Beat Up…

Been kind of a rough week. Foot that I had surgery on is infected again, dermatologist beat the hell out of me (with more to come) and I’m over the moon tired. So while it’s not Thursday here’s a throwback from July 8, 2013. Have a great weekend and have two for me (because with antibiotics I can’t).

Three Zany & Unforgettable Tekkies…

Having been involved in this pastime since the 70’s, I’ve been privileged to meet a lot of great people. When I think of good times, especially the crazy times, I  see Gary Bischke, Fred Brust and Herb Dunn.  Three detectorists who happened to be a little bit off kilter…..

I met all three during the formative years of the FMDAC and got to know them better when I was Director of Marketing for Garrett in the late 80’s.  Gary and his wife Arlynn were the owners of Outdoor Outfitters in Wisconsin, Fred, the National Treasure Hunters League in Tempe, Arizona, and Herb was the owner of Heartland Detectors in Des Moines, Iowa.  This infamous trio were three of Garrett’s best distributors and when some event, any event, brought them together, all hell broke loose.

Before going on I need to mention that Gary and his wife Arlynn both passed away in 1998. Gary from a heart attack and Arlynn from cancer. That they left us in the same year is ironic but somehow appropriate in that they were very much alike, both very avid water hunters and inseparable.GaryArlynn


One of the all time great get-togethers for detectorists was Treasure Expo in Fremont, Nebraska, hosted by Paul Tainter of Exanimo and later Research Unlimited.  This event, started in 1982, brought together just about anybody and everybody involved in the pastime.  Having said that you have to understand that Fremont, Nebraska is not a large town with a population of just a little over twenty thousand, and if you wanted to congregate in a bar, you went to the only one around…..”Boomers” a topless bar (and that’s an overly kind description).

Boomers was one of those places where you’d often tell the gals to put their clothes back on and you’d sometimes actually look the other way and talk about business.  Enter Gary, Fred and Herb, and the situation changed dramatically.  If I remember right the chorus would be “oh sh*t, they’re here“.  Within minutes you’d wind up with at least five or six bottles of beer, in front of you, a girl dancing on your table, and just possibly someone looking to punch you in the mouth, all courtesy of Gary, Fred or Herb. One night Gary was in serious negotiations with the owner of the bar for the services of the entire troupe of dancers for a party in his motel room after the place closed.  Fortunately the deal fell through, though not for a lack of money. Gary always had a roll of bills and spent them freely.

The building that once housed Boomer’s is now a Furniture rental store and I wonder if they sell “lap dance” chairs…

Fred Brust, 2nd from left talking business, 1985

But wait, there’s more…

The first year I was with Garrett, Fay & I attended the FMDAC Atlantic City Treasure Weekend (first time as a manufacturer/exhibitor), and I will never forget checking into my room at the hotel.  No sooner had we put down our suitcases, there was a knock on the door.  When I opened it I saw two porters with carts, one with buckets of beer and three bottles of scotch, the other with hors d’oeuvres. (couldn’t begin to calculate the cost).  The card on the cart said,  “Welcome Dick & Fay, Gary/Outdoor Outfitters”.  After ten minutes, another knock.  Guess who?  Yep, Gary.  All this and only an hour or two before the banquet in the evening.

I then begin to think seriously about how I’d go about finding another job after blowing this, my first road trip with “both” Charles & Eleanor Garrett…

Gary selling his services, Atlantic City – 1986

A year or so later Jack Lowry and I traveled to a few towns in the mid-west and gave seminars to Gary’s dealers and customers.  Gary did the driving, and stopped at every watering hole along the way, picking up the tab at each.  It was a blurry week and ended on a depressing note…I left an unopened bottle of Chivas Regal 12 year old Scotch in my hotel room.  Hope the maid enjoyed it – I cried all the way to the airport.

Have a feeling a few of those seminars would have given Charles fits if he had witnessed them….

I have tried locating Fred and Herb over the years but have had no luck.  Fred eventually took a job with Fisher as Director of it’s Consumer Sales in the hobby area, but after the company moved it’s headquarters from California to Texas, Fred left and best I can tell, is either in Alaska or New Mexico. I did find this recent photo of Fred and his grandson on the Detector Prospector site, taken in 2002.


Fred and grandson, 2002

Herb Dunn has also seemingly disappeared, but if any of the three were to prove illusive it would be Herb.  Herb had that shy look, that quiet demeanor, and ALWAYS a big sh*t-eating grin on his face….had you wondering what he was thinking or what he was up to (a master at playing the innocent role).

Herb Dunn (best photo I have)

If any of you out there know of Herb Dunn’s, or Fred Brust’s whereabouts, tell them to get in touch with me. If you happen to know them personally or are related, my condolences, LOL….

I used to think I could drink with the best of them, but these guys were in a league of their own…




Filed under Metal Detecting

17 responses to “Beat Up…

  1. Yo Ricardo:
    Hang in there matey! I now feel obliged to down a ‘few’ on your behalf.
    Best wishes. I hope you’ll soon be up and about.

  2. Frank Blazi

    Hope you recover quickly and can return to your old lovable self. We pledge not to dig anything good until you are all better.

    • Thanks Frank. I’m walking so there’s that. Plus my maladies are mild compared to so many others.

      As for not digging anything? Not worried, I got all the goodies years ago. Just left a few trinkets you. Cheers….

  3. John

    Hope you feel better and get well soon. Take care.

  4. john taylor

    dick! reminds me of “4 toes” carnes when I was kid! poor carnesy was mwin’the families lawn back when, when he inadvertently stuck his big toe in the spinning blade somehow, and was neatly “sliced” after that we kids (so cruel back then) always called him “4 toes carnes” when he jumped on the bus.he didn’t have to be concerned about infection though, because the “toe” got sliced right off! I’m just sayin’ole 4 toes carnes!

    j( 2-stabs,almost 3) t.

  5. James Fielding

    I was laughing so hard at this post, Patti started seriously eyeing me, thinking I may have finally snapped 🙂 the part about having the ladies put their clothes back on, looking the other way, and start talking about business had me rolling on the floor! Sounds like good times, Dick, and I miss those guys even though I didn’t even know them! Sorry to hear about your continued fight with the foot. Get well soon my friend!

  6. Tony

    Dick, you have plenty of good stories that we all enjoy reading about. Hope someone comes forward with contact information for you. Too bad about the Chivas Regal and your foot! I hope you recover soon. Thanks for the laughs

  7. john taylor

    hi reverend!
    dick will be ok! his infected foot is a test from our “savior”. the good lord is “testing” Richard to determine if his faith is still strong, and if I was a betting man,i would not bet against him! I’m just sayin’


  8. john taylor

    have faith Richard! the good lord in his infinite wisdom has your back! might also try a “foot soak” in rex Goliath! for added effect! I’m just sayin’

    j (2-stabs,almost 3 ) t.

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