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Wabash BBQ in Excelsior Springs, MO

 

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August 15, 2009
Pat Morvan in Nashville We 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.



 

 
 
 
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