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Yesterday in La Crosse

Goodbye to Hawkeye, 37 years ago

Brad Williams

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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.   

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