By People Staff
January 08, 1979 12:00 PM

Garth Ancier always wanted to be in radio, but, unable to master the Morse code, he couldn’t even get a ham operator’s license. Then he muffed his opportunity as a teen deejay at a Trenton, N.J. station: “They pulled me off the air after a half hour.” But now, as a 21-year-old Princeton senior, Ancier has finally succeeded far beyond those earlier ambitions. He is the founder, executive producer and moderator of the most widely syndicated radio interview show, Focus on Youth, a weekly half hour which has an estimated 2.3 million listeners. It is aired on over 200 stations—50 more than carry CBS’s popular Capitol Cloakroom. Ancier pulls the highest salary of the 40-student staff, $75 a month. Most of the $100,000 annual budget goes to produce home or office interviews of national personages like Ted Kennedy, Chevy Chase and Barbara Walters. “The fact that we are students helps disarm the guests,” figures Ancier, and Lawrence (Meet the Press) Spivak describes the approach as “just this side of brash.” Pressed about rumored lesbianism on the tennis circuit, Billie Jean King icily responded: “We don’t butt into people’s personal lives.” Admiral Elmo Zumwalt characterized the panel that interviewed him as “three mean mothers.” To Secretary of Defense Harold Brown, the Focus team was “well-prepared, knowledgeable and forthright—better than the Pentagon press corps.”

Carol Vaughn, 27, takes to heart Shakespeare’s line that “All the world’s a stage.” For the past five years she has been giving outdoor dance performances in and around Washington, D.C. So far she has tapped away on the steps of the Capitol building and the National Cathedral, in public parks and through an unopened subway tunnel, but her best-known gigs have been entertaining homeward-bound commuters at bus stops. Dressed in a driver’s uniform with Metrobus badge, Vaughn gives impromptu dances in shoes that sometimes get more attention than her choreography. Designed and constructed by a local artist, they are shaped like buses. (Made of latex with foam rubber, they slip over her regular size-5½ tap shoes.) A dancer since age 7, Vaughn says she felt limited in a rental hall. “Besides,” she adds, “I’m hooked on the idea of entertaining people outside, and Washington is the perfect place for this work because of all the malls, monuments and open spaces.” The daughter of former U.S. envoy and Peace Corps director Jack Hood Vaughn, Carol doesn’t ever pass the hat for her al fresco routines. But it all pays off in publicity for Feet First, the dance studio she co-owns in the D.C. suburbs and the only one specializing in jazz and tap (present enrollment: 350). “Tap dancing has died out since the days of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers,” complains Vaughn. “I’d like to breathe a little life into it.”

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