Steamboat Springs In one of President Barack Obama's books, he tells a story about a redheaded girl who wants to touch his Afro at school.
Lynne Marr hopes that isn't her - but she isn't sure.
The redhead, all grown up, lives in Steamboat Springs. Lynne and Scott Marr run the Holiday Inn, and Lynne Marr (raised Lynne Schoen) attended fifth through 12th grade with Obama at the Punahou School in Honolulu. Obama, known as "Barry" in those days, played basketball and signed his name with a drawing of an Afro above it, Marr said.
She and Obama graduated from the college preparatory school, which teaches kindergarten through 12th grade, in 1979.
"It was very multiracial - but not," Marr said. "It was a lot of Hawaiians, a lot of Asians, a lot of Caucasians, but he was our only African American" classmate.
Marr and Obama graduated with more than 400 students, she said. Punahou was very class-oriented.
"They promoted that class activity, and because a lot of us started in first grade together, I went to school with a lot of kids for 12 years," Marr said.
She and Obama weren't close, but she knew him.
"Everybody knew everybody, unless you were real quiet and withdrawn, which he wasn't," Marr said. "He was a joker."
Even now, the Class of 1979 keeps in touch. They have a blog, and some gathered in the Washington area Monday for a party celebrating Obama's Inauguration, Marr said.
The class has been in the news, too. A man in Germany sent her a copy of her fifth-grade class photo, clipped from a newspaper and labeled with what each person was doing now. The Steamboat Holiday Inn was listed under her name, she said.
That's only a taste of the lack of privacy Obama will experience, Marr said.
"You have to give up a lot to serve your country," she said. "So I salute his sacrifices, because you know it's also his family and everything else. I hope he does a lot with it. I do wish him well. Hopefully, he'll surround himself with good people."
- To reach Blythe Terrell, call 871-4234 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org