Pancakes go down better with a few lessons to boot

Published 12:00 am Sunday, February 9, 2003

Have you ever noticed how some things just seem easy until you have to do it?

Well, after Saturday morning, I can attest to the fact that waiting and bussing tables isn't for the faint-hearted.

No sooner than I walked in the door at the AEP building, an apron was thrust at me and I was instructed to start working.

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It took me a while, but by about 11 a.m., I had my waiter spiel down pat.

"What can I get you to drink?" I asked the dozens and dozens of pancake-deprived who lined the tables at the AEP building on Saturday.

The event was the annual Ironton Rotary Club's Pancake Day, a fund-raiser for several scholarships and other charitable donations for the club.

I, of course, was a neophyte to the event. But experience was all around me with veteran Rotarians such as the infamous Ray "Doc" Payne, Kenny Hughes, Rod DePreist, Joe Jenkins, Dan Bentley, Robert Barnett, Darwin Haynes, Mike Hurley and Art Ferguson (just to name a few).

Despite my waiter's learning curve, I had a great time and met lots of great people.

At the end of the event, when all of the patrons had been served, Ray "Doc" sat down and finally sampled a few of his flat, fluffy wares.

"I'll let you boys in on a little secret," he said, looking up from his plate of pancakes.

"Here's how you do it. You cut a hole right in the middle. Put your butter and your syrup right in the hole. Then you just put this little piece back in the hole.

"You eat it from the inside out," he said.

Never one to question experience, I tried eating a pancake "Payne-style." And, it worked like a charm.

"Now you all can go home and call it a day," Payne said. "You learned one thing today.

"Isn't that what they say? You're supposed to learn one thing each day?" he said.

Payne was right.

But I learned a little more than one thing on Saturday morning; I actually learned three:

1). The Ray "Doc" Payne style of eating pancakes.

2). Waiters and waitresses have a much tougher time than I thought.

3). I look plain silly in an apron.

Kevin Cooper is publisher of The Ironton Tribune. He can be reached at (740) 532-1445 ext. 12 or by e-mail to