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John Smith Williams

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The SP Bookie
by John Smith Williams

Friday, September 19, 2003

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The SP (starting price) bookie was a product of the depression years and later in Australia His lookouts were often known as cockatoos as they screamed if the police turned up


It was not so many years ago,
The SP Booky was all the go,
On Saturday arvo he’d take your bet,
Giving starting price odds, that’s all you’d get.

His stand was usually the local pub,
In a back room, was the place he’d love,
A phone or two was all he’d need,
And a couple of runners with a bit of speed.

Sometimes you’d find him down a back lane,
Lookouts posted to protect his game,
Ftom local coppers who got very nosey,
If they caught him things wouldn’t be so rosey.

He’d take your money with a bit of a grin,
You’d hope like crazy, your horse’d come in,
A risky business, punting that way,
If he took all your money, a scarpered away.

He’d take on a bet as low as two bob,
In the days of depression, that was a lot,
There was always a hope for a bit of a win,
Anything extra was a reason to grin.

The days of the SP bookie are long since gone,
As is inevitable time has moved on.
Just as touch of nostalgia, comes to my mind
A glimpse of the past, you’d now never find.

JW 11/02.

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Reviewed by Sandie Angel 9/19/2003
Interesting read!...

May Lu a.k.a. Sandie Angel :o)
Reviewed by Ch'erie de Perrot 9/19/2003
Ah yes moving time moves on. Not for the happier though.
Great write John, enjoyed it very much.
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