by Max Brantley
Passersby report that notices of public auction signs have been erected on homes along Cantrell Road that were part of the family holdings of the late medical researcher Jennings Osborne, a flamboyant philanthropist who died last July. He left tangled financial affairs, as evidenced by his sale of a stable of collector vehicles and a recent foreclosure suit filed on the three homes by Metropolitan National Bank, as well as a suit over money owed on a private jet and other properties. Blackmon Auctions will be handling the sales.
The Cantrell properties includes the family's main residence, the sprawling white house behind a high wall that was location of an extravagant Christmas light display until neighbors sued over the traffic it generated.
She points me to her Facebook post on the auction of these and other family real properties (the three houses and farm, Breezy Meadows on Kanis Road), set to begin June 5, and then personal property June 7. She writes (in addition to noting family properties have been hit repeatedly by thieves in recent months):
It pains me that my childhood home-what is like Arkansas' Graceland-will not be apart of my physical life anymore. Riley will never get to play like I did in that front yard, running at full speed and learning how to drive. The past two years I have had numerous closet sales you might recall, or those mass texts of designer purses & such... maybe it is all making sense to some. Purging every ounce of materialism I ever had was more simple than I had ever imagined. I even held two sales while Dad was in the hospital. He knew I was having them, but he had no idea to what I was selling and not keeping. I knew it would get me by for the month or two of my debt/loans, I knew it would help my parents pay some personal or office bills-I mean, its the least I can do when they have supported me my ENTIRE life. Needless to say, me doing all of that partly meant the world to Dad, but also crushed him. He is a provider. Providers should never have to take help from the people they enjoy supporting (according to providers). Every chance he got he tried to pay me back...Can I tell you how long how I would have to live on this earth to be able to repay my parents for what they've done for me? There is no way they are paying me back. Hell no. As I say to Mom, we are in this together. Blood, sweat, tears...more and more tears. That is why I have chosen to be open about this situation.
Breezy recognizes the events are sure to attract media attention. How could Jennings' daughter think otherwise? She closes in a way that would have been sure to touch a man who was one of the world's softest touches:
As much as our family is not of the norm at all, and we tend to do things out of the box...we still are human, and just like every other person in this country right now. Every person is struggling in some sense or another. Different levels, degrees, events in their lives. No matter what happens to all of this situation...the worst has already happened. We lost Dad. Mom and I have each other and always will. Its the damnedest rollercoaster I've ever been on, but I'm not jumping off. There's nothing we cannot get through...that is what my parents taught me