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

 

9.
Lieutenant Commander John Barrett in commander of CLAXTON and destroyer squadron P2-#9

 

Jack Barrett used to tell a story about a sea captain who made an entry in the ship's log, "Mate drunk today." The mate was upset and asked the captain if it was necessary to make such a report. The Captain replied, "It's true, isn't it?" The mate thought this over and made his own log entry, "Captain sober today." I think they finally agreed to remove both entries. WEB PAGE TWO 2 photo # 9 THE OMEGA THREE OILS slow CELL DIVISION MITOSIS + give immune system a chance to destroy small cancers before they become dangerous. Best sources are fish + raw vegetables especially FLAX seed + BLACK CURRANT SEED OIL + the cabbage family. However the plant form ALPHA-LINOLEIC ACID is VERY PERISHABLE destroyed in cooking + get RANCID - antioxidants like VITAMIN E help keep these oils fresh. The ANIMAL form EPA EICOSAPENTANOIC ACID -twenty carbon chain with five C=C unsaturated double bonds is more stable, found in cold water oily fish like SALMON + STEELHEAD trout. DHA DOCOSAHEXAENOIC Acid a longer Omega three acid should be added to baby formulas. Most POLYUNSATURATED OILS are GOOD for HEART + ARTERIES but RATIO of OMEGA THREE to OMEGA SIX OILS is extremely IMPORTANT regarding CANCER. They affect RATE of MITOSIS - CELL DIVISION. Omega SIX OILS ACCELERATE MITOSIS - + have CANCER RISK whereas Omega THREE BLOCK RECEPTORS in CELLS + SLOW MITOSIS down. Go easy on CORN-SOY-PEANUT OIL with COMMON LINOLEIC ACID. However it is thought SOME GAMMA-linoleic acid is beneficial. Humans can make it themselves in the body, but it is thought obese persons, + older persons with heart problems possibly diabetes may benefit from some GAMMA LINOLEIC in diet. It is very PERISHABLE- this is one reason FORMULA-FED BABIES may be obese - GAMMA-linoleic is PERISHABLE. It is scarce in diet - there are traces in FRESH vegetables - supplement BLACK CURRANT SEED OIL is excellent source of BOTH ALHPA- and GAMMA- linoleic. AVOID Hydrogenated at PARTIALLy Hydrogenated fats - bad for heart + arteries. Also SATURATED fat in meat + coconut. Milk protein CASEIN is suspected of being CANCER PROMOTER especially BREAST + PROSTATE see August 2000 "DISCOVER" magazine p. 44 for evidence - research centered at Cornell - taken seriously by Dr. Walter Willett chief of Nutrition Department at Harvard School of Public Health, whom I used to know. OSTEOPOROSIS- I have switched to powdered DOLOMITE CALCIUM-MAGNESIUM + CABBAGE family especially COLLARDS best plant source of Calcium, and I take eight hundred units 800 of Vitamin D daily- also Vitamin K in green vegetables plays role in building bones. Vitamin d is crucial, and deficiencies occur especially in autumn and winter when sunlight is unavailable to supplement dietary vitamin D. A harmful amino acid homocysteine plays major role in hardening of arteries by atherosclerosis, and a subsatantial dosage of Vitamin B6 is needed to prevent it. Eat bananas every day. They are the best natural source. Folic acid in raw green leaves is also needed. B-12 with a trace of the element cobalt is also needed, but deficiencies occur mostly in malabsorption in pernicious anemia or in strict vegetarian diets. Vitamin E is probably also a factor in preventing homocysteine deposits, and the optimum dose is mnaytimes more than the inadequate level in government guidelines. Vitamin E, selenium, and substances in gree tea, blueberries, strawberries, pine bark, grapeseed, are anti-oxidants that protect against harm by peroxide radicals that danage body cells or unsaturated fats. For immune system zinc is particularly important, and teenagers need a lot - it is important at all ages, but men need more zinc than women - women lose iron, but men should avoid too much iron - alcoholics accumulate iron abnormally, and hematosis is a factor in cirrhosis of the liver. Look at your fingernails. White spots are a sign of major zinc deficiency. Extra zinc often helps get over infections. OSTEOPOROSIS is very common in older persons. Young people should be aware of loss of bone density with age. However, and article August 2000 p 44 in DISCOVER magazine presents evidence that the common milk protein CASEIN is a CANCER PROMOTOER - it doesn't cause the MUTATION but makes cancerous cells proliferate and escape from IMMUNE CONTROL - a MITOGEN- learn this word. This is particularly true of BREAST and PROSTATE CANCERS. So just recetly about a month ago I switched to DOLOMITE - a calcium - magnesium powder and COLLARDS - the vegetable highest in CALCIUM. All the cabbage - mustard family BRASSICACEAE are high in calcium - in many parts of the world especially Asia leafy vegetables are the principal source of calcium. Excess protein intake causes calcium excretion. It is important for reserchers to understand calcium EXCRETION as well as intake. Fad high protein diets probably cause CALCIUM + other MINERAL DESICIENCY. Excess protein may even aggravate diabetes - it releases SUGAR by a processs called KETOSIS, and the amino acids go to waste and make work for the liver and kidneys. Vitamin D is VERY IMPORTANT for CALCIUM to be utilize in bone, which is recycled continually - OSTEOBLASTS make bone, - OSTEOCLASTS destroy it. Adenomas are non-cancerous tumors of parathyroid glands - pararthyroid hormone makes bones release calcium. Most vitamin formulas do not contain VITAMIN K, which also is needed for bone formation and strength. The main source is leafy vegetables like broccoli. Exercise is very important for bone strength. Just running quickly thru some other topics I'll do another time - HEART ARTERIES - WORST of ALL are TRANS_FATTY ACIDS found in "PARTIALLY" Hydrogenated fats - AVOID PROCESSED FOODS except BREAD. Thank goodness they don't seem to put them in BREAD. Next worse SATURATED FATS - MEAT and COCONUT. Bakers use them becausee they stay fresh, but they are bad for you. GOOD FOR HEART = ARTERIES Key vitamins against harmful HOMOCYSTEINE - for most people VITAMIN B6 is the most important - somewhere between 25 and 200 mg - bananas are best natural source.Eat BANANAS EVERY DAY!!!! Other vitamins are necessary but B12 is usually not a problem except in VEGETARIANS and people with MALABSORPTION disease called "PERNICIOUS ANEMIA". FOLIC ACID is also necessary, and is destroyed in COOKING. Get LEAFY green SALAD every day especially DARK GREEN VEGETABLES. - BROCCOLI, KALE - LETTUCE is OK. ads claim Orange juice has Folic Acid. Vitamin E probably affects homocysteine, but research studies leave doubt how much is necessary. Vitamin E also protects polyunsaturated fats from oxidation and becoming rancid. Some persons accumulate particular minerals abnormally and require caution and specialist advice- calcium is accumulated abnormally in sarcoidosis, and some people accumulate dangerous levels of potassium, but they are a small percentage,- much more common is danger of potassium depletion when people take diuretics, creating risk a arrhythmic heart attacks.Supplements of mineral chromium may benefit diabetics and help sugar metabolism. Except in extreme cases diabetics should not be afraid of small tastes of sugar and sweets, but starch and protein can release sugar. Starch foods differ greatly in the rate of release of sugar - rice pudding releases food value much faster than brown rice, which has vitamins and minerals in the husk. A diabetes-prone Native American tribe of Arizona apparently used acorns as a staple food for centuries - the acorns released carbohydrate very slowly. Lima and other beans have protease inhibitors that slow release of carbohydrate, - beneficial fo rmany people.Fats have more concentrated calories than sugar- some people worry about sugar and become obese on fats. Hydrogenated, saturated and OMEGA SIX polyunsaturated fats should be avoided in most people unless they get plenty of exercise and are sure they are not overweight. The known beneficial fats are OMEGA THREE oils, GAMMA LINOLIC ACID (very small quantity only) and probably MONOUNSATURATES like OLIVE OIL, The nutritional role of the monounsaturates is not completely understood - whether they might affect cancer one way or the other, but they are filling and do much less damage to heart + arteries than most other oils. Olive oil seems particularly good. Most natural foods have a mixture of oils. Even fish has some saturated fat, for people concerned about obesity and calories. Soy oil is bad, though soy protein is believed to have an anti-cancer effect. Selenium is one of the most important anti-oxidants- and zinc and selenium are highly soluble and have been leached out of soils in glaciated areas - New England, New York, most of Ohio, pPennsylvania, Canada, and so people in these areas may need supplements - Finland has one of the most severe selenium shortages, causing both heart disease and cancer. Areas like New Mexico with young volcanic soils show lower cancer rates.Calcium in Plant-Based Diets Many people choose to avoid milk because it contains fat, cholesterol, allergenic proteins, lactose sugar, and frequent traces of contamination. Milk is also linked to juvenile-onset diabetes and other serious conditions. Happily, there are plenty of other good sources of calcium. Keeping your bones strong depends more on preventing the loss of calcium from your body than on boosting your calcium intake. Some cultures consume no dairy products and typically ingest only 175 to 475 milligrams of calcium per day. However, these people generally have low rates of osteoporosis. Many scientists believe that exercise and other factors have more to do with osteoporosis than calcium intake does. Calcium in the Body Almost all of the calcium in the body is in the bones. There is a tiny amount in the blood stream which is responsible for important functions such as muscle contraction, maintenance of the heartbeat, and transmission of nerve impulses. We constantly lose calcium from our bloodstream through urine, sweat, and feces. It is renewed with calcium from bone. In this process, bones continuously lose calcium. This bone calcium must be replaced from food. Calcium needs change throughout life. Up until the age of 30 or so, we consume more calcium than we lose. Adequate calcium intake during childhood and adolescence is especially important. Later, the body begins to slip into “negative calcium balance,” and the bones start to lose more calcium than they take up. The loss of too much calcium can lead to soft bones or osteoporosis. How rapidly calcium is lost depends, in part, on the kind and amount of protein you eat as well as other diet and lifestyle choices. Reducing Calcium Loss A number of factors affect calcium loss from the body: Diets that are high in protein cause more calcium to be lost through the urine. Protein from animal products is much more likely to cause calcium loss than protein from plant foods. This may be one reason that vegetarians tend to have stronger bones than meat eaters. Caffeine may slightly increase the rate at which calcium is lost through urine, but one recent study questions if there is a major effect. Diets high in sodium increase calcium losses in the urine. Alcohol inhibits calcium absorption. The mineral boron may slow the loss of calcium from bones. Exercise slows bone loss and is one of the most important factors in maintaining bone health. Sources of Calcium Exercise and a diet moderate in protein will help to protect your bones. People who eat plant-based diets and who lead an active lifestyle probably have lower calcium needs. However, calcium is an essential nutrient for everyone. It is important to eat calcium-rich foods every day. VITAMIN C DOSAGE - Government standards recommend a low dosage of vitamin C that was found to prevent acute scurvy observed on long ocean voyages. Vitamin C is necessary in blood vessel repair, and increases are needed when prople have colds and infections. I have known paraplegics who were advised to take 2000 mg of C per day to retard urinary tract infections. Persons in dainger of bleeding may benefit for anti-coagulant effect of ascobic acid Vitamin C, but a phenomenon of electric charge apparently keeps it normally from triggering occlusion problems such as stroke and thrombosis.The most serious evidence that high Vitamin C might have harmful effects was a 1999 study of a small group of people in which neck arteries to brain had thickened walls and reduced blood flow in some persons on high vitamin C - it may probe to be statistical fluke, but as vitamin C promotes blood vessel healing, excess might narrow blood vessels? Further studies will clarify how serious a problem this may be - how frequent. Persons who take aspirin may need extra vitamin C and smokers also. Many foods affect blood clotting. Cardiologists say that large numbers of persons with atrial fibrilliation {irregular rhythm in upper chamber of heart] are vulnerable to formation of clots that can and often do cause strokes. They say many more people should receive prescription anti-coagulants, and not enough Americans have access to regular cardiological care. Persons on anticoagulants should discuss their diets with their doctors, and doctors increasingly should adjust medication to permit patients to utilize dietary knowledge. Polyunsaturated oils, Vitamin E, aspirin all tend to reduce blood clotting, which benefits the majority of people with a tendency to clotting and thrombosis. One the other hand vitamins C and K tend to increase clotting, but apparently with some built-in safeguards in the majority of cases. One recent study favored use of aspirin for suspected stroke, on the theory it benefits those with occlusion but does not seem to hurt those with hemorrhage as long feared. New data may change opinions. Buffered aspirin and chewed aspirin or aspirin applied topically may reduce hazards of stomach-intestinal bleeding with aspirin or ibuprofen, and doses should be moderate. However, the Johnson and Johnson company, which makes a form of acetomophin, has conducted scare campaigns against aspirin while their product often causes major liver damage. There are many ANTIOXIDANTS, which seem to work in different tissues, some in blood and body fluid, some in cells, some in brain. The element selenium is essential and is an antioxidant as are C, E and many of the B vitamins. There is interest in those that penetrate the brain - perhaps green tea for use in first aid against stroke. Hesperidin in oranges seems a strong anti-oxidant, and extracts of pine bark and grape seed. Blueberries and strawberries are very rich sources, and apples and many, probably most fresh plant foods contain antioxidants.{J}


 

10.
Sophie and John at Harry Pardee's lemon ranch. Saticoy, Ventura county, California p 2 #10

 

Sophie and Jack Barrett became friends with Mr. and Mrs. Harrry Pardee on passenger liner PRESIDENT PIERCE January-February l932 traveling from Kobe, Japan to Naples Italy. They also saw Mr. and Mrs. Pardee in Rome at the opera, and Venice, where the Barretts helped Mr. Pardee warm up in unusually cold weather- he sat on the radiator at their pension in long underware. After Jack completed Asiatic duty on oil tanker TRINITY June l939, the Barretts closed their home in Betsy Ross apartments D Street Coronado and visited Mr. and Mrs. Pardee about ten days before heading to visit grandfather Barrett in South Boston August l939. While Jack searched for an apartment - next 96l5 Shore Road Brooklyn while he worked as Branch Hydrographic Office New York, where he was at first assistant to Captain Baggalley, then in charge l940 to June l94l ---Notebook Four p 90 "THE BOSTON TRAVELER Established 1825 76 Summer Street June 6, 1908 TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN - John B. Barrett has been in the employ of this company for six months to April 1, 1907. Mr. Barrett is a young man of exceptional ability, of good address, and while in our employ proved himself a valuable man, and I can say without hesitation that he is most deserving of any position that he might seek. He left the employ of the paper to better himself in another position. Very truly yours, The Boston Traveler Company (SIGNED) George R. Gould, Superintendant of carriers." --p 117 -- 138 Puritan Road, Swampscott, Massachusetts 01907 August 15, 1970 Dear Mrs Barrett, I have carefully studied the list of names you sent me, and the only one at all familiar to me is Barry Sullivan. Barry Sullivan was my grandfather's name, but as he died long before I was born, I never knew him or much about him. I knew he was married twice, but did not know he had four children by his second marriage, although I knew there were three. I have never known anyone by the name of Mehegan so cannot help you there. = One definite fact about the Sullivans I can tell you, however. There is no longer any member of Barry Sullivan's desecendants living in the Boston area. Two daughters by his second marriage never married, and both are deceased. They had a brother Richard B.[Barry born 1881] Sullivan who survived them. He went west when he was in his late teens, and has never lived here since. He was married and had a large family. = Of the other people you mentioned as friends the only one I recall is James Moloney. The other two names I do not recognize. I regret I am unable to assist you further in your project. Sincerely, Katherine D. [Devine] Kennedy."


 

11.
Jason and Thalia Pollack, Overbrook Pennsvlvania p 2 # 11

 

I have feelings about the military, but you will see that he is not the prime target. He could have done much more if given a chance. They do not place a premium on intelligence. I am strongly against smoking - he hurt himself and my mother by smoking. He was not always easy. But the memoir is my mother's story, and they were very much in love. RED HEADED STEPCHILD is a woman's story - a LOVE STORY - old fashioned marriage for life. There is a lot of material on womens education and opportunities + obstacles. I don't want to make the DEDICATION too long, but I think I have got to work that in. My hour at Port Angeles is up - Yahho was on fritz most of hour. -JB Sophie Barrett's sister Bertha Meranski married Sam Pollack Phi Beta Kappa Harvard l920 in Chemistry June 1924 at the Meranski home at Wooster Street, Hartford. Born in Minsk, Russia, Sam Pollack developed the basic formula for Zarex soft drinks and at this time was a chemist at LaRoux Liqueurs Philadelphia and later a Vice President of Schenley Industries in QUALITY CONTROL. BLACK NOTEBOOK FOUR pp 227-8 Captain C.C. Todd U.S. Navy Acting Hydrographer, Hydrographic officDear Captain Todd: It has come to my attention that efforts are being made by other government agencies to obtain the space now occupied by the Branch Hydrographic Office in the Custom House, New York. If such agencies succeed in obtaining this space, it would cause considerable inconvenience and hardship upon the masters of merchant vessels in obtaining necessary information prior to clearing the Port of New York. The clearances of vessels from the Port of New York are handled through the Marine Division at the Custom House and through the Commander, New York District of the Coast Guard. All of such clearances are approved by the Ship Control Board, Treasury Department, Washington, D.C. Whenever the clearance of a vessel is approved, the master is given a signal number by the Coast Guard through the Marine Division at the Custom House.As you know, the average master desires the very latest information, and it is only fitting and proper that he should get this information just prior to his sailing from the Port of New York. Therefore, in my capacity as Commander, New York District, U.S. Coast Guard and Captain of the Port of New York, I urgently recommend that thr Branch Hydrographic Office in the Port of New York remain in its present location in the U.S. Custom House. Very truly yours, R.W. Dempwolf Captain U.S. Coast Guard, Commander New York District"


 

12.
Sophie and john outdoors Cynwyd Pennsylvania

 

p 2 #12--Ap 20---- You are correct that the optimal long term mass for stabilization of solar radiation is very large, but precise figures are not known to anyone at the present time. If Dr. Baliunas is still at Harvard, she may be relatively well informed on the subjects - Princeton is one center for the type of astrophysics involved. Hans Bethe was in top intellectual form when I heard his historical talk 1995- if by some miracle he still has has full powers, he is an authority. I do not have Nature magazine file here, but there was a basic article 1972 by Carl Sagan et. al. Caldeira and Kasting are primarily life scientists who set out to determine how long life generally lasts in the universe when it arises on a planet - and how large a zone around a star will have hospitable environments, but their late 1992 Nature article has bibliographical references. Observation of other stars may give clues. Rotation speed can be a factor in stellar evolution and metallicity. You wouldn't like to organize a research group and seek funding? I will continue to do all I can, but I am sixty-four years old- like this rural area where I have many friends - don't mind occasional travel but after 1996 uprooting not eager to move again soon, and I can't see myself administering a complex funded operation even if support was offered. Could you take the lead or find someone? So that is "m". Now "v squared" or is it "DELTA-V Squared"? I heard Egil Leer of U. Oslo speak in 1995. I don't want to embarass him but publicizing an offhand opinion he was kind enough to offer in conversation, but he suggested that at the present rate of solar wind, it would take on the order of a hundred trillion years for sun to lose all its mass. Suppose we set a target that we would remove eighty per cent of present solar mass in four billion years. That is just a first approximation to stimulate somebody else to argue. In the 1930s a French physiologist was reported to have proved that bumblebees cannot fly, but they do anyway. There is a solar wind, and other stars have stellar winds - observation is fundamental in science. Not all particles in a gas travel at the same speed. A temperature is an average - observations are always approximate. But there are molecules traveling at escape speed, and we just need give them a little help. There are areas of the lower temperature where temperatures are MILLIONS OF DEGREES, and experts don't completely understand why. A variety of structures are observed in the outer CHROMOSPHERE, and these can be targets, where there must be fast moving particles. Study of hotter stars will give us ideas. Look at STARS! Some stars have gaseous envelopes- are these transitory or long lasting? ANTIMATTER is great stuff if you can handle it properly. If you could beam antimatter at the solar surface, you would annihilate some of the sun's mass and generate a great deal of heat. This was a new idea last night. Of course, it may be like the mice trying to bell the cat- where do we get the antimatter- could it be contained and directed magnetically? Would antimatter be easier to handled if cooled to superconducting temperatures- though it would annihilate ordinary matter, it might be relatively inert near absolute zero? There is more than one way to skin a cat - a sentiment that may originally have referred to catFISH, someone has suggested. I won't elaborate other exotic ideas jusy now as molecules with mesons, being tested in fusion at Oxfordshire. I shall save for another E mail the possibility of disrupting the solar chromosphere [magnetically perhaps] and exposing hotter matter beneath. In some respects the escape of solar wind is comparable to evaporation - the hottest molecules escape, leaving a cooler residue. Get the resideue out of the way and let more inner heat escape. Your brother Nick was a wrestler -- I forget [or never knew, having graduated 1953] whether you were also. Wrestlers and ju-jitsu practitioners let the opponent's own momentum work in their favor. The sun will be both friend and foe. We hope mostly to apply the sun's own energy to our purposes. I find new ideas coming rapidly - I want no monopoly - team back -huddle- get other people thinking!-John Barrett --- Dave Latham wrote: David - At 5500 degrees C. many particles in the > solar surface are already just below escape velicity and need just a little boost to escape into the solar wind. My impression is that the typical speed for atoms in the solar atmosphere > is a few km/s, which is much less than the escape velocity, which is more than 500 km/s. To first order you will need to supply all the energy implied by the escape velocity to remove mass from the sun to infinity.


 

13.
John with his mother at home, Hawaii early 1942 #13 p 2

 

Pet pigeon "Quove" is mentioned in Chapter Nine "Bread on the Waters" in l943 book "The Captain Wears a Cross" by Pacific Fleet ChaPLAIN WILLIAM MAGUIRE, hero on Dec. 7, l941 at Pearl Harbor Ch NINE IX BREAD ON THE WATERS from THE CAPTAIN WEARS A CROSS 1943 by Captain WILLIAM MAGUIRE Pacific Fleet Chaplain: Among the more trying tasks that faced me in my office was handling the requests of Navy wives to help them and their children to obtain berths on board the few ships that were avilable to evacuate families of service personnel to the mainland. It became necessary, in compliance with a despatch from Washington, to make up lists of those who lived in the Hawaiian Naval District and to embark them without show of partiality.At the top of each list were placed the names of the sick, but alas, it was impossible to please everyone.The telephone rang continuously and between calls, women came with their children to the office and stressed their reasons for claiming the right to be the first to leave. At one time in December, there were over three thousand standing by to take passage for home. It did no good to explain that I had little or no connection with the business of evacuation, for they were quick to remind me that my recommendations would no go unheeded.They referred to a statement of policy which they had read in the papers to the effect that medical officers and chaplains would be consulted regarding the merits of doubtful cases. I found it quite easy, however, to be patient with the individual problems of our Navy wives.For a quarter of a century in peace time I had found countless reasons for sympathizing with Navy families on account of their nomadic way of living. The greater part of a Navy man's life is spent at sea, and this may account, strange as it may seem for the fine family spirit he has of affection and loyalty. The Navy wife, unlike the Army wife who lives on a government reservation,always faces,when she arrives at the port at which her husband's ship is based, the strenuous business of house hunting. Among my most vivid memories are the strange shacks and boarding houses Navy people called home years ago on the Asistic Station. But they were cheerful about it, and they still laugh when telling of their experiences.They will tell you about the many times they went "broke".Even though the Navy furnishes funds for transportation and the shipment of household effects,change of duty usually means spending the family's savings.Moving from the tropics to northern zones requires buying a new outfit of clothing for the family. Furniture, on arrival, is usually in need of repair; and the rents seem to grow unusually high when the Navy comes to town. Departures of ships from Honolulu were made in military secrecy. Announcements of sailings came by telephone to the homes with only a few hours alloted for getting trunks and hand-bags to the dock.This uncertainty and the necessity of staying at all times near the family 'phone put ordinary shopping tours in the class of strategic planning. If someone failed to get the word about a sailing, there was always a willing substitute waiting with bag and baggage at the ship's gangway.Navy families for months literally lived "out of a suitcase." As was to be expected, in accordance with ancient tradition, word got around that the chaplain could "fix it." ...in Honolulu.When they found their names listed among those to go, not knowing that it would be unwise to load a ship entirely with sick people, they protested and suddenly thought,"maybe the chaplain can fix that too."Those without children who had jobs in the Navy Yard and in the city shops could not understand why they had to leave. Others, whose husbands were on duty on repair ships anchored in Pearl Harbor, felt they were being badly handled.The families of those who served in our cruisers and other ships who came in periodically for brief overhaul periods,wanted to remain because it would afford an occasional family reunion which they could not have had on the mainland.It was a dificult situation, and it was my job to be a sort of buffer between the wives and the Navy Yard officers whose unpleasant responsibility it was to make the final decisions. The work of assisting the evacuees required one or more trips to the Navy Yard to plead my cases.An office had been established in the administration building, which was called the "OVERSEAS TRANSPORT[ATION] SERVICE." The one in charge was an experienced officer of the regular Navy, Commander John B. Barrett. We had served together in 1930 in the Asiatic Fleet.I marvelled at the patience of this harried officer,and I have since wondered how he kept going. On entering his office, there was usually a crowd of women and children waiting for a chance to get the ear of one of Barrett's assistants or even the ear of Barrett himself.His job was anything but a sinecure. I actually felt sorry for him every time I came and presented, with a tear in my voice, the demands of some unhappy Navy wife who complained that the blackout was ruinous to her little boy's peace of mind, or the woman of wealth who had a palace in Pasadena which needed her personal supervision.Commander Barrett was so kind and sympathetic in squeezing so many of my clients on board that I became eloquently profuse in my thanks. He was particularly kind in helping me find a place on board a transport for Captain Barry Wilson's colored maid Claribel.One day with a smile on his freckled face, he exclained, "How can I refuse you? Don't you remember the night in Chefoo when my wife arrived alone from Tientsin? They told her there wasn't a room in town, not even a park bench. A ricksha coolie got hold of you, and you scouted around until you found a room in Wineglass's boarding house. I wish I could forget, but I can't. All I can say is, 'Take it easy, chum; you're running me ragged.'" The Chefoo incident had vanished from my memory. Unknowingly, ten years before, I had cast Chinese bread upon the waters. John Barrett was equal to the challenge of that heart-breaking emergency. I can still see him checking the long list of evacuees and shaking his weary head to the accompaniemnt of a woeful, pidgin English, "No can do." But he salvaged his sense of humor, always finding time for a friendly chat. I seldom left his noisy office without a new story. One afternoon with Father [Walter} Mahler in tow, I drove out to his home on the Ala Wai to pay my respects. I had not see Mrs. Barrett since that night of house hunting in Chefoo [1931].John was about five years old. He showed us his menagerie of stuffed animals.It was the best variety of wild beasts I had ever seen.It struck me that Commander Barrett's old shipmates had the boy's collection in mind whenever they went ashore in strange and foreign ports of the world.John had a little pigeon that came every morning for crumbs and sat outside the window while they both enjoyed the radio program.He flew away when John [left] for school but always returned when the child got back, for thyen it was time to play together on the front lawn.[The pigeon disappeared for a week or so...] then One morning he discovered his bird-buddy again standing outside the window-screen, chipper and as good as new. When orders came for Father Mahler and me to proceed to San Diego for a tour of shore duty, Commander Barrett again showed that he meant what he said about the little favor I had done him in China. He visited at least three ships before deciding that he had found the one that would suit us. He had little to choose from, and he was not a bit pleased with the results. He took us one day in June [1942] to a transport, a ship that for years had made the round-trip from New York to Havana, heavily laden with freight cars. It was really an old ferry-boat, but it was the best thing afloat at the disposal of Commander John B. Barrett, U.S.N. also on p 66


 

14.
John and Jack Barrett at Geetter home 92 Fern Street, Hartford Ct. back yard p 2 # 14

 

A large Meranski family reunion occured spring l948 at the home of Sophie's youngest sister Rebekah and her husband Dr. Isadore Geetter, when their second son Albert born l935 had his bar-mitzvah. Dr. Geetter had visited the Barretts briefly in January l945, when Admiral William Furlong made it possible for him briefly to come ashore to Waikiki from the ship on which he was traveleing to medical duty in Navy Reserve in Samar, Philippines. The Barretts stopped in Hartford about August 12, l947 en route to Boston after touring the west, and on this occassion they saw Sophie's sister Esther, her sister-in-law Sadie Taylor Meranski, her sister-in-law Ethyle Berenson Meranski and her daughter Carol Jane, and Dr. and Mrs. Geetter and their five children, David, Albert, Thalia, Harold, and Suzy. On this occasion, Sophie's sister Bertha and her husband Sam Pollack came east from Cincinnati, where they moved in l946, and Sophie's young brother Peter (Israel Peter) and his wife Jen came from Baltimore. Pete had been in Georgia and France in United States Army as doctor l942-l946 while his wife Jen educated their daughter Deborah, born deaf l935. They later had a son Danny born l951. The Barretts played Michigan rummy with the youngest Geetter son Harold, in the upstairs "rumpus room" of their large new home, where Esther Merasnki lived with her sister, brother-in-law, and the five children. Dr. Geetter grew tomatoes, pears, lilacs, and a varied garden. He trained as an anesthesiologist, - became an administrator at New Britain General Hospital where his family lived until he was drafted in Navy l944 - then family relocated to Fern St. and he became administrator of Mount Sinai Hospital in Hartford.


 

15.
Sophie and Jack with d'Aubert pets.wp 2-15

 

Front yard 2415 ala Wai Boulevard. Variegated panax hedge visible in background, border of Needles property on east (Diamond Head direction) photo by John Barrett, Jr. Sophie issitting in a rocking chair purchased very early 1942 before goods from mainland became unavailable.She went shopping with Lillian Arroyo, who left Hawaii mid-1942.Her husband Lt. Commander Edward Arroyo wrote two letters in 1970: " 7608 St. Charles Avenue, Apartment E New Orleans Lousiana 27 July 1970 Dear John Thank you for the pictures, which arived in the mail today. As I recall, it was taken on Kailua Beach on the north coast of Oahu, the isle on which Honolulu is located. I don't recall your father going to the Charlestown Hospital while we were in Boston,nor do I remember hearing about Samuel Wilder King, Duke Kahanamoke, or Riley Allen.The King family were prominent in Hawaiian history years ago. I recall our doctor on the MARBLEHEAD flying over to visit the Leper colony on Molokai, and possibly your father may have acompanied him.As for Lahaina, it was a large anchorage off the southwest coast of Maui where the fleet anchored frequently after exercises. There wasn't much there at the time [May 1925] except large [sugar] cane fields.I remember Captain J.R. Van Nagel and Captain Fultz slightly.As I may have told you, I left the MARBLEHEAD about June 1926 to go to the SubmarineSchool, New London, Connecticut.In October 1926 having been disqualified physically for Sub duty, I joined the CINCINNATI in the Brooklyn Navy Yard and served on her until June 1929 when I was ordered to the Naval Academy for duty as an Instructor.Hoever, I did see the MARBLEHEAD during 1926-1929 as we operated with her in Hawaiian waters and then to China in the summer of 1927, returning to the States in company with her in July, 1929. I didn't know Miss Ashley mentioned in your last letter.The Litton Industries Destroyer contract is reviving the shipping industry on the Gulf coast.New Orleans has a very good shipbuilding facility -Avondale- which has a large contract for ship construction, both Naval and commercial. I didn't know anybody living in Cuba,but I do recall reading some of Thomason's stories about the services. Re-our visit to the Galapagos Islands we stopped there on our return from the Australian cruise to make a survey of the islands, as the charts available at the time were antiquated and out of date. I don't recall anyone going ashore there. As I recall, we, along with the RICHMOND, remained near the islands about a week taking soundings with our Sonic Depth Finders. The islands are peaks of high mountains, with great depths of water close inshore. Your father must have had a lot of friends according to your letter. I do recall his having a very friendly and interesting manner and he was a good conversationalist. Re: -problems on the MARBLEHEAD when the ship was new there were a few that I recall. I was Torpedo Officer, and our torpedo tubes were in semicircular areas just aft of the ship's beam, fairly close to the water line, so that in heavy weather and when the ship turned sharply- as in maneuvers-Green Sea would wash through the torpedo areas, salting up everything. Shortly thereafter,the tubes were removed from the ship, and the areas closed in.Your father had a difficult duty on the ship, and in my opinion he performed his job in an outstanding manner.I do recall in Papeetee [Tahiti] having had Shore Patrol duty there.It was a difficult assignment as liquor and women were cheap and the men ashore quite disorderly after a long cruise. Thank you again- Eddie Arroyo- In 1941 some Naval officers were disgusted by what seemed ineertia and incompetence of the vast Pearl Harbor machinery."


 

16.
Mrs. Rebekah Geetter with Harold probably at New Britain home p2-16

 

Sophie's youngest sister Rebekah born November l, l906 married Dr.Isadore Geetter Sunday June 16, l929 at "the Shack" near Windsor.Dr. Isadore Gettter born l902Stryj Galicia, Austrian Poland, came to US at young age, where most of his brothers andsister were born in Hartford. His father was a cainet maker. His mother's name was Stolper.After graduating from Jefferson Medical School l929, he bacame anethesiologist, then administrator at New Britain General hospital , where David l933, Albert, l935, Thalia l938, Harold (in photo l940, and Suzanne l942 were born. Dr. Geetter was drafted in Naval Reserve and served at Samar, Phiulippines. After World War II he became head of Hartford Mount Sinai Hospital, overseeing construction of modernization and expansion.Babe helped Dr. Geetter during Medical School. They became sweethearts in l922 when Babe was fifteen years old. She took typing and business courses and studied the piano. Her sons David and Albert studied violin at Hart School, Hartford. Babe hosted enormous family gatherings including many Thanksgiving dinners, Albert's bar miktvah spring l948, David's graduation from Trinity College l955,and Thalia Geetter's marriage to Michael Price of Brookline Massachusetts June l0, l96l.


 

 

[ Main ]