Winter Blast!

Experiencing a nasty winter blast here in the Lone Star – entire state. Just got power back but we’re having rotating/controlled outages because of the cold. Tomorrow morning? Zero degrees with wind chills 15 to 20 below.  Tomorrow afternoon – 2nd round, more snow and this time for good measure a coating of ice.

Sure hope I (and the water pipes) can hang in there. Anyway not sure when I will be back online so here’s a rerun….

Dreaming – A Lost Art!

When I started detecting back in the 70’s I did a lot of reading.  I read books by Karl von Mueller, Charles Garrett, Roy Lagal, Roy Volker, Dick Richmond, Glenn Carson and Estee Conatser, among others.  I read Western & Eastern Treasures, Lost Treasure, Treasure Found, Treasure, Treasure World, World of Treasures, True Treasure and Old West magazines. When I read I was transported to places I’d never been and it didn’t matter that I was a newbie, in my  mind I was a treasure hunter.

Fast forward to today…. Many of the authors mentioned above have passed on, the number of treasure magazines available today has dwindled dramatically and the ability to dream, to keep those treasures alive, real or imaginary, seems to have also disappeared.  A fellow New Jerseyite Tony Conti (a.k.a. Big Tony from Bayonne) and I talk  about this and still share thoughts, theories and ideas on legendary treasures, especially those back home in the Northeast.

DoanHave I ever looked for legendary treasures?  Yes I have. I and a friend, Joe Attinello (who passed away in March of this year), spent some time looking for the cave where the Doan Gang  supposedly buried their loot in Bucks County, Pennsylvania and later we searched for John Ringo’s treasure, only seven miles from my house in Hunterdon County, New Jersey. Did we find them? No. Did they really exist? Hard to say.  What I do know is that we had a helluva lot of fun researching and looking for them and who knows maybe someday someone will find one or both. How cool would that be?

In the mid-80’s I was privileged to meet Mel Fisher shortly after he discovered the Atocha. He was in Atlantic City the same weekend of our FMDAC event and Charles  McKinney, Director of the Atlantic Alliance for Maritime Heritage, invited Fay and I to their event at another hotel nearby. When we entered the crowded room, there  in the middle was Mel Fisher with a huge gold chain around his neck and a bevy of young gals hanging all over him.

Charles introduced us, we shook hands and while he was “six sheets to the wind” he was still able to remove the chain and put it around Fay’s neck, whispering sweet nothings in her ear while doing it. Yup, here was Mel Fisher making a move on my wife and all I could do was just stand there staring in awe. After all here was a guy who had a dream, one that lasted sixteen years, cost millions of dollars, took the lives of his son and daughter-in-law and he never gave up!

Anyway, today is today, I am what I am, and life goes on. I can deal with it (well some days I can). At my age I know I will never get to look for the Lost Dutchman, Oak Island or Little Big Horn treasures, but I will remember the Doan gang, John Ringo and the night Mel Fisher was hitting on my wife…

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17 Comments

Filed under Metal Detecting

17 responses to “Winter Blast!

  1. Tony

    Dick, your state is all over the news for the winter blast your having and for having 1/4 of your energy produced by wind mills that are frozen. Now your saying rolling blackouts like California in the summer, yikes! I hope you and the family the best. I hate it when we lose power here in NJ.
    I too loved those writers who made me dream of treasure and gave me a terrific hobby to enjoy.

    • Tony if it weren’t for the BITTER cold I could have dealt with the power outage. We just layered clothes tried to stay warm and worried about the pups.

  2. john taylor

    yeah dick that must have been a ‘thrill” meeting mel, who was a genuine celebrity at the time. i imagine fay must have been beside herself garnering the attention of such a famous man.bet she felt like a “queen” with that heavy gold chain hangin’ off her! yes sir! the thrill of a life time it was! man had the tenacity of a “bulldog” and he finally “hit” it!. stuff dreams are made of! ..i’m just sayin’

    (h.h.!)
    j.t.

  3. Like Tony said in the first comment, Texas is on the news over here in the UK too. You have my sympathies and I hope you both stay safe.

  4. John Hooker

    Hi Dick, and greetings from “Texas North”.

    Like Texas, we are about oil, cattle, and wheat, here in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Unlike Texas, we are used to extreme cold. I have worked outside when the wind chill was minus 70 F.

    We suffered the same storm that got you. but it has passed. Right now, the temperature is a balmy 19 degrees F. We have about a foot of snow on flat areas with drifts up to about 3 feet. The city has plowed the main roads and laid down gravel, but the intersections are slick from people spinning their wheels and the gravel turns the shiny surface into a sort of cement that is very slippery at temperatures higher than -4 F. and melts slowly. If you hit black ice when driving, nothing can be done, and it does not matter what sort of tires you have. For other conditions, winter tires are a must in these conditions. “All-season tires” are considered a joke in Canada, but they might be OK for parts of California.

    Stay home. have food delivered, try to keep warm (even a single burning candle could be the difference between life and death in very cold weather).

    Best,

    John

    • Hey John good to hear from you….

      At the moment we have power but waiting for the other shoe to drop (as in controlled outages). Haven’t been out with the car yet and don’t anticipate doing so until at least Friday. That will be first day above freezing, though just barely and I have to tell you we don’t own a candle. Really! Had a boatload prior to the tornado and just never replaced them.

      I know you’re used to the cold John but you can keep it. No need to send it here. I’m just an old dude looking for a house in the south of France. Take care, stay safe my friend.

  5. john taylor

    dick! get nice and ‘toasty” inside with the ‘rooster” you’ll be alright! you remind me of someone tryin’ to rob the 5 and dime in that hoodie! ehe! he! heh! ..i’m just sayin’

    (h.h.!)
    j.t.

  6. John Hooker

    No candles, Dick? I suppose that controlled outages will be fairly short — keep the house warmer than usual. We are supposed to get above frezing later today.

    Best,

    John

  7. john taylor

    hey dick! hear the latest? seems there maybe soon an opening in the “governor’s” office! “job opportunity” dick!

    (h.h.!)
    j.t.

  8. John Hooker

    Hi Dick,
    Just checking that you made it through the cold OK. I hear that an 11 year old boy died in Texas from the cold, tragic.

    Think about double glazing for your windows and a fuelled heater for the future!

    Best,

    John

    • So far so good…We finally thawed today and thus far no pipes bursting though I’m told it can still happen a day or two down the road. Crossing my fingers.

      A lot of people will be dealing with this storm one way or another for a long time. So far 60 have lost their lives.

  9. john taylor

    dick! ya gotta “bleed” ya pipes when it gets really cold.keep the water movin’in the pipe!.trust me it can save ’em from bursting. you must know this though, living in jersey? i’m just sayin’

    (h.h.!)
    j.t.

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