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COLUMN: Why I like Perry County

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By TOM KRUEGER, GUEST COLUMNIST

Editor’s Note: This is one of a regular series of guest columns about Perry County submitted by residents who moved to the community or who returned here after living away for several years.
To share your story, contact Editor Vince Luecke at 547-3424 or send him an e-mail at editor@perrycountynews.com.

Linda and I moved our family from an even smaller town in Illinois (811 people) where I worked on the Shawnee National Forest. We spent 10 years there and were looking for a bigger school for our six kids. We heard about an opportunity to work in the Tell City Ranger District of the Hoos-ier National Forest and came over for a visit.
We drove around town and stopped at St. Paul’s Church and met some very friendly parishioners who served as our welcoming committee. As time passed, and it looked like I was going to be assigned to Tell City, we came back and made all sorts of contacts – realtors, bankers, school principals and pastors. The next thing we knew, we were integral parts of church, little league baseball, girls softball (five girls in softball), band, swimming, cross-country, tennis and basketball.
We tried to convince our kids to play the same sports so we wouldn’t have to travel to different sport venues plus band. We also suggested they play for fun so we wouldn’t have to chase them to sectional, regional and state competitions but no, they had to be competitive. We met other parents and made friends through our schools and parish.
We’ve thoroughly enjoyed all of our friends in Tell City, Perry County and the larger area with friends our kids have met through school sports and then assorted universities including University of Evansville, Marian University, Ball State and Indiana University.
Our kids used to complain that they couldn’t do anything without everybody knowing about it. We were OK with that!
We’ve learned the importance of a small-town community when visiting less secure areas where our kids have lived or are now. There’s a lot to be said for feeling safe and secure.
We’ve celebrated many graduations together. I got hooked on doing hog roasts for the kids’ graduation and many of you came by to sample and we returned the favor by trying all of your great cooking.
Some of our children and their friends got hooked on hunting and fishing in the Hoosier National Forest. It is great to live within or near the forest. I spend a lot of time there.
I’d like to thank all of our friends in Tell City and surrounding parts for making our 21 years here so enjoyable and helping to keep our kids safe.