Volume 5, Issue 2
February, 2014

Maryland Free-State Treasure Club Meeting Minutes, February 27, 2014. The meeting was conducted at the Victory Villa Community Center, 404 Compass Rd., Baltimore, MD 21220, 410-887-0258. Submitted by Frank Silva, filling in for Christine Wisnom, secretary.

Call to Order: At 7:45 P.M. the meeting was called to order by the President, Mr. Gary Pennington. Gary introduced the club officers; Howard Shettle, vice president and Steve Cunningham, treasurer. Christine Wisnom, secretary, was absent and will return for our March meeting.

New members: The M.F.S.T.C welcomes new members: George Hendley, Dwayne Meanor, James Barger, Jason Hadel, Chris Jacobs, Bill Kavalick, and Kurt Franz, and their families. All signed in as guests and all joined.

Attendance: 55 members, new members, family members and guests attended the February 27th meeting.

Treasurers ReportMr. Cunningham conveyed that the M.F.S.T.C. has $1548.04 in the bank and $320.22 in petty cash in wrapped coins and bills. The M.F.S.T.C. currently has an account balance of $285.71 in the Recreation and Parks account.

Membership Renewal: March is the last month for membership renewals after which names will be dropped from our roster. If a hardship prevents you from coming to the meeting, simply mail a check in the amount of $25 made out to “Maryland Free-State Treasure Club” to: Steve Cunningham, 4900 Walther Ave, Baltimore, MD, 21214. If your check is not imprinted with your name, please indicate who you are. You do not have to fill out a new membership form as your name is already on our roster and will be updated to 2014. If you start re-attending the meetings at a later date, and wish to renew your membership, we will still have your name on previous rosters and can transfer the information to our current 2014 roster.

Membership Cards: Those who renewed their memberships at the last meeting, or joined as a new member, may collect their membership cards at the officer’s table in front at the meeting.

Photographs: Frank Silva, our photographer for the upcoming “Members Only” area, was on hand to take photographs of as many members as time allowed as he also sat in as secretary to take the minutes. He will be taking photographs of members in the meetings to come. Thanks to all who stood in front of his camera.

Ugly Hole Repairs: Mr. Pennington pointed out that many of the holes that rogue detectorists had dug were repaired properly at our club outing. He saw visible outlines and improper tamping-down techniques which leaves the replaced plug of turf sitting above the level of the ground. He expressed worry about having our permission revoked and that we should all take the matter very seriously. He suggested taking the time to set the plug even if you have to jump up and down on it. Chopping the plug with a digging tool was also suggested. The point is to repair the holes so that they are invisible before moving on. Gary also made a plea to all members to properly finish any bad soil repairs left by others.

New Club Outing: Bill Wise has obtained permission for a limited number of our club members to metal detect on March 29 and 30 from 10 AM to 2 PM, or as long as you want to detect. There was a signup sheet for members to register (for free). 15 members will be allowed to attend each day and there are still some openings left for both days, so be sure to attend our March meeting to sign up. More details will be forthcoming.

New Places to Hunt: An appeal was made to the members to come up with new places for our outings. Some members have already suggested parks or fields they know about. Steve Cunningham, our club outing chairman, would appreciate if any member coordinated an outing for the club as Bill Wise has done for our March 29 & 30 outing. New member Jason Hadel is eyeing a park in PA for a prospective gathering. Contact Steve Cunningham if you have ideas.

M.F.S.T.C. Open Treasure Hunt in October: Dave Miller is taking the lead on this event by writing letters to prospective sponsors and preparing prizes for the registrants. The cost of registration will be much higher this year than the closed hunt we had last year, but with the promise offering more treasure to be found, including gold coins. We will be conducting the treasure hunt at Sandy Point State Park near Annapolis, MD. This will be an open hunt, meaning open to the public, and Dave will be contacting various magazines to advertise. Dave is poised to send out the letters as soon as a date has been set.

Other Treasure Hunts: Gary Pennington reminded us of the early-bird signup for the Minelab 2014 International Metal Detecting Day May 17. Be sure to check the Minelab website for deadlines. Also mentioned where the Lancaster Research & Recovery Club open hunt April 12 and the 27th Annual Tidewater Coin and Relic Club Open Hunt April 26. Links to both may be found on our website under [Outings].

White’s Bullseye TRX Pinpointer: Jay Brown of Essex Detector Sales, who has been a club member and officer since 1975 and is our resident White’s dealer, announced that, even though the TRX was supposed to be available February 20, it has been delayed and is not currently available, but will be soon. He is anxious to stock them because demand and interest in the manual pinpointer are mounting.

Special Program for March: Bob Taylor, of Taylor Metal Detectors, and another of our resident dealers, has set up a very interesting program for our March 27 meeting: he has invited the makers of the Electroscope by Thomas, a simple antenna device that defies the imagination, to speak.

Mr. Thomas Afilani, the creator of the Electroscope by Thomas, a world renown inventor, is a well-known adventurer, traveler  and treasure hunter. Also present will be Mr. Mike Bower, sales manager for Electroscope by Thomas, and Mr. Dennis Dido, the maker of “Ready Shovel:” that nifty metal-detecting-shovel-holder that fits on your belt.

The Electroscope by Thomas is a “Long Range Locator” (LRL) that locks on to selective metal alloys such as silver, gold and coins. It works similarly to a divining rod, but more scientifically, and overlooks most trash targets. In effect, the antenna on the Electroscope will point to metal objects by tugging in your hand until it settles toward a target. You actually feel it tugging in your hands and you relax them enough to let it do its work. Some models have a pivot point for a more accurate bearing. You then note the direction and then proceed to take another bearing in order to triangulate the object.

Bob Taylor has demonstrated the ability to find a dime thrown into snow without knowing where it was tossed. Mr. Afilani will explain how they work at the meeting.

As an incentive for members to attend, Bob Taylor will offer an additional 10% discount for everything on his display table at the March meeting only. He will also honor deposits for merchandise at the 10%-off price during the March meeting.

Any members who own and Electroscope by Thomas should attend the March meeting.

We have a link to this information on our Home page.

Infirmed: Judy Falanga is back after an extended stay in the hospital and looking fine as ever. She’s eager to join us at our gatherings. Judy thanked us for the flowers and card sent to her by the club though Bob Taylor.

February Outing: Our club outing, February 23rd drew eighteen earnest detectorists pounding the turf for treasure: Club members Susan Bauman, Brad Johns, Andy Cooper, Steve Cunningham, Doug Frantz, Mike McCulough, Dave Miller, Gary Pennington, Howard Shettle, Nancy Sommer, George Venker, and Frank Ziemski were present along with Garys niece Krista Tobias and M.A.R.S. club members Jerry Mason, president, along with Barney Dolt, who has hunted this areafor decades, and Dwayne Meanor who just finished his stint as secretary of the M.A.R.S. club and has joined our club as a new member. Grace Mudrick, who has shown interest in our club and attended  a meeting as a guest, and her husband Victor came to get some guidance on the use of metal detectors. Both beginners, they were soon digging up interesting objects and a nickel in a very short amount of time before they had to leave. Grace was lucky to have Victor around to dig in the muddy soil where she pointed. We all dream of that.

Merchandise: T-shirts, Bumper Stickers and Club Patches, for members to buy as a means of donating to the club, were displayed under the watchful eyes of our sales attendants Olivia Cornwell and Gina Stinemire. Brad Johns donated a few bundles of gloves, left over from his work, to be used as a merchandise item for the club. Gary Pennington attached a price of $3 per pair.

Club Coin: Nancy Sommer has come forth to help us find a cheaper price for the proposed idea of a club coin. The club coin idea has not caught on among the members as some are skeptical of the cost. Nancy is trying to find a coin with the specifications tendered by Steve Cunningham: a brass or bronze coin the size of a silver dollar that bears inscriptions about the M.F.S.T.C. club. Her idea is to buy the coins directly from China to eliminate the costs of a middleman.

Raffle Tickets: Leo Pollock, always looking for ideas to promote our club, has coordinated and proposed the idea of general raffle tickets to be printed and distributed to the public as a fund raising effort. The cost of printing would be low and the profit after payoff looks attractive given enough sold. We will be discussing this at our March meeting.

House Fire: Bill Hill and Leo Pollock were called to the aftermath of a house fire in Dundalk. After searching though the ashes and ruble with metal detectors, they were able to recover many valuables that would otherwise have been lost.

Trash Targets: The first month of our trash drive was a terrific success. We took in about 80-lb of the wretched junk dug up while responding to good signals. Dave Miller brought in a 5-gal bucket-full and the club trash-target container was filled to the brim thanks to our members' contributions.

As a reminder, after a year or less, we're going to display on a tarp the amount of trash we dig up and collected while metal detecting so our county executives and news media can see what the "silent trash collectors" can do for our parks, beaches, fields, streams and backyards. It might give detectorists a good name and it gives our trash targets a purpose.

50-50 and Silver Dollar raffle: Bud Lamb graciously volunteered to officiate the club raffles at the February meeting as well as donating a roll of tickets to be used at future meetings.

The 50-50 raffle was won by Olga Silvia who walked away with $49. Gina Stinemire won the silver dollar raffle for the second time in less than 6-months. One additional prize, A Garret hat, was won by new member Dwayne Meanor.

Contest Board Winners: Those who won the coin contest were: George Venker, 1st place, Leo Pollock, 2nd, and a tie between Bill Hill and Howard Shettle for 3rd place. For the relic contest, George Venker took 1st and Kathy Pine came in 2nd. Mark Krieger’s son, Connor, won the club favorite with the barrel of a toy rifle.

Adjournment: Meeting was adjourned at 8:50 PM.

Our next meeting will be held Thursday, March 27, 7:30 PM, at the Victory Villa location. We meet in the auditorium.

See you there