Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Two large wooden plaques now occupy the back wall of Soddy-Daisy’s Home Folks Restaurant.
Scrolled across the top in broken and smudged lettering, just under an intricately carved American eagle, one plaque reads, “Our Roll of Honor: Dedicated to the Members of the Daisy Community who have entered the Armed Forces of our country in World War No. 2; Sponsored by the Daisy Woman’s Club.”
Rows and rows of names are carved into small black rectangles that fill the plaques, and a quick glance reveals their age. The wood is scratched, worn and faded where some of the small name plates have been lost or pried off over the years.
But many names remain, including the name of current resident Arnold Stulce, who served in the Army Air Corps during World War II. Beside his name is his late brother’s name, William, among countless others belonging to people Stulce grew up with.
Stulce said the plaques go back even before the words “Soddy” and “Daisy” went hand in hand.
“They were put up by the Daisy Woman’s Club … in the old post office in Daisy, which was on what’s now called Oakwood,” said Stulce, explaining that at that point, when WWII was raging, Soddy and Daisy were two distinct communities, not to be incorporated until 1969.
The plaques then went on a 70-plus-year journey from the Daisy post office to the first Soddy-Daisy City Hall, situated in the old Daisy High School, until they fell into the hands of a local named Shirley Shadwick, said Soddy-Daisy resident W.V. Roberson.
When Shadwick offered to give the plaques to Roberson, he immediately took her up on it. Also a veteran who served in Korea in the 1960s, Roberson said he’s very involved in local veteran affairs.
“I wanted the plaques where they’d be seen,” he said of his reason for donating them to Home Folks Restaurant in August. “Together, we [Roberson and Stulce] know about 99 percent of the names listed on the plaques. It’s sentimental more than anything.”
Diners at the restaurant like to search for familiar names on the plaques, said Tami Ford, a member of the family that owns Home Folks.
“People around here love trivia,” she said. “In this community it seems like everybody knows everybody.
“If any of your family members who lived in this area were in World War II, you should come check them [the plaques] out,” Ford added.