I was born in Toledo, Ohio, where, at least until Katie Holmes became Mrs. Tom Cruise, our most famous celebrity was Jamie Farr, better known as Klinger the drag queen from M*A*S*H. Yeah, Toledo can churn them out.
On the bright side, while M*A*S*H made Jamie Farr famous, he used the gig to actively boast his (and my) hometown. When not wearing women’s clothes in an effort to be sent home from the Korea, he’d wear a Toledo Mud Hens baseball cap (our AAA farm league). He would also occasionally mention Tony Packos, a hot dog joint that as a result to this day is better known worldwide than even L.A.’s Pink’s.
I mention all this not only because M*A*S*H was shot in Los Angeles – Malibu Creek State Park, actually – but because while the original set burnt down in 1982 leaving only “rusted hulks of an army jeep and an old army ambulance,” TV writer Ken Levine blogs that park visitors will soon be able to visit the 4077th camp:
Thanks in part to Andreas Kyriacou, a retired chemical engineer, there are steps being taken to recreate the ranch. Andreas reconstructed the famous 10-foot signpost with its familiar hand lettered arrows. Using original blueprints they are also roping off the areas where the Swamp was, the Mess Tent, etc. The park may eventually institute organized overnight camping trips and videos projected on a bedsheet for campers.
The recreated camp should be open this summer. Levine adds that a ceremony commemorating the anniversary of the series finale will be held on February 23rd.
Maybe Jamie Farr will be on hand and ship in some Tony Packos for a showdown against Pinks…