As the country's top golfers lofted their second shots (usually) onto the 18th green at Rochester Saturday, a golfer of lesser talent but equal zeal watched with satisfaction from a bed at Walter Reed Hospital.
President Eisenhower, watching the last holes on TV, kept a public figure's silence on any private favorites. Press Secretary Jim Hagerty (another golfer of modest skill) reported the President hoped "the best man wins." The golfers at Rochester wished the President as well as he wished them. They signed and sent him an oversize postcard. Its message: "To Ike, who has done the most for golf—get well fast."
ADMIRATION AT STOCKHOLM
Baron De Coubertin's theory that the Olympic Games he restored in 1896 would foster peaceful good fellowship has turned out to be right about as often as it has been wrong. For example, at the Olympic Equestrian games in Stockholm last week an American groom and some neighboring Russians chummed around while an Englishman and some Egyptians almost rioted over an eyelash.
A thin green partition was the only barrier at Stockholm's Royal Horse-guard Barracks between a sturdy Russian chestnut stallion named Perekop and Mud Dauber, one of the best of American horses. Mud Dauber's groom, Chicagoan Larry Prentice, learned to like his Russian neighbors although he never mastered their names or understood anything they said. Diplomatic relations opened when Prentice lent a Russian groom a penknife when one of Perekop's stirrup leathers needed an emergency repair. The encouraged Russians then established a kind of general lend-lease arrangement to borrow a comb to braid the chestnut's mane on Presentation Day, an iron to clean his hoofs and the penknife a second time. Prentice thought it all proved something more than that Russian steel production is evidently not going into penknives. Said he: "These Russians seem good guys. Horsemen are pretty well the same all over the world." Said a Russian: "We get along well.... We often borrow things and Americans don't seem at all suspicious when we ask for things."
Although they earned their reputation for sociability, the Russians found it was being exaggerated. They modestly disclaimed a rumor that they were trying to date the English girls. "All we said to them," explained the Russians, "was ' Queen Elizabeth! Queen Elizabeth!' " This sort of interlingual salute—a shade more advanced than sign language—is now recognized as a standard Russian expression of admiration. American athletes preparing for the Winter Olympics (assumed, and no doubt properly, to be admirers of New Orleans music) were greeted with Russian cries of "Louis Armstrong—good!" (SI, Jan. 23).
Meanwhile, another gesture of admiration at Stockholm caused a Pier Nine brawl at the Horseguard Barracks.
A Turkish groom, overcome with the top British horse, Kilbarry, wandered into the English stable and tried to pluck one of his eyelashes for a souvenir. Naturally, perhaps, the English groom charged the Turk.
Thereupon, some obviously Pan-Islamic Egyptians quartered next door came bucketing to the Turk's assistance and jumped for the Englishman. Fortunately the Swedes, experts at armed neutrality in recent history, moved in with even greater force and mounted sentinels to protect everybody, Kilbarry included.