I believe that the first time I met Donny Wachal was 1978. His father, the late Don Wachal, ran the Col Ballroom, and Donny had cut his teeth in business working for his dad. My radio station at the time (KSTT) had contracted to have Wolfman Jack perform live at the Col. The show was pretty crazy (Wolfman Jack was crazy too), and we had a great time. In 1971 Donny had opened The Filling Station, a great restaurant in the heart of Davenport that seems to be packed even on slow nights (though closed right because of COVID-19)..
As time went on I had the pleasure of working with Donny on a number of concerts here in the Quad Cities--and of course, our family frequented The Filling Station. (Donny was super creative with his burgers over the years, I remember some great ones he'd be excited to have me try for the first time!). But the one thing that I will always remember about Donny Wachal was what a man of character that he was: true to his word, always with a 'long view' of business and never failing to treat his customers and business partners fairly, honestly---the way he would be wanted to be treated.
Today we got word that Donny passed away as a result of coronavirus. May God bless Donny Wachal and his family.
He was truly a one-of-a-kind, and his was a life truly well-lived. He will be greatly missed.