Q&A with Thomas Evans

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Thomas Evans, an Ohio native, flew his little plane through Arizona in 1965. He fell in love with Tucson and ultimately retired here in 1967. Now 86, Evans has no regrets about moving to a place famous for the "cowboys and Indians" he role-played in his youth.

What's the best movie of all time?

Gone With the Wind. That movie had so much of everything in it. It wasn't pinpointing any one thing. It covered that time in history.

What movie makes you think most of Tucson?

The cowboy movies-all of them. ... If you go out and visit Old Tucson, it reminds you of the Old West (and) the individualism--men stood on their own two feet.

Any embarrassing cinematic experiences in your life?

Nothing embarrasses me. I can't answer a question like that!

Best breakfast place?

The Hungry Fox. It's a nice, clean place-a wonderful atmosphere. They have wonderful people serving you. It's just a comfortable, interesting place to have breakfast and relax.

Best book by a local author?

Sen. John McCain's book, Worth the Fighting For. It was down-to-earth. He just told things as they were.

Best upscale dining?

Anthony's in the Foothills. ... I like the food there; it's delicious. I like their service; they'll even cut the meat for you if you want them to. ... Everything about it is top-drawer.

Best mischief maker in Tucson?

The (housing) associations. They're a bunch of old fogies who have nothing to do but stir up trouble. I've had trouble with the association. I beat them every time except once. And they tore down my mailbox. ... (My mailbox) was Uncle Sam holding a mailbox, but the association said, "You can't have it! All the mailboxes have to be the same." They're ugly mailboxes. I told the association to go pound salt.

Best burger?

Oh, hell's bells. There isn't any best burger. A burger's a burger in my mind.

If you could create your own Best of Tucson™ category, what would it be?

I think categories are stupid, because people come (to Tucson) to enjoy every second, every minute of the day. I love all of Tucson. I love the weather; I love the people. ... To me, it's the garden spot of the world. ... I don't enjoy Tucson because it has this restaurant, or it has this movie, or it's got that men's wear. The people of Tucson are wonderful. We have all kinds of folks, and they're all great.

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