A story in yesterday's editions of The Washington Post incorrectly identified the Dulles Airport security officer who relieved "fat lady" Betty Clark of her sword during a Washington Bullets welcome-home demonstration. The guard falsely identified himself to a reporter as Clarence Huey.
Clarence Huew, a security policeman at Dulles Airport, drew boos from a throng of Washington Bullet fans when he took the now-legendary "Fat Lady's" sword away from her.
"She was wheeling it all over the place," said Huew, minutes before the Bullets arrived home from Seattle. "I wasn't taking any chances. She could have hit me with this thing. I'll give it back to her when it's time to sing."
Betty Clark was the designated fat lady. A singer-actress with the Street 70's Theatre in the Montgomery County Recreation Department, she was also the designated song-stylist for the welcome-home ceremonies. Clark didn't complain when she lost her sword.
"It was getting heavy, anyway. So is this hat but I'm enjoying myself," said Clark, who lives in Gaithersburg.
Clark was somewhat out of uniform, as compared with other hefty ladies and men who have become cheerleaders at the Bullet games since Coach Dick Motta said, "The opera isn't over until the fat lady sings," early in the playoffs.
She was dressed in a bright yellow dress because the, "People who contacted me about doing this didn't have anything for me to wear."
"How much do I weigh? I'm not telling," said Clark. "But I qualify. I just hope the Bullets will be as proud of me as I am of them. I wasn't a big basketball fan before yesterday. But I am now."
Clark was supposed to charm the boisterous, enthusiastic crowd of 8,000 with a version of "God Bless America." But when the first Bullet, Tom Henderson, stepped into the terminal, the crowd began continuous chant that drowned out Clark's singing.
Barry Silberman, director of security at Capital Centre, stole a little thunder from Clark. Abe Pollin held the NBA championship trophy high over his head, Silberman appeared behind him, dressed in a red, white and blue Viking uniform with the numbers "00" across the back and front.
"I paid about $150 for the suit," said Silberman, who embraced Clark.
Many of the greeters, wearing fat lady T-shirts and carrying banners and Bullets pennants, were amused by Clark and Silberman. Many others were just there to get a look at Elvin Hayes, Wes Unseld and Co.
Joe Pripusich and three other bellhops from a local hotel came in carrying a huge cooler of beer.
John Foreman, a computer operator, was running around with a movie camera, filming everyone in sight.
Robert Jackson gave up trying to keep track of the six elementary school boys with him and sat down with a discouraged look on his face.
Martha Verme, her 10-year-old daughter, Jeanne, and mother, Anne Fulbright, were there.
"I enjoy basketball, but since my vision is not too good, I listen to the games on the radio," said Mrs. Fulbright, who is 86. "I'm not worried about the crowd getting wild as long as I'm with my daughter."
"Eeeeeeeeee. Eeeeeeeeee," yelled one elderly man, with a Bullet visor pulled down over his bald head. "The Redskins ain't never seen a day like this and never will."