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


ZIZANIA light house tender on which Jack Barrett served September-December l912 Maine p47-1006 or 369


p 47#1006 or 369 Photo a gift of Mrs. Haskell C. Todd of Belfast, Maine 1970 1970. Herman Ingalls was commander when Jack was aboard in Maine September-December l912.One of Jack's shipmates Chester Swanner from Mississippi came to visit the Barrett family on Jack's birthday August 28, l940 at 9615 Shore Road, Brooklyn and accompanied Jack to Macy's stores where Jack purchased an upright Baldwin spinet piano on which John began piano study l940-l941 and resumed in West Roxbury in l947. The Barretts also rented a piano l946-7 in Waikiki, where John took piano lessons in sixth grade from Laura Canafax, a native of Tennessee and violin lessons with William Rusinak.Mrs. Haskell Todd of Belfast Maine was daughter of a lighthouse keeper and wife of Haskell C. Todd, Jack's shipmate l938-9 on tanker TRINITY and source of many stores about its Captain Fred. S. Homes, and the l939 encountrer at Cavite Naval base Philippines with young engineer Hyman Rickover, who later developed the nuclear submarine. ---NBK 8 p 204-207 visit of Marion Lewis Smart Mount Holyoke 1923 with Mrs. Herman Ingalls at Starboard Bucks Harbor. Herman commanded the ZIZANIA 1912 when Jack was on crew. MARION LEWIS SMART LETTER "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! Well, we're still here, leaving the end of this week when Vin will begin the racket of commuting to New York on the first. Your letter of the twelfth was forwarded to us here, taking about a week to arrive here. I have followed with interest despair and shock at the goings-on in Hyde Park but was grateful to read that when the spirit of unrest appeared in a lunch room of four hundred, student leaders calmed the crowd, and no disturbance really erupted. The black problem is so desperately complicated, and poor Boston seems to have ben torn to pieces. I went to school with blacks, white, and European races, and we all got along splendidly - however, each followed his racial mores at home and socially - we all respected the other's background - New York of course is changed in color, for there are thousands of Puerto Ricans beside the blacks. We noticed no integration among the gulls that sail and glide about - they keep to their own group and species! The Giles situation is indeed complex and heart breaking - one does have to respect the privacy of an individual and his family as one longs to aid or help in some way. We have no connection with the Food and Drug Administration and have thought them careless in the release of some drugs and additives while frustratingly slow in accepting or releasing others. One example is the drug which has proved so successful in the treatment of arthritis- people move to California so as to be near the Mexiacan border and can there cross over for the treatment which has been so miraculous in results. = I am sure that Gerard [Buckley] and Jerry Murray will eventually meet [Perth Austrlia]. Our little family is head over heels involved in their University work, and recently they have acquired a small piece of land with many fruit trees on it - part of a former farm- outside of Perth -no house, just land and trees with so many possibilities ahead that they are immersed in all the quirks and trials of immediate plans and those in the future. Jerry is now in another institution, so I imagine that their University meetings are not as frequent as before, and weekends seem to be spent on the "farm" as they prune, plan and picnic. The babies love the freedom there, and the former owners, living now nearby, are more than hospitable. [Hurricane] Eloise is blowing in Alabama while we are smothered in fog and drizzle. The rain drops on the roof have a very soporific effect on me, so please forgive my wanderings on paper. Trees as an interest - that reminds me of the collections of slides and old glass photograph plates I gave to the Brattle Street Book Shop when I finally reached the boxes in the barn where my grandfather had them stored. He had photographed trees all over New England. Those photographs were famous in size, in history or peculiarity - the old photographs went, too. Grandpa used to show them with his old huge stereopticon. We have a nice large oak tree here on our New Jersey property, and the house is panelled in chestnut downstairs, dining room, hall, beams and low panels with fireplace in the living room. We love it, for it is its natural color, only aged. Most of the original houses in Mountain Lakes had chestnut woodwork as the blight had hit, and the lumber was avilable for the saw mill established for the development of the community from the wilderness in 1911. I must don wet weather clothes, yellow pants, and jacket as we must unload our boat before leaving here. We pulled the "Wrinkla" out yesterday, and she is now high and dry in a field! So glad to hear from you with all your news, which is vital to all your friends. Write again. as always -Marion [Lewis Smart 1923]


ITASCA at Venice l909


p 47 #370 ITASCA at Venice 1909


RICHARD BUCKLEY of Moskeigh + Newcestown, Cork, Ireland 1904-1997


p 47 #371 Richard Buckley born Moskeigh, Templemartin Parish, Bandon, county Cork Ireland 1904 or 1905 second cousin of Commander John Berchmans Barrett USN brother of Mary ("May"), Marcella (Coughlan) and Ann Loretto Buckley married Birdget Regan of Gurranes and had four children Kate Melrum of Friars Walk Cork City, Mary Murphy near Ballineen. Bridget Collins of Ballinhasssig, and Paddy Murphy in Newcestown. Richy lived in Newcestown and worked on county highways many years while his sister Ann Loretto operated the sixty acre dairy farm and looked after their mother who was blind. His grandmother was an Oreilly from near Kilbrittain, and his mother was a Swindell whose sister married Richy's uncle Michael Buckley, so there were double cousins - Paddy Buckley and family on the Moskeigh farm and Michael Buckley with family of nine first on Watergate Street in Bandon and later in Ilford, Essex, England. Richy's grandfather was Michael Buckley 1834-l9l8 who corresponded with Jack Barrett's aunt Minnie Buckley of Melrose, MASSACHUSETTS, around l903-l904. The nine Ilford cousins were another Richard, Patrick, Michael, Marcella, Lena (Helena) Suzy, Geraldine,Cyril, Leslie.{B}


Dr. David Geetter born 1933 in New Britian CT


p 47 #372 son of Dr. Isadore Geetter and Rebekah Meranski Daivd was graduated l955 from Trinity college Hartford and l959 from Jefferson Medical Schoool Philadelphia, serve in Air Force, specialized in brain surgery, married Joan Trouboff in Brooklyn l958 and had two daughtera,Darya and Erica now lawyers.He and his brother Albert born l935 studied volin at Hart School of music Hartford. David removed a large benign brain tumor from his aunt Esther Meranski about 1973, relieving a Parkinson-like tremor she had experienced.He and his wife Joan in recent years continued the tradition of big family gatherings at Thanksgiving. They lived near their parents inside the city of Hartford near West Hartford line and Bradley Rose Garden.


Mollie Barrett,Bill Barrett Katie Barrett about 1905


p 47 #1010 - Temporary note to Creative Communications Staff - though there is good detail on this, it is darker than original - might we try another scan to see if the picture could be lightened? {M}{W}


Venice l909 canals, gondola


p 47 #1011


Alps February l932


collected during Jack and Sophie's world tour February l932 p 47 #1012 Sopihe's memoirs refer to a drive to Oberammagau in off-=season with chauffeur who charged a low price as his children were permitted to ride along.Jack collected travel literature on Salzburg, where the Barretts may ve made a side trip.


Peradniya Gardens Sri Lanka [Ceylon] 1932


p 48 #1013 Jack and Sophie traveled more than sixty miles bytrain to Kandy the capital of Ceylon from the port of Columbo where the PRESIDENT PIERCE docked late January l932. Jack cooolected may souvenirs. Unfortunately Sophie's trucnk with light-weight tropical clothing had been misdirected at Hong Kong, so she had mainly winter clothing crossing the hot tropical region from Philippines to Egypt durng an otherwise thrilling and enjoyable "honeymoon" with Jack Barrett.