Keever is a secretive confraternal organization founded in Davis on May 24, 1991.

Origins Keever's origins are shrouded in myth and mystery. According to the Kronicles of Keever, the organization was "discovered" by Paul Swanson, then a graduating senior at Davis High School on May 21, 1991. While taking notes in Susan Pangelinan's Journalism 1 class, Swanson fell into a sort of stupor. When the class was asked to break into groups of four to discuss a project, Swanson looked down at his notebook. There, on an otherwise blank page (here after, refered to as The Keever), was the single word in capitol letters "KEEVER" written in a clear hand. Only Swanson didn't remember writing it! As the class broke into groups, he was joined by his sophomore classmates Lucas Taber, Steve Walter and Adam Flowers. The ashen-faced Swanson hesitantly told his friends what had happened. He also told them that he couldn't recall ever hearing that word. They all agreed that this was a sign, an omen of great portent. What the meaning was, however, they had no idea.

Founding and Incorporation The following day, Swanson, Taber, Walter and Flowers agreed that they must meet to discuss the meaning of this miraculous appearing. They also decided that they would tell their good friend Gordon Bell of the occurance and ask for his opinions and guidance. On Friday night, May 24th, the group assembled at Taber's house on Schmeiser Avenue. The five repaired to the Gazebo in the Taber's back yard, adjacent to the grassy area behind the swimming pool. Lucas wanted to light candles to mark the solemnity of the occasion, but could not find any candle sticks. He instead used cored apples and the Gazebo was lit with the flickerings of destiny. Each member lit a cigar on the candles (in the future, this would mark the begining of all future Keever Konventions). It was decided that the five of them were to constitute a new organization. This organization would be called Keever.

Goals Keever's mission was to evolve and solidify. Initially, the group agreed that they would meet as often as possible, once a week at least, and that in the Gazebo, they could discuss anything and everything and it could never leave the sacred confines. They took a solemn oath that they were bound in honor to uplift and support each other. As time went on, Keever evovled an ethos of spreading a sense of fun and harmless mischief through anonymous endeavors.

Keever Kulture The Keever symbol is a black K surrounded by a black circle. The Keever hand sign is pictured at the top of the page. There is also a secret handshake. While Keever is not a religious organization, it is heavily influenced by the New Testament "Golden Rule", the Old Testament Book of Quohelet (Ecclesiastes); the films "This Is Spinal Tap", "Shaft", "Son of Shaft", "Boyz In Tha Hood", "Shaft In Africa", "Naked Gun", "Young Frankenstein", "Goonies", The Star Wars and Indiana Jones Trilogies, "Monty Python and the Holy Grail", "The Three Amigos", "Ocean's Eleven (the original)", "The Blues Brothers", "Pulp Fiction", "A Christmas Story", "It's A Wonderful Life", "Spaceballs", "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure", "Wayne's World", "Animal House", "Better Off Dead", "Sandlot", "Field of Dreams", "Eurotrip", "Darkman" and "The Dream Team"; the Television Shows "SCTV", "Kids in the Hall", "Saturday Night Live", "Seinfeld", "The Simpsons", "In Living Color", "Monty Python's Flying Circus", "The A-Team", "Magnum P.I.", "Night Rider", "The Martin and Lewis Colgate Comedy Hour", "G.L.O.W.:Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling", "You Can't Do That On Television", "Short Attention Span Theater" and "Wild, Wild, West"; the music of Jimi Hendrix, Otis Redding, U2, Isaac Hayes, Funkadelic, Parliament, Lenny Kravitz, The Beastie Boys, Frank Sinatra, Led Zeppelin, 3rd Bass, The Grateful Dead, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Queen, Van Halen, Public Enemy, Eric Clapton, Ice Cube, Abdominizer, Boston, The Who, The Beatles, Retired Fish, Howlin' Wolf, Extreme, Dean Martin, Dr. Dre, Lynard Skynard, The Allman Brothers, The Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath and AC/DC; the writings of G.K. Chesterton, Mark Twain, John Steinbeck, Douglas Adams, Michael Connelly, C.S. Lewis, Clive Cussler and Jack Handy.

Jack Handy and "Free Dummy" Keever was perhaps most directly influenced by the philosophical writings of New Age Philosopher Jack Handy. His piercing cultural criticisms, collected in the series "Deep Thoughts", was critical in the developement of Keever's over-arching ethos. Most influential was Handy's short (VERY short) commentary, "Free Dummy":

If you ever fall off the Sears Tower, just go real limp, because maybe you'll look like a dummy, and people will try to catch you, because hey, free dummy.

Keever felt that this summed up their world view. Life can turn out drastically different from what you hoped, and when it does, adapt with ingenuity and good humor. It also reflected Keever's embracing of randomness and belief that in the random could be found a hilarious sort of order. If something seemingly weird or random would happen, a Keever might say to another simply, "Random", or "Free Dummy", and all would be understood between them.

The Domes The Keevers had no enemy except for the oppressive weight of conformity and normalcy. This was embodied (to them) by the Domes on the UC Davis campus. While they had nothing personally against anyone that lived in the the Domes (on the contrary, Keever admired the communes aims), Keever feared a day when every one thought the same, acted the same and all lived in identical "dome-iciles" in a carbon-copy "Dome-inion". It declared war on conformity, thought control and up-tight prudishness.

Membership Like many fraternal organizations, Keever does not actively recruit. One becomes a member only after:

1) Petition - Requesting membership from a member.

2) Permissions - All members are informed and all members agree and candidate is invited to next Keever Konvention

3) Passage - The candidate lights the Keremonial Kigar from the Apple of Light, then is asked the sacred question, "Who is on your top five hottest list?"

There is no ritualistic hazing or fees.

Members At its core, Keever has five life-time members, two Eternals and many ancillary Keever Kompadres.

Keever, June 1993 - L to R:Adam Flowers, Lucas Taber, Steve Walter and Gordon Bell

Keever, August 1999 - L to R:Adam Flowers, Gordon Bell, Steve Walter and Lucas Taber

Keevers For Life Paul Swanson - King Keever: founder and discoverer. Lucas Taber - Keeper of the Keever: Charter Member. Steve Walter - Minister of Funk: Charter Member. Adam Flowers - Minister of Misinformation: Charter Member. Gordon Bell - Minister of Madrigals: Charter Member.

Paul Swanson left for college in August of 1991. While he holds lifetime membership status, he attended meetings infrequently due to his schedule. His title as "King Keever" is honorary and ceremonial. Keever has no organizational leader.

Eternals An Eternal is someone who has Petitioned for membership, been granted Permissions, but never partaken in the Passage. The Eternals are: Chapel Roberts Kristen Pleau

Keever Kompadres Keever Kompadres are people important to the members, but have never gone through any of the Three P's. Some also provided material or spiritual assistance to Keever.

*Ian Sierchio *Cecilie Stuelpe *Nicole Takesono Flowers *Jenna Swanson *Jobie Taber *Sarah Walter *Nolan Walter *Sara Bell
*Eric Eberley *Steve Zicker *James Thomsen *Ken Keilman *Andy Taber *Libby Smith *Mike Flowers *Kathy Flowers *Denny Walter
*Stephanie Walter *Claudia Bell *Charles Bell *Michelle Azevedo *Shannon Bell *Stephanie Taber *Tim Walter *Joe Walter *Betsy Hennessy

What is your Quest?

You must be logged in to comment on this page. Please log in.

2011-07-11 13:41:39   The chapter you speak of that dates to 1991 is a recent chapter. The one I'm a member of dates back to at least the civil war. My grandfather brought it from North Carolina to Texas in 1884. There are two hand shakes one public and one secret (members only). I always greet the general public and friends with the "open to the public handshake". The handshake shown above is kinda close to the original, but must be a chapter variance. There is a graphic logo, it's called the SWOONCH. It was the early family cattle brand. It's on the front license plate of my car. It's a symbol of good luck and health. R.D. Keever —R.D.Keever