Friend of Barrett Baber Recalls Tragedy

Local News
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – “When I met Barrett for the first time, it was actually on the tennis court,” said longtime friend Kyle Proctor.
 
From a high school tennis match to a lifelong friendship.
 
Proctor and Barrett Baber even roomed together at Ouachita Baptist University about 15 years ago.
 
“I think I kept him up late at night because I was writing lots and lots of papers,” said Proctor.
 
The two are best friends with a close relationship.
 
There’s a night that may have brought the two even closer.
 
Baber was part of the choir group at Ouachita, something Proctor said Baber loved.
 
A plane crashed in June, 1999. It was the same plane the choir group was on. Eleven people were killed and Baber survived. It’s a night Proctor said he will never forget.
 
“My dad came in and got me up that morning. He said ‘Kyle, hurry hurry, come watch the news. Something’s happened’,” said Proctor.
 
In just a blink of an eye, Proctor’s life would change forever.
 
“For about 30 minutes, we sat there and watched all the footage that was there of the plane, of the thunderstorms,” said Proctor.
 
He did not know if Baber had survived the crash until a video of Baber coming off a bus aired on television.
 
“That was the first time I knew my roommate was alive,” he said.
 
It’s a moment Proctor will hold dear to his heart.
 
“That was just a very, a very sobering moment probably for the both us,” he said.
 
Proctor said he made sure he was there for Baber when he needed support.
 
“If he wanted to talk about it, we would talk about it. If he didn’t, we didn’t,” he said.
 
As college went on, Baber would do what he does best — sing.
 
However, there’s still a tennis match from high school still questionable and that’s who actually won — Proctor or Baber?
 
“Something he disputes to this very day and we still argue about it,” he said.

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