Sunday, January 25, 2009


Because you are faithful FP followers, you are among the very first to see these. These pictures have not yet been released to the media -- save for the cigarette one. I have a friend who emailed them to me. D got them from M, who was a year ahead of Obama at Occidental.

From the provenance email, dated Jan 22, '09:
In 1980, when Obama was a freshman at Occidental College in Los Angeles , he was approached by an aspiring photographer named Lisa Jack, who asked him if he would be willing to pose for some black and white photographs that she could use in her portfolio

Of her first meeting (in a campus eatery) with Obama, Jack remembers only that "He was really cute. But what else does a 20-year-old girl remember

In the photos, Jack says, "You can see he is just posing, initially, but as the shoot goes on, he starts to come out. He was very charismatic even then

Jack never realized her dream of becoming a photographer and is now a psychologist

Jack and Obama would see each other only a few more times while students. But in 2005, while on a tour, she spotted Obama on Capitol Hill and yelled hello. "He knew exactly who I was after all this time," Jack says. "I was amazed

On a dare from a skeptical friend, Jack decided to track down her negatives from the shoot.

Initially, before she dug the film out from her basement, Jack never thought her pictures would have much life beyond her own darkroom

When she f ound them, the images of Obama "blew me away," she says. "I had no idea I'd taken a whole roll of film

For a while, Jack put the negatives in a safety-deposit box, so that they could not be used until after the election, w hen there would be no chance they could be used for a political purpose.

Today, Jack says, she hopes the photos reveal a "spirit of fun and thoughtfulness

"I'm not political," Jack says, "(But) these are historic photos and they should be shared

To be clear, I am not the Jack in question. Obama would have been a year or two behind me, but I did not go to Oxy. Considered it, though.


I could have been famous.


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