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

 

Benjamin Franklin Meranski born November 1, 1892- photo from 1911 family group p 38-935
Ben was second eldest of eight Meranski children.He was hired as teenager at drugstore, where owner promised to train him, but months later his father came by and found him "still sweeping the floor." He played the saxophone had aspirations to go into vaudeville, and quit this job, but his father then threw him out of the house, but "looked the other way when brothers and sisters took food out to him - Then Ben would sneak into the house late at night." Then he worked at Hartford's G. Fox and co department stores, where Sohpie also worked in soda fountain Saturdays during the school years and several summers inmcluding 1919, 1920, 1922.Ben was drafted into Army l918 and sent to Fort Dix, New Jersey, while his brothers Harry and Abe were at Fort Devens Shirley Massachusetts north of Hartford, where flu was severe.The war ended before they were sent overseas. When draft notices came summer l9l8,their mother was so nervous that in making jelly she used salt instead of sugar.Ben provided information to doctors when his mother died September 8, l925 of gall bladder cancer that she was fifty-fife years old and her parents names were Abel and Bertha Goldfeld.{F}
Subject: Ben Meranski
Year: 1911