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A door into the past

A door into the past

A Door Into the Past

You know when you have one of those nagging feelings that you can’t explain and you put it off because it doesn’t make sense to you. Well I paid for that in spades….. The pictures above show a row of trees with a street on one side and a parking lot on the other. But first let me take you back in time scant years after the turn of the century and my Grandfather had just arrived from the old country and planted himself and his family on the flat prairie about 50 miles north of Galveston, Texas. He built a huge old dutch style farmhouse that had so many rooms I got lost and frightened as a child roaming through it. My father was only a small child and had to attend the grammar school about 3 miles north of their house. This school was the first such school in Pasadena, Texas and was only a small school when my father attended. He and my mother both went to this school and in later years I also found myself walking along the small oak trees that had been planted in front of the school. The roads were shell in Pasadena as we had plenty of oysters from the bay and shell was cheap so everyone used it for driveways and roadways. One of the very first roads that was paved with concrete was the one by the school and they just poured it over the shell which made a solid packed roadbed.

In case you don’t know by now, one of the greatest things that can happen for a detectorist is to discover that the roadway or sidewalks have been removed in an old town. This exposes a door to the past and as I explained above, if I had followed my instincts I would have found this when it happened and not several weeks after. Please remember to look now and then at the old broken roadways that are giving way to time and use that are stripped away as the city prepares to renew them with fresh concrete.

It can provide you with the greatest time you have ever had finding the ancient coins and artifacts. I understand that of all of the people I know in Pasadena club I attend not one of them rang my phone to let me know what was happening. Has this ever happened to you? I found out later that they came to the detector shop to buy boxes to display all of the fantastic finds that they had found.

When I did drive down the street and gasp as I saw the shell exposed and then the front of the little school that had been later paved as a parking lot had been scraped off to expose only hard dry cracking earth and shell from long ago the slow realization hit me like a big sledgehammer, the area the old parking lot had covered in front of the school looked like a minefield from WW2 with bomb craters everywhere. I kept thinking that somewhere they had maybe missed something but the ground was explored and mined for the coins that there was nothing left. Then all I thought was I only want to find one old coin as a keepsake of the old school and God must have heard my prayer because where there should have been none BEEP and dig and out popped a Lincoln penny dated 1915 D that was sooooo green you couldn’t read anything. Well “thank you” and I have one to remember by. Somewhat later after I walked a long time just looking and hoping that I might find something else I got a broad strong signal that generally indicates large target like a tin can but I dug it anyway to uncover the strangest find I have ever found. It was a face staring back at me on a copper disk and I had never seen the like in my entire lifetime. It must be old and such a haunting look on the face. As I sit at my desk now and think about these meager finds I am glad to have found because my father could have dropped that new penny in the grass long ago and the memories of the school come back like a flood. Did I mention? My wife went to the school too and the doorway to the past was my past and I recall standing by that first oak tree as the school crossing guard with a bamboo pole and a red rag to stop traffic and let the kids pass.




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