Copyright © 1997 Henrietta W. Hay
His Honor, Edward W. Nottingham — Eddie to us
January 20, 1990
Another home town boy makes good. This is a story about one of them.
A fair number of years ago - in the mid-sixties to be exact - my son and
I were on our way to Denver one rainy summer day. We stopped in Avon to
visit a young friend of ours. His mother told us he and his brothers
were up on the Flattops in the Gore range tending sheep, and we started
off to find him.
That is beautiful country, but at that time when you left the highway
the roads were hard to find, and people even harder. As we slithered up
the dirt road his mother had described and got higher and higher onto
the mountain, the rain got heavier and heavier There was a sense of
utter isolation. Suddenly, silently, out of the dark pines appeared
three horsemen. The rain dripped off the wide brims of their hats and
cascaded off their big ponchos. For a moment they and their horses were
absolutely still as we faced each other. They were fantasy riders. I
shall never forget the scene.
It took a little time and a return to reality to realize that the riders
were the sheepherders we were hunting, Eddie and his two brothers.
After greetings they offered us the hospitality of their camp and moved
the trusty coffee pot over the fire. That too I will always remember.
Said coffee had been in the process of creation for three days - by
which I mean that water and and coffee had been added to the pot from
time to time as each was needed and the result was not something to
forget. But it was hot and wonderful and we were very glad to see the
three young sheepmen.
Eddie's family had run sheep in the Avon region for several generations,
but his mother moved to Grand Junction each fall so that the three boys
could attend Grand Junction High School. Eddie and my son were
classmates in the class of 1965 - the big one. In the summer they went
back to the ranch which, I might add, is now part of the Beaver Creek
Resort. Maybe Jerry Ford wanders down to the store by the old ranch
house. I understand that it is still there.
I don't know what happened to his two younger brothers, but on December
7 in Denver Eddie was sworn in as a United States District Judge -
Federal Judge Edward W. Nottingham.
After graduation from Grand Junction High School, Eddie got his
bachelor's degree from Cornell, and received his law degree from the
University of Colorado in 1972.
He has practiced law in Denver and here in Grand Junction and spent two
years as an assistant U. S., Attorney. Over the years he has built a
solid legal reputation. He has received strong political support for
his new job and is highly respected by leaders of both parties.
Judge Nottingham goes into his new job saying that he has no
preconceptions. "I'll take each case as it comes." He says that to be
a good judge you have to set your politics and your prejudices aside.
He feels that he has the background and temperament to be an effective
Federal Judge. So do I, even though I have seldom agreed with his
Certainly he is conservative - both in politics and appearance. I have
a little trouble equating the gray suit, short hair and bow tie with the
horseman in the wide-brimmed hat and poncho on top of the mountain. But
I thought then that he was an exceptional young man and I think now that
he will be an exceptionally fine judge.
Good luck, Eddie. Excuse me. Good luck Your Honor.