Noble Collins has found his favorite place, Payson, to practice one of his favorite hobbies, writing.
Collins, 72, who has self-published two poetry books, is also a new columnist for The Rim Review and, occasionally, for the Payson Roundup.
He said his interest in writing goes all the way back to his college days when he majored in English.
Every morning, Collins writes for a few hours, except for weekends when he is working at the Beverage House as a wine consultant.
"I have always written for personal pleasure," he said, adding the books he published included works he assembled over time.
Collins won an honorable mention award from Writer's Digest for an article he wrote about the Dude Fire and also won $600 from a poetry magazine.
He and his wife looked for years for the ideal location to retire.
"The moment we drove into Payson, we knew this was it," he said. The beautiful surroundings, the clean air, the weather and the friendly, interesting people are what he likes about the Rim Country.
"This small town has everything we could have hoped for," he said.
The couple moved to the area from Atlanta, Ga., a city he saw increase in population from 50,000 people to more than 4 million.
"It's too big, too busy and too much of everything," he said.
One of the advantages of living in Payson, he said, is being close to a big city but far enough away from that lifestyle.
"I can't imagine living anywhere else," he said.
Collins worked at a few different jobs before he and his wife, Sharon, retired about five years ago. For 25 years, he worked in the family-food business until it was sold. After this job, he went into computer software and traveled for about 10 years before deciding to retire.
Collins said, he enjoys golf, and when he moved to Payson, started working at the Rim Club, which meant he could also play a few rounds at the private club.
He and his wife drive up to the Rim often to go fishing or hiking in the summer.
He said what he likes about retirement is not feeling the pressure to do anything, but the key to retirement is to stay active.
Hometown: Atlanta, Ga.
When did you move to Payson, and what brought you here?
Moved here in 2002 for retirement after looking at a lot of places in Arizona and New Mexico.
What's the biggest risk you have taken recently?
Self-published two books.
What's the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
Book: "The Brothers Karamazov"
Song: "Once upon a Time"
Sports to watch: Golf and tennis
Vacation spot: Bermuda
Recreational activity: Golf and fishing
Movie: "Out of Africa"