40 years of flapjacksPublished 12:20am Sunday, February 9, 2014
Ray ‘Doc’ Payne steps aside as pancake breakfast grill master
For four decades members of the Ironton Rotary Club have seen the same man behind the grill at its pancake breakfast. Adorned in a white chef’s jacket and hat, Ray “Doc” Payne pours the batter so evenly it’s obvious he has done so before.
“I couldn’t tell you how many pancakes I’ve made in 40 years,” he said. “A lot, I know that.”
Payne retired 28 years ago after nearly 37 years at Ohio Metal. On the cusp of turning 84, he has been a member of the Ironton Rotary Club longer than anyone.
“A lot of people don’t want to join Rotary because it’s a lot of work,” he said. “When I first joined years ago, we had more than 50 members.”
Payne has had several grilling partners over the years, but currently shares the grilling duties with 12-year member Darwin Haynes.
Although he doesn’t plan on grilling at the breakfast any longer, he plans on remaining an active member of the club, or at least, a member.
“I’ll probably still come in and loaf,” he said. “I can just do like these other men and stand around putting sausage on plates. Most of these guys are really good guys.”
He expressed concern about the future location of the breakfast since the current site, the AEP building on South Third Street, has been sold to the Lawrence Economic Development Corporation (LEDC).
Payne admits a lot of things can change in a year, but as of now, he is intent on not serving as grill master next year.
“I hope it’s my desire to not do it anymore,” he said, “and not the Lord’s desire.”