**** WARNING****....This will probably be long and boring
As a child, my family camped at Hammonassett State Park for 6 weeks every summer. There was a guy that camped near us that was always out MD'ing. I always tagged along and was hooked. This was probably 1977ish. That Christmas my parents bought me Sears-Whites hip mount detector. Straight TR. no discriminator, but I had a blast on the beach with it. Every evening my Dad and I would bicycle, or drive, to the beach, depending on where I was hunting. I found some stuff, but never the kind of things the guy that camped near us found. He was always showing me rings and such. I copied his techniques and talked to him all the time. One night I was scrubbing a portion of the beach, ( What the guy that camped near us called it. Dragging a foot to see where you've been , more or less gridding). A guy I had never seen before came up and started detecting over my scrubbed portion. At dark he walked up and showed me everything I missed, and thanked me for picking up all the junk for him! What a tool. My Dad was livid.
Next morning....My Dad says come on...we're going for a ride...He wouldn't tell me where....Well...it was one of my first of many trips to Will & Jeans Metal Detectors in Killingworth, CT. I was in awe..It was just a room in their house, but they had all the Whites detectors I had been reading about in the magazines. I'm looking around, and my Dad is talking to Will, and I hear him say, I want the best machine you've got. Turned out to be the Whites 6000D. I was shocked at the price, and even more shocked when Dad bought it for me. I was 12 at the time. After a couple hours with Will learning how to use it, and playing in his test garden, We headed to the camp. Of course as soon as the car stopped I was swinging the machine. Within 10 minutes I had a good deep signal. Dad was digging for me. It seemed like it was 2 feet down, but I'm sure it wasn't more then 6 or 8 inches, and out popped a 1951 Franklin Half. I was out of my mind. That evening we headed to the beach and find my first gold. A mans wedding band with 5 or 6 diamonds in it. I was hooked for life at that point! These are finds I will never ever part with!
The next week We went back to Will and Jeans and bought a second 6000D. Dad and I hunted together for many years. I hunted on and off into my early 20s, and then life got busy, and I went 25 years without detecting. Tho, I did think about it on and off, when I would see a place that looked promising.
In 2015 My Mom passed away. Cleaning out her apartment, I found the 2 6000D's and a box with some of my old finds. I wish I knew what happened to the rest....There was so much more! A friend who detected stopped by my work, and handed me his Etrac. Big learning curve from that 6000D , but after aouple weeks learning the machine, I felt like a 12 year old again!
Here are some pics of some of my finds from back in the day. If you got this far, thanks for reading this!