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La Crosse fan of “MASH” ready to celebrate 50 years of classic series at filming site

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FILE - In this Oct. 22, 1981, file photo, Jamie Farr, from front left, plugs his ears as cast members of the "M.A.S.H." television series cast Harry Morgan, Loretta Swit, William Christopher and, from back from left, Mike Farrell, Alan Alda and David Ogden Stiers celebrate during a party on the set of the popular CBS program in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Huynh, File)

This weekend marks 50 years since a popular TV series made its debut — a show about Army doctors serving in Korea.

Megan Larson wears a shirt advertising Max Klinger’s favorite restaurant

The anniversary of “MASH” is being celebrated in California on Saturday, and a La Crosse resident, who’s a big fan of the show, will be attending.

Megan Larson has a ticket to the MASH VIP breakfast at Malibu Creek State Park, where outdoor scenes for the show were filmed.

“I think it’s like $75 a person,” she says, “but the proceeds go toward maintaining Malibu Creek State Park, helping volunteers make sure that the history of MASH is still there, the signpost is there, tents I think are still up.”

Larson became hooked on MASH at a young age, watching late-night reruns of the show with her father.

“We used to watch it together, and I grew up watching it and it became kind of a comfort show for me,” Larson said.

She has since become friends with a co-host of a podcast about the series, which lasted 11 years.

The special VIP breakfast is being hosted by Jeff Maxwell, who played mess hall cook Igor on MASH.

Who is Larson’s favorite MASH character? No doubt, it’s Capt. Hawkeye Pierce, played by Alan Alda.

“Half of my arm, I have a full arm sleeve full of tattoos, and the bottom half is all dedicated to MASH, ” Larson said. “And I actually have (Alda’s) signature on my right arm.”

Larson plans to attend the celebration wearing a Hawaiian shirt, like those worn by Hawkeye and others at the 4077th MASH hospital.

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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