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.