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ConVal grad picks up new hobby after months of being bedridden

  • Kristen Guinard and her uncle Steve Baldwin use a metal detector to scan an athletic field adjacent to South Meadow School for hidden objects on Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017. (Abby Kessler / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Abby Kessler—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Kristen Guinard and her uncle Steve Baldwin use a metal detector to scan an athletic field adjacent to South Meadow School for hidden objects on Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017. (Abby Kessler / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Abby Kessler—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Kristen Guinard and her uncle Steve Baldwin use a metal detector to scan an athletic field adjacent to South Meadow School for hidden objects on Thursday. Staff photo by Abby Kessler



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Kristen Guinard was bedridden and recovering from back surgery when her uncle brought over a pile of items he’s found while scanning spaces with a metal detector.

Her uncle, Steve Baldwin, let her choose anything she wanted from the piles of things he has collected over the past three years. From the stuff, she pulled a small silver ring with green stones embedded in it. The ring was too small for her finger but she liked the way it looked anyway.

“He showed me all of the stuff he has found and I thought it was really cool,” Guinard said.

Guinard said she couldn’t move for months after multiple back surgeries.

Baldwin said the surgeries were invasive and recovery was long.

“It was really something,” Baldwin said of the process.

He said it was hard to see her like that.

“It was so hard to see the kid try to keep her spirits up,” Baldwin said.

Guinard said she missed several months of school during her senior year at ConVal while she was recovering. She said she had already earned enough credits prior to surgery so that it didn’t change when she graduated.

When she had finally recovered she thought back to the pile of stuff her uncle had brought over and the silver ring with the green stones embedded in it. She sent an email to her uncle.

“One of the first things she said to me when she was cleared medically was, ‘hey, I got cleared, we can go metal detecting together,’” Baldwin said.

It’s been a number of months since Guinard regained her mobility, and although she has her own metal detector now, she said recently that she has only used it once before. She said she didn’t really know what she was doing and a friend was with her the first time, so she didn’t find anything on that first attempt.

That changed on Thursday at an athletic field adjacent to South Meadow School in Peterborough.

With help from her uncle, Guinard held her metal detector in position, strapped the band tight around her arm, and started slowly walking a straight line down the side of the field toward a small set of bleachers. Guinard waved the detector back in forth.

Nothing happened for awhile. Five minutes passed. Her arm grew tired and she switched the machine over to the other one. Baldwin gave her pointers and adjusted the coils of her machine. A gaggle of Canada geese squawked near by. About 10 minutes passed. Guinard showed a hint of frustration.

And then her machine made a sound.

“Alright back up and make an arc sweep,” Baldwin said after the noise sounded.

It took some time to relocate where the beep had come from.

“It’s there,” Baldwin said in an encouraging tone. “That’s why this is like fishing.”

The detector picked up the same sound again and Guinard waved the detector around faster and in a smaller area than before. It dinged once again. She placed the machine down where she thought the noise was coming, knelt down on the ground, and with a smaller pinpoint detector isolated the area. After the spot had been pinpointed, she started digging with a metal trowel.

Guinard peeled a piece of earth back and with the pinpointer started searching for the object. The detector picked up the metal ring on her gloved finger. She took off her glove and removed her ring so that it wouldn’t lead her astray again. She got back to work searching through the clump of dirt.

Time passed.

The metal detector started beeping really fast.

She finally located the object; a paper clip covered in dirt.

“Yup, you found a paper clip,” Baldwin said.

“Wahoo,” Guinard said.

She put the small finding into a pouch around her waist. The first find of the day.

Guinard and Baldwin filled the hole back in and put the sod back where in its place, stood up and continued walking the invisible line down the field.

At one point, Baldwin passed a detector over Guinard’s back. The machine beeped from the titanium rod that was inserted into her back during surgery. The two laughed and continued on.

Over the course of the next 30 minutes of so, Guinard found two pennies and a tarnished quarter. The findings won’t make her rich anytime soon, but with enough persistence, it could help supplement her summer babysitting income.

And who knows, she just might come across something big one of these days.

Baldwin said in his time he’s found diamond rings, jade bracelets, all sorts of gold rings, and a coin dating back to the 1700s with his metal detector. He said a $3,000 diamond bracelet financed a vacation one time. 

“Really truly the only thing I haven’t found is the Hope Diamond,” Baldwin said.

Abby Kessler can be reached at 924-7172, ext. 234 or akessler@ledgertranscript.com.