I had a quick kick at the can.
Nothing like the big guys,
but, then again, my heart wasn’t in it.
I wasn’t meant to be a cartoon sheriff.
I wanted to be the real thing.
It’s funny, a lot of us need to know
which side we fall on, whether we
really know what’s right from wrong.
I mean consider it, there’s very little
we’re not allowed to do; it all comes down
to: what are you willing to do? When you
think like that, either everything falls
into place, or you don’t get it at all.

I got it.

It was fun while it lasted, and I can’t tell
you how many times I say to myself “Kaboooong!”
when I put some lowlife behind bars,
but that’s it; entertainment is fun, but it’s not
real life. If you look very closely when you rub
up against the world, it’s no longer all colour
and oh so wonderful. It’s a little more grainy,
no longer fair or just.

That’s when you have to choose, is being a cartoon
enough, or do you want to make a difference?

I made my choice.

(The lawman horse first appeared in 1959 and won his first Emmy in 1960. On a personal note, having now finished a number of these interviews, some of which, as you may have read, veered at times to the personal, some that seemed possibly dangerous, I never felt safer than when I was in Mr. McGraw’s presence. His is a deeply calming presence. GG)