September 22, 1980 12:00 PM

Sue Sinclair, 26, is allergic to sea lions, but that doesn’t stop her from persuading them and dolphins to leap through hoops, somersault in midair and balance beach balls in three breathtaking shows at Boston’s New England Aquarium each weekday. Once Sinclair nearly landed in the drink when Muggs, a 391-pound sea lion, lunged for a fish at poolside and knocked her down. “I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry,” she concedes. “I was so flustered I couldn’t remember the rest of the show.” Born and raised on Boston’s North Shore, Sinclair dropped out of the University of Massachusetts, signed up as an aquarium volunteer one summer and after two years behind a bank teller’s window returned as an usher. Three years later, in 1978, she got her chance to become a full-time trainer. Apart from caring for the aquarium’s own animals, which last November meant attending the birth of the dolphin Echo until 3 a.m., Sinclair is active on the New England Aquarium Stranding Team. In 1977 she helped rescue a seal that washed up on Salisbury Beach. She and husband Greg Sinclair, 27, a flight instructor at the Beverly, Mass. airport, share a just-purchased Colonial house in Swampscott with zebra finches Fred and Ginger. “We’re both doing things we love to do,” observes Sue, “and I don’t think many people can say that.”

William Eddins, 15, took in stride a friend’s affectionate preface to her yearbook salute to him last year: “To the shrimpiest boy in class.” Then 5’1″ and youngest of the graduates at Buffalo’s Calasanctius Preparatory School (he skipped second and third grades), William last fall rejected four other college offers to become the youngest freshman at the University of Rochester’s distinguished Eastman School of Music. Recalls piano department chairman David Burge: “He looked so small among our 200 auditioners I thought there must be some mistake.” But William was among the 12 undergraduate piano students accepted, and he ended his first year on the honors list. His parents—William’s father is a philosophy professor at the State University of New York in Buffalo and his mother has a Ph.D. in medical sociology—sold their house and moved to Rochester to be near their only child, who will live in an Eastman dorm next spring. At age 6 William started playing a piano his parents had bought at a garage sale, but music did not seem a potential calling until six years later, when his teacher, Yvar Mikhashoff of SUNY Buffalo, introduced him to Bach’s D Minor Concerto. William now practices four hours a day and dreams of performing at Carnegie Hall. Away from the keyboard he is a tennis buff and sings in a church choir. He has no patience with the pop scene. “I’ve never gotten into that kind of music,” he shrugs, “and I want to keep it that way.”

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