Wabash BBQ in Excelsior
| August 15, 2009
left Des Moines about noon and headed for Missouri. On the
way we encountered a few scattered showers but nothing to
worry about, at least we thought. We got to Excelsior Springs
and checked into the Elms hotel. The Elms was opened in the
1890s and after going through several incarnations due to
fire it now stands as a stately limestone structure dating
back to the 1930s. Apparently, Al Capone used this location
as a hide out where he would go on the lamb. I was told that
he even had a back door built into his room of suites so that
he could make a quick egress if a law man was poking around.
I wonder if Eliot Ness was one of these law men. Many dignitaries
have also frequented the Elms. One such dignitary was Harry
Truman. The first story I got about Harry was that the famous
picture of him holding the newspaper with the headline 'Truman
Defeated' was taken on the steps of the Elms. The real story,
I was later told, was that Harry was at the Elms the night
of the election. They came to him at the Elms to tell him
that he had won and that he was the president. He then traveled
to Kansas City, Missouri where he got a copy of the paper
and it was here that the famous photo was taken. The second
story is a little less glamorous than the first and I can
see why it caught on. Another interesting thing about the
Elms is that it is said to be haunted. You can take tours
of the property and those so enlightened will guide you through
the realms of the mystical. Kevin, our drummer, did just that
after our show and after having found a few spirits on his
own, he got the deluxe tour to find other spirits with the
help of some of the off duty hotel staff.
The Wabash BBQ is an award winning BBQ restaurant run by Mitch.
He and his partner have another Wabash BBQ in Chillacothe.
There is a nice sit-down restaurant and bar but there is also
an outdoor stage with many tables and chairs. This is where
we set up and played. While we are setting up we all see some
familiar faces. Lloyd, a good friend from California, and
his friend, Yvonne show up in a sporting looking black Mustang.
Also, Greg and Roberta arrive from Lansing, Kansas. This is
the same Greg and Roberta that graciously gave us room and
board during a few of our off nights. Remember those scattered
showers we need not worry about? Well, after our sound check
and dinner (Great food by the way, Mitch) we go back to our
rooms to get ready for our show. When we all meet down in
the lobby it is pouring rain. We scramble to the van and ride
over to the stage. Fortunately, the stage is covered and our
gear is somewhat protected but the crowd that has come to
hear the music is starting to bail. We waited for about 45
minutes after our start time for the rain to let up but it
is coming in waves, sometimes light and sometimes heavy. People
are hanging out and wanting to hear some music so we start
our show. We played until eleven o'clock which is the
curfew time for outdoor concerts in Excelsior Springs. The
band sounded great under the circumstances and Kudos to the
folks who stuck with us throughout the evening. We were even
receiving compliments from some of the people back at the
Elms who could hear us but felt it was too wet to hang out.
Hope we get to come back and do it again but without the rain.