Why did Greg Brooks start Sub Sea Research? Of course, treasure hunting would be a dream job for many, but few actually leave behind their more traditional, secure jobs for something that may or may not result in a definite paycheck. What kind of values would make someone take that sort of chance?
In order to answer that question we’ll have to go back a little before Sub Sea Research, or even Silver Bars, began. My dad was born in a one-room house in Cherryfield, ME in the 1950s. He grew up poor, and was the third of nine children born to his family. As a child, he had a lot of freedom to roam and explore outside. He spent the first several years of his life in the Portland area of Maine. It was here that he began adventuring, by exploring the woods around his house or walking through town with his siblings. See photo at left – he always loved water, from a young age. My dad often ended up in trouble, once with his mom for trading his bicycle for a box full of rattlesnakes (she made him trade them back!). Because of his penchant for exploration, he would sometimes end up getting hurt. My dad has more strange injury stories than anyone I’ve ever met! From falling off a small cliff and ripping his lip open (which is actually why he always wears a mustache), to blowing his hand up with a small bomb he found while outside playing, his interest in adventuring was never diminished despite these setbacks. Though he likely has more scars than most, all of these stories have shaped him into someone with a survivalist mentality. Having so many brothers and sisters, he was often left to his own devices or to take care of his younger siblings. His independence was fortified when he was still a child himself.
While I am told my dad was very shy in his younger years (he’s much more outspoken these days!), he has always been a non-conformist. When he was a teenager at Portsmouth High School in New Hampshire in the late 60s, he was one of the first boys to be sent home for having long hair that he refused to cut. He has always been stubborn and is never one to leave the status quo unquestioned. To further his independence, he left home at seventeen to join the Marine Corp and was sent to Vietnam when he had just barely turned eighteen.
All of these things contributed to my dad’s already strong personality. I think that the qualities he has are perfect for a treasure hunter: a love for adventure and exploration, a self-starter, and someone who is okay with living outside the norm. While he didn’t begin treasure hunting until he was in his 30s, my dad’s upbringing set him up to be someone who wanted to make his living doing something outside the box, which is a trait he passed down to me. Patience and determination are key for someone who is treasure hunting, and I think coming from a poor family helped my dad to be motivated to rise up from that situation. It is very inspiring to think that someone who never went to college and who came from a troubled home can make their own business and sustain it into something not only that they can live on, but that they can thrive on, and help others with in the process.
Happy Father’s Day weekend to my dad Greg Brooks, and to all the fathers out there.