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

 

Madeira Islands 1909 Costa do Norte - north coast p 35-912
from Revenue Cutter School Itasca cruises l909-l9l0-l9ll. Several cadets vaisited the Barrett family at 640 East Seventh Street South Boston, where Jack's half=brother Bill born l895 and half-sisters Mollie Feb. 11, l898 and Katie born l899 or l900 were growing up.---E mail August 21, 2001--"I REMEMBER POSTCARDS of MESSINA earthquake Sicily Decemer, 1908...[to] Gregg Patruno - I was very much interested in your Internet materials on the great December 1908 earthquake in Messina, Sicily. My father visited Messina a few months later in July or August 1909, as a cadet aboard the United States REVENUE CUTTER SCHOOL training ship ITASCA, and he collected at least one and I think several postcards showing the devastation in the city. The school became the present Coast Guard Academy, moving 1910 from Arundel Cove, South Baltimore MD to Fort Trumbull CT, south of New London and about 1932 to the present location north of New London on the Thames River. In 1909 under Captain J.E. Reinburg, the ITASCA had an unusually long cruise, leaving Arundel Cove about May 24, going through Newport News,Virginia, Azores islands, Lisbon Portugal, Gibraltar, Valencia, Spain, Villefranche and possibly Marseilles France, Genoa Italy, Naples, Messina, Bari for coal about August 3, Trieste still Austrian at that date, the Corinth canal, Phalerum-Athens and return via Malta, - I think Tangier coming or going - Azores again, and in September participation in a Hudson-Fulton anniversary celebration at various Hudson River points, I think incuding Tompkinsville and West Point. Unfortunately the postcard or probably postcards of Messina after the earthquake disappeared in 1993 thefts at my former home in West Roxbury, Massachusetts. However, I thought you might be interested to know that postcard scenes were made not long after the event, and that my father and other cadets purchased them during their visit. You might be able to find copies from museums or private sources in Messina or Italy or elsewhere. I was looking on the Internet for views of Messina after the earthquake, and I see you have one from a collection at Berkeley, but I think others existed and might turn up. In Massachusetts, I had several acquaintances from Messina and nearby. In South Boston there was a family of nine named Pistorino who were very good friends of my late aunt Mollie [Mary] Barrett. I have a website http://www.ccilink.com/barrett with a memoir "RED HEADED STEPCHILD" by my mother and myself and currently about 550 photos, with a search-engine by years at bottom of web-pages. There is a good deal of material from the Revenue Cutter School cruises 1909-10-11, though the Messina postcards are lost. There are also two 1963 photos of my aunt traveling to Rome and Europe with her friends the Pistorinos, whose father's family were from Messina, and whose mother was a Daly of count Cork, Ireland ancestry. In West Roxbury Massachusetts my father knew a fruit grocer Larry Espiritu-Santu whose family were from the Lipari Islands, and our barber Frank d"Agostino knew a good deal about the Italian Garda Costa. He and my father enjoyed growing tomatoes. I think post card views of the Messina earthquake are probably still in existence. Best wishes- John B. Barrett 113 West Third ST., Port Angeles WA 98362-2824
Subject: Madeira postcard from ITASCA cruises(9)
Year: 1910