Making Friends with Metal Detectors

  • April 6, 2016
me and tess

Tessie and I circa nineteen-ninety-something.

Last week, my cousin wrote about the bond she shares with her digging partner (husband). After reading her post, I started thinking about the bonds I’ve made with both digging partners and property owners alike. If you’re a regular follower of this blog or happen to watch my videos, you’ve probably realized that I have a lot of digging partners. There’s Roman, Bill, Mike, Duane, Ed, Ciara, Don, Brandon, and Aaron… to name a few. For a few weeks last year, I even dragged my husband and kids along on my adventures. In all honesty, I’m not all that picky about who I’m digging with as long as we’re having fun. On occasion, I’ll even dig alone… with my nine millimeter… given that incident with the  shirtless man and his dog.

As I’m sure Tessie (my cousin) can attest, one of the best parts about the metal detecting hobby is the community that comes with picking up your first detector. Once you get plugged into the facebook groups and local clubs, you start meeting like-minded people who share your passion for recovering history. The pool of potential digging partners continues to grow and grow, until you reach a point where you might as well start accepting applications. Personally, I’ll dig with just about anyone. I never really considered this as digging infidelity, but most of my digging partners are the strong and silent type… Maybe my unfaithfulness is cause for concern?

Regardless of who I’m digging with, we certainly cultivate a special bond. I consider my digging partners as friends. They get me… my compulsion to play in the dirt, to scour old maps, and scribble down addresses as I drive by old homes. They never question the dirt on my knees, the red-polish chipping off my fingernails, or that crazed look I get when I haven’t gone digging in a whole week. Aside from friends who dig with me on a regular basis, I’ve made friends across the country and even across the world. (Except for those people who try to talk to me in Arabic… we still haven’t conquered that language barrier.) I’ve made a lot of friends in this hobby–both metal detecting and bottle digging–but strangely enough, this hobby has even given me friends outside the hobby.

I’m talking about property owners… the ones who don’t chase you off their lawns with a shotgun… or improvised weapon such as a rake or garden hose. These are the property owners who–despite their first impressions of you… er me… as some crazy lady covered in mud, with foliage clinging in her teased hair, and horribly manicured talons–still allows me a chance to explain myself. Then, after I’ve explained myself and expressed my deep-seated interest in digging holes in their yard (with the promise to fill them back in), they still haven’t reached for the rake or garden hose… (All things considering, maybe I’m not the crazy one?) These are the property owners who become close friends.

12728839_1147665985246558_7365103671374253826_nIf you follow my blog, you probably recall my friend Sue. She owns the schoolhouse property where I dug a piece of pewter spoon with my Makro Racer. Since approaching Sue for permission to dig around her schoolhouse, we have become close friends. Her and I get together every week to scour antique shops and search for resellables. I consider her one of my best friends and even though Sue is not inclined to dig for metal bobbles in the ground, she gets my compulsion to dig in the dirt and accepts that I’m a little bit off-kilter…. maybe a lot off-kilter. Regardless of the degree, Sue gets me.

From what I understand, Sue is a rare friend. Outside of the digging community, I have a hard time connecting with people. (Let’s face it, I have a hard time connecting with people in general…) When I mention the six metal detectors in my garage and the privy probe in my trunk, people tend to get a twitch in their eyebrow and a glazed look in their eyes. Granted, I’m setting myself up for failure as soon as I mention privy digging… apparently the subject of shit-houses is taboo among most circles… er, all circles besides the digging circles.

I’ll leave you with this… Tessie–my cousin–was right about digging partners. Its important to connect with others in the hobby, but even more important to connect with people who accept you for being a little off-kilter… and have no problem meeting you out in public after you’ve sat in a mud puddle to dig a slammin’ hit… that turned out to be a pull-tab…