Peter Lebeck Chapter #1866

The Kern County Chapter of E Clampus Vitus ®
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The News Archive of Peter Lebeck
Kern County Chapter of E Clampus Vitus ®

Cool Ride?

MINUS 2 - Pre-Widders Not in Labor 2014


Posted - 08.24.14 -- By Hole and MGM

Hello fellow Cloggite, and welcome! We've had over 250 Brothers drop by so far to check out our Fall Doin's Pages, so if you are thinking about joining us at Tillie Creek October 17-19, 2014, now is the time to sign up for one of the best weekend outings in all of Clamperdom. Just scroll down to the next post to get the skinny or just click here to go straight to the registration pages. Your Brothers here at Peter Lebeck are really enthusiastic about this one and are just itching for your company.

And while you're cogitating on that, don't forget this -- Our Clampatriarch Russ "Hole" Chapman and our Widder of the Year Kathy Chapman will be hosting the 2014 "Widders Not in Labor Day" Campout at their ranchette in Atascadero, Thursday, August 28th through Monday, September 1st. Designed to give your Widder a break, this is a family event open to all Redshirts in goodstanding, and their non-Clamper guests. It's a way to show our appreciation to our Widders, the object being to get them to chill while the guys do all the work. Kids are most welcome and there are also plenty of things to do in and around town. Hole tells me that the weather is expected to be excellent this year, with temperatures in the low 80's. Here's the Hole Post:


Widders Not In Labor.

2014 Widders Not in Labor Day in Cushing, Ca. (Labor Day Weekend)

What better way for the brothers of absurdity to celebrate our Widders than to gather in a town that never was, but is still on the map to this day…Cushing, California.

Gather one and all to let the Widders worry about what to do, if everyone has enough to eat, and if the dishes are done. Why will they worry? Because the Redshirts have the duty this weekend!

The originators of this event, and the regulars, knew from the onset that WnILD was not just a Raymond, California event (as fine a center of history as Raymond is), but a Clamper-event to be shared. So, last year with attendance waning and the heat rising, we sought to take the show on the road. Somehow the Widders decided that the central coast would be a good idea…and my list of honey-do's got a whole lot bigger.

This year the schedule is more free-lance. We're trying to get access to the Santa Margarita Ranch as a history tour, but a trip to the Pozo Saloon may have to do. Other than that, here's the rough schedule:

Email Hole.

Hole der 1st, XNGH




Posted - 08.16.14 -- By MGM

Bababooey will show you the LIGHT!

Welcome back fellow Cloggites! The Fall Doin's registration pages are now online, but first, inquiring minds want to know whether I got permission from Hoss and Hornhead to post their display of jovial camaraderie in our Jackass Space. Well the answer is "NO." And that means that when they see this they are either going to hunt my corn fed *ss down and smush it into pin-o-le, or they are going to be laughing so hard that they'll end up holding hands together in the hernia ward down at Bakersfield Memorial. Either way, that's good news for you because it means Peter Lebeck will have extra space for you and your PBCs to attend our annual Fall Doin's at Tillie Creek Campground come October 17-19, 2014.

We've made it SOOOOO EASY… because all you need to do is click here to go to our electronic flyer page where you'll find everything you'll need to register and then some -- including the latest copy of Peter's Procs, the latest PBC Handbook, a new and improved Internet Sign-up portal and a link to our Pay Pal Page. You'll even find a map at the bottom and links at the top, all designed to sucker you into coming to our Doin's. Brother, you may never have to walk to your mailbox again!

HANGIN' with the Brethren!

And even for Brothers who are dead set on spreading their germs by licking 49 cent stamps and writing rubber checks, we've still got you covered. Just click over to the same electronic flyer page to download a copy of our Infallible Fillable Flyer where bad printing and illegible handwriting are never an issue. Just use our form to fill in the blanks. Then print it out, sign it and mail it in with your rub.

Now we here at the CLOG are very much aware that due to crowded Clamping Calendars many of you reading this have never attended a PXL Clampout. Well we've set this one late in the season to give every Redshirt who'd like to come out and join us a chance to attend. We've reserved a good venue, are expecting good weather, and have plenty of space for tents and RVs. And while I don't want to ruin all the surprises of clamping with the friendly Brothers of PXL, here are a few highlights.

Only the BEST for our PEOPLES!

First of all for a mere $55 prepaid ($75 for PBCs), our chapter won't make you slippery but we will feed you from Friday night through Sunday morning -- starting with our Humbug's Choked Chicken Poulet -- which is the first of four hot meals plus a continental breakfast on Sunday. Then after Friday dinner you'll want to join the friendly ridicule and madcap mayhem of "The CLONG Show," PXL's version of open mic night. Volunteer a joke, a song, a story, a poem and try to beat the CLONG. Then afterwards kick back to Russ Hole's "Queen Califa Cl'Ampitheatre and Sinerama," and enjoy Hole's collection of absurdist video shorts.

Saturday begins with our Graybeards' Potluck Breakfast. We supply the eggs, you bring us your breakfast meat, tortillas etc. We'll cook it up to kick start a day of massive protein overload second to none --including our Humbug's Super Weenie Lunch, and Timbo's One pound Ribeye Steak Dinner served with all the fixing and his multi-award winning Super Beans!

Bears who eat People!

Saturday's hit parade will also include the plaquing of the Ardis Walker house in Kernville, where after the dedication you'll be able to tour the house and see some of our late Brother's historic Clamper Memorabilia. Then join us back at Tillie Creek for lunch and our self-lubricating Graybeards' Examination. Bring a PBC to one of our Doin's and you can be sure that he'll be getting plenty of personalized attention from our Board and the assembled Brethren. Just make sure he's brought a really good bribe to be remembered by.

I'll have to stop there for now, but there's plenty more details on our registration pages to get you going and to sucker you in. Every admission includes a patch of the day, but don't miss the October 7th deadline to lock-in the prepay price of $55. After that it's $10 more. Timely prepays are also eligible to buy their very own personalized PXL "Bear that Ate Peter" coffee mug for $10. Just make sure to include an accurate and legible spelling of the name you want on your mug.


Havilah 2014 Erection.

Now on to some major errata and mea culpas, because I really stepped in it this time, though this boo-boo may actually help us widen our circle of friends. In my post from June 6th I gave credit to our chapter and to the Havilah Historical Society for researching the St. Joseph's Cemetery and discovering its history. Well that is flat out incorrect and I apologize - especially to the lady historians - for my jumping to conclusions when a couple of phone calls would have set me straight.

Credit goes to the "Cemetery Interest Group," which was begun a couple of years back by some history minded friend from Tehachapi. The group has grown since then, and the bunch of them now have regular meetings on the last Friday of each month to discuss their research. Think of it as "" for the cultivation of the dearly but planted departed. Important to our our story are members Janice Haggin-Armstrong from Tehachapi, John Codd from Bakersfield and our own Jayne Hotchkiss-Price from Walker Basin.

BLessng and Dedication at St. Joseph's Cemetery in Havilah.

The real story goes like this. Sometime last year, John was doing research at the Beale Memorial Library in Bakersfield. The Beale is said to have the best collection on the history of Kern County anywhere, and part of this gem includes a room dedicated to Kern genealogy.

So one day, not too long ago, John was tracing his way through these archives and found a reference to a burial in Havilah's old St. Joseph's Cemetery. He thought enough of it to bring it to the group's attention. Little was known about the cemetery. The parish had moved in 1873, about the time that Havilah lost its status as the county seat, but apparently burials had continued sporadically for many years even after the church building had burned down. Janice Haggin-Armstrong offered to follow-up. Janice practically lives on top of a cemetery herself which helps explain her curiosity about this kind of stuff. She picked-up the phone and called the offices of the Fresno Catholic Diocese to see if they could help. If you are wondering how the Catholic Church could possibly lose a cemetery, consider that the Fresno Diocese covers 35,000 square miles, and encompasses eight central California counties, including Kern. Losing a tiny pioneer cemetery established by a 19th Century circuit riding priest is not a hard thing to imagine, and when Janice called her good news was well received. She found herself on the other end of the line with Carlos Rascon, the cemeteries director for the diocese, who is himself a history buff; and Carlos enthusiastically completed the research. Our Jewish Brothers would call that a mitzvah, or maybe even two.

Bishop Ochoa Drops in.

As was reported in the original story, the diocese was quite pleased to rediscover that it owned the little cemetery and Bishop Ochoa decided he wanted to do something special to commemorate the pioneers buried there. That brought our friend Janyne Hotchkiss-Price into the picture. Jayne knew that our Humbug, Charles Topping, was in need of a choice place to plaque. She also remembering that Havilah once had the first Catholic Church in Kern County, and knowing that the diocese was interested in formally memorializing the people buried at St. Joseph's, she suggested our most recent monument on the site of the old church. She also physically helped to raise the erection. What more could a Clamper ask of his Widder?

By the way. The bishop did eventually show up to reconsecrate the cemetery and to bless the cemetery's new headstone inscribed with the names of all those know to be buried at St. Joseph's, but he was a day late. So the question is: If we were to extend an invite to one of these two guy to come Clamping, would we invite Carlos or would we invite the Bishop? They both seem like Clamper material.

As for John, he sounds like our kind of guy. As for Jayne and Janice, they'd likely leave all of you guys in the dust. 'Nuf sed.


VNGH Jim Bailey.

Speaking of plaquing and historical outreach to the greater historical community, our Vice Noble Grand Humbug, Jim Bailey has been working hard on both. As reported on the PXL CLOG back in April, Jim and NGH Charles Topping met with the Kern County Historical Society to offer our help and support with future plaquing projects particularly in the Bakersfield area. The good news is that we've been invited back to meet with their new board on Saturday, January 17, 2015. Jim is our "Goto Guy" on this, so any help you can offer our friend "Fury" is appreciated, including you attendance at that upcoming meeting in Bakersfield. Back in the 70's and 80's we mounted a number of plaques in conjunction with KCHS, so it would be nice to reestablish old ties.

Jim has also been working hard on next year's erections, and has already submitted drafts on two projects which have been approved by the owners of those properties. One is the West Kern Oil Museum in Taft, where we would be pouring a monument inside the museum's gated area. The subject matter would be the Jameson #17 oil derrick and the establishment of the museum. The second erection would be a plaque at Ethel's Old Corral Café in Oildale. The building dates from the 1940's, and it's a watering hole and restaurant known for its eclectic clientele. Whether you're riding a car, motorcycle or horse, all are welcome at the Old Corral Café. The dates for these plaquings have not been set, but we would likely be Clamping at Camp Okihi the weekend of the Oildale dedication.


Dickhead with Friends.

Lastly never say never, but it looks like we are going to see less of our celebrated Brother, Gene "Dickhead" Duncker come January's Widders' Ball, because as fast as you can say "Super Bowl XLIX," he and Widder Lumpy are moving to Nevada where they have purchased a retirement home with a one horse garage. As our Clampcrier, we have always been able to count on DH to do the crying part really well and his PBC History Lesson is second to none; but Gene may not be around next year to help out. So if you have someone you've been wanting to invite into the chapter, you definitely want to bring him in at this next Doin's so that he can benefits from Gene's knowledge of PXL and ECV.

Sorry to have to end on a sad note, Brothers, but the truth is that everything has to change sometime. So when you see Dickhead, made sure to give him a big hug and thank him for everything he's done for the chapter over the last twenty four years. You'll make him cry, but would you expect anything less of Gene?

Email MGM.

MGM, XNGH -- "Recording No Cyber Before Its Time."
...and remember to Love us on Facebook




Posted - 08.09.14 -- By MGM

Smokey loves firemen and red shirts.

Today marks the 70th Birthday of that great Ursine-American, Smokey Bear, and before you tell me there is no Smokey Bear, you might as well deny the existence of Santa Claus, because - neener, neener, nearer - I can't hear you! Besides I saw him up at the Havilah Days street faire a couple of months ago, hanging out with these two firemen from the Forest Service and a couple of our redshirted Brethren. He is also prone to giving hugs to small children, and none of them is going to tell you that Smokey doesn't exist.

Now according to Smokey's Wikipedia page (which no one is supposed to cite but I will because I don't want to be accused of plagiarizing), Smokey made his first appearance by way of a lithographic poster on August 9, 1944, as part of a government campaign to boost wild fire awareness. A cartoon bear in blue jeans and a campaign hat was depicted using a bucket of water to put out a rather sketchy campfire, and the rest is anthropomorphic bear history. The beloved, big furry guy has been urging us to do the right thing ever since. And who among you is going to argue with that?

Smokey likes girls that like Smokey.

As a boy I learned that there was a real, live Smokey Bear and that he lived in the National Zoo, in Washington, D.C. This is true, and you can read his story on, which is Smokey's official website. Rescued from a burning forest by firefighters who had barely survived the fire themselves, the tiny bear cub was spotted clinging to the top of a tree where he had climbed to escape the flames. His hind legs and paws were badly burned but with some good veterinary care the little guy pulled through. His was also a kind of "ursine interest" story that resonated with the public and which made the cub a symbol of fire prevention across America. It was in that spirit that the Government of New Mexico presented the bear as a gift to the American People. Smokey lived out his days at the National Zoo as an inspiration to all. When he passed on in 1976, Smokey's remains were returned to his native New Mexico, where he is buried at Smokey Bear State Historical Park, in Capitan, New Mexico, not far from where the firefighters rescued him as a cub in 1950.


Posted - 07.27.14 -- By MGM

MGM finds the a way.

We just wanted to let you know that it's time for you to sit down, take a deep breath, and get ready for a major announcement. If you haven't checked you chonies lately, about now would be a good time to do that, because what you need to experience is a "change you can believe in," and it's one we'd like to believe in too. But we'd prefer to take your word for it.

So keep an eye on the CLOG, as our Humbug Charles Topping continues to make earthshattering decisions about our Fall Doin's. He's won't change our weekend from October 17th-19th, but he has changed the location from Frandy Park to Tillie Creek campground, which is his way of keeping us away from the curious eyes of downtown Kernville and giving us the additional space needed to let Clampers be Clampers.

So keep your eyes glued to this page, because in a matter of days you'll have access to everything you'll need to know and everything you'll need to sign-up for our most splendiferous Fall Doin's. Peace out!


Posted - 07.14.14 -- By MGM

The French Girls kick it up for PXL.

Yep! It's a Can Can Do Moment, and yes, it is Bastille Day! But before we get your bail together, turn you over to the "sans coulottes," stuff you with Freedom Fries and let them parade you through the streets of Paris, we want to let you know that our Humbug, Charles Topping has decreed that our Fall Clampout will take place October 17-19, 6019, at the Frandy Park Campground in Kernville, CA. There will be a concurrent erection at the Ardis Walker House, probably on Sunday. Please save the date. Additional details will be posted soon here on the CLOG and on our Facebook page. And vive la différence!


Posted - 06.09.14 -- By MGM

Havilah Days 2014.

Hello, Cloggites! This will be a short post, but one you'll hopefully find worthy of your time. If nothing else you can use it as a convenient excuse to avoid mowing the lawn or taking out the garbage. Just tell your Widder that it's all that %$*# Mikee's fault for putting up a CLOG so soon after the last one, and that you had to stay inside because you didn't have an extension cord long enough to take the computer out into the yard with you. Of course, if you're reading this on a cell phone or laptop, you're on your own.

Anyway here's the skinny on our latest erection and on our Humbug's plans for the coming fall season. And don't forget. You can see bigger versions of many of the photos posted here on the CLOG just by clicking on them.

Havilah Days 2014.

First of all, thanks to everyone who came up to witness our plaquing of the site of the old St. Joseph Church and Cemetery in Havilah, California. The ceremony was part of the annual Havilah Days celebration put on by the Havilah Historical Society, formerly known as the Havilah Centennial Group when it was established back in the 1960's to celebrate the town turning 100 years old. Aside from putting on the annual street fair which is a whole lot of fun, HHS was responsible for building and continues to maintain the replica schoolhouse and courthouse where the town's museum and diorama are housed.

There is little left of the town's original buildings, but back in the 1860's Havilah served as the Kern County seat, and its downtown boasted over 100 structures including Kern County's first Catholic Church. Well St. Joseph's Church burnt down in the 1870's, and was never rebuilt. The gold fields in and around the Kern River Valley played out, and the parish, along with the county seat, was moved to Bakersfield.


Havilah Days 2014.

And that left both a 140 year old mystery and a subject for us to plaque. The Havilah Historical Society has an ongoing interest in researching the origins of Havilah, and Charles, our Humbug, had an interest in plaquing something (He told us he was gonna do that when we made him Humbug). The old cemetery about 250 yards south of the Havilah Courthouse held a lot of mutual interest, but nobody knew who the cemetery belonged to, so HHS went to the property records and discovered that it belonged to the Catholic Diocese of Fresno.

Havilah Days 2014.

Well the Fresno diocese is huge in terms of its land mass. It covers Fresno, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, Mariposa and Tulare Counties, and it turns out that the diocese had "lost" this cemetery many years ago. It had been part of the old St. Joseph Church, and it only had about 25 people buried in it, with the first burial having occurred in 1875 and the last in 1961. So being the good guys that we are we went knocking on the chancery door to tell the diocese that we had found their cemetery.

Bishop Ochoa really was quite surprised by our find and was happy to get it back. So this past Sunday became a three-fer. Fourteen Redshirts and most of their Widders' attended the Havilah Days festival and had a great time. Then at 1 p.m. we dedicated the concrete and stone monument you see here marking the site of the pioneer church and cemetery which were established in 1866. This plaque was jointly sponsored by HHS and PXL. A short time later, on the cemetery grounds themselves, an emissary from the Fresno Diocese blessed a new, 330 pound granite marker paid for by the diocese and engraved with the names of those known to be buried at St. Joseph's. He also thanked HHS and the Clampers for restoring this place to light and these souls to memory.


Havilah Days 2014.

I like happy endings. But I also don't want you to think that this was in anyway a sad day. We had a great time making new friends at Havilah Days, and just to prove it, I've posted about a 100 pictures which you can see by clicking the links on Peter's Picture Pages. I've also posted them as an eight minute YouTube slideshow which is easily accessible to the public by clicking the Clampdown link in the links box. There's nothing remotely embarrassing about these pictures so I encourage you to pass this link around so that others - Clampers and non-Clampers alike - can see what we do.

This was a valuable experience for us. PXL can muster the time and dust to erect one and sometimes two monuments a year, but by necessity our plaquing is often accomplished in remote places. At Havilah we had much more than the usual exposure and we had both favorable responses and inquiries about membership. Best of all there were plenty of people around who were able to see our Clampers making a positive contribution to their community.

Havilah Days 2014.


Now on to our fall plans and New of the Charles! According to Charles the plaquing of the Ardis Walker house in Kernville is back on, and it will be done in conjunction with our Fall Clampout. There is no firm date as of yet, though it is typically at the end of September. A lot will depend on finding a suitable Clampground away from the public that will accommodate RVs. I'll be sure to post and email the time and location of our Fall Doin's just as soon as Charles gives me a heads-up. The full details will follow later.

Charles also says that this erection is going to be easier than the last one. Due to zoning requirements in Kernville we will not be building a free standing monument but will instead be affixing our plaque to a conspicuous location on the outside of the residence itself. Or in other words the Ardis Walker House IS the erection, we're just putting something on it. Consider our plaque to be a prophylaxis against fading historical memory. We should also have some nice biographical materials on Ardis Walker to include in our keepsake. Capice?

OK. That's all for now. I'm getting out of here before my bad jokes get me fired.

Email MGM.

MGM, XNGH -- "Recording No Cyber Before Its Time."
...and remember to Love us on Facebook





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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