Don’t Let It Consume You…

I’m not a big fan of forums but one I do like is Steve Herschbach’s “Detector Prospector”. It’s filled with good, solid useful information and doesn’t stray or get clogged with know it all’s and petty arguments.

In any case one recent topic caught my attention and even caused me to comment ( a rarity). It was titled “At What Cost Did My Family Pay For My Addiction” started by George Kinsey.  I would urge you to take a few minutes and read it as well as the responses and if nothing else you will find Steve’s website a good use of your time.

George’s post hit home with me and brought back memories and sadly, guilt feelings. That’s because my family did indeed pay dearly for my addiction to this hobby.

Like any pastime or sport you can go overboard. What at first amuses and entertains can get you hooked to the point that it’s all that matters. I know because it happened to me and while I’d like to paint myself a victim I was the facilitator. I became so addicted and selfish that I forgot about my family, all in the name of getting “noticed” and based on what I see on social media today I’m pretty certain it’s happening to a lot of detectorists.

In the early seventies I started out just being a happy digger who loved the thrill of the hunt. I was a coin collector and I was finding them, not buying them. What was not to like about that? Then after having an article or two published in a treasure magazine I became what I thought was a real treasure hunter, a rock star of sorts. 

The writing led to more writing and eventually led to the formation of the FMDAC.  I started traveling and meeting detectorists from all across the country, as well as overseas. I also became a field tester for a major metal detector manuacturer. During that time I had the support of my family but never fully realized that they were doing it just to make me happy. 

Before too long I was offered a position with a large metal detector manufacturer and jumped at the opportunity. It meant uprooting and moving my family 1500 miles, causing my wife to leave a nursing job she loved and my my youngest daughter to leave her small rural high school (and friends) and start her senior year in a high school ten times it’s size.

We bought a house, prepared to stay awhile but unbeknownst to me I walked into a hornets nest with a company having internal power struggles. After two years I was let go, fired. They like to call it downsizing but it’s just another buzz word that means “screw you”.

So there I was, home sold in New Jersey, new house and mortage in Texas and no job. Welcome to the Lone Star state yankee. It’s been 35 years and one F4 tornado later and I’m still in Texas. I reflect on this situation often since losing Fay and wish I could go back and do things differently. I wish I could have saved my family the sadness they had to endure just to make me happy but I can’t. 

In recent years I’ve heard a few others share similar stories, and I know of two or three whose lives have also been changed because of this same over zealous attention to the pastime.  I urge all of you especially the YouTubers, podcasters, field-testers, and social media rock stars to think about what I’ve said and go easy with things. Stay focused, don’t go overboard, don’t make promises you can’t keep or set goals that interfere with your family life. Don’t let the likes, comments, shares, followers and friend numbers bloat your ego and dictate your life. Other than an interest in a pastime the majority are people you will most likely never meet and who could care less about what you’re dealing with on a personal level.

I love this pastime and right now I’m trying my best to get back to just being that “happy digger” but at 82 years old it’s not easy. It was a helluva lot of  fun back then, until I let my ego take charge. I’m not advocating you stop doing anything self promoting or alter your efforts – just think of those nearest and dearest to you and make sure they’re enjoying life and not just along for the ride.

Happy Hunting…




Filed under Metal Detecting

11 responses to “Don’t Let It Consume You…

  1. This is why you ‘know’ the detecting world inside out. It’s called ‘experience’…the only drawback is that it takes decades to acquire.

  2. Brian Obitz

    To bad the Deus company wasn’t hiring back then and fired you. Stuck in France being a detectorist and gourmet of food and drink.Lol.

  3. john taylor

    dick! you saw an opportunity, and you grabbed it! you were heavily into the “public relations” aspect of the hobby, and wanted to make a difference.this in, and of itself, was a “noble”pursuit.

    your books have helped many people over the years, mainly because you know what you are talking about.there is “no” substitute for experience, and you are to be commended for attempting to help others. politics aside,(they f***ed you!)and this was a very unfortunate development. may you have peace of mind Richard,for you definitely deserve your place in the “hall of fame” of metal detectorists….


    • Thanks for all those flowery tributes JT. What is it you want?

      Kidding aside thank you. I honestly wish I had turned down the job that brought me to Texas…just wasn’t a good fit for me. Hindsight, gotta love it….

      • john taylor

        if I was a betting man,it ”sounds” like you had difficulty with the politically “astute” process, which as you are aware, is even more important than being a competent title have my sincere sympathies!


  4. Tony

    Most folks don’t work at something they like doing but have to earn a living. You are one of many folks who followed their dream job in life and did it very well. The folks who know you will say you were very good at your jobs in the detecting world, marketing, sales, writing and speaking engagements with experience.

    The people who are writers really need family and friends behind them because it’s an extremely difficult position to have in life. Yours just happened in the electronics field, a little boring for most but add in treasure and it lights up all the nerve endings you can imagine. Don’t look back now – look forward! Hey XP and Bud Light need new marketing agents……you never know.

  5. Randy Dee

    Well done Dick your article is one of the most honest proclamations of what can happen when your own self determination can become the ruin of other worthy situations around you. Keep up the good work.

    • Thanks Randy. No sure it”s “good work” though…Had two emails telling me to talk detecting. Pretty much validates exactly what I said…

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