As I type today’s entry it is 16 degrees outside, and the temperature projection for the next several days remains below freezing. In other words, I won’t be metal detecting anytime soon.
There are, however, other ways to treasure hunt.
I called my long-time buddy Ron a couple of days ago; he, too, is a retired cop, a guy I’d worked with in my early years behind a badge when I was a young pup. I got him infected with the metal detecting virus early in 2016 when he dived in with a Minelab machine, and we’re already planning excursions for when the weather breaks. Ron was in the video on my YouTube channel when I unearthed an 1827 large cent last March, and when we explored the insides of the old mansion on whose grounds I found the coin.
But I called him for another reason.
Ron, you see, has a nose for bargain hunting, a real wheeler/dealer when it comes to finding rare or valuable stuff and turning it into profit. That’s what I wanted to do, and the day was perfect for it…cold and blustery.
I arrived at Ron’s house, grabbed some coffee for my thermal travel mug and off we went, en route to a couple of places Ron knows well: second-hand and thrift shops.
The first place we stopped I’d driven past a few times, telling myself I’d take a look when I had time; today was the day. The inside was packed with all manner of used, motorized sport vehicles…and, it seemed, everything else under the sun. Old coins, bladed weapons, baseball memorabilia, leather goods, laptops, video games…I could have spent all day in there looking at all their stock. As it was, the shop took 90 minutes of our time, and that was OK; we’re both retired and had nothing else scheduled for the day.
From there we moved on to the downtown area of a small town; Ron knew of a great Mom and Pop restaurant right next to a consignment shop he said I’d “love”, and he was right. Our first order of business, though, would be lunch at the aforementioned eatery, where we both had the fish ‘n chips. It was excellent, and I will be a repeat customer. The wait staff was friendly and the prices were very reasonable. As we were ending our meal, one of the restaurant’s cooks came out to the dining area, a big man, to tell the wait staff that one of the daily specials was ready for offer; it seems they’d run out earlier, which told me the dish must’ve been in high demand. What I noticed right off, though, was that he was wearing a Garrett ball cap. The man, Ron and I struck up a conversation about metal detecting, with our new friend telling us that he owned a Garrett Ace 400 and that he and his Dad went detecting as often as they could. Before leaving, I told him of my YouTube channel, believing he might enjoy the footage; hopefully, he does.
Ron and I then walked next door to the consignment shop, a little store-front operation that was surprisingly larger than it appeared from outside…and it was absolutely packed with all manner of items. Again, I could have spent the entire day inside this place just browsing its offerings. I strolled the store leisurely, though knowing what I was looking for: old books, to be specific, but also keeping an eye out for anything at a bargain price which I could turn into profit on my eBay site. That’s one of the ways I pass the cold weather months when I can’t get out to metal detect. Though not trying to make eBay an integral source of income, I do utilize sales proceeds for funding an annual Spring trip out of state to metal detect with my brother-in-law Steve.
I ended up making two purchases: a unique book, printed in 1910, and a military pocket knife, two items I bought at a really good price that I know I can sell quickly.
After leaving there, Ron drove us about fifteen miles to a little gun shop he knows of, a place where he’d bought firearms before; again, it was smallish-looking from the outside. The inside, however, had gun-related stuff packed in seemingly every nook-and-cranny ( what the heck is a ‘cranny’, anyway? ), as well as a few items of baseball gear. We spent probably 45 minutes there, and Ron ended up buying a .22 target pistol for his adult son’s birthday.
As we rolled homeward, I spent the time taking in the landscape we drove through: farm fields covered with a trace of snow, dotted here and there with small communities and the occasional old farmhouse…
…always on the lookout for promising ground, and dreaming of spring.