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Yesterday in La Crosse

Goodbye to Hawkeye, 37 years ago

Brad Williams



In February of 1983, more than 100 million Americans watched the final episode of the “M*A*S*H” TV series.  The 11-year run of the comedy about doctors in the Korean War ended with a movie-length story, in which the war ended and Hawkeye Pierce and his friends mostly went home.  Fans around the country had MASH-watching parties, including at some La Crosse bars such as the Ground Round on Rose Street, the Cellar at UW-L, and the Recovery Room on 7th Street.  Many people attending the parties wore costumes for the occasion.  In La Crosse, one Radar lookalike carried a teddy bear.  And the guy wearing a dress?  Of course, he was Max Klinger.  

Tomah broadcaster Hugh Dickie died that February at age 63.  Dickie was the owner of radio station WTMB, and he also led a campaign to expand the Monroe County Fairgrounds during the 70’s, in order to bring in the National High School Rodeo.  Hugh Dickie had plans to launch a TV station on Channel 25.  Eventually, that station opened on the north-side of La Crosse as WLAX.  TV talk in 1983, yesterday in La Crosse.   

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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