you’re able to do now. We can’t change the past, and I understand your thoughts and feelings, but all we can control is our tomorrow’s. Keep pluggin away you old curmudgeon you…lol (always wanted to say that word, and since you call yourself that I figure no harm done…lol).

  6. wintersen

    A curmudgeon is a bad-tempered, difficult or cantankerous person. How can a sourpuss be ‘upbeat’? It’s a contradiction in terms. We love you just as you are, Dick. You are my mentor … a first-class grouch!

  7. Saw this posted today on a forum–” If you are digging with that in park, that will for sure get the attention of park worker and they most likely won’t like it. My opinion is to stick with a hand lesche for parks, shovels stick out to much. ”

    Good to see that.

  8. Bigtony

    Don’t tell me – Oscar the Grouch on Sesame Street is your favorite Muppet!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.