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’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.