Photos, video and audio by Bruno Maestrini
Known throughout the BBQ world simply as “The Legend,” Mike Mills and his Apple City Barbecue Team is a three-time World Grand Champion of the Memphis in May Barbecue Competition.
“I barbecued all my life. I’ve learned from a lot of people and I’ve helped a lot of people,” Mills said. Well known for his willingness to share his knowledge of barbecue, Mills has helped many people get into the barbecue business. He also co-authored the book, Peace Love and Barbecue, along with his daughter Amy, which shares stories and recipes of bbq pitmasters from around the country.
Photos by Diana Soliwon and Julia Rendleman, audio by Diana Soliwon
The B & W Lounge at 12 N. 13th Street is more affectionately known as Marge’s bar by the regulars who have patroned it since 1975.
The bar is owned and operated by Margaret Hand, 83, who has lived in Murphysboro since 1942. Hand said that while her husband is who originally bought the bar, she’s always been the boss. Domestic beers are $1.75, but after that, expect “just simple drinks. Nothin’ fancy.”
These days the bar and its regulars serve as an extended home and family for Hand. She said since her husband, parents and siblings have all passed away, she thinks of the people who have been coming in since they were old enough to drink as her kids.
It’s clear the sentiment has been returned: For most of them, her nickname is “Ma.”