The Norman Transcript

Government

March 3, 2013

Treasure hunter finds silver lining in drought

NORMAN — Calvin Gifford has been roaming the shores of Lake Thunderbird for years seeking treasures. He’s collected over 7,000 old lures, but with lake levels at the lowest he’s ever seen, new treasurers are being revealed.

“This is the lowest it’s ever been,” Gifford said, gesturing to the extended stretch of sandy clay leading to the lake. “I go beachcombing out here. I’ve found jewelry, coins and old fishing lures. I’ve found a few arrow heads.”

Gifford tromps the beach with his two dogs, six-month old male pups from the same litter. They wear harnesses he fashioned out of soft rope. He wears a cargo pants a heavy windbreaker and a long beard.

“You can see where the weeds have grown,” he said. “Several years ago people were swimming where we’re standing.”

Gifford has walked these beaches for decades, enjoying the hunt for treasure.

“I’m getting a lot of exercise for an old man,” he said.

Once upon a time, he brought along a metal detector which helped him find even more treasure, but he said a lake official told him metal detectors weren’t allowed since the lake is technically a federal project and there could be Indian artifacts located there.

That doesn’t stop him from beach combing. Hunting for treasure is particularly rich after storms rearrange the beach and shift the sands.

“You can come down and look around,” Gifford said. “The whole terrain has shifted after a storm. I grid it and go back and forth.”

Lake Thunderbird is a U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Project. The dam was completed in 1965.

“I remember when they were putting the lake in and building it,” he said. “They had a contest for naming it. This is a pretty lake, there a lot of scenery out here. It’s about as low as I’ve ever seen it.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Government
  • Officials say transparency lacking in Wal-Mart zoning

    Norman city staff recently admitted to withholding information from the public regarding a controversial zoning change in southeast Norman. If approved by the city council, the proposal will allow a Wal-Mart supercenter at Cedar Lane and ...

    July 25, 2014

  • Fracking Operation Norman library to host community dialogue about fracking

    Are Oklahoma oil companies an oligarchy that is controlling state policy? Is fracking safe? These and other topics will be the subject of an upcoming Fracking Forum from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Aug. 11 in the Norman Public Library’s Lowry Room, 225 ...

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • City manager calls Moore strong while addressing Chamber

    MOORE — Moore’s City Manager Steve Eddy could have quoted Dickens: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Eddy, with help from Mayor Glenn Lewis, reported on Tuesday on the State of the City to the Moore Chamber of ...

    July 23, 2014

  • walmart City leaders say ‘yes’ to Wal-Mart supercenter postponement

    Despite complaints that a postponement request was in the eleventh hour, a zoning change in east Norman was put on hold Tuesday night. The proposal to rezone property at Cedar Lane Road between 24th Avenue Southeast and Highway 77 ...

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Moore City Council paves way for Sam’s Club location

    MOORE — The Moore City Council approved a $5 million bond Tuesday to be repaid with sales tax and utility revenues. “A good amount of street improvements needs to be done,” Moore City Manager Steve Eddy said. “This will be paid for with ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Another brick in the Wal-Mart

    Norman could soon have five Wal-Mart stores, including three supercenters and two neighborhood markets. A proposal for the newest supercenter will come before the Norman City Council at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday via a request for a zoning change on ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Local group celebrates ruling

    A local group, Mothers of Many, expressed its elation with Friday’s 10th Circuit Court ruling striking down Oklahoma’s state ban on same-sex marriage....

    July 20, 2014

  • Leftover loss still hurting

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Cities, counties and school districts remain frozen out of a federal program that has sent millions of dollars worth of trenchers, trailers, semis, bulldozers, boats and forklifts and other equipment over the years....

    July 19, 2014

  • City and state briefs

    Transportation needs listed The White House released a new report this week from the Council of Economic Advisers and National Economic Council on the long-term economic benefits of transportation investment and why conditions in the ...

    July 17, 2014

  • Griffin Park 6 Proposal requests improving, expanding youth sports facilities

    Improving and expanding Norman’s youth sports facilities will generate revenue in tourism dollars, say advocates of Norman Forward, a grassroots initiative launched last week. The package proposed by Norman business leaders and community ...

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo