Who Was Bobby Van’s Bookie?

Posted by Tom Roberge, on December 12, 2012

While going through the photos, paintings, and memorabilia in our storage room last week, deciding what to hang where after repainting the office, we found the photograph you see below, unframed and with a curious Post-it Note attached to the upper left corner. For a bit of context, Bobby Van's Steakhouse, now a corporate chain with several locations, was once a Bridgehampton favorite of the '70s literary scenesters who summered out in the Hamptons, with many of the era's heavy hitters counted among the regulars, as you can see below.


The note reads:

Jim Jones, Truman Capote, Willie Morris, John Knowles. I was Bobby's BOOKIE for a year.

A couple of questions arise. First, who took the photograph? Was it James Laughlin? If not, why would we have it in our possession? And secondly, who wrote the note? I personally have a hard time believing the JL was anyone's bookie, ever, but I suppose you never know. And if not JL, who was Bobby's bookie (and why only for a year)? 

Related Author: James Laughlin
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