Bill Wundram

Bill Wundram

Bill Wundram, a lifelong Quad-Citizen, as he would call himself, has been on the staff of the Quad-City Times and its predecessors for more than 70 years. He has worked as a reporter and an award-winning features editor and currently writes five columns a week, down slightly from the seven per week he did just a few years ago. He has won countless writing awards and honors, has authored several books, and his work has appeared in national publications. Bill and his wife, Helen, have been married for more than 60 years. They have two adult children, four grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

First couple enjoys sweet interlude

2012-08-16T03:30:00Z First couple enjoys sweet interludeBill Wundram The Quad-City Times
August 16, 2012 3:30 am  • 

On the marble tabletop of Booth No. 3 at Lagomarcino’s were two empty glass tulip sundae dishes.

That was the sweet finale of the visit of Barack and Michelle Obama.  They left Lago’s, late Wednesday afternoon, holding hands.

It began with a “Yum,” said Beth Lagomarcino, who witnessed the arrival. That was the first lady’s reaction to Lago’s. “It smells so-o-o good in here.” Michelle had just opened the door of Lagomarcino’s, Davenport’s sweetest stop. Her husband, the president, nodded. The smell was delicious.

Lago’s, by chance, had become headquarters — the nerve center — for the Obamas during their  Wednesday afternoon visit.

Oh, it was a charming stop for two of the world’s most famous people, who left the Village of East Davenport candyland carrying boxes of gummy candies for their daughters, sea salt caramels for themselves and happy thoughts after knocking off hot fudge sundaes. 

This Lagomarcino encounter with the Obamas had its sweet twists.

“We had long ago booked a bank bus tour from Nebraska for lunch on Wednesday,” says Beth. “I had to call them and say … well … ‘we have a little thing happening in the Davenport store and we’ll have to make a change.’”

All of this was more than a little thing happening. It left the Lago family a nervous wreck. They had known before anyone else locally that the Obamas were coming to town. They had to keep the secret and that their store was to be the staging area.

“I was afraid to even tell my wife,” says Tom. “We were sworn to such secrecy.”

Says his sister, Lisa Lagomarcino Ambrose, “Well, the Obamas loved our place and all the good things to eat. I can’t remember a woman who was so charming as Michelle. Just plain down-home friendly.”

Lisa greeted the Obamas with a tray of candies with a sign that said, “You are special today.” 

“They really liked our sea salt caramels,” says Lisa.  “Both of them kept saying, ‘Aren’t these good?’   After the first lady said, ‘Oh, gosh, they are so sweet and soft,’ I fixed up a box for them to take home.”

For the Obama daughters, Lisa packed a box of gummy candies, gummy snakes, frogs and butterflies. A special treat was a handful of gummy Lego blocks.

I sampled the chewy Legos and gave up after they stuck to my bridgework.

After the Obama caravan left, and the exhausted Lagomarcino family had gathered in the restaurant, I noticed the two empty glass tulip dishes on the table of Booth No. 3. They contained only dribbles of melted ice cream and fudge. Alongside them were two scrunched-up paper napkins.

“Oh, we should just leave them there for history’s sake,” says Tom with a sly laugh.

They were what was left of the hot fudge sundaes that had been served the famous couple.

One was empty, and the spoon looked to have been licked.  The other had a little melted ice cream in the bottom.

“The empty one was where President Obama sat,” says Tom, who personally served them, wearing his white starched apron.

Copyright 2015 The Quad-City Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(7) Comments

  1. davenportchick
    Report Abuse
    davenportchick - August 17, 2012 8:24 pm
    I'm NOT for Romney, the Dems had my vote 4 yrs. ago, they blew it. NO ONE gets MY vote this year, no party. Our govt. has failed us and you must be too dense to see it.
  2. oskeebob
    Report Abuse
    oskeebob - August 17, 2012 10:17 am
    Tough luck chick, Romney the flip flopper will lose Iowa and the election. Your bitterness is pathetic.
  3. oskeebob
    Report Abuse
    oskeebob - August 17, 2012 10:16 am
    You're so full of misplaced hatred you can't even allow yourself any kind thoughts about the Obamas or people who think differently than you. Read your comments again, so petty it's beyond belief. If those glasses were left by the republicant Romney (do or say anything to get elected - have NO core beliefs) you would be the one clamoring to buy them. I feel sorry for you.
  4. davenportchick
    Report Abuse
    davenportchick - August 16, 2012 7:49 pm
    Gag. What next? Is Lagomarcino's going to auction off the sundae glasses and the spoons on Ebay? Or make that table they sat at "special by reservation only" and I'm sure the price to match it knowing their prices down there. Shall we all build a shrine out of that disgusting Magic Mountain thing at Ross's Restaurant too, because he ate there?
    Eating sundaes and chocolates there, that's nice. Nothing "charming" about the story, sorry. You people really should get out more, as in travel around the states and the world, if this is news to you. OMG.
  5. skate1away
    Report Abuse
    skate1away - August 16, 2012 12:45 pm
    What a darling story. I can just picture it all evolving and the aftermath.
    Kudos to the Lago family.
  6. pta mom
    Report Abuse
    pta mom - August 16, 2012 10:45 am
    Great story!
  7. Cheryl Lawrence
    Report Abuse
    Cheryl Lawrence - August 16, 2012 7:11 am
    Leave it too Bill to write such a charming story. As alway, "Great job Bill"!
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