The Cody Family converged on Tucson for their biennial reunion, held April 22nd through 25th. About 40 family members registered at the Reception on Thursday in the Palm Room at the Lodge on the Desert. They came from across the continent, Massachusetts, Florida, Illinois, Ontario, North Carolina, Alberta, Nevada, California, Ohio and British Columbia. Arizona is already home to a few Codys, Gerald and Marilyn, Bill and Dorothy and the new-found Codys, Brenda and Lola.
Marilyn and Dorothy took the registration papers and passed out nametags, souvenir notepads, T-shirts and tote bags. After the initial meet-and-greet with our cousins, we settled down to a light supper of chowder, chicken, sautéed veggies, bean dip and chips.
After the trip, it was easy to get some rest, the weather being overcast, with snow in the mountains.
Friday morning, we all got on the bus to have breakfast in the Copper Room at Reid Park and then on to tour the city. Today, Tucson is a modern sprawling metropolis of wide boulevards, a world-class university and malls... many malls... with many, many stores and sushi bars. Thankfully, the old city center has been reinvented as an Arts and Theater District and the Fox and Rialto Theaters glow anew with Art Deco charm.
Bill and Dorothy said that the singer, Linda Ronstadt, came from a pioneer Tucson family and told us amusing stories about the college rivalries that repainted the big "A" on "A" Mountain over and over. They grew up here and have seen things really change as the population grew.
Our next stop was at San Xavier del Bac, the old mission church outside of town on the Tohono O'odham Indian reservation. Founded by the Jesuit, Father Kino in 1692, it was completed in 1797 by the Franciscans, who still continue to serve the mission community. One of the best examples of Mission architecture, the interior art, statuary and frescos were restored in the 1990s. While we were there, the skies cleared for awhile and the warm sun smiled down!
Then, we all took the bus to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum for a look at the plants and animals that populate the Sonoran Desert hereabouts. Interesting bugs and snakes, graceful deer and otters, wiley bobcats and mountain lions and many birds and more. After lunch we gathered together in the courtyard, compared notes, and enjoyed ourselves.
After a nice buffet dinner that evening, we all settled down to watch a new presentation of Buffalo Bill's life from the folks at Little Bighorn Productions entitled "Buffalo Bill, Beyond the Legend". It was interesting to see Paul Fees and Juti Winchester on-screen, both of whom had been guest speakers at past reunions.
A few of us went to the Mariachi Festival at Reid Park Saturday morning, and surprisingly, one of the bands played the Country & Western song " Orange Blossom Special".
Late in the afternoon, the jeeps arrived from Trail Dust Tours to take us out to the desert to see the petroglyphs, have a barbeque, and look at the stars. Somebody yelled "Mount up!" and we headed southeast on Rt.10 toward the Saguaro National Monument area, between Mica Mountain and Rincon Peak.
Part of our drive took us past acres upon acres, row after row of mothballed military aircraft, reminders of the price of the freedoms we enjoy. We left the highway and our guide explained that we were now on a private ranch as he paused to lock the gate and set the hubs for 4-wheel drive. This is going to be interesting!
Our guide, clad in boots, hat, vest and chaps with a six-shooter at his hip, pointed out different plants with their healing virtues, and spoke of the people who scratched the curious symbols thousands of years ago on the dome of red rock there in the foothills overlooking the valley.
As the sun set in a blaze of glory we headed down the slope to where the vittles had been set out under the sky. Night comes quick and the next thing we knew the stars were out, with Venus near the horizon in the west, Mars aloft and Saturn there by the Moon, all in the eyepiece of an excellent telescope!
Sunday morning we gathered at the Grace Lutheren Church for services. The young minister spoke of the responsibility of family in these uncertain times, with Jesus as the Good Shepherd. Afterwards, there was the picnic at Randolph Park, next to the Colorado Rockies baseball team's spring training ballpark at Hi Corbett Field.
At the ensuing Family Business Meeting, led by President Kit Cody, the attendees resolved to continue with the same officers and staff for two years, and sold a painting of Buffalo Bill that had been donated to the family by Kathy and Phil Cody. Terry, our Executive Director, introduced us to the new Genealogist, Barbara Metalsky from whom we learned that there are three Cody families in the US. Then he introduced Allan Cody, the Webmaster who brings you this presentation. Ron Hills, as the Treasurer, quoted a small positive balance in accounts, and Kit implored us to tell our relatives, to evangelize the apathetic and disinterested and to have a bigger and better Reunion in 2012. Toronto and Denver were suggested as destinations, and it was resolved to meet again in the summertime. Oh, and don't forget to bring the kids!
Extra souvenir tote bags, nametags, tee shirts and a photo album CD of the reunion are still available.
We all wish to thank Dorothy and Bill as well as Marilyn and Gerald for being such good hosts.
Oh, and it was truly wonderful to see Lee Norwood and Ruth, Happy Trails Amigos! ...until we meet again!