LEAFY LEAVES: Bill and Shari Casper take a final moment to say goodbye to Leafy Bark before the “tree??? is transported to his new residence at the Tulsa Historical Society.
Courtesy Barbara Swiggart
Leafy Bark, the talking tree from the KTUL Channel 8’s “Mr. Zing and Tuffy Show” recently found a new home at the Tulsa Historical Society. The show, which aired in the late 1960s and early 1970s, brought many children to the KTUL studios to participate as part of the show’s studio audience.
Following the show’s seven-year run, Leafy Bark found himself on the auction block. But, lucky for Leafy, Shari and Bill Casper were there to rescue him, putting him to work in Shari’s own in-home preschool.
On a daily basis, Leafy would entertain three- and four-year olds as he towered over their desks, talking and encouraging them (with the help of Shari, of course).
When Shari looked to retire, she wanted Leafy to find a good home. She contacted KTUL, who asked Tuffy, also known as Homer Wayne Johnson, to assist her in her effort. Tuffy was delighted to discover his friend Leafy was still in the entertainment business, and contacted Mike Ransom, webmaster for TulsaTVMemories.com for help. Ransom suggested the Tulsa Historical Society as the perfect home for Leafy. The Historical Society was pleased to oblige, and made the newly renovated and expanded facility at 2445 S. Peoria Ave., Leafy’s new home.
After cutting a large hole in their wall to aid in his extraction, the Caspers finally bid farewell to Leafy as he was loaded into a special van for safe transport to his new residence. But not before taking the time to help Leafy sing the old “Mr. Zing and Tuffy Show” theme song: “It’s Mr. Zing and Tuffy time, so come along with me. Come along and don’t be late, we’ll all have fun, you’ll see. There’s Mr. Zing and Tuffy and all the things so great, so stay with us right here on channel 8.”