TOMS TREASURES INTERNET MAGAZINE
Copyright 2000 TOMS TREASURES, All Rights Reserved Worldwide


ONE MAN'S TRASH
BY PHIL CLINTON



I've been Th'ing for, oh let's see....two weeks. I recently purchased my first detector after saving my pennies and doing about three months research on different machines, companies, and retailers. Of course in my searching, I've become used to terms like, "ground balance", "coin shooting", "relic hunting", and so on. I decided I wanted to "coin shoot" and started out in my front yard.

I proceeded to set up my detector, tune it as instructed, and give it a pass over my yard. The first target I hit registered as " a quarter" at 6". I dug a plug and lo and behold, there it was, A 1974 quarter a good six inches under my lawn's grass. OF course the beeping of my machine attracted kids, mine and others, as well as neighbors. They got to watch me retrieve a dime, a penny, and several pieces of aluminum siding that contractors had discarded thirty plus years ago. Of course I got to watch my son as he borrowed my unit and proceeded to hunt his own treasure; the next time out I used the headphones and did a stealth attack on my back yard.

During my research, I picked up a book on places to hunt and created quite a list of possible sites. One that held my particular interest was the home site where my mom grew up. It was hearth and home to my her family for many years and I figured that there were many old coins to be had. Considering that the land was now owned by the state and its drive was was used by hunters every fall, I believed that there would be some clad to be had just for fun.

I arrived at the home site and found that somebody had already been there, digging holes in the drive and parking area. The home site itself was untouched. A few passes over the drive gave me an indication of why the earlier Th'er didn't dig much, I got lots and lots of hits that turned out to be trash. I quickly made my way to the foundation area itself.

My first solid hit was for a 50 cent piece at 6 inches. I pulled a heavy brass hinge out of the moist soil. As I turned it over in my hands, I couldn't help but wonder what it came from. I stuck it in my pocket and moved on. A quarter hit at 4" was a circular, slightly domed piece of sheet metal with a hole in the middle. For some unknown reason I held on to it and continued my hunt.

I found no coins that day. I did find another of the circular objects, a small sauce pan, and several other "trash items". I kept them all. I went to my folks place after the hunt and showed them what I found. I could not believe the interest in the "junk".


"Where did you find the headlight reflectors?", my dad asked.
"What reflectors?"

The circular objects were part of head light assemblies from old tractors. It turns out that I had wandered to the back of he front yard and found the place where grandpa parked the tractors, plows, trucks and other farm implements. The "junk" gave my mom and dad an hour's worth of reminiscing. Maybe this stuff wasn't trash after all.

My intent was to find coins, trash items created a frustration that was palpable. But identification of the items created a sense of curiosity as I began to imagine my grandfather or one of my uncles working on a tractor and laying down a part of the head light assembly, not knowing that I would find it 40 years later.

I couldn't help but wonder if more than one newbie Th'er started out looking for coins and decided to look for relics, trash to some, but part of a touchable past to another. Was there a value to the metal junk I found? You should have seen the look on mom's face ......Phil Clinton