Growing up together, the Bates and Ota children spent many happy hours on the beach at Rincon Point. Their imaginations were free to create unlimited fun, from damming up Rincon Creek as a secluded pond, and then building a sea worthy vessel to sail across it. Ken Ota built a raft from washed up railroad ties and the kids added flags and christened it, complete with a name.
Mrs. Juliette Bates celebrated holidays at Rincon del Mar Ranch with children from both families present. Easter festivities and other special occasions brought happy smiles and shared activities.
In a world prior to television and computer games, these children found their own entertainment by creating games together, sharing projects to build, or instigating challenges for each other. Ota children and Bates children thrived growing up in a safe and unsupervised, seemingly idyllic childhood before the war years hit.
After the onset of W.W.II all Japanese families were forcibly relocated inland away from their Carpinteria farms.
Decades passed and in March of 2013, descendants of the Ota family gathered around Sumi Ota, age 100. Sumi was one of the young children seen building the raft in the Rincon creek photos. Today, her family was reminiscing with Fleurette Bates’ daughter, Robbie Hutto, and enjoying the ocean view at Bates Ranch House, where so many fun childhood days were spent.