By People Staff
August 14, 1978 12:00 PM

Dean Zelinsky, 21, has been manufacturing rock guitars for only a year and a half and already his customers include Dave Mason and Kansas lead guitarist Kerry Livgren. “I was at a trade show when Livgren stopped by and I asked him to try a Dean guitar,” recounts Zelinsky. “Three days later he ordered one to be rushed to him for the start of Kansas’ tour. Now he plays only my guitar.” Zelinsky’s line includes two standard models and two original designs. The Dean standard with case (the only component he doesn’t turn out in his own Evanston, Ill. factory) sells for $970. To make an instrument “good to the last fret,” as he puts it, requires six weeks, and Zelinsky’s eight employees produce 80 a month. Dean began playing the guitar at 9 and by 16 was buying, fixing and reselling them. “This was the training ground,” he recalls. “I always got D’s in shop.” His advanced training consisted of taking the public tour of the Gibson guitar company plant in Kalamazoo, Mich. several times. With a little help from his family (his mother keeps the books), Dean was ready. “I can’t knock a good Gibson,” he says of his top-selling competitor. “They have always been the best.” But he isn’t daunted. The logo on his product has wings sprouting from the DEAN. “That’s the way my guitars sound,” Zelinsky explains. “They soar.”

Liang “Louise” Ran’s first day on the job as a reporter for Taiwan’s China Times in Washington was spent wandering about the White House—lost. “I can laugh about it now,” she smiles, “but I was really upset. I ended up outside the President’s door and the guard looked at me suspiciously. I explained I was new, and he let me take a peek in the Oval Office.” Three years ago, after graduating from National Chengchi University in Taipei, Ran began looking for a way to finance herself through grad school and answered an ad for a reporting job on the Times. A three-part test was required, and halfway through the oral exam she was offered the job. After two years, Ran was assigned to Washington last summer—the paper’s first female foreign correspondent and its youngest ever. “People are very cautious with me because I am a woman and young and foreign,” she finds. Indeed, Ran, 25, regards these characteristics as advantages, noting, “Brzezinski cannot get very angry with me when I grab him and start asking questions.” Ran, who uses the name Louise in the capital because it’s simpler to pronounce and remember, has been accepted by George Washington University’s School of Public and International Affairs and plans to develop both her journalism and foreign policy careers simultaneously, reasoning, “I’m young and I should make the most of it.”