Red Headed Stepchild
(The Barrett family memoir of Navy Life)
by Sophie Ruth Meranski with photos


Mabel Ganz left and Sophie Ruth Meranski right at 4 Wooster Street outside Meranski home Hartford after autumn 1916 move from 25 Morgan Street Hartford p 13 #98
Mabel Ganz identified by Rebekah Geetter l989. Sophie used to play jacks as a girl singing "One two button my shoe Three four shut the door Five six pick up sticks Seven eight Lay them straight Nine ten a big fat hen eleven Twelve Dig and Delve Thirteen 14 maids a-courtin l5 16 maids a kissing l7 l8 maids a waiting l9 twenty my stomach's empty My dear old grandmother lost her shhoe in the year of fourteen hundred ninety two." While living at 25 Morgan Street about l909-asutumn l9l6 Sophie had a vegetable garden near the Connecticut River in the summer of 1915. This picture with Mabel Ganz is taken after the move to Wooster Street autumn 1916, where the family lived on second floor above the grocery.A l9ll Meranski family group has been added to website.Sophie used to sing "Oil, oil, kerosene oil My oil is better than Finnegan's oil. Finnegan;s oil is water.mine's kerosene oil" "Mopving day, moving day Take you oil stove from the floor Take youstove,and there's the door." "Nineteen dear old Nineteen Fairest Classof old NINEteen. Fairest class at HARtford High love for you will never died Nineteen dear old NINEteen Fairest class of old Nineteen."-Tune of Chopin A Flat Polonaise. Also "I care not for the Hartford times i dare not read the Evening Post I do not want the Journal One Cent and the World is Mine." (tune -"Love me and the World is Mine" Sophie Meranski Barrett 1901-1987 learned the well known lines 33-36 in Hartford Public Schools and sometimes recited them from memory in later years. In School Days JOHN GREENLEAF WHITTIER 1807-1892 1 Still sits the school-house by the road, 2 A ragged beggar sleeping; 3 Around it still the sumachs grow, 4 And blackberry-vines are creeping. 5 Within, the master's desk is seen, 6 Deep scarred by raps official; 7 The warping floor, the battered seats, 8 The jack-knife's carved initial; 9 The charcoal frescos on its wall; 10 Its door's worn sill, betraying 11 The feet that, creeping slow to school, 12 Went storming out to playing! 13 Long years ago a winter sun 14 Shone over it at setting; 15 Lit up its western window-panes, 16 And low eaves' icy fretting. 17 It touched the tangled golden curls, 18 And brown eyes full of grieving, 19 Of one who still her steps delayed 20 When all the school were leaving. 21 For near her stood the little boy 22 Her childish favor singled: 23 His cap pulled low upon a face 24 Where pride and shame were mingled. 25 Pushing with restless feet the snow 26 To right and left, he lingered; -- 27 As restlessly her tiny hands 28 The blue-checked apron fingered. 29 He saw her lift her eyes; he felt 30 The soft hand's light caressing, 31 And heard the tremble of her voice, 32 As if a fault confessing. 33 "I'm sorry that I spelt the word: 34 I hate to go above you, 35 Because," -- the brown eyes lower fell, -- 36 "Because, you see, I love you!" 37 Still memory to a gray-haired man 38 That sweet child-face is showing. 39 Dear girl! the grasses on her grave 40 Have forty years been growing! 41 He lives to learn, in life's hard school, 42 How few who pass above him 43 Lament their triumph and his loss, 44 Like her, -- because they love him. {S}
Subject: {S} Sophie Meranski right and mabel Ganz left
Year: 1917