- The Washington Times - Friday, October 1, 2004

Nobles: Gary Boyd, for going head-to-head with a charging beast, and walking away unscathed.

The Muldoon, Alaska, resident now has a tale to end all tales. Mr. Boyd, 57, was walking with his 22-month old dog, Katie, in the Chugach foothills in southern Alaska on a quiet afternoon last week. According to an account in the Anchorage Daily News, the retired Army helicopter pilot heard some rustling in the brush behind him. Just then, a 750-pound, eight-feet-tall brown bear broke through the clearing and charged Mr. Boyd and little Katie.

“I just had time to pull my pistol and spin around,” Mr. Boyd recalled.

Less than 20 feet away, Mr. Boyd fired off a round from his .44-caliber Magnum revolver into the bear’s shoulder. “When the first shot didn’t faze it, I fired a second time, and it turned into a ditch, and I shot three more times, and it went down,” he said. With only one remaining round it was a good thing for Mr. Boyd that it did — it is doubtful that Katie, who had bolted into the underbrush, would have been able to fend off the malicious beast.

“I feel terrible about having to kill it,” Mr. Boyd said later, “but I tell you it was me or him. I’m glad the instincts and the training paid off.”

For following in the grand footsteps of frontiersman Davy Crockett, who according to legend killed his first “bar” when he was only three, Mr. Boyd is the Noble of the week.

Knaves: Helen Thomas, for reminding those who still listen that sometimes it’s to better to leave the party before you’re asked to leave.

The so-called “dean of the White House press corps” (others call her journalism’s “crazy aunt in the attic”) spoke at the 13th Annual Women’s Issues Conference in Alexandria the other day, and by all accounts it was an event not to be missed.

Introducing Ms. Thomas was Rep. James P. Moran, who referred to Ms. Thomas as an “icon” and “role model” for journalists and women. “And,” he added, “we need to find more role models like her.”

In due deference to her stature, Ms. Thomas started off talking about her fellow journalists, who she said have “rolled over and played dead.” From there, Ms. Thomas pulled out her A-material: “If [President] Bush is reelected the draft will be reinstated, Social Security will be nearly eliminated, and there’ll be more tax cuts for the rich.” Domestic differences aside, Ms. Thomas also isn’t thrilled about the president’s foreign policy: “If George Bush is reelected we will have war without end.” Whether we’ll see the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse was a question left to answer in another speech.

According to the Alexandria Gazette Packet, the audience of Democrats loved it. Gushing, Alexandria councilman Ludwig P. Gaines said, “Today’s weather might have made it somewhat gloomy outside, but it sure was electrifying inside.”

For administering shock therapy to a conference on women’s issues, Ms. Thomas is the Knave of the week.

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