This One was About More Than the Finds!
Between snow, freezing rain, wind, or just the demands of the daily grind, getting time to go digging is a commodity. Especially getting to dig with my father in law. Virginia's winter often has a funny way of throwing a half a week of 60 degree weather at you. Last week your digging out your driveway and the next you find yourself in the woods with a t-shirt. But back to my father.[split]
With the nice break in the weather we decided to head out to a new spot he acquired. Within minutes of hunting the spot we started getting signals. Drips of lead here a bullet there etc. We'd always stop once we break the ice and confirm to each other that we're on a good spot. The terrain was tough. Swampy woods with a lot of down trees. Often you'd move a dead Cedar out the way and do a little swinging. Being younger with fresher legs I tend to gain ground quicker than him and often find myself way ahead. This day something was off though and Dad was way back. I stopped, took the headphones off and could hear him a few hundred yards back. Time to back track.
When I got to him he was sitting on a down tree eating a sandwich! He looked up at me pointed and said run your machine over that area. I did. It absolutely screamed at me. Woah I said, and looked up at him! I bet you It's a plate he replied. I didn't dare take him up on that. Dad was metal detecting for American Civil War relics before I was born. He's pretty much seen it all and dug it twice!
So with my new found knowledge of what might be in the hole, I dug twice as wide as the signal sounded. He always kids me that I'll never hit anything with the size of holes I dig. I started to peel back the leafy loamy soil and start probing with my PRO-FIND. Beep beep beep instantly goes the PRO-FIND and I can feel the object in my hand. Not sure what was shaking more the PRO-FIND or my hands. It's oval and dense. It's a plate indeed! I took the plate out and immediately handed it over to Dad. That's a belt buckle!, he says. I want you to keep it, he then adds.
Accoutrement plates from the Civil War can be extremely valuable especially Confederate ones (not to mention you can go your life and never find the first one) and this could have been anything! But he couldn't have been happy watching me get to excavate that long lost piece of American history.
And the thought of his generosity on that day is my greatest find to date! Thanks Dad!