|The De-Evolution Of The Hobby|
I'm not going into the intricacies of body language, but, it does work, and I find it a great source of unrealized truthful communication in many situations. At any rate, Patti and I usually drop hints we practice the hobby among the general public at various times and encounters, and mention our organization, The Central Florida Metal Detecting Club, during the discussion. The reaction and facial expressions are priceless. We were is a antiques shop in Sanford, Florida one day, when Patti let the other shoe drop and mentioned we practiced metal detecting for police evidence hunts, lost and found issues within the general public, et al. The shop-owners face literally fell...then she frowned. "I got this guy who calls me all the time and constantly pleads with me to dig up my yard!" She sighed and looked at the floor in anger. "Why do they not understand the word NO!" She looked up again. "This guy calls me several times a week, same request, and I told him to lose my private number a few weeks ago...but he called again yesterday!"
So here is a random member of the public who went from happy-talk to frowning and angry words in seconds after we mentioned the hobby of metal detecting. The hobby I started practicing over 50-years ago, has become a contentious, greed-filled pastime in so many areas, the general public looks on people who do participate in the hobby as looters, criminals, trespassers and troublemakers. And we only have ourselves to blame. A large number of dishonest hobbyists nowadays engage themselves in deception; impersonating officials or workers, sneaking onto properties the back-way from waterways and lakes, submerged under someones private dock digging coins and valuables without permission and unknown to the actual property owners, metal detecting the dead of night using night-vision technologies, or just plain trespassing...hoping to liberate valuables before they are discovered and asked to leave...what I would term Day-Hawking We also think there is a lot more Night-Hawking going on in Florida than was previously proposed.
All detrimental to those of us simply enjoying a harmless, and so far, legal hobby of metal detecting in the search of forgotten items of history, attempting to liberate them from the matrix of time back into the light of day and the public domain. We have had little success in turning this train-wreck of a hobby around because more and more are in it for the supposed profit ("I'm gonna quite my job and buy a METAL DETECTOR, that's what I'll do!") and easy income they think it will provide. Every day we see another comment "We are THINKING of getting into this GREAT hobby...what do you suggest?" Then the same old discussion of not having much money, and what would a good starter machine would cost and WHERE is the best place to find all that gold and silver?
I've said this before and I'll say it again...I am not opposed to more individuals entering the metal detecting hobby, but I AM opposed to more taking and less giving by people entering the hobby. In other words, several thousand more people hunting the beach with metal detectors is not going to improve the hobby any more than several thousand more fisherman is going to improve the fishing in a small pond that's already been fished out. We need to add more voices to save this hobby and try and roll back legislation intended to limit or eliminate the hobby completely, but I don't see that happening here in the United States...what I do see is more of the general public grabbing a metal detector and digging like a dog in the nearest dune, then angrily walking away if no gold or silver is found, leaving a mess and looking for a fresh flower bed to rut in; one more black-eye on the hobby. The saddest thing is you know who you are...and you just don't care. I'm off my soapbox now.