PEGGY JONES ● Lovelock Review-Miner
From left to right: Clampers Joe Polinelli, Johnny Spilman, Zac Leonard, Lance Johnson, Pat Allen, Larry Rackley, Jay Hauge and Zac Smith (kneeling) donated over a ton of non-perishables to the Lovelock Food Bank on Saturday. "Widder" DeeDee Wells supplied the banner, a homemade scarf.
Clamping down on hunger
E Clampus Vitus strikes again
by Peggy Jones
Don't bother looking up the Latin translation. It doesn't existicus. But when it comes to the mission of E Clampus Vitus, facta non verba (actions speak louder than words).
On Saturday, six Clampers from Outpost Jesse Lee Reno 1422 visited the Lovelock Food Bank. They left behind over a ton of nonperishables – about 2,050 pounds. That's roughly the weight of a female hippopotamus.
The Franklin Street facility welcomed the red shirted and black vested donors. The men sported patches with sayings like “Hang the bastards!” and “ECV: No Known Cure.”
Penny Higby and Geraldine Atkinson co-direct the food bank.
"We're blessed," said Atkinson. "This was 500 pounds more than last year."
The Recycling Center lent Larry Rackley their forklift. Lovelock's newest county commissioner unloaded a mountain of canned goods, cereals, pastas and instant potatoes as tall as Mount Vesuvius. The donation coincided with the launch of the holiday season.
It also coincides with northern Nevada's first cold snap. That's why the Clampers brought coats as well as canned goods.
"They will be turned over to an advocate in our community who will take care of that dispensation," said Atkinson as she sorted through the pile of winter clothes.
Food Bank Volunteer Dave Johnson helped Joe Polinelli, Johnny Spilman, Zac Leonard, Lance Johnson, Pat Allen and Zac Smith unload the largess.
Weeks of Clamper labor made the donation possible.
For fifteen Halloweens the Clampers have built haunted houses at Reno Forklift, where several of the men work. Each year, owners George and Pat Pimpl throw the doors open to the public, gratis.
"The Pimpls support ECV in all of their service efforts," said Atkinson.
Four nights of every year, trick or treaters wander sprawling spookhouses not meant for the timidus. Vampires, clowns and zombies, some bearing an uncanny resemblance to the Clampers, pounce on the patrons.
The Spirit moves many guests to donate canned goods or cash. It takes a week-and-a-half to tear down the structure.
But its animus lives on.
Last year the Clampers launched a tradition. They transformed the proceeds into a food donation for Lovelock's pantry.
ECV has left its mark on Lovelock in other ways. Last year, they donated a historic plaque to the grounds of the Pershing County Courthouse. They've also given Christmas gifts to the Angel Tree project.
The Ancient and Honorable Order of E Clampus Vitus has chapters and outposts across the west to the tune of about forty thousand members.
Fifty men from Reno, Sparks, Lovelock and Winnemucca make up the Outpost Jesse Lee Reno 1422.
"We're based in Pershing County but operate out of Reno for now," said an anonymous spokesman. "We're either drunks with a history problem or historians with a drinking problem. We don't know."
But their mission is cristallum clearum.
"We partake in the preservation of history and helping the community including widders and orphans, especially widders," concluded the spokesman.