BOSTON — Several weeks ago, Bill Jamieson went metal-detecting with his three young granddaughters, ages 8, 5 and 4.
“I told them I was hoping we’d find a treasure,” Jamieson said. “We didn’t find treasure that day and so when they were dropping me off at Alewife so I could get back to South Boston, I said, ‘I think I have a friend that might have a treasure map. An old pirate map.’”
That was, to say the least, a tall sea tale.
Fortunately, there were friends Bill had met while in recovery. And they embraced the idea of helping him create a treasure-hunt experience for the girls.
“It was a great idea. I have a little girl myself,” said Dan Bradbury, one of Bill’s friends. “And when he talked about this I was just like, that sounds fantastic.”
The idea morphed into an elaborate plan to create a treasure map out of burlap -- complete with holes so that it looked aged. And to have that map lead the girls to treasure buried on a South Boston beach.
The treasure consisted of three large wooden boxes -- inside of which were numerous smaller wooden boxes that Bill’s friends decorated.
“We’re all roommates and all just painted them one night,” said Richard Couture. “And we all got involved and thought it would be a great deal for the kids to come down to the sand here and dig up the treasure.”
“It’s something that brings kids closer to their families,” added Angus Vercillone. “It was a lot of fun for all of us.”
But perhaps the most fun for the three girls, who arrived, map in hand, was to ‘search’ for the treasure. Knowing they would quickly become bored looking, Jamieson made sure the burlap bags were easy to find.
Inside, were boxes containing coins and other money, jewelry, shells and other valuables.
Jamieson said he could not have pulled it off without the help of his friends.
“I can’t believe all the support that I got from these gentlemen,” he said. “A group of guys who have never met these three little girls, who are going to have this profound impact on their life.”
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