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

 

916.
Sophie and Jack Barrett in Sultan's Garden, Johore, Malaya l932

 

#916 January PRESIDENT PIERCE honeymoon tour (7) {J} {S}


 

917.
Sophie Barrett in Sultan's Gardens, Johore, Malaya January l932 p 35-917 (7){J}{S}

 

#917


 

918.
Sophie in Peking CHINAchapter 1931 {S}{9}

 

"Center of Universe" Peking #918 p 36-Sophie visited Peking twice, February 1931 as tourist and November 1931 when Jack proceeded there for physical examination for promotion to Lieutenant Commander. That autumn he studied for the promotion exam, and was helped by exceptionally favorable fitness report from gunboat TULSA's Commander Paul Rice, based in part on outstanding performance of the ship in Asiatic Fleet annual gunnery competition near Chefoo in summer 1931- Jack Barrett was TULSA gunnery officer and worked with Marines under William W. Paca, later Commander of Camp Caitlin Oahu l944-l946. At PekingSophie met Marine William Rupertus, who had recently lost wife and daughter with scarlet fever. Rupertus was working on gunnery problems, and Jack had several visits with his former Revenue Cutter School ITASCA shipmate during 1930 and 1931. RED HEADED STEPCHILD p. 504 On April 17, 1970 John junior received from New Zealand a letter from Mrs. Marjory Rainey, known mostly as "Peter" Rainey. In 1925 she was the fiancee of the son of Jack's New Zealand friend, Captain Rainey, about whom we wrote in the chapter on the MARBLEHEAD.She wrote: "Dear John Barrett, I was very interested and grateful for your letter and copies of photographs even though it was sad to learn that you had lost your father. I wasn't exactly surprised as in his last communication of Christmas 1968 he was fighting some ailment. My husband died six years ago of cancer aged sixty-four. I was intensely interested to read the copy of your father's diary as I remembered so much of it. Nineteen twenty-five was just before I married Captain Rainey's son John. I am called by two names, Marjory and Peter, usually Peter. Over the years your father sent out a picture of you folks every Christmas. I still have them. Both Mr. and Mrs. Haskell Anderson have died, and I don't know where any of the family are. The Andersons had a lovely country house about three miles from where I live, and that is not quite half way between Wellington and Palmerston North that your father mentioned. Captain Rainey was not in any of the photographs that you sent. The Lancelot Moores strangely came to live next door to us when we were first married, and Leslie Taverner was Mrs. Moore's sister, so I know quite a lot of the people mentioned. I have two married sons - one a doctor and the other a lawyer, so I haven't far to go for either medical or legal help. I have one granddaughter and six grandsons, so the name Rainey won't die out in a hurry. Now that I live alone with nearly four acres of property, it is lovely to have lots of family to come to see me. It was good while reading your letter to re-live those early days, and I do remember your father so well, and the times we had together. -Marjory Rainey."


 

919.
Jack Barrett's "Aunt Maggie" Margarget D. Buckley 36-#919

 

from locket Margaret D. Buckley of Melrose l870-1921= youngest sister of Jack's mother - helped her sister Minnie Look after Jack at Park and Baxter Streets Melrose, where she lived with her immigrant parents Daniel A. Buckley 1827-1910 and Mary Ann O Farrell Buckley his wife 1831-l896.She and Minnie worked at Converse Ruibber Company Malden. Their eldest brother John Buckley was a pattern maker many years at Charlestown Navy Yard - another brother Daniel Buckley moved to Brooklyn, where a number of children were lost with scarlet fever,but Dan's daughter Alice had family of six who returned to Melrose and Chatham, Massachusetts. //Dear Buzzy, Below I have typed out an important Dec l9,l974 letter of mother;s to Mrs. Elaine Trehub, now retired as College History Librarian at Mount HolyokeCollege's Williston library. She took a great interest while mother was alive, and was extremely helpful when I made a number of visits to campus l987-8. She is a l953 Radcliffe graduate and took pstchology courses with Professor Edwin Boring, as I did my freshman year l953-4 at Harvard. He is remembered for his work on history of Experimental Psyvchology. His wife was a Mount Holyoke alumna probably class of l908, and I saw her on stage at her 75 th Reunion in l983, when my mother was attending her sixtieth reunion. This letter contains a great deal of information onmothewr's activities and interest over many years, though it was written quickly and is very condensed. After I get the text edited, i shall have to prepare explanatory notes. It deals with quite a few sentsive subvjects, and as you will see, one of them is your application at Mount Holyoke, which was turned down.You motrher and my mother were disappointed of course. If you care to share any comments or recollections, I will appreciate them very much. Possibly your grades or test scores were not up to the level they were getting in a period when Mount Hoilyoke was in demand as a prestige women's school. If you feel you did not get proper consideration, I would be very much interested, and why. At various periods, college admission policies have considered geography - they may have favored out-of New England students, as schools try for national and international prestige. At other times there was affirmative action for minorities or people with various extra-curricular skills, such as sports or music, or rich relatives. Some schools give alumnae preference, though more for sons and daughter than for aunts perhaps.It would have been nice if my mother could have had close ties with the younger generation at the college, where she spent six years and was junior faculty. Two West Roxbury girls we knew did attend Mount Holyoke, as the letter mentions, and my mother interested them. When Marˆlyn Donovan applied, they told her they had never had an applicant from her parochial high school, Mount Saint Joseph's in Brighton or Allston boston - and she may have received some affirmative consideration in the interests of diversity. My mother's encounter with Miss Woolley on the train June 16, l929 gets slightly different emphasis here than in other accounts and conversatipons, here mother says my father requested an introduction to Miss Woolley, elsewhere she says Miss Woolley saw her and waved - anyway, though Miss Woolley's response to my father was slightly sharp "That isn't a very individual com[pliment for Sophie!"- it wqas all humorous and god-natured - my father had already shown a romantic interest - he had gone out of the way to visit Sophie's brother Abe aND ETHYLE DEC. 1928 WHEN HE WAS INSPECTING NAVY RESERVISTS IN HARTFORD - but when he was ordered to {Philippines June l929, they had to make a decision - they attended your mother and father's wsedding Sunday June 16, and then they were married at New York city Hall the afternoon of Friday June 21, when my father had to rush to catch his train for Chicago, San Francisco, and transportation on ammunition ship NITRO to Philippines and sea duty. We hoped a biography would stress Miss Woollley impact on many students. My mother used to remember Miss Woolley's ideas of proper ladylike conduct in many situations in navy life - though this letter gives a rather uninhibited account of Miss Woolley whispering in her ear at key junctures.* Please study letter below. Sunday Aug 30 I telephone - Dr. Geetter but now answer about 7:30 PM Please give him my regards for Holidays - Gut Yontiff - Gut Yur! - John Barrett Loretto's name is Ann Loretto Buckley


 

920.
View from Mrs. Celestine Barbour's residence Kailua, Oahu 1991

 

Mrs. Celestine Barbour was John junior's first grade teacher at Thomas Jefferson School Waikiki l942-l943. Her family lived four blocks east of the Barretts on Ohua Street Waikiki, where the Barretts often visits for nearly six years l941-l947, and where John sometoime played the piano. John visited the Barbours in Halloween costume October l943, but a fine photo of Mrs. Barbour and her husband John with Sophie and Jophn Barrett was destroyed by thieves at West Roxbury l993.John visited Mrs. Barbour for her ninetieth birthday celebration July l9i90 and stayed at Laniolu Retirement Home Waikiki where she then lived. As Laniolu planned to relocate, Mrs. Barbour moved in1991 to another retirement facility at Kailua on widnsward oahu, and she sent this fine view from her apartment l991. The Barretts often drove through this area l946-7 after the end of World War II.


 

921.
Sophie Barrett looks at colorful peacock Kapiolani Park Zoo Waikiki l941 p 35 #921

 

The Barretts spent many happy hours at Kapiolani Park about six blocks east of their Ala Wai home. Sophie enjoyed weekly band concerts there.An Africa crowned crane, birds of paradise, a rhea, a cassowary, a monkey, an open cage for hundreds of pigeons, a penguin were some of the exhibits. Banyans and "ironwood" Casuaraina trees were features of the large grounds beyond the cages. A wallaby was added about l945, and John enjoyed feeding a cage of goats. The family swam nearly ever day at Waikiki Beach, even though it was necessary to walk though a gate in barbed wire in early l942. RED HEADED STEPCHILD p 578 On 16 May 1923 Jack received orders on the WYOMING: "When directed by the Commanding Officer, you will regard yourself detached from duty on board the USS WYOMING and will proceed to Newport, Rhode Island, and on 2 July 1923 will report to the President, United States Naval War College for duty under instruction." He took the Junior Course. At the Newport Naval War College J.R.P. Pringle was the Chief of Staff July 1923 to 1924, and E. S. Jackson was President of the War College. Jack took one month's leave, then attended the War College to June 1924, when he was ordered to the MARBLEHEAD.He was awarded a diploma when he completed the Junior Course and wrote his thesis on TACTICS. We have an undated paper from the Naval War College, which reads: "In connection with this request, you might be interested to know that the President of the War College on your last fitness report recommended you for duty under Naval Intelligence, Naval Attache/ or Asisstant Naval Attacvhe/ and language student."


 

922.
Mollie, Grandpa, and Sophie Barrett & Buick and "Skippy" 1933 Back yard, 640 East Seventh Street, South Boston }C{p 36-922

 

#922 p 36 [Photo of an Eagle Boat (#17) manufactured by Ford Company appears at p 24-783] B-O-S-T-O-N E-A-G-l-E- 1932-1933 Minnehaha "Do you think we'll get to Portland tonight?" CHAPTER begins with Barretts crossing stormy North Atlantic to New York on PRESIDENT LINER VAN BUREN March 1932, with Sophie's coat caught in ship door on deck in rough weather-- TEXT: "I could not free it & I was petrified with fear. Finally I unbuttoned the coat, got my arms free of it took the coat off left it stuck in the door which I could not open. I ran as fast as I could to another door,which I couldn't open either.I was freezing on that cold deck when I saw someone with a flashlight coming along- a sailor who couldn't open the door either- but he took me down a ladder to a more sheltered door on the deck below, & I went above inside.My husband recovered my winter coat.Everyone agreed that I could have been blown overboard on that weather side.We lost more than five days on that trip across the Atlantic, arriving March 29 in New York. We were due to dock in New York very early in the morning, but we decided to stay aboard for breakfast,while waiting for the health and customs officials.We were out on deck on our way to the ship dining room for breakfast when a tall,good-looking man in his late thirties spotted my husband and smiled happily as he hailed us and rushed over to Jack. He was my husband's brother Bill, whom I had never met and had not expected to see at the ship.I knew he would be glad to see his brother after nearly three years in the Asiatic station, but his relief and overwhelming joy made me wonder what was behind the emotion.The first thing he said was, "Jack, I read in the New York Times that you have been promoted to Lieutenant Commander. Congratulations. That will add ten years to Pa's life."But that is not the reason I am so glad to see you. Since I have to be at work before 9:30 AM I decided to come to the ship early,see you in your cabin & leave.So I asked the purser for the number of your room.He told me the number but said that he would have to tell me that you were"dead drunk" & had been drunk most of the voyage." My husband had not had anything to drink throughout that voyage. Apparently mistaken identity was involved.We wanted Bill to have breakfast with us,but he had eaten & was in a hurry to get to his job at the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company in New York,where he headed the Policy Holders Service Bureau.He invited us to his apartment at Ten Mitchell Place & asked us to be his dinner guests. While we were in China, Bill Barrett's first wife Catherine Miley had died of cancer in Frebruary 1931. He gave much of their furniture to his father and mother in South Boston, and he gave us his Buick automobile, which we drove around New England 1932-3, in Virginia and Panama 1933-1936 and until we got a 1937 Lincoln Zephyr in Philadelhia. Not long after Bill left, my brother Ben came aboard the ship. He greeted Jack, & we explained that we had two days for Jack to get to Boston because the ship VAN BUREN arrived in New York six days behind schedule We had planned to stay aboard the Van Buren for a leisurely trip from New york to Boston. Instead, Jack had to proceed by rail leaving me in Hartford. Ben gave me the bad news that my brother Harry had passed away during my absence in December l93l of pneumonia. My eldest brother had severe influenza while in the Army at Fort Devens during the war.So my sober husband & I with my pocket book held closely to me eventually walked ashore in New York city- Lieutenant Commander & Mrs.(15) John B. Barrett, U.S. Navy. At noon Ben, my brother Abe,& my father -all from Hartford-joined us at a hotel where we registered,visited & had a late lunch.Eventually my family left for Hartford, & that evening Jack went to Bill's apartment while I visited my dear friends-Anne & Ivan McCormack-with whom I had lived for three years at 27 Commerce Street and through whom I met Jack. The next morning March 30 -a raw cold day in New York City- I went to see Anne's two sisters -Betty & Elizabeth Taylor of West Twelfth Street.Then Jack and I traveled to Hartford together by train. We went to my brother Abe's home in Hartford,but Jack left right after dinner for Boston to report for duty March 31 the next morning at the First Naval District at the Navy Yard in Charlestown while I remained a week visiting my family in Hartford and New Britain.APRIL 1932 At this time my sister Esther lived with her brother Abe Meranski and his wife Ethyle and their son Ted and daughter Carol Jane in Hartford. My widower father roomed with a friend Mr. Fishman, and my youngest sister Babe and her husband Dr. Geetter had a small residence at the New Britain hospital, where he was medical director. My sister Bertha Pollack and her family were at Overbrook near Philadelphia, and my youngest brother Pete,now a pediatrician, was living with his wife Jen's family in Baltimore. I saw my brother Harry's widow Sadie and her sisters Minnie Deutch and Eva and Marion Taylor. [RETURN FROM ORIENT AND EUROPE end?] [BEGIN? E_A_G_L_E _1_9 chapter] JACK'S ORDERS Jack received orders 12 April 1932: Commandant First Naval District Boston to Lieutenant Commander John Berchmans Barrett: "You wll assume command of USS EAGLE 19 on 14 April 1932.. This duty is in addition to your regular duty as Assistant Personnel officer and Inspector-Instructor of Reserves in First Battalion Boston and in the Lynn Battalion." Charlestown was north of the Charles River two or three miles from South Boston, where the Barretts lived. SOPHIE MEETS THE BARRETT FAMILY, APRIL 1932 I had never met Jack's father or step-mother or living sister Mollie. Jack was sleeping during this time in the freezing cold attic at 640 East Seventh Street,in the room where he had stayed as a boy,but he did not consider it suitable for me at that time of year. Jack's father though very fit, was elderly and retired. There were only two large bedrooms in the heated second floor quarters of the two-family house, and "Pa" Barrett shared one of them with Jack's stepmother,chronically sick with diabetes and a nervous disorder,-while Mollie- Jack's living sister and the only one of the children at home in 1932- had to have the other bedroom to be near her mother, who required considerable nursing. So we were really homeless as we had been all our married life. VACCAROS, LANES, HURLEYS, JOE BUCKLEY After spending a week in Hartford,I came by train to Boston,and Jack and his old friend from Boston Latin, John Vaccaro, met me at the South Station and took me by taxi to the Victoria Hotel not far from the center of Boston-where we took a room that was much too expensive for us.We took most of our meals at Hunt's- a nearby cafeteria. I had never been to my husband's home at 640 East Seventh Street. Mollie at first suggested that I wait and not visit them at once because of the disorder caused by extensive plastering and painting being done in the kitchen and pantry by Mollie's uncle John Lane of Melrose.But my husband wanted me to meet his closest boyhood friend Joe Buckley and his wife, who lived two blocks away at M and Eighth Streets, so one evening soon after my arrival he left me with the Buckleys for a short visit while he visited his folks. A few evenings later on April l5, l932 Joe Hurley, plant manager of the Boston Post came to the Victoria for dinner prepatory to driving us to Cambridge Latin School, where my husband was scheduled to judge public speaking of contestants(a Navy public relations activity).Joe's wife, Peggy Strickland Hurley,was in Ireland at the time. We stopped in South Boston to pick up Mollie Barrett, whom I had never met- she came with us to the meeting.She had some trouble on the steep stairs up to the Auditorium. and she made some remark about the climb,and I leaned to support her from behind, and it struck her funny.That was the beginning of a long and affectionate relationship. "MINNE-HA-HA" - JACK JUDGES PUBLIC SPEAKERS One of the students recited Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's "Hiawatha" and the audience found his repeated delivery pronouning "Min-ne-ha-ha" amusing and began to laugh each time he repeated the name.Finally he gave up and sat down. Nonetheless he won first prize, I believe. Mollie explained to me in the car on the homeward journey that her house was a mess because her uncle Johnnie Lane was doing a lot of plastering for them without charge and had to fit the work in his free time between paying jobs.However she invited me to dinner for the next evening saying she hoped I would understand the conditions- a sick mother and an upset home.As I climbed the back stairs about five o'clock in the afternoon, Mollie called down a friendly greeting to me, and her mother was right behind her. Pa Barrett, in the kitchen gave me a very friendly handshake and was my loyal and devoted friend for the rest of his life - more than ten years. Uncle Johnnie Lane was plastering in the pantry. After a most delicious steak broiled by Pa Barrett over the live coals in his kitchen stove - with boiled potatoes, green beans and tea, Mollie washed the dishes and was very pleased when I asked for a dish towel to dry the dishes, and Jack also helped with a dish towel. Pa Barrett that evening taught me to play their regular card game "high-low-jack"- a game we continued to enjoy Sunday evenings for the rest of our duty in Boston. Mollie had a small Whippet car & helped me find an apartment at 422 Columbia Road in Dorchester within walking distance of the Barrett home on City Point. Before we left the hotel,Peggy Hurley returned from Ireland.She gave lectures on her visit before women's clubs, telephoned to invite me to be her guest at one of the lectures & also invited Jack & me to dinner at her home at Moss Hill Road,Jamaica Plain.As Joe was Managing Editor of the Boston Post, the guests were reporters, who listened with respectful attention to Jack's long story of his experiences aboard one of many ships that tried to rescue the submarine S-4,which had sunk in deep water off Provincetown in December 17, l927. When we moved into our apartment at 422 Columbia Road in Dorchester,we bought furniture at Paine furniture company and with the help of the rugs we had bought in Peking, China, the linens, carved chests, carved chow bench and nest of tables purchased in Shanghai we had a most attractive home even if it was just a small rear apartment in the back of the building with no view other than garages.PAWNEE When economist Frances Manning who had been one of my Statistics students at Mount Holyoke College 1924-1925 came to spend a weekend with us, Jack invited the Captain of a large visiting warship to be our dinner guest. He was an outstanding Annapolis Naval Academy graduate, a classmate of Admiral Cross. I went to a lot of trouble to give him a good dinner, using our gate-leg table and a lovely embroidered linen table cloth but I was annoyed when he asked me if mine was a furnished apartment- in spite of our lovely new rugs and Chinese furniture! One time when we were playing bridge, I suddenly felt his hand upon my knee under the table. Then I realized I knew who he was, as I had heard talk of an officer Navy wives called, "Paw knee." He had been Governor of Guam and I then remembered I had heard stories that he was known among Navy wives as "Pawnee." I won't give his name, as he was a kindly, brilliant man who coldn't control his roving hands. I slapped his hand, and he laughed. But he invited all of us for dinner aboard his ship the next night and did what he could to help entertain our house guest. Frances liked him, as he was a dashing figure in his boat cape aboard the ship. "ANITA GOT THE ASHES ON THE GOLD RUG" Jack's brother Bill Barrett also visited us on Columbia Road in 1932 or 1933 with Anita Douredoure of Philadelphia, whom he dated for four or five years. Jack Barrett never forgot that Anita smoked cigarettes and burned a hole in the beautiful gold Chinese rug we had just puchased in 1931 made at Nicholson Rug factory in Tientsin. Nevertheless Anita remained our friend and visited us when we lived in Cynwyd in 1937 and wrote hilariously funny letters in 1970s and 1980s, with much useful information on business friends in steel, oil and chemical industries. There is a turn on the road in nearby Franklin Park that MIT-graduate engineer Bill Barrett always used to say was "banked wrong" - going toward Forest Hills near site where Lemuel Shattuck hospital was later constructed. BOEING + SAFECO The Depression was in full force in l932. One morning my husband told me that he still had a little money left after the trip in Europe, and he was going to Kidder Peabody to buy some stock.As he left I called after him, "Buy some General Electric. " He also bought United States Steel, Curtis Wright, International Harvester. The purchases were very well timed at the very bottom of the stock market depression. We held many of the stocks until the 1960s. Several aviation stocks were separated in 1934 by anti-trust action, and Boeing proved to be Jack's best performer, which helped pay for John's education at Harvard. My best stock was the General American Insurance, which my 1928 New York boyfriend Bill Nuremberg had recommended, though I had a long wait - my original investment was five hundred dollars - the company, renamed Safeco, based in Seattle, suddenly soared in the 1960s. Our two best stocks proved to be in the Seattle area. At the Charlestown Navy Yard Jack was an assistant Personnel officer in command of the EAGLE l9 training Reserves.His immediate superior was Captain Nelson,a Reserve Officer. Captain Jesse B. Gay was another of the superior officers. At least one night a week Jack went to Lynn to work with the Reservists there.In summertime he took Reservists for weekend cruises to train them in ship handling.They left the Navy Yard Saturday right after lunch, remained aboard on cruise for dinner Saturday night & for breakfast Sunday morning & returned about noon Sunday-before dinner.Mollie & I usually drove to the EAGLE l9 at the Navy Yard to pick up Jack & take him to the South Boston family home for Sunday dinner.In the afternoon we would walk along the beach to Castle Island, return at supper time & play "High-Low-Jack'with Jack's father in the evening. MAY 1932 YELLOW loose Hobbs & Warren pages-3a..AURORA BOREALIS AT BAR HARBOR On the Memorial Day weekend in May, 1932, the EAGLE 19 went to Bar Harbor. It may have been on this occasion Jack got to know a Bar Harbor dentist Dr. Ells, whom he called upon in the summer of 1948 when Jack and John visited Acadia National Park and Pinkham Notch in The Presidential Mountains of New Hampshire. Jack watched the sunrise from Cadillac Mountain, where the earliest sunrise in the United States occurs. There was a remarkable aurora borealis display one night, and Jack sent in a report that was published in the Naval Hydrographic Office "Hydrographic Bulletin" January ll,l933:" AURORA The commanding officer of the USS EAGLE l9 reports that on the night of May 29-30,l932 a unusual display of aurora borealis was observed when in (approximately) latitude 43 degrees 44' North longitude 68 degrees 38'West. Between 2200 & 2400 (hours) the navigational lights showed beyond their normal visibilities. At about 2300 (plus 4 time) flashes,which at first had the appearance of searchlight beams,were observed in northerly & northeasterly directions.These gradually increased in intensity & extent until about 0300 (hours plus 4 time) the entire sky was lighted all around the horizon.The rays also appeared to originate in the south & east.There was a tremendous flashing overhead giving an effect of huge flashes blazing up all around with the ship as a center.The resulting illumination was sufficient to permit the reading of newsprint without other lights,& showed all the details of a sailing vessel about one half-mile distant.During the interval of this display the sea was smooth & highly phosphorescent; the barometer was 30:l8 inches; and wind SW (southwest) force 3.No abnormal compass errors were apparent." (Sophie Barrett notebook #4 page 9)."DO YOU THINK WE'LL GET TO PORTLAND TONIGHT?" During this weekend Jack was drving toward Portland, Maine in the Buick with Sophie and Mollie as passengers.They decided to give a ride to an elderly gentleman who seemed confused, and as they drove along, their new passenger kept asking, "Do you think we'll get to Portland tonight?" He also pointed at Jack several times and asked Mollie, "Is this your son?" which was not very flattering, as Mollie was nine years younger than Jack. We managed to locate the gentleman's son in the Portland area, and he thanked Jack for returning his father, explaining that he had been a well-known Portland business man."Do you think we'll get to Portland tonight?" became a standing family joke, especially on trips. On the last day of our visit we drove to Bar Harbor even though it was a dark rainy day, and the views were obscured. As the afternoon wore on the weather deteriorated into hard rain and fog, and I kept reminding Jack that we hadn't eaten since a light breakfast and that we still had about a three hundred miles trip to Boston. Finally Jack without stopping to eat, started the homeward journey in a downpour which slowed our progress. Mile after mile and hour after hour we drove in darkness and in rain in almost complete silence.It was three o'clock in the morning when I insisted we stop at a joint to eat, and although Jack objected to the diner, he did stop. Except for two truck drivers we were the only customers at that hour. Restored by food and coffee, we continued in the foul weather and eventually reached Boston at daybreak. Then Jack took a train back to Portland. SEPTEMBER 1932 from Red Headed Stepchild main text Notebook Two p 546-7 Letters and papers JOE CZARNETSKY COMMENDATION "When Jack was commanding officer of the EAGLE 19 in Boston in 1932 and 1933, one of his chiefs [chief warrant officers] received a letter of commendation: 'From Commandant: First Naval district 8 September 1932 To: Joseph Czarnetsky CBM Via Commanding officer USS EAGLE 19 [Jack Barrett] Subject: Commendation: The Commandant has been informed that, on the morning of Sunday 4 September 1932, when a fire was discovered on the pier of the Fisher's Island Navigation Company dock at New London, Connecticut, by men of the USS EAGLE 19, you immediately organized a fire party from the crew of the USS EAGLE 19 and dispatched them in a vessel - a motor boat with necessary equipment to extinguish the flames, and reported your action to the Officer of the Deck and Acting Commanding Officer. 2. Your prompt action and good judgment resulted in the extinguishment of the fire before it had gained headway and probably averted serious damage to the property of the Fisher Island Navigation Company. 3. The Commandant commends you for your initiative and good judgment on this occasion. J. {Jesse] B. Gay Captain USN Acting.' First endorsement USS EAGLE 19 Newport, Rhode Island, 13 September 1932 From Commanding Officer USS EAGLE 19 - Delivered John B. Barrett, Lieutenant Commander, USN. - Mrs. Czarnetsky sent the original letter of commendation to us in 1971 after her husband's death and asked us to preserve it. On March 16, 1971, Mrs. Czarnetsky wrote that Joe had died on March 14, 1969. He first joined the EAGLE 19 October 1, 1930, reported on board for active duty as ship's keeper in connection with the organization, training, and drilling of the United States Naval Reserves. According to Joe's log he spent quite a few years on the EAGLE 19 up to December 29, 1939. he was very proficient at knots and fancy rope work. John Barrett junior visited Mrs. Emily Czarnetsky in August 1990 in Bozeman, Montana and met her son David Czarnetsky and her daughter Pat, son-in-law Brian Sladick, and granddaughter- the Sladick family.OCTOBER 1932 "THE RIVER OF DOUBT" In October 1932 and again the summer of 1933 EAGLE 19 required extensive repairs at Portsmouth Navy Yard, New Hampshire, and my husband drove back and forth from Boston almost every day. Frequently I rode with him. He would often point out the Parker River in northern Massachusetts along the way. He nicknamed it "The River of Doubt", alluding to the river of that name in Theodore Roosevelt's travels in South America around 1909. NOVEMBER The day before Thanksgiving 1932 my younger sister Babe and her husband Dr. Geetter drove up from New Britain and visited us at 422 Columbia Road. Conditions were already icy in November, and they wrote that they had a very difficult trip back home.Thanksgiving Day Jack and I ate turkey with the Barretts at [page 4a] 640 East Seventh Street. Bill came up from New York, and Mollie, Bill, Jack and I walked along the Strandway to Castle Island in the afternoon.+ [from YELLOW 5a] Just before Christmas 1932 Mollie drove me to Melrose in her Whippet car to take "a turkey and all the fixings" to her aunt Kate - Mrs. Kate Kernan.Then she drove to the Lane homestead at 147 Grove Street, which had been in the family since 1886. There among others I met her cousins Eileen and Myles Lane and their mother Mollie's aunt, Mrs. William Lane. On Christmas Eve Bill was home again, and the four of us went to Beacon Hill to hear the carolers. Since it was very cold, we left about midnight. Christmas Day about eleven A.M we went to see Mr.and Mrs.Dan and Sue Lyne at their big residence on Beacon Street near the Boston-Newton line facing the reservoir at Boston College. We had dinner at 640 East Seventh Street. December 27 Jack took photos of the house at 640 and views of the snow along Seventh Street. Durng the winter my Mount Holyoke College classmate Clara Michal frequently came over for dinner on Friday nights at 422 Columbia Road.She was doing family case work in South Boston and lived on Park Drive in the Back Bay-Fenway area. Mollie met Clara a few times. About one night a week my husband went to Lynn to work with reservists. His hours at Charlestown Navy Yard were nine to five and he drove back and forth in the Buick.On Saturdays and on Sunday mornings in the spring and summer Jack would be out at sea training many different Reserve Units on board the EAGLE 19. On Sunday mornings I would walk about two miles along Columbia Road and the Strandway to 640 for Sunday dinner. Although my sister Bertha did not get to Boston from Philadelphia during 1932-3, her husband Sam Pollack had dinner at my apartment one evening while visitng his family on Canterbury Street, Dorchester. The large Pollack family came to Boston in 1909 from Minsk, Belorussia, and I met most of them in June 1925, when I was looking up records at the Judge Baker Foundation for the Department of Labor. I saw Sam's sister Naomi Lee and her husband Victor a number of times, and we later got to know Sam's youngest brother Harry, a lawyer, and his wife Yetta.MAY 1933 HAILSTONES + MOUNT HOLYOKE TENTH REUNION May 1933 marked the tenth anniversary of my graduation from Mount Holyoke College. I left Dorchester Friday afternoon in the touring car of my classmate Ruth Connally. Jack and Mollie followed us in the Buick.They planned to go only part of the way, just for an outing as Jack wanted to go to bed early, as he was taking his EAGLE Boat out to sea Saturday morning. The trip was uneventful until we were only a [5a] few miles from college.Then the heavens opened up with lightning,thunder, and hail- some of the hailstones being the size of a golf ball - in late May or June! The stones made three holes in the roof of Ruth's car, and one large hailstone landed right in my lap. We reached the college in South Hadley safely, - then I was surprised to find that Jack and Mollie were still with us in the other car. I was distressed that they had to start back while it was still thundering with hail and bright lightning. Late that night I received a telegram from Jack saying they were safely home again after a rough ride. Later Friday evening I received a talephone call from Miss Amy Hewes, my former advisor and head of the Department of Economics and Sociology. She called me a "scalawag" for not calling on her as soon as I arrived, then invited me to her home for Saturday breakfast. We chatted happily until I had to leave for the Alumnae Parade. Clara Michal rode back to Boston with Ruth and me Sunday afternoon.Sometime in 1933 my sister Esther came up from Hartford, where she was working as a bookkeeper for Swift and company.She rode by train. Mollie came to 422 Columbia Road, and Jack rode the four of us to Nantasket Beach, the South Shore resort.Several photos were taken that day, one of Esther, one of Jack, and a group of Mollie,Jack,and me.One one occasion my brother Harry's widow Sade Meranski came to visit, along with her sister Minnie Deutch. During 1932-3 I met Fanny and Mary Miley at least three times. They were the sisters of Bill Barrett's late wife Catherine (Miley). They always spoke highly of Bill's heroic efforts to obtain the latest treatments for their sister Catherine [6a] during her year and a half struggle with cancer. I first met them for lunch at Mollie's house not long after I arrived. This was in the spring 1932. Another time when my Mount Holyoke friend Frances Manning was visiting, she, Mollie and I joined the two Miley girls for a drive to Humarock on the South Shore in the Miley car. The purpose of this trip was to watch the EAGLE 19 pass close to Humarock. JACK'S SHIP HANDLING Another time Ruth Connally drove me south to New Bedford or possibly Fall River to meet the EAGLE 19. We waited on the dock for Jack and his father.We planned to have dinner with them ashore and then drive back to Boston while Jack and his father returned to the ship. Two young men in a small motor boat saw Ruth and me, brought their boat alongside the dock, and started a lively conversation. Suddenly the EAGLE 19 appeared as though from nowhere, with Jack on the bridge, and when he saw the small boat in the space reserved for him, he expertly and speedily brought his ship in to the dock, scaring the wits out of the two young boys, as he missed hitting them by only a few inches, and the wake of the EAGLE 19 gave them a bath and a hard time. Jack's elderly father admired his handling of the ship and agreed with Jack that he saved the boys rather than hurting them as he could not have stopped his engine soon enough to avoid hitting them, so he had to steer clear of them at great speed. Ruth and I thought Jack would split the dock in two, but no damage was done. His senior officer was pleased with his handling of the Eagle Boat and his evening work with the Marines. The area was the EAGLE boat's assigned landing site. The crew were startled though impressed by his handling of the boat. It was skillful but not dangerous as my husband knew the capabilities of the boat - just what it could do. [JOHN BARRETT note August 2000 - I have transcribed this account from my mother's handwritten text as she wrote it, but it raises some questions as to my father's judgment and Navy policy, and interpretation may depend on facts that are not available. The experience showed my mother the capabilities of the EAGLE boat and my father's dexterity and experience in handling it. There may be a question whether he should have seen the boys sooner, but they were in an area where they probably should have kept out. The ability to land quickly would be of great value in amphibious operations in World War II, but there may be a question whether the Navy should have done more to keep civilians at a safe distance. A NAVAL INSTITUTE magazine article by Captain H.A.V. VON PFLUGK September 1941 Vol. 67 No 463 pp 1287-1295 suggests at pp 1289-1290 that shallow bottom may interfere with ship handling maneuvers, so a slower speed would have been indicated if the bottom was shallow, but the depth at this dock I do not know. An excerpt from Von Pflugk appears in FOOTNOTE at END of this CHAPTER.] ENGINEER BILL RUNS OUT OF GAS! Another time Jack's brother Bill was driving Mollie and me to New Bedford to bring Jack home, and the car stalled. Bill eventually realized he was out of gas and had to walk to a gasoline station for a can of gas.This delayed us, and Jack never let Bill forget that HE- the MIT-trained engineer, had forgotten to fill the gas tank. ROOSEVELT CURTAILS NAVY RESERVE BUDGET JUNE 1933 SPRINGFIELD CRUISE covered by Springfield Republican newspaper June 18, 1933.The Eagleboats were intended to be useful for torpedoing submarines but were replaced by more advanced and specialized torpedo boats and landing craft developed l930's.Reservists benefited from the training, at a time when the United States wwas placed at a disadvantage by poorly understood disarmament agreements that gave Hitler and Japanese militarists a chance to forge ahead, while the United States and Britain viewed each other as rivals for supremacy, and the great depression directed democracys attention away from prepareness. The front page of the Springfield Republican Sunday June 18, l933 featured pictures of the Eagle l9 and its commander, Lieutenant Commander Jack Barrett and the last Eagle l9 cruise with Springfield area Naval Reservists.It criticized the economy drive that led to the abolition of the Naval Reserve program in the area.President Hoover, a pacifist, built no new ships during four years he was President l929-l933. Franklin Roosevelt in the l932 presidential campaign had promised to balance the budget- this was a prime factor in the l933 economy drive. Later he became a follower of the British Keynesian economic school, which demonstrated that fiscal deficits have a multiplied stimulant effect on economic demand, so he reversed course and supported deficits and Naval build-up. However, these l933 cuts gave Germany and Japan a key opportunity and found the United States woefully unprepared l938-l941.MAY-JUNE 1933 itinerary: News Bulletin NTS Newport Rhode Island June 19, 1933 WEEKEND CRUISES, EAGLE 19 For the past month the EAGLE 19 has been engaged in performing weekend cruise duty at the Southern end of the District as follows: MAY 13-14 took the NINTH Division of Newport out with three oficers and twenty-eight men to Whitestone Landing, New York. MAY 27-28 took the EIGHTH Division of Providence, Rhode Island, out with two officers and twenty men to Vineyard Haven. JUNE 3-4 took the SEVENTH Division of New Bedford, Massachusetts out with one officer and twenty-one men to Vineyard Haven. During the period in which the EAGLE 19 laid in the various ports above, the respective divisions reported on board and were instructed. SUMMER 1933 In the summer of 1933 the EAGLE 19 went to Portsmouth, New Hampshire for overhaul, where Czarnetsky, Fred Waldraff, and Raymond Maynard lived aboard while Jack commuted from Boston. Five mornings a week Jack and I would get into the Buick for a scenic drive to Portsmouth and would stop for a good dinner on the way home. Joe Czarnetsky was in charge of the ship when Jack was not aboard.YEOMAN RAYMOND MAYNARD Ray Maynard was the yeoman who kept the log and made out all the reports, and Waldraff was in charge of the charts.Jack remained on the bridge until they cleared the harbor but then turned the ship over to the Reservists who ran the ship, the radio, and gunnery practice. On June 11, 1971 Raymond R. Maynard CSR USN Retired who was on board the EAGLE 19 with Jack in 1932-1933 wrote from Everett, Massachusetts, "I am Raymond R. Maynard SCM USN Retired and served on board EAGLE 19 with John B. Barrett USN. He was Commanding Officer. I took care of all paper work, ship's log, and typed same, and mailed to Bureau after Commanding Officer signed same. I also typed official reports to Commandant First Naval District after Commanding Officer signed [them]...." In August 1933 Jack received orders detaching him from the First Naval District Boston. He was assigned to survey ship HANNIBAL as Executive Officer starting about 30 September.He turned over command of the EAGLE 19 September 12 with fond goodbyes to the capable and loyal crew. He left Boston September 25 in the Buick and drove to Portsmouth, Virginia,winter port of the HANNIBAL. My husband was in Virginia part of the time but home on leave in December.[7a] We put our furniture in storage and spent a few days at 640 around Christmas."SKIPPY" WIRE HAIRED FOX TERRIER In October 1933 Mollie had bought her family a wire haired fox terrier puppy named "Skippy" born in September- the female of two puppies owned by a family on Columbia Road[Mrs. Bolger?] She was Pa Barrett's companion for the next nine years -mostly white in color- photogenic, and Mollie took many pictures of her with "Pa.". At first Pa Barrett was doubtful about having a dog but quickly became enthusiastic. Skippy was very good about hunting rats but had difficulty chewing - her meat had to be cut up in small pieces. Pa or Mollie would take her for walks along the Strandway.I kept the apartment at 422 Columbia Road until mid-December. We were very cold staying in the attic over Christmas and had to use a hot water bottle. Between Christmas and New Years we drove to New Britain and stayed with Babe and Geetter and their three-month old son David until January 2. Dr. Geetter was actually born early in January but celebrated his birthdays on New Year's Eve. I recollect that my sister Esther and my brother Abe and his wife Ethyle stopped by that New Year's Eve." FOOTNOTE added by John Barrett September 5,2000 Von Pflugk "Tips on Practical Shiphandling" Naval Institute Magazine September 1941 v. 67 (No. 463) p. 1287 at 1289-1290: "There are very good reasons why it is well to have but little headway when entering a slip or approaching a wharf or bulkhead. The most important one is probably the small amount of water under the vessel, which will not only affect her general handling qualities, but will, especially if the bottom is uneven, create a certain amount of suction that may become very dangerous if and when it causes the ship to take a sudden sheer toward the wharf or another vessel.... When the bow of a deep or heavy ship approaches a shoal spot or hump in the slip (with the hump broad on the bow) she will most likely sheer away from it, due to the cushioning effect of the water between the hump and the approaching bow. However, as the vessel passes close by this hump, its passage creates a great deal of suction which, as the stern is neared, will have an ever increasing effect and will draw the quarter in TOWARD the hump. This bottom suction is very dangerous, especially when entering or leaving a crowded slip, and one must be constantly on the alert to check any tendency to sheer. The side suction created by close approach to a solid bulkhead or pier is even more dangerous in that its action is much more sudden than that of bottom suction. ... Even a tug or speedboat passing close aboard can make enough suction to cause a heavy ship to surge in her berth if her lines are at all slack. .. When a vessel of far greater displacement passes, the amount of suction created is tremendous, and has been known to cause considerable havoc. Lines have been parted, gangplanks pulled overboard, and ships have even been torn away from their berth...." In interpreting whether Jack Barrett's handling of EAGLE 19 at New Bedford described by Sophie involved any danger from bottom suction, it may be noted that the EAGLE 19 had a mean draught of only 7.5 feet, or with full load 8.5 feet. It had the lowest number of a class of EAGLE BOATS built 1918-1919 by the Ford Motor organization, designed for anti-sub capability. Other EAGLE BOATS were #27,32,37,48,55,56,57,58. Standard Displacement was 430 tons or fully loaded 615 tons. The complement was sixty-one personnel. Length was two hundred feet pp. and o.a Beam breadth 25.5 feet. Armament 2-4 inch 50 caliber 1 -3 inch AA., 2 M 6. Eagle Boats carried twelve depth charges. Machinery Poole geared Turbine. Two Bureau Express Boilers one screw. Designed Horsepower 2,500 = 18 knots. Fuel 105 tons coal and 45 tons oil. Endurance 3500 miles at ten knots speed. END CHAPTER TEXT. photo caption: Photo of an Eagle Boat (#17) manufactured by Ford Company p 24-783 Year: 1932_ Jack Barrett commanded the EAGLE l9 from March 31, l932 through June l933, based at Charlestown Navy Yard, Boston, drilling Naval Reservists from around New England.Sophie corresponded for some years with Emily Czarnetski, widow of Joe Czarnetsky, whom Jack saw at Newport Rhode Island in l960's. Joe Czarnetsky was very skillful with ropes and knots, a subject which also interested Jack Barrett.John Barrett visited Emily Czarnetsky in Bozeman, Montana August l990 and met her son David and one of her daughters and son-in-law, who operated a doughnut -breakfast restaurant.


 

923.
Sophie on New York street corner about 1929 #923 p 36 {S}

 

Passing photographers often would take portraits to sell people "On the sidewalks of New York" - Sophie had this one framed, and it hung in her home at 52 Emmonsdale Road from l947 until after she passed away l987 until John moved l996 to Washington State, where Bob Godino of West Roxbury and Ben Maleson of Jamaica Plain have sent a great deal of material, which Jim Ullyot Harvard l962 of Minneapolis has capably copied onto this website. GRENWICH VILLAGE ROMANCE - [1927-1929] In the summer of 1927 -184-185- I transferred to New York City to Miss Clark's office on Forty-Second Street near Fifth Avenue. I was then in Publications. We worked on statistical data for the Division of Mental Hygiene of the Commonwealth Fund. My research at the Philadelphia Demonstration Clinic was the basis of Miss Clark's book "Statistical Reporting Techniques for Child Guidance Clinics". Although we remained good friends, and my assistance was acknowledged in the introduction, I did not get formal credit, and it was largely my work. I was unable to use the material as a subject for a doctoral thesis at Columbia University as I had planned, because they considered the material had already been published under Miss Clark's name.I also assisted on other projects, including proof-reading a textbook "The Problem Child at Home" by another author, who was grateful for the many typographical and other mistakes I removed. For a few days I occupied the apartment of one of Miss Clark's friends in Brooklyn, but the friend was returning Monday, and I had to leave. I remembered that Anne Taylor, who had worked with me on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, said she had an apartment in New York. I found her in the telephone book Saturday evening, and when I telephoned to ask her if she knew of a place where I might live, she said she could not think of one at that moment but that she would come out to see me in Brooklyn right way and bring her date with her.She came with Ivan McCormack,and when she heard my predicament,she explained that she had a small apartment with only two bedrooms- one very small. She occupied the large bedroom- her sister Eleanor occupied the small bedroom, and her sister Betty slept on a couch in the lving room.But she helped me pack that evening,saying that I could sleep in the bed with her until we found a suitable place for me. Anne worked as Executive Secretary of the Joint Vocational Service. As Anne was to be married in two weeks, Eleanor a schoolteacher and Betty a nurse moved into a tiny apartment on Twelfth Street.I liked it with Anne at 27 Commerce Street, Greenwich Village, and didn't diligently search for a place to live. Anne married, went off on her honeymoon,and when she returned I was comfortably located in Eleanor's [former] small bedroom, and Anne agreed to let me stay there for half the rent- just the room and use of the bathroom- no food and no kitchen privileges. I was very glad to stay there. Soon after Agnes Drummond called me up inviting me to join her and two men for dinner.Her -186- dinner partner was an old friend from her home in St. Louis, while my dinner partner was Bill Nuremberg, a lumber salesman with an office in the Grand Central Terminal Building.My loneliness then came to an end. Bill's office was very near mine, so we had lunch together every noon- a much better lunch than I could afford.Often we had dinner together, and every Sunday he drove me over Storm King Highway to an inn where we enjoyed dinner and then drove home in his big Packard.Bill N'irnberg (Nuremberg) owned a moving picture camera & wasted many expensive films & much time taking my picture. He ws everlastingly telling me to act natural & was very critical of my dress,which he considered too short & too stylish.He hung a sheet in Anne's apartment,where he showed us his movies.He lived at the McAlpin Hotel. But Miss Clark moved her office to Fifty-Seventh Street into the quarters of the division of Publications of the Commonwealth Fund and took me with her- too far away for me to have daily lunch with Bill,although I continued to see him every Sunday and had dinner with him two nights a week.Miss Clark was writing a book "Reporting and Recording for Child Guidance Clinics". I wrote the first draft of nearly every chapter of that book because I had the first hand knowledge of the subject from my work in the Philadelphia and Cleveland Clinics.Miss Clark re-wrote the material in her own style, and the book was ready for publication in June 1928. Miss Clark had written the book at the suggestion of one of the first statistical public health epidemiologists, actuary Dr. Louis Dublin of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, who made early contributions to understanding tuberculosis, industrial safety, and venereal diseases. From time to time as I was working on the book, the Commonwealth Fund loaned me to the New York Board of Education to advise them on records too.I also served as chairman of the committee investigating the qualifications of New York Social Workers [and developing standards]= a study being made for Walter West of the New York Association of Social Workers and for Ralph Hurlin of the Russell Sage Foundation.Harry Hopkins was a valuable member of my committee. He was then working at the Association for Improving the Condition of the Poor in New York City. I began to wonder what I was going to do next, but Miss Clark was ahead of me in planning for me.Unknown to me she had interviewed Mr. [Taylor?] Smith, director of the Commonwealth Fund; and had interested him in me so that they offered to pay my salary and my tuition for the summer session of 1928 at Columbia University, - and when the summer was over I was to be a statisticain at the Institute of Child Guidance in New York, operated by the Commonwealth Fund. So I entered summer school, registered for a Ph.d and took courses in Advanced Statistics and Social Science. Anne Taylor had a young friend Harold Nelson, who came to the apartment nearly every evening lookng for a bridge game.Anne told me that Harold was the brother of her social worker friend Marie Nelson,who came from Charleston, South Carolina,and was now Mrs. Harman Rowe of Philadelphia.One Saturday afternoon late in August 1928 I was at home in my room studying for a final exam Monday morning. Anne told me that she expected Marie Nelson Rowe and Jack Barrett that afternoon- just for the afternoon, as Marie and "Barrett" expected to join another couple for dinner and the evening.-188- "Barrett" was an old friend of the Nelson family from his Naval duty in Charleston, South Carolina in the early 1920s on the USS TOUCEY. Ordinarily I would never be at home on a Saturday afternoon in New York City,but I was determined to study all weekend for the two courses,as the exams were on the following Monday & Tuesday.So I took off my street clothes after lunch (out- as I took no meals with the McCormacks with whom I lived .I put on a deep red, long kimono sent to me by a Mount Holyoke college friend who made it for me,and I told Anne McCormack that I planned to spend the afternoon in my room working on my course.Anne then told me that she expected her friend Marie Nelson from Philadelphia at any moment, because Marie was to meet "Barrett" there & go out with him later for dinner & for the evening.Hardly had I begun to work when when Anne came in to tell me I had a male caller,and she was immediately followed by "Van" - husband of one of my social worker acquaintances. I was surprised to see him,,as he had never called before, & neither he nor his wife were particular friends of mine.Also I was embarassed to be caught wearing a kimono as I rarely stopped long enough to put one on.He explained that his wife was on vacation ((like Irving Berlin's l9l0 "My wife has gone to the country=hurray,hurray! She thought it best I take a rest & so she went away.") -& that he had a bottle of Prohibition whiskey,which he would be glad to share with me. When I explained that I did not drink,I thought that he would leave,but he was lonesome & lingered without drinking or urging me to drink.As we talked,Marie arrived-I had never seen her,& a little later I heard them greet "Barrett."When Van finally decided to leave,I walked to the door with him at the exact moment that Marie & Barrett arrived at the door to depart,&I saw a beautiful Charleston (South Carolina) belle attended by a sweet looking slender redhaired man.Neither one spoke to me as they followed Van out.Van had wasted most of my afternoon & it was hot,so I went off for a walk & had my dinner before returning home for a little serious studying in my hot room.On Sunday morning I slept late,donned an old cotton dress & decided to sweep the kitchen floor about noon-anything to keep from settling down to study. As I was sweeping,the doorbell rang,& I called,"Come in."In stepped Barrett, amused to see me sweeping the floor, but I merely said to him,"Anne & Ivan are not home."Whereupon he told me that he was calling on me &that I seemed to be very much at home. Desperately I told him how pressed I was for time,how embarassed I would be if I failed those two courses,but he calmly sat down in the kitchen & took out his wallet & showed me a picture of a child about five years old, saying, "This is my baby."I was surprised, as I believed he was courting Marie Nelson,& I said,"I didn't know you were married." He said,"I'm not married,but this is an Australian child,Sheila Craig.whom I knew in l925 whe I made the Australian cruise on the Marblehead,& I have kept in touch with Dr Craig & his family ever since."He visited for some time,& when I inquired about Marie,he said she had gone back to Philadelphia.Nothing would get him out of that apartment as he insisted I would have to have Sunday dinner somewhere, sometime-so why not with him? after which I would be free to study.Whe I told him I believed he was courting Marie,he told me that Marie was married,separated from her husband,but not free to marry anyone.Barrett was living uptown at the Knights of Columbus Hotel. he was in his second year at Fordham Law School uptown campus.In the early fall of l928 I saw little of Jack. I returned to work & steady dating of Bill Nuremberg,who had spent most of the summer in Europe, which explained why I was free to go to dinner with Barrett that Sunday afternoon. But occasionally Barrett dropped into the apartment about ten o'clock at night after school & once or twice took me to dinner but complained bitterly that he couldn't spare the time from his studies to entertain me at night.So he began to appear at the subway exit nearest my office before nine most mornings, would walk to the office with me & then telephone to me during the morning to make a luncheon date. .One weekend early that fall Bill Nuremberg told me he planned on doctor's advice to spend the weekend in bed because of an ulcer.I spent the weekend with Frances Manning (Mount Holyoke l925) in Maplewood New Jersey & returned to New York after dinner Sunday evening.As I was close to Bill's hotel,I telephoned to ask if he was well enough to have me call on him,& Bill said"Yes." His tone was not cordial-his greeting was not enthusiastic,& before I could ask him how he was, he complained that someone named Barrett had telephoned twice to try to find me & wanted me to telephone him. After a short visit,I went home,& Anne also told me Barrett wanted me to call him.It was eleven o'clock.On the telephone I said, "This is Sophie,"- he sleepily replied,"What do you want?"I told him both Bill & Anne said he wanted me to telephone,but he was just too sleepy to make conversation.In December or January Barrett moved into a small sixty-dollar-a-month apartment very close to me at 48 Commerce Street.He shared it with a mouse,which he rarely saw but which certainly lived there,because it always helped itself to peanuts Jack kept in a copper bowl. The mouse would leave the empty peanut shells. About the only furniture besides the couch was a set of nested carved Chinese tables from the Jack's Shanghai visit on the MARBLEHEAD in 1927. One afternoon he telephoned to say he was feeling too poorly to go to school that night & wanted to meet me in front of my apartment, that evening at 5:30 so we could eat dinner in the Village & he could go to his hotel room to bed.So we met as arranged, & as we stood there discussing where to dine,Bill (Nuremberg) drove up in his big car & had a male guest in his front seat. Evidently Bill planned to take me to dinner,but when he saw me talking to Barrett,he stepped on the gas & took off fast, & after more than a year of dating I never saw Bill again.Jack had tried to be friendly. My father had called on Bill & liked him, but I considered him too old to be a good marriage for me. One time he gave me an excellent investment idea: he asked for a thousand dollars to buy me stock in General America Insurance Company & returned half, as it was fully subscribed. The name of the company was later changed to Safeco of Seattle.I held the stock, which in the l960's suddenly soared in value. My initial five hundred dollar investment was sold for over thirty-two thousand dollars in l972. (A l976 letter to Ivan McCormack says that Sophie's father opposed marriage of his daughters outside the Jewish faith.Sophie's sister Esther for many years had a very happy romance with a fellow accountant at Swift & Company Hartford. but "Pa" Meranski would never let him come to the house at Wooster Street. His opposition would not have prevented Esther's marriage, except for the fact that his elderly mother was highly dependent & possessive & feared any interference with her relation with her son.Her objection was not religious - she lived to a considerable age, & Esther had a long friendship with the son but never married.She lived with her brother Abe's family on Hawkins Street for many years & after World War II with the Geetters when they moved to 92 Fern St. & Babe had five young children to look after with a busy doctor husband(David l933) Albert l935 Thalia l938 Harold l940 Suzanne l942.) Pa Meranski often came to New York to buy merchandise for his grocery, & one time he was robbed of considerable cash after visiting his son Pete & wife Jen in Baltimore in l929 or l930.He often stopped to see me, I that time I had to lend him money to get home. Jack had sinus trouble & trouble with his tonsils & planned to enter the Navy Hospital in Brooklyn for surgery.To my amazement he gave me a copy of his will in which he bequeathed to me the proceeds of his ten thousand dollar government life insurance policy.It was unbelievable.But he had the surgery & I visited him in the hospital.One night he was very uncomfortable because he was propped up too high with two pillows - the extra pillow was placed there for supper, buit the nurse forgot to remove it later - but he had good results & relief of his sinus difficulties.One of Jack's professors was John F.X. Finn. The proximate cause doctrine in torts was a subject of active study, as the New York courts had severely restricted plaintiffs' rights. Judges Carzozo & Cuthbert Pound were influential. Ivan McCormack in later years sent us news of some of Jack's law school friends, especially Joe Brill, who once tried to date me, =in later years he was associated with Roy Cohn. Another classmate John Papp, helped us find an excellent apartment overlooking the Narrows in southwest Brooklyn in September l939.Late in l928 when I chaired a committee on standards for social workers in New York City for an American social workers' association, I got to know Harry Hopkins (Roosevelt friend), who took a great interest & did a lot of work.Ann Taylor McCormack my friend and landlady kept in touch with him for many years.She was with Travelers Aid later, Ivan eventually bought a pig farm in Salem, New York, near Arlington, Vermont, where John visited Anne & Ivan in June, l97l) Although I no longer dated Bill,I had other escorts & often came home to find that Barrett had preceded me & left a note inviting me to a late supper.I usually accepted,but then he complained bitterly I was using up his time & his grades were suffering.On Saturday nights we went to movies in the Village & once he took me to a long play on Broadway "Strange Interlude" but most nights he went to Fordham's law school campus school far up in the Bronx - the school declined to let him transfer his second year to their Manhattan campus-and he studied long hours as he seriously wanted to be a lawyer- probably a Navy lawyer in the Judge Advocate's office.Jack's work in New York was concerned with War Plans & the training of Reserves,& he often went off to nearby communities & to Washington,New Haven & even to Hartford, where he called on my father & my brother Abe & became acquainted with most members of my family..When in Washington DC he addressed a letter to me which he mailed with only my name & "27 Commerce." No city at all was on the envelope,but I received it in a few days. I accused him of drinking,but he said he had been interrupted when addressing the envelope & then failed to complete it.(He liked to quote the opening of Oliver Wendell Holmes "Autocrat of the Breakfast Table": "I was just going to say-when I was interrupted...". At the Institute of Child Guidance my work was too simple and routine, although my salary in 1928-1929 was seventy-five a dollars a week. It was a small statistical office with only a director and another girl who planned to go on working after marriage., I was there only a few weeks when I received a telephone call from Mary Langhead, a social worker I had known in the Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic,-who told me that she was working in Macy's and that there was an opening for me as Director of Personnel Research. I went at noon to see Mr. Walker, the Personnel director,- later Sales Manager at Macy's, and I was hired. I had two excellent assistants, Ms Willie Kennedy and Mildred Forman - also a labor turnover clerk who was most efficient. My primary concern was labor turnover - how to reduce it and keep the figure low. After Jack left for the Orient, Willie Kennedy sublet his apartment, and I attended her 1930 marriage to Marshall Verniaud. Anne and Ivan kept in touch with them up to the 1970s. They also kept track of our friend Jimmy Jemail, who wrote the "Inquiring Reporter" column for the New York Post and became an editor there. Willie Kennedy visited me in Boston in 1932 when Macy's sent her to brief Filene's executive Lincoln Kirstein on the methods we had developed to improve employee motivation and reduce turnover. The store was at 34th Street and Seventh Avenue in New York City. Miss Sally Yarnall, who had been my student in the statistical laboratory at Mount Holyoke College in 1925, was the buyer for Macy's bookstore. Macy's book department occupied a lot of space in Macy's main floor- did a lot of business- and it must have been a real challenge for such a young woman to be the Head Buyer of such a large department. When Jack's orders came through in May l929 for duty on the destroyer Truxtun in the Philippines,he asked the Navy for a year's delay so that he could complete his law course,which he was taking at his own expense.But the Navy refused,& Jack was so upset he tried to get a civilian job with the Department of Labor & applied to Frances Perkins (a Mount Holyoke alumna later President Roosevelt's Secretary of Labor),but she had no opening for him at the time.With his full time job with the Reserves & his evening law course & his effort to compete with my "dates", the man was fully occupied & now knew he was scheduled for two-and-a-half to three years sea duty in the Orient.He went over to Philadelphia to see Marie Nelson one weekend. On Sunday June 9, l929 I went alone to Baltimore to attend the wedding of my youngest brother Pete,who had just been graduated from the University of Maryland Medical School.Pete & my youngest sister Babe's fiance Dr. Isadore Geetter had been classmates at Hartford Public High School l9l7-l92l, where Pete was active in debating, & at Trinity College l92l-25, where Pete was graduated l925,but for some reason his picture appeared in l926 yearbook. He was active many years in Trinity Maryland alumni. In l925 Pete visited Mount Holyoke college as senior prom escort for one of the Patterson sisters from Detroit,because her fiance was too far away to attend.(I had stayed at their parents' home summer l924 when I worked there for Children's Bureau U.S. Department of Labor.) On the train going up to Hartford for the wedding Sunday June l6 of my youngest sister "Babe" (Rebekah} to Dr.Isadore Geetter, who had just graduated from Jefferson Medical Schhol & was to study anesthesiology,we were greeted by Mary Woolley the l90l-l937 president of Mount Holyoke College, who was widely traveled as a speaker & one of the ten most admired women in the country according to polls. She had made an extended visit to China in l922 & later was appointed by President Herbert Hoover to a naval disarmament delegation of the United States at Geneva. Miss Woolley recognized & greeted me as I had been junior faculty l923-5 in the Statistics lab, Department of Economics & Sociology. Jack had met many of my Mount Holyoke friends during our ten months acquaintance, & he remarked to Miss Woolley, "These Mount Holyoke women are wonderful- you could put them all in a bag & pick any one, & you'd do all right."Miss Woolley replied,"That isn't a very INDIVIDUAL compliment for Sophie." Babe & Geetter had a wedding reception at "the Shack" (Snug Harbor)- a property near the FarmingtonRiver in Windsor, which my brothers Ben & Abe & their friend Julius Aronson then owned, & which the Geetters later kept in the family.Besides Jack & myself, the guests included the large Geetter family,of which Dr.Geetter was the eldest son, my brother Harry & his wife Sade (Taylor),and their son Arthur & daughter Pearl, my brother Abe & his wife Ethyle (Berenson) & their son Ted & their friend Julius Aronson,my sister Esther, my sister Bertha & her husband Samuel Pollack, a l920 Phi Beta Kappa Harvard alumnus in chemistry and their young son Jason & my newly-wed youngest brother Pete & his new wife Jen Goldberg of Baltimore,whose family had helped Pete greatly at University of Maryland in Baltimore..They were on their honeymoon. Jack was scheduled to leave New York for Chicago & San Francisco on Friday June 2l, so when he was at my sister's wedding, he invited my brother & his bride to have dinner with him at Longchamp's Restaurant on Fifth Avenue on Thursday evening June 20,as Pete & Jen had theatre reservations for that evening in New York City..We had a pleasant dionner,& when Pete & Jen left,Jack & I walked the few blocks to my apartment building when he said goodbye as he was leaving the next afternoon & still had a lot of packing "I'll be at your office at noon sharp to take you to lunch before I shove off at three."I had recently changed jobs & became Director of Personnel Research at Macy's stores at 34th Street.Jack came into my private office as my assistants were out to lunch that Friday noon..Without a word of warning he asked,"Will you marry me?" Unknown to me he had previously obtained a marriage license, listing his occupation as "seaman." He told me about the vicissitudes of the service for the wife of a Navy line officer, saying he liked the life at sea, but that frequent separations were hard on many wives and that he had seen the marriages of some very fine Navy line couples founder on the rocks, principally because the wife had to make so many adjustments.If she had a profession or a job, she couldn't readily follow him from station to station, and if she gave up her job, she had too much leisure. Also if she refused invitations to social events when he was at sea,the Navy wife suffered intolerable loneliness. He warned too that Naval officers pay was very moderate and that his expenses for white uniforms and for blue uniforms were prohibitive.. Even more important than any of these causes was the uncertainty of the line officer's promotion and his ultimate retired pay.But he did say a Navy wife could have a lot of fun and adventure if she had the right attitude and zest for adventure.Though he candidly discussed many frustrations and problems in the lives of Navy wives,he convinced me to marry him,& I made no reply except to suggest that we go to lunch.We went to the Hotel McAlpin. Suddenly he got up,paid the waiter,took me by the hand. It was 1:30 in the afternoon, and he was to leave for Chicago by train at three p.m. to make connections already reserved for San Francisco, where he had to sail on the NITRO for Manila on June 25. We rushed off into the subway for New York City Hall, where we were married about two o'clock, with two strange passersby as witnesses. Then Jack rushed for the subway for the railroad station, arriving at 2:45. He had to get his suitcase and spent a few moments telephoning his brother at the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company in New York. He told Bill that he was leaving for China but did not say he was married. As he emerged from the booth, the porter was yelling "Last call for the three o'clock train for Chicago". Jack grabbed his bag and rushed off.He left without a kiss or even a handshake. I returned to Macy's secretly Mrs. John B.Barrett. I did not see him again for for nearly seventeen months,until November l3,l930 at Chingwantao in desolate North China, near Manchuria,(& when I finally arrived there, he told me that his ship would sail again at crack of dawn the next day for several weeks of fleet maneuvers.)Dazed after Jack left New York.I took a walk around and then returned to my office, where I said no word about my marriage until I resigned in August,l930.But my younger sister Babe read in the Hartford paper that I had married a seaman named Barrett,&they sent best wishes.Romantic-no! But after we really joined forces,life was one long romantic adventure,I would do it again if given the choice. So my sister in Hartford knew I was married,but very few of my friends in New York knew of the marriage except Anne and Ivan and Mr.Lyons. People asked me for dates - I declined to date Jack's law school classmate Joe Brill,- but a young dentist persuaded me to have Thanksgiving dinner 1929 at his mother's home. The lady took a liking to me and tried to promote a romance, so I cut back on accepting social invitations. In my work at Macys, I had considerable contact with Jesse and Percy Straus, the two brothers who together managed the store at that time. They advised & assisted New York governor Franklin Roosevelt on many projects.Their parents Mr. & Mrs. Isador Straus were victims of the sinking of the TITANIC in l9l2 when Mrs. Straus would not go in a lifeboat without her husband, & he refused to take a seat from young women & children.A sister of my Mount Holyoke l922 friend Harriet Cogswell was working at Macy"s & corresponded with Harriet who was teaching at Gin=Ling missionary college Nanking & later married consular diplomat Paul Meyer.Jack Barrett later met Harriet & her fiance when the destroyer TRUXTUN was at Nanking on Yangtze River patrol in February-March l930,. & the TRUXTUN officers were guests at the American embassy.One of Harriet's students Dr. S.Y. Hu later did Ph.d work at Radcliffe on hollies & became Harvard's herbarium curator of Chinese plants for many years & wrote widely on Hong Kong flora,daylilies, & Chinese food plants & the rediscovered Metasequoia glyptostroboides. Harriet's sister in l980's gave Mount Holyoke College twelve boxes of historically interesting photos of Chinese live in l920's & l930's. mainly around Nanking & Peking.In May l930 the New York Times published an extended article on the personnel policies of Macy's stores. The main objective was to increase efficiency by reducing employee turnover.The report quoted psychologist Dr. V.V.Thompson on the effort to match the employee talents to the job & not "put a round peg in a square hole."


 

 

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