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


Sarah Kashdan born 1984 photo l985 granddaughter of Rebekah Meranski and Isadore Geetter p45 # 353 or 988.{F}


#353 Sophie Barrett saw Sarah as a very small baby Thanksgiving l984 at home of David and Joan Geetter in Hartford. Sarah is daughter of Norman Kashdan and Suzanne Geetter in Shirley, Massachusetts. John Barrett saw the Kashdans with their Price and Geetter cousins in weston Thanksgiving 1999. ---NBK 8 p 204-207 September 23, 1975 Starboard Bucks Harbor Maine 04618 [from Marion Lewis Smart Dear Sophie What a pleasant experience I had last week when I called on Mrs. Captain Ingalls in Howard Cove. She is a delightful lady of eighty-eight. She had just returned from a birthday party for someone who ws ninety years and said, "I am completely stuffed with good Down East cooking." He home is charming-one that had been Captain Ingalls's grandfather's- and she and the Captain reclaimed it mostly themselves on his retirement. She lives all soul alone, much to the displeasure of her only living daughter and her grandchildren. She has six great-grandchildren. When they left Cortland, they sold all their furniture ad purchased what she called "island furniture" beautiful pieces from the old homes on Maine's many islands- they are priceless now of course- and after his retirement they traveled, and she collected exquisite pieces of glassware and small furnishings. She was and is I guess an artist, for on the tiny dining room plaster walls she has a mural of the last schooner to sail from Machias down the river, as well as a family tree of sorts depicting the history of the land that had passed down from one Howard who held squatters' rights until Maine was separated from Masachusetts. We talked and talked about this and that, and she eagerly showed me her treasures - someone is writing about lighthouses and has taped her recollections. Very little authentic information can be found either in the archives of Washington or from the rapidly diminishing group associated with the early tending of the houses before the Coast Guard took over. Thank you for giving me a reason to call upon such a charming, agile, and up-to-date lady. She greeted me in gorgeous turquoise blue pants, gay flowered blouse, matching sweater, and perfectly coiffured hair- sparkling blue eyes, and lots of spirit. She had just finished painting a corner cupboard which has had to be repaired as the corner post had been eaten away by ants- she had still the outer wall to paint on the sun porch!


Map of Dollar Line routes and Travel of Jack and Sophie Barrett l929-1932 {5} {7}


After marriage at New York City Hall 2 pm Friday June 21, l929, Jack traveled by train to Chicago and San Francisco, where he bought Voightlander camera that was used in many photos on the website. He traveled to Manila on ammunition ship NITRO, was briefly aboard destroyers POPE and EDSALL and served on destroyer TRUXTUN until transferred May 1930. When TRUXTUN skipper Charles B. C. Carey developed tuberculosis, Jack Barrett was in acting command during October 1929 cruise to Zamboanga, Jolo and other out-of the way ponts in southwest Philippines.In Feb-March l930 TRUXTUN proceeded up Yangzte River to Nanking, then capital of China, where Jack and other officers met American consular official Paul Meyer and his fiance Harriet Cogswell, whom Sophie knew at Mount Holyoke. When Jack was transferred May 1930 to gunboat TULSA based in North China near Tientsin,Sophie left her job at Macy's New York, traveled by train to Portsmouth Virginia and boarded large Navy transport HENDERSON, August 1930, visiting Port-au-Prince Haiti, Panama Canal, Corinto Nicaragua, San Diego, Los Angeles,San Frnacisco, Yosemite, Honolulu, Guam, Manila,Hong Kong, Shanghai, and taking local transport to Chingwantao.In January-February l932 Jack and Sophie took leave and traveled on Dollar Line PRESIDENT PIERCE Kobe Japan to Naples Italy via Philippines, Singapore, Ceylon,Egypt. After an eighteen day tour of Italy, Austria, southern Germany and France, they returned to New York on PRESIDENT VAN BUREN March l932.


John Barrett jr age about four at 9615 Shore Road, Brooklyn,apartment 2A seond floor p45 #992


Jack.s amaryllis are visible, and a small chair with reddish pattern.The Barrett family lived in this comfortable large apartment from September l939 o June 30, l941, when they left for Hoholulu via train to Los Angeles.Jack cut off the legs of a strudy wooden table about 33 inches square, to a suitable height for John.The family made frequent visits to Jones Beach on Long Island and the New York World's fair at Flushing, visited Jack's brother Bill at Darien twice, had l939 Thanksgiving dinner at Overbrook near Philadelphia at the home of Sophie's sister Bertha and Sam Pollack (when Sophie's brother Pete and his family came up from Baltimore)Aunts and cousins frequently visited at Brooklyn, including Marion Taylor, nurse at Greenpoint Hospital; Ethyle, Ted and Carol Jane Meranski, Esther Meranski, Jason and Thalia Pollack, and Sophie's brother Ben Meranski.In August 1939 Sophie and John stayed three weeks in South Boston with grandpa John Robert Barrttt, and aunt Mollie, whom they visited again June 1941 before leaving for Hawaii.Chester Swanner, a shipmate from lighthouse tender ZIZANIA 1912 visited on Jack's 52nd birthday August 28, l940 and helped pick out a Baldwin spinet piuano at Macy's.


Jack Barrett and friend Agnes Duffy about 1920


#356 Scene may be New York, Washington area or Virginia?




#357 Back yard 640 East Seventh St., South Boston 1918 or 1919 p 45 #994 _+_+_+ {4}{M}{G}}A{ - You learn something new almost every day. You can't believe everything you read, but I am finding reference sources say the temperature of the sun surface is generally around 5500 Celsius, but there are observations of temperatures down to 4500 in sunspots. i was checking out the half life of thorium - I was surprised to find Thorium 232 listed as over 14 billion years and uranium 238 as 4.4. billion - a little more than I thought- and I see thorium oxide has the highet melting temperature of any known oxide. The element tungsten has the highest melting point of any pure element listed over 3410 Celsius, and tantalum carbide seems to be the most refratory material known, with a melting point above 3800 Celsius. We are not yet ready to build space ships that can sent telecasts from inside sunspots while extracting helium, but the gap between the most refractory solids and the coolest parts of the solar surface now seems to be only about seven hundred degrees celsius. Relying on the old Manual of Physics and Chemistry I won in 1953 as a Detur in Ralph Houser's Chemistry couse at Roxbury Latin, I had believed that the highest melting point was around 2600 Celsius, and perhaps in the Black and Conant Chemistry Text or another college test I had, it says carbon "sublimes" at a somewhat higher temperature, but neither graphite nor charcoal appear promising for exterior walls of space ships. For several years I assumed that the limits of refractory materials would limit efforts to remove mass from surface of sun - especially helium - but with "CONCEPT 2000" - APPLY HEAT! we don't have to get so close, though as you commented, the energy needed is very great. Very few people have even thought about the problem, but I had an encouuraging May 30 E mail from Brown University geologist John Imbrie, authority on ice ages, including the astronomical aspects developed by Milankovitch and others. Very briefly, I am optimistic that energy sources will be found, and furthermore would be needed for long term multi-million year survival on satellites of the outer planets or in deep space. I currently divide the energy sources into seven topics [possibly a lucky number, let's hope] 1. Orbiting fusion-powered lasers 2. Reflectors of sun's own heat - solar energy 3. Greenhouse gas around sun as reflector held in place by strong magnetic field. Research would be needed what gases would work and be available- I don't know if hydrogen or helium would have greenhouse properties. There would be question up to what temperature carbon dioxide might be stable- probably ammonia would be destroyed by heat. It would be worthwhile to observe existing coronas of large hot nearby stars - Sirius Adhara Canopus Rigel Alpha Centauri or take your pick. The poles of the sun are cooler than the equator. I am going to be looking for precise data. Another question is what percentage of the matter in the sun's corona ultimately escapes in solar wind and what falls back and is recaptured by solar gravity. It would be better if part of the already existing solar wind material could be captured for the greenhouse gas by a strong magnetic field, but it might prove necessary to introduce better materials. 4. ANTI-MATTER magnetically confined would be very convenient to aim exactly where you wanted to destroy solar mass - as for example at sunspots or away from the plane of the orbits of earth and planets. If anti-matter could be generated in deep space and brought nearby in magnetically containment, it could be an important and cost-efficient technique. Compare #6. -5- Technique 5 would be to disrupt the surface layer of sun and expose hotter material underneath. The convective and acoustic properties of the sun might afford chances. Technique 6 Beam high energy from deep space. If neutron stars can create pulsars, why can't we do something similar? Might one image a space ship going to a pulsar beam and somehow deflecting or aiming it toward the region of the sun we want to affect? In one way or another very hot objects may become energy sources - you can't get energy out of a black hole, but you may be able to divert material that is being drawn in. A SILLY DIGRESSION -I am uncertain whether to include here a point that is perhaps a bit more "far-out" than the rest -- if we wanted to get energy from the galactic center, the distance is about twenty-five thousand light years. If a space ship from earth traveled at one tenth the speed of light, it would take a quarter million years, for it to reach the neighborhood of the galactic center, and if we had a technology to beam energy back to earth, that would take another twenty-five thousand years for the energy to reach the solar system. Suppose this was an exam for astronomy-space science students- it looks as though it will be two hundred seventy-five thousand years before this energy source would be useful. Is there any conceivable scenario by which the timetable could be moved ahead? Answer for A students: ---- Suppose there is intelligent friendly life at the galactic center with more advanced technology than our own. If we sent a radio message today, it would reach them in twenty-five thousand years, and they began immediately to beam energy, we could utilize it in fifty thousand years. That would be pretty good, but if they are already broadcasting signals trying to find us, then they could send the energy as soon as they know where we are, and it would arrive in twenty-five thousand years. Of course maybe they have thought it all out and have it ready to arrive any time now. That is a kind of silly digression, but it could be made into a logic exam question. I have seen sillier things on exams. END SILLY DIGRESSION Technique Seven - Nearby BROWN DWARFS or HYDROGEN CLOUDS could be excellent cheap energy sources. I have seen recent articles analyzing probable frequency of brown dwarfs arguing there are probably brown dwarfs nearer than Alpha Centauri, but until recently the technology has not existed to discover them, or the search has not had priority. Multimillion-year human survival will have huge energy needs, whether sun mass removal is attempted or not. The first alternative would be to move to Mars and then the satellites of the outer planets, where the sun will contribute only a very small fraction of the need. One might consider fusion of hydrogen from some of the outer planets, perhaps starting with Nepture and Uranus. If we lived on satellites of Jupiter and Saturn, we might extract some hydrogen from the parent planets, but the gravitational consequences would have to be calculated carefully for the very long pull. I have been listing these seven energy sources for several weeks, and seven is a lucky number. Today I am wondering to list energy source #8 - the comets and ice and materials of the Oort Cloud, around half a light year from te sun and earth. Perhaps early settlers of the outer solar system will use the big planets as a hydrogen source for a while, but before they disrupt the gravity, they could eventually plan to switch to the Oort Cloud Matter and then the Brown Dwarfs and intragalactic hydrogen. Travel beyond the solar system will have huge energy requirements, but may one day happen. Wormholes, non-baryonic matter, quantum effects, superconductivity, supersymmetry, new dimensions, may someday be meaningful energy sources, but I am confining myself to topics that are moderately well understood today.


Jack Barrett in sailboat with Agnes Duffy -995


If anyone recognizes background and location date around 1920, information will be appreciated - -


Dayton & John Ogden, Drew Sunstein, Bruce MacLeod,Jack Wenzel-Kabeyun Franconia Range trip 1959 {K}


#359 Photo by John Barrett junior during 1959 Camp Kabeyun Franconia Range Trip. Dayton Odgen,junior front center, and Bruce MacLeod junior at right upper corner, both became 1966 graduates of Yale, a liberal arts college in New Haven Connecticut. It is stated that "For God for country, and for Yale" is "the greatest anticlimax in the English languauge." Behind Dayton Ogden is his brother John. who went to Franklin Marshall College Lancaster Pennsylvania.The Ogdens lived in New Canaan Connecticut and attended Hotchkiss School. Bruce MacLeod's family lived in Longmeadow and Cambridge Massachusetts, and he had a career with tthe World Bank. His brother Norman also attended Kabeyun several years. Drew SunsteinAT LEFT EDGE WAS FROM PHILADELPHIA. JACK WENZEL AT LOWER RIGHT ALSO HAD A BROTHER TED AT CAMP KABEYUN.An excellent photo from same trip of John Rieck from Summit New Jersey unfortunately seems to be lost.


David and Thalia Meranski and eight children about 1911


#360 p 45 #997 Individual enlargements of each family member are on this website and can be seen by entering their names on "keyword" space of this photobook.Front row left to right are Harry May 1891 Rebekah November 1, l906, David March l865, Israel Peter November 1903, Thalia Goldfeld Meranski probably born 1870 or l869 Brody Austria married August 8, l890 Germania Hall, Main St. Hartford Ct, Sophie Ruth (author of memoirs)October 4, l901, Esther November 19, 1894- and standing, back Abe 1896 Ben November 1, l892, and Bertha probably July 23, l898.Photo was probably at September holidays 1911.--- John Barrett My grandmother Thalia or Tally, Thaly Tillie Tolley Goldfeld was probably born in Brody, Galicia then in Austria now Ukraine about 1869-1870. She was in Hartford Connecticut by August 8, 1890, when she married David Meranski, probably born March 1865 in Brest on the Bug River now in Belarus on border of Poland. Thalia had a younger brother Jacob, hard of hearing alive in Hartford in 1931. The spelling of his name in Hartford directories was changed in 1915 to Goldfield. Their parents' first names were Abel and Bertha. Thalia Goldfeld had eight children Harry Uriah May 1891; Benjamin Franklin born November 1, 1892, Esther born November 19, 1894, Abe born 1896 or 1897, Bertha born 1898[married Samuel Pollack of Minsk]; Sophie Ruth born October 4, 1901 [married John Berchmans Barrett, U.S. naval officer]; Dr. Israel Peter Meranski born 1903 [married Jeanette Goldberg of Baltimore]; Rebekah born 1906 [married Dr. Isadore Geetter in Hartford - he was native of Stryj or Stryy in Lemberg L'viv province Galicia]. Thalia Goldfeld my grandmother died of gall bladder cancer September 1925 in Hartford Ct. She was buried in Zion Hill Cemetery, Hartford. The Meiselmann and Witkower families of Hartford are believed to have sponsored Thalia Goldfeld and her brother Jacob, and she probably lived with the Meiselmanns prior to her marriage. These families are said to be from Brody, Galicia - then Austrian, now in Ukraine. In 1909 Thalia Goldfeld and her husband David Meranski and eight children lived on Portland Street for about a year and were neighbors of a Goldfield family, who might be related. There is a possibility that the Meiselmanns and Witkowers were related or knew Thalia and Jacob Goldfeld and their parents in Galicia. The Witkowers are believed to have been from Brody originally but spent time in Vienna, Austria, where one of their sons was born. Rebekah Geetter of Hartford said her mother came to America via Hamburg, Germany. Sophie Barrett believed her mother spoke of being in Vienna and specifically of the Danube River. David Meranski believed born Brest 1865 may have been in Brody as a seventeen-year-old refugee about 1882 when there was persecution on the Russian side of the border, and Brody was a refugee center. He may have met Brody families at that time, and they may later have encouraged him to come to Hartford. His daughter Sophie Barrett believes he emigrated via the Black Sea port of Odessa and she remembers him wearing a fez in a photo in Turkey. Many emigrants from Russia at this period desired to settle in the Holy Land, but whether or not David Meranski was ever there, he learned tailoring in Cairo, Egypt and came to Hartford in time to be married at Germania Hall at Main Street Hartford August 8, 1890. He worked as a tailor until about 1910, mostly in the northeast section of Hartford. One work address was American Row. He probably lived on Morgan near Front St. 1894, Front Street 1901, Orchard St 1903, and Pleasant St. 1906. Around 1906-7 there was a financial panic, and David Meranski accepted tailoring work on New York Lower East Side offered by a former Hartford friend Samuel Shlimbaum. His daughter Sophie remembers her mother followed by train with the eight children, though the youngest had measles. She believes they lived on New York Twenty Seventh Street near Third Avenue. The job proved temporary, and Daivd Meranski 1908-9 sewed custom made men's overcoats for Gimmel Burnham company of Hartford in his front parlor on Portland Street. Then he began a restaurant at 25 Morgan Street, where Jewish musicians performed during the main noon meal for workmen. According to family tradition he continued a clientele which had been developed by Charles Abuza, father of entertainer Sophie Tucker, though directories suggest Abuza's restaurant was on nearby Front Street. Thalia Goldfeld Meranski did most of the cooking, while her husband greeted customers and handled cash receipts and management. The best known of the traveling musicians were Boris Thomacevsky and family of the Second Avenue Yiddish Theater, New York. Thalia's dasughter Bertha was invited to join the touring singers 1914, but her family felt she was too young. Thalia's eldest son Harry Meranski wrote and performed songs in public with his friend Kupperstein, using the stage names "Cooper and Meran". In the fall of 1916 David Meranski moved to 2-4 Wooster Street near Canton Avenue and operated a grocery store. Directories indicate Jacob Goldfeld [unmarried, hard of hearing] remained at 25 Morgan Street with a grou of tailors. Esther, Bertha 1917, and Rebekah 1925 took business courses at Hartford Public High School, but Sophie 1919 and Israel 1921 took the pre-college course. Harry, Ben, and Abe were drafted into the Army in 1918, and Thalia their mother was so frightened when the draft notices came that she put salt instead of sugar into jelly she was making. Two of her sons had severe influenza at Forts Devens and Dix. Thalia Goldfeld developed gallstones that were not properly diagnosed, and by the time they were operated on in 1921, she had gall bladder cancer. She was told she had adhesions. She was able to attend her daughter Sophie's May 1923 graduation from Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts, which gave her satisfaction, and her son Israel completed Trinity College Hartford 1925 and was accepted at University of Maryland Medical School, but Thalia Goldfeld died September 1925, aged about fifty-five years according to information entered by Dr. Kaitz on her death certificate- informant was her son Benjamin Franklin Meranski.