Thursday, December 13, 2012

Oceans and Enthusiasm

Metal detectorists, me included, have been taking full advantage of global warming this fall/winter. Late November and early December of 2012 have been glorious and I’m doing my part to remove all metal – Civil War relics, condom containers, dog tags, pull tabs, deadly triangles of aluminum siding (my current most-hated junk find), TUPOM (twisted, unidentifiable, pieces of metal), toy cars and old license plates – from the ground before the seas rush in and cover the landscape and they’re lost for good.

You’re welcome.

Al, Jakson and I headed up to Ann Arbor for Thanksgiving. We weren’t sure how the J-Man would fare on a road trip w/o his sister, but he did fine. He sat up in the back seat of the van all the way there.

Turn left here... no, I mean right.

Here’s Chloe, (left at home with Pru) reveling in the peace and quiet. I always wanted a dog that slept on her back and she delivers.

I know.

 We all settled in at Helen’s house – me, Al and Jak + my dad, Kate (step-peer) and my little bro, Ilya, the insta-teen. The house is big and warm and comfy and many lovely, turkey-scented times were experienced.

Of course, throughout the visit, I found the need to shout, casually, “Um, I’m heading out for a bit!” – a little too cheerfully. They all know what I’m doing.

I’ve dug Helen’s yard clean, so I returned to Burns Park around noon on Thanksgiving morning, after having put the cranberry apple crisp in the oven and having made sure everything else was humming along (read: women in kitchen, men watching football and not helping in kitchen).

I had high hopes for Burns Park, now that I was returning with my new Fisher F75. This wide, verdant and well-tended playground was once the trolley turnaround (think: people dropping change) and also the site of many a town fair (think: people dropping more change, and also valuable jewels). I’d met some other detectorists here back in August and they’d found tons of delicious items. Surely they hadn’t gotten it all. I smiled at the families running around building an appetite and got busy.

Dug a penny or two, then bingo: best find of the day. I swear – it happens like that so often.

Sigh of pleasure goes here.

LOVE this ring! Sadly, it only fits on my pinkie. But I pretty much wear it all the time. Definitely silver, but the center part has a distinct yellow tint that I can’t polish away. Yum. Thanks, Burns Park.

Two hours and 38 pulltabs later, I returned to the bosom of my family and had a wonderful meal. As always, no one was adequately excited about my find. No one is ever as excited as they need to be. Only Cheryl. She understands. But she was home in Tennessee. There was a flurry of furious texting that somewhat satisfied.

Friday, Al and I performed at METAL – an amazing Ann Arbor gallery that features repurposed industrial metal stuff, antiques, etc.  What better venue for me? I’d brought up all my finds and displayed them on a huge table and during intermission people came and investigated. Again, no one was as excited as they should have been about the finds, but they were polite.

We videoed the whole show. Here’s a song for ya.

Jakson came to the show too and was a very good boy, only barking during our most tender and romantic ballad.

All in all, a great holiday! 

The following Friday, back in Nash, was the monthly meeting of the Middle Tennessee Metal Detecting Club. 

(With Al off touring Europe for three weeks, and our relationship reduced to this...

Honey, you're pixilated again. Honey? Oh crap.

I have to do something fun! Don't judge me.)

Thought I’d include some pics of the nice folks there. Best part of every meeting is looking at everyone’s STUFF. So much fun. Here’s a sampling.

What is it about this lock that I so love?
I entered my Burns Park ring in the Find of the Month contest but, as usual, didn't even place. What's the matter with these people? The evening’s festivities featured a talk by Butch Holcombe, publisher of American Digger Magazine. He’s a good and funny speaker and something of a celebrity. He regaled us with MD stories.

Butch and his lovely wife, Anita!
The next day, Cheryl and I met up at the Civil War Expo in Franklin.  I wrote about this last year – it’s where I got the OHIO authenticated. I was actually there in an official capacity this time, as a buyer for METAL – the Ann Arbor gallery! I had a great time spending someone else’s money, buying up heavy objects that might resell well. Here’s what I found:
These tongs were found on an old farm in S. Carolina.
They were used to pick up Civil War cannonballs.
The man who owned them was named Bubba.
Wouldn't this look amazing in your loft?

Buckles were from a giant Tupperware bin full of Central
American metal stuff from the 1500s to the 1900s. Art
project anyone?  Scissors were too cool to leave behind.
Wouldn't these look fabulous in your loft?

Horse banks. (Necessary for loft?)

Last weekend, I headed over to the home of my good friends Holly and Steve to decimate their back yard. Holly was my assistant and very interested in every aspect of the process. In fact, I will go so far as to say that she is adequately enthusiastic about metal detecting, and adorable too. After an hour or so of pulling out a whole bunch of clad (modern coins), we found this!

Back says "EASTERN DISTR. N.Y."

We immediately hit the puter to try and figure it out. Holly’s house is right in the middle of some serious long-ago CW action, so that was our first thought, but no, turns out it’s a WWII pin. Still very cool! 

The next day, I drove back over there to check out Sevier Park, where they're doing some construction -- big, alluring piles of dark, promising dirt -- but it was all roped off.  WHAT TO DO???

Undeterred, I drove around until I came upon an enticing overgrown lot about a block away and was standing around, wringing my hands, weeping quietly, wondering how to contact the property owner when Holly and Steve walked up with their dogs. Turns out they know the property owner and will contact him for me. Thanks, guys!

Then, the owners of the house NEXT to the enticing, overgrown lot drove up and said SURE!!!!!  WE HAVE A HUGE BACKYARD AND YOU CAN DO WHATEVER YOU WANT TO IT!

Readers: the above text? In all-caps? That part just there? That’s what I want you to say to me. These are the words I live for.

The mom, Irma, and her two adorable boys joined in the fun (I always have an extra machine for just such an eventuality). 

Nice fam with a freshly dug William's Cleaner
bullet.  Couple of new converts, I'd say.

Pretty quick, I dug a Willliam’s Cleaner – a common CW bullet – so it’s definitely a good yard and I have PERMISSION to return whenever I want. That’s better than rice pudding eaten while wearing a vintage dress on a spring day.

Finally, let me say that it has come to my attention that a lot of people are reading Dirt Girl Unleashed in a lurky sort of way.  Lurk not, but render ye thy comments!

OK, Christmas is coming so I’m talking like a carol, but really folks; sign up for the blog and leave a comment or two! Engage in dialogue! Criticize me! I can take it.

Better yet, invite me over. Before the oceans rise.