My family thinks I’m nuts. After all, I am only thirty. When they envision a metal detecting hobbyists, they envision some retiree in his early sixties sweeping the beach for spare change and discarded tin-foil.
Perhaps in some past life, I was a sixty-something retiree because I love metal detecting. As a matter of fact, the prospect of metal detecting was my best idea since putting my kids in daycare for two more days a week. THAT is saying something.
I’ve been called an old soul by strangers, friends, and family. What can I say? I like old stuff. My family playfully suggests that my house is more like grandma’s house than… well… grandma’s house. I guess most thirty-year-olds would take that as a hint, not just a reminder to dust the spaghetti poodle collection and rotate the carnival glass display.
I couldn’t tell you when my passion for old stuff started–I’ve always just suspected that the passion was embedded within my soul–but I can tell you when I decided to embrace it. As a teenager living in Rhode Island, I used to scour the dumps behind our house for old bottles and crocks. I would haul them all back home and stack them in the windows of our dilapidated shed–it was no china hutch but it did the trick.
In my early twenties, I rediscovered my love for relics and started picking–another hobby of mine. I would–and still do–frequent yard sales and thrift stores for something well-seasoned and ridiculously under-priced. I will admit that I have a tendency to collect more than I resell–the curse of being an old soul.
Just last year, after discovering that my uncle lived beside an old dump, I reverted back to dump digging. I dug a few radial street lamps from the 1920s before having a chance encounter with a deer tick and ending my digging season with Lymes. It took a few doses of antibiotics to kick it, but I’m doing better these days.
All that being said, I have always been a treasure hunter and I suppose that metal detecting was the next logical step.
In November of 2014, I purchased my first metal detector–a Garrett ACE 250. I’m only three years into the hobby, but I’ve made some pretty wicked discoveries, met some incredible people, and even embraced that affinity that I carry for yesterday–for pursuing tangible history and not just staring at boring dribbles in a history book.