I sat down with Rick Perry under the oak trees on the Round Top Town Square. Black Cat Choir was playing for the first-ever Fried Chicken Throwdown. We were joined by Perry’s long-time friend and fellow Round Top citizen Tommy Orr and Perry’s dog Duchess who left her paw print on my notes. This interview was 10 days after he announced he was running for president. Politics never entered our discussion, but lots of fun photos of his children, grandchildren, his parents, his dogs were front and center—and he insisted on one of us together. (Interview took prior to Dancing with the Stars.)
JUST THE FACTS
James R. “Rick” Perry
Presidential Candidate, Former Texas Governor, Round Top Citizen
DOB: March 4, 1950
Education: Paint Creek High School, Texas A&M University
Military: U.S. Air Force, pilot C-130
Personal: married to Anita Thigpen Perry, registered nurse, since 1983; children, Griffin Perry and wife Meredith; Sydney. Grandchildren: Ella and Piper Perry.
Favorite quote: “Our obligations to our country never cease but with our lives.” John Adams, April 1809
Favorite author: Brad Thor. Go read him.
What would I tell a 16-year-old Rick Perry: Study. Simply that. Study.
No one has ever said this about me: (Big laugh): I don’t think there’s anything they haven’t said about me.
Most famous person I’ve ever met: The Pope. Pope Benedict.
What I’m reading now: (Breaks out his Kindle app): America in Retreat by Bret Stephens. Just finished Surprised by Oxford by Carolyn Weber
Red or white: Red
Early or late: Early
I’m in awe of: God
Haven’t been to the grocery store, and dinner time looms. I: Go to the refrigerator. There’s always something you can find.
Pickled beets, eggs or pigs feet: Pig’s feet. Hormel brand is good.
What is the biggest compliment you have ever received? That I have children who are very respectful of other people.
What are you afraid of? Nothing. There are few things I’d prefer to avoid. Like snakes.
Star Wars or Star Trek? Star Wars. I have a rescue dog that looks just like Chewbacca. And the good guys win.
Stick or automatic: Stick
First car: 1967 Pontiac Catalina. Yellow. Sold Bible books one summer and made enough to buy it. $2,700.
Dream car: 1972 Chevrolet Chevelle Super Sport. 396.
Last picture you took with your phone: Of my grandchildren.
How do you start a conversation? Howdy.
What is the last thing you lost? Lost or temporarily misplaced? I temporarily misplaced my phone this morning. I don’t know that I’ve ever been physically lost, but I have been temporarily disoriented.
What famous person do people tell you most resemble? Rick Perry. Really. It sort of started when I had to start wearing glasses. People would come up—still do—and say: “You know, you look like Rick Perry.” I say, I hear that a lot.
Favorite hymn: “The Old Rugged Cross”
Have you ever put something on layaway? No.
Why Round Top? It’s the most fascinating place I have been in my whole life—and I’ve been to a lot of places and seen enough to know this is where I want to spend my time.
See the Dallas Morning News story about Rick Perry.
by Katie Dickie Stavinoha
Publisher’s Note: While we’re big champions of using social media to help spread the word about the Roundtopolis, we enjoy old-fashioned visiting. Since taking over the Round Top Register, Lorie and I have had many opportunities to meet lots of interesting people. We want you to meet them, too, so, beginning right now, we’re introducing a new department: Shooting the Breeze. It gives us one more excuse for visiting with folks face-to-face. Enjoy! If you have ideas for people for us to shoot the breeze with, let me know at email@example.com .