On Friday morning, in an outdoor setting in downtown Mariana, in a blazing sun, a large contingent of State dignitaries from the Florida Legislature, local officials, friends and family participated in a special ceremony in honor of the lifetime of accomplishment of one of its most “Favorite Sons”, the honorable Wayne Mixon.
Rising from being reared on a small south Alabama farm in the 1920's to become the 39th Governor of Florida and six term Representative for Northwest Florda. Wayne is most recognized for the impact his work has had on Florida agriculture and state economic development during his life. Throughout his career his loyal wife, Margie was a supporting, encouraging force.
In honor of his work, during the last term of the Florida Legislature, the legislative body voted to name State Road 73 from the Calhoun County line to where the highway intersects highway 231, as the “Governor Mixon Highway”. The measure was signed by Governor Scott. The ceremony was led by Representative Matt Gaetz, with Representative and Speaker Pro Tempore Marti Coley, Senator Bill Montford, and Senate President Don Gaetz taking part in the ceremony.
In his brief speech of appreciation Governor Mixon spoke of the development of Agriculture in this area during his lifetime. He recalled his time as a youth when there was no electricity in the rural homes,, when all roads were unpaved, “We lived in the mud,” he recalled. He also referred to having no telephone systems in rural homes.
Then Wayne stated that he was glad to have this particular highway named for him. “In my younger days I drove this road on my way to fish in Dead Lakes, and then passed the other way on the way to my farm,” he recalled. “Florida's agriculture must be cultivated,” he proclaimed, “It will not flourish on its own.” He made this statement in regard to the ongoing need to protect the needs of Florida's farmers.
Although 91 years of age, Mixon remains active and dedicated to helping Agriculture and Commerce in Florida. This old trooper is still fighting for what he believes in. We can all be proud that he is one of us.