Special day shows Ironton#039;s future looks bright

Published 12:00 am Monday, February 14, 2005

One lady said, 'Last year I was sitting there waiting for 30 minutes before I was served,'" a visibly whipped Ray Doc Payne said, leaning against the wall on Saturday afternoon. 'This year, I sat down and was served right way.

"I told her, 'that's the way it should be,'" Payne said.

He was relaying one patron's assessment of this year's Rotary Pancake Day, sponsored by the Ironton Rotary Club for too many years for most folks to remember.

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Although it's too early to tell whether or not the event was the most successful ever, Saturday's event was certainly one for the books, at least the short-term history books.

A good steady stream of people poured into the AEP building throughout the morning and into the afternoon on Saturday.

And almost without exception, each was hungry - hungry for pancakes and hungry for a little fellowship as well.

Even for a relative newcomer like myself, it was a day filled with Hey there! and How are you? repeated over and over again.

Although I'm certain I missed a few familiar faces, I saw dozens. Throughout the morning, a smattering of politicians filtered in with family and coworkers in tow. Commissioner Doug Malone and Clerk of Courts Les Boggs were among the county elected folks I saw. Judge O. Clark Collins Jr. and councilmen Jim Tordiff and Brent Pyles were there from the City of Ironton.

Peggy Smith and her son, Dow Dunfee were there, along with Gene and Dianne Clement. With dozens of other familiar faces also among the pancake partakers, the list could go on and on.

The real stars of the day, however, were the dedicated men and women of the Ironton Rotary Club. Even a relatively simple thing such as a pancake breakfast takes enormous amounts of time and planning and this year was no exception.

Approximately 25 Rotarians were whipping up batter, cooking sausage, making coffee and distributing all of the above.

But adding to the volunteer mix this year was the hardest working group of folks I'd ever seen.

Scoutmaster Marion Harrison brought a group of volunteers representing Troop 103 from Deering.

The group consisted of five students and three adults. And without question, these folks made us all proud. If these people are the future of our community, the future looks bright, indeed.

On a slightly related note, the Ironton Rotary Club's head pancake cook and pain in the batter, Payne celebrated his 75th birthday on Saturday with a special birthday surprise serenade arranged by former Rotary District Governor Dick Thompson.

All and all, the day was a great day. Last year's bottleneck of people were but a memory and a good time was had by all.

Yes, as much as it pains me to say it, Ray "Doc" was correct: This is the way it is supposed to be.

Happy birthday, Doc.

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