Journalist Helen Thomas was a true original

The passing of Helen Thomas, veteran United Press and famed Washington correspondent, brought back memories of my covering her address to the Woman’s Club of Wheeling in 1994.

She shared tidbits of assignments that took her around the world and of the years in Washington, D.C. Following are a few of the 25 personality tidbits:

Sen. Robert Byrd: “West Virginia is sitting pretty. Byrd would like to move Ft. Knox here.”

Jackie Kennedy Onasis: She is to be commended for orchestrating the White House restoration.

Called reporters “harpies” and once said she’d feed them to her new pet, a German shepherd named “Clippers.”

Sen. Jay Rockefeller: Good reputation. He has a chance to run for the presidency.

Sam Donaldson: My partner in crime in the evolving drama of Washington politics.

After a visit to Lyndon Johnson’s Texas ranch, she was seated in the helicopter. When he boarded, he handed her a comb, “Here, your hair looks like hell!”

Thomas said she also kept a “little black dress” in her locker in the White House press room, adding, “You never know when a social call will come.”

Gladys Van Horne