Susan Jaffe, 18, made a storybook debut as a prima ballerina last December. Just one day before the American Ballet Theatre opened its season at Washington's Kennedy Center, artistic director Mikhail Baryshnikov fired superstar Gelsey Kirkland for chronic lateness, and plucked Susan out of the corps to replace her in the "Pas d'Esclave" from Le Corsaire. A Bethesda, Md. native, Jaffe danced opposite Alexander Godunov before a packed house that included her father, Daniel, a spacecraft engineer, and her twin, Brian. (Susan's mother had died five months before.) "I wasn't completely prepared," Jaffe says of the performance. Nonetheless, the New York Times hailed her as "one of those youngsters most likely to succeed." Susan got ballet slippers at 8, and at 14 earned a summer scholarship to the ABT school. Two years later she joined the company in New York. Since her premiere, Jaffe has toured Miami, Chicago, Minneapolis, L.A. and San Francisco, appearing with Baryshnikov himself in La Sonnambula. She shares a Manhattan apartment with another ballerina. Marriage doesn't interest Susan at this point. "I'd hate to be sitting with a husband and kids wondering, 'Could I have done it?' " she explains. "I have to go for it now."
Bill Killebrew was 23 when his father, Hugh, died in a small-plane crash three years ago, leaving him to run the world's largest ski resort (as measured by ski-able land)—Heavenly Valley in Lake Tahoe, Calif. The family operation (his mother, Eleanor, a former Toni twin, is Heavenly's hostess) had just limped through its second snowless season and was hovering near bankruptcy. But Bill held off creditors and the resort has rebounded impressively. Killebrew began skiing at Heavenly Valley when he was 4, at 10 attended management meetings with his father, and at 18 signed a loan guarantee for $4 million. "All they could take away was my bicycle," he quips. Shortly before his father's death he graduated Phi Beta Kappa in business administration from Berkeley. Down that first winter to only $1,520 in the till, Killebrew was forced to lay off his 120 employees. Three days later, when it snowed, he called back the staff and poured champagne. Bill, who is married to his college sweetheart, Abby Stone, now a Tahoe advertising executive, has managed to expand to 700 employees and add two chair lifts, two lodges and 20 percent more trails on nine mountains. "I loved my father very much," muses Killebrew, "but I've done things differently. I was part of him, but I'm not his shadow."
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