If you look hard enough at the news, often you’ll find a Northeast Missouri connection.
Wednesday saw the death of TV actor Harry Morgan, 96, best known for portraying Col. Sherman Tecumseh Potter on the classic Korean War dramedy “M*A*S*H.”
Sharp-eared TV viewers will recall that Potter, commander of the fictional 4077th Mobile Army Surgical Hospital, was a Missouri man, but my already-limited knowledge of classic TV has had to compete over the years with stuff like graduate school and “Christmas Vacation” quotes. So I was pleasantly surprised to get a bit of trivia in an email from NECAC public relations officer Brent Engel, who reminds us that Potter always cited Hannibal as his hometown.
If you’ve watched a lot of “M*A*S*H,” or at least have seen its finale — which for almost 20 years ranked as the most-watched TV broadcast in history — you know that when Potter rides off into the sunset on Sophie the horse, he’s looking forward to returning to his wife and a quiet life as a country doctor. “Mildred is waiting for me back in Hannibal, Mo.,” he tells his men.
There are lots of other Midwestern characters on the show, but how’s that for a Hannibal connection?