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Pancake lovers savor Rotary’s special recipe

Neither snow, nor cold, nor wanting to sleep in late on a Saturday morning would keep people away from Ray “Doc” Payne’s pancakes.

By 8:30 a.m. the Ohio Power Co. building was packed with hungry diners, all ready for annual Ironton Rotary Club pancake breakfast.

Is it the way Ray “Doc” or fellow chef Darwin Haynes knows just when it’s time to turn those beauties on the grill or is the way he arches his wrist at the time of each flip? Who knows? But everyone there had a plate piled high with pancakes, sausages and rivers of syrup.

For Kyle Skaggs of Boy Scout Troop 103 it was the special red hot cake that he was indulging in before getting back to bussing tables.

Kyle of Kitts Hill came with his fellow scouts to work the breakfast, clearing tables for new guests coming during the morning.

“It is awesome,” he said about event. “To serve a pancake breakfast to this many people is something.”

It may be a while before Rotary member Jay Zornes can take over duties at the main griddle. This was not his first breakfast, but he worked hard at being a valued apprentice as he served up with the OU green pancakes.

“This is the Bobcat Special for Dean Willan,” Zornes said as the dean of Ohio University, Bill Willan, stood nearby.

Willan, somewhat of a Rotary breakfast novice, played waiter, taking plates of food out to the dining room and making sure there was hot coffee all around.

“It’s the spirit of community that you see here,” Willan said. “It’s a time for them to catch up and they have some of those, I’m told, unparalleled pancakes.”

Another regular to the breakfast each year is Mary Wilcoxon of Ironton who this Saturday came dressed in her Valentine’s Day finery.

“I come here every year. I see a lot of people you don’t get to see all year round,” she said. “And it is good food.”

A new feature of the breakfast was a stand set up by the Lawrence County and Ironton Health Departments to offer free H1N1 inoculations

“Everyone thinks it is declining but there is supposed to be (another) wave of influenza,” Debbie Fisher, RN, emergency response coordinator, said. “We want to protect as many people as we can.”

While it was food and chat that brought most people in, George Sharp of Ironton has a special reason for coming year after year.

“My friend over there, Ray “Doc”,” Sharp said. “I come to aggravate him.”