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 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: 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.
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 the 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….