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The following is my first story written for Gold and Treasure
Hunter magazine (August, 1998)

First Gold

Like most dedicated treasure hunters, the morning brings me face-to-face with that first cup of coffee. Ah! To relax and just smell that aroma and dream of all the wonderful finds I shall bring home today. You know, like the rusted padlock, or the old toenail clippers that were found along with 271
pull tabs the day before.

But today is different. I can feel it this time. Gosh! I wonder where I have heard that before?

Well, after three cups of coffee and trying to find two socks that at least fall into the category of a close match, it's off for the hunt.

Let's see now, all the important stuff is loaded. Cigarettes, and, of course, a  thermos of coffee. And most important, at least three packs of batteries. I mean, who knows? I may use all these up finding so much money in the two hours I have to hunt with this morning. Now I'm strapped in and ready to drive. Yes! The engine started. Nothing can stop me now.

Well, after driving down the road a ways, I decided it might be best to go back home and load the detector in the van. Upon arrival back at the house, the kids are standing  there holding the detector out to me while they plan what nursing home would fit me  best.

Quick thinking has me ready to explain how I was just riding out to the site first to  see if it looked like it was fit to hunt. This is where I thank them and leave quickly before I start babbling (like you did on your first date). Okay, this is it! I've made it to the park and it's perfect. No one's here. Carefully, I get out the magic wand-- the old, trusty White's 6000 di. Soon I will be rich. I turn on the power and tune it,  ready now to hear those wonderful tones. Carefully,  taking caution not to miss anything, I begin the hunt. BEEP! Yes, this is it! I know it is! The meter reads: TABS.

But I know it's really a stash of gold. It has to be. Well, after digging up over sixty of those aluminum wonders, my brain begins to let me know that the large mansion and Rolls Royce may have to wait a while.

After about an hour of finding a few pennies, and at most, five dimes, nothing older than a 1972, my thoughts have me cursing others for not being a little more careless about losing  money. Then it happens! K-ching! goes the detector. This must be at least two pull tabs in the same hole. I take the probe, stabbing the ground like it was an old friend who never paid back money he borrowed. Being disgusted over the time I could have spent doing something important, like mowing the yard, I began moving the dirt.

All of a sudden, my eyes spot something. Wait! This isn't silver. This is the color of that  stuff that you only read about other's finding! IT'S GOLD! Knowing it has to be at least the size of a brick, I begin carefully disloding it from the clod of dirt in my palm. It's so wonderful! The feel, the touch. So hard to describe. After getting the dirt off of it, there before me, was a gold key with a small diamond set in it.

Jumping up and wanting to yell to the world, I look around to make sure no one is watching. I mean, I don't want to look silly. After all, here I am a grown man, standing in the middle of a kiddie park with headphones locked over my ears and a stick with a coil on the end of it and me smiling like the time my girlfriend told me that out of all the two hundred guys she dated, that she cared for me best.

Well, after loading up all the gear and going home, all the while guarding my find like Fort Knox, I entered the house yelling at the top of my lungs.

"I did it! I found gold!" Pulling it out of my pocket, I showed everyone my prize.

Here it comes! The words of praise I have waited for!

"Cool!"

Cool??? This is it?!

Well, knowing that is more words than I normally hear in the whole day from my teenage children,
I accept it as the praise it is meant to be.

I put my gold away in the shoe box with my coins of past days of glory. Then I sit back at the table, sipping coffee and dreaming of the sunken treasure I will find on the next day's hunt.