Bob and his wife, Meada, are longtime residents of the Cordova Meadows neighborhood where they are making a difference.
The way Meada tells it, Bob grew up in a very poor family in a tiny town in Missouri. Sharing a bed with his two brothers, the 11-year old Bob decided his fate was in his own hands, went out and got a paper route and bought himself a bed. This pattern of taking the bull by the horns would mark Bob's entire life.
He had no money for college, but saw a future with Air Force. Taking advantage of every opportunity that came along, we joined an aviation cadet program, became a navigator, and an officer. He was sent to bomb school at Mather in 1957 and that's when he met Meada. A 20-year air force career followed, full of marvelous assignments that put Bob on the front row of the Cold War. Two children came along -- Deb and Mark -- who both went on to graduate from Cordova High. Bob retired out of Mather with the rank of Major.
Bob went back to school and got an accounting degree. He began his second career as an IRS agent at age 62. He also started volunteering, teaching Cordova High students how to prepare their parents income taxes. He taught himself about computers and then went over to Kinney High School and taught kids there how to rebuild them.
Wife Meada considers volunteering Bob's third career, and like everything Bob has done in his life, he has made the most of opportunities. He took his interest in technology to Cordova Meadows Elementary School and helped parents with no computer access get it by refurbishing machines for them.
He got involved with his city in 2012 when his neighborhood was targeted for some special help in getting organized and engaged. Bob and the neighbors jumped in and founded Keep Cordova Meadows Beautiful, painted a mural on an unsightly wall, ramped up relationships with Cordova Meadows Elementary and more.
Bob is the Neighborhood Watch Captain in Cordova Meadows and is the lead for NextDoor.com there. He has managed to enroll 200 of 400 homes in NextDoor - one of the highest participation rates in the city. He joined and completed the Rancho Cordova Police Departmentâ€™s Citizens Academy and has involved his neighbors in police training activities in Cordova Meadows.
His neighbor, Jerry Ahlin, said this:
"Bob has been instrumental in Rancho Cordova and our neighborhood, in organizing the Cordova Meadows group of volunteers, keeping them informed. He organized meetings with the city to eventually get the mural painted on the wall of the preschool on West LaLoma.
"Bob and his wife, Meada, have organized many meetings with local police and other city representatives at their home to educate homeowners in the area about crime and other activities. Bob has set up our email and communications network and Neighborhood Watch. This has allowed the neighbors to communicate and react very quickly to many situations.
"Bob and Meada both deserve an award. They have made our community a better place to live."
A word about Meada: We mentioned to her that she might be the reason Bob has been so successful, and she responded: "The thing I do best is bake cookies."
Lorianne Ulm from the city said that Bob's leadership has helped his neighborhood do more than paint a mural. She said they have connected and continue to support the city and each other in remarkable ways.
Bob has also been a top volunteer around City Hall. Once a week he takes a list of businesses and hits the road, checking to see if they are open and operating, allowing the city to follow up and make sure they are licensed. He is a member of Rancho Cordova Kiwanis Club.
Meada said that Bob has taken his work in his neighborhood very seriously, and has enjoyed it all. He remembers back to his own tough boyhood and how he was helped by mentors along the way. He now sees his work in the community as an opportunity to give back.
What a wonderful example of what a neighbor should be. Bringing life experiences to the table to help the neighborhood. Providing leadership when needed. Responding to practical needs felt by those in the community.
In other words,
Be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that life's
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.
And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed.)
Congratulations, Bob Cashatt, for a lifetime of Distinguished Community Service.