Photos and story by Alexandria Brahler
Cast iron skillets on the stove indicate that “Mayor Molly” is ready to begin making her famous grilled cheese sandwiches. After buttering the bread, she adds fresh basil leaves, followed by cheddar cheese and fresh tomatoes—a flavorful twist to the classic sandwich.
When done, cheddar cheese overflows from between the buttery grilled bread, tempting dinner guests to take a bite and discover the fresh basil and tomato inside.
As unique and beloved as the village she serves, Village President Molly Beckley is known for two things: her jovial, friendly personality and her “famous” grilled cheese sandwiches.
“Mayor Molly” was elected two years ago as village president.
She commented that she has been amazed by how well her presence has been perceived in the community.
“I keep in touch with the residents of this community,” said Beckley. “I see and visit people all the time.”
In 2010 she was one of four women honored at SIUC’s annual Inspiring Woman Gala because of her efforts and accomplishments in the community.
“I was stunned and in a state of awe when I found out,”she said. “It was quite surreal.”
In addition to her popularity as village president, Mayor Molly’s grilled cheese sandwiches are a local favorite. The combination of cheddar cheese, tomatoes and fresh basil leaves add a special twist to a simple sandwich.
Beckley invited Donald Rehmer, village president of Alto Pass, for a grilled cheese lunch and Louisiana State University football game: the perfect combination for Rehmer.
“I love Molly’s grilled cheese!” he declared. “They are spectacular and I will accept any invitation for grilled cheese, with or without a televised LSU football game!”