updated 10/10/1983 AT 01:00 AM EDT
•originally published 10/10/1983 AT 01:00 AM EDT
Growing up on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, Calif., Heather started picking out piano chords as a 2-year-old and took up classical violin at 6. Her passion for fiddling emerged when her family attended a Death Valley 49er Encampment celebration in 1974. "I wanted to learn to play those old tunes," she says. Bennett began study with "Slim" Lambrigger, 84, a longtime fiddling champ. "They'd start at 7 p.m.," recalls her mother, Pam, "and I'd have a hard time tearing them apart at midnight." Having finished high school, Heather is now spending a postgraduate year studying in Italy, but she'll be back next year for college, probably at North Texas State, and those old jamborees. "Heather plays more like a man than a lady," notes another Bennett tutor, Merle Haggard's fiddler Tiny Moore. "She has the force."?
Thanks to the paid lecture-note takers at UC-Berkeley, California's frat boys and coeds don't have to miss so much as an hour's sleep or play cooped up in a classroom. But think what you will, Scott Davis insists that's not how it works. As editor-in-chief of Black Lightning, Davis, 35, runs the university-approved program that gives more than 15,000 undergraduates detailed class notes for about 350 a lecture. "One reason students buy notes," he explains, "is that it gives them a chance to listen in class rather than scribbling away madly." Indeed, some high-powered, pre-med classes boast a subscription rate of 97 percent. An outgrowth of a service that goes back to 1934, the program hires about 35 scholarly seniors and grad students to attend classes for $18 to $50 a lecture. Davis and his 13 helpers then edit and distribute their notes within two days. Sponsored by the student government, Black Lightning grossed about a quarter of a million dollars last year (Davis earns $16,800 annually). The son of a Fresno ad executive, Davis admits he could have benefited from the program in college at Sonoma State, where he graduated with the class of '80: Working his way through Sonoma with such jobs as sound engineer for a live, underwater mermaid show, it took him 14 years to finish.