- Frank William Tucker (David
Proval) was a homeless Vietnam veteran known as
Frank the Potato Man, who wandered around the
town of Rome, Wisconsin carrying a five-pound
bag of Idaho potatoes on the drama PICKET
Frank the Potato
Man Taken to Police Station
Originally vagrancy laws, which
prohibited sleeping on public property, forced
the Potato Man out of town but on a later
episode he returned in the cold of winter to
seek shelter. He didn't like the noise of the
nearby cities of Madison or Green Bay and
preferred the quiet of the small town of Rome.
When the police were investigation a
strange Serial Bather who broke into peoples'
house to take a bath, a deputy suggested. "Maybe
it is Frank the Potato Man, he lives in that
shack in the woods and he doesn't have a tub of
his own...and he's always dirty. The secretary
added "Look at the ring in that tub. This
person was filthy."
Although, innocent of the charges, the
town folks of Rome still thought Frank a bit
strange and would have preferred that he leave their
community. Afterall, the town did not have
accommodations for the homeless and Mayor Rachel
Harris (Leigh Taylor-Young) and refused to build one
for such a "micro-minority."
compassionate police officer Deputy Maxine
Stewart (Lauren Holly) and the local lawyer
Douglas Wambaugh (Fyvush Finkel) pleaded his
case to Judge Henry Bone (Ray Walston) who ruled
that the town must build a shelter for him.
Unfortunately, the good news arrived too
late for the Potato Man who was found frozen to
death in a cave on the outskirts of town. The
medical examiner placed his time of death at
11:04 from probable hypothermia. The Potato
Man's heart was defrosted and donated to a needy
patient with a back ticker.
The town of Rome had other eccentrics,
- K. C. McDonald (Jessica Tuck) a.k.a.
"The Snake Lady" who collected snakes and
carried a boa snake around with her;
- "The Serial Bather", a bizarre
criminal who broke into people's home and took
a bath while the property owners were gone;
- Louise Talbot (Natalija Nogulich),
the town's transsexual schoolteacher (formerly
known as Walter Souder);
- The Frogman (Michael Jeters) a man
named Peter LeBeck who dressed in a frog
costume to protest killing of frogs in biology
class (singing the "Be a Frog" song);
- A town clergyman with a fetish for
TRIVIA NOTE: In 1952, Mr. Potato Head
became the first toy advertised on national
television. See also
NICKNAMES: "The Log Lady"
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