Mixsonian Larry



A few days before my birthday I got a call from mom, telling me that Dad had a heart attack and was in the hospital after having bypass surgery. Mom wrote in her memoirs…

Barbara Mixson
Written in 1994

In December (1980)  we went to Wauchula for Wenjie Turner's wedding. Morris felt sick and had bad indigestion all weekend. Monday morning he tried walking up the stairs to the 3rd floor of the Chemistry department and was so short of breath he couldn't make it. He thought something had to be wrong so he went to see Dr. Brashear. After some tests they sent right to the hospital. Early the next morning he had a heart cauterization and they found two blockages and immediately they took him into surgery with Dr. Bartley operating. He had a double by-pass and did real well. He was in the hospital for Christmas. Dianne was wonderful to us during all of this time. She was a nurse at AGH and in intensive care right with him and taking special care of him. He came home Jan. 1, 1981 and went back to work part time five weeks later.

Early the next day I drove my ’76 Chevy van up to Gainesville to see Dad, doing the normally three hour drive in 2½ hours, thinking about Dad dying the whole way.  There were times I could hardly see the road in front of me because of the tears in my eyes.  Upon arriving in Gainesville, I went directly to the hospital where Mom was sitting in the room with Dad.  Mom looked tired, except for a few short breaks, she had been at the hospital since Dad was admitted the day before.  Mom, tells me that the doctors said the surgery went well and they expected Dad to recover.   I go to Dad’s side, he is awake but groggy, he sees me and struggles to raise his hand which I grasp in my own as he weekly pulls me closer and whispers in my ear, “Take care of your mother.” as if he thought he was going to die.   I choke up, tears making my eyes blurry and say  “I will, but you’re going to be okay.”   Or at least that is what I wanted to tell myself.   I just could not imagine Dad dying and leaving Mom a widow, I didn’t know what I would do. A couple days later the Christmas holiday begin and so Julie and Anne drove my Lotus to Gainesville and spent the next couple of days. It was a very sad Christmas with all the family spending time at the hospital by Dad’s side.  The opening of Christmas morning was the saddest without Dad being there.

By Sunday after Christmas, seeing that Dad was going to be o.k., we left Gainesville in late afternoon to Melbourne with Julie driving my Chevy van while Anne rode with me in the Lotus.  On the way back, I passed Orlando and got on the Bee Line Expressway that went 53 miles from Orlando to the I-95 on the east coast just above Melbourne.  A few miles after leaving Orlando, the Bee Line Expressway is fifty miles of nothing, not exits, no gas stations, just miles of Florida forest and swamp.  About halfway on the expressway I see the gas gauge is sitting just above empty and I had like 25 miles more to get to I-95. I thought for sure I was going to run out of gas, stranding Anne and on the side of the road in the middle of the night.  I was relieved to get to I-95 but found there were no gas stations at the interchange. This was long before phones with GPS, so I wasn’t sure which direction the nearest gas station was, north or south.  Thinking it was north, I head in that direction and had go another five miles before finding on open gas station with the gas gauge sitting below the empty mark.  I was relieved and we made it home with no problems

Dad recovered over the following months, returned to work and would go on to live for another fifty years.

Updated: 05-10-2023

Years End