MASH TV series: Blake or Potter?

helicopter noise

More questions from the Buffalo-area blogger Kelly Sedinger. You can still Ask Roger Anything.

If you watched MASH, were you a Colonel Henry Blake or a Colonel Sherman Potter guy?

Harry MorganI watched MASH religiously every week for 11 seasons, on five different nights. In fact, for the first eight years, I’d often watch the reruns. But the last three were generally weaker, sometimes regurgitating plot devices. Moreover, the chronology was all over the place.

I thought that the show should have ended after Radar departed. Klinger became the company clerk and lost the dresses, but I never bought him in the new role.

Blake was a funnier guy, which made Abyssinia, Henry all the more potent. Potter, though, was more substantial. The Old Soldiers episode may have been my favorite; I learned the word tontine. So I’ll opt for Potter.

BTW, I was bemused when Harry Morgan was cast in the role. I watched him on a sitcom called December Bride (1954-1959; I must have seen it in syndication) and its spinoff, Pete and Gladys (1960-1962). He appeared in various series before starring in the return of Dragnet (1967-1970). Then he was a doctor on a western called Hec Ramsey (1972-1974).

What was confusing was that in 1974, the year before he became Potter, Morgan played on MASH Maj. Gen. Bartford Hamilton Steele, a loony officer who wanted to move the camp closer to the front.

Oh, and BTW, Winchester over Burns, BJ over Trapper John (because Trapper and Hawkeye were too similar), and Margaret over Hot Lips.


And this might seem random, but a helicopter just flew over my house. We get helicopters flying over ALL the time. Are there lots of helicopters where you are? What’s the common “white noise” of your neighborhood?

Actually, planes and helicopters DO fly over our house a lot. The choppers are traveling to and from Albany Medical Center, which is a Level One trauma center, the only one actually in northeast New York State; the hospital in Burlington, VT is the nearest, followed by ones in Westchester County and Syracuse.

About 50 years ago, a plane crashed in the city of Albany, and in fact in my neighborhood, about a mile away as the crow flies. After 9/11, of course, there were no planes in the skies for about a week, so when the first plane flew over my house again, it actually startled me.

A Jade Element December Rambling

Carried Away by The Jade Element- My eldest niece is the lead singer.

There was some anti-gay marriage pledge that the GOP candidates were supposed to sign this month. Of course, Michele Bachmann and Rick Santorum agreed to it, as one would expect. But the third was Mitt Romney. Not only is his position unfortunate, but it also cements that “pandering” problem he has. Beyond that, pandering didn’t work in 2008, and in fact, backfired. Oh, and this was widely circulated, but I still like it: the best message for marriage equality.

Where Roger Ebert stands on the Occupy movement, which is not dissimilar to my position. Or Ken Jennings’. Still, it’s impressive/amazing that Occupy Albany was still going strong earlier this month, a model operation; it has gotten permits from the city and everything. Then it got closed down – badly, as these things usually are. Expect the energy will not dissipate.

Bertrand Russell’s Liberal Decalogue, courtesy of Chris Black

When Blackwater, or Xe, or ACADEMI changes its name again.

Harry Morgan died on Pearl Harbor Day. Here’s his New York Times obit. I’m old enough to actually remember him in December Bride and its spinoff, Pete and Gladys. Of course, I watched him in Dragnet, where he was a great counterpoint to the dry Jack Webb. But of course, he’s best known for playing Colonel Potter in MASH. He was one of those you look familiar people who actually had an earlier role on the show as a crazy colonel, before showing up as the MASH commander a season later. Ken Levine remembers Harry; he wrote for MASH and its lesser sequel AfterMASH.

When I was watching MAS*H a couple of decades ago, Col. Potter seemed to be particularly bad spirits. It turned out that he was “the last survivor among several of his World War I U.S. Army buddies, and thus inherited a confiscated bottle of French cognac.” That was the very first time I remember hearing the word tontine, which generally refers to an investment plan.

I must admit knowing Christopher Hitchens more for his fight with cancer than his previous writings; still, an interesting guy. Arthur comments here, and Kevin Marshall provides a number of written and visual reflections of the man.

How to talk to someone with cancer, something I’ve had some experience with.

A fond farewell to the hard-wired phone; from “Superman” to “I Love Lucy,” a look back at the role this outdated device played in television and film

Mark Evanier remembers Batman artist (and much more) Jerry Robinson and one of the first superstars of comics, Joe Simon, as well as the 100th anniversary of the birth of Spike Jones; I forgot to bring my kazoo.

I’m sad Vaclav Havel died; he headed a free Czechoslovakia, and, just as remarkably, its division without bloodshed.

Music video Carried Away by The Jade Element. My eldest niece is the lead singer.

The Uffizi and Upside-down

Re: the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – Surely Joan Jett deserves to be there. I’m still hoping that Chaka Khan gets in sans Rufus. My real problem is that they, and Heart, all predated three of the male groups that got in: GnR, Beastie Boys, and the Chili Peppers. Unfortunate. But happy about Freddie King in as early influence, and Donovan and the sole woman, the late Laura Nyro.

Animated Comic Covers by Kerry Callen


Christmas Jumper: Name of beer leaves a bad taste
Head brewer Roger Green insisted the name had been a complete coincidence after the beer started life with a pump clip showing Santa in a big woolly pullover. However, that explanation failed to stop the dark ale from making headline news… Roger Green, of the Beachy Head Brewery in East Sussex, insisted there was no malice behind the title and that its meaning had been misconstrued. Relatives of people who have died at the notorious 530ft (162m) suicide spot near Eastbourne…

On the fifth day of Christmas my council gave to me….5p a mile Tribute was paid to the late Councillor Roger Green of Wisbech who had advocated the extra 5p a mile for councillors on official business. “One of the amendments that the late Cllr Green had made great play of was that the mileage had been held at 40p.”

Plane-parts suppliers charged in $6M Ponzi scheme in Fort Lauderdale
Victor Brown, 54, of Hollywood [Florida], and Roger Green, 78, of Stuart, were taken into custody Wednesday on charges of racketeering and conspiracy to commit first-degree racketeering, authorities said. [A bunch of variations on this story.]

It was the sixth time in eight days the Roger Green-coached Lady Tigers have won.

Create a harvesting plan for retirement assets, by Roger Green
Retirement planning does not end at retirement. The need to grow assets for income remains important for most – especially those who have not accrued enough assets to last them throughout today’s longer retirement periods.

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