2014 REUNION, JAMESTOWN NY
& CHAUTAUQUA INSTITUTION
We held our biennial reunion, July 24th through July 27th in Jamestown New York. Forty family members registered at the Reception on Thursday in Jamestown’s historic Gateway Train Station. We came from all across the continent, from California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Ohio, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Wyoming and Ontario.
Genealogically, we represented 9 of the 201 known Fifth Generation Descendants of Philip and Martha, namely; Nathan 122, Nancy (Merigold) 142, Isaac 145, Philip 148, Lydia (Moore) 181, Martha (Moore) 203, Alonzo 252, Harrison Smith 261 and Ansel Manley 270.
This reunion was an opportunity for our Association to join with the municipality of Jamestown in celebrating Buffalo Bill's Wild West and see the authentic billboard-size poster heralding the stage play, "May Cody, or Lost & Won" which was performed in Jamestown on March 14, 1878, in the early days of Bill’s career.
In keeping with our tradition of civic boosterism, Past President Hiram S. Cody donated to the poster restoration and our own President Suzanna Cody canvassed for restoration funds. We are proud to participate in this revival of civic pride and hosted Mayor Sam Teresi, State Assemblyman Andy Goodell, Lee Harkness Executive Director of the Jamestown Development Corporation and WJTN radio talk show host John Siggins together with their crew and Tom Bishop and his posse at Friday’s Honors Dinner.
ICFA President Suzanna Cody and Treasurer Ron Hills, together with the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, the Remington Museum and the Ringling Museum, produced an art show of 200 items of Buffalo Bill ephemera from their collections. Spencer Smith screened DVD presentations of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West and their activities. Author Sandy Sagala signed copies of her new book, "Buffalo Bill on the Silver Screen." Dwight Cody sold commerative teeshirts while Allan Cody, as Acting Genealogist, traced lineages, hosted the Giftshop table and gave a guided tour of the cody-family.org website.
Terry Cody, Janet Owen and Martha Goodwin passed out nametags, souvenir maps and activity schedules, Ron and Suzanna organized the refreshments with Lee Harkness and his staff and John Siggins of WJTN served as emcee. After a few words of greeting from Suzanna, Ron and Lee, we lined up and were treated to a hearty buffet catered by Elegant Edibles with wine from the Merritt Winery. Roast beef and horseradish!
As the audience warmed up to Ricky Lee, Suzanna and Ron led off the dancing, here joined by Rick, Judith, Allan, Janet, Stuart and Sandy and made a lively time of it on the dance floor.
As Ricky Lee led us in singing "God Bless America", we formed a Cody Circle for this patriotic moment.Clockwise from left: Jim, Jeremy, Ina, Dwight, Margaret, Rick, Judith, Jennie Mae, Suzanna, Stuart, Janet, Ricky Lee, Bob, Donna, Darryl and Mark. Click on the picture for the video!
Below, in the foreground, William E. Goodman, Rick Cody, Donna and Darryl Lankin, Suzanna Cody and Elizabeth Polatin hang out while the rest of us catch up. In the background, Ina, William, Chris and Colleen Polatin got there first. You can see Lee Harkness and John Siggins broadcasting from the WJTN table.
What with all the cameras, we took a couple family portraits, one on the balcony and another in the lobby! Left to right; Terry 270/3452, Rick 261/721 & Judith 261/721 (spouse), XXX, Suzanna 148/21311, William 148/231112 & Elizabeth 148/2131111, Stuart 148/3421, Christopher 148/213111, Ron 148/21311 (spouse), Colleen 148/213111 (spouse), Bob Schiffke FOF, Janet Owen FOF, Ina FOF, Linda 145/4433 (spouse), Kellie 145/44331, Allan 148/3422 and Kevin 145/44332.
Left to right: Angie Bishop (mounted), Tom Bishop Jr.(lasso), wrangler Bryan Turner (mounted), Mark DeBrinte as Smilin' Dan the Gunman (standing), announcer Russ Van Clue (mounted), Tom Bishop Sr. (stagecoach), Patti Culliton (stagecoach), and wrangler Brandi Whitford (standing). The group around Easter Lillie the minature horse is Martha Goodwin, Elizabeth Polatin, Ron Hills and Calvert Baker, Lillie's wrangler.
Friday night, we returned to the Gateway Train Station for a sumptuous buffet, another look at the poster exhibit and the awards presentations. Diane Bergholtz donated original sheets of Wild West music performed by Buffalo Bill’s Cowboy Band to the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Curator Jeremy Johnston accepting. Lynn Warner presented him with the script of "Life on the Border", an 1876 Buntline stage play performed by Buffalo Bill, also for the Center. Jim Johnson of Jamestown’s Robert H. Jackson Center spoke of adopting the horse as the city’s mascot. Also attending were Author Sandy Sagala, Tom Bishop and the wranglers from his 4B Ranch, Lee Harkness and his team and State Assemblyman Andy Goodell.
Below, the audience listens to Mayor Sam Teresi’s remarks.
Our Genealogist, Barabara Metalsky, who collected and verified the data for publication in the 2013 Genealogy, could not attend this reunion, so her Cody Clock will be mailed to her with a letter expressing our gratitude and thanks for her work.Saturday morning, bright and early, we pulled on our cowboy boots to get ready for the parade. Those of us marching gathered at 9AM in the staging area for the procession to the Reviewing Stand at the Gateway Train Station. There, the City of Jamestown adopted the Horse as their municipal mascot and honored Buffalo Bill with a six-gun salute. Click for a video of the Western Parade!
On the Reviewing Stand, Suzanna and John Siggins introduce Buffalo Bill’s great great-grandchildren Kellie and Kevin to the audience. Their mother, Linda Cody widow of our Past President Kit Cody, appears in the background. Then across the street, Anthony J. Constanzo, as Sgt. Major of the firing squad for Vietnam Veterans of America Post #865, barks orders for a salute in honor of Col. William F. Cody, a Congressional Medal of Honor winner. Ready, Aim, Fire! After which Tom Bishop’s Wild West Show performed their trick riding, roping and knife-throwing for the crowd and Calvert Baker put Easter Lilly, the miniature horse, through her paces. The kids loved it!
Next, we carpooled up to Chautauqua Institution, where its unique atmoshere bespeaks a rich Progressive spiritual and intellectual heritage. From the late 1800s through World War II, the halls and corridors echoed with the seminal issues of Prohibition, Sufferage, Equality and War. Our Lindus and Amelia as well as many other Cleveland Codys summered here for rest and relaxation in this uplifting, harmonious religious resort.
However, it seems that Teddy and Bill traveled in different social circles and probably wern't close. After Jeremy answered a few questions, Jon adjourned the lecture and conducted us on a Cody Family tour of Chautauqua Institution.
Below, Kevin, Linda, Kellie, Allan, Stuart, Bob, Brian, Jan, William and others listen to Jon talk about Chautauqua's evolution from a Methodist Sunday school teacher's college and vacation bible camp in 1874, into a Progressive-era adult education institute, giving birth to many national touring lecture troups. In the 20’s, radio broadcasting upstaged these "circuit chautauquas", who disappeared by 1934. Chautauqua itself declined during the Great Depression and WWII, slumbering until the 70’s, but found new growth in the 80’s. Today, with new leadership and a strong focus on the arts, Chautauqua cherishes it’s heritage as it offers a forum for future generations of scholars.
Finally, it was time for dinner in a private dining room of this Grand Hotel. We enjoyed the repast and then the festivities. Here, Chris and Colleen, who were married at Chautauqua, relax while the grandparents look after the kids. On the left, at the table sit Linda, Jeremy, Jon and Elizabeth Schmitz, Spencer and Megan Smith and Linda’ s daughter Kellie. At the table behind Chris and Colleen are Terry, Janet, Ina and Dwight with Allan. Behind them sits William Hagel and Margaret Monahan with their families. On the right, near Chris and Colleen are Mark and Jennie Mae. Behind them are Darryl and Donna.
After dinner, Suzanna presented Cody Clock awards to Chautauqua Archivist Jon Schmitz, Buffalo Bill Museum Curator Jeremy Johnston, Spencer and Megan Smith of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West and Bob Schiffke, Executive Director of the Buffalo Bill Museum in LeClaire, Iowa.
She then spoke about the Lindus 148/2 and Amelia, and the other Cleveland Codys who came to Chautauqua in the summertime for "edutainment", where education is combined with entertainment. She said Buffalo Bill did the same thing with his Wild West, which he advertised as an educational experience, not a "Show."
We were surprised and then delighted when she sang her version of the children’s song, "Did You Ever See a Lassie" which goes like this...
"The more we get together, together, together,
...and we all joined in!Later, the Cody Contingent attended the Chautauqua Symphony's performance of "Go West" at the Ampitheater, the acoustics were great, showcasing a sterling performance with Timothy Muffitt as guest conductor. Go West! celebrates the challenging triumphs and devastating struggles that make up the story of the American West. Incredibly, Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra members portrayed oxen pulling covered wagons across the prairie!
The original recording is available in .mp3 format by email in six 10-minute segments.
With the General Membership Meeting adjourned, our Reunion came to a close and we all walked to the car show and had a picture taken with our favorite antique automobile, here are some results.
For more about the Reunion and surrounding Western Week events, see the Executive Board's Report detailing the contributions of the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, Chautauqua Institution, the Pawnee Bill Ranch, the Ringling Museum and the City of Jamestown. Included are many newspaper clippings, samples of the artwork, Mayor Sam Teresi's letter of appreciation and Governor Andrew Cuomo's greetings and warmest regards. It's a reunion scrapbook!
Oh, and it was truly wonderful to meet William E. Goodman, "The Ti-Pi Man," cousin to Hap and Loraine Goodman. Kudos to Margaret Monahan for her generous donation and sharing her Cody Villa scrapbook. Thanks to all of our four photographers, Mark Tome, Ron Hills, Stuart and Dwight Cody for capturing the Reunion action depicted here on this webpage. Last, but not the least, thanks to the City of Jamestown and Chautauqua Institution for hosting our Reunion in such style!
Thanks for the memories! Thanks for the little things, for silver hair and angel's wings, familiar faces and special places... Thanks for the memories!
Happy Trails to you! ...until we meet again.