President Obama’s 1979 Prom Photos
12:32 pm, May 23rd | by Colette McIntyre
By now you’ve probably realized that we here at the Jane Dough have a ton of feels about prom. We’ve investigated why prom expenses have skyrocketed, we’ve reflected on our own prom anxieties, and we’ve even tried to figure out just what in the hell prom is meant to signify (femininity? tradition? social stratum? we still don’t know!), but, at the end of the day, prom is just one incredibly potent night of sentimentality, ceremony, and gangly teens in grown-up dresses, sweating, smiling, and trying to figure out what is making their backs itch. Everyone has a prom story — even those kids who didn’t attend their prom. Everyone has some awkwardly posed photo that their parent made them take, perhaps by the fireplace or the staircase or the front door, now sitting in a dusty shoebox or jammed drawer. Kelli Allman has photos like that, which would be inconsequential if it wasn’t for one little detail: she attended prom with President Obama.
The never-before-seen photos featured exclusively in TIME show a seventeen-year-old Barack Obama on the night of his prom, clutching a glass of champagne and laughing with his date Megan Hughes, Allman, and her boyfriend Greg Orme, who was Obama’s teammate on the varsity basketball team and best friend. “It was a really fun, happy time. We were all cracking up, and everyone was smiling,” Allman recounts. “It was pretty typical from there out as far as what happens at prom: the dinner and the dancing and the photos.”
Allman also shared an adorable message that Barry, that ol’ dog, left in her yearbook:
Kelli, It has been so nice getting to know you this year. You are extremely sweet and foxy, I don’t know why Greg would want to spend any time with me at all! You really deserve better than clowns like us; you even laugh at my jokes! I hope we can keep in touch this summer, even though Greg will be gone. Call me up and I’ll buy you lunch sometimes. Anyway, good luck in everything you do, and stay happy. Your friend, Barry Obama.
Sweet and foxy is the ultimate compliment and I shall accept no others! Also, Greg: watch your back, dude.