O.K. Studios Captured High School Memories

Wednesday, February 8, 2012 - by Harmon Jolley
O.K. Studios was owned by Clarence B. Foster.
O.K. Studios was owned by Clarence B. Foster.

I recently came across a 1966 Howard High School yearbook.  School annuals are good artifacts of Chattanooga area history because of the photographs and advertisements.  The publications are interesting to peruse years after graduation, because they capture so well what was going on inside and outside the classrooms.

Many of the sponsors of the Howard annual were located either in downtown or in South Chattanooga.  One of the well-wishers for the Howard class of 1966 was connected to the production of school yearbooks – the O.K. Studios.

O.K. Studios was one of several advertised businesses located on East Ninth Street (later renamed Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard).  Other Howard sponsors in that business district were Bob’s Custom Tailors and Tuskegee Shoe Shop, Renewal Barber Shop, and the Stardust Restaurant.

The person behind the O.K. cameras was Clarence Bernard Foster.  Mr. Foster was born in 1914, and was the 1933 class salutatorian of the same school that he would later sponsor.  He opened O.K. Studios after serving in the U.S. Army during World War II.

 Mr. Foster continued in the photography business for thirty years.  He made portraits of both local and regional school groups.  After retiring in 1969, he became a Master Gardener after completing courses.  He passed away in 2003 at the age of 87.

 If you follow Memories on a regular basis, you have already seen some of the advertisements from the Howard High 1966 annual on our front page.  I will post others from this yearbook in the near future.

 Ah, yes, high school.  As the Statler Brothers sang in “Class of ’57” – “Things get complicated when you get past eighteen, but the class of (fill in your class year here) had its dreams.”

 If you have additional information on O.K. Studios or Mr. Foster, please send me an e-mail at jolleyh@bellsouth.net.

The classes and activities of Howard High were captured in this 1966 yearbook.
The classes and activities of Howard High were captured in this 1966 yearbook.


Burma Shave Signs

Years ago my uncle Alf (A.T.) Connelly, a WWII vet, upon returning to civilian life, worked as a sign painter for the then Atomic Energy Commission in Oak Ridge, Tn. He painted miniature sets of Burma Shave signs. Attached is a photo of one of those sets. The signs read as follows: “They missed the turn, Car was whizzin’, The fault her’n, The funeral his’n, Burma Shave”.  ... (click for more)

Hundreds Of Students To Compete In Tennessee History Day Contest

Nearly 300 students from across Tennessee will compete in the annual Tennessee History Day state contest in downtown Nashville on  Saturday . The competition allows students to showcase their creativity and research skills by developing projects with historical themes. The students with the best-judged projects in the statewide competition will advance to the National ... (click for more)

1 Person Killed In Plane Crash At The Collegedale Airport

A person was killed in a plane crash on the runway of the Collegedale Airport on Friday evening. Charles Swain, who is the director of the airport, said the plane is a total loss. It was a single-occupant plane. He said the plane was taking off when it crashed. He said the person who died frequently had flown out of the Collegedale Airport. The FAA and NTSB are investigating ... (click for more)

$26.2 Million Grant Awarded For Bradley County Veterans Home

A $26.2 million U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs State Veterans Home Grant has been awarded for the construction of the future Bradley County Tennessee State Veterans Home. “Today is a monumental day for the veterans of East Tennessee, and I am thrilled that they have finally received the long overdue grant funding for the Bradley County Tennessee State Veterans Home," said ... (click for more)

A Tribute For My Brother – Sgt. Jonathan Gardner, U.S. Army

Seven years ago today, my family and I found out that my brother, Sgt. Jonathan D. Gardner, was seriously injured by a roadside bomb, (explosively formed penetrator - EFP), while on a mission in Kuwait. The EFP went through the bottom of his seat and put a softball size hole in his upper thigh. The doctors said that if the bomb had entered the Humvee an inch to the right, he ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Saturday Funnies

All of us who marvel at the sound of bagpipes at a funeral realize the majesty that people like piper Scottie Maclellan can lend to any “homecoming” and for years there has been a wonderful tale out of Nova Scotia that leads this week’s parade of The  Saturday  Funnies. Mind you, I do not write these stories, as many who have followed man’s laughter down through the ... (click for more)