Every time I watch a show like AMC's Mad Men, I think: Why can't I have a liquor cart in my office?
Yes, yes, I understand all the reasons that booze in the office is a bad idea, ranging from a lack of productivity to driving under the influence. But sometimes, after an idiot calls to rant about some insane topic while I am on deadline, a shot or two sounds really good.
But I digress.
For this year's Best of Tucson®, we decided to take a trip back to the 1960s and the era when I could have enjoyed a glass or two of bourbon at the office—but our version of the 1960s is an idealized, utopian version of the decade. As we explained on the Best of Tucson® sample ballot that we published in the spring: We're turning back the clock 50 years and returning to 1960, but we're taking equal rights for women, minorities and the LGBT community with us.
And I am extremely happy with how this 1960s-themed Best of Tucson® turned out.
Big credit goes to Michael Grimm, who has been working on all of the illustrations for the issue since March. His work is amazing, as you'll see on the following pages.
Adam Kurtz and Irene Messina also deserve serious praise for all of their hard work. Adam worked with Michael and our talented summer photo interns, Will Ferguson and Frankie Brun, to get all of the art and images contained herein just right—and he paginated this whole damn issue, to boot. Irene spent a substantial portion of a September weekend proofing the issue (and never demanded a drink from my imaginary liquor cart).
Adam Borowitz, Mari Herreras, Duane Hollis, Andrew Ling, Jim Nintzel, Gary Smathers, Nick Smith and Greg Willhite joined Irene and Adam in developing the five special pieces of art that depict some Best of Tucson® perennial winners. You'll find those works of art sprinkled throughout the issue—and I am sure you'll be impressed.
In between all of those beautiful pieces of art are tens of thousands of words, of course—and 30 different people wrote those words this year. I thank them for following all of the rules and procedures at least 80 percent of time.
I also need to give (another) shout-out to Greg Willhite and Nick Smith, who are responsible for the Internet version of the issue.
Interspersed between all that art and all those words, both in print and online, are, of course advertisements, and without them, the Tucson Weekly and the Best of Tucson® would not be possible. I sincerely thank all of the smart, discerning advertisers who decided to be a part of this wonderful issue, and the advertising staffers (led by Jill A'Hearn and Monica Akyol) who helped them: Laura Bohling, Sarah Cadrobbi, Todd Landau, Brean Marinaccio, Mayalan Molina, Stephen Myers, Alan Schultz, Ken Taub and Dave White.
Circulation manager Laura Horvath and her group of drivers get this larger-than-normal paper into the hands of the readers, and deserve recognition for all of the hard work that they do.
Finally, I have to thank the people most responsible for the success of the Best of Tucson®: You, our smart and talented readers. We received almost 1,800 eligible ballots this year—and trust me, I know it's not a trivial task to fill out a ballot with 134 categories. Yet you do, and I greatly appreciate it. I also appreciate the fact that you pick us up and read us; without you, our work has no purpose.
Finally, congratulations to all the winners and runners-up listed herein. And to everyone: Welcome to Best of Tucson® 24: 1960.