04/07/1980 at 01:00 AM EST
Frank Mowery, 26, may have the cleanest hands in Washington, D.C. And well he should. "I get to handle some of the most magnificent objects in the world," he explains. As head conservator of the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C, Mowery is charged with restoring and preserving—among other priceless artifacts—79 of the 240 existing First Folios of Shakespeare's plays, one of Henry VIII's schoolbooks and Elizabeth I's personal Bible. An important part of the collection, insured for $5 million, is now on a 23-month, six-city U.S. tour. Both Mowery's parents are librarians, and he was only 17 when he started dusting and restoring books for his father. In 1971, after graduating from high school in Springfield, Ohio, he entered the National Academy of Fine Arts in Hamburg, West Germany as the only pupil of master bookbinder Kurt Lodenberg. Later Mowery received a grant to work in Florence restoring books damaged during that city's devastating 1966 flood. Three years ago he was offered one of the top jobs at the Folger, where at all times he has 10 books in various stages of restoration—soaking in alkaline baths, drying, being straightened or treated for mold. Mowery shares a townhouse on Capitol Hill with his financial analyst wife, Cindy, 27. He unwinds by riding his bicycle and reading—but mostly current novels, not Shakespeare.
Jana Angelakis has been sticking it to her opponents for nine years. At 18, she is one of the top female fencers in the country and an odds-on favorite for a berth on the U.S. Olympic squad—if there is one. "I'd be very disappointed," says Jana of the planned U.S. boycott of the Moscow Games, "but I would have to agree with the President." Cheerful, frizzy-haired Jana took up the sport at age 9, when her parents, a Peabody, Mass. police sergeant and his wife, spotted a newspaper ad for a fencing program sponsored by the town's recreation department. Within six months she had won a novice competition in Waterbury, Conn. Then Jana dropped fencing for a year—until her coach, Peabody fireman Joseph Pechinsky, convinced her to return. At 14, she won the under-20 Junior Olympic competition, and two years later made it to the national championship finals. Jana lost that time, but last June, in Colorado Springs, she became the youngest woman ever to win the title. Although training 20 hours a week in hopes of winning Olympic gold, she managed to graduate from high school with honors and will enroll at Penn State next fall. She has no steady beau, and her only diversion is working part-time in a men's clothing store. "I don't have much time for anything else now," says Jana. "If you're really dedicated, you put everything else second."