2016 – Looking Back…


2016 was a year like no other and one that I want to put behind me. It included a lot of firsts, a lot of heartbreak and it all started the day after Christmas 2015 when an F4 tornado took aim at our home.


I thought tornadoes always happened to someone else and certainly never close to home, but Fay and I now know better. One minute we were watching television…fifteen minutes later we were struggling to get out of our house or what was left of it. When we finally did our neighborhood looked like a war zone.


Our 28 year old live oak was snapped at the trunk….



The day after we lost our home we moved in with our daughter and her family and started dealing with our insurance company and doing whatever was needed to start our life all over again.  Not something I ever expected to do at my age….  After weighing the pros and cons we made the decision not to rebuild and to look for another home somewhere in the area.  On Valentines day, exactly 28 years to the day we moved in to the Willowbrook house we watched it bulldozed and hauled away.


We lost a lot but Fay and I, Digger and Molly are alive and kicking (well maybe not kicking so much…) and we can’t ask for more than that. We are also extremely grateful for all of our detecting friends who came to our aid via the Go Fund Me page that Robert Ellis and Dave Wise started. We can never ever thank you all enough.

A big thanks as well to John Howland who contributed updates and posts here while we were busy trying to start anew.



John Winter chipped in to help me out and penned a great post about dog tags titled “From the Big Crash of 2014”. Thank you John.

Also in March we found a new (used) home and moved in the end of the month. It’s was one story and much smaller than the Willowbrook house but we fell in love with it and after a few repairs and shopping for all new furnishings we settled in and now call it home.


The Amesbury house…

Later in the month I found out Richard Ray had passed back in back in January. It really bothered me that his passing wasn’t noticed or shared within the detecting community. Richard was a pioneer, a free spirit, a character and deserved better. RIP Richard…

Treasure hunter, Richard Ray

Treasure hunter, Richard Ray



Phil Stout

Phil Stout

April started out okay but on the 15th my brother Phil passed away. It was not unexpected as he was in an assisted living situation and not doing well. Nonetheless it hurt and I miss him a great deal…. love you man.




May found Fay and I still getting used to our new home and I will admit that more than once I found myself driving back to the old Willowbrook house only to find an empty lot. Interestingly it’s still vacant as I write this…..

I also got a “Dear Dick” email from someone calling himself “relic hunter”…. he apparently didn’t like me and honestly the feeling was mutual.

On a more pleasant note I discovered the European Council for Metal Detecting and was pleased that they are making great strides.





Stephen Grey

In July British tekkie Stephen Grey was kind enough to do a guest post called City Boy In the Country and I urge you to read it.  It’s well done and a great tribute to someone who became more than a friend.  Thanks Stephen.

Also in July I lived up to my cantankerous label and posted “It Used to Be”.  Was a lot of fun and I may do something similar again in the coming months if I decide to continue with the blog.



In August White’s Electronics introduced its new website…a great improvement over the older one. As I was searching through it I noticed their mention of sponsoring outside events and decided to have a little fun with them. They took the bait and decided to return the humor. See “Some Folks Are No Fun at All”….


I also caught some flack for criticizing all the detectorist videos out there when I put up “No I Didn’t Find Anything But Watch This”….



September started off with a great article by John Howland titled “Practicalities & Fieldcraft in the U.K.”…

Later in the month White’s finally fixed the flaw in the MX Sport and resumed shipping. Good news for a lot of folks, including me.



Not much going on in October but be sure to read John Howland’s “News to Gladden the Hearts of all Treasure Hunters” and “Turn Your Favorite Headphones Wireless…”



Had some fun busting Todd Hiltz’s chops when it came to his modeling the new White’s backpack. The completely full deal was just too funny.


Is that a body in there?

Later in November I finally got my MX Sport and fell in love. No more bread box, good balance and good depth. Add in a new permission, my grandson Lucas’s prodding to go detecting and I had an incentive to get off my duff and work a little harder in the field. Thank you Whites!



This month started off with me having a little fun at Chicago Ron’s expense though I might have pissed off a few of his fans (of which I am one).

On the 15th of the month Fay and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary. A friend said “not too many can say they lived through a tornado and spent 50 years married to the same person”…..he also said “I won’t ask you which was worse”….

Finally I talked about the decline of the treasure club and it turned into a discussion about needing a national organization. Have a feeling I will be dead and gone before something like that happens.

This coming Monday, December 26th, marks the one year date of our losing our home and our current weather has been eerily similar. The forecast is also calling for bad weather again but ‘supposedly’ not as bad as last year. Here’s hoping…..


crossing my fingers




Thank you all for visiting and sharing your comments here during the past year. Without you I would not write….

Having said that I am not sure I will continue Stout Standards. My treasure hunting expertise, if I ever indeed had it, is not what it used to be and my excursions into the field during the past year were almost non-existent. Thus writing anything that will be of interest to today’s detectorist is becoming more and more difficult. I will let you know soon what I decide to do….in the meantime Fay and I want to wish you all a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!







Filed under Metal Detecting

25 responses to “2016 – Looking Back…

  1. Wendell

    I enjoy your post even tho I don’t get to the public library much anymore or do much detecting and hope you are able to continue to post if you feel like it. I’m praying you and Fay have a Merry Christmas and lightning doesn’t strike twice in your new home. A much happier New Year as well.

  2. Thanks Dick for the laughs throughout the year. I sincerely hope 2017 will be much kinder to both you and Fay. Keep on posting, lots of us enjoy hearing you share your passion.
    Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.

  3. Merry Christmas and I wish you both a very happy New year in your lovely new home. I’ve been being a “reclusive write” lately but my three volume e-book on the Gundestrup cauldron is now in the conclusions, introductions and editing stages and will appear on Amazon Kindle (hopefully) before March.

  4. wintersen

    John and Lynda send you seasonal greetings and hope that next year is kinder to you. That’s a great picture of Fay and yourself. Please give her my love.

  5. Brian

    Dick ,Wishing you&your family a Merry Christmas. Will keepyou posted of any finds from back of your old high school. God bless. Brian &Angie kingwood twsp.n.j

  6. Bigtony

    Thanks for posting a Stout year in review. It did bring back some memories.
    Merry Christmas to you and your family and a happy new year!

  7. Ey up Dick, my old man used to say these things are sent to test us. You and your Mrs have stayed strong and ploughed on through the rough.
    I hope you and your family have an amazing festive period and an amazing New Year.

    Andy 🙂

    • Hi Andy, I never did well on “tests” in school, and this one felt like a final exam in more ways than one. Hoping too for a better year ahead.

      Thanks for the holiday wishes. I am send the same to you and yours. Please have one for me, and keep up the magnet fishing….

  8. Packrat

    Loved looking back over the year on here. Best wishes, Merry Christmas to you and all your readers from the Rat.

  9. Bob K

    Dick I hope the new year will be kinder, prosperous, festive and above all healthy to all of your family.
    Please think positive for continuing your blog.

  10. Bob Buzzard

    You’re definitely an interesting gentlemen. You see the TV ads of “The Most Interesting Man In The World” and if you squint really hard Goldsmith looks a little like you. Now, I wouldn’t say that you have the world covered, but you certainly have Texas wrapped up.

    I truly appreciate your humor. Your posts provide interesting information and unfortunately I don’t agree with your assessment that your treasure hunting expertise is not what it used to be. You find many interesting topics that are good reads and you do it without boring us like other authors. So I hope you make the decision to continue.

    There are only two things that you need to focus on in 2017. One is staying healthy so we continue to enjoy your writing and two is work on your politics. Well, one out of two is acceptable.

    Cheers to you and your family. I don’t drink French wine but the next time the bum on Chester ave near the bus station offers me a sip of Thunderbird I’ll drink it and think of you.

    • Bob, thank you. That was very kind….

      I showed your comment about the most interesting man to my wife, and she’s still on the floor laughing? Also you know me from other places but I hope you know I have never talked politics here on the blog and never will. Baffles be too that’s it’s allowed on so many detecting websites/forums.

      Happy holidays to you and your family, and a Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!

      Thunderbird huh? What year?

  11. RIP Rick Parfitt, late of Status Quo, one of the greatest, who died to-day.

  12. Your posts have been greatly appreciated, Dick, as they contain a good deal of excellent information, and an interesting perspective of today’s hobby from the golden-age of metal detecting.

    And I can relate on the getting harder to get out detecting; same here, but like you, I still do get out occasionally. Honestly If it was not for my welded-steel Lesch shovel as a support, I’d be hard pressed to get back up after getting down lol.

    Your blog has been the sole reason I started blogging myself, with your encouragement. So I can faithfully say, your posts are still relevant and your sense of humor pulls it all together. I look forward to new posts, as always, and I’m waiting patiently for your new book. Be well Mr. Stout!

    • Thanks James….you looking for a loan or trying to sell me a Lesche shovel?

      Seriously thank you and I am glad I got you writing a blog. You are an excellent writer and communicator, and your outlook on this pastime is also close to mine. You are just a younger curmudgeon. I will certainly give your encouragement and that of the others here consideration with regards to continuing on with the blog.

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