Doug Poth, 14, is a licensed private eye who works with his father, mother and older brothers in a family-owned detective agency in Seattle. Doug began his sleuthing career at 3 when his father, an ex-police officer, took him along on a case, reasoning that a man with an infant wouldn't look like a detective. "There's no age limit and no special qualifications required," says Poth, explaining how his son could obtain a license at such a young age. Poth adds, "And that's a shame." The state of Washington, unlike most states, does not require a written exam for a detective license. Poth's complaint about the lax rules, however, has not prevented him from making good use of Doug. The boy has helped out on many cases, from searching for a kidnapped child to tracking down stolen TVs and appliances. He once gained entrance to a suspect's house by politely asking if he could use the bathroom. Though a little worried that publicity will "blow his cover," Doug enjoys being something of a celebrity at school. "My friends think my job is pretty neat," he says. "I really like this work. It's interesting and exciting and I travel a lot. I'm planning to go on with it—that is, unless I could get into major league baseball."
Jean Sauser, 26, is one of the lucky people who get paid for doing what they love. As racquetball pro at the Sky Harbor Court Club in Northbrook, Ill., Jean is able to earn "as much as I could if I had a master's degree" and still work on her own game for at least two hours a day. Racquetball is a relatively new sport. Two players on a white-walled court slam a 1.4-ounce rubber ball against the walls, floor and ceiling with a stringed racquet about two-thirds the size of a tennis racket. In racquetball, as in volleyball, only the server can score; the first player to reach 21 points is the winner. Games average about 20 minutes. Jean, who is ranked sixth nationally and second in Illinois, will travel 10 weeks this year to compete in tournaments across the country. Though she won only $200 last year, the total prize money for women on the pro circuit has increased from $4,000 in 1974 to $27,000 this year. "Racquetball is a sport for all ages," says Jean, who has taught the game to her 58-year-old parents. "But women excel at it. The court is small, and you don't need upper body strength. In racquetball, power comes from form. I'd like to see it get as sophisticated as tennis—but without the snobbery."