Saturday, May 24, 2014

Fame Comes A-Callin'....

First, free legal advice:

If you go to a Civil War battlefield and strike the ground with your hand and record the sound for a record of metal detecting songs, you will be fined $40.

So… don't do that, says Dirt Girl’s dream.

Just a few tidbits to share.

Yup, you read the headline correctly. Cheryl and I were contacted by a New York City casting agency. Someone (not sure who because it is apparently a HUGE AND IMPORTANT SECRET) is developing a pilot for a treasure hunting show. "Sort of like American Pickers but for treasure hunters!" Would we like to fill out an application?

No! I responded. We are not like those dumbasses on Diggers who bellow about "Nectar!" and hang from trees when they unearth coins that have been clearly planted by the production interns the night before. We are not like that at all.

But, I countered: might they be interested in some metal detecting songs? I have a few of those. Not their department, they said. They just do the casting. Why not just fill out the application?

So we filled it out and the next day, they requested a Skype interview.

I made it clear that Cheryl and I aren’t treasure hunters, specifically. That is to say, we do not slither into crawlspaces, tear apart walls, get dropped down wells, etc.

We do metal detecting. We are really good at spending hours being utterly boring to watch: swinging our Fisher F75s, then crouching down, then peering at something without the benefit of reading glasses, then looking disgusted and disappointed. Maybe once an hour we will look happy.

Not like this. This is sarcasm.

But despite this honest caveat, the 14-year-old casting lady still wanted to interview us.

The day of the interview, I flat-ironed my hair – OF COURSE – and updated Skype to the latest version. At noon, Cheryl came over and we did what anyone would do an hour prior to a potentially life-changing Skype interview: we went and got delicious margaritas.

At 1 sharp, “Melissa” appeared on my screen and started asking us questions.

I really, really tried to record this monumental
event for posterity -- or at least this blog-- by
having Al take a picture of us being interviewed
but "Melissa" would have none of it. She
saw him point his phone at us and said, "NO!"
and clicked her "hide" button. Apparently,
taking photos during a casting interview
is not OK. She remained hidden for the
duration of the interview, leading us to
suspect there was Someone Else With
Her who wished to remain anonymous.
WHO COULD IT BE? We never learned.

 I have to say, Cheryl and I were almost dangerously adorable. We love to talk about MD and shared some of our more bizarre and funny stories. We laughed and joked, finished each other’s sentences and showed “Melissa” some of our more interesting finds by holding them up to the camera in my computer screen, sometimes making sound effects.

Forty minutes flew by. When we signed off, we were high as kites. We knew our chances were slim to none, being as how we are MIDDLE AGED WOMEN and therefore invisible to American media, so we just appreciated the experience for what it was.

It’s been over two weeks now, and we haven’t heard anything more, so it (whatever “it” is – we have no details…) is probably not going to happen. If I'm disappointed at all, it's not because we won't get to be on TV  (anyone who's read my memoir, Not About Madonna, knows how I feel about that) -- it's that they probably could have scored us some really good places to dig.

But you know, we seem to be doing pretty well on our own.

One beautiful Saturday, Cheryl and I decided to check out the Bank of Harmonica again (see last post). As we pulled in, we noticed a man mowing his lawn two doors down.


We took a little stroll in his direction and engaged him in polite conversation. Turns out Luis is a delightful, friendly homeowner and allowed us to detect his sizeable property, which more or less abuts the bank. He had halfheartedly MD’d his yard some years back, had dug a bunch of horseshoes and a log-splitter, then returned the detector to the dealer. Not his thing.

Not a problem. We had a lovely time. Didn’t find much, as we were trying to be very careful with his lawn (it hasn’t rained in weeks) but I did find this lovely axe head.

Pre-electric soup.

Post-electric soup. I am delivering this beautiful
axe head to Luis as soon as I finish this blog.

I thought this was a piece of foil until I got it home and cleaned up.

Badge from the Improved Order of Red Men.
Not a whole lot to say about that. You can
look it up.
Also found these interesting goodies.

These were mashed together with a rusted
ring (since broken). I'm a little confused...
top one looks like a New York State dog tag
 from 1932, but the other one says, "Virginia"
on the side. Was that the doggie's name?
Or the state? I do think it's very polite of them
to refer to her as a "female dog."

I challenge you to look up Challenge overalls.

Waffles, anyone?
Other odds and ends. Loving that buckle.

Newbie Laura continues to show great enthusiasm for this hobby, peppering my phone with texts like, “Are you finished with work yet? Can you sneak away?”

Laura, sneaking away.

But not me. I would never.

Last Sunday, I took her back to a farm in Hermitage I’ve been slowly exploring.  It’s a huge property with a long walk through ticky, snaky woods to an area that’s got “old home site” written all over it. (The ground is full of iron and mason jar lids.) But Cheryl and I have never quite found THE spot, as it’s very rough going and quite overgrown.

I think we're getting closer, though.

Flat button, buckles, thing with daisies.

One of Laura's finds, all cleaned up. Wish I'd taken a "before"
pic. It looked like the Mickey Mouse of Rust.

 Laura and I swung, crouched, scrabbled and examined for hours, then limped back to the car in the fading light of a luscious Tennessee spring. As far as I know, neither of us had a tick. 

That night, I lay on the sofa and caught up on some back episodes of “Nashville” while sensing a demonic presence or two nearby.

Happy Memorial Day, all! 

Any bullets or buttons I find this weekend will be even more meaningful than usual.

Bullets. Buttons. Fossil.


  1. All those shows are huge fakes. They cast for all of em and plant artifacts for the (nose) pickers to 'find.' And the cat trainer? I remember when the casting call went out: "must have tattoos and have extreme style"

  2. I know... but Dirt Girl had to get it in the blog!

  3. They need an all female detecting show, and it should show real things, like us searching for bathrooms...

  4. That would certainly quicken the pulse of America!

  5. I have a feeling that a detecting show with you gals would be a big hit. You are all a helluva lot prettier than Chicago Ron!

  6. Well, me and my friend Steve sat for the same interview for the same company. Alas, we got no call back either. It will be interesting to see who, if anyone, makes it into the show. I will certainly sit and say "Ah! I am waaay better looking than that guy!" I agree with the Diva than all-female show may have be a big hit. I mean, I am always rooting for 'Lizbeth on Swamp People. Plus, she ALWAYS gets a twelve footer and you know nobody is planting the alligators she hunts.