Spotlight on Neighbors: Meet the Macons
When Rod and Susie Macon discovered Haile Plantation Village they were intrigued by the architecture, quaint shops and easy access to golf and tennis. But once they moved to Haile in 2012 they soon realized that the best part about their community was the people. The Macons are long time Gator fans — Rod went to UF on a baseball scholarship — traveling from their homes to visit the Swamp from Miami, Sarasota and most recently Jupiter, over the past 20 years. The couple’s three sons followed in Rod’s footsteps and all graduated from UF too. When the time for retirement grew near, Gainesville and more specifically, Haile Plantation became the couple’s perfect fit for their next stage in life.
Both Susie and Rod had long careers at Florida Power & Light Company. They met at a work retirement function after hours in 1986. “I was working the front desk while everyone else was mingling,” says Susie. “I barely knew Rod at the time but he came up to me and the other woman at the front desk and asked if he could bring us something to drink.” That gesture was the start of something special and the couple has been inseparable ever since, bound by a deep appreciation of family and friends and enjoying all the pleasures life has to offer.
Susie is an avid tennis player and a member of Haile’s Angels. She and Rod play doubles once a week and Rod plays golf with his friends as often as he can. Susie golfs as well and actually made a hole-in-one on the 13th hole near their house shortly after they moved to Haile in 2012.
Fully immersed in the Haile Plantation lifestyle, and happy to give back to their community, Rod is on the board of directors of the men’s golf association at the Haile Plantation Country Club. He is also a member of the Gainesville Quarterback Club and the treasurer of the Haile Village Center Board of Directors. Susie is Secretary of the Gator Tip-Off Club for the UF men’s basketball team and takes full advantage of the Haile running trails and fitness center.
Susie prides herself on cooking delicious and healthy meals and says her sons and grandkids all request, of all things, her roasted vegetables when they come to visit. “We get all our fish at Northwest Seafood on Saturdays at the Haile Farmers Market but I really am a fan of Trader Joes for their produce,” she says. Rod applauds his wife’s efforts in the kitchen and says that before he ate Susie’s food he didn’t know how delicious eating healthy could be. Their biggest indulgence: ice-cream, reserved for special occasions. She prefers chocolate…he, vanilla.
Rod is a classic car enthusiast and has a 1965 AC Cobra replica in the garage. He also recently bought a Maserati that Susie laughingly complains is too loud. The couple enjoys attending and participating in car shows. Avid travelers, they have three cruises planned in the upcoming months, plus their annual family trip to the beach on Palm Coast in June with their three sons, their wives’ and all six grandchildren. They look forward to their week at the beach throughout the year but Rod says their favorite time of year is Christmas because they make it a point to spend quality time with their children and grandchildren during the holidays. Gainesville is centrally located, making travelling accessible between their sons’ families who reside in Palm City, Jupiter and Atlanta.
The Macons decided to add a dog to the fold in 2015 and named him Oliver. Although they were really enjoying having fewer responsibilities they made an exception after discovering the Lhaso- Poo breed. While visiting neighbors Lilliam and Sal Pancorbo, the Macon’s both fell in love with their Lhasa-Poo and decided to go to the same breeder in Morriston to buy Oliver. Susie says, “Now Miko and Oliver have scheduled play-dates and the dogs have actually brought us closer together with our neighbors.”
“Even before our house was finished being built we had the chance to meet some of our neighbors. There are so many genuinely kind people here and we like that Southern hospitality,” says Rod. The couple says that South Florida was much more of a rat race and that Haile Plantation is the perfect place for an active retirement. Susie says, “We walk through the Village and know all the owners of the businesses. People say ‘hello’ and we make friends wherever we go. Drivers wave at you and let you into traffic instead of honking their horn at you. It’s just a very special community.”