Sunday, 23 May 2021 15:16

COLUMN: You never know what you might find

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As we walk on the ground, we may never discover what lies beneath our feet. Why, it could be something that has been lost for years or something the Good Lord placed there in the beginning.

Sometimes, when large excavating is going on, entire villages of long ago might just start revealing themselves.

Sometimes human or animal bones from centuries past are dug up; while at other times, precious metal, such as gold or silver, or raw petroleum products are also found.

Sometimes what we seek is far under the earth or water, other times treasure might be found just inches under the surface. Underwater ships holding treasures are prime targets for treasure hunters.

Some treasure hunters might hunt for a lifetime but never find what they are searching for, while others get lucky every once in a while.

Modern-day treasure hunters have the most up-to-date metal detectors and sonar equipment that money can buy. Other folks, like myself, just might stumble on something by accident. Please remember, treasures are sometimes just in the eye of the beholder.

Why, several years ago while disking my field, the nut that holds one end of my disc harrow on came off. It was getting dark and I had that tractor on full throttle and wasn’t looking back.

After I had made several rounds, I noticed that part of the ground wasn’t being turned over. Looking back, I saw that about a quarter of my discs were missing.

I stopped the tractor and got off, only to discover that the nut and washer that held my disc blades on were missing, and so were four disc blades. Somehow, I had managed to cover all these pieces of metal under the ground.

It was getting dark, so I put my tractor under the shed, thinking the disc parts would be easy to find the next day.

The next morning, I walked and looked all over that field, but no disc. Won’t nothing else to do but pull out my cheap metal detector.

I figured this was a long shot, but I put new batteries in my detector anyway. I held the base of the detector to the ground and started walking around the field. Round and round I went, but the needle on my detector never moved. I even checked the detector on another piece of metal just to see if it was working and it was.

Knowing that if I couldn’t find my disc parts, it would put a big hole in my pocketbook, I searched even harder.

Finally, as I was about to give up, the needle and buzzer on my detector went off. I reached down and removed a little dirt. To my surprise, the first thing I found was the two-inch nut that held the disc on. With a little backtracking, I found each disc blade and even the washer in the dirt. Folks, I felt mighty blessed because all I had ever found with the metal detector was a couple of horseshoes.

Seems just last week, while chopping my watermelons, my hoe hit a piece of metal beneath the ground. I had been plowing and farming this field for 30 years and about all I had ever found was a couple of arrowheads and old plow parts. Before I started plowing, it had been a cow pasture and even had a couple of hog pens on it.

As I uncovered the metal object from the dirt, I was surprised to see it was a small pistol. You could tell it was very old because the rust had crusted all over the little gun.

I got through chopping and took the gun home. I really couldn’t tell if’n it was a small-caliber pistol or an old cap pistol. Whatever it was, it was heavy for its size.

First, I used a wire brush on the gun but later soaked the gun in vinegar for a couple of days. The little gun cleaned up some but I figured I was doing more damage than good. I wiped the gun down and put it in my outbuilding, hoping to show it to my grandkids. I still don’t know how the little gun got covered up in the field or for how long, but at least I’ve got something to talk about and show folks.

Another time, while working for DOT, several of us were mowing the road right-of-ways along old Hwy 220. It was about quitting time, so I made one more pass in a deep ditch. I thought I saw paper going everywhere, but that’s not too uncommon on our road right-of-ways.

As I parked my tractor, one of the fellows said, “I be dog-gone if’n there ain’t a couple dollar bills lying right here.” He was always pulling jokes and I thought he just dropped some of his money. But then another guy said, “Here’s a twenty.”

Folks, before we stopped picking up the money, we had over a hundred dollars! I had scattered the money out of the tall grass with the bush hog. I have no idea how the money got there and whose it was, but I found enough money to fill up my gas tank and even buy a couple of hot dogs.

It’s not every day we find a gun buried in the ground or money beside the roadway, but when we do, it sure makes life a little more exciting, don’t it?

J.A. Bolton is author of “Just Passing Time,” co-author of “Just Passing Time Together.” His latest book is called “Southern Fried: Down-Home Stories,” all of which can be purchased on Amazon. Contact him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..