Barack Obama's Neighborhood
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Friends and Classmates of Barry

Dean Ando

Dean Ando was one of Obama's childhood friends starting from 5th grade at Punahou School. He was one of the few classmates who had the opportunity to meet Ann Dunham and Barack Obama, Sr., Obama's mother and father.

Barry and Dean enjoyed playing basketball for countless hours at Punahou, spent time perusing albums at Tower Records and shared the same homeroom during their high school years.

In 2007, he became involved with politics as a direct result of his friendship with Obama. He was elected a national delegate for the Democratic National Convention held in Denver, Colorado. At the convention, he proudly voted for Obama and then witnessed Barack's historic speech to accept the democratic nomination for President of the United States.

Dean and his wife, Drena, reside in Tacoma, Washington. He is employed in Olympia, Washington where he is a state worker.

Dean is currently working on a book about his 21 month journey through the 2008 presidential election cycle, including his experiences at the Democratic National Convention, and his grassroots organizing efforts in Washington State. He has a regular blog that provides updates on his current projects including the book endeavor:


Tom Boyle

Tom Boyle, a Honolulu-based filmmaker, is also a '79 grad from Punahou. He became friends with Barack in the 7th grade. The two participated together in study hall, PE, boys choir and football.

Tom is currently working on a feature-length horror movie that takes place in Hawaii, based on one of his original screenplays. He's also developing a longer version of Madelyn Dunham and Barack Obama The American Dream. You can watch this by going to the Videos section of this website. The film is dedicated to Madelyn Dunham, whom he knew, and an overview of Makiki, Barack's old neighborhood.

If you're interested in seeing a list of Tom's film credits be sure and visit his page on the Internet Movie Database (imdb) Tom lives in Makiki, in the Tantalus area, and is single. He spends his free time surfing and free-diving at Kaimana Beach or Portlock Point.

Rev. Darin S. Maurer

Rev. Darin S. Maurer enjoyed years of pursuing dreams of basketball greatness with Barack (Barry) with great memories of the closeness that comes from sharing such an effort, regardless of how it ends. It actually hasn't ended it seems, as both have kept their enthusiasm for playing through the years after Punahou won the State Championship in '79.

Darin currently serves with a ministry in Houston, Texas called Logos Leaders Outreach, where he lives with his wife Allison and their four children: Margaret, 16; Christopher, 13; John, 11; Ashley 5.

After graduating from Punahou he made the life changing decision to put his faith in Jesus Christ while preparing to walk onto the Stanford University basketball team. He had a special reunion with Barry recently in Houston and prays for his huge success as our President.

Photo courtesy of Mr. T. George Paris and the Ironworkers Union Local 625.

George Paris, President of Ironworkers Union Local 625 (headquartered in Waipahu) befriended then Senator Obama. George was impressed and early in the Presidential race, he convinced his membership to become the first union to support Obama. This was a gutsy move - it clearly went against the wishes of the greater union's leadership. George was asked to be the co-chair of the Obama Presidential campaign in Hawaii. When the President comes to Honolulu at the minimum George gets a phone call.

The photo was taken at the Hawaii Democratic fundraiser during Obama's visit in July of 2008.

John Nichols and His Latest Masterwork - Where Buffalo Roam

Maya Soetoro-Ng with John Nichols' Where Buffalo Roam

John Henry Nichols is an accomplished Hawaii artist with numerous awards and international exhibits under his belt. He has received kudos of late for his portrait of William Henry Waddell - one of only two surviving Buffalo Soldiers - who died at age 98 in 2007. Waddell, who retired in Hawai'i in 1972 with his wife Lottie, served from 1941 through 1946 with the 9th and 10th Cavalry during the Italian campaign of World War II. (The term "Buffalo Soldier" is one of pride that harks back to the period immediately following the Civil War when depleted Union troops were, by act of Congress, strengthened for the first time to include six regiments of black soldiers).

John had a chance to befriend William Waddell in the latter years of his life and unveiled a painting of the old soldier on January 25, 2009 when he presented it to his friend Maya Soetoro-Ng, the sister of Barack Obama.

John is hoping that the President will see fit to hang the painting in the White House.

Check out for more art by John Henry Nichols.

More Friends of Barry on the way...

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