Papa Moody and the Bear: Natural born storytelling, a crazy and TRUE near-death tale, and my family

Happy Halloween!

Halloween is one of my favorite times of the year. The costumes, the candy, and hanging out with all my friends and family are the best! We always watch The Legend of Sleepy Hollow too. It's the cartoon, Disney version, voiced by Bing Crosby (I've linked one of my favorite songs from the show above). Aside from being just a great little show, Bing Crosby is the reason it's my favorite Halloween show to watch.


Bing Crosby

A lot of my favorite childhood memories have Bing Crosby's voice in the background. It doesn't feel like Christmas until I've heard him sing White Christmas.


More than though, he reminds me of my great-grandfather, Glen Moody, otherwise known as Papa Moody. Papa was an avid hunter and fisherman, loved the outdoors, and cherished his family. He believed Big Lake, Arizona to be the most beautiful place in the world. It is said regularly that he was loved by all who knew him. I've often heard of his storytelling abilities. He passed away before I was born. Every memory ever relayed to me of him was one of fondness, laughter, and pure joy.


My mom would always tell me that Bing Crosby reminded her of Papa. It wasn't until I was older that I asked her why. It turns out, not only do they bear a passing resemblance, but their voices sound alike as well! Bing was always playing in our house because he was keeping the memory of our family alive.

Papa and Grandma Moody

As a storyteller myself, I love hearing tales of my family and the people that have come before us. Papa's most famous story was about a bear that almost took his life. One of my relatives, Brent Quinn, at the age of twelve, had the foresight to hide a reel-to-to real tape recorder behind the couch when Papa was telling the story and captured the tale in his own words. I would like to share it with you now, exactly the way he told it. I'm going to include Brent's introduction and notes, though the formatting is from me. As it was before I got my hands on it, it was all one, very long paragraph, haha! Many of the phrases were separated by ellipsis in the original version, I assume to show Papa's pausing in the telling. However, I've edited those out, for the most part, to make it more readable. I've also added a few more pictures of Papa, including one with a bear. It should be noted that this is not "the bear," but a different one. I hope you will enjoy the story as much as I have over the years!


A Bullet To Revenge

by Brent L. Quinn

Bill (left) and Glen Moody (right) after a hunt

The ridges, canyon, trees and stream witnessed the fierce fight between beast and man, near our famous and well known "Angle Apple Orchard." If ever there was a Davy Crockett amidst us, the Graham County Guardian reported, it was on this day when Glen Moody of Thatcher, the co-owner and meat cutter of the Thatcher Market, received a call from his friend Bob Angle pleading for help. Could he bring his hunting hound dogs which were badly needed, and could he break away from the store and help track down this large black bear which was destroying apple tree limbs with his brute size and strength and was dragging a trap and chain and a broken off log. Glen, with outdoorsman blood flowing in his veins was eager to assist. Quickly he found two of his kids to run the store; his business partner, Gordon Stowell, had just been operated on and was still in our community hospital. In no time he had loaded up his best dogs and headed up the winding road of Mt. Graham. He didn't take his rifle for it was out of season and he figured Bob had a rifle, having set out traps.


This piece of history happened the week of August 7, 1961, according to Gordon Stowell's personal journal, whom his son Norman Stowell of Chandler, Arizona, was so kind to research for this history just two days ago. Glen was 54 years old.


In Glen's own words... recorded by myself, Brent Quinn, a nephew, at the tender age of 12 years old, having just acquired a small reel-to-reel tape recorder. I hid it behind the sofa couch in Glen's living room as he recounted his escape from the jaws of death to his brothers and sisters who had traveled to be with him and offer their care and love. Here is his account of the events which took place:


Upon locating the bear I hollered to Bob nearby. "He's right here, get him! Get him! Below us."

So he came down there and shot him, and after him you know, and I said, "You better shoot him, Bob. The dogs will never catch him if he gets loose."

About that time, I looked right at the bear, and Bob snapped on him with his pistol. His bullet cylinder was partially empty. Then one of my dogs made another run in on him, but with his brute strength he broke the chain on the trap, pulling the dog in to him, chewing and biting the dog which was yelping and squealing and squalling for all his life.

I said, "Shoot him, Bob! Shoot him, he's killing that dog!"

And again, Bob takes aim and snaps his pistol... another empty cartridge amongst the howling and squalling. He had been cocking his pistol and un-cocking it to find a good shell.

Then another dog came running in to distract the bear, allowing the injured dog to break free. By this time, Bob fired off two more shots while this ruckus was going on. That is when the dogs beat it. They headed for camp. I didn't see them nowhere.

The bear, now being free, took off running in the opposite direction. That is when we took out after him, without a hound dog in sight.