Virginia Schmidt, 16, is a dead shot come rain or shine. She proved it last August during a Texas rainstorm when she shattered 100 clay pigeons straight, breaking the previous record of 97, and became the World's Ladies and Junior Ladies 28-gauge skeet-shooting champion. "I was real nervous early in the competition," she smiles, "but the last five shots were really the easiest." Schmidt squeezed her first trigger at age 10, prompted by older brother Michael, the 1974 World's Men's Junior champ, and her dad, a former Marine captain and All-American sharpshooter. By 13 Virginia had captured the Ladies and Junior state titles in Minnesota, where her family settled nine years ago. Practice and ammunition costs (up to $100 per tournament) are no problem; the Schmidt's own a 40-acre gun club near Minneapolis, and Virginia earned about $12,000 in professional competition last year. She missed out on the '78 All-American team, however, because she mistakenly undershot by 100 the annual total of 3,400 registered targets needed to qualify. "I thought I had enough and I could have easily shot them," she grimaces. She will try again this year, and though still two years too young to compete solely in the Ladies' Division, Virginia, by her own unofficial count, already ranks herself No. 4 in the nation.
Hank Berger, 27, is a self-proclaimed "disco doctor," and his practice is flourishing. His patients are floundering discotheques. "The failure rate is 90 percent. Only 10 percent know what they are doing," he finds. "You can't make a million from a disco just by putting in some speakers." Berger, a design graduate of Cleveland's Cooper School of Art, began doing graphics for ad agencies, then moved into multimedia production and managing a friend's rock group before creating his own disco, the Club Roundtable, in 1973. In the next five years he owned or consulted on seven Cleveland discos, including two highly successful gay clubs ("Gays are the trend-setters"). Last year Berger sold out his Cleveland interests, enabling his mother, a switchboard operator, to retire, and he moved with his wife, Shelley—whom he met in a disco—to Hollywood Hills. After an article on him appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Berger received more than 500 requests to visit "sick" clubs and analyze what was wrong. His minimum fee to revise decor and sound installation and to change marketing strategy is $2,000. "There's enough work and interest in California," the Disco Doctor figures, "to keep me going for the next 10 years."
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