It’s homecoming season in Perry County.

As a transplant, it’s easy to feel a little left out — but that’s nothing new for me.

In my nearly 30 years as an “inky wretch” — much of it as a sportswriter — I’ve seen countless high school homecomings.  I’ve seen two already this month, and there’s still one to go.

After a while, they all start to blend together, the various team colors the only real difference. Well, that and the exploding bonfires.

Even when I was in high school myself,  I never really bought in to the hype and the excitement. Maybe that’s because at dear old Charleston High, we had two homecomings every year — one for football and one for basketball.

Or maybe it’s that I’m just old and grumpy. Or cynical. Or under-caffeinated. More likely, it’s all of the above.

In any case, seeing the level of fun and excitement last week at St. Vincent High School gave me a little boost. I enjoyed the atmosphere more than I thought I would, even though my connection to the school is only based on where I call home.

I think that’s the point. As the old adage goes, home is where the heart is. It’s more than just where you hang your hat.

I’ve hung my hat in many different places over the years. Most of them were just stops on my journey. Perryville is beginning to feel more and more like home, a place I love to be — and be from.

It’s not always perfect and sometimes it’s messy, disorganized and chaotic — especially on those weekends where 14 million things happen at the same time — but what home isn’t?

The difference, I think, is the pride that everyone takes in being from a community where history, family and religion are so important.

I’ll never forget where I came from, but I’m glad to call Perryville home.

Robert Cox is an award-winning columnist and managing editor of the Republic-Monitor. He may be rached by phone at 573-547-4567 or by email at

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