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


John Robert Barrett plumber shop and personal account book 1890-1894 page 191 p 54-1072
website p 54 This page lists personal expenditures for beginning period when shop was opened october 1890. It lists a purchase of a book of poems, probably Moore the Irish poet and a purchase of train commuter ticket from Wyoming railroad Melrose to South Station Boston.The Buckley in-laws lived at Park and then Baxter Street in the section of Melrose near Wyoming railroad station. EXTRA COPY website guide --ENJOY+STUDY"RedHeadedStepchild"by Email or WEBSITE Sophie Meranski Barrett 1901-1987 wrote the main text of Navy family memoir "Red Headed Stepchild" beginning 1969 at 52 Emmonsdale Road, West Roxbury, her home 1947-1987. Most of the text can now be seen on website with more than 500 photos. Her son John B. Barrett Jr. collaborated and is typing and editing material from handwritten notebooks and recollections. Interested persons may request specific portions by E mail as they are edited, including 1924 and 1925 theses of Jack at the Naval War College Newport Rhode Island and Sophie in Economics and Sociology at Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, Massachusetts. There are also numerous letters from Navy, Coast Guard, Marine and other friends and many relatives. A website Index and Directory begins at top of website page 75 seventy-five, and below is a more complete outline of the present organization of materials, which can be E-mailed.Reasonable copying of these materials for personal and scholarly use is very welcome and encouraged. If anyone should be interested in adapting portions of these materials for large scale publication, a financial contribution to assist further work might be appropriate -contact John B. Barrett at 113 West Third Street, Port Angeles Washington WA98362-2824 current 2000 E mail addresses include Sophie's original writing began with a series of eight "black notebooks" mainly 1969-1974. A little later she conceived the idea of a book primarily about her husband Commander John Berchmans Barrett 1888-1969, with a chapter on his brother Bill and much material on Barrett family history. Material on Sophie's own family the Meranskis and her early years before 1928 was mainly in the black notebooks. Some of the Chapter Titles in the "Red Headed Stepchild" narrative included: I.-Barrett Family History II-Childhood and Schools IIa Boston Latin School 1902-6 -3-.Revenue Cutter Service 1909-11 4.William Joseph Barrett 1895-1967 5-Interval between Revenue Cutter Service and Regular Navy 1912-21 Naval Hydrograhpic Office DC and Reserve Officer World War I -6- Regular Navy,Destroyer TOUCEY 1921 Charleston SC -7- Battleship WYOMING 1922-3 -8-NAVAL WAR COLLEGE Newport 1923-4 with TACTICS thesis and related Delahanty letters -9-"Newest Ship in the Navy" Light Cruiser MARBLEHEAD 1924-1927 War Games Hawaii visit Australia-New Zealand 1925 action Nicaragua-Shanghai China 1927 many letters Phil Dahlquist, Harold Fultz, George Phillips, "Boney" Close, Jack Fradd, Edward Arroyo -TEN- Shore Duty New York 1927-9 During this time December 17, 1927 Jack was sent to sea in inadequately equipped New York Harbor tug in the desperate effort to rescue crew of submarine S-4 who were trapped alive in hopelessly deep water off Provincetown Cape Cod. This was on his mind when he wrote a January 1928 letter to New York Post under pen-name "XANTHOS" about Naval preparedness and irresponsible attitudes in United States Congress. "XANTHOS" was the name of Achilles's horse in the Iliad, which warned him of his impending doom. "XANTHOS" originally meant blond, but some of Jack's Boston Latin friends humorously applied it to his reddish hair and tendency to make grim predictions in military and naval affairs. He deplored lack of action by Hoover when Japanese attacked Mudken Manchuria 1931 and again when Franklin Roosevelt curtailed Naval Reserve program June 1933. He warned of danger at Pearl Harbor for a long time, especially the weekends, and lack of effective liaison with Army. He lost his mother in 1889 but had a happy relation with his stepmother and her children and family. But he would occasionally refer to himself as the "Red Headed Stepchild." Sophie originally considered writing a memoir 1950s of the Pearl Harbor attack under the title "I was There," but Fleet Admiral Leahy had used this title for his memoir as President Roosevelt's chief of staff, so Sophie settled on "Red Headed Stepchild" for Jack's biography,. which expanded to cover family and friends. _ELEVEN- "GREENWICH VILLAGE ROMANCE" Sophie met Jack August 1928 at 27 Commerce Street, Greenwich Village, New York, where she sublet from social worker Anne Taylor. She describes their romance and marriage in the Red Headed Stepchild text. This material may be combined with the more extended account in the notebooks of her social work and life New York 1923-1930. -TWELVE- Destroyer TRUXTUN summer 1929-May 1930 Philippines-Yangtze Rive-Nanking. Jack Barrett wrote some recollections of the TRUXTUN in 1967 for the Commanding Officer of a new TRUXTUN then being commissioned. He also was begnning work on family history and school days.In many ways this was the beginning of the family memoir, and Jack identified many photos and recorded information on Barretts, Buckleys, Mehegans, Revenue Cutter School, Boston Latin, and Naval Hydrographic Office. --THIRTEEN- VOYAGE to the ORIENT ["SLOW BOAT TO CHINA} Sophie's long trip on Navy Transport HENDERSON from New York to Tientsin China via Oanama, California, Hawaii, Guam. -FOURTEEN- Life in the Orient November 1930-Januiary 1932 centered at Tientsin with visits to Peking, Chefoo, Wai-Hai-Wai, Shanghai- war in Manchuria -FIFTEEN- Return via Egypt and Europe- honeymoon via Dollar Line PRESIDENT PIERCE and VAN BUREN January -March 1932. -SIXTEEN - EAGLE 19 Boston drilling Navy Reservists based at Charlestown NAVY YARD MUCH CONTACT WITH BARRETT family April 1932-summer 1933 -SEVENTEEN- Survey Ship HANNIBAL 1933-1935 west coast PANAMA and Portsmouth, Virginia important letters Robert Hinckley, Richard Visser, Mervin Halstead, Dan Candler, Paul Lehman,Harry Ferguson,Ted Agnew,Ascherfelds, Boyds,Lafayette Jones, -EIGHTEEN- Command of DESTROYER CLAXTON 1935-6 landing force exercises Culebra, Puerto Rico, lunch with Sec. Ickes- drilling of Annapolis midshipmen at Gardiners Bay Long Island - letters of Admiral Orlin Livdahl,Captain Warren McClain, future CBS newsman Richard C. Hottelet, grandfather Barrett -NINETEEN Shore Duty Philadelphia 1937 -TWENTY -TANKER TRINITY to Dutch East Indies and Cavite Philippines -humorous letter of Captain Haskell C. Todd of Belfast Maine- account of Captain Fred S. Holmes and young engineer Hyman Rickover-family saw Boyds, Delahantys, Pardees in Southern California 1938-9 -TWENTY-ONE Brooklyn 1939-1941 Command of Naval Hydrographic Office NY 1940-41 - promotion to Commander -World's Fair, Jones Beach, Atlantic City letters about MARY CELESTE mystery from Charles Edey Fay and Gershom Bradford 1879-1978 -TWENTY-TWO - PEARL HARBOR, WAIKIKI, Thomas Jefferson School- This is a very long chapter. In many ways the climax of Jack Barrett's career was his effort to warn of Pearl Harbor danger while briefly assigned to War Plans July-October 1941 and then his four years service in charge of OVERSEAS TRANSPORTATION OFFICE PEARL HARBOR until after the final victory in 1945. Sophie's first treatment was in Black Notebook One recently edited May 1999- then her treatment in "Red Headed Stepchild" in 1970 and a special -November-December 1981 newspaper article prepared for fortieth anniversary of attack on the request of West Roxbury Transcript Editor Jason Korell. Sophie describes -Dedication of Aiea Naval Hospital 1943- and her surgery there May 1947- visits with Honolulu Star Bullletin editor Riley Allen and his wife 1942 and with Captain and Mrs. Samuel Wilder King 1946 - Thomas Jefferson School and Punahou- our landlod Walter Glockner and his habeas corpus situation with the military governor- Jack's court martial duty 1946- our nieghbors the Distelis, James and Edythe Needles, the Samoan tenants upstairs, wartime barbed wire, gas masks, centipedes and bombs shelters. Important letters - Wilfred Pang long active in Honolulu Chinese community describes wartime work of the Overseas Transportation office- Chaplain Maguire's book "The Captain Wears a Cross" 1943 treats the same subject=- Gen --e Mrs. PaulNelson tells of taking her two young boys to San Francisco in big convoy December 26, 1941- hero Henry Brantingham tells of arriving in Honolulu without proper uniform after being evacuated from Philippines April 1942 AND SENT TO WASHINGTON D.C. TO RECEIVE CITATION FROM PRESIDENT Rooosevelt for his unit, whose PT boats evacuated Gen. MarArthur- -TWENTY-THREE - "Over the Mountain" After planning for more than three years, the Barrett family summer 1947 toured Yosemite, redwoods, Crater Lake, Columbia River Highway, Mount Rainier, Glacier Park Montana, Yellowstone Grand Teton (with long night drive 'Over the mountain" from GrAND CANYON OF the YELLOWSTONE RIVER TO MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS-then home by northern route to Hartford and Boston. TWENTY-FOUR - "Home is the Sailor" - Barrett's stay with Jack Barrett's sister Mollie - move to West Roxbury 1947- John attended Roxbury Latin and Harvard- Jack completes law school at Boston College :Law School 1951 under G.I. Bill -Hartigan cousins help find Irish relatives. Much West Roxbury material still being prepared. Recently PART ONE has been organized from "Black Notebooks, letters, and recollections: This material is nearing final form, though gaps are being filled from Sophie's handwritten texts: As currently planned Part One will have at least five parts:--- {i} Sophie and the Meranski Family,- Hartford Connecticut and Mount Holyoke College 1901-1923 {ii} Social Work and Marriage New York-Philadelphia 1923-1930 {iii} "THE YOUNG OFFENDER AND THE CRIMINAL LAW IN MASSACHUSETTS" Sophie's 1925 Masters Thesis in Economics and Sociology at Mount Holyoke College directed by department head Amy Hewes with extensive bibliography of early historical sources. {iv} MERANSKI-GEETTER_POLLACK-Hartford-Mount Holyoke -related letters and materials Arthur Meranski, Rebekah Geetter, Jason Pollack Mollie Aronson, Ivan McCormack. John Barrett plans to reconstruct 1970s materials on Mount Holyoke alumni - much destroyed in 1993 thefts. [v] John Barrett essay "Musical Interests of Sophie and Jack Barrett" These five chapters focus on Sophie's l;ife up to 1928, when she met Jack Barrett. The Red=Headed Stepchild material will probably be reorgaNIZED, WITH PART TWO continuing the narrative of Jack and Sophie together over forty years after 1928. Then probably the early years of the Barrett family will be placed in a re-organized Part Three at the end, with much new information on relations located in the 1970s and more recently.- Most of this material will be available on the website, but can be E mailed to those who are interested in a particular topic or segment. Many recent photos and material from storage added tomay 2000.- John Barrett
Subject: John Robert Barrett acccount book
Year: 1890