It's 11.2.22 See You at Saturday's Meeting!
Welcome to "Peter's Pages"
The Web Presence of "Peter Lebeck 1866,"
The Kern County Chapter of E Clampus Vitus ®
Time to Ketchup!
Posted 11.02.22 (Amended 11.04.22) -- By MGM
Welcome back Cloggites, time to Ketchup! Now that we’ve mostly figured out how to deal with Covid, we’ve had a flurry of activity of late, so catch-up has been the name of the game. Aside from our fall Doin’s, we just concluded two plaquings, including a joint event with Platrix. We are also looking forward to a full calendar next year, beginning with our Widders’ Ball on February 4, 2023, in Bakersfield.
More on all that later, but first a reminder that our annual business meeting will convene this Saturday, Nov 5th, at La Sierra Mexican Restaurant in Frazier Park, a PXL Watering Hole. I’ve attached the agenda and proposed functionaries list here, so take a minute to look it over.
The meeting starts at 10 am, but the restaurant will open for breakfast at 8:30 as a courtesy to our chapter, so please take advantage. 3500 Mt Pinos Way, Frazier Park, CA, United States, California (661) 245-3628. As a bonus, Veronica knows that some of us are always asking for menudo, so if you are interested, text Dale “Top” Turner at (661)714-7166, to get on the secret menudo list. Veronica has offered to make it special, just for us. See you there!
As his final sacrifice, outgoing Humbug Ptimbo Gillespie, is offering up our friend Al “The Quack” Price, as next year’s Humbug. May the Graybeards be pleased! Or at least mollified. And since the Quackster will now be an upper level retread, may the 'Beards not find him too odiferous nor too ripe for their mysterious purposes.
But assuming Al has his way - - following our Widders’s Ball in February - - we’ll be marching in Kernville’s Whiskey Flat parade on February 18th, then going back up to Camp Hamilton for our spring Clampout April 14th-17th. Al also has his eye on Camp Whitsett for our fall outing in September, where he has been guaranteed that no one will be pulling the plug on Lake Ida before we have a chance to personally observe what fish are rumored to do in it. Seriously, the lake actually has a plug.
Al also wants to plaque the Famoso Raceway in the spring, and replace the shattered Road’s End monument later in the year. I could say more about more stuff, but I’m afraid I’ll just run over my word budget. So it would be best if you came on up to the November meeting to see for yourself.
Our outgoing Humbug was no slouch, either. So I’ll recap the last part of our season and you’ll just have to put up with me for a bit longer.
We had a very chill fall Doin’s up at Bald Eagle Ranch, with about 50 guys showing up to veg with their Brethren. Attendance could have been higher, but I think some of the guys were spooked about making it up the mountain roads with their rigs. Nevertheless, there was plenty of space, the weather was choice and the camaraderie was near perfect. But you can check things out for yourself. I expect to have all the photos up by the end of the weekend.
On Saturday, October 29, 2022, we gathered up at Bear Valley Springs to plaque the original 1872 school house. I’ve posted the plaque to the ”Clampdown page if you’d like to see it up close. The project took about a year to complete, and we were even delayed by the foundry which missed our original September deadline. There were about 50 people in attendance to witness remarks by our Humbug, Ptimbo Gillespie and Clampcrier Dale “Top” Turner, XNGH. Photos will be posted to the usual location.
The Saturday before that, we had a joint plaquing with Platrix chapter in celebration of the Saugus Café. This joint claims to be the oldest existing eating establishment in L.A. County. I always assumed that would be the county jail, but for the Saugus Café you don't have to prequalify.
I missed the ceremony, but I understand that the event was MC'ed by Platrix XNGH Denny Thompson, with current Platrix Humbug Patrick Turner speaking on behalf of Platrix and our own XNGH Al Price speaking on behalf of Peter Lebeck. About a hundred people were in attendance.
I mention that I didn't go because it means that I didn't take any photos and neither did Max Felser, who was out of town. Mark "Scoop" Mutz's widder did get a few pictures but the Mutzes didn't get any of the plaque because they assumed that part of the ceremony would involve mounting the plaque to the café wall which didn't happen until this week. They did get a pic of the plaque resting on an easel - - covered with a red blanket.
Fortunately fellow history buff, Craig Baker, who was also at the ceremony, did go back and take a few pictures once the plaque was mounted. He was kind enough to share some of his photos with us. Click on the plaque to read the larger version. I'll post everything I've collected to the usual location so we'll have a permanent record.
Last thing before I let you go, our Widders’ Ball won’t be in January for the first time that I can remember, because it’s always the weekend before Super Bowl, and we have no control over the NFL which keeps extending its season. We’d protest, but what’s the point? The league isn’t listening to some very burly dudes who could easily push a Mack Truck across the Red Zone. You think the league would listen to a bunch of flabby guys in red shirts?
Luckily for Peter Lebeck, our XNGH Jim “Bullseye” Bailey has invited us back to the Homewood Suites for our annual soiree now set for Saturday, February 4, 2023. Check back here for details in a couple of weeks. I won’t do a full webpage dedicated to the Ball, but I will plug it on the main CLOG Page, and link the flier with complete instructions, including directions and how to pay. PXL has gone over to “prepay” for its events. We’re generous about refunds or credit if you let us know ahead of time that you can’t make it, but prepay cuts down on waste and the need to handle cash. It’s all for the good of the order.
See you Saturday!
Posted 9.27.22 - - By XNGH Mike "MGM" Ramirez, CR
Sorry, Gents. Registration is closed, so if you didn't sign-up you're going to miss a chill weekend because we aren't accepting walk-ins this trip. But for those of you who thought ahead and seek splendor and repose in the mountains, we welcome your company.
Gates open on Thursday at noon for early arrivals; but if you do come early just make sure to bring something to eat, drink and plenty of shade. We feed you through the weekend but our first chapter provided meal is on Friday afternoon, to be followed by our Yucca-Off contest. That's our Humbug Timbo getting a head start on his shaking technique.
Our XNGH Al "The Quack" Price is a ham. No, really. He has a radio and one of those big sticky-up thingees that points to the sky and would make lesser men blush. Plus no one has ever accused our Quackster of being smoked or basted, so I think we can take his word for the kind of weather we'll experience during our Havilah weekend.
So expect daytime highs in the upper 80's, with nighttime lows in the mid 50's. Bring your propane heater if you wish, but no burn barrels due to dry conditions. We do want the Bald Eagle Ranch to still be there if we are ever invited back, and this part of Kern is no stranger to fires.
Also keep in mind that there is no cell service Havilah, so say goodbye to the Widder before you leave the flats. We are guest of XNGH Wes Kutzner and his lovely Widder, Janet. Their land line is available for EMERGENCY CALLS ONLY! (760) 379-2636.
Proof that no one should accuse us of ever being completely untethered! Just make sure your Widder has it before you head for Havilah. See you at the Doin's.
Posted 8.28.22 - - By NGH "Ptomaine Ptimbo" Gillespie, XXNGH
LET'S GET READY TO YUC IT UUUUUPPPPP!!! Owl-rye-tee, a basic fact or two here:
A) We are Clampers.
B) Many Clampers seem to enjoy adult beverages from time to time, always, of course, in moderation and as an adjunct to helping little old ladies cross the street and to rescue kitties from trees.
C) Most Clampers won't get off their fannies for a drink unless there is a PBC near by to hand them one.
But things are going to change when you join us for Peter Lebeck's Fall Doin's at Bald Eagle Ranch, September 29 through October 2, 2022. You're gonna be getting off of your lazy corn-fed posterior, and shaking them buns for bragging rights because -- that's right folks -- you saw it here first! On Friday night PXL is bringing back the YUCCA!
If you are unfamiliar with this most satisfactory and satisfying nectar, do a little diggin', or get inventive; and get you a gallon jug, a bunch of ice, a sturdy towel, and some sort of liquor/citrus combination that will meld into something wonderful after it has been passed around the circle and shaken into an icy frothiness.
Oh, did I neglect to mention that part? Yeah, see, when you Yucca, what you do is combine your ingredients, wrap that puppy up in a towel, and pass it around the circle, stopping for a vigorous shake at each redshirt along the way. After lots of rough handling and plenty of time to contemplate the consequences, you pop the lid and pass 'er around. Just make sure the Holy Yucca Judges get a good long hit before everyone has the chance to backwash.
There will undoubtedly be prizes of some-sort-or-other for the best concoction, but seriously, by the time we get done tasting them all, we may not remember who won.
So there's that, but isn't that part of the fun?
So grab a jug, get a team, slice that fruit, put in the appropriate liquid, and Sheik Yerbouti, Friday night, at PxL's Fall '22 Clampout. I personally will provide the ICE! Go to our registration page to sign-up electronically or download the flyer, just do it by September 23rd, because this event is prepay only. No walk-ins and no retreads.
See you there!
Your Noble Grand Humbug
Posted 8.19.22 - - By XNGH Mike "MGM" Ramirez, CR
The details about our joint plaquing with Platrix, of the Saugus Café, are now set. So join us for a combination dedication and 2 p.m. late lunch on Sunday, October 16, 2022. The 2 o'clock start will give the church ladies a chance to clear out of the parking lot, although if the lot is full, you'll do best to park on the street. As tempting as it may be to park in front of the liquor store, don't do it unless you're prepared to bum a ride home -- and pay the towing fees.
You can download details about our October plaquing, along with our Fall Doin's flyer and Peter's Proc's, by clicking on the flyer icon on the right. If you came here looking for information about our Fall Doin's, keep reading into the CLOG, and then visit our Fall Doin's Pages for the skinny and everything you'll need to sign-up. - - MGM
Posted 8.14.22 - - By XNGH Mike "MGM" Ramirez, CR
The Fall Doin's pages are now up, including our electronic registration form. If you don't see a revised page when you click on the link, refresh your browser. That also goes for any other page as well. I've also posted a copy of the artwork for our most spiffy event shirt to the main Doin's page. Click on the artwork to see a mock-up of the shirt.-- MGM
Posted 8.7.22 (Amended 8.13.22) - - By XNGH Mike "MGM" Ramirez, CR
Hello Cloggites! Mikee here with a few choice words before the Humbug realizes I have a day pass from the asylum. PXL is proud to announce our 60th Anniversary Fall Doin's, at Bald Eagle Ranch in Havilah, set for Thursday, September 29th through Sunday October 2nd, and if you are wearing a redshirt under your Superman pajamas, you're invited to join us for a most satisfactory time. In fact you'll want to bring a PBC because this is going to be a very special weekend.
Havilah was Kern County's original county seat until it was robbed in 1872 in a disputed election by some place that starts with a "B" and ends with a "D," which to this day has all the fast food joints while Havilah has none. No McDonalds, no Jack in the Box, not even a Taco Bell. What Havilah did have was proximity to the gold fields, but when the prospecting played out, this mountain town between Bodfish and Caliente could no longer compete with the settlement on the valley floor where agriculture and oil began to drive the economy. Finally, during the 1920's, most of the town was destroyed by fire.
But Havilah still has history, and your PBC will be getting a double dose of it. Friday afternoon, he'll get an historical introduction to E Clampus Vitus and the Peter Lebeck Chapter, itself. On Saturday, he'll get an introduction to local history by XNGH Al "The Quack" Price, including a tour of Havilah, our plaques and the Havilah museum.
Now while that all sounds very serious, there's also a reason for that picture at the top of the CLOG, for our Humbug, Ptimbo Gillespie has declared that Friday Night's post-dinner festivities shall begin with one of our notoriously satisfactory semi-occasional "1st Annual" Yucca contests. What is "Yucca," you ask? Well, it's what you want it to be. But mostly it requires a large jar, citrus, sugar, ice, something potent that starts with a "T," "V," or some other letter of the alphabet that ends with stupid. Then put a lid on it, wrap it in a towel, and let the shaking begin! Which is why you need a team of hearty souls to create the magic.
If you are interested, sign-up. Then get a team together and prepare to rock the Doin's. Just remember, the proof is in the tasting.
The electronic sign-up will be up soon, along with the usual schedule, descriptions, directions and whatever other stuff I can come up with to get you to show-up to Bald Eagle Ranch. But in the meantime I can offer you the flyer by clicking on this link. If you have a potential PBC. Don't hesitate to sign him up. We have an excellent Hangman in Rick "Hard Luck" Veiga, who's taken to the task with great enthusiasm. He's proven to be a great role model for our PBCs, and more than capable of showing them what being a member of Peter Lebeck is all about.
Our regular T-shirt guy, Paul "Rag Man" Gleim, has been ill, and we wish him a speedy recovery. He reluctantly won't be able to do an event shirt for us this trip, but the Humbug does have a solution and we will be offering event shirts for $20 each, so long as you order by September 7th. The shirts are being produced by "Ink 186," a vocational training program in Springfield, Illinois for students with disabilities. You won't be disappointed. Check out their website. The design will be posted to the Doin's registration page.
After a number of years of unexplained overhead, we are whittling our store down to the basics, so be forewarned that whatever shirts become available on site for your PBC will be extremely limited, primarily "close-outs." Event shirts will be preorder only, though you can still order current stylings from Paul's website. Just make sure you do so at least two weeks ahead of time if you want to pick items up at the Doin's.
An event shirt purchase option isn't listed in the flyer, but you can include a note with your snail mail remittance to GDR "Top" Turner with an extra $20 for each shirt, along with the needed sizes. You can also Zelle your order and dust to firstname.lastname@example.org, just make sure you memo who it's from and list the requisite sizes. You can also text or email your name and shirt size to "Top" at email@example.com or (661) 714-7203, but do it by September 7th. Orders will not be accepted after that date.
Due to a SNAFU at the factory our plans to plaque the 1872 school house at Bear Valley Springs has been postponed. The plaque has been reordered, with a tentative dedication date for some time in October. Meanwhile, our joint watering hole dedication with Platrix of the Saugus Café is now set for 2 p.m. on October 16th. This is a family event and all are welcome.
At our recent Grand Council, the Board of Proctors made a point of reminding all ECV Chapters that there is nothing private about "private" social media, including Facebook. If it's posted to the internet, it's in public view. E Clampus Vitus is, above everything else, an historical fraternity. We are not a political organization. Displays of drunkenness, lewd or scatological images, misogyny, political screeds or other posting that discredit us or our mission to celebrate history are frowned upon. Rule of thumb I've used here since we began the CLOG in 2007 is if it would embarrass you to have your Widder see it or P___ O__ your Brethren, then it shouldn't be posted. There is plenty of room to have fun on line. Frivolity and absurdity are not the same as being crude or in your face.
Truth be known, earning respect in the community while maintaining the fun loving aspects of Clamperdom is of great benefit to all -- to our members, to the places where we live and to the vitality of our Order. By all accounts, ECV is a dinosaur. It is the only remaining all male fraternity not found on a college campus. But that hasn't stopped us. We continue to erect "diverse monuments" to local history and many chapters engage in charitable works. As of 2022, ECV's has now grown to fifty full-fledged chapters covering eleven western states. So stand up, stand proud and keep it up!
By the way . . . when you come to our Fall Doin's at Bald Eagle Ranch, if you bring a Clamper from each of the 50 Chapters, the Humbug will buy you a pony.
Peter Lebeck's Annual Corporate Business Meeting is scheduled for Saturday, November 5, 2022, at 10:00 a.m., at La Sierra Mexican Restaurant, 3500 Mt Pinos Way, Frazier Park, CA 93225. The agenda will be posted closer to the time of the meeting, but as usual expect wrap-ups on the current year's activities, financial reports and the line-up of proposed functionaries and officers for the coming year.
Lastly, don't forget the unofficial monthly gathering at the Elks' Lodge in Santa Clarita. The "Red Shirt Getaway," is open to all ECV members in good standing and runs from noon to 3 p.m., the first Saturday of the month. 17766 Sierra Highway, Canyon Country, CA 91351.
Posted 6.26.22 - - By NGH "Ptomaine Ptimbo" Gillespie, XXNGH
Welcome back to the CLOG, My Brothers! I just got back from Spokane, Washington and a most satisfactory Charter Doin's for Irish Kate #1858, one of ECV's newest chapters. As you can see from the pic above, this is a great bunch of guys, and I would encourage anyone headed up to the Spokane area, if you have time to visit, to contact one or two of them through the Irish Kate website or their chapter's Facebook page. The Spokane Brothers would love to see us Lebeckians at any of their Doin's.
I was mighty proud to be able to present the new chapter with a spiffy new stainless steel fire pit from us as a welcome gift to our Ancient and Honorable Order. It has a see through outline of the ECV Miner and Jackass, with the names and number of our two chapters on either side. Unfortunately, even after a few days of really hard rain, a propane-only rule was in effect, so we've yet to see this lovely thing in all of its blazing glory. But the Brothers did promise to send us a pic when they do finally get to fire it up.
I also had a great time talking with all of the Sublime officers and Proctors. SNGH Dave "Warthog" Otero congratulated us for representing our chapter and, in his words, thought our fire pit gift "really awesome." He is sending a letter commending us. I have to say again how proud I am to represent a bunch of guys who understand brotherhood and forging ties.
Their HOCO and Chartering went great. They've put a lot of work into their community over the last nine years and have fostered ties with appropriate organizations. They've earned their place as an ECV chapter, so congratulations to the Brothers from Irish Kate.
I also want to make clear that none of this came out of chapter funds. The trip was on me as part of my Humbuggery, and the fire pit is a gift from our guys to those guys. So if you didn't get a chance to contribute towards the barrel and want to throw in a few bucks for that, see Rick "Hard Luck" Vega at the next "Red Shirt Getaway," It starts at noon, Saturday, July 2, at the Elks Lodge in Santa Clarita. So far we've collected about half the cost of the barrel, which was about $400.
We are still chewing on a venue for our Fall Doin's, but we hope to announce soon so keep an eye on this space. Also make sure to check out the latest edition of XNGH "Top" Turner's "Bear Feeder News," to see how our Camp Hamilton picnic table donation has worked out. But whatever you do, come back often to check for updates of upcoming events and opportunities. Same Clamp time, same Clamp channel!
Posted 6.5.22 - - By XNGH Mike "MGM" Ramirez, CR
Time to spiffify your white shoes and take your seer sucker out of moth balls as summer is just around the corner. But before you let spring breezes waft you away into the fragrances of Summer's Eve, check out the photos from our Spring Doin's. I've even snuck in a few photos of Ptimbo at Grand Council. All of it is now posted to Peter's Picture pages for your enjoyment. And if you don't know the password, next time pay attention, and don't worry. I've burned all the embarrassing pics Max and I took at the Doin's. What else is digital for?
Click the little pic above to see the group shot, and you can also get a good look at our latest plaque by going to the Clampdown page. If you don't see the current offering, just make sure to refresh your browser to keep up.
- - MGM
Posted 5.29.22 - - By NGH "Ptomaine Ptimbo" Gillespie, XXNGH; and XNGH Mike "MGM" Ramirez, CR
Hail, Brethren! Your Humbug, Tim "Ptomaine Ptimbo" Gillespie, here. XNGH "Medium Green Mike" Ramirez-Mares and I just returned from Grand Council, which was a most satisfactory event. We gave a concise report of our Chapter activities and Doin's, got to mingle with a lot of Brothers we hadn't seen in a few years, and generally spread the bonhomie of Peter Lebeck through the Diggin's. Our Proctor-Advisor, Dave "Warthog" Otero is the new Sublime Noble Grand Humbug, and we are glad to have him. Loren Wilson was voted Clamper of the Year.
It was also heartening to see several Outposts become full-fledged chapters, including Copper Queen in Nevada, with which we have a connection. MGM will fill you in on that one.
It was also inspiring to hear about the marvelous community and charity work done by many an ECV Chapter. I'd sure like to step up our community profile and contribution by doing something for a worthwhile cause in Kern County. Please put on your thinking beanies and let me know if you have any idears.
The Wall of Comparative Ovations in Murphy's is in great shape, but a couple of the museums, including the Old Timers' Museum, have closed and the fate of their collections is being debated. Some items are now at the non-profit Angels Camp City Museum, while others remain in storage. Grand Council and local Chapters are doing their best to help preserve the contents of these museums and keep them available to those who appreciate Western history and lore.
In other news, our Fall Doins has not yet been set, but we are looking at several different options. While we do have some places we can usually go, I'm doing my best to find somewhere new and exciting to have our next bacchanal. Wherever it may be, fun times will be had.
I hope everyone enjoyed the last Doin's at Camp Hamilton. It was our first spring outing in a couple of years, and we may have been a bit rusty on a thing or two, but overall, everyone seemed to have a good time.
Stay tuned for updates, and keep those emails coming! Now over to MGM!
Mikee here to fill in a few details. Ptimbo has asked me to keep the number of words to a minimum, but we'll see about that.
Our Spring Doin's was a most satisfactory affair. The weather was great, the venue shady and lush, and our attendance was as large as I've seen it for one of our single chapter Doin's. We eliminated the hassle of walk-ins and still had 77 guys sign-up ahead of time. We also took in six new Brothers. We'll likely continue doing pre-pay registration exclusively because it cuts down on waste and helps keep our rub reasonable. Despite two years of Covid-19 we remain financially healthy, and this Doin's made that more so. So thanks you!
Camp Hamilton Memorial Park is a non-profit charity, and is one of those places we will return to on occasion. The association's board has honored us by dedicating an area next to our plaque in the name of E Clampus Vitus, and it will soon have three weather resistant, metal, black and red picnic tables for the use of park visitors: One donated by several of our X-Humbugs, a second by our PXL Brothers from Santa Clarita, and a third by the Peter Lebeck general fund.
As for Grand Council, I can report that our band of brothers continues to grow with over 50 chapters and outposts currently in existence. Each chapter is an independent corporation, with the right under its charter to use the name, signs, symbols and style of the order. Which means that the umbrella organization, E Clampus Vitus, Inc. (sometimes referred to as Grand Council, "GC," or the Board of Proctors) , is powerless to direct the day to day working of any chapter, including Peter Lebeck.
Never the less, there are standards, and unless we live up to them we are in danger of becoming a mere party crew, and worse, being seen by the public as just a bunch of drunks. It's good to have fun, and we're famous for that, but we are at heart a service organization. Our mission is to preserve and teach history, and to do whatever other good deeds will benefit our community. We aren't the Masons or the Elks, but our reputation is no less important.
To that end I recommend that all read our long-time friend Dave Otero's inaugural speech to Grand Council. I've posted it here because it is an important perspective and provides direction for where we should be going as an organization.
That isn't to say that we are not on track, Dave says we are, and so do I.
Speaking of on track. Congratulations to Copper Queen Outpost #1915, of Yerington, Nevada, on being granted Chapter status. While it was sponsored by Julia C. Bulette of Virginia City, our Brother, XNGH Gene "Dickhead" Duncker PxP, did have something to do with it.
The story goes that once Dickhead left PXL for his new retirement home in Nevada, he went to a formation meeting for the would-be outpost. When asked if he wanted to be on the steering committee Gene politely declined, but his bladder made the mistake of ordering Gene to the men's room. By the time they both got back, Gene had been volunteered in his absence and voted unanimously into office. (One can suspect that Gene's bladder was likely in on the conspiracy and was thereafter roundly congratulated by all - - except Gene.)
But you need resources to start an outpost, and, other than red shirts, Copper Queen had very little of its own. But our Dickhead remembered that PXL had shade and kitchen equipment it could spare.
During his year as Humbug, XNGH Jim Bailey had proposed trying to lighten our kit. He donated large pop-ups which allowed us to retire the metal tubed canopies we had been using for years, and which had been donated by Gene and XNGH Joe Szot. We had also put aside a large, wheeled, multi-burner stovetop, which we had replaced with light-weight camp stoves. Add in a few surplus pot and pans, and our donation was enough to get the outpost Clamping. So check back here for details. I expect some of us will be going to Copper Queen's Charter Doin's sometime soon.
PXL also now has a steering committee made up of our Humbug and a few recent 'bugs who've been most active. The purpose is not to override the authority of the Humbug but to provide oversight, offer advice as to expenditures, and to be the Humbug's eyes and ears on the ground -- so watch where you step. My suggestion was that they be dubbed the "Magnificent Malefactors," but I think they wanted something more decorous. Seemly, for sure.
I've started to work on the pictures, which will take me a few days. Aside from what I took, we still have the good fortune of having Max Felser roaming the Doin's and shooting as well. Thank him when you see him. He's one of the good guys.
This coming Saturday, June 4, 2022, is the unofficial "Red Shirt Get-away," at the Santa Clarita Elks Lodge, 17766 Sierra Highway, Santa Clarita CA 91351. It starts at 12 noon and is open to all ECV members in good standing regardless of chapter. So come on out for an inexpensive dog and a brew, it happens every first Saturday of the month, beginning at 12 noon until about 3 p.m.
Lastly, this Monday is Memorial Day, so regardless of where you are or what you are doing, take a moment to honor the memory of those who gave their all for our country. Our freedom was hard earned and their sacrifice should never be forgotten. You may also want to take a few minutes to read this meditation on American sacrifice and the meaning of Memorial Day by Teodore Johnson, Commander, USN, Ret. Peace to all.
- - MGM
Posted 4.24.22 - - By XNGH Mike "MGM" Ramirez, CR
Sad to say, registration is now closed. If you missed it, we'll miss you, but we won't be without company. Seventy-seven guys have signed-up for our frolic so it's going to be a bit cozy. If you feel that you have been unfairly excluded (or merely were too lazy to do the right thing and sign-up by the deadline), you'll have to beg the Humbug directly because walk-ins will be turned away at the gate.
The weather is holding steady, with the highs dropping a bit on Thursday and Friday into the mid-70's. No rain is expected, though you will want to bring a jacket for evenings hovering around 50 degrees.
Saturday morning we will be having a plaque dedication and possibly an on-site "fallen veteran's" tree ceremony. All are invited and encouraged to attend as we would like to include you in the group photo.Once again, we are close enough to civilization to have cell service but far enough away to make shopping inconvenient, so plan accordingly. Gates open at noon on Thursday. For more details, read on, and see you there.
- - MGM
Posted 4.21.22 - - By XNGH Mike "MGM" Ramirez, CR
Hail, Clampers! Your favorite Cloggologist here, with an urgent reminder from our most illustrious Humbug, Ptomaine Ptimbo Gillespie. If you expect to attend next week's Doin's at Camp Hamilton, don't come unless you register by tomorrow, Friday, April 22, 2022. This is a "prepay only" event, and even if the "Czech is in the male" - or in our case, the Frenchman -- if you're not registered by Friday, expect to be turned away at the gate. So if you haven't done it yet, do it now, before it's too late. Use our handy registration form on our Spring Doin's page to get the job done, but do it pronto.
While you're there, you can also use the Spring Doin's page to download a copy of the flyer, get directions and other useful stuff.
If you have a PBC, make sure he has his presentation, bribe and a copy of the Handbook. You can download it from (you guessed it!) the Spring Doin's page, just use the link or scroll down to find it, and don't forget to read the rules. Private harassment of PBCs is prohibited (we have our own app for that).
Gates open at 12 noon on Thursday, April 28th, but remember the feed bag doesn't go on until Friday afternoon, so plan accordingly. RVs are welcome, as are burn barrels, but you'll need to use them in the designated areas. A broad, flat space adjacent to the green zone is available for parking RVs. Tents are welcome on the grass, but no vehicles or burn barrels, please! Put wheels or cinders on the grass and you can expect a Clint Eastwood look alike to show up and ask you to get off of his lawn. We're expecting about 70 Clampers this weekend, so please make your friendly acquaintance and don't hesitate to move over as needed.
Dickhead Weather Central is so far predicting good Clamping conditions. Those foolish enough to rely upon our trusty oracle should expect partly sunny skies without precipitation, with daytime highs about 80° and nighttime lows about 50°. Everybody else, dress accordingly.
PXL Doin's are BYOB. We maintain a bar with free sodas and snacks, and liquid contributions are always welcome, but the chapter does not provide alcohol. This outing we will also have the use of the Camp Hamilton "Crow Bar." You are welcome to any libations you find there, but respect tradition and either leave a tip or an in-kind donation.
Lastly, while ours is the only event scheduled during our time at Camp Hamilton, please remember that it is a veterans' memorial park. Civilians at times will be present. Please give them a wide berth and proper respect.
So come on up for a most Satisfactory time! Drive safely, and see you at the Doin's.
Posted 3.13.22 - - By Ptomaine Ptimbo Gillespie, XXNGH
What Ho, Redshirts,your Noble Grand Humbug here! Now that this virus to tire us is fading into many unpleasant memories, let's get back to doing what we do best - Plaquein' and Clampin'!
We have a bang-up (no anvils, please) get together planned for PXL's Fall 4-Day Clampout, Thursday, April 28th thru Sunday May 1, 2022. Operation Pine Cone will take place at Camp Hamilton in Bakersfield at a privately owned site dedicated to our fallen heroes. PXL already has a great presence with the Camp, having donated a bench and our plaque, and we will continue to be part of their family, helping as we can. Your PBCs will look great picking up pinecones and doing other squirrelly chores, so hook and book your candidates now. Do be aware that there may be widders or children of some of the memorialized around, so please maintain seemly decorum if you should see any of the public.
This has all of the hallmarks of a great Doin's. Our Grand Council friend whose Office Shall Remain Nameless is slated to attend, and we are getting lots of interest from the Redshirt Getaways at the Santa Clarita Elks. A goodly crowd is shaping up, so don't be a Limper, be a Clamper! We have more good stuff than you could possibly need! Live amusement with PBCs, a great place to gather, a built-in bar and more too numerous to list. Well, maybe not too numerous, I'm just lazy.
Cuisine, you ask? C'mon, man, who's driving this bus? No more of this catering baloney. You'll get authentic Ptomaine Ptimbo beans, great steaks or chicken, and a Friday night surprise meal that will make you wanna slap the Humbug. But if you do that, better make the first one count!
Since we have had some setbacks and some inactivity, we have taken the opportunity to clean out and do a lot of maintenance on the store, but we aren't ready to put it back into action yet. We will do our best to have what we can available.
All seriousness aside, let's get together and make this one for the books. Come out and make light out of what used to be only darkness. Or maybe that was my home office. Everyone has been cooped up long enough that all of y'all oughta have plenty of Clamper ready to come out. Bring whatever you have that is weird to share. We can start at noon on Thursday, so everyone ought to have their pumps primed for a good old-fashioned hoot-n-holler, have a yucca, "One more short one, please," weekend.
Having spake my piece, I now pass my scepter of authority, aka 4 lb. dead blow hammer, in benediction, wishing you a rapid, safe, and fun journey (with a sober driver) to the Clampout.
I'll be waiting for you. Click here to sign-up But hurry. It's prepay only and sign-up closes April 22nd!
Posted 2.28.22 - - By XNGH "Top" Turner, Clampcrier
Hello Fellow Red Shirts,
For all of you who "Fed the Bear" as founding members, your Charles Topping, special edition, "Bear Founder" pins are in.
You can pick yours up at the Spring Doin's, but better yet! Get your right away by joining us this Saturday, March 5th at our RED Shirt Getaway in Santa Clarita.
Yes, our informal, unofficial, monthly gathering up at the Elks in Santa Clarita is back on, and it's open to any red shirt in good standing from any ECV chapter. Were hosted by our Brethren who are members of the lodge, and admission is free.
You get the benefits of a cheap dog and a bag of chips, a brew or two and all the lies you can swap until it's time to catch up on the "honey do's." So come on up, and make sure to bring your prospective PBC so we can get a good whiff of him.
Time and Location: Santa Clarita Elks Lodge, 17766 Sierra Highway, Canyon Country, 5 March 2022, 12 Noon.
Hope to see you there.
Posted 2.22.22 - - By XNGH Mike "MGM" Ramirez, CR and XXNGH Ptomaine Ptimbo Gillespie
Hello Cloggites, welcome to Twosday,Twenty-Twenty-Tooth, and welcome back to the PXL CLOG. On behalf of Ptomaine Timbo Gillespie, our 2022 Humbug, I'd like to thank everyone who made it out to the Widders' Ball and pitched in to make it a success. Special thanks to Jeannie Johnson and Judi Hall Gillespie for their aesthetic in making our event look extra nice, and to "Top" Turner for his work organizing Friday night's pre-ball buffet.
Covid caused us to skip last year's Widders' Ball, so it was great to finally approach something akin to normal. Hopefully things will get even better as we advance into this coming Clamp year.
Our Spring Clampout is a "GO," and we're calling it "Operation Pine Cone." Starting Thursday, April 28th, we'll be gathering at Camp Hamilton in Bakersfield for our four day sleep over. So shake out your favorite blankie because we're putting together the particulars ASAP. Check back here soon for sign-up information.
XNGH Charles Topping is busy minting the various versions of his "I Fed the Bear" pins. I won't steal Top's thunder by posting the photos here, but you should peruse the March edition of the Feed the Bear newsletter to see what Charles has been up to.
Lastly, Timbo has written his opening statement for the 2022 Clamp year. He recognizes that the Covid hiatus has been a drain on the chapter and he's asking for your help. In all sincerity, he thinks we can go from being a good chapter to a great chapter. I've known Timbo for 20 years, so I think the Graybeards made an excellent choice of someone who can lead us through 2022. So without more here's Timbo in his own words.
In the immortal words of John Cleese -" Well, well, well. What's all this, then?"
Here we are in a new Clamping year, with new problems to solve and new pots of beans to eat. Most of you by now know that our Hawker has resigned and we are in need of a new one. We are also in need of a ClampChef who can uphold our high standards for nouveau Clamper cuisine.
We have many challenges to face, but nothing insurmountable. Clampers are like Weebles - we wobble a lot, but we don't fall down. Well, actually, we do now and then, but it is usually due to the influence of our patron Jack Daniel. So here's the deal - I personally don't give a damn what your politics are, and neither do your brother Clampers. If you don't like Biden, keep it to yourself. If you don't like Trump, keep it to yourself. We have always prided ourselves on being a diverse and inclusive group. Are we stifling your freedom of speech? No, we just don't want to hear it.
If you are unable to enjoy brotherhood without being in a group that thinks exactly like you do, go elsewhere. If you are so far to the left or right that you need to shout it from the mountain tops, go elsewhere. This isn't about "woke" or "cancel culture," it's about being able to assemble in a group and have good fun. We're not here for a long time, we're here for a good time, so leave the politics, vaccine opinions, and religion in your truck.
I realize that at various times over the years we (and by "we," I mean the Chapter as a whole) have pissed off one faction or another of the Chapter. The Bakersfield crew feels unloved, or the Santa Clarita batch feels they are getting the short end. Get over it. We are all good guys, and as good guys, we should all be able to work together for the good of the chapter and not segregate ourselves into factions. Try to understand each other's concerns and talk about things rather than bitching about them.
If you have a problem with the way I'm doing something or the way someone else is doing something, talk to me about it so I can resolve it. The more of this crap that festers, the harder it is to get rid of. Don't go back to Sally's or the Elks or wherever you hang out and complain. Talk to me and let's fix it.
I've been a Clamper for a long time, and I have attended or more often been part of helping make some of the most memorable Clampouts around. So I know what it takes to make it happen. And when 10% of the Clampers do all the work, we don't all have a good time. It's all about organization and having the help to make it happen. When those two click, we all have a good time and no one is running around keeping their thumb warm.
I promise you good grub and a good time, and I will bust my huevos making that happen. But I'm not going to do it all by myself. Many hands, even if they are intoxicated hands, make light work. The 15 or 20 minutes you help us setting up or tearing down make a lot of difference to us and the overall good of the Chapter.
Now, on to much more fun stuff. Our Spring Doin's is set for April 28- May 1 at Camp Hamilton in Bakersfield, so keep an eye out for the upcoming flyer. Camp Hamilton is a private camp run by MGST Glen Denton, and honors our fallen. Top Turner, Pokey, and a few others from the Chapter have already helped with improvements on the place, including a PXL bench and picnic table for those who visit. So we have a great place to Clamp, some great grub, a cheap rub, and a date to hang with your buds. Such a deal!
Guarantees are few and far between in this world, but one thing I can guarantee is that you'll have my multi-award winning beans for grub. I got out of cooking after 20-odd years, but I will be at least partially responsible for cooking at our Spring Doin's and will need help. So if you know which end of a spatula is which, please step up, all the Brothers, especially this one, will appreciate it.
The last two years have been spectacularly sh*tty for a variety of reasons, and now that we are on the other side, let's keep the momentum rolling. We have the plaque rededication at Camp Hamilton coming up, a joint plaquing with Platrix Chapter coming up, a Fall Doin's to plan - the list is as long as our ambitions. Please be a part of it, and plan to be part of getting us back to where we are doing what we are about - History, Frivolity, Fraternity. I can't be everything to everyone but I am going to bust my heinie to get this fun wagon rolling again.
I hope to see all of you that can make it to Camp Hamilton April 28 through May 1. If nothing else, come for a bowl of Timbo's Beans. It'll save you gas on the way home.
Posted 1.29.22 - - By XNGH Mike "MGM" Ramirez, CR
Just a quick post including a few reminders. Widders' Ball registration is closed and any walk-ins will be turned away at the door. The hotel needed a firm count this year so if you missed out, you'll have to wait 'til next year to party with the best.
The conclusion of our annual business meeting reconvenes at 11:00 a.m., on the morning of the Widders' Ball, in the Homewood Suites' meeting room. Since this is technically a carry-over from November's meeting, the agenda is pretty much the same, but I'm making it available here for download so everyone is clear on the discussion. We are still in need of a Clampcook, a Hawker and Hawker assistants. If you are interested, make sure you attend this meeting or contact Timbo who is the Erectus for 2022.
The January 2022 edition of the Feed the Bear newsletter is available now. I've posted it to the Proc's Page. You can get it there, but if this becomes a monthly thing as "Top" expects it to be I may have to move it to its own page.
Lastly, "Operation Pine Cone," PXL's 2022 Spring Doin's is confirmed for Thursday, April 28th through Sunday, May 1st, at Camp Hamilton in Bakersfield. That's a solid date so make sure to make arrangements. More on that soon, until then, enjoy the Ball.
- - MGM
Posted 1.13.22 - - By Dale "Top" Turner, XNGH
Brothers, here is an update on the WIDDERS BALL.
The hotel needs a head count by 0900 on 20 January. Therefore, if you intend to come to the Widders' Ball please contact me ASAP by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or text or call me at (661) 714-7203. I need to know your meal selection, Chicken, Salmon or Vegetarian, and the names of those in your party. Remember, we only have room for 80.
DO NOT DELAY. There will be NO Walk In's. Pay for the Widders' Ball by Check or Zelle. For further details download the flyer and read down into the CLOG.
Next item. Friday Night Dinner at the Broken Yolk is ON! We have met the minimum. There is still plenty of room left. Remember 20.00 CASH per person is to be paid at the door. NO CREDIT CARDS OR CHECKS.
So bring plenty of Gold Dust. Doors open at 5:00, dinner at 5:30. Think Mexican Buffet. The manager, Kerry, would like to know if there is a special kind of beer that the Clampers prefer. Let me know ASAP so I can get that request to her.
Looking forward to seeing you there. Dale "Top" Turner, XNGH CLAMP CRIER
Posted 1.4.22 - - By XNGH Mike "MGM" Ramirez, CR
Happy New Year to all, and welcome back to the PXL CLOG! We have a lot to get through - the Widders' Ball, notice of our corporate meeting, "Feed the Bear," the Clamper Getaway, and a "Thank You" from our outgoing Humbug, so let's jump right in.
Our 60th annual Widders Ball is back on again after having skipped 2021, a year that came with its own blackouts and uncertainties. But there can be few better ways to shake out the Cooties than with our annual party and dinner-dance up at the Homewood Suites in Bakersfield. And, as always, it's set for the weekend before Super Bowl, Saturday, February 5th, so no excuses. You can download the flyer here.
We are limited to 80 guests, so sign-up now to assure your registration. As usual one price covers everything. Our Hospitality Lounge opens at 3 p.m., Dinner is at 6, and Dancing and dessert start at 7:30. It's all covered by one low price including adult libations from beginning to end. Clamper couples are $80, Redshirts are $40, and all other non-Clamper guests are $45. Additional details are in the flyer.
For this event, we're foregoing Paypal, due to its excessive fees, and trying a bank transfer app called "Zelle." You can sign-up through your bank using this link. Then once you're in, Zelle lets you send money directly to our bank by texting your payment to our designated email, paypeter@ecvI866.org. You can send us money anytime, even if we didn't ask for it!
So use Zelle or send us a check. If you need to pay at the door, give Mark "Pokey" Crawford or Dale "Top" Turner a call. I've also made the flyer fillable, so after you download it, fill it out on your computer and then either print and mail it or use email to send the completed form to Top as an attachment-- but do it soon.
XNGH Jim "Bullseye" Bailey has reserved a block of minisuites for us at the Homewood at a very enticing price, and they're much less expensive than a 502. At PXL we encourage everyone never to drink and drive so why not stay over?
To reserve your room for $79 plus tax per night, you must call the hotel directly at (661) 664-0400. When you call, ask for Nicole or just say you are a Clamper coming in for the Widders' Ball. If you don't get through try calling after the morning rush. Do not make this reservation on line because you won't get the Bullseye discount.
Also, for anyone who's in town on Friday night, Top and Bullseye are hosting a private Friday Dinner just for us at the Broken Yolk Café, 3300 Buena Vista Road, Bakersfield. This will be cash only, $20.00 per person, to be paid at the door. The money collected will go directly to the Broken Yolk Staff to cover food and tips, so please DO NOT include this amount with your Widders' Ball payment. You'll also want to bring a little extra dust because adult libations are not included in the price. Top says that when we did this two years ago, everyone had a great time. The food was excellent and the drinks most satisfactory, but we need at least 20 guests to make it practical. So contact Top by phone or text at 661-714-7203, to make sure you're counted. Dress will be Clamper casual.
The conclusion of our annual business meeting reconvenes at 11:00 a.m., on the morning of the Widders' Ball, in the Homewood's meeting room. The topics will be the same as the agenda posted for the November corporate meeting. We'll be finalizing our officers for 2022, and expect to announce a firm date for the Spring Doin's, which we expect to be at Camp Hamilton near the end of April or begining of May depending on availability.
Our "Feed the Bear" campaign continues. In accord with Clamper tradition, PXL does not collect dues from its members, but voluntarily support is acceptable, and "Feed the Bear" is a way to support the chapter over and above whatever we collect at our events or what we make from the PXL Store. The yearly donation is $50, and is fully deductible. You'll even get an electronic newsletter written by the Bear, himself. You can also become a "lifetime" bear keeper for a one-time donation of $1,000.
"Uncle Mikey" Halloran was the first to generously feed the bear at that level; and since then, seven other brothers have joined him to keep the bear rolling in picnic baskets. As of December, the fund has 50 contributors in total, and for $1,000,000, we'll even let you name the bear whatever you want. (Your mother-in-law or ex-wife may not thank you after that, but we're sure they'll be using your name -- bigly).
This Saturday's "Clamper Getaway" scheduled for January 8, 2022 has been cancelled. The Santa Clarita Elks' Lodge has been closed for this entire week due to Covid19 and the flu (and yes, "Flurona" is a thing). If all goes well the Lodge will re-open on Sunday.
In normal times we are guests of the lodge every first Saturday of the month from noon until 4 pm. The beer is cold, the hot dogs are inexpensive, and the lodge features a full bar. All redshirts, regardless of chapter are welcome, and we usually number about 30 Clampers. It's a great place and time to bring your prospective PBCs so we can get a look at them and they can sample the camaraderie. Hopefully, we'll be back at the lodge in February for the next Getaway.
Our outgoing 2020 Humbug, Mark "Pokey" Crawford, wants to thank everyone for sticking with the chapter during these two years of tough Covid times. His hardest decision was to decide to do "nothing" when many Clampers were saying that the pandemic was a hoax and that we should Clamp on as usual. Pokey was even ahead of the Board of Proctors own decision to cancel Grand Council. In taking the heat our Humbug made sure his Brethren stayed safe from disease, and for that we owe him our thanks. But you just have to admit, it was a heck of a way to earn an extra "X."
Enjoy the playoffs and the Super Bowl. See you at the Ball.
Posted 11.08.21 - - By XNGH Mike "MGM" Ramirez, CR
Welcome back, Cloggites, and Happy Veterans Day. This will be a brief update. I'll have more details for you once the smoke clears from Saturday's meeting and we get closer to the Widders' Ball, but most pressing is this Saturday's work party, November 13th, at the Elk's Lodge parking lot in Santa Clarita, where we'll be cleaning out and doing an inventory on the PXL Store trailer. Our Hawker recently resigned, and now that we have the store back we need to reconnoiter. Kelvin "Dr. Klapper" Swanson has generously offered to watch over both the store and kit trailers for us, and is keeping them on his property at no expense to the chapter. You need to make sure his thirst is satiated whenever you see him. Huzzah!
The work party starts at 9 a.m., but you don't have to leave when we're done because the minimally belated Red Shirt Get Away starts at Noon. While the Get Away isn't an official PXL sanctioned event, it's hosted by XNGH Dale "Top" Turner and we are guests of our brothers who are members of Elks Lodge in Santa Clarita. All red shirts are welcome, and members from other chapters are always part of the fun. Join us for a hot dog lunch and a cold brew or two at member's prices. It's also a friendly place to bring your prospective PBC for a fair vetting. It'll take some of the frost off of his pumpkin.
Location: Santa Clarita Elks Lodge #2379 (Parking Lot)
17766 Sierra Highway, Canyon Country 91351
Date: Saturday, November 13, 2021
Time: 0900 (9AM)
Plans for our 2022 Clampyear are underway. The chapter met for its annual corporate meeting last Saturday at La Sierra Mexican Restaurant in Frazier Park to report on last year's shenanigans and to block out what needs to be done in the coming season. As expected, the chapter remains in the black, with the only major expense for the year having been the fall Doin's at Fort Tejon, which produced a surplus despite the absence of the PXL Store. As noted above, the Graybeard's have taken custody of the trailer and are sorting through issues concerning the store and its finances. They will report their progress to the membership no later than the morning of the Widders' Ball, to which time the meeting was adjourned.
XXNGH "Timbo" Gillespie was recognized as Humbug Erectus and most of his slate is complete, though he is still looking for a Damn Fool Doorkeeper, along with some other choice victims. Rumor is that volunteering will earn you points with the big Clamper upstairs, or so goes the blarney of our favorite Irish Catholic prospect. But you don't have to take his word for it, the Argentines, I'm sure, have something to say about that.
We also had an honored guest come by for our meetings. Dave "Warthog" Otero is a longtime friend of the chapter and the proctor assigned by the mother organization to liaison with PXL. He also holds the office of "Nameless" on the ECV Board of Proctors. He's not Pumba, and he's not a warm puppy, but he's the next best thing. The guys were so looking forward giving him a sniff, but it turns out Dave smells just about right. Dave assured us that the chapter is on the right track, that we're loved, and that we should keep on keeping on.
Covid left all of us disoriented, so we are so glad to finally announce that our Widders' Ball is back on this year, and Jeannie Johnson and Judi Hall-Gillespie are working hard on the details. Expect to meet up at XNGH Jim "Bullseye" Bailey's Homewood Suites in Bakersfield, on Saturday, February 5, 2022, for dinner and dancing, as we ring in the new Clampyear. For those coming into town on Friday, Top is again arranging for a Mexican Buffet dinner for anyone attending Saturday's Ball. Expect to pay about $20 for Friday dinner, but you need to RSVP ahead of time. You can email Top at email@example.com More details on both the Widders' Ball and the Friday's buffet, to come later.
Then plan for a four day Spring Doin's. We'll be Clamping out at the Camp Hamilton Memorial where our plaque to first responders will finally be publicly unveiled over the weekend. Camp Hamilton is a private park dedicated to veterans who have gone on to the Golden Hills. We'll be the guests of PXL member Master Gunnery Sergeant Glenn Denton, USMC Retired, and the Camp Hamilton Board.
Camp Hamilton is a place of both remembrance and joy, where trees have been planted to celebrate the fallen. So make sure to bring more than a dram of seemly decorum because loved ones and families are often present, especially on the weekend. This should be one of our best.
Timbo is also looking to do a summer one-day event, preferably a plaquing with an after dedication celebration. We know Noriega's is gone and out of the question. And we'd consult with our Brothers at Platrix, but they probably think Tommy's Original Hamburgers and Pink's Hot Dogs would make great alternative sites for historical plaquing. On the other hand . . . if you think really hard about it . . . and if you're hungry enough . . . .
In that vein, our Fall Doin's location is pending with several sites being considered including Walker Basin, Tehachapi and Kelso Valley. More on that later.
Our "Feed the Bear" campaign is ongoing and proving quite successful. Top reports that all 50 founding subscriptions have been sold along with several "life member" contributions at $1000 each. So much thanks to all who have pitched in so far.
Feed the Bear is a voluntary fund that provides extra dust towards the chapter's operating costs and historical projects. Contributors get a special bear pin and a hanger for their initial contribution. Members who make the yearly contribution of $50 get an additional hanger. Life members collect hangers until they leave us for the Golden Hills.
In keeping with ECV tradition, PXL never collects membership dues. The customary "Sick Jackass" fee is a small voluntary assessment to defray the costs associated with getting out the word when a Brother can't make a Doin's. Feed the Bear is a new way to help support the chapter over and above the costs of flyers, postage and the internet.
XNGH Charles Topping, who is also a master of fine arts and has won awards for his work, has begun work on our first set of Feed the Bear pins. As some of you may have heard, Charles recently spent several days in the hospital when he developed breathing issues, which, thank God, turned out not to be covid. Then, when he should have been home recuperating, he ventured out to his driveway where he was mercilessly attacked by a skullduggerous trash receptacle. They say the ones in Kernville are particularly vicious. But our man emerged victorious, sore, but on the mend. Send prayers his way.
We'll be in touch. More later.
- - MGM
Posted 10.15.21 - - By XNGH Mike "MGM" Ramirez, CR
Hello Cloggites. We have a quick update, but first an urgent correction! The date of our annual corporate meeting has been moved up to Saturday, November 6, 2021, 10:00 a.m., at La Sierra Mexican Restaurant, 3500 Mt Pinos Way, Frazier Park, CA 93225, where we'll be wrapping up the year and presenting plans for 2022. So don't show up on November 20th or you'll be two weeks too late and you'll have to thaw your enchiladas in the microwave. Also don't bother showing up to the monthly Red Shirt Getaway. It's been cancelled. We'll all be up in Frazier Park.
Prior to the general meeting, the Graybeards will be sequestered in executive session at 9:00 a.m. to discuss urgent matters concerning the PXL Store, Chapter Operations and Finance, so don't get your skivvies in a bunch if you show up early and have to eat your chiles rellenos in the main dining room. After the Graybeards have hashed it out in private, the Humbug will explain it all to you at the general meeting. The one thing I can tell you right now is that if you think you have what it takes to manage PXL, the Graybeards want to give you a chance to prove yourself by learning the ins and outs of the chapter. So don't be shy about offering to pitch in.
Dale "Top" Turner's yearly "Feed the Bear" campaign has proven most successful. The proceeds are earmarked 100% to support the chapter's charitable activities, and its first year's offering was limited to 50 founding members. That was until several of our Brothers most generously fed the bear by creating and pitching in for lifetime memberships. So thanks to everyone who contributed in support of Peter Lebeck. "Top's" efforts so far have raised over $7,000, with more to come.
Any Clamper who Feeds the Bear will get a special pin designed by XNGH Charles Topping, whose sculpted designs have won awards throughout Clamperdom. Feed the Bear once and get the pin, then get a hanger for every year you feed the bear thereafter. Life members get a hanger every year until they are called to the Golden Hills.
As of now the initial offering is sold out. But Feed the Bear is an ongoing way to support the chapter and will be open to any Brother who cares to contribute in the future.
Lastly, all the photos from the Fall Doin's have been posted on Peter's Picture Pages. Much thanks to Max "The Flash" Felser for his contribution of 200 photos. Max is always there with his camera, and the chapter is lucky to have him. It's guys like Max that help make the chapter a success.
- - MGM
Posted 9.25.21 and Amended 10.15.21 - - By XNGH Mike "MGM" Ramirez, CR
So, where are we now? Out of the wilderness Cloggites, I say, and glad to be back! The scourge of Covid has not yet fully passed, but at least things are getting better, and we were finally able to put on a real Clampout after a two year hiatus. It's hard to believe that our last overnight outing was in the fall of 2019. But when you get wopped upside the head by a deadly disease and you have to lay low for a spell to avoid killing your brothers, you should consider it a timely investment.
Still, you all deserve an explanation, so excuse me while I take this opportunity to fill you in on what's been happening.
This past weekend we put on our first Clampout since our most satisfactory outing to Indian Hill Ranch in September 2019. Our current meeting up at Fort Tejon ran from Thursday through Sunday last, and we had about 65 prepays, including eight PBCs who were all successfully taken in. The brothers were most impressed by the new guys, who all showed most satisfactory humor and fraternal spirit. In fact we never were able to wipe the smiles off of their faces. So congratulations to Steve Brandriff, Wayne Edwards, Tito Galván, James McKenna, Tyler Nelson, Mike Scorsone, Eddie Turner, and Scott Turner. Check out the weekend's photos, and see for yourself.
Obviously the website is showing its age and needs a lot of work, but one thing at a time, OK?
Things have changed a lot (DUH!), but it isn't just because of Covid. The entire state is plagued by drought, and fire is everywhere. Even the fort hasn't been spared. The hillside facing old Tejon showed charring from a recent fire at the top of Grapevine Pass, and the once beautiful lawns are entirely gone because water can't be spared. The drought may even have limited our attendance. Rigs over 25 feet were nixed by the park, open fires were prohibited, and vehicles were parked face out in case of evacuation. And for the first time in our history, our Saturday night dinner was CATERED, because we had to leave our barbeque at home. But that didn't keep us from having a good time; in fact it was most Satisfactory! (Everybody did as they were told, so nobody got hurt. :-) )
Nevertheless adjustments have to be made, and here's what's happening. By consensus of all Graybeards present, XXNGH Timbo Gillespie is expected to be officially named Humbug Erectus when we meet for our annual business meeting in November. Our current Humbug, "Pokey" Crawford, is completing a second year as Humbug due to the Covid emergency, and is looking forward to his time as salmon jerky. While our Vice Humbug, who also served as our Hawker, has left the building and isn't expected back anytime soon.
Obviously we'll need to rearrange the deck chairs a bit, which is why the Graybeards tapped Timbo to steer us through next year. The Graybeards also recognized that limiting Gold Dust Receiver and Grand Noble Recorder to one year terms has left us vulnerable to spotty record keeping and weak follow-up, particularly as to the store. Our federal and state tax exemptions require that we be able to show that everything we do is in keeping with our charitable status. Failure to show how our money is spent, and spent in the right way, can get our charitable status punched, and that would be bye-bye PXL. Consequently GDR and GNR will likely become exempt from the yearly rolling over, at least by agreement of our incoming Humbugs. Formal changes to our bylaws can be made later if need be.
As for Clamping, here's how our chapter has been affected since the start of 2019. The possibility of a Clamp Okihi IV, is gone. The park was severely vandalized during Covid and the county has given up on the site; and if it hasn't been sold, it will be sold soon. Okihi was where we celebrated our Charter Doin's in 1962, and those of us who grew up in Bakersfield remember it from scouting days. It will be missed.
Our plans to plaque the Noriega Hotel, along with a summer family get together, also went away due to Covid. Noriega's had been established over 120 years ago as a Bakersfield boarding house hosting Basque immigrants, many of whom were here to work the sheep. In recent years Noriega's was known as a restaurant serving family style meals boarding house style, complete with carafes of red wine, to over a 100 diners at a time. But Noriega's is no more, another victim of Covid. Our Humbug has the plaque, but now we have no place to put it. There was even talk of a guerilla installation…but, well, we don't do that (and even if we did, I'd have to deny it).
Indian Hill Campground in Tehachapi, also changed hands, and became a religious retreat. I know many of us were impressed with the amenities afforded there, including a pond, shade, electricity and flush toilets. Going back isn't totally out of the questions, but we'll likely need some extra strength knee pads to wangle our way in.
Then there is Camp Hamilton, where we had planned to Clamp in the Spring of 2020. As explained in a prior post, Camp Hamilton is a private park near Bakersfield dedicated to the memory of veterans who have gone on to the Golden Hills, and a most suitable place to plaque. Despite the cancellation of our Spring '20 Doin's, our NGH, "Pokey" Crawford, was still intent on completing our onsite work. Observing social distancing (mostly) near the begining of the pandemic, ten of our veteran brothers plaqued the site, and also added a spiffy new red and black picnic bench in honor of the fallen, complete with a concrete pad. We'll be going back there for our 2022 Spring Clampout, when we'll complete the public dedication.
Also in February 2020, as Covid was just getting started, we jointly erected a monument with our brothers at Platrix, in Platrix Territory, to commemorate Acton's pioneer cemetery; followed up by invading Acton's '49er Saloon to declare it an official ECV watering hole.
It was good to work together again. Overtime, the cultures of both chapters have converged. Though I can't say that PXL ever had any rocket scientist or movie stars, or Platrix any drillers, the membership of both chapters have become a better fit so much so that many of the guys would like to establish a stronger bond with what should be our natural ally. PXL was actually carved out of Platrix #2 territory back in the early '60's, but because we were sponsored by Fresno's "Jim Savage" Chapter, Platrix never reserved the right to Clamp in Kern County. Los Angeles and Orange Counties were very different places back in the 60's, so I'm sure that the idea of needing to clamp in Kern must have seemed fluff. But as those open fields in L.A. and Orange disappeared, Platrix was forced to look elsewhere, and that led to some misunderstandings, and even a "lawsuit," where Grand Council found that Platrix had encroached on our territory and awarded PXL $18.66.
Since then, Platrix has made sincere efforts to treat us with respect. In recent years, we've been consistently petitioned and suitably bribed to Clamp in our domain. And in 2012, Platrix even split the substantial cost of refurbishing our monument up on Walker Pass, which back in 1963, had been a joint project of both chapters.
Then, this last year, Platrix lost its Clampsite at the Loop near Keene in Kern County. The property had belonged to a member, but when the Clampsite changed hands, Platrix found its Clamping privileges revoked forever. Harsh as that was it affords PXL a chance to show that we do value the bonds of brotherhood. A joint doin's may be in order, possibly as soon as 2022.
We also lost some long time members to the Golden Hills, including XNGH Keith "Keifers" Fraser, who was our Humbug in 2004. Andrew "Stagecoach" Vialpando, who suffered a heart attack at too young an age. Tony Weaver who played Santa Claus every year for the kiddies (even though he was Jewish), and Steve "Stevo" St. John, who was another one of our boys from Ventura. They each administered the staff of relief in fair measure, and we shall miss their hail, until we meet again.
On a cheerier note, XNGH Dale "Top" Turner has resumed hosting the "Red Shirt Getaway," the first Saturday of each month, at 12 noon, at the Elks' Lodge in Newhall. This is an informal, non-chapter sponsored event, and we are guests of our ECV brothers who belong to the lodge. All Clampers and their prospective PBCs are welcome to join us for an inexpensive dog, chips and a cold brew or two. The draw is typically about thirty guys from multiple chapters. It's a great way to decompress and to swap ideas; and you'll be home way before dinner. Santa Clarita Elks Lodge #2379 located at 17766 Sierra Highway, Canyon Country 91351.
The Graybeards have also approved the establishment of a new way to help sustain the chapter called, "Feed the Bear." The inaugural issue is limited to the first 50 members who contribute. It costs $50 to join, and you'll receive an exclusive Charles Topping designed bronze investment cast pin designating you a "Founding Member." Subsequent voluntary contributions will get you a yearly hanger, or a pin and a hanger if you join later. The monies will be set aside to help with costs associated with putting on PXL's Doin's and help shift other revenues to pay for plaques, monuments and associated literature.
Any redshirt can sign-on, but only ten inaugural slots remain. If you are interested, contact Top at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at (661) 714-7203, before this opportunity closes out for 2021.
Also did you know that our current Grand Noble Recorder is also a newspaper publisher? Mark "Scoop" Mutz has been publishing the monthly independent "The Fence Post" for a number of years. With the September edition he's up to number 464. The emphasis is on local and California history, so it's definitely worth a read. You can do that on line at http://www.fencepostpaper.com/, or just be a mensch and subscribe.
Penultimately! (that means next to last), we have a new post office box: Peter Lebeck ECV#1866, P.O. Box 14, Caliente, CA . 93518-0014.
And finally, we have an important correction! Our annual corporate meeting set for Saturday, November 6, 2021, 10:00 a.m., at La Sierra Mexican Restaurant, 3500 Mt Pinos Way, Frazier Park, CA 93225. The agenda is pending, so check the CLOG for updates. La Sierra is an official PXL ECV watering hole. Get there early and bring your appetite. I highly recommend the chiles rellenos. SELLAH!
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Have submissions, errata, or simply want to punch a cyber-geeks for plastering your mug across the internet? Click here or contact the Brothers listed below. And don't forget, you can also join us electronically on Facebook. The Peter's Board service has been suspended for now due to Russian Bots pretending to be hot Nikitas trying to get into our pants and those Nigerian Princes looking to make us all rich. But no one goes away unappeased at PXL. We've put the Nikitas in touch with the Princes. They can work things out for themselves.
We are always looking for good things to add to this site, and for contribution from our members to Peter's Procs, our official chapter news letter. Active members receive the Procs by snail mail along with notices of upcoming events. If it's of interest to you, it may be good enough for us so don't be shy and send it to:
Clamp Crier Dale "Top" Turner, XNGH Clampcrier@ecv1866.org
Have photos, comments or stories about a Clamper event you've attended? The PXL website is looking for pictures and comments to add to our site. Our events will be given priority for posting, but since many of us make it around Clamperdom let's make our presence known. Send your comment and digital photos with descriptions to our CyberRecorder-in-Chief:
Posting is restricted to the limits of good taste (though we've been accused of not having any), and to Grand Council Rules. Contact us if you have hard copy worth posting but needs to be scanned for the internet.
For more information contact:
Al "The Quack" Price, XNGH (661) 867-2414 or email@example.com
Kelvin "Dr. Klapper" Swanson, VNGH (661) 252-9443 or KSwanson4@socal.rr.com
"Ptomaine Timbo" Gillespie, XXXNGH, Clampatriarch (714) 936-8650 or Timbodid@yahoo.com
Mike "MGM" Ramirez-Mares, Cyberrecorder (818) 517-8781 or Cyberrecorder@ECV1866.org