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


Sophie Barrett with pigeons Kapiolani park Waikiki September #801 p 27 {S}{H}


These pigeons were free to fly in and out of a large cage with a narrow opening slit high up, where trhey were safe from predators. The variety in Waikiki had a white color in contrast to gray ones in most mainland U.S. cities.One of these pigeons became a pet of the Barretts at 2415 Ala Wai BoulevaRD AFTER IT WAS FED COOKIES. It would come to a window and seemed to enjoy the sound of a voice reading.Jack Barrett got interesting light effects in a number of photos of the tame pigeon, and Father William Maguire, Captain USN, the Pacific Fleet Chaplain l941-l942 wrote about the tame pigeon in his l943 memoir "The Captain Wears a Cross." Father Maguire found accomodations for Sophie Barrett at Wineglass's Boarding House Chefoo late spring l931 for a week when the Asiaitic Fleet was assembled for maneuvers and Gunnery competition, and rooms were hard to find.


Sopihe Barrett on camel with Jack along p 27 #802


January l932, Egypt - "Till the sands of the desert grow cold"- Jack says they were unusually cold in January l932 when the Barretts and Pardees and Mrs. Conover visted from Dollar lines PRESIDENT PIERCE - Dale Collins was the Captain, who visited the Barretts in Waikiki l940's.


Sophie with friends at Mount Holyoke


p 27-803


Mount Holyoke 1923 Glee Club p 28-#836


Back row - second from left, Ruth Peck. Front row - Fourth from left, Ruth Douglass. Far right, Mildred Holt.


Ethel Simpson (Mrs. Newcomb) Mount Holyoke 1923 p 28#837


A native of Hyde Park Ethel Simpson Newcomb was a 1923 Mount Holyoke college classmate of Sophie Ruth Meranski and became a Latin teacher. She was active in Hyde Park Historical Society and saw Sophie at reunions in South Hadley in 1978 and l983 and she and her granddaughter Karen Fallon became members of the Massachusetts State Poetry Society and drove Sophie and John to several meetings 1978-1980.


The Officers of the Community Government p 28-838


Front left, Becky Smaltz. Front center, Betty Gilman.


Edna Delahanty p 27-839


The Delahantys were originally from Fall River, and had something to to with the lead industry. Edna was Sophie's Mount Holyoke 1923 classmate, and in 1935 Sophie got to know Edna first cousin Captain Frank Delahanty and his wife Sue, who were neighbors in an apartment building in Portsmouth, Virginia. Frank had been a friend of Jack Barrett since 1917 and assisted him many times in his Navy career - in early 1936 Frank as a supply officer aboard the battleship WYOMING helped obtain provisions for the destroyer CLAXTON, which Jack Barrett commanded in gunnery and amphibious landing force exercises at Culebra, Puerto Rico. In 1938 Sue Delahanty met Sophie and young John between trains at Los Angeles while they were traveling from Philadelphia to Coronado, when Jack was executive officer of tanker TRINITY en route to the Philippines.The Barretts saw the Delahantys a number of times in Hawaii 1946-7.and after the war, Jack saw Frank at his Boston Navy Fargo Building office.In the 1970s Frank sent Sophie and John long detailed memoirs of Navy personalities and supply corps duty and especially the Naval War College. Sophie and John Barrett visited Frank and Sue at their retirement home at 380 W. Elm St. Brockton. Edna Delahanty had a long career teaching and lived in retirement two miles from the Barretts in Jamaica Plain with her sister. Edna attended 1978 and l983 Mount Holyoke reunions in South Hadley and often talked with Sophie by telephone.Edna was an enthusiastic baseball fan.


Marion Lewis, Mount Holyoke 1923 Class president, native of Hyde Park Mass.p 27-840


Marion Lewis and her cousin Ruth Lewis and Ethel Simposon were three of Sophie's classmates who were natives of Hyde Park, as was Sophie's college boy friend Nandon (Ferdinand) Porges, who played football at Massachusetts "Aggie.\"Marion had a remarkable gift for tracing people. She got to know Mrs. Herman Ingalls of Bucks Harbor, Maine, whose husband commanded the lighthouse tender ZIZANIA many years in Maine and was Jack Barrett's skipper in 1912. Marion eventually settled in Bucks Harbor after her husband Vin smart retired from law practice New Jersey-New York. Marion told her son John that the Barrett third cousin Gerard Buckley from Ilford England was working in Perth Australia 1974-5, and theytwo of them formed a lasting friendship. Marion was a frquent correspondent and showed great courtesyt to Sophie at Reunions in 1948, l978, and 1983.