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31. An Evening with Bradley Hodges

by | Sep 30, 2020 | 0 comments

Season 03 Episode 06

An Evening with Bradley Hodges

Hey guys, we have a lot going on right now, so we weren’t able to dive deep into a hardcore secret episode. But we didnt want to leave you hanging, so we thought we would start a new tradition and bring you an interview of one of our hosts. Everyone climb into bed, get cozy, and prepare to spend an evening with Bradley Hodges.

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George Ward
Welcome, everybody to the secret podcast. This is going to be a special episode. So I want everybody to turn off their lights, take off some clothes and prepare to spend an evening with Bradley Hodgins.

Was that was that a good intro? Some of you were out there in listener land may not know who Bradley is Bradley has not been around as long as a lot of us. He’s not been around as long in secret as long as I have or as long as you know, Brian’s and has definitely hasn’t been in secret as long as Matt sparks as but Bradley, even though he hasn’t, hasn’t been around very long. He’s become sort of an integral part of the secret and the podcast. He’s become a very, very, very close friend of mine. Recently, we had a thing where one of the viewers came on and interviewed me so that people could get to know me a little better, I guess. And I thought it would be a good idea to do the same for Bradley. So Bradley, this is your your evening with interview?

Bradley Hodges
Well, thank you all for taking an intimate moment to have a seat with me and share this special time together.

George Ward
You guys your candles lit Bradley,

Bradley Hodges
I’ve got my candles lit, I’ve got my crystals aligned, I’ve got my rose petals laid out, I’m ready.

George Ward
So there’s something that I really like about your man. Everybody in the podcast sort of has their own little their own little public role. Right. And you have always been very community driven and very like you try to bring people together and be just as as positive and as helpful and as friendly as possible. Which is always been great. The community loves that. It’s always been super appreciative. Have you always sort of had that mentality online?

Bradley Hodges
Depends on the community. I think? That’s that’s a good question. I mean, I don’t really have a strong online presence. I mean, I don’t have a Reddit account. I don’t really use Twitter. I don’t really use Instagram. I have when when there’s something I need to check on Instagram, I have to call my wife in the room, and she haven’t shown me how to get to it. So yeah, I mean, I’ve always been like the nice dude. So I guess there’s that. But that niceness only comes until it’s yeah, I’m given a reason not to be and then I’m very good at not being nice as well. I’ve noticed that lately. So there’s that too. So I’m nice until I’m given a reason not to be.

George Ward
So So tell me, how did how did you get into the secret? Since you haven’t been around as long as the rest of us? I guess I’m assuming you didn’t just sort of happened upon it. How did you get into the secret?

Bradley Hodges
So I am an EU baby. I think I’ve said that a few times on the podcast, my wife and I love Josh gages show. It’s just always very entertaining. Always well put together. And I love puzzles. I love anything that challenges me to think in a different way and try to solve something. It’s always been fun for me. I mean, I can remember as far back as I can. And like elementary school like that was my thing was, you know if I can figure out how to make learning a puzzle, I was far more interested. So we were watching this episode and you asked my wife, I lit up like a giddy little child. And I was like, this is right up my alley. I’ve got to get into this. And we went to our local bookstore and ordered a copy of the book. And we’re highly disappointed when we got it because I was like, I can’t see crap in these pictures. And what’s really cool is, I mean, we got we got into it pretty, pretty hard and heavy quickly. We planned our vacation around the Roanoke puzzle, we decided we’re gonna take a vacation to we went to a few historical sites that we’d like to visit because we’re really into visiting and learning about your different cultures, our own culture and your where it came from. So it kind of aligns with the with how the puzzles are organized with this particular hunt. So you know, it’s right up our alley as far as history goes as well. And so we planned a trip up through Virginia to a couple interesting places and we ended up coming down Virginia Beach and staying right across the sound from Roanoke Island, and it was really funny. My wife was playing it down how interested she was the whole time. And then we got there. And we started kind of putting our ideas together, we actually filmed a video of our adventures, and I posted on the Facebook page when I was, and this is, you know, way back when I was just a member of the group. You know, I wasn’t on the podcast, I was brand new to the podcast, just listening to it. I didn’t know it existed, I found it during this trip. And I was like, you know, it’d be really helpful is if we did this video and showed everybody you know what’s around here. So we did like a video of us driving with the Wright Brothers Memorial, and then a video of us driving around Fort Raleigh, and then came up with our idea. And our first idea was the Watergate. And when we got to the water gates were like, everything comes together, it’s gotta be here. And the Watergate had literally fallen off its foundation or whatever you want to call it onto the beach, but two weeks earlier, that’s what the the officials at the at the Elizabethan gardens advised us. And they’re like, you know, two weeks ago, we had this huge storm, there’s also erosion and it just fell over, we’re just gonna let it fall into the, into the ocean, we’re not gonna do anything about it. So it was roped off. And it was a five foot drop on either side. So I told my wife was like, you know, these things are very, like three feet. So you know, if it’s there, it’s gotta be, it’s either gone, or it’s like inches behind what we can actually see. So my wife allegedly reached out and grabbed a brick, and pulled one out because there’s, you know, brick in the soil and then pulled out another and then allegedly pulled out another and then just started going out this hill, and just pull it out as much dirt as she possibly could. Obviously, we didn’t find anything, but it was a lot of fun. It was a great time. And that’s a long answer to a short question.

George Ward
So let me ask you this. You said you’re a big fan of Josh gates, right? You said you’re a big fan of Expedition unknown. Did any other shows sort of draw you in the way the secret? did? Did you? Are you interested in any of his other adventures or puzzles that he’s worked on?

Bradley Hodges
We’ve always found it entertaining. And we’ve marked man, I’d really like to visit that location or, and that seems like a really interesting place. But the items he was searching for Not really. They didn’t really because they weren’t puzzles, per se. I mean, yeah, there’s an air of mystery about it. But it wasn’t, you know, a problem or a puzzle to be solved to figure out where it was, you know, you know, obviously, what the secret luck is, is a key part of finding these we found out but you know, the things that he searched for and the adventures he went on a warrant, necessarily something you can sit down and research and work out and use logic to solve per se. So no, I mean, while we thoroughly enjoyed them, none of the shows drew us in or drew me in, and then vicariously my wife in as much as this date. I mean, I legit got so excited. Like a kid on Christmas morning, like, I went to work the next day and told everybody about it. One of my employees bought the book, and I was like, Dude, we’re gonna find this. It’s like, yeah, it’s gonna be awesome. His passion for it didn’t last nearly as long but that’s okay. So so answer your question is no. But yes, absolutely love the show loved all the episodes that we’ve that we’ve enjoyed. And there’s there’s been certain geographical places I slipped in that landscape is amazing. We have to go there. But know that none of the none of that I haven’t wanted to go find anything. He’s looking for it.

George Ward
So let me ask you this. Out of all the episodes that you’ve seen, this one sort of drew you in, and it’s kept you locked in for several years now? What’s different about what was different about the episode about the secret? Like what what drew you in number one, and then what? What kept you? What kept you engaged?

Bradley Hodges
I mean, it’s my decade. I’m an 80s, baby. So you know, when he hops in that Camaro, I’m like Iraq. Yes. You know, I mean, I felt it was like the source of I’d love to sit in that car. I mean, what one of my favorite childhood memories. I was riding in a car with this dude who I thought was like, the coolest man on the planet. And we were actually going to church and he picked me up for youth group and he picked me up in his Camaro and had the T tops and we had this railroad crossing. At the end of the road that my house was off of, and on the other it was like a hill up to the railroad crossing. And then the other side, it just immediately dropped off. And there was a huge intersection like 14 intersection on the other side. Well, he’d never been on this road. So we had no idea. But he thought he’s gonna show off. So he gets it, it jumps this railroad track. And of course, he really realizes what’s he’s done was in the air over the railroad check. So he slammed on the brakes in the middle of the air, totally screws up the front end of his car. But it was a blast and everything about just that decade, I absolutely love. I love the music. I love the cars. I love the 83 Chevy pickup truck that is just my favorite vehicle on the planet. So I mean, the era, the time period is self driven. But this is I think the number one thing this can be said for a lot of people is that it feels achievable. I don’t see myself, you know, going to search for, you know, the burial site of, you know, who was it that he searched? Like getting this con or trying to think of? Yeah, I don’t see myself looking for the burial site of Genghis Khan. But I see myself visiting different cities in the United States, having a blast doing it and being able to figure one of these out. So I think it’s, uh, yeah, it’s achievable is one of the biggest things in this story, the story behind it. It’s not just a puzzle. It’s the story behind the puzzle that is just really intriguing as well. I mean, the fact that the puzzlemaster lost his life so young, tragically, it took everything with him. So no one knows. I mean, yeah, so people have ideas, but no one really knows. And just that adds a whole new level of man, this this should be a movie there. Yeah, I would, I would love to see this movie. So yeah, it’s achievable. I love puzzles. I love that decade. And just the story behind the puzzle. I think the main elements.

George Ward
What’s kind of awesome, I guess, is the story that we’re talking about behind the puzzle. It doesn’t stop. It doesn’t. It doesn’t stop with Byron dying, right? Like, the good thing about it was it was done by all of his friends. So everybody sort of everybody stays secretive about it. There’s this mystique because nobody wants to talk. You know, everybody just wants to honor his memory.

Bradley Hodges
I know this was coined by by EU when they gave Josh’s crew about his his gym. But it is it’s like a secret society. And you want to be part of the secret society so bad. I want one of those pins. I don’t just want to buy one. I want to earn one.

George Ward
So there’s one thing that I love about you and your wife, who your wife’s name is Laura. And she is an amazing person, probably the better of you to no question about us. Absolutely. The one thing that I love about you guys is every time I come over your house, or every time we talk, there’s some new adventure, right? I remember the first time like, you guys are adorable. I remember the first time I went to your house, there were post it notes everywhere because you guys leave like little. Yeah, everywhere in your house. And then like now when I go to your house, I sleep in this room that for those of you that don’t know Bradley, he is obsessed with Raggedy Ann and Andy. So you go in this room, and there’s an entire wall of Raggedy Ann and Andy and he expects you to sleep in this room with these creepy dolls. But so the notes that used to be all over the house, if I remember correctly, they’ve moved to a mirror in the creepy doll room. Like it. Everything about Bradley and Laura is adorable. And they go on these adventures together. And they like if you follow him on Facebook. They just post he just post random pictures of them like at the top of a mountain or some waterfall. Like I love the fact that you guys just go on adventures as a couple. So how has the has the secret helped with that? I know you guys went to Roanoke. The one time what what else is the secret given to your relationship besides frustration and and

Bradley Hodges
so so my wife lovingly refers to Georgia as my other wife. So whenever I’m not paying attention to her and I’m on my phone she’s asked are you talking to your wife? Yeah, absolutely. We it’s brought a lot of adventures our way my wife. So first of all, let me let me correct something. So the Raggedy Ann collection is is my wife’s collection. Now we both have very collecting personalities. So I have quite a collection myself. But I have a collection of doom paraphernalia. I’m a big fan of the Doom franchise. It’s how my dad and I connected whenever I was a child and so I have a huge collection of doom items, and she helps facilitate that collection. And vice versa. I helped facilitate her raggedy and an antique collection. As a matter of fact, I have. I have a little special place in my heart. There’s these little tiny, raggedy and $80 you could find. So I have a little special place in my heart for the little tiny ones. So those are my favorites. But yes, Georgia is right. And when they first came down, I warned them. It wasn’t a surprise. I said, Hey, just so you know, this is what your bedroom looks like if you’re not comfortable, you know, find a hotel.

George Ward
It wasn’t, it was it was a it was like we have some Raggedy Ann and Andy stuff. It wasn’t like we have all of it everything. Yeah,

Bradley Hodges
it’s true. It’s true. We do. Man, if it’s if it’s unique, like we have a cut off at this point, I am not allowed to buy any more raggedy and dandy dolls. Unless there’s something super special about them. Because we have so many now if it’s just like a really cool regulating and and ad thing, then I’m totally allowed to buy it and bring it home because I get excited about it for her like, you know, bring her joy. And you know, vice versa. And it’s part of our you know why our relationship works so well. But as far as adventures, yeah, especially during COVID-19. I mean, we’ve always been adventurous together. But this has really given us fuel to just get out of the house, get away from people and go enjoy life and enjoy, you know, things we’ve taken for granted that are around us all these years. And that’s one thing I realized right away about going to visit Roanoke Island. I live in North Carolina. I’ve lived in North Carolina since I was eight years old. We moved here way back in the day. And I’ve never been to the Wright Brothers Memorial. I’ve learned about it in school, I’ve seen pictures of it. I’ve been to the beach, I’ve been to the Outer Banks. But I’ve never bothered going to the Wright Brothers Memorial, I’ve never bothered going to Roanoke Island. And shame on me for for ignoring these wonderful historical parks and learning centers and just works of beauty if I’m being perfectly honest, that are available to us completely free. That we’ve taken for granted. So you know, it got me out to see that. We live here in the mountains now. And we lived in the mountains in North Carolina for going on 10 years. And yeah, we’d like to get out and go hiking, swimming, camping. But there are a lot of really cool areas that we’ve just never bothered exploring. Because we could always say, hey, we can do that tomorrow. And so we’ve taken it for granted. And, you know, with everything that’s going on now, who knows, you know where everything’s going. So we’re taking full advantage of everything we can why we can. Yeah, so yeah, we found waterfalls, we found great swimming holes and rivers. I know that sounds so backwards, I found a swimming hole in a river. But man, you haven’t lived until you just hike a river and then fall into a pool of water and just take it for what it is and swim and enjoy it. So

George Ward
I think you brought up a good point that people seem to miss, there’s something that the secret teaches us is that you have to sort of live life now. There’s so much in the secret that we know about that’s gone from the 80s. Right, you know, so you learn really quickly. Like if you wait, you will miss things. It creates a sense of urgency. Oh, I’ve got to go see this before it changes.

Bradley Hodges
Yeah, no, absolutely. And I’ve posted a few things to the group that I’ve enjoyed watching I found on Facebook and channel where this guy goes. And he visits, move movie filming locations, places where movies were filmed, like he did the Goonies he did back to the future, and a lot of other movies. And it’s just, you know, it’s really interesting to see how much things change over time, just you know, in that forefront. But the other thing I was gonna say about adventures and how this is you brought us closer together. My wife is an art historian. She actually just finished her master’s in she’s applying to doctorate programs around the world. Super, super proud of her super excited about that. And what’s really cool is because of her education and her bringing me into that I’ve learned to appreciate art in a way that I never have. Now, don’t get me wrong, we went to the Louvre and I walked to the end of the aisle and sat and waited for her because I don’t appreciate art the way I should, like she does. So she has a much finer and higher appreciating art than I do. But I went from zero appreciation of art to in finding the type of art that I enjoy personally and I like to take in and that wasn’t there before and because of her I have that and I really appreciate that. Like fantasy arts. I mean, I know I’ve always loved you dragons knights, you know heavy metal magazine, but I never looked at it as art until she helped me find that appreciation. And so whenever I learned about John John Powell car, and his work, we actually, you know, speaking of adventures that we went on, you know, we went to in you and Rachel, you know, joined us and we had a great trip to Ohio and to see John McFarlane cars work. And it was absolutely breathtaking to get to see that art in person and you know, really get to appreciate it. Especially, I had no idea was going to be there. But my absolute favorite genre and pilocarpine is called becoming human. And it just, it says a lot to me about humanity and society. And I’m probably reading into it, but that’s, you know, what artists for the viewer sees what they see and procedure, they perceive and feels what they feel. And that is really, really tugs at me. And it was there. And it was amazing to get to go and see that art with the artists ask questions about it. So you know, it’s another adventure that because of the secret, my wife and I got to go on and enjoy, and we got to spend that time with with dear friends. So absolutely the secrets, taking us on lots of adventures that we otherwise would have never been on.

George Ward
Alright, so enough about your relationship with Laura, let’s talk about the truly important relationship in your life. Let’s talk about ours. We’ve told the story of how we first met, we’ve told it sort of from from from my so okay, just for people who haven’t heard before, I’m going to tell the story of how we met from from, from my view, but then I want to hear it from yours. All right. So I randomly wanted to go to Roanoke one day, I had already been to Roanoke, but I wanted to go back and I wanted to check out a very specific spot at the overlook and Bradley, we had talked a decent amount, but we weren’t super close. But I knew I thought that he lived because he was posting a lot about Roanoke. So I thought he lived really closely. And I said I thought he lived really close to Roanoke. So I sent him a message. And I was like, Hey, man, I’m going to Roanoke this weekend. Do you want to join me? We’re going to stay at the Elizabeth and then we’ll we’re just going to hang out all weekend, feel free to come up. And he was like, Yeah, dude, I’d love to. So what I thought was going to be an hour trip from him was actually a longer trip than it took me it took me like, eight hours to get there. It took you something like 10 So and I found this out while I was sitting in a parking lot at 2am Waiting for a guy who I had never met, who is super into puzzles, and he drove 10 hours to beat me. We wandered around and talked for a little while. His wife told me that if we found or told him that if we found a cast, she was supposed to throat he was supposed to throw punch me and then steal it and run away. So that’s my experience. It was it was a little weird, but it formed this great relationship that that I I appreciate so much. I mean, honestly, Bradley, you’re you’re one of my best friends. And and you wouldn’t be if it wasn’t for that trip. So while it started a little like, I’m waiting in a parking lot at 2am is Dude, it ended. Amazing. But how was that, from your perspective? What was it like to just get a random text from a dude and be like, Hey, you want to meet me at a parking lot at 2am? In Roanoke? Well, I

Bradley Hodges
mean, that’s, that’s my modus operandi. So that’s what i Hey, no, I was I was a fanboy. I’m not gonna lie. You know, my wife and I discovered the puzzle, the podcast while we were on that vacation. You know, I was listening to every episode, I was just waiting for a new episode to air like, I could not wait, you know, and I’m sure I messaged you guys a million times. What’s the next one coming? What’s next for coming? What are you guys going to do Roanoke? And so you know, I’m not gonna lie, I was a bit of a fanboy. And, you know, given any reason to go back to Rhode Island to absolutely, you know, look into this, especially with somebody I held in high regard. And, you know, I don’t put people on a pedestal very easily. But you’re listening to conversations that you and JM had through the podcast and seeing your interactions on the Facebook page. You know, really built a sense of trust, sense of knowledge, a sense of adventure. And so I was like, you know, I’m cool to meet this person. I think they’d be cool person to hang out with. And I want to picture with George word who doesn’t. So you know, I talked to him over with my wife and she’s like, I shared you want to go meet this stranger? And it’s like, you know, he seems really cool. But you know, I’ll be safe. And I’ll be honest, I didn’t realize how long it was. I was so excited about just going out there and treasure hunting because yes, I’ve always loved puzzles. I’ve never considered myself a treasure hunter. So just the idea of, I’m gonna be a treasure hunter. You know, was was thrilling. So

George Ward
it’s different, right? It’s like when you go with your family it’s one thing when you when you go with your significant other and you’re just looking for clues, but when you go with somebody else, like when you meet up in a group of treasure hunters, it’s a different it’s

Bradley Hodges
a whole different vibe. Yeah, absolutely. It is. I mean, it’s a really, it really like brings Goonies to life and makes it real. I mean, that’s, that’s the easiest way I can put it. So I was stoked. I got in the car. And, you know, the adrenaline’s pumping, and I’ll be honest, it didn’t seem like a long drive to me at all. But it was there. And I felt once I realized how late I was going to be getting there, I felt terrible, because I knew that you’re waiting on a stranger. And so I dealt with it the same way I deal with anything I deflect with humor, so I realized I was gonna be crossing, like alligator. It’s like Alligator River. And there’s the whole joke about the alligators in you. So I sent you a screenshot of that, in your response. I don’t really remember not what your response was, Okay, I’m leaving. It was like, damn, I didn’t mean to piss him off, though. Damn, my bad. No, just kidding. By the first second, I was like, I screwed up my chances. Just trying to be funny man to have a sense of humor. And I get there and there you are sitting down on the curb reading a book or a streetlight, and it’s like, hey, you know, let’s let’s do this. Let’s let’s adventure. And there, and we did and it was fun. And, you know, I, obviously you were great, great friends. Now. I can see you one of my closest friends as well. And I would come close to saying my closest friend to be honest in this day and age. And yeah, obviously our personalities mesh well, or else we wouldn’t be friends. So the that speaks for us. You know, we had a great time while we were there. And we’ve had great times and all our other adventures.

George Ward
Yeah. So that was that was the triple room at the ghost. That was probably the creepiest experience I’ve ever had. Yeah. drowning. So if you if you don’t know the Elizabethan gardens, or I’m sorry, if you don’t know, Fort Raleigh, because we didn’t break into the Elizabethan gardens, I promise. If you don’t know fort Raleigh, imagine a really old forest with an old looking sort of like wooden fort in the middle of it. With no lights, there’s no lights out there at all. There’s little dim markers that mark a concrete path. But once you get away from that, it’s just pitch black. So we’re wandering around the harissa trail and we’re wandering around the the park. And then we decide, Hey, let’s go check out the theater. So we walked through the waterside theater and everything’s quiet, everything’s dark, and there’s no lights anywhere. And we’re just talking. And all of a sudden, we just hear the deepest, creepiest voice to somebody go Hello. And we look up and there’s like a seven foot tall ghost in the middle of this theater just staring at us. It was the creepiest thing I’ve ever experienced.

Bradley Hodges
It absolutely was my heart just sank. Like

George Ward
you always expect you’re gonna be like the badass when that happens. But I was just like stuck in fear going. Hi. How are you? Don’t kill us?

Bradley Hodges
Pretty much. Yeah, my reaction to that moment was Oh, hello. And then just go get out of there. Exactly. It was your dares dad. Yeah, pretty much. That’s that’s what it seemed like.

George Ward
So let’s see what else. What else happened during that trip that we could talk about? So we almost was that the same trip where we almost got arrested? No,

Bradley Hodges
no, that was that was the second second trip there. Yeah. Yeah.

George Ward
That was the trip where? Well, I guess I almost got arrested twice because I got a speeding and not a speeding ticket. I got a ticket for running a red light. And for an expired tag. Do you want to talk about we almost got arrested? Or should we save that and just not because, you know, legal reasons.

Bradley Hodges
Um, well, I mean, we didn’t do anything illegal. That’s that was the crazy thing. You know, if I’m gonna get arrested, I prefer it be first me actually doing something illegal and we weren’t doing anything illegal. We talked I talked to so as I mentioned in the previous story. When my wife and I were at Elizabeth gardens, we met a gentleman who presented himself as to being the person who was over the Elizabeth and gardens. I don’t have any idea what his name was. But he was the one that we were sent to because we asked, we asked about the gates because honestly, we really were curious about what the fate of this gate was going to be. Because we thought it was much much older than it was We didn’t realize that it’s really in the grand scheme of things not that old. So the person was working had no idea. So they took us to this guy. And he’s like, Oh, we’ve talked about it, we’ve decided we’re going to let it go. You know, it’s has no historical significance, it’s not worth the money to try and rebuild, where it’s going to let it go. And so we asked, you know, so like, whatever happens will happen. So he’s like, yeah, so I took that to me. Okay, well, you know, if a piece of wood falls off of it, who cares? It’s a souvenir for the taking. So that is apparently not the case, as I tried to take advantage of the souvenir, which has no historical significance, and no value to anybody other than keeping metal nailed out of the ocean. And as to get to the gate, you can either go through the Elizabeth gardens paid admission, and we can’t anymore, obviously, but you used to be able to walk down the colony path and get to the colony walk, I think it’s called and then you get to the the gate at the end and you know, opens up the ocean. Well, now, the gates pretty much gone. So you could either get to it that way and climb over the cliff. It’s small cliff, but I’m gonna call it cliff. Or you can go through Fort Raleigh, walk out to the beach, walk up that each and it’s right there on the beach. So that’s what it did, and picked a piece of wood. And apparently, somebody thought we were trying to steal something of significant historical significance called the park rangers, which could on them, the park rangers because they were very responsive, and they protective of their property. And so as we’re walking to the vehicle with a piece of wood, they come up and they think, you know, what is that where that come from? I explained to them the whole story. 100% of it was true. They said, well, listen, we’re going to do, we’re going to take the first I want to check the trunk. In the trunk, we had a metal detector, not because we were metal detecting it for Raleigh, but because we were metal detecting and a whole different place where it was perfectly legal for a whole different Treasure Island. And, but the metal detector was there. And we had learned at that point, you are not allowed to have batteries in a metal detector on a federal park. So that’s for somebody learning that. But we you know, we in I’m sure he didn’t believe a word we were saying. But we’re telling you the truth. That that we weren’t metal detecting that wasn’t why we had that. And that wasn’t what the shovel was for. There wasn’t it was for the other treasure hunt, we were hunting at all, literally all we were doing was picking up this piece of wood that fallen off the gate at the you know, at the ocean edge. And he said, Okay, well, this is what I’m gonna do. He took down all our information, and he took the word back. And he said, I’m gonna reach out to them. And if they say it’s okay, I’ll call you back and let you know, and you can come back and get it. I was like, okay, cool. And I honestly expected a phone call. And I never got one. Except later, whenever other things happened, that you were not involved in. But I never got a phone call about that piece of wood, which was kind of sad. But yeah, it’s

George Ward
so yeah, giving, giving, giving the park rangers our contact information was both a blessing and a curse because they eventually found out we were part of the secret podcast. So now anytime anything happens in that park, we’re the first people they call. And I’ve been threatened with arrest over stuff that I I was in Florida at the time, I had no idea what’s going on. So please, stop causing trouble for Raleigh. Because we get calls

Bradley Hodges
we do. And there I I can’t express the amount of security they now have. It’s for a natural park. There’s a lot of tech in this park. They know when you’re there. They know what you’re doing. And they know who you are. So yeah.

George Ward
So what some people don’t know about for rally is especially in the Overlook area. There. There’s been a couple of archeological digs in that area. And they found some significant things that they think of they know. And I’m not going to tell you where it is. Because I’d rather you think it’s everywhere. But right in that area, or to homesites from the Virginia Dare times. That they are very, very, very protective of. So there are cameras, there’s like seismic monitors, there’s all kinds of stuff out there to catch you if you’re doing anything. It’s crazy.

Bradley Hodges
It’s crazy. And what’s even crazier is, I’ve never lived the beach life. But we went out there. There’s people that literally will just go out there to a just for exercise. They’ll run their dogs on the beach at 2am. And who does this? Apparently beach people. Yeah, apparently beach

George Ward
people do it. So let’s see. I’m talking about what draws you into the secret. Talked about some adventures. Is there is there just sort of off the record. Is there anything if since we’re interviewing you, is there anything you want? talk about anything? Any questions I can ask that leads into something you want to say.

Bradley Hodges
Well, what’s interesting is so so George reached out to me. And as we do for each other, it’s like, hey, I want to record an episode this weekend. I was like, Cool. What were we thinking about doing an episode on? He’s like, an episode you’re gonna be an expert on, you’re gonna be an expert on the topic. I was like, Okay, well, what? What am I? What am I considered the expert on? Because I don’t consider myself an expert on anything. But okay. And he’s like, Well, just, just, you’ll know, it’ll be a surprise. But you’ll know what you’re talking about when you talk. So I had no idea this was happening. So this is a complete surprise to me, in case nobody picked up on that in the beginning. But other things talked about. Just one thing that I don’t think we’ve talked about yet is not only you know, the adventures, this has brought me on, and, you know, meeting you as a friend, but just the general, General, but the, the amount of people from the community that I’ve gotten to meet in person or had the opportunity to communicate with, you know, virtually online, and just, you know, become so Okay, so here’s the weird thing about Bradley. Bradley does not use the friend word lightly. So I don’t have like, a lot of people that I call friends. So and then that offends some people, I don’t know why. But there’s a lot of really cool people that I’ve interacted with that I think are awesome people, but I don’t call them friends. And I’m sorry for that. And you probably sent me not you, George, but somebody in the community is listening to this, it’s probably sent me a friend request on Facebook, and I haven’t accepted it because I don’t do that. The only people I’m friends with on Facebook are people that I have either met in person or that I’ve had long conversations with, and you have collaborated with and honestly, this point, I don’t use Facebook as a social medium. So much now as I do just for the secret. I prefer to keep my social life in real world. And so that’s, you know, that’s what I do. So that’s just a weird, weird thing about partly, maybe it’s because of the age I grew up in, I don’t know. Like, it’s I don’t even know how to really use Instagram. But the people I’ve met through this process, and through these adventures, I would never met otherwise. And I’m very, very happy to have met them and to share small part of our lives together for you know what we have?

George Ward
Yeah. So one of the things one of the things that we did was, we started doing these meetups, right. So you and I fly across the country to San Francisco to do our very first meetup. We thought maybe three people would show up, right? We thought it was going to be me, you Matt sparks, and maybe like two other people from San Francisco. And it ended up being like 3540 people showed up to this thing that we had announced two weeks earlier. It was a lot. So it was Rachel’s birthday, and I spent the first day there just hanging out with Rachel and Bradley, you met met up with a lot of you met up with several hunters and went on sort of adventure, right? Yeah, yeah,

Bradley Hodges
it was a lot of fun. So exactly at Georgia who is spending the birthday time with Rachel and he messaged me, it’s like, hey, you know, this person, this person, this person are out hunting. And he helps, you know, connect us and I got to spend time with Anthony. I got to spend time with Caroline. I got to spend time with Nick. I got to spend time with seeds. I got to spend time with you know several people and it was great to get out there and get to meet new people. You get to share ideas together and just have fun and just live life. And by the way, Anthony, you still owe me my opinion press from Coit Tower. That’s another fun thing that my wife and I do in time we go somewhere on adventure. We look for Penny presses, and make sure we collect a penny and put it in our little collection. And Anthony said he’s gonna mail me back the phone charger that I lifted his car and my penny press from there that I forgot to get and I haven’t gotten either one. So, Anthony, I know where you live.

George Ward
That’s something about the secret, right? Like I know Forrest Fenn has the Fenn brewery. But most treasure hunts don’t bring people together like this, like people flew out from New York, just to hang out with each other and you know, wander around parks, just you know, to have that experience of treasure hunting together. That’s something that the secret brings the most puzzles just don’t bring that sense of community and that sense of friendship. It’s it’s an it’s an awesome thing to see. To know that one little crappy book that didn’t sell 10,000 copies in 1982. Could 40 years later, bring people together in that way?

Bradley Hodges
Here’s a fun story in a story. So Caroline, Nick Anthony. George and I are checking out spots in San Francisco. And you run through ideas and you’re just figuring things out. And we go through a park, garage Park, and a parking garage. And there’s this dude who’s just like looking around kind of aimlessly. And we’re like, are you looking for something? And he was looking for a geocache that was on, supposedly this level. And so all of us immediately go, Well, where are the hints? What does it look like? Whatever. And we’re all of a sudden, just on a dime, helping this man find his geocache? Because that’s what we do. It was so much fun. It was a puzzle and a puzzle. It was awesome.

George Ward
What what is your what is your favorite memory of either meeting or talking to a hunter? Because in our position, I mean, we we made a lot of people write a lot of people reach out a lot of people want to get together. What is your favorite memory?

Bradley Hodges
I have so many. I the one that immediately, I’m just gonna say the one that first popped in my mind. Like it’s an app so many. So it’s really hard to pick a favorite. But one day randomly, I got a package in the mail. I was like, What is this, so I open it. And it’s a little surprise package from a young man who lives in Jacksonville. And he does stop motion pictures, videos with Legos. And I met his family at the St. Augustine meetup. And he does some really cool like fossil hunting and has a lot of really cool hobbies in a band. Musical little dude. And he sent me a pouch like this really cool pouch that matches. So I have a treasure hunt bag, which is nothing Georgian, I haven’t come. We have bags on packs, whatever you wanna call them, we put patches on him because there hasn’t been a lot of fun. But he sent me this little like satchel, or I don’t know what to call it, that attaches to the bag. So when I find things, I have a place to put them. So like when I go to the river, I take that with me when I find rocks that I really like. Or I find treasures like even if I just find a golf ball, I have a place to put it. And he also sent me I hope I say this with a dugong fossil piece, which is like a early seek out where they call manatee. manatees. Yeah. And some other cool treasures. And just a little note that said that, you know, he enjoyed the show, and that he appreciates us. And it just you I cried a little bit. Because I was so appreciative. And it just really, you know, warmed my heart. And you know, it’s just little things, little connections that you make with people. That’s that make this thing so fantastic. And so, you know, that’s just the first thing that came to mind. But there’s been so many, you know, it’s hard to pick just one.

George Ward
Yeah. I could probably pick your favorite memory. Yeah. I remember this random. You mean you were hanging out? And this random guy asked us out to dinner. That was probably a favorite memory. You want to talk about that?

Bradley Hodges
The guy that randomly asked us out to dinner? Let me think was his initials to the same one difference. The first two are the same. James, Jack, John John, it was John Jude Palin car. Yeah, yeah, that Yeah, yeah, that was a good one. That was a really good one.

George Ward
most nervous I’ve ever been in my entire life. You and me both.

Bradley Hodges
Yeah, it was, you know. So we’re at the art show, and just taking in all the amazing art and talking to him about his pieces. And we set a rule before we went that we were not going to bring up the secret. Yeah, that is not going to be spoken of the words. The secret will not come out of our mouths. We are there for John’s art. And that is it. And that’s why we went and it’s one point, it came out. And John’s like Don’t Don’t you guys have like that podcast or something? I think kitty told him. And he’s like, Well, I’d love to sit down and talk with you guys. And he invited us to dinner.

George Ward
Yeah, it was first it was coffee. We were gonna have quite next day. We were going to meet with kit at Starbucks kit and John and then kit had to do a podcast with his friend. And John was like, Well, why don’t why don’t you guys just come out to dinner. So we go to this little diner and I got I think I had like three alcoholic beverages just to calm down. It was crazy. Well, then we found out he didn’t drink. Yeah,

Bradley Hodges
he doesn’t. Yeah, so a little bit backstory. So I mentioned earlier that my wife is an art historian. And she’s working on entering a doctorate program just finished up her master’s and she one of her classes. She actually studied some John’s work and so as like cold I can reach out this is When John Hughes have a website, and he had an email address that was public, and I was like, Can I can reach out to him and see if you can meet him and talk to him about his work he did from the videos I’ve seen online at him at conventions and his interview, and he up seems like a friendly guy. So I reached out to him. And actually, Lorie reached out to him. But I gave her the information. And it was amazing. He was like, Yeah, let’s meet for coffee. I’ll bring my portfolio. We’ll go through some work on it, any questions you have? And he just made himself super accessible. So I mean, He’s genuinely, really, really nice, dude. And

George Ward
here’s your ad, you should add the footnote though. There was something he put in there that he

Bradley Hodges
Oh, and he said, he said, If you have any intention of asking anything about the secret don’t bother we won’t meet because that’s off the table. And he made it very good. It actually was much more blunt than that. He was it was clear and obvious and honest. And and so yeah, so I mean, that’s that’s kind of where this whole thing started. Because that’s when I found out he was gonna have a show. Because you he was like, what you come up and see my work and me having a viewing and opening nights I’ll be there and sort of like, yeah, yeah, I want to see your work. So that’s kind of what got the whole ball rolling. So super appreciative, you know, for having that experience. But yeah, you might just have dinner. The food was amazing. The conversation was awesome. Funny, dude. Super fun. Yeah.

George Ward
It’s weird when you have like heroes like John’s your power car. It’s it’s no stretch to say he’s everyone’s hero. Right. And you like you were saying before you when you have heroes, you put them on this super high pedestal. And John Jude Palin car walks through the diner and he sits down at the table next to you across from me. He looks at the waitress and he ordered a fatty melt. And like as soon as John G Palin car uses a dad joke, and brings himself off of that pedestal, it just it blows your mind and rocks your world and it set the tone for that dinner.

Bradley Hodges
Yeah, it absolutely did. It absolutely did. He was funny. He was genuine. He was honest. And to the point as well. He had no no qualms sharing his opinion on arts and his favorite artists, his artists that he thinks are total garbage. total, total genres of art that he thinks are a waste of time. It was it was really, really cool to sit and have those conversations and to in to see him and my wife interact and talk about things that I I’ll be honest, at the time, didn’t understand it had to ask her later to clarify for me was, I loved it.

George Ward
I loved it when he was like there’s two types of art. There’s real artists and then there’s people who cover sofas and grass. Like if you want to talk to John don’t talk to him about modern art at all. No, no,

Bradley Hodges
he despises who Oh, man. But yeah, no, that was a very special trip. made even more special by that dinner. No question about that.

George Ward
So you’ve taken a lot of trips like we’ve already talked about after after that Cleveland trip. We we did the meet up in St. Augustine. Where you hung out with John Frazier hung out with Brian’s in hung out with Nadine and Kim. Got to hold a cast. That was pretty awesome.

Bradley Hodges
Yeah, it was nice to so I work with Brian and Nadine and Kim in a little private group. And it was really nice to put a face and a voice with the with the conversations. They all three I mean, everybody, everybody at the dinner including the Fraser family. We’re all just super, super kind, super, super smart. To this the genius level that I was sitting around blew my mind. I’ve always considered myself a smart person. And then I meet new people realize that I’m an idiot. So, ya know, just super smart, super friendly, super generous people. I couldn’t I couldn’t ask to be a better company. It was a lot of fun. Yeah, they just meet somebody like John and talk about something like the fountain of youth from his perspective as the owner who grew up with it was a real treat it casinos sure you go and visit these places and you’ll learn about the history but to learn about the history of the park from from him but it was fantastic to have those conversations and you know, just learn those little intricacies. There too. he redid the recording of the the globe show and so we got to sit down with him and watch it with him for the first time. And you’re just you feel like you’re at a premiere in Hollywood. It through with his

George Ward
director’s commentary over Uh huh. Yeah. There’s there was something in that dinner that I realized just sitting there me you and Nadine Kim Brian’s in especially. And John, something that’s different about the secret rather than like Forrest Fenn is, you know, Forrest Fenn is worth, like $2 million, or whatever, right? So with the hunters, there’s a bit of, of ego and a bit of secrecy, everybody’s sort of on guard, and the secrets worth nothing, right? These casts are worth nothing. They’re essentially flower pots that are buried in the ground. These gems, maybe again, one, maybe you don’t, maybe it’s worth 500 bucks, maybe it’s worth 1000, whatever. It’s, it’s of no value, there is no end, because there’s no value. people’s egos aren’t attached to this. So the people that you meet when you’re out hunting, are people who aren’t in the treasure hunt for fame. They’re not in the treasure hunt for fortune. They’re not in the treasure hunt for ego. They’re in it because they’re genuinely curious. They love learning about things. So you end up meeting genuine people kind and and kind sweet, friendly people. I don’t think I’ve Yeah, well, I’ve had a couple of people who are a little weird, but But that’s that. To me. That’s the that’s the treasure of the secret, right? Is the the people

Bradley Hodges
that oh, yeah, there’s no question about it. Absolutely. None. And I brought that up to Josh gates. I had opportunity to go to Charlotte and see his his live show. He was touring. And it wasn’t so much about expedition unknown, obviously touched on it. But he did a live tour and it was more about you know, the adventure of life. And he had some really fun puzzling twists. It was really hilarious is he’s talking about ghosts versus yetis. And he got there in a in a very strategic way. And asked the audience you know, who believes in ghosts who believes in yetis? He’s like, seriously, like you believe there’s dead people walking on you before you believe that there’s just a species that hasn’t yet been discovered, okay. So you know that he’s got a great sense of humor. And I got to ask him, because he took questions from the audience I fortunately didn’t find out about in time to get a VIP ticket and have a real one on one with him. But I got to ask him about that. Because a lot of you know, I’ve talked about it before on the podcast, a lot of people talk about his show and how, you know, he doesn’t find what he’s looking for most of the time. And because of that, there’s there’s there’s no treasure found, and then I completely disagree that I’m in your I’m in your, your, your boat with the the treasure, here’s the experiences that we’re having. It’s the people that we’re meeting, it’s the friends that we’re making. Its life, you know, we’re living life in the best way possible. And that is the treasure. And I explained to him, that was my perspective about it. And I feel like you know, he’s had, he’s found so much treasure. You’re just watching all these adventures he’s been on. And he agreed. And he also made it a point that, while he hasn’t found a lot of things that he’s been looking for, he’s found other really amazing things while he’s looking for these other things. And he’s absolutely right about that. But he agrees with us as well that, you know, just the people that you’re meeting the experiences that you’re having living life in the best foster way you can. That’s the treasure. Absolutely, yeah.

George Ward
Yeah. All right. So we can’t we can’t have a secret podcast without talking to some kind of secret, right. So when you first started, you were mainly focused on Roanoke. Like most people, that’s the ones closest to you. Right? It was, it was by far your favorite puzzle. Is it still your favorite city for your favorite puzzle?

Bradley Hodges
It is, for one thing, just the artwork. It’s my favorite piece of art. Regardless of how close it is, to me, regardless of how solvable it is, I think is stunning. It’s a beautiful piece of art. And it catches my eye. Far more than any of the other images. I’d say a close second would be Boston, and then San Francisco after that. But yeah, I’m just partial to the art piece itself. One of the first things I didn’t have an opportunity was when you did the high res scans of the book and post them on 12 treasures.com Actually, no, it is before that. I was lucky enough to get my hands on ones from somebody else. That was proofing them. And I don’t think you even thought you knew that I had it and you knew that how I got it because there was one image missing. And I was like I got 2011 Oh, but I have no idea what the fourth one is and why I didn’t get it and you’re like I know why you didn’t get it because I didn’t give that person that 12 one which is really funny. But the if I ran a stable actually did that while we were in while we were in Roanoke, I went to Staples and habit image printed and put on a wall because I just wanted to look at it just because it’s beautiful. So yeah, yeah, it’s definitely still my favorite. Just because I think I spent the most time with it, I have learned the most from it, I’ve had the most positive experiences with it. You know, it’s been a big part of my life and the other puzzles. I enjoy the other puzzles. There’s some that I have not even considered that I haven’t even glanced at. So like, for instance, Houston. Now, I have no clue. I know what other people post but I’ve never sat down and molded through Houston, myself. St. Augustine, you know, because of the time that we spent down there with, with everybody, the whole crew, you have a specialist for heart for the St. Augustine puzzle. And I really want you to be able to find that kind of like how I you know, want my wife to be happy and in support her in any way I can to bring happiness. Same thing with my friends, you know, I want you to be able to find this cast in St. Augustine because I know how much joy that would bring you. So you know, anything I can do to help with that bat puzzle? Obviously, I want to do that. So yeah, I think that answered your question.

George Ward
Yeah. Well, fun, fun thing is I met a hunter today who’s interested in St. Augustine, and he’s been around, he’s been coming to town, maybe once a month. And he’s got some really good ideas that I had never thought of, and I worked out with him today to do an episode of the podcast. So coming soon will be a St. Augustine episode with that guy. I don’t want to give out his name yet. Because, you know, people, people hate on them. But it’s gonna be pretty interesting. And there’s a lot of stuff I had never even considered, that he’s found and a lot of stuff I’ve been looking for that that he was able to locate. So

Bradley Hodges
well, here’s some exciting news. So I am, as of tomorrow at about four o’clock, I’m unemployed. And it was my choice. My, my employer, so I’ve managed in, in a retail environment in my state. And I don’t want to make this political. So please don’t start throwing political posts. But this is just the action that I took. And it’s not a political action. It’s a safety of my family action. COVID has been ramping up significantly in the town we live in, and the states, the Governor made a mandate that if you’re in a public business, you need to be wearing a mask to protect yourself and others. And so this is a perfect opportunity, in my opinion, for retail environment to not take the blame and not have to take the political fire of requiring face masks of their customers. And my company chose not to do that. They chose to put up signs and then just let customers do whatever they want. which I felt was putting my family in those I interact with my family and friends in danger. So I quit my job. And I’m not sad about it. So no sympathy posts. But if you have a job opportunity, hey, I’m all ears. But that’s not what I’m saying. What I’m saying is, after tomorrow, I can come down to St. Augustine. And I can help out with those. Those fun things.

George Ward
I’ll go past that, man. I’ll make it political for you in Florida. COVID is rampid right now, and I personally know six people who have died. Put on your masks. You know, it’s not that big of a deal. It really

Bradley Hodges
isn’t. And I agree so so since we’re taking it there. So there’s some reasons not to wear a mask. I get it. Some people have literally can’t get somebody else to go to the store for you. If you live around here, call me. I’ll go so for you find a free thing. Yeah, it is. So yeah, so let’s get off that box.

George Ward
Yeah. So Roanoke was what brought you in? And Roanoke sorta is your your one true love. You your first trip out there you were focused on the gate. Yes. Your son the Watergate. Have you changed that opinion?

Bradley Hodges
mean? So yes and no. So the Watergate was, it still is one of the possible solves that I feel strongly about? I have I have a willingness to consider more than one spot and feel strongly about more than one spot. I am smart enough to know what I don’t know. And so it would be ignorant of me to say it’s there. And I know it’s there. And I don’t care what anybody else says I know it’s there. I got a good feeling it was or is somewhere in that spots. And I’ve got two other spots that I feel pretty good about. Oh, no, sorry, three, three other spots I feel really good about. One is one that, you know, we’ve looked at one point or another. And another one is wonder we talked about and yes, for those who think that oh, well Boston’s a one off with a sports theme. I don’t think it is. I think there’s some really good reasons to believe that there’s a baseball theme in this one too. And there’s some other hunters that do and we’ve shared some ideas and I’m on board with that. And there’s another just random park that’s very small. Very, it’s there’s not a lot actually there whatsoever, but it’s not far from Fort Raleigh. And it’d be super easy just to pull in and bury something and go about your business and, and nobody had any idea. So, yeah, I’ve got I’ve got some new places I want to check out next time I go down there, which will hopefully be sooner than later. But who knows?

George Ward
Yeah. We were thinking about doing the next meetup in New York. But we were talking recently about doing it a little closer, maybe doing that at Roanoke, right. Trying to get some of the Rangers out there. And yes, there’s no, since there’s no nothing going on at the theater, maybe we can reserve that for for a meet up.

Bradley Hodges
Yeah, absolutely. And the Rangers there. I know. I’ve said this before, guys, but the Rangers are so cool. They’re so nice and so friendly. So knowledgeable. So until you bring out a metal detector, yeah. Don’t forget to take it over. So we’ll obviously put you go there, ask questions and learn and just have fun with them. Look for look for Byron. Brian, Brian price, Brian. Is that his name? It’s Byron Preston. Brian Preston. Yeah, that’s right. Yeah. Byron Preston. Yeah. He’s a really cool dude.

George Ward
Yeah, he, he, from what I understand he, he swings he goes east. That sounds different than when I met it during the, the winter. During the winter, he’s in Colorado, and during the summer, he’s in Roanoke, or vice versa. One of those do a lot

Bradley Hodges
of rangers. I mean, they they they live at these parks. That’s what they do. That we learned from a lighthouse keeper and one of the lighthouse in the Outer Banks. That’s she she goes from season to season. And she lives at the parks. And that’s her job. And they give her a stipend for food and she takes care of the park. That’s cool.

George Ward
I mean, I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s cool,

Bradley Hodges
but Oh, Central. Food is so cool.

George Ward
You would want to live in a lighthouse? I don’t think I could do the seclusion. No. Yeah,

Bradley Hodges
totally good. I don’t I don’t. If this may go with the whole me being close to the vest with the word friend. I don’t like people in general.

George Ward
That’s weird. It’s like the friendliest guy on Facebook.

Bradley Hodges
Just humankind has not been, it has not impressed me throughout my life. But there’s no reason to be mean, you know? So yeah, I still am friendly. And it is funny because I said this whenever I first became a member of a smaller group, and I was like, hey, just so you guys know, like, this is kind of some things about me. One thing is is, you know, I’m blunt. I’m to the point. I’m really nice, but if you piss me off, you’re gonna know about it. Because I’m not, you know, I’m not gonna just like, nicely say, Oh, haha, that’s funny. Don’t like that. I’ll be like, that’s that’s not okay. And this is why I thought okay. That’s just personnel. Yeah.

George Ward
Yeah. I’ve worked that in our mod conversation. So anytime anything happens on Facebook, there’s a mod conversation about it. And Bradley is always the blunt one. Yeah. That’s nice. It’s a breath of fresh air. No beating around the bush.

Bradley Hodges
No. So and so’s a jackass. Let’s do this. But no, I mean, yeah. Just in general, and there’s no reason to be mean to people. So yeah, I tried to be nice. And usually when you’re nice people, people are nice to you. And they’re nice to other people paying you for it. I guess it’s called goodwill does goodwill. And so they go. Yeah.

George Ward
All right. Anything else you want to touch on your show?

Bradley Hodges
Oh, geez. I have no man. I’m not the spotlight kind of guy. I mean, I was a theater major. So you know, give me a script. And I’ll put on a show but just asked me to talk about myself. That’s gosh. Let’s see.

George Ward
Can I talk to Laura?

Bradley Hodges
Yeah, you can talk to Laura. Hold on a second. Let me take you off

George Ward
on the podcast. Can I talk to Laura, do you mind talking

Bradley Hodges
on the podcast for a minute? She’s cautiously approaching the microphone. Okay. Hold on one second. Is that giving you any feedback? No.

George Ward
Okay, great. Yes, it is. Yes. Major,

Bradley Hodges
major, major major for you. Okay, hold on. I have no idea what’s being said Laura’s wearing headphones.

Laura Hodges
Hello. Hi. Hi. So

George Ward
for those of you that don’t know, we’re about to speak to Laura Bradley’s wife we have we have muted Bradley he can no longer speak and he can no longer hear what we’re gonna say. So Laura is an amazing woman who takes care of a man who does not does not deserve her. She’s too Oh, So Laura, you’re you’re you’re you you’re not active on the Facebook pages, you’re not active with the podcast, you’re not active with any of that, right?

Laura Hodges
I’m not No, not really, I listen to hear my husband on the podcast, and that’s about it. And I support him.

George Ward
How has the secret affected your life? Now I know Rachel, like Rachel hates it, because I get text messages at like, two o’clock in the morning, and my phone blows up, and I have to meet all these people and, and interferes in our life. How has it affected you, personally,

Laura Hodges
oh, it’s really different for me. But I think that you just have the principle effect where everyone, you the buck just stops with you all the time. And we don’t have to deal with that. But I’m an art historian. So the secret has allowed Brad and I to connect on an art level. And that’s something that I really love we we can talk about paintings and about optical illusions, and Trump Doria and stuff like that, that we wouldn’t have talked about years ago. But also, it’s just kind of heightened our sense of adventure. We love we love now getting out. And even if we’re not looking for a treasure, we get out in nature almost every day.

George Ward
Yeah. Yeah. So let me let me ask you this. You’ve taken a lot of trips with Bradley, you’ve taken a lot of trips with me and Rachel and Brad, you’ve taken a lot of trips, because of the secret. being sort of a, an outsider, but you know, active, what’s your favorite memory of the secret? Or that’s been caused by the secret?

Laura Hodges
Oh, wow. Um, probably the first time Brad and I ended up down in the Outer Banks. And we took the verse and we took the image. And we started putting the clues together and just the realization that it’s real. And you can actually go and you can see it. And you can find where there are just verses from the book that are right there in iron or stone. And then you can kind of follow it along. And just remember that really, there was a great sense of adventure and wonder of just feeling like you’re so close. And I remember telling my husband, I was like, I’m not into it. I don’t want to do this, like, I’ll support you. And the second we got there, I was in it. And I was like this, we’re gonna find it like it’s just right here. Just one more step and we’ll find it. So I think it just started off with a really sweet trip for us and just great adventure. But I grew up in North Carolina, so the 13 colonies, and The Last Colony was history that I got as a kid. And Brad’s from Arizona. So he didn’t get that history. So it’s been really fun to to kind of have that, that together as well.

George Ward
Yeah, you get to relearn it through him and see sort of the joy that it brings him to learn something new, that kind of thing. Yeah. Yeah.

Laura Hodges
Well, in places that I would never be like, Yeah, let’s let’s go VISIT Milwaukee. Yeah, like places that weren’t really even on my radar. And, you know, I’ve been to St. Augustine as a child, X amount of times, and I could have walked right over where there’s a cask and had no idea. So just the fact that we’ve been in these spaces for now 30 years, and we could be sitting right next to it is really fun.

George Ward
Yeah, it makes you it makes you sort of see things differently to write it makes you focus on the details of where you’re at, which makes whatever Park you’re in or whatever city you’re in that much more special.

Laura Hodges
When I think also appreciating the immigration story of America. That’s my favorite part of the entire book, is that it’s not just let’s bury some treasure and have some fun. It’s let’s get to know, like our history as a country and kind of who came here and who settled here. I love that.

George Ward
Yeah, yeah. Okay. So what have Bradley’s had a lot of experiences. What do you think, in this puzzle? What singular thing in this puzzle do you think is brought him the most joy

Laura Hodges
in the puzzle is in the book or is in the community

George Ward
in everything? Well?

Laura Hodges
Oh, absolutely. The people he’s met and the friendships that he’s created and the fact that there’s this community of people who are like minded and they’re curious and they’re adventurous and I love you all, but they’re a little bit nerdy. And they just they like it. So just seeing a community come together across across the globe really is really has been really great for him.

So what’s brought you the most joy?

All Seeing him happy? Dell. I know. No, I don’t know. I like it. It seems like like a really healthy, exciting thing to be involved with. We get excited over things together. I remember When Boston was starting to break, he came home and he had a look in his face and I just knew I was like they found something like you just kind of like you start to tune into each other and that’s really great. Yeah.

George Ward
Okay. All right. Well, that was it. I guess unless there’s something you feel like needs to be said. About Bradley or something you feel like we should talk about

Laura Hodges
about Bradley. Oh, it’s like an about Bradley podcast. Yes. Oh, well, he’s a Leo. His birthday is next walks on the beach and he hates the beach. Don’t get that twisted. We don’t like hot weather. We like cold weather. His birthday is next week on the 28th I don’t know when this will air but his birthday is the 28th. Um, he really loves our cat, Leona. And he’s a he’s a great guy. If you don’t know him. You should. You should try and get to know him. He’s a great guy.

George Ward
Well, thank you for taking my random questions.

Laura Hodges
You’re welcome. I’ll talk to you soon. Okay, have a good night. Bye. Bye.

Bradley Hodges
Okay, so I didn’t hear the questions. I just heard the answers. They were very nice. Yeah, they were they were very flattering. Yeah.

George Ward
So I don’t I don’t have anything else. I just wanted to give everybody sort of an idea of who you were. Because like Cole was talking about when he did the interview with me. And I guess I didn’t realize the people who are listening. They hear our opinions all the time, but they don’t know anything about us, because we don’t ever talk about us. So that was sort of my goal.

Bradley Hodges
Okay, was this I’ll give you I’ll give you the elevator speech of Bradley. So I am close to 40 I mean, big Ozzy Osbourne fan. But I also like, Go country music and love Tec nine. I love nerd rap. Lexcel ex con artists check her out. She’s awesome. Video games, especially the Doom franchise, Halo, the ripoff of doom. Absolutely love it. Let’s see I have a bachelor’s degree in business administration concentrating in management. I graduated second in my class Sivakumar a so I’m smart. I think I love puzzles I liked I heard my wife say I definitely would consider myself nerdy and I think that’s a compliment. I will play d&d. I have friends I play d&d with online we create our own generic kind of d&d type role playing campaigns as well. Like right now we’re in a band called the beavers be EV urs and we’re trying to stop this global corporation from taking over the music industry. It’s a lot of fun. So that’s, yeah, I love hunting, fishing. Outdoors anything really? Okay, well, hunting. Okay, that’s a lie. I haven’t hunted since a long time. I love fishing and camping. Just getting outdoors getting in nature. Yeah, I make a mean steak on the grill. Most of the time. Sometimes I screw it up and I feel bad about it. Sorry, Rachel. Yeah, that’s me in a nutshell. Hey.

George Ward
All right. Well, I guess that could be the end. I guess that gonna be the end. Thank you, Bradley, for your commitments of the community for all that you do for your help with the podcast. Thank you for being a friend. We’ve traveled down the roads and back again. Your hearts true. You’re a pal and a confidant.

Bradley Hodges
Oh, yeah, that’s. That’s the Golden Girls. Yeah. Yeah, it was on the tip of my tongue. I knew exactly what you’re saying. You know what? I could see us. Growing old and being stupid fun together. That’d be great. I have no problem with them.

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George Ward
Bradley Hodges

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