Havasu Pioneers: Rick Kingsbury
When Rick Kingsbury moved to Lake Havasu with his parents in 1965, there were 20 houses and around 600 people in the area. Kingsbury, author of Livin’ At the End of Old 95, came just one year after Havasu was founded and still in its developmental stages. “It was three months before we got running water. I think five months until we got electricity. And a year when we finally got a phone,” he shares during an interview with C-Span.
There weren’t any businesses in Havasu at that time, not even a grocery store. They had to travel 40 miles just to buy food and additional supplies. Kingsbury says, “It was very isolated. It was just the end of the road, literally a dead end. I thought it was kind of funny to decide to build a city at the end of a dead-end road so I thought I’ll write a book about Havasu and call it “Livin’ at the End…”
If anyone were to write a book about the early days of Havasu, it had to be Kingsbury. He saw the London Bridge get delivered piece by piece and even remembers its particular smell. He was also there on the opening day when Robert McCulloch and C.V. Wood planned an extravagant bird release to commemorate the day; however, it was too hot and several of them perished before their debut.
Kingsbury watched as housing developments quadrupled and Havasu changed from a wonderful small world into a big party town. “I think this is a great place to live. I know that it’s different from when we were kids, but I couldn’t have grown up in a better place.”