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Words of Wisdom

"Pappy-isms" - Sage advice often heard on the weekly installments of the western adventure MAVERICK/ABC/1957-62.

Title Card - MAVERICK

The frontier members of the Maverick family Bret (James Garner); Bart (Jack Kelly), Brent (Robert Colbert), Ben (Charles Frank) and Cousin Beauregard Maverick (Roger Moore) often extolled the familial philosophies of patriarch, Beauregard "Pappy" Maverick.

Pappy's most revered proverb was: "He who plays and runs away lives to play another day." Other sage observations (preceded by "As my Pappy used to say") included:

James Garner as Beau 'Pappy' Maverick
Pappy Maverick

  • "A coward dies a thousand deaths, a hero dies but one." A thousand to one is pretty good odds."
  • "A man does what he has to do - if he can't get out of it."
  • "A fox isn't sly; he just can't think any slower."
  • "A man does what he has to do - if he can't get out of it."
  • "Early to bed and early to rise’ is the curse of the working class."
  • "Faint heart never filled a flush."
  • "Hell hath no fury like a man who loses with four of a kind."
  • "If at first you don't succeed, try something else."
  • "If you're ever served a rare steak that is intended for
    someone else, don't bother with ethical details - eat as much as you can before the mistake is discovered."
  • "If you haven't got something nice to say about a man,
    it's time to change the subject."
  • "Love your fellow man, and stay out of his troubles if you can."
  • "Man is the only animal you can skin more than once."
  • "Marriage is the only game of chance I know of where both people can lose."
  • "Never cry over spilled milk... it could've been whiskey."
  • "Never hold a kicker and never draw to an inside straight."
  • "Never play in a rigged game, unless you rig it yourself."
  • "No use crying over spilled milk, it could have been whiskey."
  • "Son, the best time to get lucky is when the other man's dealin'."
  • "Son, hard work never hurt anyone - who didn't do it."
  • "Son, stay clear of weddings because one of them is liable to be your own."
  • "The only time you ever quit when you're winnin' is after you've won it all."
  • "Work is fine for killin' time, but it's a shaky way to make a living."
  • "You can be a gentleman and still not forget all you know about self-defense."
  • "You can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all the time and those aren't bad odds!"
  • "You can tell more about a town by looking at its gambling emporium than any other building."

Bart, Beau and Maverick
Bart, Beau and Brent Maverick

So determined was Pappy to keep his gambling offspring's from the straight and narrow that when his sons went fighting for the Confederate Army, Pappy admonished them "If you either one gets back with a medal, I'll beat you to death."

In addition to Pappy's wisdom, he also left each of his boys a $1000 bill for security against bad times which they tucked inside their traveling clothes.

TRIVIA NOTE:  On the animal adventure series NATIONAL VELVET/NBC/1960-62, James McCallion appeared as Irish born ex-jockey who helped a young girl Velvet Brown (Lori Martin) train her horse for the Grand National Steeplechase.

When playing chess with Velvet he liked to espouse the philosophy of his grandmother (for example, "As me wise grandmother used to say, the wise man laughs at himself, and the fool laughs at everything else."


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