Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Patent 4077, MASH, Tuesday Flashback Feature

This is part of my Tuesday Flashback Feature series. We reminisce about classic TV shows usually from the 1950s-1970s where gemstones or pieces of jewelry featured prominently in the storylines.

Patent 4077
Jan 10, 1978

Major Margaret Houlihan (Loretta Swit) is married to Lt. Col. Donald Ponobscott. Her wedding ring, "14kt gold with every third stone an actual diamond chip" has been mistakenly thrown out by Klinger (Jamie Farr). 

The ring was inscribed "Over hill, over dale, our love will never fail." Arrangements are made to replace it with an identical one bought by Hawkeye and BJ from local craftsman and pushcart dealer Mr. Shin (Keye Luke) for $25. 

Mr. Shin inscribes it like the original ring, but mistakenly leaves out the "N" in "Never." So it reads, "Our love will ever fail." By the way, Margaret and Lt. Ponobscott later got a divorce. I don't think it was a jewelry engraving-mishap that led to the divorce.

Meanwhile, Hawkeye (Alan Alda) and B.J. (Mike Farrell) enlist Mr. Shin to create for them a special surgical clamp that they need. 

A soldier is wounded. He may lose his leg and possibly his life without this surgery. The specific clamp needed isn't available. [Image to left: VanessevaDesigns at Etsy, link below]

Probably the number one item of television jewelry that meets with disaster is the wedding or engagement ring. And one of the top problems that can happen, if it doesn't get stuck, stolen, misrepresented or somehow destroyed -- is an engraving mishap. Often shows have these problems overlap, as Margaret's situation does here. The more sentimental the piece of jewelry, the more trouble it'll get into.

[Threedogsnappin at Etsy, link below]

Each Tuesday, we feature a different show, often a US sitcom. Information, including spoiler plot outlines come from various sources.

Particularly when the episode hasn't been viewed personally recently, information is as accurate as possible. When available, a show photo will be included.

I'm always interested to hear your memories and will often include links so you can get DVDs of the shows. In the interest of supporting fellow artists, I'll be featuring a few shops where the items tie into the general theme of the featured story.

MASH ran for eleven seasons and is considered a classic to many of us. The program may be particularly poignant today. 

The entire series, M*A*S*H: Martinis and Medicine Complete Collection is available in a special boxed set. Seasons are sold separately, including M*A*S*H: Season Six (Collector's Edition) which includes this episode.

The M*A*S*H 1970 film that inspired the tv show starred Donald Sutherland, Elliott Gould, Tom Skerritt, Sally Kellerman and Robert Duvall. Robert Altman directed.

A famous song from the movie, Suicide Is Painless became the theme song for the tv show. This is a link to the song (vocal version with lyrics) from the movie's soundtrack on MP3. Listen and if you like it, you can click and buy the song from Amazon.

As with many of these iconic programs, especially those that live on in syndication, it isn't hard to find things on Etsy that inspire and delight and remind us of all things MASH.

Major Houlihan might enjoy the Major Mocha original custom Teddy Troop vinyl toy from Bryancollins' Etsy Shop. (left)

For you fans out there, VanessevaDesigns can hook you up with your very own autographed postcard from the MASH TV show! (see above)

ClydeKellerPhoto has some vintage MASH TV Guide Cover Art, dye transfer print.

The vintage book, A Needlework Scrapbook by Loretta Swit with Ellen Appel was at Threedogsnappin. Come on, get crafty.

Radar didn't appear in this episode, but the lovely Radar fused glass cuff links were over at Urbanfusions.

From the program:
(Klinger tries to find the ring with no luck. He goes to talk to Margaret...)
Margaret: (Hopeful) Well?
Klinger:You know, Major, you have a very natural beauty. Why hide it with a lot of jewelry? Look, I went through every garbage bin in Korea. I even dove into a pile of burning rubbish 'cause I saw something shiny. It was only a lousy gold watch. Please, get a rifle, shoot me, put me out of your misery.
Margaret: (Furious) Oh no, you're not gonna get off that easy! From now on, I'm gonna make your life so rotten, you'll wish you were in combat!
Klinger: Major, I'm tired, I'm dirty and I burned my nose. On top of that, I'm due on KP in five minutes and I won't have a chance to shower. How are you gonna make my life any more rotten-er?!

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Images, Info used by permission

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