By now, you’ve no doubt read of the rather spectacular bankruptcy declaration of Brandon Barber, the Northwest Arkansas real estate development wunderkind who was a whole lot less wunder-ful than it may have once seemed. I’m assuming you’ve read of it, because at least three of you have e-mailed me this afternoon pointing me to the story about the bankruptcy in Arkansas Business.
I’m presuming that those e-mails are not being circulated as expressions of sympathy for Brandon Barber.
But rather than dwell on the negative, let’s look back to the halcyon days of December 2005, when Barber and his lovely wife Keri were the targets of this long wet kiss of a profile in Citiscapes Metro Monthly, a Northwest Arkansas magazine. Read this and you will discover fascinating facts about the Barbers, such as:
Brandon and Keri “are not the stereotypical developers,” and “their amazing story reads like a fairytale come true”!
“Keri, with her charm and beauty, certainly doesn’t take a back seat when it comes to business”!
“Brandon seldom stresses over business. He loves what he does and he’s always able to fall asleep as soon as his head hits the pillow”! (His lenders are probably reading that passage ruefully today)
“Brandon loves almonds. Keri said she snacks on peanut butter crackers from the convenience store”!
The story concludes with this nugget from the interviewer:
After spending time with the Barbers, there’s not a doubt in my mind that 20 years from now we’ll look around and see the mark that Keri and Brandon have left on Fayetteville and Northwest Arkansas. Today’s new subdivisions will then be filled with mature-landscaped homes, the commercial buildings will have taken on a familiarity and become landmarks, the upscale condos will be populated and somewhere a 30-year-old entrepreneur will give credit to the talented and forward-thinking Mr. and Mrs. Barber.
Ah, what a difference three years make. It almost reads like the plot of a Tom Wolfe novel, doesn’t it? But seriously, I really hope those kids make it….
Oh, one other thing: When I’m not working on this ridiculous blog, I actually make my living as a freelance writer, a career path that requires a certain degree of flexibility and occasional compromise if one likes to eat regularly. That said, if you ever catch me writing a craven puff piece like this profile, please do me a favor and shoot me in the freakin’ head.