What journalist covering Rick Perry wouldn’t want to hear these words?

“I probably shouldn’t be doing this because Rick asked us not to, but somebody needs to know.”

That’s Perry’s 82-year-old mother, Amelia, talking to Scott Farwell of the Dallas Morning News. Last week Farwell visited with Amelia and her 86-year-old husband Ray in Paint Creek, to talk about Rick’s life and about the state of America. 

“The country is declining and we need somebody who can turn it around,” Amelia Perry said. “If we don’t, these children, and my grandchildren, will never know the America we know.”

The story, which appeared on page one of the Sunday paper, covers everything from the day teenaged Rick asked for a motorcycle and a drum set (he got a horse instead) to the Perrys’ simple “no comment” reply regarding the controversial name of the family hunting camp.

Ray Perry, who was a Haskell County Commisioner for 28 years, believes that people are closer-knit in Paint Creek than they are in Dallas and that their sons values and leadership style would be, Farwell writes, “strong medicine needed by a sickly nation.”

For more Perry family history, read the DMN story from this morning, which profiles Rick and Anita Perry’s 28 year-old son Griffin.