Just a Ramblin’ Wreck…

Dan, detecting old homesite, early 80’s

The other day I got a call from my old New Jersey detecting pal Dan Hamilton. Dan and I were avid TH’ers and good friends back in the 80’s and I really missed his company after moving to Texas. We haven’t stayed in touch as much as we should or used to but hopefully that will change.

The conversation of course started off commiserating about old age and what it brings to the table as in aches, pains and illness. You know, the priorities in later life.  We also talked a little metal detecting and how things have changed, how things have become more more fine tuned, more garnished and how the field has become more crowded.

Back when Dan and I were digging it was a much simpler time. We weren’t obsessed with backyard target separation nor were we the worse off because we didn’t own the latest searchcoil, diddy bag, shovel or pinpointer.  We didn’t have to own a Go-Pro camera or knock out videos for our YouTube  channel or post up our finds of the day on Facebook. Our daily challenge was the same every time out. Finding old coin sites and having fun.  It really didn’t matter so much what we came home with, it was how we came home and that was often with the satisfaction that our day was filled with great conversation, and sometimes even great food and drink.

Does that happen today? Oh I’m sure it does but I doubt it’s the same. Too many variables out there now. Too many distractions. I get the feeling that  today’s tekkie is more obsessed by what detector he’s using rather than how his day turned out . Don’t get me wrong we talked detectors back in the 70’s and 80’s. We knew the manufacturers catalogs inside out, we were familiar with the different models and we talked about the various features and differences. We were just MORE preoccupied with being the first on that virgin site, with the age and quality of our finds and to be honest no one I knew had surplus money to burn as seems to be the case today.

Dan and I, sometime in the 90’s

Whenever Dan and I met up to detect we threw our detectors in the trunk of the car along with our screwdrivers, headphones and carpenter’s apron. That was our gear. No backup detector, no pinpointer, no shovel, no vest, no smartass phone, no GPS, no spritzer bottle and no camo. Wonder we didn’t get lost, get eaten by wolves or coyotes, lions and tigers and bears and oh my. Today the goal is the same but you all seem to be dancing to a different tune.

Today’s finds are RELICS – buttons, buckles and bits and pieces. Doesn’t matter what the hell it is it’s a relic and everyone is a successful relic hunter. Deep, shallow, iron, brass, copper or lead, there’s a nomenclature associated with it and there’s even a display case for it out there somewhere – a happy outcome no matter how you spin it and the manufacturers love happy customers. Hip hip hooray!!

Dan had to show he was still better than me…early 90’s on trip back to Jersey

Pretty sure all of this explains my reluctance to get excited, no sucked in is probably more appropriate, about all the recent advancements in detector technology. Oh I was a techie tekkie at one time but as I’ve aged I found that adjusting controls, turning knobs, pushing pads, diddlin’ around took away from the fun part of what I had enjoyed for years and honestly didn’t necessarily increase my finds.

Today? I just want to be able to hunt and not hurt. Nothing more. Haven’t given up on that goal, at least not yet…


Received the following via email and wanted to share it here in case any of you magazine collectors might be able to help Jim –Name: Jim Coe
Email: gejacoe@yahoo.com
Comment: I’m interested in the Treasure Magazines where Ms. Kay Modgling is a contributor. She introduced me to MD’ing 40+ years ago. I was a young patrolman in Newport Beach and she was a frequent visitor to our beaches. She gave me my first metal detector and shared her love of the hobby. Any help in locating articles by/about her would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you


No Ribbing Please…

How does the saying go – everything old is now new again….

After my bypass surgery in January sternal wires were inserted to hold my ribs together. Well after ten months seems one did not want to stay flat and began poking me from inside. Last Thursday the surgeon removed the raised wire plus two more. What was once a healed incision is now fresh again….

Have you ever tried to get through an entire day without bending? More difficult than I thought and living with an older dog just adds to the dilemma.

We’re a dynamic duo!!

After Fay’s passing in April Mollie Sue has become my shadow and is constantly making sure I’m close by . She’s blind, deaf, has one tooth but will stay in motion until she finds me.  We’re a dynamic duo!




Filed under Metal Detecting

5 responses to “Just a Ramblin’ Wreck…

  1. Bloody hell! I didn’t know you had a heart. OK, I’ll be generous…that 20 bucks you’ve evaded paying me for over three decades, I’ll consign to the bin. I’m all heart! Between friends, if it all goes tits-up, can I have your Simplex?

    • Have known you almost 40 years and I can’t count the number of “tits up” letters I’ve gotten from you…jeezus! No you can’t have the Simplex.

    • john taylor

      you can’t have the 20 spot,dick had it sewed up inside him! molly’s a sweetheart!. damn what a fightin’ fido for sure!

      j (I bought shares in pziezer!) t.

  2. njfella007

    Dick, I know it’s tough not being able to detect anymore, or at least as easily as you did in the past, but those memories of friends, fun times & fantastic finds are worth a lot more in my opinion.

    I had a pretty damn good 11 year run before my stroke, and I felt like a kid on Christmas morning before every hunt. The anticipation of what lies beneath, the ribbing between buddies, the delight in being the first person to hold something that was lost hundreds of years ago…THAT is why we detect. The action. The camaraderie. Men becoming children again and playing in nature.

    I still wish every day that I could detect again. And it sucks not being able to. But those friends & memories I’ll always have.

    Glad you’re on the mend. Get to writing. Or enjoying a glass of wine. Living fully. We’re all on borrowed time my paisan.

    • We’re all on borrowed time my paisan...” Nobody knows that better than I Joe. 2022 has been a bitch….

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. Hope all is well with you and the family.

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