Clare Smith, of the Cleveland suburb of University Heights, isn't thinking about rock concerts and weekends on the beach this summer like most 17-year-olds. Instead, she is preparing to attend the Democratic convention next week in New York, pledged to Jimmy Carter. The youngest delegate in the history of either party's national convention, Clare just meets Ohio requirements because she will turn 18 shortly before Election Day Nov. 2. Her journey to New York began last January as a project for a government class. Clare and an 18-year-old friend at Erieview Catholic High, Beth Farnsworth, decided to investigate how delegates are picked. "I guess I had a kind of idealistic enthusiasm for Jimmy Carter," says Clare, "but I didn't think he had a chance in the world." After working at Carter's Cleveland headquarters, the two girls applied to be delegates-at-large at a statewide caucus. When Carter won the Ohio primary, both girls were in. "I could hardly believe it," says Clare, who will major in political science at the University of Chicago this fall. The oldest child and only girl in a family of seven, Clare is used to working hard for what she wants. To pay for her New York trip, she must supplement her salary working at the local public library with "a three-year advance on my allowance."

Bill Lancaster, 28, has made a proud papa of Dad Burt Lancaster by writing the script, his first for the movies, for the highly popular The Bad News Bears. Hailed by critics, too, the film is about a Little League team of misfits who are turned into contenders by a hard-drinking coach (Walter Matthau) with the help of tomboy pitcher Tatum O'Neal. Lancaster was somewhat of a misfit himself—"a rich Hollywood kid" with a leg crippled by polio—when he played on a Little League team coached by his father. Bill later flunked out of high school. "I had more interesting things to do," he explains. He went back to graduate, but after a brief stint at a junior college found a job reading movie scripts. The first three scripts Bill himself wrote with a friend got nowhere, and he submitted Bears on speculation. Since Bears, Paramount has hired him to do two more pictures. "You've got to persevere," he says, and he believes the film carries that message. Now divorced (he married at 18 and has a 10-year-old daughter, Keigh, who does not pitch), Bill lives alone in a one-bedroom apartment in Beverly Hills. Although he played young Moses in the TV film of that name which stars his father, Bill doesn't want to act. He spends his time working on scripts, reading, doing push-ups and "carousing...occasionally."