By Paul Goldfinger , Editor @Blogfinger (reposted from Jan, 2014)
Dennis Burlingame was born on Mt. Tabor Way in Ocean Grove. The 58 year old school-bus dispatcher has been seeking treasure on the beaches around here for over thirty years. Now he lives in Neptune City, but today, like some sort of Jersey shore archeologist, he was on the hunt with his metal detection gear on the beach in Ocean Grove. You can find people who enjoy this hobby in different places such as old battlefields or historic camp grounds.
Dennis mostly hopes to find either coins or jewelry on the beaches of Monmouth and Ocean counties. Today he didn’t find much. I asked him if the prospect of tons of fresh sand on our beach might produce some surprises like historic coins or jewels from some sunken ship wreck, like Mel Fisher found when he discovered the wreck of the Atocha, the Spanish treasure ship, off Key West. But no, I couldn’t fire up Dennis’ imagination . He said that all that sand from far out* would produce nothing that he would find interesting.
According to Dennis, the best beach for metal detecting around here is Belmar because the beaches there are big and attract large crowds. He does have fond memories of a diamond bracelet that he once recovered from the sand. He also recalls the clammer in Barnegat Bay who lost overboard a gold bracelet with diamonds and rubies. The man took a bottle and created a marker. He then hired Dennis to find the bracelet, and Dennis was able to return that expensive item to the owner.
We met Dennis as he was walking off the beach to return to his 4-wheel-drive truck. He said it was time to give up the quest for today. His roof at home was leaking, and that was #2 on his to-do list.
* FYI The sand used for replenishment is being brought from out in the surf of Sandy Hook.
Dennis does spend a great deal of time by the beautiful sea, as do some characters depicted in this video from 1919 into the 1950’s in Atlantic City. If a certain bathing beauty catches your eye, just put your cursor on the image and click the pause symbol. Then click the play symbol to resume. —–PG (a man once asked another, “What do you think of bathing beauties?” The response, “I don’t know, I never bathed one.”)
And here is Jessica Molaskey with a more modern version: