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Jul 07 2017

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Rio History: Persistence Pays Off

By STEVE HATHCOCK
Special to the PRESS

While swapping treasure hunting stories, Joyce Cordery and friend Jim Slazenik of Las Cruces New Mexico told me about a trip they had taken to Alaska. Wherever they stopped, the two treasure hunters would ask about any beaches in the area. For the most part, people were amused at the idea that Alaskans may want to swim once in a while. They kept asking though and their persistence paid off when one old timer told them of a beach several miles out of one town where the locals would go to enjoy the month of summer that comes around every year or so in those northern climes. After several wrong turns through the wooded landscape, the two treasure hunters found themselves on a long expanse of water.

“Evidently, this beach had never been searched” recalled Jim. “We found coins, jewelry and all sorts of pop tops and beer cans.”

“Yeah,” Joyce added, “We must have spent five hours hunting on that beach that no one knew existed, but we kept looking and asking until we finally asked the right person. We did not get rich, but we did have all the fun we were looking for!”

Joyce’s most unique find so far, though, was found right here in South Texas while treasure hunting on Boca Chica Beach.

“It was early evening and the mosquitoes were starting to take wing. We had not found much, and the guy we were with wanted to call it a night. Fortunately, we decided to hunt for a half hour more. Just then, I got a really good sounding near the base of one of those old pilings along the western part of the jetties. I kept digging, and the water kept rushing into the hole, but I was determined to see what I had located. For all I knew, it could have been a gold coin or an old beer can. Finally though, I was able to bring a big clump of clay to the surface. It took some rinsing” she said, and I’m not really sure if it’s a toy or not.”

After a quick examination I was able to identify Joyce’s find as a small caliber pistol similar to what would fit into a leg holster or a woman’s purse. It has no intrinsic value, but all the same, it is a nice addition to Joyce’s permanent collection of oddities she has found since taking up the sport.

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