Volume 5, Issue 3
March, 2014

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

Call to Order: At 7:42 P.M. the meeting was called to order by the President, Mr. Gary Pennington. Gary introduced the club officers; Howard Shettle, vice president (who also oversees the display board) and Steve Cunningham, treasurer. Christine Wisnom, secretary, was absent and will return for our April meeting.

New Members: We welcome James Barger; Eric Heilman and his charges, Ella, Brady and Justen; William KalwaKenneth Michael; Grace Mudrick; Bill Watson and Carl Bowyer.

New Membership Form: Our membership form has changed to include members 17-years of age and younger with no detecting adult. Gary Pennington had received a few calls inquiring if juniors can join at a discounted price. Gary set the price of membership at $10 for juniors and a guardian signature is required. Detecting adults who join the club at our regular $25 price may include spouse and family members 17-years-old and younger as members of our club.

Volunteers: Alvin “Bud” Lamb and Dan Beavers manned the ticket sales for our 50-50 and silver dollar drawings; Gina Stinemire and Olivia Cornwell took charge of T-shirt, club patch and bumper sticker sales.

Photographs: Frank and Olga Silva were again on hand to take photographs of those members who do not have a photo on our “Meet the Members” website page.

Free Raffle: Gary Pennington circulated free tickets to all present for a drawing at the end of the meeting.

Club Raffle Tickets: Leo Pollock’s club raffle tickets have been printed and were distributed among the members for sale. Winners will receive cash prizes. The price to sell is only $1 and if sold to friends, fellow workers, social groups, church goers and neighbors, the proceeds will help purchase valuable prizes for our M.F.S.T.C. open hunt coming up in October. Thank you to Leo for thinking of new ways to advertise the club and bring some funds into our coffer. More raffle tickets are available. Please take a bundle at our next meeting.

Attendance: About 80 primary members, new members, family members and guests attended the March 27th meeting to see our program.

Treasurers ReportMr. Cunningham conveyed that the M.F.S.T.C. has $1978.06 in the bank and $300.22 petty cash in wrapped coins and bills. The M.F.S.T.C. currently has an account balance of $185.71 in the Middle River Recreation and Parks account.

Membership Cards: Unclaimed 2014 membership cards were displayed on the front table, as they will be every meeting.

Mini Hunts: Gary Pennington announced the resumption of our pre-meeting mini hunts. Interested members may arrive at 7 PM to hunt in the grass outside for winning quantities of pennies found and tokens worth prizes. No digging is allowed: only detectors pinpointers and pouches. This has proven to be a great social opportunity for members to get to know each other.

Newsletter: Steve Cunningham, our newsletter editor, announced that our newsletter will be personally mailed to those without the benefit of a computer and thanks those who have waited for a system to be set up. Bringing the club into the computer age is not without its problems.

Trash Drive: Our trash drive is so far a success with several full tubs of the annoying litter.

Club Banner Frame: Bill Wise introduced the ingenious PVC-tubing frame he designed for club use by assembling it on the auditorium stage. The banner stood proud above the crowd; free of wrinkles and flutters. Bill’s invention comes at a time when our club is seeking representation at various events such as flea markets and expos. Thank you to Bill for taking the time and effort to help promote our club.

Expo Chairman: Gary Pennington is seeking a volunteer to become an expo chairman to actively research and help man any situation where our club may be represented to the public throughout the year.

Meeting Place: There is a chance that the Baltimore County Department of Recreation and Parks will revoke our auditorium privilege during the months of July, August and September, in favor of another group. We’ll have to use the smaller room where we met previously. More news on this later.

White’s TRX pinpointer: Jay Brown, our resident White’s dealer and one of the original members of our M.F.S.T.C. club, announced  that, because of numerous back-orders and some production delays, the White’s TRX pinpointer has been difficult to stock. He assures us that when he receives his shipment, an announcement will be made.

March meeting program: The program, brought to us by Bob Taylor about the Electroscope and Ready-Shovel, was a terrific success. Thomas Afilani, his son Mike Bower and Dennis Dido gave presentations about their inventions.

We started the program with Mr. Dido, the inventor of the Ready-Shovel, a holster worn on the belt that holds a detecting shovel, leaving one hand free while metal detecting. Top-grade leather and Kidex, a strong thermoplastic material used for weapon holsters, makes a quality long-lasting clip for the handles of the shovel. Dennis gave a relaxed and thorough explanation of how he developed the holster and how popular it has become internationally.  

Mr. Afilani gave us a presentation on his Electroscope by Thomas, also known as a long-range-locator (LRL). His delivery was organized, candid, honest and relaxed enough to seem like one of our own members. He explained the Electroscope well enough to at least consider giving one a try in the field.

The Electroscope's antenna is drawn toward silver, copper, brass, gold and other normally worthy targets. The range varies on certain models and when the device settles toward a target, a bearing is established. Moving to the side several feet and determining another bearing will reveal the approximate location of the target where the bearings intersect. Mr. Afilani suggested plenty of practice to get proficient with the device.

Mr. Afilani then answered members’ questions.

Bob Taylor announced a one-time 10% price reduction on all of his Electroscope products in celebration and support of the program.

March 15 Impromptu Outing: Mike and Gina Stinemire, Danny Beavers, Andy Cooper, Brad Johns, Kurt Franz, Don Mueller, Chris Jacobs, Dave Miller, Susan Bauman, William Wise, Steve Cunningham and Frank Silva were present. M.A.R.S. members Jerry Mason, Bill Perkowski and Barney Dolt were already detecting in the field. Members’ finds can be seen on our photo page under “Members’ Finds 2014”

March Club Outing: Our March 29-30 club hunt was wet. Thank you to Bill Wise for obtaining permission for this outing. There was surprisingly very little gravel to contend with: easy, but muddy digging. The steady rain on Saturday did not prevent Andy Cooper; Brad Johns; Steve Cunningham; Bill Wise; Gene Dixon; Eric Heilman with Brady and Justen; Nancy Jelich; Mike McCullough; Dave Miller; Frank Silva and Mike Stinemire from attending. The temperature was just right and the winds were calm despite the light rain. Bill Wise had already found over $3 in clad before anyone arrived and had a large plastic flower pot ready for members to deposit their trash. Brad Johns found a nice King George half-penny with no visible date, a shankless flat button and $5.35 clad; Andy Cooper found $12.37 in clad and his share of trash; Mike McCullough found $6.11 clad, a “bikers prayer” token and a nice working jack knife; Eric Heilman found clad, car keys and trash while Brady and Justen dug mostly trash, though Justen came through by digging a penny on his way back to the van; Nancy Jelich reports detecting for 5.5 hours in the rain that produced lots of trash, a padlock and clad. Other members went home with similar amounts of clad and trash. The area has treasure waiting patiently to be dug by those determined enough to dig up the trash as well.

Sunday’s weather was miserable.

Bill Wise arrived early to set up his newly-invented prototype club banner frame. Bill struggled in the rain, wind and cold to assemble it, but the steady and sometimes gusty wind tossed it about, finding a slight weakness in the structure, and tumbled it. Bill toiled to assemble it again only to have it meet the same fate. Steve Cunningham arrived in time to see the fallen frame and help Bill pile the pieces and banner back into Bill’s truck. A few tweaks here and there will make the frame stronger, now that the prototype has revealed the need. It was the ultimate test of structural integrity short of a blizzard.

Kurt Franz arrived to brave the wind and penetrating cold and parked near the woods in time to witness a rain-soaked tree fall over due to the wind. He detected for a short time, but left to hunt Druid Hill Park and had a fairly successful day until sleet replaced the steady downpour.

Danny Beavers was already on the scene enduring the biting wind, cold and rain. He hunted for about an hour until his hands got numb and his face started to freeze. When asked why he chose to hunt in such unlikely weather, he replied that he wanted to support the club and was curious about detecting the area.

Neither Bill nor Steve detected: They waited in Bill's warm truck, drinking their coffees, to turn away any additional members. Fortunately, nobody else showed up. Who could blame them?

The event will be rescheduled sometime in the future when the sun is shining and the weather is warm.

After walking around the hunted areas, no ugly hole repairs were found. This will, hopefully, help secure permission at nearby farms.

Patterson Park: Gary Pennington announced to the members that while there is any archaeological activity at Patterson Park, our members should steer clear and wait until the search for remnants of a fort is completed. If any detectorists are caught in the area during their study, permission to hunt the park may be revoked for all.

Unrepaired Holes: George Hendley and Andy Cooper reported fixing holes and collecting trash left by others. Other members are doing the same. Since no one in our club would leave messy digs, it must be a result of any number of unwashed heathens.

George Venker reported talking to a few detectorists who were present as a result of monitoring our website. If these come-alongs leave unrepaired holes and/or visible trash, our club might catch the blame - another reason to help by repairing them.

Website: Two new links have been added to our website; a link to our “Members Only” area, requiring a user-name and password, which takes you to “Meet the Members,” upcoming detecting outings, photos of outings, members’ classified and our newsletter. Member Don Mueller helped affect a new security level as he thought members’ information was not secure enough under the original password page; and a link to “About,” which is a brief accounting of how the club began and what it stands for today.

To obtain the user-name and password to the “members only” area of our website, you must contact Steve Cunningham by email (saddlewood33@gmail.com). As added security, the reply email must match the email address listed on our roster.

Securing all references to club detecting locations will help prevent “spy hunters” from monitoring our outings.

Detecting Outings:  Our club is looking for new detecting opportunities. If you know of any farms, parks or “off the beaten path” areas we would be able to detect, please let us know or arrange permission for one of our regular monthly club hunts as Bill Wise did for our March outing.

M.F.S.T.C. Treasure Hunt: Our treasure hunt will be held Sunday, October 12 at Sandy Point State Park near Annapolis, MD. The Maryland Artifact Recovery Society is hosting their treasure hunt, as well, on Saturday, October 11, therefore making these worthwhile events back-to-back. The price of registration has not been established, but almost every single registrant comes away with prizes valuing more than the cost, sometimes many more times over. This is the nature of these events. More details will ensue.

Display Board and Raffle Winners: For Coins, George Venker took first place with Andy Cooper coming in second and Howard Shettle rounding third. Jason Hadel came in with an easy first place for the relic contest, and a tie between Howard Shettle and George Venker became apparent for second. Andy Cooper came in third. The “club favorite” was won by James Barger.

The 50-50 Raffle was won by Steve Myers who walked away with $60. Dave Miller was lucky enough to win the silver dollar. Winners of the free-ticket raffle were: Mark Story, Dave Asbury, Leo Pollock, Nathanial Asbury, Larry Brown and Nick Franz.

Garret AT Pro VDI numbers: George and Nicole Venker created and distributed a list of Garrett AT Pro VDI numbers and what targets they represent.

Adjournment: The March 27 meeting was adjourned at 9:45 PM

Our Next Meeting: will be held at 7:30 PM April 24, 2014 after our 7 PM mini hunt.

See you there,