Barry Obama’s extremely enviable classmates

Unspun is so jealous!

While others are blessed with memory that would put an elephant to shame, Unspun has trouble remembering where he put the car keys each day.

Among the Blessed are Barrack Obama’s former classmates in Menteng because not only did they manage to go to an elite school and got to school together with the future President of the United States; they are also blessed with a memory bordering on total recall.

They must have eaten lots of ginko nuts because they are the only guys Unspun know of who has such uncanny recall of what happened to them when they were about 6 years old. How many of you  can recall your classmates that you went to school with for two years but whom you have not seen since then (be honest now)? Yet not one but at least eight of them have such prodigious memories that they would gather now and then to have memory orgies of Barrack, oh sorry, Barry, aka the boy with dumpling ears. Such familarity! Such chutzpah that would make even Tareq and Michaele Salahi blush!

But the real point of this posting is…hmmm…Unspun’s forgotten…so just read The Jakarta Globe story below:

When Obama Was Just ‘Dumpling Ears’

When US President Barack Obama officially visits Indonesia in June, classmates from his elementary school days are looking forward to seeing him again.

They may have known him for less than two years at school in the early ’70s, but Barry Soetoro, as Obama was then known, has become a source of inspiration and pride for many of his former classmates, said Rully Dasaad, one of those who befriended little Barry at Sekolah Dasar Negeri Besuki in Menteng.

“Barry affected our lives in a way,” Rully said. “He helped shape our personalities. I don’t know how to express it, but we are very proud to have been his classmates. Imagine, as US president, he is now the most powerful person on earth.”

Barack Obama and his primary school classmates in this class photo from the 1970s. Some of President Barack Obama’s former classmates were invited to the home of US Ambassador Cameron Hume a day before Obama’s inauguration in 2009. (Photo courtesy Widiyanto)Rully said this sentiment was shared by Widiyanto, Tita Tambunan, Donny Nyoman Moena, Deborah, Dewi Asmara, Ira Lesmana, Haryanni Barkah, Atik Isyanto and Yogi Dharma, along with many more of the “elite kids” from the school.

According to Rully, the school was where wealthy top government officials and bankers sent their children.

“Strangely, all the way from third and fourth grade with Barry to high school and up until now, we still meet and talk about nostalgic moments with him. We are all now in our late 40s, but we take time to gather, sometimes as many as 20 of us, to talk about practically anything as close friends,” said Rully, who works as a commercial photographer and technical surveillance instructor for elite security forces.

Widiyanto, who was Obama’s seatmate in third grade — back when students had to share a seat and desk built for two — said he was surprised when the US ambassador to Indonesia, Cameron Hume, invited him and Rully to his Surapati residence a day before Obama’s inauguration in January 2009 for a traditional slamatan, a ceremony for special occasions.

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7 replies to “Barry Obama’s extremely enviable classmates

  1. Not all that surprising really that he is well remembered. How many Kenyan-American kids would there have been at that school? Obviously he would have stood out amidst a student body that would otherwise be totally Indonesian.

    But yeah, Rully may be exaggerating just a little.


  2. If I have a school mate who became president 30 years later I think I would do my utmost to remember about those school days. Especially that the elementary school is just across a restaurant where many people in Jakarta, incl me, use to hang out for many years.


  3. Since last year, thanks to Facebook, I regularly meet half (yes, half!) of my former first grade classmates. The last time we were in the same classroom is in 1982. But yet we after couple times of exchanging stories, we realized that we still remember a lot of details of every 42 of us, including the quiet ones or the ones who only sits with us for a year.

    I would imagine, remembering all the details about an African boy who can’t speak proper Indonesian will be much easier, even without Ginkgo Biloba.


  4. Not all that surprising really that he is well remembered. How many Kenyan-American kids would there have been at that school? Obviously he would have stood out amidst a student body that would otherwise be totally Indonesian.

    But yeah, Rully may be exaggerating just a little.


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