Grandmother greets Olympic track star
FRANKFURT, Aug. 20 (S&S) — A little gray-haired old German woman watched the U.S. Olympic athletes climb down from the DC4 which had just brought them from Prague. The younger woman with her shouted, ''Herbert."
Herbert Barten, 800-meter trackman, waved back. He descended from the plane, walked over and greeted his grandmother and aunt.
His grandmother gave him a small bunch of roses. Shyly he took them and when a photographer said "kiss your grandmother," he leaned over and pecked at her cheek.
'Just Like the Family'
Mrs. Dorthe Kornowski, the grandmother, and Mrs. Dorthea Wolf, Barten's aunt, were originally from Bielefeld. They are the mother and sister of the track star's father. The grandmother said she has not seen her son for 25 years, but that she saw her 20-year-old grandson, Herbert, when he was one and a half years old. "His mother brought him over for a visit," she said.
How did they recognize the speedster? "You can't miss," -said his aunt. "He looks just like the family."
The grandmother opened her handbag and took out a picture of a young man in. track clothes. On a table next to him were a collection of awards, cups, medals, banners and placards. "His father sent it," said Mrs. Kornowski.
"Do you think we will be able to see him?" the aunt asked. "We live right near the Excelsior Hotel where he will be staying."
Barten had to leave his newfound kin to join the rest of the track team in the Rhine-Main dining room.
'Hungry for News'
The Olympic group avidly read Wednesday's Stars and Stripes.
"I'm hungry for news," said Harrison Dillard. "I didn't even know Babe Ruth died."
Barney Ewell and Barten didn't know either.
They didn't know that some of the Czech Olympic athletes had refused to return to their homeland.
"The Czechs treated us fine," said Dillard. "At the track meet they gave the American Charge d'Affaires a bigger hand than they gave the Czech minister."
"There were 40,000 at the meet in Prague," said another athlete. "They liked us. When they applauded, it was deafening."
There was one small bunch of roses in the Rhine-Main dining room. It was on the table near Barten.