I married my late husband, Bill Metcalfe, in November of 1960. In the middle of December, Mac & Marion McJunkin, Fred Beede, Bill and I planned to ride over to Reata Pass Steak House at Pinnacle Peak for a cowboy steak lunch. In those days, that was the only steak house in that area (it was a bit primitive as they had to haul their own water and did not have electricity - they used kerosene lamps and lanterns for their lighting). It was to be an easy ride as there were no houses, fences, etc. on the way over.
We did not tell anyone of our plans, but somehow word of mouth got around town, and everyone that owned or could beg, borrow, or steal a horse, including renting some horses from Sierra Vista decided to join us for the ride. Hube Yates brought his string of horses from Sierra Vista the night before and put them in Viro French's corral at Schoolhouse and Grapevine Roads, so they would be easily available in the morning.
Marge Beede, Fred's wife, drove their truck to Reata Pass Steak House Friday afternoon to warn them that they had a crowd coming for lunch the next day. Well, needless to say, we all had a grand time!!! Cave Creek and the people in it were very special in those days, as small towns tend to be. I had just moved out from Illinois when I married Cave Creek resident, Bill Metcalfe, but already these Cave Creekers were becoming wonderful friends.
The timing of this was perfect, as the Cave Creek Improvement Association had gotten a letter from someone in the Valley asking if Cave Creek had a Saddle Club. Since the answer was no, this letter was given to Bill Thelander who was asked to look into starting a club. Bill and his parents Vince and Beverly Thelander, contacted the Beedes, the McJunkins, Bill and I and others on that ride that might be interested, and that also owned their own horses. We were invited to their house north of the village at Spur Cross and Morning Star Roads that Sunday afternoon to discuss forming a riding group.
The original signers (and charter members) for the Saddle Club were those of us at that first informal meeting: Bill Thelander, his brother Bob, Vince and Beverly Thelander, Dorothy and Hank Saunders, Bill and me (Beverly Metcalfe Brooks), Fred Beede, Mac and Marion McJunkin and their daughter Deanne, Helen
and Howie Miller, Hoppy Jones, June Ordway, Emily Burke, Elizabeth and Ken Buzzard, and Linda Frazier who signed up to be a junior member.
The first formal meeting was held at Nelson Hall (the community hall built on Episcopal Church property where the Gold Mine Thrift Shop now stands) on January 3, 1961. The meeting was called to order by Bill Thelander who was elected our chairman, Dorothy Saunders, Secretary-Treasurer, and Fred Beede, our Trail Boss.
The official name was decided upon, The Cave Creek Saddle Club, and rules for the club were to be looked into and drawn up at a future date. This meeting added a few more people to our roster as the following were in attendance that had not been to our first one. They were Patsy and Hube Yates, Anna Mae and Slim Bortmas, Paul Fritz and Walter Miller. We also gained other members as time went on.
The first ride took place on Sunday, January 8, 196 1, with nine riders meeting at the Thelander home. With Fred Beede leading the way, we met four riders from Sierra Vista Ranch and then proceeded to the 6L (the old Lewis Ranch) Ranch out north beyond Spur Cross Ranch where we had lunch, relaxed, looked around the area at the old buildings, etc, and then left about the middle of the afternoon for home. It was a successful first effort, so we planned our next ride for the following Saturday to Tim and Margaret Adam's place.
We took lots of great rides that year with Fred Beede leading the way. The next year Hube Yates was elected our trail boss and we continued on with our fun. Not all of these rides were in the daytime. We took a lot of moonlight rides and would end up at someone's house for hot chocolate and goodies, etc. before heading for home.
As I stated earlier, those were good times with great friendships, tons of fun, and wonderful memories. I only hope the Cave Creek Saddle Club, as it has evolved, is making good memories for themselves as we original members did those forty years ago.