The Cody Family held their biennial reunion, June 28th through July 1st in Cody Wyoming. About 30 family members registered at the Reception on Thursday in the Cody Room next to Cody Auditorium. They came from across the continent, Massachusetts, Ohio, California, Oregon, Missouri, Texas, Virginia, Washington state, Ohio and Alberta. Wyoming is already home to Kit and Linda's family as well as the Garlows, Bill, Ivy and Lindsay.
Ron and Suzanna passed out nametags, souvenir maps and activity schedules, Kit and Linda set the buffet, with Deborah Strode and Martha Goodwin helping.
Left to right: Suzanna, William, Brenda, Janet, Maurice, Alicia, Larry, Bill, Gerald, Deborah, Terry, Frank, Dwight with Loraine and Hap in the foreground.
After we all got aquainted, we walked over to the Irma Hotel to see the Cody Gunfighters deliver a gun safety demonstration and re-enact some thrilling moments of derring-do.
When the excitment died down, we stepped into the Governor's Room for a first-class buffet with the best prime rib I've had in a long time. A toast was offered to Mary Jester Allen in recognition of her founding of the original Museum. We visited for awhile afterwards, and Deborah told us a little about horseracing in Mongolia.
Left to right: Allan Cody, Deborah Gordon, Maurice & Brenda Cummings, Deborah Strode, Ron Hills, Martha Goodwin, Gerald Smith, Dolores & Harold Thornton, Alex Edwards, Kit & Linda Cody, Terry Cody, Brenda Cody, Janet Owens, Frank Cody, Ivy & Bill Garlow. Seated: Annabel Woodrow, Suzanna Cody, Sally Cody, Loraine & Hap Goodman, Andrew Edwards, Kellie Edwards, Kylie Edwards and Dwight Cody.
Friday morning, some went on the Trolley Tour and others went whitewater rafting with Kit & the Riverrunners on the Shoshone (Show-show-nee). The rafting is always a lot of fun, the water isn't too cold, just wear a lot of sunblock! The trolley tour is good for learning the layout and folklore of the town.
After lunch we toured the new, re-dedicated Buffalo Bill Museum and visited with Johm Rumm, Curator. We were all fascinated with Peter Simpson's impression of Buffalo Bill which, when projected onto a mist of vapor, creates a lifesize image glowing with ghostly luminesence. Director Bruce Eldridge says its "the Center's most photographed exhibit." The new Museum layout tells the life story of William F. Cody, who was Buffalo Bill, with artifacts, diaramas, models and videos. It is an effective presentation of the man and his times.Left to right: Micheal Okey, Kit Cody, Janet Owens, Terry Cody, Frank Cody, Harold Thornton, Linda Cody, Gerald Smith, Dolores Thornton, Annabel Woodrow, Deborah Gordon, Sally Cody (seated), Susan Okey, Katherine Okey, Deborah Strode, Ron Hills, Martha Goodwin, John Rumm, Allan Cody, Hap Goodman, Loriane Goodman (seated), Peter Simpson as W. F. Cody, Larry, William and Alicia Benson, Suzanna and Dwight Cody (kneeling).
At the dinner, we were honored with the presence of Senator Alan Simpson and his lovely wife, Ann. Suzanna acted as emcee introducing Sen. Simpson, Bruce Eldredge, John Rumm, Terry Cody, Kit Cody and Hap Goodman, who each made their remarks in turn. Later on, we all called our Past President, Gerald Cody with a rousing greeting!
Saturday, we took the Heart Mountain Bus Tour to the Japanese-American Internment Camp where we learned how they survived during this tragic period. Like any prison camp, it was quite grim, with barbed wire, searchlights, guard towers and machine gun emplacements. There was a hospital and school, but little to do but farm and wait until it was over. The high school football team was undefeated in the 3 years they were there. When they were released, each was given $25 and a bus ticket. They have reunions too, with the last being in Las Vegas.
Back in town, many of us had lunch on the porch of the Irma Hotel, where its shady and we could watch the world go by, chat or go out shopping.
For supper, we went to a local watering hole, Cassie's Cowboy Bar. Cassie's has an interesting history, she had been the wife of an engineer on the Shoshone dam project. When he died, she opened a "Ladies of the Night" house in Cody. She moved it to the West Strip in the 1930s at the request of city officials.
When Bill Garlow was town attorney just after WWII ended, he was asked by Gov. Milward Simpson to prevail upon Cassie to close her Supper Club. Times were changing and the town needed to change along with them, for 30 years Cassie had run her place pretty well, but the heyday of brothels like hers were over.
Bill accepted Milward's request and got himself fired up to face Cassie, a woman of great repute. He drove over and stepped inside, where he was greeted by Cassie herself who looked him in the eye and whispered "I know why you're here Bill, you're gonna shut me down, aren't you." Bill gathered himself, ready for a showdown, but then Cassie smiled and said "Thank you - I'm so tired of all this, but I didn't want to disappoint the girls." And so a tradition ended. Cassie is still fondly remembered for her heart of gold. The Nelsons bought Cassies after her death in 1952 and today it bills itself as Wyoming's Premier Steakhouse.
After dinner at Cassie's, a few descendants were asked to introduce themselves, Larry talked about doing classic auto restoration and estate sales, the Okeys with their California Gold Rush Museum, Hap Goodman talked about local real estate, Harold said someting about climbing an ice cliff on the 49th parallel, Gerald about his legal career, Terry about his biological research, Frank was amazed at this great bunch of Codys, Allan and electronics maufacturing, Dwight with his film equipment business, Deborah about her engineering experience, Suzanna about work as a therapist and Ron about the Hubble Space Telescope project. Deborah Strode, a relative of Buffalo Bill's friend Gen. Geo. Crooke, recited a tongue-twister that won her money on a game show!
Foreground: Frank Cody and Suzanna Cody Background: Larry Benson, Susan Okey, Hap Goodman, Linda Cody and Ron Hills.
Cody Nite Rodeo featured forty of the world's top bull riders taking their shot at a $50,000 purse and the Cody-Yellowstone Xtreme Bulls title. We witnessed some spectacular action at this special event! Here, Cody Samora of Cortez, CO, currently ranked #2 on this tour, hangs on to a ton of fun to score a 91! There were 3 other 'Cody' bullriders competing this time.Left to Right: Terry Cody, Janet Owens, Annabel Woodrow, Katherine Okey, Gerald Smith and William Benson express their enthusiasm!
Sunday mornng services in the historic Poker Church were conducted by Rev. Warren Murphy using the 1926 Episcopal liturgy, with Organist Jim Hager, Lay Reader Ann Wafer and Acolyte Nelson Fees. Left to right: Allan Cody, Rev. Warren Murphy, Hap Goodman, Alicia Benson, Loraine Goodman, Larry and William Benson, Ron Hills, Terry Cody, Gerald Smith, Deborah Gordon and Sally Cody.
George Beck's wife Daisey directed the construction and the building was used as a community meeting hall in addition to worship services. The church along with its organ, a rare Wurlitzer Scheme 7 Opus 1, was renovated by Milward and Lorna Simpson. They later donated 27 town lots to the Episcopal Church, which erected a new church upon the site. The old "Poker Church" was also moved to this site. A plaque outside explains the origin of the nickname "Poker Church" thusly;
The Family Picnic in Mentock Park concluded with an ICFA Business Meeting presided over by Kit Cody, Linda Cody as Secretary with Treasurer Ron Hills delivering the Financial Report.Kit Cody and Ron Hills at the business meeting.
ICFA General Membership Business Meeting Minutes
The meeting convened at 1:30PM after the Family Picnic on Sunday, July 1 at Mentock Park in Cody, WY
President Kit opened this General Membership Business Meeting by asking Linda, our Secretary, to please read the Minutes from our 2010 General Membership Business Meeting at the Picnic in Tucson, AZ. Kit then introduced Ron Hills, asking him to give the Treasurer's report.
Ron says we have about $3,200 in the bank right now but we continue to be in a financial decline, caused by the publishing and mailing costs for the Review. With the increases in printing and postage costs he says we really need to go with e-mailings instead of mailing hard copies.
Member Jerry Smith asked "Do you ever do financial audits?" Ron replied "No, under the present way the organization is run, Terry, as Executive Director receives and deposits all income and that the Treasurer only writes checks against the few bills received. Terry sends me a list of deposits but I have no way of doing any real audit."
Jerry suggested at least every two years there should be an audit by someone other than the Treasurer- Ron agreed and he included the audit rquirement in the new Bylaws. Jerry asked who else has access to the Bank Account, in case of illness or death. Ron replied that both Terry and Ron, as Treasurer, have access to the bank account.
Ron said "I'm out if we don't become a Legal Association and operate in a normal Board controlled manner" adding he "Can't feel responsible for something I have no control or authority over."
Ron ended his Treasurer's report by telling us "When all the bills are paid we will probably either have a wash or a small loss. Bottom line is we need to tighten up as we mail out about 2,500 reviews and that costs more than we receive as income." Suzanna says "We would have a much better communication if we go electronically." Suzanna stated that there was an effort to establish a 501c3 non-profit corporation. She said the membership has voted on this twice, at 2 reunions (2004, 2006), to become a legal entity and nothing has happened. This effort was tabled at the 2010 reunion in order to develop a new set of Bylaws, which were presented at this reunion. (as a background: Suzanna spent her own time and money with a lawyer to develop the legal status since she felt then it was really important to have a current and legal set of Bylaws, budget, audits, IRS status, and to assure that the ICFA is operated by the Board of Directors. She felt this would help in giving the Association more creditability and legitimacy.) She added that there is a Cody "Foundation" Non-Profit entity, in which Terry is the resident agent, through which we receive discounts for postal mailings only. Kit addressed voting on the Bylaws, saying that "Reunion attendees received the new set of Bylaws upon registration and have reviewed and submitted their comments and suggestions, so we are not going to do a final vote today.
Hopefully we can get these Bylaws out to everyone within a week or two." Ron suggests it may take a little longer, we will e-mail the updated Bylaws to all who attended the Reunion and ask for their review and ratification by return e-mail. Everyone agrees we need to put these Bylaws to work.
Kit then told the group about what the Executive Board discussed during their meeting on Thursday June 28. He solicted the group for "Ideas! For our next reunions we have talked about Oregon, Jamestown NY, Eastern Canada, Colorado, and possiably getting together with Ancestors that worked with Buffalo Bill. Is there anyone here that would be interested in hosting the next reunion?"
Dwight said "It's hard to make long range plans". Ron mentioned that West Coast has the most members, next is the Ohio area and maybe those would be the most practical places for a reunion.
Kit announced that our Secretary Linda Cody, is retiring from that office and the Board has asked Dwight Cody to become our next Secretary by our next Reunion and he accepted, subject to comfirmation by the membership. Kit said he would like to see Suzanna become our new President and Kit become Vice President, Ron will remain Treasurer. Kit asks if there are any other suggestions and there were none. All the Officers were approved by voice vote of the attending Membership.
Kit said Terry is retiring as our Executive Director and has put in many years for this Family Association. Terry says he is "committed to getting the reprint of the new Directory and Genealogy finished and published before retiring."
Suzanna, said "Please contact us if you have any interests or comments as we would appreciate all the help we can get..."
Kit closed and the meeting was adjourned at 2:25 PM.
Signed: Linda Cody, 2002-2012 ICFA Secretary.
It was announced that the Cody Review, continuously published and mailed to members over the last 50 years will now be published electronically and e-mailed to the membership. Everyone is encouraged to send their e-mail address to Dorothy (email@example.com) for a copy. Dues-paying members who can't get e-mail will be sent a printed copy if they request so.
We all wish to thank Kit and Linda as well as Suzanna and Ron for being such good hosts, making the reservations, preparing the nametags, gift bags and setting a delicious spread of food and drink at the Reception and later, the Picnic. Additional thanks to Dwight Cody for taking all these great pictures!
Oh, and it was truly wonderful to see Hap and Loraine and Deborah with her mother, Sally Cody. Thanks for the memories!
Happy Trails to you! ...until we meet again.