During those "Glory Days", there were so many big jobs going on that one had no problem as where to go to dig. The only problem was having the spare time to get on some sites before it was too late. I was at my prime as a professional photographer and weddings ate up practically all my weekends.

I can vividly recall a situation where I had photographed a wedding in Stockton, CA. and after leaving the reception to head back to the Bay area, I had to drive through a demolition area in the old downtown section of the City. It was late in the evening on a Saturday in July and the sun was still high. I parked and walked right on the site. Six City blocks cleared to ground level and no fences up yet. You won't see that today. I could see shards of old pottery and some broken pontilled pepper sauces, pieces of large Cathedral pickles and broken cobalt sodas scattered around in the rubble. I high tailed it back and called my brother Gene.

We got an early start Sunday morning and were in the lot digging by 6:00 A.M. It paid off getting an early start as it was still cool. By 8:00 A.M. some diggers had arrived and approached us with a scam saying that they had obtained special permission and that WE had to leave. Oh yeah, sure! We called their bluff and the fact that Gene is a backhoe operator, told them he's a foreman working this job and knows nothing of any permission being given to anyone. With surprise and long faces, the other diggers then asked Gene if they could dig there. Gene told them he couldn't be responsible for them, but if they were to go far enough away where he couldn't see them, he didn't care.

By noon we had dug five pontilled pepper sauces,

two "Ladies Legs" bitters, green and amber with graphite pontils

and two nice Chinese NG KA PY Tiger Whiskey fired clay bottles.

The soil was extremely sandy and we dug only around the existing brick foundations, not more than two to three feet. We never got around to probing for out house privies. It started to get super hot so we called it a day and headed back home. We didn't return the following weekend because something had come up and we were both tied up. When we did get back, it looked like the battlefield of Iwo Jima and chain lnk fences surrounded the entire site.

Many choice bottles have come out of Stockton, not unlike the quality of Sacramento bottles. Ready for some night digging?