7
TO THE OTHER SIDE
OF THE RIVER

The Colorado River is our greatest resource, and unless we conserve it and get the
maximum benefit from it, we can depend upon becoming a sort of vermiform appendix
of Los Angeles
.”

ARIZONA GOVERNOR GEORGE W. P. HUNT IN A POLITICAL CIRCULAR ISSUED IN 1923.

Why stay here [Arizona]? The place is going to dry up.”

JOHN R. NORTON III, SEPTEMBER 28, 2010, REFLECTING ON THE ARIZONA WATER SITUATION IN
THE LATE 1940S AND EARLY 1950S.

John R. Norton III watched, listened, and learned from his father’s life experience. As Norton III recalled in 2003, “He was a good father. … And he never shortchanged me on attention or advice or counsel or coaching. He showed me the way. He paved the road for me…. He would give me ‘holy hell’ when he thought I was wrong or wasn’t working hard enough. He was a hard worker and he demanded hard work.” By the time John III was six or seven years old, prior to his parents’ divorce, he spent summers on his father’s sheep or cattle ranches in northern Arizona and “ just loved it…. I thought going to that [sheep] ranch when I was a little kid was like dying and going to heaven.” After the divorce he continued to spend summers with Norton Jr. on the X Bar One or Double O. Earlene supported her son’s time with his father, and she knew young John was treated well. “He was good to me, he loved me, and he challenged me a lot,” Norton III recalled, “and I wouldn’t have had the wonderful opportunities as a youth growing up if it

-141-

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The Norton Trilogy
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Foreword - The Honorable Jon Kyl, United States Senator vii
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - On the Edge of a Desert Empire 7
  • 2 - Corporate Water 29
  • 3 - Westward Tilt 55
  • 4 - John R. Norton Jr. and the Urban Oasis 93
  • 5 - Establishing Prior Rights 106
  • 6 - Depression to Empire 123
  • 7 - To the Other Side of the River 141
  • 8 - An Expatriate’s Dilemma- Arizona V. California 164
  • 9 - We Must Not Be Indecisive Lest We Be Ineffective 185
  • 10 - The Deputy Secretary of Agriculture 203
  • 11 - An Accurate Vision 219
  • Conclusion 239
  • Notes 244
  • Index 292
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