By FRED KRONER
Christy Fox’s life journey started in Mahomet — where she and her two siblings were raised and attended school — but like many others, as they leave the teenage years behind, she sought to expand her horizons.
After graduating from M-S in 1996, she attended the University of Illinois for two years.
During that time, her father (Jerry) passed away and Christy yearned to travel beyond Central Illinois.
“I realized life can pass you by,” Fox said. “I wanted to live in a city. I wanted to see more of the world.”
She didn’t have a definitive location in mind, but decided to enroll at the University of Texas, where an acquaintance she knew from the Champaign Presbyterian Church, Larry Faulkner, was headed after being chosen as President of the school located in Austin.
Twenty years later, Fox still calls Texas home. Her mother (Rachel) moved nearby in 2007, and later this year, her sister (1990 M-S graduate Sharon) will relocate to Texas from Santa Cruz, Cal. Her younger brother (1998 M-S graduate Matt) passed away in 2017.
Christy Fox doesn’t have comfort food — like Monical’s Pizza, which she said, “I eat two or three times when I’m back” — but she retains a strong connection to Mahomet.
Quite by accident, Fox discovered the existence of Mahomet, Texas.
“There was a storm in the area and the newscaster was talking about it being over Mahomet,” she said. “I giggled and thought, ‘There’s no place like home.’”
When the skies cleared, and the weekend arrived, Fox took a road trip.
“It doesn’t appear to be a town,” she said. “There’s a cemetery, a Christian church and a lane. Then you go around a bend, and that’s it.
“It’s out in the country. You have to know it’s there, or know someone who was there. It wouldn’t show up on a regular map.”
Naturally, when her sister visited, they went to Mahomet and took a selfie.
She sees a strong similarity to the Mahomet that is now about 40 miles from her home and an area of Central Illinois located between Mahomet and Champaign.
“It’s absolutely like Rising,” Fox said. “A single-word sign. No population sign.
“You take a road similar to Rt. 150, except it’s four lanes, to get there. You know that a long time ago, it was a place people came, but it doesn’t appear to be a place people would gather.
“There’s no place to get gas. On the right, there’s a dilapidated building that was probably an old general store.”
When she tells acquaintances where she is from, Fox said, “they often mishear me.
“People hear Mohammad. It’s always a funny thing to spell out Mahomet.”
While in Texas, Fox has worked her way through the school system.
Following her graduation from the University of Texas in 2000, she first worked as a teacher and then as a high school associate principal.
She now is a federal program director who oversees Title I funding for 33 schools in Travis County, “29 of which get Title I funding,” Fox said.
Fox lives in Pflugerville with her daughters, 9-year-old Emerson and 4-year-old Lydia.
She has the perfect get-away spot.
“If you need to clear your brain, Mahomet is just far enough away,” Fox said. “It’s a little piece of home. I’m from the small town of Mahomet, but Mahomet, Texas, is even smaller.”
It’s not a destination she would travel to with a group.
“My friends from Texas wouldn’t understand as much,” she said. “When I tell people here (about growing up in Mahomet), most just laugh.”
Though Fox said, “I love Illinois,” she has developed a fondness for the south.
“In Austin, and the area, there are a lot of great places to eat, a lot of live music, a lot of outdoor activities and people are friendly,” she said. “It’s similar to Champaign-Urbana.”
The weather is also an attraction, Fox said, but she added, “We had snow in December and it was a huge deal.”
She didn’t mention whether she giggled and thought, ‘There’s no place like home.’