Tulsa TV Memories: Tulsa TV/radio/movies/pop culture of the past      

Merry Christmas from Lionel

Lionel, Lee and Granny, Dec. 2003

Lionel as Santa

King Lionel, Woody and
Granny wished you a glorious
Christmas 2003 and a Happy New Year!

The history of Lee & Lionel

(...via email, 6/24/2000) Lee Woodward said:

The next move for King Lionel was very big. I had now constructed a Castle for the King. It was a very simple box made of thin plywood. I had the "arm hole" cut in the side and a table just the right height to make it comfortable for me. My elbow was now able to rest on the bottom of the castle. A cheap piece of artificial grass was spread underneath the castle and flowed to the floor.

A lovely lady who worked in "Traffic" named Ann Hanslip made a beautiful custom fitted robe or cape for the king. It had an ermine collar with pearls all around. The fabric was red velvet! (I understand that Ann lives in Seattle now and is widowed). This prompted me to become as you will see in the following photo...The Barber to the King! I am now wearing the smock with a large pair of scissors in my pocket. We are chatting up the "The Captain".

While in New York for the World's Fair, he invited me to be on his show. It was quite interesting and he was most easy to work with. He would not allow any kids in the studio in Tulsa or New York. He said he didn't want them to see the mechanics and destroy the illusion. My sentiments exactly. I rarely ever had kids in the studio. If I did, I waited till they left to un-arm Lionel! Stay tuned!

Captain Kangaroo with Lee and Lionel

In the following photo, I have gone to the buccaneer's shirt with a clown's ruff around my neck. This was at the Tulsa Fairgrounds with a very young Bob Denver. The castle I'm holding was a small one I made for the fair appearance. I was initially sitting down in a KOTV area but discovered quickly that this would not work. Some of the kids who came by to "talk" to Lionel, also wanted to punch him in the nose! (a la the Stooges!) So, after kicking a few of them and getting dirty looks from their parents, I took this castle and added a stand to it. I added fake flowers and vines running up the single strut underneath the castle. This solved the problem and I used this set-up for a long time. Even then though, some kids would try to jump and and hit Lionel. It gave me great pleasure to pull their legs aside as they came down! Crash! Oooww!

Bob Denver with Lee and Lionel at the Tulsa Fairgrounds

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