November 13, 1978 12:00 PM

Joe Wright, 24, is something else, a one-man walking percussion section. He learned to turn himself into what he dubs a “body sounder” while growing up in Chicago’s North Side tenements. “I just wanted to play drums,” he recalls. “Yet I knew I would never have any, and I discovered the body has the same tones.” There are three basic sounds, explains Joe: “The chest sound is deep, like a bass drum. My stomach sound is higher-pitched, like a snare. And I use my mouth like a high-hat cymbal.” Then, tapping out a samba beat while humming The Girl from Ipanema, Wright is off boogeying to his own rhythm section. At Milliken University he got a degree in music education and soloed with the band, which toured abroad under State Department auspices (“Europeans really dug body sounding”). To keep his instrument in tune, he jogs, exercises and eats what Rhoda, his Braniff stewardess wife, calls “next to nothing”: lean meat, yogurt and fresh fruit juices. This year, under a federal artist-in-residence grant, he’s teaching singing and dancing in Chicago, where his main concern is inner-city children. “I had pals who started rippin’ off as kids and ended up in jail,” says Wright. “I want to show kids how to have fun with music so they won’t be frustrated.”

Christine Kaporch, 30, says a fellow instructor at the FBI Academy, “could shoot a snake between the eyes.” The first female on the faculty of the academy in Quantico, Va., she teaches recruits firearms, fingerprinting and fitness on a mean Marine-style obstacle course. Born in Providence, Kaporch herself joined the Marines right out of the U of Miami but got restless after three years of administrative duties. “By then I knew how to deal with a men’s organization,” she explains, “and I’d always been attracted by the FBI mystique.” So in 1973 she became the 20th woman agent (of 8,000 agents, there are now 91 females with 50 more in training). Posted first to Newark, she discovered criminals can be gents (“Honey, you can arrest me anytime,” said one) and her bureau buddies chauvinists (“Ladies first,” her male partner joshed as they edged into a Newark ghetto stakeout). She is married to Kevin Kaporch, 27, a desk-bound FBI program analyst who gets whupped by her in racquet ball and admits: “I could no more do some of the things she does than the man in the moon.” As Christine puts it, “Kevin’s a lover, not a fighter, and that I take seriously.” Sharpshooter Kaporch is equally earnest about her ultimate target in the FBI. “I shouldn’t say this,” she says, “but I want to be Director.”

You May Like