2nd Amendment to the Constitution of The United States of America

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

"I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians."
- George Mason (father of the Bill of Rights and The Virginia Declaration of Rights)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Happy Trails Colonel Potter

Actor Harry Morgan, best know for playing the cantankerous yet caring Colonel Sherman T. Potter on the long running TV series M.A.S.H. died today at the ripe old age of 96.  Already a seasoned actor when joining M.A.S.H and known for playing Detective Joe Gannon in the TV Series Dragnet, the character of COL Potter was brought about on the show after the departure of actor McLain Stevenson, who left the show after differences with the producers over staff wages and conditions. His character was killed off in one of the most emotionally remembered endings in TV history as his plane was shot down over the Sea of Japan as he had finished his tour and was returning home.  Morgan had previously appeared in a very early episode of the show as another officer that brought Captain "Hawkeye" Pierce up on charges but was a loon in the courtroom.

The character of COL Potter was played to a "T" by Morgan.  Initially appearing to be a classic "regular Army" officer and surgeon, Potter's sometimes gruff and grizzled exterior belied a man exposed to two World Wars and the killing of young men.  This played into the shows generally anti-war theme.  His character was the "straight man" of sorts on the show playing against the antics of the rest of the cast, but occasionally even the old Colonel had his moments.  Here is the best clip I could find of Harry Morgan as COL Potter and he displays some fine acting chops here.

As a young boy growing up in the 70's, MASH was really the only introduction to the Army I had other than the occasional war movie on the weekends.  In an era post-Vietnam, the military was generally not portrayed in favorable ways.  Despite its true anti-war/anti-military themes, I enjoyed the show as a kid and it did influence my decision to enlist when I turned 18.

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