A James Bond Mystery, And The Colorado Connection

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<p>(Courtesy of Stephen Lack)</p>
Photo: Birds of the West Indies James Bond Ian Fleming
Stephen Lack's copy of "Birds of the West Indies" by James Bond.

Mystery surrounds how Ian Fleming came up with the name "James Bond" for his now-famous fictional spy. One widely accepted theory is that he took it from a book titled "Birds of the West Indies," by American Ornithologist James Bond. Well, a Colorado Matters listener wrote in with some potential evidence to support that theory.

While Ian Fleming built a home in Oracabessa, Jamaica in the late 1940s (it's now a resort called Goldeneye), he stayed in different hotels and resorts across the island. One of them, Stephen Lack of Louisville, Colo. told us, was the Windsor Hotel, which Lack's grandparents owned and operated. He told us that Ian Fleming stayed there "on and off" during that time period. The first Bond novel, "Casino Royale" was published in 1953.

So, did Ian Fleming first see the book -- and the name "James Bond" -- at the Windsor Hotel? We asked Ian Fleming biographer Andrew Lycett if the place, or Lack's grandparents, came up during the course of his research.

"I'm afraid that it didn't ring a bell," Lycett says. "And that's about all I can say because there were one or two [hotels] where he had links because he knew the people involved, and this is not one that I know of personally. I'm not saying it didn't happen, but I just don't know about it."

So, it's possible -- but the mystery remains unresolved. The newest installment in the James Bond series, "Spectre," opens at midnight.