Peter Lebeck Chapter #1866

The Kern County Chapter of E Clampus Vitus ®
Like Us on Facebook!

What You Need to Know

The ECV Glossary according to Peter Lebeck

If you're a longtime Clamper, you already know this stuff. If you're new, here's your chance to brush-up. And if you are a curious potential candidate for receipt of the signs and symbols of our ancient and honorable order, you really want to study this stuff. The entries on "Poor Blind Candidate," "Hangman," "Vigilante," "History Lesson," Graybeards' Examination and Historical Presentation," "Hall of Comparative Ovations,"PXL," and "Bribe," are good places to start, especially if you are about to become a PBC.

Scroll, or click on any flashing lettered tabs above to go down.
Click on any Clamper term to come back up. Enjoy.

ECV Glossary

  • 1866Our chapter's number and the year of Kern County's incorporation. It is not the year that Peter Lebeck met both the bear and his maker. That happened on October 17, 1837.
  • Adam Lee MooreAn ex-Humbug of the Balaam Lodge, of the Sierra City, California chapter under the old dispensation, Adam is considered the honored Clampatriarch of the modern order. Carl Wheat met Adam some ten years into the 1930's revival of ECV, and it was Adam who provided many of the missing details that connect us to the 19th Century order including the ritual of the Hall of Comparative Ovations. Adam lived a satisfactory life into his 90's and was a committed Clamper until the end.
  • And So Recorded!The response shouted by a Grand Noble Recorder whenever ECV Brethren proclaim something to be “Satisfactory!” See "Satisfactory!" below.
  • Big SlipperyDenotes a time when hard liquor is made available by the chapter at a Clamper function. See "Slippery Gulch Saloon, below."
  • BlunderbusketFlintlock long gun ported by one of the Damfool Doorkeepers during the Hall of Comparative Ovations.
  • Board of ProctorsThese fifteen XNGHs from throughout Clamperdom comprise the Board of Directors of the "Ancient and Honorable Order of E Clampus Vitus, Incorporated," the umbrella organization under which all chapters operate. The board is led by its three "Sublime" officers: the Sublime Nobel Grand Humbug, the "Nameless" and the Sublime Grand Nobel Recorder. Each is appointed to a one year term as a Sublime Officer but once those duties are over they remain on the board until their terms as proctors are completed. All proctors are appointed to five year terms with two term limits and serve as unpaid volunteers. No two proctors from the same chapter may serve simultaneously. Proctors spotted at a Doin's are to be treated with respect, not just for their service to Clamperdom, but because part of their job is to ensure that each chapter is being run for the benefit of the order and in a way that will not endanger the future of Clamperdom.
  • Braying JackassThe miner and his braying jackass are a symbol and registered trademark of E Clampus Vitus, Inc., and may not be used without its consent. Chapters in good standing are allowed to use the Braying Jackass and other ECV trademarks without prior express permission.
  • BribeAt PXL, an offering made by a Poor Blind Candidate during his Greybeards' Examination. It is usually in the form of liquid refreshment of sufficient size and proof to satisfy the examiners and those in attendance. Would be PBCs should consider well the signifficance of this gift.
  • Candlelight InitiationA form of initiation into ECV reserved for old timers and those with disabilities that would further endanger their health should they attempt the rigors of a chapter's typical initiation.
  • Carl Wheat, Ezra Dane and Leon WhitsellThe three prominent business men who were responsible for the revival of E Clampus Vitus in the 1930's.
  • CARPThe semiofficial organization of Clamper Hawkers. It meets annually prior to the Beanfeed in Auburn. New Members must be sponsored by a CARP member in good standing, and all members are expected to barter in good faith and at cost so that a member's home chapter gets the benefit of new items without excessive mark-ups.
  • ClampatriarchThe most senior XNGH in a Chapter or the immediate past XNGH, depending on a chapter customs. He is also the most senior member of the ritual team.
  • ClamperA member, standing or not, of the Ancient and Honorable order of E Clampus Vitus; a "Red Shirt;" an ECV Officer of Equal Indignity.
  • ClamplaqueroSenior X-Proctor or X-Sublime Noble Grand Humbug appointed by the Board of Proctors to record all the historical plaques erected by the chapters of E Clampus Vitus. His responsbilities also include periodically publishing a book of Clamper Plaques.
  • ClampoutAn overnight trek into the wilderness by Clampers to contemplate nature and to give their Widders a break.
  • Clamps HostrixAt PXL, the funtionary who acts as site manager during a Clampout, stocks the libations center and makes sure that it is responsibly tended throughout the Doin's.
  • Clamps MatrixMember of the Ritual Team.
  • Clamps PetrixMember of the Ritual Team.
  • Clamps VitrixMember of the Ritual Team.
  • C.Q.A.See "Credo Quia Absurdum," below.
  • Credo Quia AbsurdumThe Order’s creed — “I believe because it is absurd.” Even though life doesn't always make sense, Clampers have faith that thing will work out in the end. On a practical level, Credo Quia Absurdum is often expressed through humor and the way we make fun of ourselves. Clamper regalia is one example, as is the occasional choice of cheeky things to plaque. Often shortened to "C.Q.A."
  • CyberrecorderFunctionary who maintains a chapter's website, Facebook page, email or other presence on the internet.
  • Cyber-Whang!The presence of Clampers in Cyberspace. It is not an organized or recognized entity or chapter, nor is it sanctioned, copyrighted, or in any way officially anything. The name was coined by Dave Holmes, XNGH of Chapter 1.5, to describe activities on his ECV oriented AOL bulletin board in 6001, it has since become a shorthand expression for Clampers on the internet.
  • Damnfool DoorkeepersDuring an initiation, the two Sergeants-at-Arms who preserve order within the Hall of Comparative Ovations. During the ritual, one bears the Blunderbusket and other the Sword of Justice Tempered with Mercy. At Clamper meetings they yell, "This is Serious Shit!" when the Brethren become unruly during important announcements. At PXL, the Damnfool Doorkeeper also serves as assistant to the Grand Noble Recorder, particularly at check-in.
  • Doin’sAny Clamper function.
  • E Clampus Vitus A historical drinking society or a drinking historical society. Take your pick. You'll be half right.
  • ECV GazetteWebsite with all things Clamper.
  • ErectionIt refers to the construction of a concrete or stone monument embedded with an historical plaque, or to the monument itself. You can't be a Clamper without an erection because, "If you ain't plaquing, you ain't Clamping."
  • Some days you eat the bear...what happens on other days?
  • G.D.R.See "Gold Dust Receiver," below. The chapter's treasurer and one of its three corporate officers, the others being the Grand Noble Recorder and the Noble Grand Humbug.
  • G.N.R.Grand Noble Recorder. The chapter's secretary and one of its three corporate officers, the others being the Gold Dust Receiver and Noble Grand Humbug; also a member of the ritual team.
  • Gold Dust ReceiverOften referred to as the "G.D.R.," the Gold Dust Receiver is the chapter's treasurer and one of its three corporate officers; the others being the Grand Noble Recorder and the Noble Grand Humbug. At PXL, the most recent past Humbug accepts the role of Gold Dust Receiver during his Clampatriarcal year and supervises an "Assistant Gold Dust Receiver," who does the principal work. This provides the chapter two levels of security, and also helps the Assitant GDR learn the chapter's finances in anticipation of his own turn as Humbug.
  • Golden Hills, also Silver Hills When a Clamper passes away, he is said to have begun his journey through the "Golden Hills." Nevada chapters often call it the "Silver Hills," because silver mining was prominent in Nevada after the Gold Rush in California.
  • Grand CouncilComprised of all current and former Noble Grand Humbugs from all the ECV chapters. They are the stakeholders in the mother corporation, "E Clampus Vitus, Inc." and must meet at least once a year as required by law. The council typically meets the weekend before Memorial Day, in Sonora, California, where each chapter reports on its progress, grievances are hashed out by the Board of Proctors, and the Proctors announce changes for the year, including the appointment of the new Sublime officers.
  • Grand MusicianPlayer of the Horrendous Hewgag; member of the ritual team.
  • Grand Noble RecorderOften referred to as the "G.N.R.," the Grand Noble Recorder is the chapter's secretary and one of its three corporate officers; he's also a member of the ritual team.
  • GreybeardA Humbug or former Humbug; in some chapters this includes other current chapter officers. See Humbug.
  • Graybeards' Examination and Historical Presentation In some chapters a committee of Graybeards will make a formal inquiry as to the suitability of a PBC often occuring in full view of the assembled brethren. Led by the Humbug and his designees, a suitable "bribe" is expected from each candidate to help lubricate the proceedings and to impress the attendant brethren. Some chapters also require that each PBC present a brief "historical presentation," preferably about the chapter's protectorate where the candidate seeks relief. The best examinations are memorable for their display of wit, creativity, historical enlightenment and, sometimes, outright shameless lies. It is also the first chance for the brothers as a group to get a good look at those who aspire to become red shirts. (cf. "History Lesson.")
  • Hall of Comparative OvationsThe sacred space where the Brethren gather to take in PBCs, and where the ritual of initiation is performed. The ritual itself is also referred to as "the Hall," and sometimes the "HoCo," for short. The details of the ritual are top secret. We'd tell you but then we'd have to commit suicide and there'd be no left to update the web pages. So we won't.
  • HangmanECV functionary in charge of all Poor Blind Candidates from the time they arrive to the time they are either ostracized from the Doin's or successfully complete the Hall of Comparative Ovations. The Hangman has two diametrically opposed tasks: to torment the heck out of his PBCs and to keep them from dropping dead. A good Hangman and his posse spend their time testing the humor and mettle of the PBCs until the Hangman is certain that each candidate is worthy of admission to the Hall. A good Hangman ensures that all PBCs perform their assigned tasks correctly. He is also responsible for protecting PBCs from the elements (mostly heat), flora (mostly poison ivy), fauna (hopefully not Mojave Greens), and over exuberant brothers (mostly, well..., you know). All PXL initiations are conducted in "clean fashion," so as to avoid the need to burn perfectly blameless recyclable clothing; and done according to Grand Council Rules, which forbids abusive behavior that might endanger a candidate's wellbeing. Other than that, "Watch out!" (See "Vigliante" and "Poor Blind Candidate").
  • HawkerClamper who runs the Chapter store, selling patches, pins, shirts and other Clamper regalia. The best Hawkers are itinerant souls who travel the breath of Clamperdom to collect gold dust for their chapters from other Clampers.
  • Hawk TackleA Hawker's assitant. Good tackles ensure that browsing red shirts never go away empty handed nor leave without deposting dust into the Hawker's purse.
  • History LessonAt Peter Lebeck all PBCs are given an introduction into the history of our order and chapter, along with a general overview of present day Clamperdom. Since admission into one chapter makes a former PBC a Clamper for all purposes, an overview of ECV is important because membership in PXL entitles the new brother to attend Clamper functions worldwide --even on the moon. By Grand Council decree all PBCs must receive a history lesson along these lines, but both style and content varies by chapter so when visiting elsewhere it is often worthwhile to listen in.
  • Horrendous HewgagA horn which is sounded by the Grand Musician to summon Clampers to the Hall of Comparative Ovations for the initiation of PBCs.
  • Leather MedalWorn by the Noble Grand Humbug during the initiation.
  • Little SlipperyDenotes a time when beer and sometimes wine - - but not hard liquor - - are made available by the chapter at a Clamper function. See "Slippery Gulch Saloon."
  • MottoPER CARITATE VIDUARIBUS, ORPHANIBUSQUE, SED PRIME VIDUARIBUS - For the benefit of widows and orphans, but more especially of widows.
  • Some days you eat the bear...what happens on other days?
  • N.G.H.Noble Grand Humbug. ECV officer who functions as the Chapter's President; member of the ritual team. See "Noble Grand Humbug," below.
  • Noble Grand HumbugAt PXL, the chapter's president and one of its three corporate officers. The Humbug is the chapter's chief executive officer and ultimately responsible for all decisions made on behalf of the chapter. Some of his duties include representing the chapter at Grand Council, supervising all Doin's and Clampouts, and deciding any changes to their times and locations should they become necesary. He also looks after the other functionaries to make sure their work is coming along in due course and good order. While a good Humbug always look to his Board of Graybeards for counsel, they picked him and can only remove him during his term for cause. Humbugs at PXL serve for one year and are usually quite happy to "pass it on to the next brother."
  • Noble Grand Humbug ErectusThe Board of Graybeards' designee to succeed the current Noble Grand Humbug. At PXL this will often be the serving Vice Noble Grand Humbug assuming his ascendance to high office is approved by the Board of Graybeards at its end of season meeting in November. Prospective Humbugs are expected to have plans for their Clampyear, with two Clampouts and a plaquing at a minimum, along with a list of proposed officers and functionaries. Final ratification is made in January, at the end of PXL's fiscal year, when this poor wretched soul will be passed the Staff of Relief at the Widders' Ball.
  • Old Timer’s MuseumLocated in Murphys, California, this museum holds an impressive collection of Clamper memorabilia along with many local artifacts dating back to the time of the Gold Rush. Housed in the Thompson Building, which itself is a relic, having survived three fires that ravaged Murphys in its earlier days, the museum hosts ECV's "Wall of Comparative Ovations," which celebrates many of our Clamper Clampatriarchs.
  • OrphanLiterally, children left without parents. In ECV parlance a dependent child left without a father, and more loosely, any underage boy or girl, as in, "Did you leave your widder and orphans at home?"
  • P.B.C. A "Poor Blind Candidate," someone in the process of being "taken in."
  • Peter LebeckThe namesake of the Peter Lebeck Chapter #1866 of E Clampus Vitus. Little is known about Peter though it is said that he was a "piss poor bear wrassler," who never figured out what would happened on days that you didn't get to eat the bear. It is often speculated that he was a an unlucky French trapper who came upon an "X" bear in Grapevine Canyon on October 17, 1837, and did not survive the fight. Peter was laid to rest under an oak tree, where he remains today, at the present site of California's Fort Tejon State Historic Park.
  • Peter’s ProcsThe official newsletter of the Peter Lebeck Chapter of E Clampus Vitus, which is typically published three times a year, once before each scheduled overnight Doin's and again before the Widder's Ball. The Procs is mailed to brothers who have recently attended a major Doin's or who have donated to the Sick Jackass, but the Procs is always made available for free online and by email on request.
  • Poor Blind CandidateAlso known as a "P.B.C.," a Poor Blind Candidate may gain membership in E Clampus Vitus, but only if he can show - - by surviving the dreaded ordeal - - that he is worthy of entering the Hall of Comparative Ovations to face its final tests.

    No man joins ECV, but when properly hornswaggled he may be "taken in." It requires that he have a sponsor willing to stake his red shirt that his candidate is worthy, and the PBC must have the mettle to face the hard work and humiliation he must endure to show that he has what it takes to be invited into the Hall.

    Candidacy is only possible for men 21 and older. The initiation may take as little as a single afternoon or it may last as long as three days. A successful candidate may emerge from his ordeal relatively clean or find himself filthy and soaking wet. It all depends on the customs of the chapter.

    No matter how this finally plays out, it is the sponsoring brother's responsibility to making sure that his PBC is fully aware of what his candidate is in for - - for the Hangman and his Vigilantes have been instructed by the Humbug that upon finding a group of suitable PBCs they are to, "Let the Clamp B__rds have it!"

    Above all a PBC should be someone with a good sense of humor, slow to anger, with a generous spirit, and a penchant for camaraderie of the male sort. At PXL he is expected to recite a short historical presentation with a true (or hilariously suspect) factual basis, and present a suitable liquid "bribe" to the examining Graybeards and the Brethren in attendance. A PBC can expect that the fun will be at his own expense, which is something for a man to seriously consider before accepting the challenge because no one wants to party with a mean drunk.

    Health and advancing age is generally not an issue. So long as a PBC discloses what might keep him from performing normal physical activities, the Hangman will make adjustments to ensure that the PBC has a fair chance of completing his initiation successfully. (See "Graybeards Examination and Historical Presentation," "red shirt.")

  • ProctorSee "Board of Proctors," above.
  • PXLPronounced PEE-EX-EL, it is shorthand for "The Peter Lebeck Chapter 1866 of E Clampus Vitus." This style comes from the letters carved on an oak tree in 1837 to mark where Peter Lebeck was buried, and the "X" is believed to represent the bear that sent Peter to his demise. Grizzly bears were still around in 1837, and the fur on their backs often formed an "X" shape during certain times of the year. Peter's grave and the tree are located in Grapevine Canyon in what is now Fort Tejon State Historic Park. Fort Tejon was a pre-civil war U.S. Army base established in 1854, which remained an active military installation for about ten years. The State of California has restored several of the old buildings, maintains the parade grounds, an ample campground and a small interpretive museum where you can see Peter's original wooden grave marker and other 19th century artifacts. The park also has a very active historical association and is a favorite of civil war reenactors.
  • Red ShirtA member of E Clampus Vitus. A red shirt must be earned by surviving the ordeal and completing the ritual Hall of Comparative Ovations. No PBC is permitted to wear red or black during his initiation, and any sponsoring brother who submits a candidate without proper inspection will be delt with accordingly.
  • Roisterous IscutisThe Order's designated unruly farmer; the member of the ritual team who's primary function is to test all PBC’s with his reaping hook.
  • Royal PlatrixRoyal Surgeon of the Order; member of the ritual team whos primary function is to tend to PBCs after testing by the Roisteous Iscutis.
  • Saint VitusThe Patron Saint of E Clampus Vitus, idiots, actors, epileptics, ....
  • Satisfactory!The shouted reply of approval by Clampers to the query “What sayeth the brethren?” A Clamper superlative of the highest order showing that the brother approves of a condition, thing or proposition. If something would otherwise be described as "good," "great" or "well done," a Clamper would say or write that it is "Satisfactory," with the degree of excellence only denoted by the tenor and loudness of his voice or the context of his writing.
  • Seemly DecorumA call to come to order, also to act in a way that would be deserving of respect in public. Clampers who are loud, slovenly drunk or who are spitting, farting or cussing are NOT in "seemly decorum." Seemly decorum is always expected from Clampers at public dedications, and when they appear in Clamper regalia in public.
  • Serious ShitA call to order, also any item of particular or unparticular interest to a Clamper. As in, "Hey! This is some serious shit!" It is not a reference to marijuana.
  • Silver HillsSee "Golden Hills," above.
  • Slippery Gulch Saloon"Slipperies" are bars, beer trucks and other ways that a chapter might furnish alcohol at a Doin's. A "little slippery" refers to beer and wine. A "big slippery" includes hard liquor. Due to state licensing requirements, a chapter never sells alcohol at a Doin's, though it may be furnished to paid attendees when permitted by law. Due to potential civil liability and the high cost of the extra insurance that hosting a slippery requires, many chapters - - including PXL - - no longer host slipperies. If you want adult libations, you need to bring your own, plus enough to share if you want to pass it on to the next brother. If that sounds harsh, it's not. AT PXL that form of camaraderie has never been a problem.
  • SNGHSublime Noble Grand Humbug.
  • Staff of ReliefThe noble symbol of the Order, which every Clamper must be able to use in the relief of widows and orphans, and sometimes other Clampers.
  • Sublime Noble Grand HumbugThe head Clamper of All Clamperdom. Presiding officer of the Grand Council of E Clampus Vitus, and titular head of the fifteen Proctors; who together with the Sublime, function as ECV's board of directors.
  • Sword of Justice Tempered with MercyGiant sword held by one of the Damnfool Doorkeepers during the initiation ceremony.
  • Some days you eat the bear...what happens on other days?
  • The NamelessOf the three principal corporate officers that preside over the mother organization, his office is the only one with no name. In normal course the brother holding this office might be called the "Sublime Vice Noble Grand Humbug," but since there is no "vice" in E Clampus Vitus, his office can only referred to as "The Nameless."
  • The X BearWinner of the most ignominious wrasslin' contest of 1837: "Bear 1 - Lebeck 0." It is said that Lebeck knew going in that on only some days you get to eat the bear. He was a bit unclear on what was suppose to happen on the other days. See "PXL," above.
  • The Flatlander NuggetA now defunct Clamper newspaper that advertised events around Clamperdom, along with articles of interest to Clampers about history and Clamper shenanigans. The Flatlander Nugget has been succeeded by the Flatlander II, which publishes monthly and can be subscribed to for $25 a year.
  • TRASHThe "Transierra Roisterous Alliance of Senior Humbugs," is an association of Humbugs and ex-Humbugs that exists for the purpose of advancing knowledge of western history within Clamperdom. TRASH conducts an annual tour, called a TREK, which illuminates some aspect or theme that resounds in western history. TRASH TREKS typically occur in the summer, and are the product of careful planning and research by the TRASH leader - - also known as the "Chief Litterbug." He is responsible for documenting the historical significance of the sites included in his TREK, including the publication of a book explaining the history behind each stop along the way. To become full-fledged members, Graybeards who want to join must be sponsored and should expect to be initiated during their first TREK.
  • Vice Noble Grand HumbugAn ECV officer who functions as the Chapter Vice President. Inquires after Humbug’s health.
  • VigilantesTitle used by some chapters for the Hangman's assistants. Each chapter has its own traditions as to name and dress. Some chapter call them "501's." At a PXL initiation you can spot the Hangman and his "posse" of vigilantes by their distinctive black and white costumes as opposed to the common red shirts and blue denim of the day. PXL vigilantes often wear full-length white coats, as if ready to mount up and hunt down their prey. Vigilantes remain part of the ritual team through the Hall of Comparative Ovations (see Hangman).
  • Wall of Comparative OvationsLocated on the west exterior wall of the Thompson building in Murphys, California, it displays numerous plaques commemorating notable members of E Clampus Vitus. See also, "Old Timers Museum," above.
  • What say the Brethren?A query posed to the brothers asking for their approval or disapproval. A brother who approves or offers his assent is expect to shout, "Satisfactory!"
  • Widders' Ball and Demotion DinnerMost chapters have a Widders' Ball where the Brethren fête their wives, girlfriends or significant others with an annual semi-formal dinner-dance. Period dress is encouraged to add to the fun, and non-Clampers are usually welcome to experience the chapter's camaraderie. Most chapters also have an annual event to change out their officers. At Peter Lebeck these two functions are combined as a "Widders' Ball and Demotion Dinner" at the end of January corresponding with the beginning of our Clamp Year. Clampers from other chapters are always welcome, and members are encoraged to bring their friends, especially Widders who are looking to get their men out of the house that would make good chapter prospects.
  • Widow or sometimes "Widder"A Clamper’s wife, girlfriend or both; any member of the fair sex who is comforted by a Clamper.
  • XNGHex Noble Grand Humbug; a greybeard.
  • XSNGHex Sublime Noble Grand Humbug.
Click Here to Visit Peter's Board
Some days you eat the bear...what happens on other days?
The Ancient and Honorable Order of E Clampus Vitus®