Volume 1, No. 1. Published by KPR Media Services
California Dreamin'
Brothers Reunite! Mike, Dot, Jayne and Don at poolside
in San Jose. 

Rattenne Reunion

ROUND TUIT RANCH, SPRINGHILL, KANSAS - After a hiatus lasting three decades Mike and Dot Rattenne flew to California in October 1995 at the request of the California Rattennes to visit Mike's older brother Don in San Jose. Mike and Dot's resident daughter, Tammy, watched the families Kansas homestead, the Round Tuit Ranch, while the pair was away.

Postcard From California

Our story unfolds in October of 1995 when Mike's oldest nephew, Ken, was sitting around with his mother, Jayne Rattenne, discussing the state of the union and the universe in general. Jayne, a.k.a. "Mom", mentioned that Uncle Mike had retired back in June and here it was October already and there was still no word from Kansas pair on a promised trip to California. This prompted Ken to write a postcard to Mike that simply said "You retired in June, it's now October. Where are you?".

Mike and Dot could not turn down such a sincere display of family loyalty and affection and immediatly booked a flight for California, then called Jayne to tell her the news. Always taking a "creative" approach to travel, Mike and Dot decided to drive across the state of Kansas to Denver in order to catch their flight.

Upon their arrival in California's "balmy" 60 degree weather, the California Rattenne's were right there to greet their favorite Kansas relatives. It didn't take long for Mike to express his amazement that the airline passengers had to walk across the tarmac from the plane to the terminal building in this day and age! Jayne quickly explained that they had flown into San Jose International's "old" terminal; if they wanted the use of a jetway they needed to fly into the "new" terminal. Somehow the rustic quality of this experience was lost on these two cosmopolitan travelers.

A short drive from the airport found everyone at the California homestead, where Aunt Dot announced, 

"Gee - I'd like to see the ocean!." 

To which Ken quickly replied, "Well we do have a nice pool here in the backyard!"

This was indeed a momentious occasion for the Rattenne clan. It had been many years since the two eldest Rattenne brothers had met, and even longer since Aunt Dot had been to the Golden State. For nephew Ken it was satisfying to see his Dad and his Uncle clasp hands once again. Ken himself hadn't seen Mike and Dot since a visit to the famous Round Tuit Ranch in 1984, and it had been even longer for Don and Jayne's other two children, Karen and Kirk.

Aunt Dot, Karen Mosca and Jayne lounge in Jayne's well-appointed living room.

Relatives Came From Miles Around


Dot and Jayne pose in 
Jayne's garden.

Mike and Jayne "cut a rug."

Mike and Dot's arrival in San Jose was cause enough to draw every member of the California Rattennes to the Family homestead in San Jose. Mike's nephew Kirk and his family, drove 70 miles from their north bay home in Petaluma; his favorite niece Karen drove over 170 miles from their mountain home in Nevada County (in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada); oldest nephew Ken had travelled 90 miles from Modesto, in California's heartland. Everyone converged on Don and Jayne's San Jose home to have an enjoyable afternoon and dinner with their Kansas relatives.

And quite a dinner it was too. Reports indicate that the Rattenne favorite, chocolate pie, was even served for dessert. In the end, a rousing time was had by all. In fact, Jayne and Mike even cut a rug in the living room when Jayne induced Mike to dance with her.

The following day was a "rest" day, findiing Mike, Dot, Don, Jayne and Ken relaxing and spending the day visiting. On Mike and Dot's last day in California Dot got her wish to "see the ocean," when Don agreed to change their original plans and drive to Santa Cruz for lunch on the wharf.

Finally, it was time to go and Don and Jayne drove Mike and Dot directly to the San Jose airport, where Mike and Dot once again were forced to walk across the tarmac to their waiting plane.


No one knew it at the time but that visit with brother Don would be the last for Mike and Dot. A mere four and a half months later, on March 3rd, 1996, Don would unexpectedly pass away. 


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