In this very special episode, Jeff & Ryan chat with guest star Harvey Kalmenson. Before becoming one of the most respected and well-known voice-over directors in Hollywood, Harvey was Cpl. Kalmenson serving in Korea with the United States Army. Harvey shares a multitude of stories from his time in Korea, including what it was like being drafted into the service, unexpected family reunions, a visit to a M*A*S*H unit, his thoughts on patriotism, and more. Plus, we finally learn how U.S. Army food really tasted! We hope you enjoy this conversation with “Da Harv.”
“I’m dressed in Class A army uniform and on my way to Eighth Army Leadership School for special training. All the tents were surrounded by ditches to prevent rats. White lime powder was in the trenches as the deterrent.”
“Preparing to blow up a hillside to flatten an area while my buddy sleeps alongside me. I’m sitting on a carton of explosives (not recommended).”
“That’s my cousin Arty (left), and me (right). Two young guys from Brooklyn, NY meeting up during my adventure way up in North Korea. Arty was running the PX at an army MASH hospital location. We hadn’t seen each other for six years. Take note of Arty’s stomach which shows that he was eating better than I was, or at least too much PX food.”
“My brand new back yard barbecue behind what used to be a WW2 bombed out Japanese Hospital at Eighth Army headquarters in Seoul. The door behind me led into the hospital’s main surgical operating room, where I slept. Because the whole place had been bombed out, there were openings in the ceiling. I covered the ceiling with an orange and white cargo parachute which was enormous. When baseball season ended, I was put in charge of this engineer supply point which was why I had a private place to sleep. This also meant that I held one rank higher than anyone who came into the supply point with credentials. (Most things were color-coded to avoid injuries especially when you have a lot of people working for you with language barriers. The colors identified the contents/supplies of the cargo dropped from cargo planes.)”
“The conflict had just ended. We’re in clean clothes after bathing in a mountain stream. We managed to stay clean but it felt like the first bath in a while. Not caring about the cold water…we’re clean!”
“A late-night celebration at our sumptuous abode (ten-man tent). Any time we had some beer, it was a celebration. American breweries would ship us free beer cans in burlap sacks. By the time they arrived, they had been jostled around so they would spray everywhere when we opened them. I recall the reduced alcohol content – it took quite a lot to get a buzz. They were warm and I didn’t have a capacity for beer back then.”
“And a guy named da harv still exists today. The desk name plate that I’m holding was handmade for me by a Korean man when I graduated from the Eighth Army Leadership School. For some reason, my hair has turned gray, and my body is not quite as ripped.“
Cathy & Harvey Kalmenson
Jeff Maxwell will appear alongside Loretta Swit and Jamie Farr at the Tampa Bay Comic Convention July 28-30… and MASH Matters listeners get a special discount!
Use code MASHMATTERS (all caps) at checkout to save 15% on admission!
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