Veteran performers talk about their classic roles in old-time westerns.
“I never wore a gun. And yet – and I never understood this – outlaws came in, picked up their provisions, and they always paid me. They didn’t have to. They could have taken what they wanted. And if I’d said ‘Wait!’, they could have taken out their guns and filled me full of holes. But they never did that. It’s like there’s some unwritten Outlaw Rule: ‘It’s okay to rob, kill, cheat at cards. But you always pay the storekeeper.’ I never read that anywhere, but it seemed to apply.”
“You know who never paid me? Everyone else. Ranchers, sodbusters. They’d load their wagons with seed grain, bolts of cloth, penny candy for the young ‘uns, and it was always, ‘Put it on my account.’ Honest people, never paid a dime. If it wasn’t for the outlaws, I’d have been completely out of business.”
“Once, I ran out with an ancient rifle to stop some fleeing bank robbers. Then, they shot me. But that was different. I was intervening with their business. I know I sound like I’m taking their side, but what can I tell you? They were very nice to me.”