And So Goes 2022…

Yesterday was my birthday and as if this year hasn’t been bad enough I had to send my buddy Digger over the rainbow bridge….

Digger, like Barnum who came before, was my shadow, my best friend and my confidant, even if he was blind and deaf. He lay at my feet and followed me everywhere but the last year has been a difficult one for him and he needed a lot of guidance as well as a lot of medical help. He recently started having scary moments related to his diabetes and had trouble standing and walking. I knew it was time…

I’m not a religious person at all but I’m positive there’s a rainbow bridge that dogs cross and find a place where they can run free and live forever.  There just has to be…


It’s Throwback Thursday  

This is from August 2018…….

“Many Moons Ago”

The following is for old beepers only…

I can’t remember exactly when I started detecting but it was sometime in the 70’s. I do know I began recording my finds in 1977.  Prior to that I put them in compartmentalized plastic boxes, separating wheats, new cents, silver and clad. Any VF, XF or relatively scarce dates were stored in 2×2’s. Other finds or what you now consider ‘relics’ were thrown in a large jar. Rings and any other “decent” jewelry items were kept in a small cigar box.

 In the 70’s…

Treasure hunting was a metal detector, screwdriver and a fifty cent carpenters apron.

It was “Old West”, “Long Latham’s Lost Treasure” and “Western Treasure” magazines.

It was reading about Superstition Mountain, Victorio Peak, Padre Island and yes Oak Island.

It was freedom to detect pretty much anywhere you wanted.

It was D-Tex, Garrett, Whites, Fisher, Compass and Bounty Hunter.

It was G&C Technology, Cue, Gold Mountain, Treasure Ray,  A.H. Electronics and Gardiner.

You almost always came home with treasure.

It was worth your time to hunt schools, athletic fields, parks and churches.

No one took notice or bothered you when you were detecting.

You knocked on doors without trepidation.

The local gendarmes would stop to say hi, ask what you were finding and leave you with “have fun”.

You drove the back roads looking for old homes, churches and schools, ignoring all the open areas in between.

You were able to locate and extract the target without leaving a trace.

In the 70’s..

It was Karl von Mueller, Hardrock Hendricks, Richard Ray, Abe Lincoln and Charles Garrett

Technology was  BFO, TR, VLF, VLF/TR and gaining an inch or two more in depth.

It was discovering reverse discrimination.

Manufacturers cared about the “small dealers”.

You hunted the sidewalk strips without looking over your shoulder.

You dug neat holes and used a drop cloth.

You made your own probe and knew how to use it.

It was the advent of water hunting, weighted coils and sand scoops.

In the 70’s…

It was Ray Smith and the National Treasure Hunter’s League.

It was looking forward to the monthly club meeting, talking shop, arranging get-togethers and seeing what others were finding.

Gal tekkies were few and far between but those that did detect could kick ass.

It was getting that cool photo of you and “all” your finds.

You didn’t need to “see” what the target was, you pretty much knew from the sound.

It was Karl von Mueller and Paul Tainter with Exanimo and the National Prospector’s Gazette

Club hunts were popular, fun and AFFORDABLE

Detector manuals were no more than ten pages.

You always knew your detector settings because there were knobs and switches.

And Today…

It’s not enough to have one detector, you need a sh*t load.

You need headphones, digger, shovel, pinpointer, backpack, GoPro camera, video software, drone, lions and tigers and bears, oh my…..

“Old” and “relic” are relative terms.

It’s all about the internet, a.k.a the “misinformation highway”.

You’re lost without a visual readout of the target.

Instead of treasure hunter you’re a relic hunter.

It seems every school and athletic field is state of the art with manicured grounds, gates, signs and cameras.

Parks are posted, patrolled and with good reason. We are no longer good stewards of our pastime.

What was once a wooded area or forest is now a housing development, industrial park or apartment complex.

Homeowners are overly sensitive and cautious to strangers knocking on their doors because someone is always looking to make a fast buck.

You earn your stripes by being popular on social media.

Manufacturers pick your pockets with accessories (can you say printer ink?)

You need to have an imported searchcoil because they are “supposed” to be better.

Wearing camo is cool (oops forgot, today it’s “sweet” and “awesome”).

You need to take out a mortgage to attend a club hunt.

Bullshit is sometimes necessary to keep your status in the social media pecking order.

It’s all about views, likes and followers.

Finding a silver Roosie might cause a tekkie to consider quitting his day job.

You have to have at least one “detector leaning on shovel” photo at sunset.

You would leave your spouse if it meant being on a field test team.

You have to buy at least one new detector each year so you can find one more thing at that park you’ve hunted for the past twenty years.

I consider myself fortunate to have entered the hobby when things were uncomplicated and less competitive….happy hunting!




Filed under Metal Detecting

22 responses to “And So Goes 2022…

  1. John Hooker

    So sorry about Digger, Dick. It seems inappropriate to say “happy birthday”. It was the right thing to do and I hope you will get another companion after a while. We need our dogs!
    John (and Tristan).

  2. Tom Armstrong

    Dick, I am so sorry for your lose

    I lost a treasured friend today
    The little dog who used to lay
    His gentle head upon my knee
    And shared his silent thoughts with me.

    He’ll come no longer to my call
    Retrieve no more his favorite ball
    A voice far greater than my own
    Has called him to his golden throne.

    Although my eyes are filled with tears
    I thank him for the happy years
    He let him spend down here with me
    And for his love and loyalty.

    When it is time for me to go
    And join him there, this much I know
    I shall not fear the transient dark
    For he will greet me with a bark.

    -Author Unknown

  3. Roy

    So sorry to hear about Digger.
    I started detecting in 1969. Bought my first detector from Ray Smith and later became a dealer for him.
    I hunted in Costa Rica with Richard Ray.
    Those were the really good days.
    But now getting a little long in tooth and have really slowed down. As most of us have I think.

    • “But now getting a little long in tooth and have really slowed down. As most of us have I think…” Wow, tell me about it. Think I’ve slowed down to stop. Thanks Roy.

  4. Linda Bennett

    Virtual hugs – helping a pet to cross the rainbow bridge is difficult but is the compassionate decision. I do love your comments about metal detecting changes which are not always the best. I have been hunting since 1975, so I relate completely.

  5. Harry VanRiper

    So sorry, there are not many things in life that are worse.

  6. Rosalie Ray

    So sorry to hear about Digger, Dick. I’ve been through it three times over the years and know your pain. We never forget our little companions. They are members of our family and give unconditional love.
    BTW I started detecting about 1974. It was great back then. Then in 1984 a small group of dedicated hard working detectorists decided to form the Federation. I have such great memories of our meetings, hunts, banquets,etc. What a great bunch of people when we started out.

    • “What a great bunch of people when we started out…” they were the best and you and Archie were a big part of that effort Rosalie. We got things done, helped the pastime and had fun doing it. Wish we could do it again.

      Hope you’re doing well….

  7. Tony

    So sorry to hear about Digger. You and Molly are feeling down right now but you have each other. Maybe share a cup cake with her for your birthday!

  8. Ed B.

    In The 70’s and today……………….truer words were never spoken in both categories. Great post.

  9. john taylor

    sorry to hear about your pet dick! I know you two were beloved “piper” (pomeranian) is old too, so soon she will be on her last journey. god bless your pet as she meets our beloved savior!


  10. Paul Tainter

    Hello Dick:
    I always enjoy your posting on your Blog and yes I can relate to the your Posting of For Old Beepers Only. I remember the old Garrett BFO detectors when one had to dig all targets and in the old days one dug Lots of junk targets. But one also dug lots of silver targets from the untouched parks, football fields, house yards, and other sites of the 60’s. Boy we did have some good sites to hunt and we enjoyed hunting them with old equipment. By the way, Happy Birthday.

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.