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

 

Pa's War garden p 32-885 {G}
49 CLAXTON PaBarrett letterl936 To: Lactoris@yahoo.com On August ll, l936 Jack's brother Wim J. Barrett head of the Policy Holder's Service Bureau the Metropn Life Insurance Company of New York, was in Milwaukee,Wisconsin & wrote Jack on the CLAXTON c/o Postmr New York," Dear Jack: I've wired you from here today but want quite sure where you'd be-so this letter: I'm on one of the US Steel cargo boats -500 feet crrying coal Detrit to Milwaukee this trip,I'm guest of Fred Erb of Detroit.It's been abeautiful trip & wonderful vacation.Now to get to the point.It is important if you can arrange it in any way that Mr. Fred Erb get aboard the boat for the trip on the CLAXTON that you are fixing for me.I'd like to have him along,& I know he'd love to go.He is President of the Eaton Erb company of Detroit= an important subsidiary of the Eaton Manufacturing Company of Cleveland.He is a prominnt citizen of Detroit & a great friend of mine. In fact he is largely responsible for the success of the foundry survey- my first job with the Metropolitan Life which I think had a lot to do witm getting known in the company.What I'd lie to have is that he & I board the CLAXTON at New York Monday August 24,l936 & go back to Norfolk & Annapols with you, If at all possible- do this favor for me.(Jack did take Bill and Erb from NYork city to Annapolis note by Sophie BarrettIf you get an answer before Friday,wire me c/o Metropolitan Life Insurance Company,Group Division,General Motors Building,Detroit.I am returning to New York Monday August l7. See you next week.Regards,Bill."On November 27,l935 Jack's father -referred to as "Pa" Barrett wrote to Jack on the CLAXTON from his home at 640 East Seventh Street in South Boston:"Dear Jack,I received your welcome letter& I was glad to learn that you are in command of the CLAXTON.Ma had been in bed for three months.-at present she seems to be comfortable & a little better than she has been (diabetes).By the way,Christmas is coming,& I hope both of you will visit us.Will try to make it pleasant as possible if it isn't too cold for you Southerners. I will tell the weatherman to keep the weather mild & warm.I had tomatoes growing in the garden until November 23, & next day was the coldest in fifty-four years at this date.Now it is warm & clear.Bill called up the other night.I have only two hens,but I will get five more next week.Jimmie Snow came the other day,& his old friend Jack Frost came tagging after him.I hadn't seen him since March l6,and he left town that day,& I would not care if he never came back.We will expect that you both will see your way clear to come home for Christmas if possible,& I will give Bill the same hint-but I believe he willbe here if possible-Pa Barrett"(John Robert Barrett was born in Boston,November 29,l854)//: 115 CLAXTON beginning p. 206 h. xix Command of the Destroyer CLAXTON: Late in l935 while exec off of the HANNIBAL Jack received orders to command the destroyer USS CLAXTON, based in Norfolk Virginia the CLAXTON had four four-inch fifty caliber guns, one three inch 23 caliber AA four twenty-one inch type torpedo tubes.Authorized Ņov 4 l9l7 Commissioned September 13, l9l9. Went out of commission June 1922. It was 314 feet 4 1/2 inches long.thgirty feet 11 1/4 width draft nine feet. Displacement 1154 tons. Built Navy Yard Mare Island. Speed 35.45 knots two masts. She had eight wardroom officer space ten petty officers and one hundred four enlisted men. It was named for midshipman Claxton, l8l2. She was transferred to the British in l940 as part of the Lend Lease program. L:t. Cdr J. B. Barrett relieved Commander F. E. Fitch of command of USS CLAXTON on 8 November l935. Admiral Hayne Ellis was the Squadron Commander. In December l935 he wrote: "My dear Barrett This is just a note to wish you and yours, your officers and men a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We have had a busy year and I want you to know how greatly pleased I am with the fine results you have gotten.It is a great pleasure to me to command such a smart efficient squadron.I hope all hands have a delightful Christmas and that the New Year brings much joy And happiness to each and every one." / 31-885 -1918- temp-: "John Barrett" Subject: RE: Are you King Lowe Harvard l958 Pi Eta president? Date: Sun, 6 Dec 1998 18:55:01 -0500 John: I am one and the same King Lowe, a former member of the Pi Eta Club. Regrettably, my Pi Eta photographs were among the casualties of my first marriage, so I am unable to help. Tom Hooper is a teacher at the Lincoln Sudbury high school, Damon Mezzacappa a highly successful investment banker at Lazard Freres in NYC, Mike Prichard, a partner in the law firm of Dorsey & Whitney in Minneapolis (where he occasionally sees Jim Ullyot)and yours truly a retired commercial banker. Health is fine and in excellent spirits. Hope your multiple e-mail addresses are some indication of your affluence. -----Original Message----- From: John Barrett Sent: Monday, November 30, 1998 8:49 PM To: kflowe@worldnet.att.net Subject: Are you King Lowe Harvard l958 Pi Eta president? Hello, King?- I am trying to locate King Lowe, Harvard l958, who was Pi Eta president and later in Dublin and New york in banking. I moved to Port Angeles in l996 - address 113 West Third St., Port Angeles, WA98362-2824 - really beautiful here near Pacific, Olympic park, mountains big conifers mild climate rather like Ireland. I am typing out a long family memoir, of which my mother wrote main text beginning l969 "Red Headed Stepchild" about family travels - my father's Navy experience two world wars - efforts to warn before Pearl Harbor attack when assigned to War Plans- immigrant history - my mother's experience at Mount Holyoke college l923 and MA l925 and in social work and statistics -and Jim Ullyot Harvard l962 has set up for me a photo website at http://www.ccilink.com/photobook or http://www.ccilink/barrett - Jim is Dan 's brother who was Sports Editor of Harvard Crimson - he is at 4326 Fremont Ave. S., Minneapolis MN 55409 - his company is "Creative Communications." He has put more than 360 photos on the website for me, and set up a separate section forr the UIllyot family. Dan is a cardiac surgeon in Burlingame California. I am wondering if you still have the Pi Eta l956-l957-l958 photos - I will pay costs of copying and mailing if someone still has them and can send me copies I can use on the website - mine were destroyed by thieves at my West Roxbury home l993. im Joslin is very good about keeping l957 classmates in touch - but I had many friends in your class and a few years after while I was at Harvard law School. It would be interesting to locate more of them - I had an E mail recently from Griff Winthrop l958 and have exchanged letters with John Soucek l959.. I would welcome news of you and friends - Tom Hooper Bob Hoffsis Damon Mezzacappa Bob Cathcart John Chappell Mike Pritchard many others. I am thinking of writing some memoirs of Harvard years after I make a little more progress on the family material. I used to audit a great many courses besides the ones I took for credit. My official major was economics- Ken Galbraith advised my thesis on hospital economics.I took courses with Edwin Boring, Edward Kemble and Gerald Holton, L. K.Nash,Jerome Bruner, Finley, Sterling Dow, Alvin Hansen, Dunlop, Cherington, Palamountain, McCloskey (Griff Winthrop reminded me of constituional law) visiting professor Craig on novel, Graubard and Conway, Brinton, organic chem in summer with Vanelli and Yates, and Bible English 35 old testament with James Munn.. I think my Economics I section man Bob Dederick is still active as a banker in Chicago. I audited Tillich, Albion,Bruce Hopper who was Sen. Kennedy's tutor,Howard Mumford Jones, Alfred Harbage on Shakespeare, Arthur Schlesinger jr, Wallace Woodworth, Jim Fowle on Fine Arts, Bundy whom I didn't like, philoposphy with john Wild, B. F. Skinner. Would you like to help me put together some memoirs? From l985-l996 IU used the Harvard botany library and natural history museums a great deal. I audited many programs at Center for International Affiars, school of Government, and was very much interested in friends of Arnold Arboretum, natural History Museums, Cambridge Entomology Cliub and such. My father was admitted to Harvard l906 - could-n't afford it - but I knew many of his friends who went to Harvard - Drs. James B. Moloney USN and Dr. Paul Withington Naval Reserve - and more.If this reaches you, I will go into more detail. My immediate opbjective apart from saying hello - is to find if someone still has those sets of Pi Eta photos that were taken in l956, l957, and l958 - mine were stolen, and they would be great for this photo website. News of you will be appreciated - Regards - John Barrett - John Barrett 113 W. Third St. Port Angeles WA 98362-2824. Wed, 09 Sep 1998 16:45:48 -0400 Re: are you Harvard l958? From: "Griffith J. Winthrop" winthrop@frontiernet.net John Barrett Dear John: How well I remember you giving us the scoop on the Constitutional law course at dear old Harvard for about three days. I don't know how you stood all those lazy jocks trying to pick your brains. As I remember, you had almost total recall of not only what each case was about; but what the Professor said about each case. Needless to say, I got a "B" and Roommate Bobby Cleary got a "C", even though he unlike me read every case. You did some good, however, because now I'm a lawyer, after twenty years retiring from the US Navy after 20 years, on 7 different ships, including command of two DE's and XO of 2 DD's. Very interesting to learn of your Naval background after all these years. I don't have much to add to your endeavors in that area, except to refer you to the US Navy web site where you can access certain portions of the archives and the US Navy Museum stuff. Saw Bobby and John Copeland at the 40th Reunion this summer. McVeight was there , although I missed Dan Ullyot. Cheers, Griff ---------- >From: John Barrett >To: winthrop@frontiernet.net >Subject: are you Harvard l958? >Date: Tue, Sep 8, 1998, 2:59 PM From JohnBarrett, Harvard l957 - Are you Grittith Winthrop, whom I knew at Harvard College in the l950's? Two years ago I moved out west. My >adresss is 113 West Third Street, Port Angeles, Washington, WA >98362-2824. I have several E mails - you can use Lactoris@yahoo.com or dcbr7@yahoo.com. Did you know Dan Ullyot's brother Jim, who has set up a website for photos connected with Barrett family memoirs I am editing- you can see the photos at http://www.ccilink.com/photobook - you may be able to get to it by "clicking the mouse on this website address. There are 211 photos now and will be more. My father attended the Revenue Cutter School >l909-l9ll - it became the Coast Guard Academy - they had very interestng summer cruises to the Mediterranean and europe l909-l9l0-l9ll. Then my father was a Naval Reserve Officer World War I and career Naval Officer l921 to l947 retirement including World War II when we lived in Hawaii. |He was briefly in War Plans and tried to warn Admiral Bloch, who was in charge ofshore facilities Pearl HarborFourteenth Naval District under Admrial Kimmel the CINCUS ("sink-us"). They disregarded my father and transferred him to Personnel. He was in charge of the Overseas Transportation Office at Pearl Harbor four years October l941 to l945 asssigning scarce shipping space after Pearl Harbor attack and all throughthe war, evacuating families and wounded and sending personnel in strict secrecy to the front.if this is the correct person, I will E mail you excerpts, from memoirs my mother andI collaborated on - most of the text is hers. She attended Mount Holyoke College l9l9-l923 got masters l925 in Economics and Sociology - social work, statistics, juvenile delinquency- lived in China l931 and Panama l934 as Navy wife. I would like to get your address and some of your classmates, especially the Winthrop House and Pi Eta people.Does anyone still have the l956-l957 and l957-l958 Pi Eta photos? Mine were destroyed by thieves l993. I might put them on the photo website if i can arrange to pay someone to make and send duplicates.I used to see John Copeland and Bob Cleary and Bob mcVey at football and hockey games and Billy Cleary and others.Addresss of any ofthe Harvard NROTC people would be welcome. How did you like Navy life? I had a couple of letters last year from John Soucek l959- his father was a pioneer of naval aviation and his uncle was flight officer of carrier HORNET when the doolittle raid set off from "\shangri-La" to bomb Topkyo April l942.I am reading a lot of Navy, Marine, Coast Guard and general history. My father graduated from Boston Latin l906 and was admistted to Harvard but could not afford tuition - tried for Naval Academy - scored high on exam for Coast Guard - loved sea, boats, and navigaton. I hope to hear from you. Best
Subject: Barrett garden
Year: 1918