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


Sophie looks at peacock Kapiolani Park Zoo Waikiki 1941




Sophie Ruth Meranski on New York streetcorner about 1929 #949 p 39 or p 40 {S}


Detail from another photo on previous page, snapped by passing professional photographer.Sophie lived at 27 Commerce Street, Greenwich Village l927-l930 subletting from social worker Ann Taylor Mrs. Ivan McCormack, at whose apartment Sophie met her husband Jack Barrett USN August 1928. Sophie worked l927-9 in Publications Department of Commonwealth Fund, preparing for publication data she collected l926-7 on "Statistical Reporting Tech iques for Child Guidance Clinics" at Philadephia Dmonstration Clinic.part of the time the office was on 42nd St.From may 1929 to August 1930 Sophie was Director of Personnel Research at Macy's Stores on 34th Street where she was treated very kindly by the Straus brothers, who ran the store,but she married and went to live in Tientsin China as a Navy wife.


Detail of Sophie Barrett l941 at Kapiolani Park Zoo near her home 2415 Ala Wai Boulevard Waikiki #950 {S}{H}


Closeup of Sophie looking at a peacock in Kapiolani Park Zoo near her home 2415 Ala Wai Boulevard Waikiki. She often wore seersucker dresses like this one. A family friend Riley Allen was editor of Honolulu Star-Bulletin newspaper. He was active in Honolulu Audubon Society. Many native Hawaiian birds hjave become extinct - at least fifty species and the islands remain the most remarkable"hot Spot" in the United States with very numerous highly endangered bird, plant, and animal species, which are mostly in the mountains.However, a wide variety of plant species from around the tropics can be enjoyed by residents -shower trees, poincianas, Venezuelan gold tree, Central American frangipani, Chinese and Indian banyans, mangoes, pineapple, macadamia nuts- and the fine Kapiolani bird collection with African crown cranes, birds of paradise, toucans,parakeets, guinea hens, and in l940s a cassowary, a penguin, pigeons and doves.Sunday afternoons Sophie often enjoyed band concerts at the park. The Barretts swam at Waikiki Beach nearly every day and often brought servicemen as guests.


Arthur,Pearl & Sade Meranski with Sade's sisters Eva and Marion Taylor and Minnie Deutch & al and Paul Deutch l935 p 40 #951


Enlargement of September 1935 photo mailed Christmas l939 by Mrs. Harry Meranski of Hartford to her late husband's sister Sophie Barrett and family at 96l5 Shore Road, Apartment 2A, Brooklyn, where they moved that September and often saw Sade's youngest sister Marion Taylor, then a nurse at Greenpoint Hospital, Brooklyn.Harry Meranski l920s was in business with Al Deutch in furniture, especially bedding. Harry's son Arthr born December 1919 attended Wocester Polytechnic Institute Massachusetts for a year and Norwich Military Academy VErmonth, then was U.S. Army officer twenty-eight years mainly in tanks, including Normandy under Gen Patton June 1944 and Inchon Korea amphibious landing September 1950 under Gen . Douglas MacArthur.Arthur's wife Betty a native of Texas met him in Hartford l940s and was familiarly known as "The Ball and Chain" (from Victor Herbert song) or "the War Department." She met family friend Sophie Tucker one time in Nevada and lived in Oklahoma and Fort Lewis near Tacoma-Olympia Washington in early years.Most of the four children were born in Germany in l950s. Eldest Steve is a carpenter in Havre de Grace, Maryland. Art's last assignments were in Aberdeen


Dollar Liner in Panama Canal l930 {5}{7}


#952 p 40 Panama canal was opened 1914. Jack Barrett first passed through Decembr 1919 or January,1920 westward as officer on commercial ship WESTERNER commanded by his friend Mal Richardson of Virginia.They had served together on MONTGOMERY during World War I as Navy Reserve officers. The WESTERNER was a former Navy ship converted to commercial use and carried hemp and lumber from Philippines-Shanghai through Suez to Liverpool. Jack took photos in Japan during the cruise in Inland Sea and sent them to U.S. Navy department.Until 1993 we had his navigation notes passing through Eight degree north channel through island chain south of India. There was also a postcard from Shanghai to his father. He saw Pavlova dance her favorite role "The Swan" in London May 1920 and kept the program.One of his shipmates was a Norwegian named Torkelson. Jack transited the Panama Canal three times on light cruiser MARBLEHEAD - west to San Francisco and Hawaii March 1925 and that autumn returing from Melbourne-Tasmania-surveying in Galapagos Islands - then January -February 1927 en route from Bluefields Nicaragua to Hawaii and Shanghai. Sophie passed through Panama first August-September l930 on Navy transport HENDERSON en route to Corinto, Nicaragua, San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco-Mare Island - Yoemite- Hawaii Guam-Philippines Hong Kong Shanhai Chingwangtao-Teintsin.Then Jack and Sophie transited Panama at least four times 1934-5 when Jack was Executive officer of survey ship HANNIBAL on Pacific Coast.Sophie traveled from Portsmouth Virginia on passenger liner CRISTOBAL and lived in Balboa on Pacific end of American Canal Zone.Her landlord Mr. Mckim did research on San Blas native Americans of southeast Panama.The HANNIBAL survived a hurricane returning from Panama September 1935. Jack passed through the canal once more September 1938 on tanker TRINITY bound for San Diego, Philippines, and Tand Jong Oeban, former Dutch East Indies- with stops in Japan and Dutch Harbor Alaska.Lieutenant Mervin Halstead of HANNIBAL was son of Army officer who was Army commander of Panama district 1935.


Thalia and Harold Geetter l944 New Britain CT


Dr. Isadore Geetter was hospital administrator, then drafteed as Navy Reserve doctor l944 with five children- sent to Samar Philippines #953 {F}


Elephants near Kandy, Celyon - today Sri Lanka


From Dollar line l930 tour guide which Jack and Sophie used planning their world tour January March l932 aboard Dollar Line PRESIDENT PIERCE Kobe Japan to Naples Italy and PRESIDENT VAN BUREN Marseilles France to New York{7}


Baguio, northern Philippines


Jack Barrett purchased wooden bookends made in the cool upland tourist area of nothern Luzon, which he visited robably Dec l929 and some time in l939 when aboard destroyer TRUXTUN and tanker TRINITY