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Real estate broker Art Wahl is the kind of guy who decorates his office with a 3-foot inflatable shark and a miniature Wurlitzer -- yet is so intense that he once barked "goodbye" into the phone loudly enough to make an officemate's caller hang up in confusion.
In short, he's a character.
"Art is a piece of work," says Fred Weiss, a friend who toiled with Wahl 25 years ago at Seattle's Henry Broderick Co. "He's intense, charismatic, fun to be around. He likes to do things his own way. He's not easily led."
Indeed, Wahl runs his own show at Wahl & Associates, Inc., a 9-year-old Seattle brokerage that's prospering thanks to some red-hot clients.
Just about anyone who knows Wahl can offer a colorful anecdote: his tendency to be a "pathological cleaner of things"; his disaster-prone boat that caught fire once and later sank when muskrats ate the exhaust seals; his fondness for 1950s-era burger joints, smoke-filled coffee shops, sports and fancy cars.
His family life is no more placid. Already the father of two …