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The mutability of woman, long a topic for idle poets and recumbent philosophers, nowadays is the pursuit of photographers who hurry or wait to capture her infinite roles and fancies

Lunging womanfully for the ball at Vero Beach, Fla., despite the restriction of her skirt, is Ruth Jackson, while husband Randy, Los Angeles third baseman, shows her the perils of playing the hot corner.

Beaming by her prize-winning 43-pound grouper is Mrs. B. T. Whitaker of Tucson, Ariz. who, along with 800 other outdoor enthusiasts, took part in the annual Cholla Bay (Mexico) Sportsmen's Club derby.

Consoling her tearful son Earl, 3½, is Mrs. Win Wilfong, wife of the St. Louis Hawks guard. Earl was blissfully shooting baskets in a pregame drill at St. Louis' Kiel Auditorium until Win, fearful that his son would be inadvertently trampled by the towering NBA players, benched him.

Looming massively on a slope in Kitzbühel, Austria, is Lisbeth Polland, who, 30 years and many, many pounds ago, won the first of the celebrated Arlberg-Kandahar races from seven other women. Today Frau Polland, 63, jovially admits to 330 pounds but still barrels imposingly down the hills all winter long and swims throughout the summer.

Eye-filling sight in languorous old Saigon are bikini-ed pupils of Robert Vatin (standing, left), who teaches swimming and water ballet to Vietnamese, members of the French and American colonies. Vatin learned technique from films made at Yale and Florida State. Twenty Vatin students have returned to Europe to set national records.