Carrying on a tradition dating back to the 1940s ...

This group of local area men, along with others, have been carrying on a local tradition started approximately 70 years ago with a daily gathering of about a half hour for coffee each weekday around 9 a.m. at the S&D Café on Main Street in Waukon. The tradition dates back to when Clare Duggan owned the cafe in the late 1940s, when Dr. Clark Rominger was joined by a similar group of men, some of whom were local downtown business owners that included dime store owner Joe Cronin, Dutch Jacobi of Jacobi's Clothing Store and Dan Regan of Regan's Pharmacy. Much like today, the group would meet to discuss the business, politics and gossip of the day. Dr. Rominger recruited Dr. Louis Bray to join the group when he moved to town in 1956, and Dr. Bray was reported as having attended faithfully each morning he could until he passed away in 2015. Modern day participant Dick Roggensack estimates there are probably as many as 25 different gentlemen who have taken part in recent gatherings, with the usual average between 10 and 16 men each weekday morning.

Pictured above in a recent photo taken by current S&D Café owner Sandy Halverson, clockwise from the bottom, are Dick Elliott, Jim Klenske, Bud Strike, Dick Roggensack, Al Snitker, Ken Krambeer, George Pickett, Howard Van Ruler, Bob Lacewell, Don Denk, John Hausman, Paster David Schafer, Pastor David Andreae, Ken Hanson and Ken West. It is believed that Klenske, at age 86, is likely the most veteran continuing member of those pictured above, as he joined the group shortly after opening up Klenske's Drug Store on Main Street in the late 1950s. It is also believed that Pastor Andreae, a retired minister from Big Canoe Lutheran Church in rural Decorah, is the most recent to join the group. The group plans to continue these daily weekday meetings. Roggensack said anyone would be welcome to join the group and help carry on the tradition, provided they are "willing to participate in a sort of number game which determines which half or so will pay for the coffee." Submitted photo.

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