OOPS! ---- "Back in the Saddle Again!" Yup, I guess that's it, but I ain't no Gene Autry, (and some of us --- well, most of us, are old enough to know who I'm talking about)!
Let's see now, what can I say and still remain politically correct? Can't say anything stupid like Columbus discovered America …. as a matter of fact, can't say anything about history ( 'cuz I'd want to be accurate, and tell it like it really was! ) …. but current public sentiment wants to tear down statues and re-write documents leaving certain words and events out! Ain't happenin' with us Clampers! In other words . . ."READ MY LIPS":
IT IS AN HONOR to return as your Humbug - - - BUSY, but a real honor!
I want to thank my Widder, Jayne, and Ptimbo's Widder, Judi, for all of their help and efforts in making the 2023 Widder's Ball a real success! I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Nicole Kirkland, Manager of Homewood Suites, and XNGH Jim "Bullseye" Bailey for all that they do for us each year with the hotel and catering!
Two weeks after the Widders' Ball, on Saturday, February 18th (President's Day weekend) we will once again be marching in the Whisky Flat Days Parade up in Kernville. Then immediately thereafter we might invade a few of the local Bistros or Pub's. Sorry folks, but all of the hotels and motels in the area, and the Campgrounds that are still open in the winter are booked up with all the vendors and helpers for Whisky Flat Days. We have already registered, but I have to be there to sign us in and get a parade number at 0830 on Saturday, February 18th, and if you would like to march with us, Redshirts and Widder's must be there in line by 0930 (9:30 am), the parade will start at 1000 (10:00 am) sharp! Your best red and black attire or any old thing Clamper will be appropriate (as long as it really is, "appropriate"!)
Then, April 14 thru 16, 2023, for the Spring Doin's we will be Clamping once again at Camp Hamilton Memorial Park in Bakersfield. I want to thank XNGH Dale "Top" Turner for handling these arrangements! And, as you know, we try to do two plaques a year, and try to arrange to do the plaquing during the Doin's. Because I didn't know until Oct. 1, 2022 that I would be asked to be the Humbug again in 2023, I hadn't had time to plan for any plaques for 2023 yet. I really want to thank my Vice-Humbug, Kelvin "Dr. Klapper" Swanson, for offering to give up one of his plaques to me. I am still negotiating with the Famoso Raceway/Dragstrip folks --- but hopefully we will have their OK soon, but probably not soon enough to get the plaque done by the Spring Doin's, hopefully we will have the proper approvals so we can do a plaquing later this year.
May 19 thru 21, 2023 will be the Annual Grand Council meetings up in Sonoma, CA. It was canceled in 2020, then restricted in 2021. Hopefully they will once again allow several of our brothers to join us again this year, but I'll have to get back to you, once I find out for sure.
July 2023 will be the Annual TRASH TREK. I don't have the dates yet, but we will be going to the "Hastings Cutoff" (of Donner Party fame), and Fort Bridger to Salt Lake.
Our Fall Doins' will be scheduled for September 22 - 24, hopefully at Fort Tejon. But, they don't allow scheduling more than 6 months in advance of the event, so I will be trying to get us on their schedule in April 2023 for those September dates.
I don't know if you are aware of it or not, but we did a joint plaquing with the Dr. Samuel Gregg George Chapter at "Road's End," in Tulare County, up just beyond McNaley's, in 2005, but the plaque has been totally destroyed since then. XXNGH Charles "Al Vll" Topping has been trying to get permission to do a replaquing at the site, but the U.S. Forest Service has changed regimes 3 times since then. I have contacted the daughter, and a son, from the last two families who owned or operated Road's End, and have some rewording and other suggestions from them, and I have met with the District Forest Ranger in charge of that area. He seemed in favor of the replaquing plans, but must now get the approval of his Supervisor before we can continue. Hopefully we will have an OK back shortly. I'll keep you advised.
The final item on the schedule for 2023 will be the Annual Business Meeting, again at the La Sierra (actually I wrote it down the first time as "La Siesta"), in Frazier Park, on Saturday, November 4, 2023.
I'm sure Kelvin "Dr. Klapper" Swanson will have his dates "carved in stone" before he takes over as Humbug in 2024. I want to thank so many brothers for stepping up and filling the much needed positions with me, and FOR YOU in 2023, and believe me when I say, IT IS A VERY LONG LIST!
Brother Ptimbo, now an XXXNGH, is at the very top of that list, he's going to be a real tough act to follow, and I really want to thank him for volunteering to also come back (if only until we can find some other poor soul) to be our Clamp Chef.
We are also very fortunate to have several other Brothers volunteering to return and help us out again:
- XNGH, Dale "Top" Turner to remain as Gold Dust Receiver, Clamp Crier, also in charge of the "Feed the Bear" program, and PXL Accounts Auditor.
- XXNGH, Mark "Pokey" Crawford has agreed to help teach the Grand Noble Recorder & Asst. GDR, Brother Rick "Hardluck"Veiga the ropes; and, let me mention something right here, we are extremely fortunate to have Kelvin "Dr. Klapper" Swanson as Vice-Humbug, and Rick "Hardluck" Veiga helping us. These are two of the hardest working brothers we've ever had in PXL! No task is too difficult, and they don't just stand around waiting for someone to start pitching in, they LEAD whatever needs to be done. Thank you my Brothers.
- There are a crew of new "functionaries," and I also want to thank them for offering to help us out this year, but we have a couple of returning Brothers, who took a little break, but are now back with us as "Petey's Flying Circus" Ring Masters! Brothers, Fred "Flintstone" Fenski, and Brother, Dave "Boulder" Staley! Dave has also volunteered to take back the position of "Royal Clamps Thespian."
- I can't fail to also thank Brother, XNGH, Mike "MGM" Ramirez for all that he does for us; Photographer, Consulting (not insulting) Clampstorian, and Cyber Recorder! (Did I miss anything Mikee?) Thanks go out too, to Brother Mark "Scoop" Mutz for assisting as Assistant to the Cyber Recorder.
- Hats off also to Mike "12 volt" Mazzetti, for stepping up and assuming the PXL Hawker position.
Oh yeah, Redshirts, tell your PBC's that the Humbug really loves good Irish Whisky. MGM got him hooked on "Powers", but it's hard to find, so Jameson's or something close would be an appropriate "bribe". I'd also like to remind you, "No retreads" during the HOCO.
And my MANY THANKS to all of you for allowing me to try to "do it right this time"!