The Everyone’s a Fucking Loony Principle

You know who I like? I like S.F. Cody. Cowboy, rodeo performer, expert marksman, playwright, actor, Buffalo Bill impersonator, bigamist, giant kite inventor, pathological liar, aviation engineer, zeppelin pilot.

If you are not thinking about your CV right now and feeling a little down, you are very unlike me.

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Look at those whiskers!

Samuel F. Cody (not his real name) is a fantastic instance of the Everyone’s a Fucking Loony Principle, which basically states that whenever you start to investigate people’s backstories — especially in any kind of “fringe” area — you will find out that they are totally bizarre. In turn-of-the-century Britain, that applied to heavier-than-air flight, which was a new field and still open to characters like “Colonel” Cody, who embody that combination of rock star and crackpot that we love so much here at the GHP.

I first came across old S.F. in 2003 or so when I found a copy of Garry Jenkins’s book on him in Galloway and Porter. O Galloway and Porter, how we mourn you. Anyway, there is a more recent book out on him now, The Flying Cowboy. I have not yet read it, but I intend to.

My favourite thing about Cody — and it is hard to choose — is that he went to the trouble of getting his “son,” Leon Cody, British citizenship. I say “son” because a) Leon was Mrs Cody’s son by a previous marriage, and b) S.F. and Mrs Cody weren’t really married at all — she was his common-law wife, but he had an existing wife elsewhere. So Cody went through the process of getting Leon British citizenship despite the fact that Leon was British in order to keep up the front. That’s commitment, and I appreciate commitment.

Don’t forget that the banner design competition is still going! Entries are due next Friday and I will be packing up the prize bags some time this weekend.

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The Everyone’s a Fucking Loony Principle

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