Skip to comments.Barack Obama ’83, My Columbia College Roommate
Posted on 02/19/2010 5:44:47 PM PST by Smokeyblue
I was Barack Obama 83s roommate at Columbia College in fall 1981. I met him in 1979, when we were freshmen at Occidental College (Oxy) in Los Angeles and our dorm rooms were directly opposite each other.
I came to college as a middle-class guy from Bethesda, Md., where Id lived from fifth grade through high school. At Oxy, we attended some of the same social events and had late-night philosophical discussions related to our college reading or to current affairs. We attended rallies on campus where we were urged to draft beer, not people, and discussed the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, apartheid in South Africa, the hostages in Iran and the Contras in Latin America. The crowd we hung out with included men, women, blacks, whites, Hispanics and international students. Barack listened carefully to all points of view and he was funny, smart, thoughtful and well-liked. It was easy to sit down with him and have a fun conversation.
We both transferred from Oxy to Columbia in fall 1981. Barack had found an apartment on West 109th Street, between Amsterdam and Columbus, and suggested that I room with him. Our sublet was a third-story walk-up in a so-so neighborhood; the unit next door was burned out and vacant. The doorbell didnt work; to be let in when I first arrived I had to yell up to Barack from the street. It was a railroad apartment: From the kitchen, you walked into Baracks room, then my room, and lastly the living room. We didnt have a television or computers. In that apartment we hosted a number of visitors, mostly friends from Oxy who stayed overnight when they were passing through town. Barack was very generous to these visitors. As a host and roommate, he sometimes did the shopping and cooked
(Excerpt) Read more at college.columbia.edu ...
I wonder if Rev. Manning talked with this guy....
Not sure if this is old news.
Funny this should appear now....
I’m not positive but I believe they call it Columbia University although it seems more like a communist nursery school.
A likable guy who seems to have a lot of character. The same has been said of many dictators.
Phil Bonehead for that
touching, heartwarming rendition of Barrak the marxist goes to college.
(You forgot the barf alert)
No dorm room numbers or house address? How convenient!
The true story of this Marxist's life goes untold.
I’d guess that Rahm paid him by the word.
Obama probably bathed at the local gay Upper West Side bathhouses.
And they didn't have a computer because the only computers available were Apple II E's or those of personal construction.
I call BS on this obviously gay dude.
He is trolling for some favors from our Lord Obama.
Yeah, because I remember my dorm room numbers from the early 90's.
Columbia College is the undergraduate school at Columbia U.
Notice how this guy avoids any talk of politics? I suspect it’s because he is either a liberal himself or or does not want to bad mouth a former friend. (Assuming this whole story is not fiction)
draft beer, not people,???
I believe the draft ended in 1975. I was in college then.
The following year Carter the Disaster was elected and
gave amnesty to the draft dodgers in 1977 (if i remember correctly).
If this was 1979 or 1980 as the writer mentions, either
his bong-watered memory is bad or he hung around with
the lefties living in the past.
Looks like this was in the JAN/FEB edition of the alumni magazine. Columbia College is PART of Columbia University.
“West 109th Street, between Amsterdam and Columbus”
For sure. This is the first person I have read who admits to knowing BHO back “in the days”!
I lived on Riverside Dr and 112 st at the time of this narrative. the guy gets all the details right from the radiators to the startling quiet after snows to Toms and the West End.
I don’t know if he gets the stuff about Obama right...
The problem with the college narrative is that this guy claiming to know Obama is the only one from that class who ever knew or heard of the guy...that is my problem with the narrative is that he claims that he and obama went to columbia college—why?
Everyone at the college knew each other. there have been many postings here at free republic about columbia alumni who attend alumni meetings who knew everyone in the class—yet no one knew of obama.
It would be more likely that Obama and this guy went to the school of general studies—where no one knew each other.
Yet that’s not what he says.
I’m the exact age as these people and it was sometime around ‘79 we had to sign up for selective service. It was during that time that concerns about the draft came up again.
BS!!!this comes out just as Reverend Manning’s video?
Lends credence to what I had supposed was a crazy rant....
I kinda thought the reference to no computer at the time was odd, since few people would have had them at that time. I mean it’s true, but why mention it?
Odd, isn’t it? I don’t really have anything to say about it other than how remarkably inconsequential the story is....but after a figurative .0001 mm Hg near-absolute vacuum of info about this guy’s history and background, most notably stuff that should be readily obtainable....what comes out is this utter nothingburger.
You know what it reminds me of? It reminds me of those old pix of Stalin along the River Neva in St. Petersburg (somebody posted it the other day) where pix #1 has Uncle Joe and three cohorts, and pix #2 has only two guys in it...with the river, complete with waves, painstakingly painted in in place of the missing guy’s image. As if he were never there.
Except this is in reverse.
hahaha sounds a bit contrived.
My views and those of several people I know, changed a lot from College, until today.
Mine shifted about 180 degrees, around age 28.
So this is old news. I was reading a different article about Obama and then googled “Barack+columbia” and it came up.
It’s the first time I’ve heard of this guy.
I recall it was “Draft Beer Not Students” as opposed to People.
The same rug on the floor, but nothing else it the same...
Until I read that the “roomie” said he had a wife, the story read like a boyfriend/boyfriend love story.
where are the pics of this guy with Barry?
Not only that, but the Iran-Contra stuff hadn’t happened yet.
Actually, drafting people into the Army ended in 1971, but the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 had prompted Pres Carter to reinstitute draft registration for 18 year olds. It wasn't the draft that students were protesting in 1980, but the requirement to register for a new draft.
“We attended rallies on campus where we were urged to draft beer, not people,
Hmmm. That sounds like a relic from the 60’s, not the 80’s. There was no draft in 1983. That sounds like an inauthentic detail.
A number of visitors? Hm? As in a lot?
Gee! I would think these visitors would have come forward. Imagine visiting a person who would later become the president of the United States of America.
I would think they would be pleased to give interviews about these visits.
More photos and details here:
Recollections of Obamas Ex-Roommate
SUBLET AVAILABLE: Three-room railroad flat, third floor, West 109th Street. Near Columbia University. Ideal for roommates who do not need privacy, reliable heat or steady hot water. Kitchen modest, but take out available, including New York bagels for only a quarter.
Such were the accommodations that greeted the future president, Barack Obama, when he moved to New York in 1981 to pursue his undergraduate studies at Columbia, according to the recollections of Phil Boerner, his roommate for a semester. Both men were transfer students from Occidental College in Los Angeles, and as transfers were locked out of university housing at the time. Mr. Obama, 20, a junior, had spent two years at Occidental, where he had lived in the same dorm as Mr. Boerner.
Mr. Obama, who ultimately made Chicago, and now Washington, his home, enjoyed his New York years, Mr. Boerner recalls. Museums. Jogging in the park. Breakfasts at Toms on Broadway, not yet the celebrated hangout of Jerry Seinfeld and George Costanza.
I miss New York and the people in it, he would write Mr. Boerner a few years after they graduated. The subways, the feel of Manhattan streets, the view downtown from the Brooklyn Bridge.
He likely is a Native born U.S. Citizen, and has said so before, but a Native Born U.S. Citizen is not necessarily a natural born U.S. citizen, and that is the qualification required by our constitution to become president - “born in the country of citizen parents”. The definition is cited in numerous supreme court cases and has never been amended, though there have been twenty four attempts to do so, the latest in 2004 by Orrin Hatch. A fair name for this tactic is confidence job. Someone says have $500,000 from the death of so and so in North Dakota, but need to close probate before I can collect. I'll split the award with you if you'll put $10,000 into the family account in South Dakota bank. Just check the country records if you doubt me. The county records will of course confirm everything. You never really know the person making the offer, but can confirm what he has suggested that you check on. Obama, by concealing records has "hinted" that we check on his birth certificate, passport data, school records, etc. What he hs done is to distract from the real issue.
Both photos show live plants. I can’t imagine why young college guys would have live plants that must be cared for. Also, the plants look pretty healthy...being in an apartment that is so cold you have to drape yourself in blankets to keep warm. It is also strange that the other guy is cropped out of the photo with no mention of him in the story.
“...no computer at the time was odd...”
Didn’t the first “PCs” come out around ‘82 - ‘83? Weren’t they “Macs” or “Apples?”
I remember my Maintenance Officer in our Transportation Unit at MCAS, Cherry Point, NC had one... it was “the rave” at the time, even with the “dot matrix” type printer.
I don’t know when the very first ones came out, but we got our first one maybe in 1987 and we were one of a small handful of people I knew with them. Not that NO one had them, but they didn’t seem very common. I did have one friend with a Mac, I think. She had something that looked like Windows and I was doing DOS. LOL I recall I didnt’ want to change to Windows when we upgraded. Hard to believe now.
Thanks. Read Post #12 if this Thread. “Son of Dark Skies” is correct and helped me to remember. They were “Apple II E’s.” They were Disc Opertating Systema (DOS) with a dot matrix printer.
Columbia College is the oldest undergraduate college at Columbia University, situated on the university’s main campus of Morningside Heights in the Borough of Manhattan in the City of New York.
Women were admitted to the college in 1983.