Peter Lebeck Chapter #1866

The Kern County Chapter of E Clampus Vitus ®
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Kern County Chapter of E Clampus Vitus ®

Cool Ride?

Post Fall Doin's 2012


Posted - 10.2.12

Someone's gotta do something about MGM's shirt before it falls off!

To everyone who came out to PXL's Clamp Okihi, our brotherly thanks for making our Fall Doin's a nearly unqualified success. I say "nearly unqualified" because I took over 400 photographs and it's gonna take me at least a couple of days to sort out all the ugly. Too much exposed man-flesh of the wrong kind, 'cuz if you saw what I seen, then you know what I mean. Nothing obscene of course, but like I sed, a whoooole lotta ugly.

So rest assured, I'll put 'em up just as soon as I can get 'em up, but don't expect 'em up any sooner. Until then, the bunch of you homely guys made for a wonderful weekend. Truly one for the books, my Brothers. See you back here soon at the PXL Clog.

--MGM, PXL NGH #51



Posted - 9.26.12 - amended 9.28.12

Long May It Wave!

If you are reading this, then you are likely looking for last minute information about our doin's, so read on! The gates to Clamp Okihi will open Friday Morning at 8 a.m., and we intend to start pitching camp no later than 10 a.m., so if you can come early, we'd appreciate your help. We like to have it "made in the shade" in short order. We are also asking that you abide by the parking instructions of our Clamps Hostrix, who has divided the clamp into a quiet side and a party side. RVs and other vehicles should be kept off of the lawn to avoid running over the sprinklers. Tents on the lawn are fine. Bring plenty of sun screen and drinking water. Beer doesn't count.

Also keep in mind that we are on the north side of the Kern River and there are only limited places to cross. As you approach from the west watch for the PXL signs on the right. The park is below grade and not visible from the road. You can download a map and directions from the registration page by clicking here where you can find additional details.

If you are wondering whether we still have room, but you haven't yet signed up figuring that you'd rather take your chances at the door, we should be able to accommodate you, just keep in mind that the remaining spaces will be allocated on a first come-first served basis. Just get yourself down here before Dickhead eats all the pot roast!

The weather will be warm so make sure to bring your shorts, but we've also heard nasty rumors of pending displays of male flesh and unseemly decorum. I received the following threat two nights ago:


What comes in a Barrel?  Wack-a-Mikee, of course!

Dear Candidate,

You are most cordially invited to the 2012 APRON WALK to take place on
Saturday, the 29th of September, at 2:58 in the afternoon, Camp Okihi, Alta California.

This is a black tie and apron only affair, by invitation, ONLY.

Please R.S.V.P.

The Grand Poobah,
The Ancient and Honorable Order of E Clampus Vitus


It is my good fortune to own neither an apron nor a black tie…at least not yet.

--MGM, PXL NGH #51



Posted - 9.16.12 (amended 9.18.12)

Gray Beards' Exam!

Pirates! I hate Pirates! They're always leaving their buried treasure lying around, and singing about rum. Like the stuff won't give you a nasty hangover? PLEASE! But now the pesky critters are threatening an invasion at this month's Spring Doin's at Clamp Okihi!

In fact. Wednesday is "National Talk Like a Pirate Day," and these dudes just won't let us forget. ARGH! Not a good time to leave your swash in the wash, I would say; but don't take my word for it, just sea for yourself. Check out the YouTube video above. By the time you're done with it you'll know exactly why you absolutely have to sign-up by next Friday, September 21, to save $10.

Gray Beards' Exam!

Space is limited to the first 100 redshirts and their PBCs, but if you can't pay today, but promise to pay at the door, we'll save a space for you at the discounted price provided you send in your registration form before the prepay deadline. We need to lard the galley with enough provisions to feed the lot o' ya, but 'lubbers who show up at the door unannounced take their chances, and we really don't want to turn anybody away or leave them starved!

Gray Beards' Exam!

We also hear that some Brothers would like to come, but gas at 4-plus Bucks a Gallion makes distance a real issue, though I proudly remind you that gas is cheaper in Bakersfield than in all of California. Well I wish I could just call everybody up and phone them some gas, but since I can't do that, we've done the next best thing and set up a message board for exchange of information. Just log onto Peter's Board and click on "Carpool to Clamp Okihi, Our Fall '12 Doin's." Once you're in, click on the "New Topic" button to start a new thread or click on any thread to read it. You can also email our Implacable Clamps Rolestrix, Tom Gray, to see if he knows of anybody in your area who's coming. Just click here -->

I also want to remind you that if you are coming up from L.A. or points south, I-405 will be closed for repairs at the Sepulveda Pass from midnight Friday evening, September 28th, through Sunday. Also known as Carmageddon II, this closure might not affect you coming in but could affect you going home. Take the 5 and the 99 to avoid the hassle. Click on the little widget on the left for more information.

And don't forget that we're dying to Shanghai your favorite Sea Dog and show him some new tricks.

Everybody in the POOL!

So bring us a worthy PBC. We'll make him pay with his wits, but if he walks the plank, you'll pay with your shirt! It's all part of the fun, merriment and absurdity of a PXL Doin's.

So what are 'ye waitin' fer, Matey? Ye just keep readin' on this page, 'cuz everything ye need to know is stowed below. For the rest of ya' -- who came here to celebrate Mexican Independence Day -- just click on this link 'cuz Mssr. Head and Thornhill, can 'splain it all ta ye, Bakersfield Style!

Until we meet at Clamp Okihi -- ARGH!


--MGM, PXL NGH #51



Posted - 9.2.12

Grilling. What comes in a Barrel?  Wack-a-Mikee, of course!

Less than four weeks to go before the Fall Doin's and I hope you're getting excited, but hopefully not so excited that you can't figure out how to sign up for the bleeping Clampout. Just the thought of Pot Roast, the CLONG Show and Saturday's Yucca-off, washed down with a whole lot of camaraderie get me going. And don't forget Timbo's notorious steak and beans!

So to save you the effort, here's a link to the fillable flyer, here's another to the registration page, another to the official invite, and another to my latest Humbug homework thingy (the Clampatriarch gave me a B- minus). And of course we shouldn't forget Paypal -- for those times when the Bear is at the door and you just want to keep the Czech out of the male. Anyway, we're shameless; we'll shake the dust out of you any way we legally can -- just so long as you're left with enough gas money to get to Clamp Okihi September 28-30th. And if you've got a PBC, don't forget to worry him a bunch by giving him a copy of the PBC Handbook. Just tell him it can't be red but has to be memorized.

Then don't forget the shameless piece of cinematic commercialism we have posted on the Clampdown! Page. It's a short movie that features Gene Duncker, Mikee Ralles and other Clampers you may know, urging you to join us at Clamp Okihi.

Still aren't convinced about the doin's and want to read about the latest chapter hijinks? Then read on, 'cuz you've come to the right place. You've found the famous PXL CLOG!

--MGM, PXL NGH #51


Posted - 8.19.12

PXL-NGH-MGM and VNGH Russ 'Hole' Chapman.

Hello Brother, NGH Medium Green Mike here. It's been awhile since I've post to the CLOG, not that you've' missed it any, but I'd still like to apologize for being missing from your life for such a long a time. If you've never been here before then you truly don't know what you've been missing, so you'll just have to suck it up. On these pages you'll find news about our chapter, its history, photos and even an interactive message board, but most pressing at the moment is to get you and your PBC to make it to our upcoming doin's which is less than six weeks away.

As current inhabitant of the Humbug barrel, I'd like to personally invite you and your favorite prospect to our very extra special Fall Clampout at Camp Okihi in Bakersfield, coming this September 28-30, 2012. It's shaping up to be a Gud-1. We've incorporated all of our latest and greatest elements to bring you our version of Clampout 2.0, starting with Friday Night Dinner.

Timbo's Pot Roast a la MGM

Most chapters lets you fend for yourself on Friday, but we're gonna feed you something good and hot, starting with Mamá Timbo's Pot Roast á la Medium Green Mikée. We found this ancient, deelish Mesoamerican recipe out past where Marie lost her Calendar. It's the stuff for which you'd kill a cow and a Frenchman, but you're lucky 'cuz we've already done it for you. Just drop your baguette and drag yourself into Clamp; they'll be plenty to go around.

After Friday Dinner get ready for The CLONG Show, our own absurdist talent extravaganza. Test yourself against the CLONG by telling a joke or story, singing a song or playing an instrument. While we won't be harassing PBCs on Friday Night, our would-be embryonic brothers will need to get ready for the CLONG because as far as I'm concerned being a PBC is a kind of "performance art," and for them it's either suffer the CLONG or walk the plank.

Tony and the CLONG

Following the CLONG Show we'll have Brother Russ HOLE's YouTube Videos and sing-along down by the Clampfire. You're invited to add to Russ's selections by bringing your own favorite adult humor on a flashdrive. Share 'em with Brother Hole and if they'll play on Windows Media Player, he'll mix'em in for all to see. Just remember, bawdy is fine, but no porn, religion or politics, please.

Saturday starts with our Graybeards' Potluck Breakfast. You contribute the meat, potatoes and the PBCs, and we provide the eggs and the overseers. Some of our Graybeards even know how to cook!

Woody's turn at the mic.

Last call for PBCs and their sponsors is 8:31 am, Saturday, and not just because we need kitchen b_tches to do the breakfast dishes. A full day of fun, torture and history await each victim, and we don't want to disappoint any of them! And don't worry. We strictly follow Grand Council Rules, so you won't see any marks that we can't wash off with a cold bucket of Kern River Aich-Two-Oh. (And you know what fish do in that stuff-Yecch!)

Come 3:28 pm, you'll want to attend our famous PBC Interrogations. Each PBC gets my own personal attention where the better the bribe, the better the mistreatment … if you know what I mean.

All the day's survivors, including you, get the best Clamp Dinner this side of West Virginia, as Timbo, Joe Smalls and the boys put out the ONE POUND RIBEYES with all the fixin's!

Yucca Winners Celebrate!

Then get ready for our second "1st Annual" Yucca-off! Prepare your best concoction and put it to the test of our mystery judges and the thirsty Brethren roasting before the Clampfires. Then get ready for the raffle, 'cuz, who knows? You might even win something.

Now you don't have to participate in any of these shenanigans. You can just sit back and laugh at everyone else, sleep in the shade, or just go fishing. If you pay your rub we'll even pack you a doggie bag you can take back to your tent or RV. What we don't want you doing is swim in the river. We don't have a lifeguard on duty, and it's waters can be deceiving even when they look low and slow. So please stay out!

So why is this doin's so special? Well it's because Camp Okihi is right on the Kern River and is one of the most beautiful parks in all of Kern County. It's also gotten very expensive, though not because of park fees but because of skyrocketing insurance costs. But rather than go elsewhere we wanted to make this experience accessible to everyone.

Enjoy the river but stay out of the water!

If you have a PBC, now is the time to bring him in. At Clamp Ohiki the camping is easy. The park is secluded, but still close enough to Bakersfield to encourage the most committed couch potatoes to give Peter Lebeck a try. For us that's good enough reason to suck it up and NOT raise our admission for this event, but we have to have an especially good attendance to make this work. So come on down and join us because it may be the last time we'll be Clamping here for a long time!

Postmark or Paypal your RSVP by September 21st and save $10. We don't care if you're Barack Obama, Mitt Romney or you're wearing Ginger Rodgers's pumps and you're dancing like Fred Astaire. If you show up at the gate without a reservation, you pay extra. And remember, at PXL it's BYOB -- that's bring your own beverages. Our bar has mixers, sodas and snacks. Prepaid Redshirts are $50. Prepaid PBC's are $70. Nascent Brothers get a $10 discount on the T-Shirt of their choice - if they survive.

You can download the flyer and the PBC Handbook off of this website using the 2012 Fall Doin's Link. And if you are coming for the initiation, make sure to read the BLEEPING HANDBOOK. You don't want to flunk the flash quiz. See you there!


Someone's gotta do something about this guy's shirt before it falls off! Long May it Wave!

Now on to Chapter news. Thanks to all who came out to the Spring Doin's at Inyokern, and congratulations to our host Bobby Daniels who earned his red shirt alongside our new brothers Andrew Castillo, Brian Fox, Scotty Jones, Robert Nolen, Scott Solwick, Dave Staley, and Harris Wood. They all did a fine job and will make fine Clampers (Just as soon as they get the sand out of their cheeks, which should be in about five weeks).

The first part of the year was a rather lumpy thing. We had a very successful doin's in the desert, and financially we're doing fine, but the sudden passing of Doc Charter not only left us sad but set us back in the Hawking Department. Also the Walker Pass Project hit a lump in the road when the plaque came back from Williams Monument in subpar condition. Well VNGH Russ "Hole" Chapman stepped-up to pinch-hit at Hawker, and he even found us a stone mason to fill and lap the Walker Pass Plaque. Our new friend Lorenzo does work for some of our central valley chapters, and did this repair as a courtesy to us and as a matter of professional pride. He charged us nothing. Next time we'll have a better idea where to take our business.

Plaque details.

At first I considered returning the plaque to Williams for a refund (to be fair to him, he offered), but given the condition it was in when delivered and representations that were made about the quality of the work, I was afraid we'd never see the money. Charles Topping will be installing Walker's mug at the top of the pass within the next two weeks, and that should be that. Many thanks again to Humbug Ray Fox and to the Brothers at Platrix #2 for footing half the costs of the Walker Restoration, and an extra hardy thanks to all the Brothers from both chapters who came up to Walker Pass to help rebuild the monument.

Plans for a second and third plaquing are coming quickly into focus but will have to wait for next year. The first is the PG&E Hydroelectric Station at the northern mouth of Kern River Canyon. It dates to 1895. The other is the Rankin Ranch in Walker Basin which has been in continuous operation since 1863. We've cleared the regulatory hurdles on the old power station and we've asked PG&E Headquarters to waive its $1,000 land use processing fee. Chris Brewer is setting up talks with the owner of Rankin Ranch which would be a good choice for next fall.

Plaque details.

There will be a short general meeting at the Fall Doin's mainly to report on our progress and to cast about for volunteers. This will not be a political meeting. I'm saving that for the end of the year. The Graybeards will meet separately in executive session to discuss the business mandated by our bylaws. To complain, see me privately after the meetings, please. A doin's is a time to kick back and think happy thought. We don't want to ruin it for anyone.

We're often asked about "going up the chairs," well I tell guys the key is to help with cooking, set-up, hosting and other mundane chores to show the Brothers that you're willing to pitch in. For instance, one current project is to create a regular crew that knows the set-up and break down of our kit. We also need Brothers who can take turns manning the refreshment center for a few hours at each doin's. If you are interested in helping out, whether you are interested in going up the chairs or not, please contact "Hole" or our Clamps Hostrix, Kevin "Yeti" Oviatt, when you first arrive at Camp Okihi.

If you're on Facebook don't forget to friend the PXL Facebook Page. It doesn't replace our website and it doesn't do everything our message board does, but it's a pretty nifty thing to have. If you've used Facebook, then you know how efficient it can be, maybe even too efficient. The tagged photos and information shared across Facebook do pose privacy issues (great aunt Martha may write you out of her will if she sees pictures of you in Milton Berle's dress, you've got your dreadlocks on and you're smoking a big fat spliff), so if you're not familiar with it, go slow, learn the settings and avoid the apps.

And remember, I take lots and lots of pictures, so if you're in line for a new job or promotion, and you have a Facebook account, you'll want to wear a suit and tie to the doin's. It's the best way I can think of to impress the new boss.

I'm working on setting up the website and Paypal for our fall sign-up, but I may lag a little bit. Normal navigation is through the Fall Doin's links box to your left near the top of the page. And don't forget that a stamp, an envelope and a check work too, and it saves us two bucks a head. But I also recognize that there are sometimes you're just better off using plastic, and if this is one of those times the Paypal Page will be raring to go soon. And remember that the most important thing for us is to see you at out Fall Doin's. So sign-up. We don't want to miss you, and we don't want you to miss out.

Email MGM.

--MGM, PXL NGH #51



As Amended - 6.3.12

These PXL Brothers Need a Shower!

Welcome back Cloggites! This hopefully will not turn into some lengthy disposition, but you have to admit that it's been awhile since the last honest to goodness PXL CLOG. So let me begin with an apology for taking so long. Frankly ever since Doc headed off for the Golden Hills I haven't been in much of mood to wax poetic or to let my silliness take over. But you gotta figure that writing for a bunch of guys who's Widders let 'em dress so funny, or at least let 'em get out the door dressed like you do, couldn't be that much of a challenge. Or could it?

These PXL Brothers Need a Shower Too!

First of all it makes it damn easy to pick you out of a crowd, let alone pick on you. And when you finally do get home, she's gotta figure that no other widder could have possibly let you in dressed like that, so, she might as well open the door… (sigh) … and with a little luck she may not even ask you to burn your clothes before she invites you back in.

So take a shower, grab a clean redshirt and join me, won't you? I promise, it won't hurt one bit.

At least it won't for me anyway.

This past weekend marked Memorial Day: A time to recall all those men and women who have served in our military and have gone before us. Whether they perished in battle or passed in their sleep, their sacrifice has made it possible for us to live the lives that we do and to have the choices that we continue to have in a free country.

Jim Parks raises the Veterans Remembered Flag.

James L. Parks of the Sonoma Veterans Memorial Park Association was irked that despite all the pomp and ceremony associated with this day we lacked an iconic symbol to represent all those who had served in the nation's military so he came up with the "Veterans Remembered" flag seen here. It represents all veterans who have served the United States and ideally would be included whenever the colors of the various armed services are presented in public ceremonies. It would be a way of showing solidarity with those who have severed our country in war and in peace.

So far California and fifteen other states have officially recognized the Veterans Remembered Flag. If you'd like to read more about the flag and its symbols, go to

2012 SNGH Robert 'Roadkill' Romer with XNSGH Gary 'Happiest Guy in the Room' Glud.

On May 18th the Board of Proctors convened the 6017 edition of Grand Council, naming Rob "Road Kill" Romer, as the next Sublime Noble Grand Humbug of E Clampus Vitus. There was only one man in the whole room who could honestly say that he was happier than Road Kill, and that was outgoing Sublime Gary Glud who had just passed the Staff of Relief to the Suc…nice man in the white coat with the tire marks.

In fact Rob's Brothers from Chief Truckee, where Rob was Humbug back in 1992, gurneyed Rob into the Hall on "life support" and "revived" him just in time to accept the Staff from Gary. Let's just hope that "Road Kill" proves to be a less than suitable name for our new Sublime.

The Brothers from Truckee work to revive Brother 'Road Kill.'

As for other serious … stuff. XSNGH Tom Barry has been named 2012 Clamper of the year, and on the business side, the big news is, that the BOP has filed suit against certain alleged malefactors and ne'er-do-wells to force them to stop using our trade and service marks, including the name "E Clampus Vitus."

For more, check out the "ECV Pipeline Page" and the ECV Gazette. In the meantime much thanks and congratulations to Tom, Rob, Gary and the Board of Proctors for their continued service on behalf of the order…and oh yeah, I took a bunch of pictures which you can see here.

Meanwhile back on the PXL side of the Grand Council Doin's we had some serious catching up to do. For years PXL Cookie Emeritus and XNGH Kenny Young was in the habit of firing up a big pot of spaghetti and dishing it out to anyone who cared to come by and visit with the contingent from Peter Lebeck. Then after Kenny headed off to the Golden Hills in 2008, we just kept doing it in his honor, cooking and dishing out that free spaghetti in memory of Kenny "Cookie" Young.

PXL Widder Jeannie Johnson, kicking A--!

Well this year the traffic slowed considerably, and the hungry passers-by barely made a dent in that big pot of spaghetti. While that left us a bit sad, I still think Cookie would have been proud. It seems that following his example there's just a lot more free hospitality going around the doin's, but sadly it just may be time to retire Cookie's Pot.

On the Hawking side the loss of Doc Charter left us with a serious hole in our line-up so we are fortunate to have VNGH Russ Chapman pick-up the slack, at least for now. While up in Kernville, we had Charles Topping to thank for packing-up the store so that Russ could take it home to Atascadero and reorganized it.

And just as a reminder, I want to make it clear that we are lucky to have guys like Russ and Charles on our crew. The brutal truth is that you can't run a chapter without guys willing to put in the time, the miles and the muscle to get stuff done. A lot of what we do is just plain grunt work. Russ in particular has stepped up time and again to keep us on track, and I'm really looking forward to what he is going to accomplish next year as leader of our chapter; but whatever that may be, it won't be as Hawker, because being Humbug is a full-time chair. Come 2013 we're still going to need a Hawker and we're still looking for a reliable volunteer.

Russ 'Hole' Chapman,getting his A-- kicked!

Anyway Russ got his part of the store together in time to Hawk at Grand Council, but so did Widder Jeannie Johnson. Russ put up the awning, got out our new poster of Doc, and set-up the booth, but at the end of the day it was Jeannie that ended up out-selling the male side of the Hawkers store. I'd like to attribute this to the fact that Jeannie is just a whole lot better looking than Russ Hole (which is true), but at the end of the day there is just no denying that she just kicked his A--!

For our 51th Annual Fall Doin's Peter Lebeck is going back to Camp Okihi in Bakersfield, the weekend of September 28-30, 2012. We debated where we'd like to Clamp in the fall, and Clamping in the mountains came in a close second, but our priority continues to be building up our membership in Bakersfield and the San Joaquin Valley. Okihi is close to town, it was available, and it's a beautiful facility with sprawling lawns, tall trees and a view of the Kern River. If you have any doubts, check out the photos from our Fall 2011 Clamp at Okihi. If you have a good friend that you'd like to introduce to Clamping but he has an aversion to bugs, dust, and far away locations that lack electrical receptacles, this would be an excellent time to get him off the couch and wean him off the A/C. Believe me, he'll thank you for it. In fact the flyer is already available. Just click here.

The PXL Spring 2012 Von Trapp family Zingers.

And if that isn't enough, just ask the eight blind but brave souls that we brought into the light at our Spring Doin's at Inyokern, back in April. We put them through their paces and they came through funny-bones intact and strutting like true Redshirts. We want to congratulate Bobby Daniels, Brian Fox, Robert Nolen, Scotty Jones, Harris Wood, Andrew Castillo, Scott Solwick, and Dave Staley, for sticking it out and being such good sports. We're really proud of you guys and want to see you back with us in the fall as full-fledged Clampers...and, yes, there are pictures.

Now would be a good time to adjust yer spectacles because I'd like to say a few serious things about our doin's.

While up at Grand Council a few weeks ago, I heard someone say that some Redshirts won't come to a Lebeck Doin's because we don't serve booze and don't offer dirty initiations. Some even go so far as to call us a "Pink Chapter." Well I have to take exception to that big time. Personally I don't have a bone to pick with any chapter that wants to dirty up their PBCs so long as it's done within the rules, but frankly I think you can learn a lot more about a candidate by testing his sense of humor than by watching him roll around in the mud or from smelling that sardine omelet he's wearing on his head.

Gathering for the Examination...

As Exhibit #1 I proffer our own Spring Graybeard's examination where every one of our PBCs was required to "stand and deliver" before the assembled Brethren. It was among the best and most memorable two hours anyone - including the candidates - could ever hope to spend at a Clampout. The PBCs were razzed and cheered; their performances had the brothers rolling in the aisles, and the high quality bribes were passed freely around the assemblage keeping it well lubricated throughout the ordeal. By the time this part of their initiation was over the candidates knew us and we knew them. It was clear to everyone whether these PBCs would make worthy Clampers. And on the plus side we didn't have to delouse anyone afterwards to get it done.

To be clear, unless a candidate has health issues, a Lebeckian PBC won't escapes the chores, silly songs, marching around and other stickiness that comes with being one of a family of Poor Blind Candidates, but the way we do things allows us to emphasize to every PBC that we are a most satisfactory historical fraternity that they should be proud to join.

A Priest, a Clamper and a Rabbi walk into a Bar....

That's why on Friday night we restrict PBCs to light duty and let them hang with the Brethren. It's to let them experience firsthand the value of our camaraderie and to give them something to work towards. It comes from the realization that a guy left scratching his head at the end of an initiation wondering "What the hell was that all about?" Is a guy we're not likely to see again. That's bad for him, that's bad for us, and that's bad for our survival as a chapter.

As for all that griping about "no slippery," it kinda goes hand-in-hand with the griping we've heard (mainly from old timers) about the cost of our doin's. This one requires a bit of a history lesson.

A few years ago as worries about liability were being discussed openly by the Muckety-Mucs at ECV, we were forced to consider the purchase of event insurance and other costs associated with serving alcohol and figured that what we'd have to tack on to the price of a doin's would drive us into the ground. Unlike some of our northern chapters, a PXL Doin's is not a humongous affair; a good, solid attendance for us is about 60 to 70 guy. That means that at current prices the costs associated with serving alcohol would have added about $25 to every rub, and that's was BEFORE we tacked on the price of the booze. It became clear that keeping our slippery would have been a deal killer. But going BYOB turned out to be a pleasant surprise: Redshirts who came to our doin's proved to be most generous, and what we learned from the experience was that so long as everybody understood it was "BYOB" there was always more than enough "B" to go around.

An Offering of Libations!

Then the question came up, if there's no slippery, how are we gonna draw then in? Oak trees? (Got a few of those). Cow Pies? (Got plenty of those). Sand? (Got lots of that too).

Well what we settled on was food. And we tacked on $5 to make sure that we could up the quality of our Friday Night Meal and keep our quality consistent. It also gave us a little head room to experiment with Pay Pal to see if we could get a more accurate head count and cut down on wasted food and supplies. As it was our prepay had often fallen between an unpredicatable 40-50%, which often meant buying too much food or making a long trip away from the Clampout to forage for more.

So far what we've been doing seems to be working out. Our prepays are up around a more solid 75%, but at $50 a rub, it costs the chapter $2.30 every time a Redshirt uses Pay Pal to sign-up, and it gives our GDR fits. But if for whatever reason you can't ink a check, lick a stamp and stubble out to your own mailbox in time to post your rub, we'd much rather you use Pay Pal than show up unannounced. Just figure the guys who can't -- or just plain won't - prepay will be making up the difference.

In fact our board had quite a discussion about that. One influential member wanted to limit grub stubs only to prepays, another proposal was to make the gate price an extra $20, but I nixed both of those ideas. The extra $10 we charge at the gate still sends the right message but shouldn't discourage anyone who really does decide at the last minute to come on down and join us.

So what does it all mean for you? Glad you asked, Chapulín Colorado.

They'll Drive a Steak Through Your Heart.

At PXL you get four full, quality meals, plus pastry, coffee and orange juice on Sunday Morning, and that's really tough to beat for $50. While you are certainly welcome to bring your own kit, when we do the cooking you get more leisure time to visit with the Brothers, and the truth is that along with our famous Saturday Night Ribeyes we're serving up some pretty awesome camping cuisine. Fer instance, last fall's Friday Dinner was Timbo's Seafood Gumbo on a bed of fluffy rice, y'all. And Friday Dinner at our Spring Clampout was Mama Mikee's Chile Verde, rice and refried frijoles. ¡Ay Caramba!

In fact the biggest complaint I had about the Chile Verde was that we ran out because more guys showed up Friday Night than we were expecting and the late commers had to lick the pot of frijoles. So whatever you do, don't forget to PREPAY. It's $10 more at the door and we don't care if you claim that "Joe sent me." 'Cuz we know Joe Szot and he would never have let you get away with it. So make sure you get everything that's coming to you. Send your rub in early. We still prefer snail mail because it saves us a couple of bucks, but Pay Pal is coming so don't be shy.

Our Spring Clampout was back in April -- which seems a long time ago given all that's happened on over the last couple of months -- but I would like to say a few more things about the Doin's before we move on.

Walker Passing.

All-in-all we had a very successful weekend, and it was very nice to have a private place in the desert to Clamp. On behalf of the chapter I want to thank Bobby Daniels for hosting us on his land up at Inyokern, providing a dumpster and arranging for the sanitary facilities. We're glad that Bobby was finally able to find the time to earn his Redshirt, we only regret that Doc couldn't have been physically there to see it. It was my bittersweet honor to stand in as Doc's Proxy in sponsoring Bobby, and I look forward to seeing Bobby and all the new Brothers in the fall. A big shout of "Satisfactory!" is in order for all of them.

As most of you know Inyokern was supposed to celebrate the rededication of our 1963 Walker Pass Monument, but I'm sorry to report that we had issues over the workmanship of the plaque and are in the process of returning it for a refund. We'll be ordering a replacement from a different vendor, and we'll keep you posted on or progress.

The weather up at Inyokern was quite tolerable despite threats of rain earlier in the week. The evenings were mild and the daytime highs were in the low 80's, proving that no one even got close to cashing in on our "No Snow Guarantee." In fact I took plenty of pictures which you can find posted in Peter's Picture Pages. You'll also find photos from the recent (snow-i-fied) Sierra Valley Tri-Chapter and (the non-snow-i-fied) Grand Council weekend in Sonora.

Lastly I want to thank everybody who attended Doc Charter's memorial services up at Wofford Heights and Rialto, on May 12th and 19th. I also want to extend a special thanks to those of you who made it up to Kernville to say goodbye to Doc personally before his passing to the Golden Hills. At ECV we say in the ritual that we are "most especially for the Widders," and in extending our support to Marti Charter in her time of need, I think we did right by Doc, did right by Marti, and lived-up to our best traditions.

On our Clampdown Page I've posted a slide show from Doc's Wofford Heights Memorial, but before you go there I want to leave you with something special.

Doc thought Timbo was 'Top Shelf!'

Our Clampatriarch, Timbo Gillespie represented us at Doc's Memorial at Sunrise Church in Rialto. Doc's Brothers from the Rialto Fire Department, where Doc spent 31 years of his working life before retiring in 2001, did a most respectful job putting together a ceremony in Doc's honor, and representatives from the Navy, where Doc served during the Vietnam War, presented Marti with the American Flag. Marti asked Timbo to share his thought about Doc, so here is Tim's Eulogy, which speaks the truth about the man we knew and loved:

"Life brought me good fortune in that it allowed me to have many years of acquaintance with Dale. He was a brother Clamper and a brother Elk. In expressing both a love of brotherhood and of fraternity, those two associations alone are a great foundation. Yet as a firefighter for so many years, he also had an even greater grounding in brotherhood with his fellow firefighters. Love hath no greater expression than laying down your life for your fellow man, and Dale, along with his brothers, was willing to do that 24 hours a day.

"Life is a funny thing. A lot of the time, we take it for granted and don't miss it until it is suddenly gone. I think that this is particularly true of someone like Dale. He was such a good guy, so dependable, so always there that you would never conceive of him not being there. And that is what will make us miss him so sorely.

Rialto FD Files the Flag in Honor of Doc.

"Dale preceded me as the Noble Grand Humbug of our Clamper chapter. One of our mottos is 'History, Frivolity, Fraternity.' Dale embraced that motto with typical enthusiasm, always there, always willing to lend a hand, and usually with an idea as to how we could improve on something with which we'd struggled. He was also a great mediator and sometimes peacemaker, soothing ruffled feathers and calming inflated egos.

"I think that one of the most valuable lessons we can learn in life is to not waste emotional energy on things that we can't change. I know that Dale believed this, as he pointed it out to me more than once when we were weathering once crisis or another in the Clampers. 'Let it go, Timbo. It's not only water under the bridge, it's so far downstream now you can't even see it.' So let's not spend too much time grieving for him - that time is much better spent in reliving the good times, the laughter, and the fellowship we all shared.

"One of Doc's greatest assets was his sense of humor. You may have noticed that I'm not built quite like Jack laLane, and one of Doc's amusements when we were out with the Clamper's was using my belly as a shelf, and proclaiming that his second in command was at least useful for something. This always generated a good laugh, as did many of his other observations on whatever subject was at hand. But there was never a trace of meanness in any of it. When Dale zinged you with a putdown, you knew it was done with love. He never failed to end a phone call or email without saying 'Thank you for being my brother.' This was always delivered in a tone which left absolutely no doubt that he said it because he meant it, not just as some pro forma expression. He was someone who truly loved his fellow man, who believed in the Golden Rule, who walked this earth as he believed God intended him to.

"We can learn a lot from the way Doc lived his life and treated his fellow passengers on his journey through that life. One of the core beliefs of the order of Elks is that 'The faults of our brothers we write upon the sand; their virtues on the tablets of love and memory.' I think that is an excellent expression of the way Dale lived. I don't see much need for sand to write on, but I hope we have some awfully big tablets. My Dad once told me that if you can die with four or five really true friends, you've died a wealthy man. From what I've seen in the last couple of weeks, Doc is rich beyond belief."

Email MGM.

--MGM, PXL NGH #51



Posted - 5.17.12

Long May It Wave!

Hello Brothers, just a shorty for now. Grand Council starts tomorrow.If you'd like to Clamp with the PXL contingent look for us near the entrance to the fairgrounds. And don't forget that on Friday Night we will be hosting our traditional Kenny Young Memorial Spaghetti Feed. All ECV Member and their guests are welcome to come by at dinner time for a free helping of spaghetti, salad and bread courtesy of Peter Lebeck in honor of our late Cookie Emeritus, Kenny "Cookie" Young.

And if you are feeling guilty about dropping by empty handed then don't forget that it's B.Y.O.V - that is, "Bring Your Own Vino." So if you like to grease the camaraderie, bring a little something extra for the rest of us. Either way, we'll be happy to see you.


For those of us who aren't headed for Sonora this weekend, remember that the Brothers of the Rialto Fire Department are honoring our late XNGH Doc Charter on Saturday in Rialto. His Widder Marti has asked that everyone who can make it attend these services. Especially if you did not make it up to Wofford Heights last weekend, you really owe it to Doc and the chapter to show up. Do it for Marti. XNGH Timbo Gillespie will be eulogizing Doc on behalf of Peter Lebeck. For details and directions just seethe next post below.

If you are wondering where the usual happy talk following a doin's has gone, well the truth is that I've been really bummed as well as pretty busy. But never fear. When I get back from Sonora I'll likely be back to my sappy old self. In the meantime, don't' miss the pictures from the Spring Doin's and from the Tri-Chapter. Just go to Peter's picture pages to hunt them down.

Back at you in a few days. -- MGM



Contact Info and Official ECV Chapter Website Links

For more information contact:

"Ptomaine Timbo" Gillespie, XXNGH (661) 993-7907 or

Mark "Scoop" Mutz, VNGH (661) 867-2808 or

Mark "Pokey" Crawford, Clampatriarch (661) 993-7907 or


Mike "MGM" Ramirez-Mares, Cyberrecorder (818) 517-8781 or

Click on the Shield to go ECV's Official Chapter Websites.

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