Mixson to be grand marshal for 2017 Rice Festival Parade | News | The Press and Standard
by The Press and Standard | April 20, 2017 5:00 am
Last Updated: April 19, 2017 at 10:26 am
Aaron Mixson is a modest man. When asked to be the grand marshal for the Rice Festival Parade, he said, “Of all the people in this county, why me? That’s for important people — I’m not important. It’s a very prestigious honor, but I’m not worth it. There’s a lot of people that are better than I am.”
But Rice Festival Chairman Bubba Trippe assured him that wasn’t true. The festival committee voted unanimously for him. And pretty soon, it became obvious why.
Born in Walterboro, he graduated from Walterboro High School in 1968, then served six years in the National Guard. He married the love of his life, Kathy, in 1970 and the two just celebrated their 46th anniversary. They have two daughters: Jeanette Neal and husband Ryan and Becky Morehead and husband Marshall, as well as two grandchildren: McKenzie, 8, and Carson, 3.
Mixson has worked for SCE&G as a journeyman lineman since Jan. 24, 1977. And that job has given him an opportunity to serve Colleton County in many ways.
On the job, he works incredibly long hours restoring power during storms such as Hurricane Matthew. “Matthew was almost as bad as Hugo. Here in our area, it hit us pretty hard,” he said. While out trying to prepare for the storm, he and his crew had a tree fall in front of them, so they cut it off the road. Then another fell behind them. They went on and completed their task, only to have another tree fall in front of them. At that point, “We decided the best thing we could do is get back until this thing blows over,” he said.
After the storm, the crew headed for Yemassee, usually a 20-25 minute trip. It took three hours just to get there. “We had a logger who went ahead of us and used his logging equipment to clear the road for us. I don’t know if we’d have made it there if it wasn’t for him,” he said.
He also does a lot of volunteer community service work through SCE&G. One of his primary programs is Safe Kids. He and other volunteers travel to schools, the rec center, the armory and other places, with a display that shows what can happen with electricity. “I try to emphasize to kids that electricity is good, it’s very valuable to us. But it can also be very dangerous. I don’t know how many presentations I’ve done – a lot.”
He has also volunteered for at least 15 years to set up electricity for vendors at the Rice Festival and the Yemassee Shrimp Festival. “It’s a lot of work,” he said.
In his younger days, Mixson enjoyed racing and building cars. “I did that for years and years and years,” he said. He started out drag racing in a 1968 Chevy II Nova, then moved on to circle racing with a Camaro and a 1967 Nova. And he won a lot of races.
“I enjoyed working with cars, but now mostly I just try to serve the Lord,” he said. “The Lord’s been good to me. I fail Him many times, but I try. I try to live in a way that would be pleasing to Him.”
Now going to church at Victory Baptist on Maple Ridge Road is his main activity, other than working and spending time with his family. He teaches Sunday school and is active in other church activities.
“I enjoy witnessing to people and telling people about the Lord. All you have to do is pick up the paper or turn on the news and our country, we need help. And the Lord’s the only help, the only source of strength. I don’t know the number of times that if it hadn’t been for Him, I don’t know what I’ve done,” he said.
“The greatest thing in my life was the Lord saving me, forgiving me. He’s been good to me. He’s blessed me with more than I ever deserved.”