I have an unquenchable passion and drive for the past and it's preservation for the future. I have been fascinated by history and intrigued by the items, now artifacts, our ancestors relied on to survive. I started finding fossils and Spanish coins as a child on the beaches of Florida and then began collecting antique weapons at the age of 10. My freshman year of high school changed my life forever. I had the privilege to capture the attention of a vocational archaeologist Eugene Petroski. Under his instruction we conducted an independent archaeological excavation of a late archaic to early woodland period rock shelter in Tewksbury, New Jersey. This formed within me a foundation for the proper techniques and respect for the preservation of archaeological sites.
I then became a volunteer at the Revolutionary War, Lord Stirling Manor Excavation in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. Fortunately once again I was noticed by excavation director Archaeologist Dr. Alan Cooper. He became a great mentor who helped me hone the proper skills for archeology. By the end of the first season he appointed me the site artist and I became a permanent staff member for the following three years.
In high school, I began excavating archaeological sites in New England which led me to starting a hobby related business, The Treasure Connection. Hard work and perseverance convinced the head master of my high school to permit me to teach Archeology for a four week unit-term my sophomore through senior years. The lore of pirate treasure and artifacts have always captivated my imagination. As a junior in high school I became the broker and New Jersey State representative for Gulf Coast Rare Coins and Investments. I specialized in treasure from the Spanish Galleon Atocha and the 1715 Plate (silver) Fleet discovered by Mel Fisher. Over the following years I had the pleasure of working with Treasure Salvors, Inc. When time was available I conducted artifact analysis, brokered the treasure coins and made them into jewelry.
My freshman year of college in Newport, Rhode Island was another awakening. I was surrounded by many of the original buildings from the late 17th and 18th centuries with all the history that came with them. My passion for colonial American History had begun. While attending Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island, I had an opportunity to undergo a master 5 year apprenticeship for antique gun restoration which in turn saved me thousands of dollars learning how to detect fakes and undisclosed restorations. One can never learn enough...
Scuba diving opened the door to my passion for shipwreck discovery, exploration and preservation. Artifact analysis, restoration and historical classification completes the intricate web that makes my new 2004 corporation, Tortuga Trading, Inc. (tortugatrading.com).
TV AND FILM
Starting in January 2005 I was contacted by Disney. I leased and sold antique weapons to Disney Studio's, Second Mate Productions, Inc. for the Jerry Bruckheimer Production, Pirates of the Caribbean II and III, a Gore Verbinski film. Property Master, Kris Peck. I volunteered my time and expertise on set over 2 years as a historical weapons consultant and Armourer with the Prop Department, and had the experience of a life time, and made some great friends.
May - June 2009 I have been working with Left field Productions, Shoshanna Ritzler (casting director) for an up-coming HISTORY CHANNELseries called "PAWN STARS" which will debut on July 19th. at 10:00 pm. I have been chosen to be on the show as their Antique Arms & Armour Specialist. I am very thankful for the opportunity to work with Left field Productions on this project as well as those that may be in the future.
2009 - Supplied props to; 20th CENTURY FOX Studios for the Movie production; 'KNIGHT & DAY', staring TOM CRUISE & CAMERON DIAZ to debut on April 19, 2010. A David Bentley Film. Property Master Kris Peck.
2009 - 'PAWN STARS' SEASON 1 & 2 Appearing several episodes on HISTORY Channel's new hit show.
2010 - Supplying props to Walt Disney's, next film "PIRATES of the CARIBBEAN 4, On Stranger Tides". A Jerry Bruckheimer Production. A Rob Marshal Film.
2010 - 'PAWN STARS' SEASON 3 & 4 Filming more episodes.
2011 - 'PAWN STARS' SEASON 4 Also featured in HISTORY CHANNEL'S Civil War Week Special of 'PAWN STARS' (air time; JUNE 1, 2011)
2011 - 'PAWN STARS' SEASON 5 and 6.
2011 - Featured in HISTORY CHANNEL'S Special 'GETTYSBURG' (air time; May 30, 2011), For three days in a small farm town, we faced our deadliest enemy yet: ourselves. This Memorial Day, tune in to HISTORY for Gettysburg,produced by Tony Scott and Ridley Scott.
2012/13- Filmed and Staring in First Season of New TV Show'LORDS of WAR' on the National Geographic Channel to Premier January 23, 9:00 pm.
Produced by; BRAY ENTERTAINMENT, New York City, New York.
2013 - My NEW Show 'LORDS of WAR' Premiering Jan. 23, Episode 1 of 16, of Season 1.
2014 - Supplying authentic antique Props for AMC Network NEW series, 'TURN', George Washington's spy ring during the American Revolutionary War.
2014 - Returning to appear on HISTORY CHANNEL'S PAWN STARS.
2014 - Supplied PROPS to Hot Snake Media for their TV show production 'AMISH MAFIA' featured on DISCOVERY CHANNEL.
2015 - Appearing on HISTORY CHANNEL'S PAWN STARS.
- CADA (Collectors Arms Dealers Association)
- A National Arms Dealers Association.
- The Arms & Armour Society, London.
- The Armor and Arms Club of New York and sponsored by; Stuart Pyhrr, Curator, The Metropolitan Museum of Art Arms and Armor Department and Donald LaRocca, Associate Curator of Arms and Armor Metropolitan Museum of Art.
- The San Diego Maritime Museum and sponsored by; Mark Alan, Curator of special exhibits. Note: Loaned personal collection for two exhibits 2000/2001, "Pirates!" and "The Manilla Trade Galleons".
- The National Muzzle Loader Association, #108999
- The National Rifle Association, LIFE MEMBER.
- The California Rifle and Pistol Association, #329006
- California Department of Justice Handgun Safety Certificate #1233854
- The Texas Gun Collectors Association.
- United States Power Squadrons, Cert. #E226729