Just got this email from a very much alive Eric Beck this morning (May 4th) with the answer to the question in this thread about the origin of his quip. So Veblen does play a part in its genesis:”Hi Bruce;
Very nice to hear from you. Here’s the story. It is raining and many of us are sitting around Yosemite Lodge. Roper is reading Thorstein Veblen, THEORY OF THE LEISURE CLASS. In my usual smart ass manner, I happen to remark that there is a leisure class at both ends of the social spectrum. That’s it, apparently this caught on with climbers.
We have been in Bishop for 8 years. We go to Tuolumne often in the summer. Some of our favorites remain your old routes, Great Circle and Crying Time.
Eric and Lori Beck”