Tell us about your background and family. Jana: Retired educator and graphic artist. Bob: Retired oil executive and the new mayor of Cave Creek. Our family includes five children and 16 grandchildren, plus Cheyenne, our McNab dog, Jana’s paint horse gelding Dakota, and my quarter horse gelding Boomer. We recently lost our beloved horse, Dunny. He taught all 16 grandchildren how to ride.
How long have you lived in Cave Creek? Where are you originally from? We have lived here for 22 years. Jana: Oklahoma through Texas. My dad was a cattle rancher/farmer in Oklahoma. Bob: Phoenix. My grandparents arrived in Arizona Territory and homesteaded on Oak Creek. I have a long American and Old West history that gives me my fascination with the West, horses, and Cave Creek.
What do you like best about living in Cave Creek? Jana: The horse-friendly atmosphere, the people, and the beauty of the Sonoran Desert. Bob: The wildlife, dark skies, and quietness.
Describe how you’re involved in the Cave Creek community. Jana: I am involved with the rodeo committee. I am also on the leadership team at Church at the Chip and lead a women’s Bible study. Our study has recently started serving at House of Refuge Sunnyslope as a part of our missions. Bob: Ten years in Cave Creek town government, including town council and now mayor.
What’s your most memorable Cave Creek experience? Jana: Competing in the Mounted Shooting events that were held here in Cave Creek and riding in our town’s parades. Bob: The thrill of watching the election returns and the honor I received from the people putting their trust in me!
What do you like to do for fun? Jana: Ride horses, walk our super-active dog, and decorate our home. Bob: Our horses and dog keep us busy. We are so attached to them, and they keep us busy in a satisfying way. Also, watching the grandkids play sports and grow up (much too fast!).
Describe your talents and hobbies. Jana: Graphic art. Even though I am retired, I love making portrait birthday cards for all the grandchildren each year and our family Christmas card. I also love to decorate our home for all the different holidays — inside and out! It is a passion! Christmas is my favorite holiday to decorate, followed by the fall season. Bob: I enjoy science, computer technology, and fixing things. I guess that comes with being an engineer. Cowboy Mounted Shooting and winning a class world championship in Las Vegas was a real achievement that fit right in with my love of Old West history.
A favorite game your family likes to play together: Bob: Fantasy Football league with the grandchildren.
Favorite holiday traditions: Jana: Christmas Eve candlelight service at Church at the Chip. Bob: It must be Christmas. That month-long celebration of faith, with its inspiring and familiar music, brings back so many memories.
Something unique about you that not very many other people can claim: Jana: I am a former Arizona state champion cowgirl in mounted shooting. Along with my APHA gelding Dakota’s Integrity, we have won many world, state, and regional championships. We have also had the privilege to be on many magazine covers, including Cowgirl Magazine, printed here in Cave Creek and our local Bridle & Bit. I am also a past recipient of the Athletes International Female Athlete of the Year award. Bob was instrumental in the ultimate creation of the Ben Avery Mounted Shooting Center. We were both heavily involved in fundraising, planning, and construction. Bob: When I became an Eagle Boy Scout at age 13, I was told, with no way to verify, that the only younger Scout to achieve that was Ozzie Nelson of the Ozzie and Harriet Show. I am sure many have now broken that record over the years.
Do you have any coveted collections? Jana: My mounted shooting buckles and awards. I also love to collect heart rocks when out hiking, and I have quite a collection. My grandkids love to hunt for them to add to the collection when here. Bob: My most prized collection is the family genealogy that I have cataloged from my mother’s research and own discoveries. I have almost 3,000 individuals that go back to the settlement of Jamestown in 1607, and some were neighbors of George Washington in Colonial Virginia.
What schools did you attend? Jana: Southeast High School in Oklahoma City and Southeastern State University in Oklahoma. Bob: I went to Alhambra High School in West Phoenix and graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in chemical engineering.
Guilty pleasure? Jana: Hot Tamales candy. Bob: Cave Creek’s Indian Village fry bread tacos!
The song I would sing at karaoke night: Jana: “Living on a Prayer” Bob: Maybe I could barely hum along with Roy Orbison on just about any of his classics.
Things you can’t live without? Jana: My faith, our horses, and our dog. Bob: Our dog. She is amazingly smart, incredibly active, and unrelenting in getting me out to play with her.
Person(s) who has made a difference in your life? Jana: My sister Gayle, who lives in Oklahoma. She has been my mentor and role model throughout my life. Also, my children and grandchildren. Bob: My grandmother for her resilience and the example she set. Also, my high school English teacher Mr. Hochstettler. He set such high standards, and there was no compromise in meeting those standards. He prized initiative, and I unconsciously adopted his and my wonderful parents’ standards. I got in touch with him a few years ago, after 50 years, and told him so.
Favorite vacation destination: Jana: The beach. Bob: The U.K. I am an unabashed Anglophile.
Favorite restaurant: Jana: Harold’s. Bob: Bryan’s BBQ.
Favorite way to relax: Jana: Reading. Bob: Watching science, physics and nature YouTube videos.
Favorite sports teams: Jana: Oklahoma Sooners — all my life! Bob: Sun Devil football. I have been a fan since they played in Goodwin Stadium.
Favorite TV show you’re into right now: Jana: Downton Abbey and Call the Midwife. Bob: Downton Abbey (the Anglophile coming through again).
A favorite movie I could never get tired of watching: Jana: The Magnificent Seven — best Western movie of all time, and I am a big cowboy movie fan! Bob: Stagecoach. The opening music is my ringtone!
Favorite music: Jana: Christian, Zach Williams. Bob: Classic Pop and Rock. Roy Orbison and Creedence Clearwater Revival.
Favorite quote: Jana: "Riding a horse is not a gentle hobby to be picked up and laid down like a game of solitaire. It is a grand passion" — Ralph Waldo Emerson. Bob: When training a horse, “as little as possible, as much as necessary” — Clinton Anderson.