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Bill Koch’s father, a Vermont farmer, missed his son’s help sugaring off the maples this winter. His sculpture teacher (Bill is an ardent whittler) wishes he’d “quit that skiing and really concentrate.” Bill’s girlfriend of four years has herself left the U.S. ski team and gone back to college. But they’re all quite proud of Bill. As the cross-country ski season ended with the North American Championships recently, 19-year-old Bill had established himself as not only the best in his event in this country, but on the basis of the gold medal he won at the Finnish Ski Games in February, a first for an American, as possibly the best junior racer in the world. An alumnus of Vermont’s Putney School, Koch has put off college plans. “I can only concentrate on one thing at a time,” explains the onetime whittler.

Melinda Bordelon describes her rented carriage house perched above the Hudson Valley at Cornwall, N.Y. as “Cinderella-like and very reclusive.” But she’s not looking for a Prince Charming to rescue her from the rigors of making it as a magazine and advertising illustrator in the Big Apple downriver. No suh! “I’m never gonna git married ’til I git rich!” Her sass is delivered with a genuine Texas twang. Melinda grew up in Amarillo, not giving art a serious tumble until her junior year at Texas Christian—and then only because it was a course without exams. At once she fell under the spell of instructor Don Punchatz, a distinguished illustrator, and worked in his studio as an “elf” for a year before hitting New York. Now, at 26 the hottest young illustrator on the market, she regularly sees the credit “Bordelon” on the covers and pages of publications such as Esquire, Playboy, the National Lampoon and New York—despite her down-home habit of “going around insulting everybody.” This may jeopardize her ultimate ambition to be “a saint,” but in the meantime the popularity of her surreal images rendered in bright acrylic must be hastening the day when she’ll be rich enough to git hitched.