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

 


WEB PAGE 55 contains CHAPTER ONE to FIVE "SOPHIE BARRETT EARLY YEARS". p 55#1080 RED HEADED STEPCHILD Part I Sophie Barrett's Early Years Chapter I Meranski family, Hartford, Mount Holyoke 1901-1923

 

1901=1923 Sophie Barrett's early years- parents David Meranski and Thalia Goldfeld + family- Hartford + Mount Holyoke -Sophie Barrett 1901-23 "RED HEADED STEPCHILD": CHAPTER I Meranski Family Hartford and Mount Holyoke College Sophie Barrett memoir Thalia Goldfeld Meranski 1869-1925 To the best of my knowledge my mother Thalia Goldfeld Meranski came to Hartford Connecticut from Vienna Austria with her younger brother Jacob, when she was a girl.I understood that she and my father were married in Germania Hall at the corner of Main and Morgan Street in Hartford August 8, l890. My first memory of my mother finds her standing in the living room, holding my infant sister Babe in her arms on Pleasant Street when I was five years old, in l906. Babe was her eighth and last child - all healthy.I was her sixth born in a family of four boys and four girls. My mother was of average height, slender, black=haired and black-eyed.She was a good cook, but I never saw her sew or mend, because by trade my father was a tailor,which he learned in Cairo Egypt as a very young man.My earliest memories are of him working at home on Pleasant St. Hartford about l906.He made men's expensive overcoats of dark blue woolen material with velvet collar.One habit of his I remember that reflects the cold climate he came from- he would put a lump of sugar inside his mouth and pour tea from the teapot directly on the sugar.My father was an excellent tailor who enjoyed his work until his eyesight was strained by the use of fine needles and dark thread on dark blue overcoats and black velvet collars. Apparently around l909-l9l0 as he got into his mid-forties, it became difficult to adjust to the close work. In l906 owing to a financial Panic my father found it very difficult to support his large family of ten in Hartford, where very few customers if any could afford a custom made overcoat. Through a friend Samuel Schlimbaum he found work as a tailor in New York for a time in l907. He located a cheap tenement at Twenty-Seventh Street near Third Avenue and wrote my mother to bring the family.Less than a year old my sister Babe was an infant in arms suffering from the measles when my mother gathered her brood in a horse=drawn carriage and took us to the Hartford railroad station. My sister Esther remembers my mother keeping Babe's face covered with a blanket as we rode in the coach train to New York city.My three older brothers slept on the floor,and one night Ben stepped on Al's hand, which was sore for weeks afterward.I was too young to go to school, though my sister Bertha did attend New York schools for some time. I spent most of my time looking out the window, as my mother had two very young children to care for. Although I was less than six years old, my mother would give me ten or twenty cents every noon, and I would go to the store to buy the baloney.We had no bathroom of our own and had to share the toilet out in the front hall with the other tenants on that second floor.To supplement our diet, we had a corn popper and popped corn on the coal stove nearly every night.My brothers would take a coal hod down to the railroad tracks and spend long hours trying to fill their hods with coal that might have fallen from the coal trains. Wood was difficult to get, but my brothers searched endlessly for kindling wood. One evening my father's friends the Schlimbaums had the ten of us for supper. We went to their flat by streetcar, and I can remember my disbelief at the number of courses and quantity of food on the table. As a matter of fact, I believe we ate at their home several times. At Halloween, looking out the window at our home I saw some mean tricks as teenage boys would hit passersby with long socks with a heavy brick inside. One morning I was standing in the front room when my father unexpectedly came home. My mother without a word followed him from the entrance down in the kitchen to the front room and watched the poor man put his scissors and his tape measure on the table. When she questioned him with her expressive eyes, he told her that there was not enough work in the tailor shop, and as the last man hired, he had been fired. Only a few months after our arrival, my father was laid off as he had least seniority.He communicated with his friend Elizah Cohen, who found us an inexpensive tenement on Portland St. in Hartford,where my father used the front room as his tailor shop & managed to make a living sewing custom fitted overcoats for Gimmel Burnham We returned to Hartford and lived on Portland Street. I attended the Second North School in first and second grades. My sister Babe had rheumatic fever when she was about four years old. There are Portland Street neighbors named Goldfield listed nearby in 1909 directories, but we have not been able to find out if they were relatives of my mother. In Boston in the l970's we spoke with a widow Celia Goldfield of Milton, whose husband had come from Rovno in eastern Poland, on the same railroad line as Brody,where my mother came from.The name probably dates back to an Austrian taxation plan of the later eighteenth century.My mother had a family photo album. We believe her parents named Abel and Bertha were deceased in Austria before 1890.Ellis Island opened in l892, and immigration records from New York from the 1880's are said to have burned. We lived on Portland St.until he bought a restaurant at 25 Morgan St.from Charles Abuza, father of Sophie Abuza, later well known as Sophie Tucker the singer.She sang in local restaurants & married Albert Tuck & changed her stage name to Tucker.In l9l0 or l9ll the Meranski family posed for a formal picture. All of us had new clothes for the fall holidays,so my father and mother with the eight children posed for a picture that did justice to every one of us.I still have a framed picture of the group that my sister Babe gave me.The picture shows my father David Meranski l865=l933, my mother Thalia Goldfeld l869-l925, my brothers Harry l89l,Ben l892 Abe l896 & Israel Peter l903 and my sisters Esther Nov. l9,1894.,Bertha July 25, l898, Rebekah ("Babe") Nov. l, l906 and my self,Sophie Ruth born October 4, l90l at l9l Front St. My mother had a wooden barrell into which she put large quantities of blue Concord grapes to make the wine for Passover.I enjoyed putting the grapes in the hole in the barrell & enjoyed the wonderfully sweet, clear wine she made every year.I remember the big coal stove at 25 Morgan St. & the big pots & pans my mother used to cook the noon meal for her 25 regular customers & her family of ten.We never had customers for breakfast or supper - just for dinner at noon. She usually started the meal with pickled herring (or soup meat if preferred) followed by noodle,or rice,or pea, or barley, sliced bread,prunes or dried apricots, & tea. They charged thirty=five cents for dinner, & tips were unknown,even when my sister Bee helped my father serve his customers.I remember one diner who came into the kitchen to fill small bottles with very weak tea. He claimed to be an eye doctor & he used his bottle of tea as medicine.A diner of long standing had epileptic fits in the restaurant. One diner,a handkerchief salesman paid my sister Bee (Bertha) & me to fold handkerchiefs for him. One day I was standing at the coal stove reading "BLACK BEAUTY",when the book accidentally fell into a large pot of soup before my mother had skimmed off the grease-I was horrified as I fished it out & tried to dry it out.It was a library book, but I blotted the book again & again & dried it out.I returned it to the library in fear,but I never heard from the library about it. (The Hartford Public Library had the first full-time Professional U.S.children's librarian, Carolyne Hewins,native of West Roxbury Massachusetts on Emmonsdale Road)My mother made blackberry wine in a pottery jug & used it as medicine for stomach ache.She frequently pickled a large crock of herring & onions, which she served in the restaurant & the children ate as an after school snack.The restaurant was heavy work for my mother & the advent of the automobile allowed salesmen to cover more territory & eat on the road= the volume of business fell off,so my father decided to give up the restaurant & go into the tailors' supply business. He bought threads, needles, scissors,tape measures, linings, wax,, tailors' chalk etc & stowed them in our house & tried his luck without any success from the start.So in fall l9l6 he bought a house & general store at 4 Wooster St.The house had three tenements. We occupied the second floor, six rooms.The first floor had only three rooms because of the large store.There were six rooms on the third floor,which we rented out.The general store had a full line of groceries- bread, fresh fruit,fresh vegetables,penny candy &hardware, especially pots & pans. We enjoyed a victrola,a telephone,& Esther bought a piano,which Babe used for many years. I shared a bedroom with my sister Bertha while my eldest and youngest sisters Esther and Babe had another bedroom. I often wore Bee's outgrown clothes.I was a sophomore at Hartford Public High School-walked the two & a half or three mile route every day - rain, snow,or shine.At first I walked with my sister Bee (Bertha)& after she was graduated I walked with my younger brother Pete, but he soon deserted me for the boys.One of my earliest school recollections concerns third grade when I transferred to the Brown School on Market Street near Main Street right around the corner from my home at 25 Morgan St.My third grade teacher Miss Murphy & another teacher Miss Flynn were outside my room talking in the corridor just before class was to start at nine when for no reason at all that I can recall,the girl in front of me screamed loudly. When Miss Murphy rushed to her,she said, "Sophie pinched the back of my neck."Although I denied the charge, Miss Murphy,whom I feared,got her strap & strapped my hands several times.(Conversation: the students sometimes used to say,"Oh Miss Murphy,just drop dead."), My fourth grade teacher Miss Drago was a young,kindly woman of Italian extraction who was an excellent teacher & through her I became an excellent speller somehow,& she also interested me in geography.Because the fifth grade was too crowded,I was promoted from the fourth to the sixth grade=unfortunately,I now believe as I missed a lot of history,especially English history. However my sixth grade teacher Miss Callahan worked hard with us, was a fine disciplinarian & insisted that I be promoted to the eighth grade,again causing me to miss important geography & history information= subjects that I had to try to learn in adult life as I took no history courses in college & only ancient history in high school.My eighth grade teacher Miss Ensign lived in Ensign, Connecticut- a young,kindly woman who seemed to me to embody everything fine.I was just thirteen years old when I entered the ninth grade at least a year & in most cases almost two years younger than the other students in the course.The fifteen-year-old boys & girls enjoyed each other but except for one boy whom I didn't like & wouldn't date none of the boys or girls paid any attention to me.I was short & thin=lonely until a new girl came to our class named Mildred Vien.Her parents ran a rooming house on Main Street.She sat across the aisle from me in school & occasionally she invited me to her home to do homework.I can't remember whether or not she was smart,but I do remember that she got on my nerves by starting out very fast when we had arithmetic tests- writing quickly even before I had finished reading the questions.I should have realized that she was older than I, that she had had fifth & seventh grade arithmetic I had missed,but instead of concentrating on the job before me I was upset by the headstart that she had on me.So I stayed out of school, and that worried my kindly mother who had a husband & eight children to care for not to mention her doing all the cooking for the restaurant she & my father ran to earn our living.Finally Miss Clark,our ninth grade teacher,a wonderful,tall,heavy,kindly understanding woman,came to our house to see why I was absent so long from her class.She could have sent the truant officer,but she didn't even report the absence to the principal-merely entered it in her attendance book.I remember her sympathetic patience with me that late afternoon-school didn't even close till 3:30& she always kept some children after school for disciplinary purposes. When I finally confessed that sitting so close to Mildred Vien had unnerved me, she immediately offered to change my seat,so I sat in front of Andrew Diana, a handsome fifteen-year-old who went steady with Josephine Avitui.Miss Clarke put me in the "B" class section rather than with the brighter students in the "A" class.I soon recovered my composure & with her enouragement I decided to take the college course at Hartford Public High School.I was the sixth born in my family,but no one before me had taken the college course or studied Latin.Just before noon one morning,I had finished our arithmetic test,when Andrew Diana whispered to me,"Sophie, let me see your paper."I gave him my paper, but as Miss Clarke was walking up & down the aisles she spotted Andrew copying my paper & invited both of us to remain in our seats when the lunch bell rang.She took Andrew's test & tore it up,saying his grade for the test was "zero".Calmly she got her strap -gave me three hard strap blows on my right hand,& to this day I have never again cheated on a test or examination.She continued to be most kindly toward me, & Andrew also graduated in June.So I was still thirteen when I entered the Hartford Public High School,& it was a long walk from my house to the school.I was really afraid of the stern Miss Taylor who taught the ancient history and even more afraid of my Latin teacher Mr. Coffin....I memorized every word of the history assignments & studied my Latin grammar until I fell asleep at night.On the final day of my freshman year we were far back in the auditorium at the exercises for the graduating class.I was startled when someone punched me in the back & said,"Go on up, Sophie.They are calling your name."When the principal started awarding prizes,I paid no attention as I took it for granted that the prizes were only for the graduating class.Bit I received a five dollar gold piece for being the best Latin Student in the freshman class.I put the five dollars in the Dime Savings Bank,where I still have an account (l97l).It was my first deposit.The summer of l9l5 I had a vegetable garden near the East Hartford bridge on the Connecticut River east of the city. I prepared the ground with a spade, made rows for seeds with a fork,and planted my seeds. In the first row I had little red radishes, then carrots,then beets, then green beans, then peas,onions, lettuce & other vegetables. I also grew tomatoes, cabbage, turnips, and swiss chard. As soon as I was fourteen years old I got a working permit & worked as a salesclerk for W.T. Grant company on Main Street in Hartford.I sold dry goods from nine in the morning until ten o'clock at night every Saturday & received fifty cents for my long day's work.I went home for lunch,carried back my sandwich for supper & enjoyed a chocolate soda,which Grant's sold for five cents.Sophomore year (fall l9l6) we moved to Wooster Street even farther from high school,& I invariably walked to & from school. Our l9l9 Class song was (tune Chopin A FLAT polonaise), {""Nineteen,dear old NINE-teen. -Fairest class of old NINE teen. Fairest class at Hartford High -Love for you will never die NINEteen dear old NINEteen Fairest class of OLD NINEteen."..My home room & English teacher was Miss Harriet Barstow, a young (l9l5) graduate of Mount Holyoke College,interested in missionary work. Her sister was also a teacher. Miss Barstow encouraged me to apply for Mount Holyoke College. Many of the girls had given up the idea of college because the best girls' colleges just that year had decided to require college entrance examinations for the first time in the year we were scheduled to enter. [p.15] But Miss Barstow was persistent with me and helped me to make out an application to Mount Holyoke College.She had sent for the form. So I took the College board exams in English, Latin, and mathematics as required at that time. Mount Holyoke agreed to accept me on condition that I take trigonometry my freshman year, as my grade in geometry in high school was unsatisfactory. So I reluctantly agreed to take mathematics my freshman year at Mount Holyoke. My high school subjects senior year were English, German, Latin, and Chemistry. I do not recall my grades and have no record of them. As soon as I was sixteen years old, I started to work Saturdays and summers at G. Fox and company.'s department store on Main Street, where my brother Ben worked in the shipping department. I sold notions. When I left at the end of the summer 1919 to enter college, the department gave me a sewing basket filled with all the pins, needles, darners,cotton,scissors,tape measure that a college girl away from home really needs. When I wrote to the college accepting admission, I asked for work to do to help pay expenses, and the college gave me a job waiting on table for lunch and dinner seven days a week, except no Sunday supper. Since none of my older brothers or sisters had attended college, we were all enthusiastic, even though none of us knew how we could finance the venture beyond my freshman year. My savings from working at Grant's and at Fox's would cover freshman year but allow nothing for clothes or recreation., To a seventeen year old girl who had never been farther from home than high school, a trip to South Hadley, Massachusetts seemed too much. So my beloved brother "Al" (Abe) volunteered to accompany me on the train to college the Saturday before classes were to begin.My oldest sister Esther, a bookkeeper for Swift & Company loaned me her suitcase,which was more than ample because about the only clothes I had were those I was wearing.She also gave me her fur lined leather winter coat which I used all four years at school Since it was really only a jacket I really needed the woolen skirt I wore with it. It was an uneventful trip - we took a train to Springfield, changed there to a Boston and Maine train for Holyoke, then had a long trolley ride to South Hadley. I was to live on the fourth floor of Pearsons Hall [on the west side of the main road near the President's home] , and as it was geting dark that September afternoon, the small room with its bare furnishings did not look inviting, and I think my brother would have taken me home if I had asked him to. At this point my "big sister" appeared. She was a member of the class of 1921, who had written to me during the summer. She was pretty and cordial, and her greeting to me and to my brother helped, but she left almost immediately saying she would get in touch with me again. Al had to leave for the trip home- so he was off, and I was alone- left to a lonesomeness which I survived but which led many of my classmates to leave. Fortunately I was scheduled to have dinner at 5:30 so that I would be free to wait on table at six,& after the wholesome generous warm food I felt a little better & managed to wait on my table without seasoning the food with tears. But that Saturday evening was an eternity. Freshman week was not observed at Mount Holyoke. I stood by the window in that small room on the fourth floor looking out at the awful darkness and struggled against my loneliness with nothing to do, as I had so few possessions to unpack and so few stamps to waste on letter writing. Eleanor Hall had the cubby hole next to mine, and Olivia Sherrod had the one across the hall from me, and Clara Michal was next to Olivia. I didn't meet Eleanor or Olivia for some time, but I met Clara on Sunday because she too waited on table. Soon I knew all the girls who waited on table. and when I heard Olivia sobbing in her room I went in to comfort her - but before the first week was over,she had left Two freshmen Becky Smaltz and Frances David from Germantown Friends School had a double room on that fourth floor -but the rest of us had single rooms- there were Kay Trufant, whose family grew cranberries on Cape Cod, Mildred Janney, Ruth Connally,, Anne Bell, and Agnes Cormack.18- Soon after Olivia went, Anne Bell and Agnes Cormack gave up too and went home. I was crazy about the cook,Elizabeth & she liked me, gave me extra steak & vegetables & always offered me extra dessert. Her warmth kept me there when others gave up & went home,& her food added seventeen pounds to my weight so that the only way I could use my one woollen skirt was to keep it together by a horse-blanket-sized safety pin supplied by the cook,who could even make hash taste good.Since I always wore a white middy blouse,the safety pin did not show.At most I had three middy blouses but kept them clean in a well supplied laundry in the basement of the dormitory. After I left Pearson's I went back every year to see Elizabeth even after I became a member of the faculty. Those of us who waited on table fared better at dinner than the other girls because we ate first just as soon as the food was cooked & of course before there was a shortage of any item. We had our lunch after the others ate. My subjects freshman year were Chemistry, Trigonometry, German, and English. Except for the "Trig", which gave me some trouble, I had no academic difficulty. I concentrated on making friends with Clara Michal, Mildred Janney, Ruth Connally, Becky Smaltz, and a few seniors. The greatest thrill of my life up to that time came the Wednesday before Thanksgiving- because I was going home after I served brunch. I could hardly breathe for excitement, as my sister Esther had sent me the price of the round trip. I rarely wrote home as I had used the few stamps I had and had no cash to buy one-cent or two-cent stamps. I remember my joy when Julius Aronson, my brother Al's best friend,wrote a letter to me enclosing one dollar early in my freshman year. I used it at the college bookstore for theme paper. As I left the building where my last Wednesday class let out at noon, I was overjoyed to be going home. I greeted my father first downstairs in the grocery and general store heowned - then my mother up in the kitchen - then my sisters and brothers as they came home from work and school.I walked home from the railroad station with my suitcase, and then walked back to the station Sunday afternoon with Esther and my younger brother Pete. The next summer 1920 I went back to Fox's notion counter and spent my sophomore year residing at South Cottage and again waited on table to help meet expenses.My courses were German, Physiology Economics, and Sociology.. Sophomore year I roomed with Eleanor Hall who had lived next door to me in Pearson's,who drew a lucky number enabling her to choose a room very early on the list,& she invited me to join her in spacious quarters for two. {Eleanor later studied library science at Simmons College. I saw her at reunions in 1978 and 1983]. There in South Cottage there was quiet for study & soon after the mid year examinations I received a note from Professor Alzada Comstock saying that she had given me a grade of 98 on the Economics exam and considered my paper the best she had ever read by a student. We used Taussig's text and recited from David Ricardo: "Corn is not high because rent is dear. Rent is dear because corn is high."


 


Sophie Meranski Barrett Chapter One continued Mount Holyoke College p 54-1081

 

One of Sophie's stories possibly from Morgan Street Hartford or else from social work days concerns a woman who frequently got drunk and when being escorted into the police patrol would holler loudly, "Make room, make room." Amy Hewes [1877-1970] was the chair of Mount Holyoke's large department of Economics and Sociology. She invited Sophie to be her assistant in the department and statistics lab 1923-1925, advised her on her master's thesis, and helped her find jobs 1924-5 at Children's Bureau, U.S. Department of Labor; at Commonwealth Fund NewYork-Philadelphia 1926-9 and as Director of Personnel Research Macy's stores 1929-30. One of her characteristic sayings was "This well to know when 'tis done." Mount Holyoke President Mary Woolley took a great interest in individual students and remembered them all long after graduaion.Some students did not find conversation easy going through reception lines at college functions.There was a story that no matter what you said, you would get a perfunctory reply, "How nice". Supposedly one girl decided to tell the hostesses "My grandmother died last night," as she went through. Sophie told this story once or twice. She liked to quote a saying "Character is resistance ro environment" and another "Reputation is what others think of you. Character is what you think of yourself." During the early years of World War 2 she wrote sayings of this sort lightly on the paint above the kitchen sink at 2415 Ala Wai Boulevard Waikiki. - During the years after World War I there was a period of great enthusiasm for singing at the college. Our l923 class song "The SPHINX" was written (lyrics) by archaeologist Marion Nosser with music by classmate Ruth King Dunne freshman year,"Wind hushed, the desert lies dreaming Under the far eastern sky Only the Sphinx keeps its secret, Waiting for daylight to die.Now 'neath the warm blue of heaven,Rousing itself with a sigh,Softly it speaks & its whisper Floats to the dome of the sky.Hark don't you hear the far echo? Borne on the night wind to us? Now has the Sphinx told its secret "NON SIBI SED OMNIBUS" (for all, not self).Faithful,we'll guard it forever, Marching Beneath it unfurled Until the age-long secret lies in the heart of the world." . After a fire destroyed Rockefeller Hall one November, forcing residents to live in the gymnasium, several girls of our class wrote a "Fund=Raiser" song for alumnae & friends, " Holyoke's RAISING College-BRED (BREAD) From the Flower (FLOUR) of the land. From YEAST (y'east) & West with plenty of SPICE She makes a superior brand.We KNEAD (need) a lot of DOUGH To RAISE the Fund 'tis SAID. But WE are NEEDED (KNEADED) too,you see, For WE are COLLEGE=BRED (BREAD)." Mildred Holt participated in that and led us in"Competitive Class Sing" which we frequently won. One song used the melody of Triumphal Chorus of Verdi's AIDA to the words "Where Peace & Freedom Reign, the Happy Songs of Children Rise. The desolate of all the earth find here their sorrow dies."That sophomore year I made the acquaintance of a Massachusetts Agricultural College senior who occasionally came over to see me.His name was George Quint,a journalism major whose fiancee Sade Slonim of Hartford was my sister Bee's girl friend. (Their son Bert Quint was CBS-tv foreign correspondent East Europe-Near East l970's.That summer between my sophomore & junior years I worked with my sister Esther at H.L. Handy company near the railroad tracks.Across from the company where I did filing that summer was the Cohen Coal company, where a young man worked & smiled at us when we were going to or coming from work. He was often outside directing his coal truck drivers. When I returned to college for my junior year,my finances were precarious but Mount Holyoke had initiated a new system of reduced rates for some rooms,so I took a fourth floor room where I waited on the table of Miss Amy Hewes, who was at the head of the Department of Economics & Sociology.She told Miss Wheeler the house mother that my waiting on her table was a complete joy to her. Consequently in my senior year I waited on Miss Wheeler's table, where all her VIP guests ate.My courses junior year were German, (with Grace Bacon, who had been in France with Red Cross in l9l9 & sang songs like "Joan of Arc"), Economics (Money & Banking), Bible,Ballads & Psychology.There were several Freshmen on Brigham Fourth Floor & a senior named Cora Hughes, who were fond of me & pleaded with me to attend Junior Prom. I explained that I had no partner, no evening dress,& no money to pay for the ticket & to pay for a man's room.So one freshman named Gray offered me a blue velvet evening gown(which I tried on).Cora Hughes (l922) offered to teach me to run the Mount Holyoke College switchboard saying I could make thirty=five cents a hour , & she would let me take her hours until I had earned enough to meet the Prom expenses,which we small (& I continued Senior year after she graduated.) Now the problem was the man.(George Quint was graduated,about to be married).I wrote to my sister Esther,asking her to find out the name of the boy who worked at the Coal company across from Handy's. I was pleased to learn that he was the son of the owner-&probably would have the use of a car. So I wrote him inviting him to Junior Prom,and when he accepted,all of Brigham's Fourth Floor rejoiced.It was all a pure joy from the time he arrived,until I received his box of candy & thank you note . That summer again I worked at G. Fox & Co.but now at the stationery counter which was short-handed.Also that summer I wrote to the Dean of Mount Holyoke College (Purrington) reluctantly telling her that I couldn't meet the costs of the Senior year. because my younger brother had entered Trinity college & that my brother Al (Abe) was married & that my sister Bea was not working because of illness. Whereupon the dean offered to lend me without interest any amount that I might need to return to college. So I borrowed several hundred dollars,which I returned to the college before the end of the next year (l924). Again .senior year I lived in the cheaper room Brigham's fourth floor,waited on table but had a little more spending money because I worked a few evenings a week & Sunday mornings operating the telephone switchboard,which I enjoyed..My courses were French, Social Work, Statistics, Philosophy,& Art. "Lights Out" was at ten o'clock. All girls in the college were supposed to be ready for bed at this time. Occasionally a girl could keep her lights on later to study,but even then she had to be safely in her room by ten o'clock. Toward the end of the junior year I received a note from a Junior at Massachusetts Agricultural College,who said his fraternity brother George Quint of New York suggested we get acquainted.After that we dated Saturday evenings during the remainder of junior & senior year. His name was Nandor (Ferdinand) Porges (of Hyde Park, Massachusetts). Early in the senior year my friend Nandor Porges told me that he had made the Massachusetts "Aggie" football team.He invited me to the last game of the season against a traditional rival.So I sat alone & saw him on the Aggie bench sucking lemons & wrapped in a blanket.The game went badly for Mass Aggie & as time went on I watched him impatiently sucking lemons,but the game ended without his taking part.He planned to go on to Rutgers to study soil chemistry.On the last Saturday evening of our senior year, he & I were sitting on a bench under a tree near my dormitory.It was after nine thirty by the Mary Lyon clock, which was illuminated & which we could see from where we were sitting. He had to take a ten o'clock (9:50 pm) trolley for Amherst, & I had to be in my room with lights out by ten o'clock.As we were both about to take final exams & to leave right after graduation, we knew that this was our last meeting.When he asked me to marry him,I agreed to..He pinned his fraternity pin on me,gave me verbally his parents' address in Hyde Park, told me again that he expected to go to Rutgers the next year to study soil chemistry. As his trolley left at ten minutes before ten, he left me at Brigham Hall at 9;45 & rushed off without even a handshake. Exams came & went.I heard nothing from him. Commencement came & went.Still I heard nothing from him.When I had been home (Hartford) a week & was about to leave for New York City (social work) I decided to free myself of a promise made hurriedly to a boy who didn't telephone or write,,so I wrote to him carefully, putting my return address on the envelope, in case I had remembered his address incorrectly & told him I had changed my mind about marrying him & would return his fraternity pin shortly.But I waited to hear from him before returning the pin,thinking that he would surely answer the letter & make some explanation as the marriage proposal came from him although I had never encouraged him to believe that I was interested in him except as a pleasant social contact. I put the fraternity pin in a bureau drawer & forgot to take it with me when I left for New York City very soon after the letter & my father promised to forward any mail that might come from him. I naver heard from him & I never returned his fraternity pin,thinking if he wanted it he would have to write for it. But he never did.At the first class meeting senior year there was a hearsay report that all the previous year's officers should be re-elected unanimously. Some members of the class were indignant that a handful of girls should run the class all the time, so they insisted upon individuals nominations for class officers. I was elected Sargeant at Arms, a post that gave me pleasant duties that year & at reunions.(Class won silver cup for high attendance at 25th Reunion l948 -stolen photo showed Sophie holding the cup with class officers) Before I was graduated,I knew every member of my class.Attendance at morning chapel & at Church Sunday was required. In the Senior year each girl wore cap & gown every morning to chapel.& when the service was over, the Seniors marched out in twos,singing a hymn to the accompaniment of the organ.Every Sunday a well known minister would visit the college to conduct church services.. [near bottom page 23 - John Barrett note{Sophie's father & mother and sisters Esther & Babe Rebekah rented a car to attend the l923 graduation at which Sophie received her A.B. degree. They were guests at the luncheon table of Sophie's advisor & future boss, Amy Hewes, head of Economics & Sociology Department,which was organized l907..The morning speaker had been Alexander Meiklejohn, president of Amherst College,who had strong views on excellence in education and was considered radical..Someone asked "Pa" Meranski what he thought of the speaker,and he replied in his usual loud voice,so that everyone at the table could not miss hearing him,"They'll fire him."(Miss Hewes remained polite & unpeturbed). "Pa" Meranski's prediction proved correct.He was active in teaching English to immigrants through the Moses Montefiore society in Hartford and in helping families make funeral arrangements through Capitol city Lodge..His daughter Babe recollects that around l9l2-l9l4 Boris Thomaschevsky of Yiddish theatre, Second Avenue, New York & members of his family when on tour would sing at the Meranski restaurant on Morgan Street, & Thomaschevsky invited Bertha Meranski to travel as a singer with his company,but her parents considered it inadvisable. She was active in the glee club and girls Business Club in class of l9l7 at Hartford High along with her friends Eva Levin &..Silverberg. Their photos appeared in l9l7 yearbook, but in l9l9 there was no yearbook because of paper shortage after World War I.The three older Meranski brothers,Harry Ben & Abe were drafted late summer l9l8.It made their mother so nervous that she put salt instead of sugar she was making.Two went to Fort Devens, Massachusetts & one to Fort Dix New Jersey. Two had influenza, probably Harry & Ben.Several of the family took middle names or nicknames -Benjamin Franklin Meranski, Sophie Ruth Meranski = she loved the Book of Ruth in the Bible-Israel Peter Meranski & Rebekah "Babe" Meranski Geetter.Sophie sang many World War I songs: "Alsace is sighing, Lorraine is crying Your mother France looks to you.Our hearts are bleeding Are you unheeding Come with that flame in your glance. Through the gates of Heaven Do they bar your way? Souls who passed through Yesterday (chorus:) "Joan of Arc,Joan of Arc Do your eyes from the skies see the foe? Don't you see the drooping fleurs-de-lis? Can't you hear the cries of Normandy?Joan of arc may your spirit guide us through! Come lead your France to Victory!Joan of Arc they are calling you." She sang the Plattsburg March:"Oh it's not the pack that you carry on your back,Nor the Springfield (rifle) on your shoulder Nor the Four Inch crust of khaki-colored dust that makes you feel you're surely getting older,And it's not the hike on the old turnpike That drives away your smiles nor the socks of sister's That raise the blooming blisters-It's the last long mile." (Breitel). She effectivly rendered Irving Berlin's "Oh,how I hate to get up in the morning! Oh,how I like to spend my time in bed! But the hardest thing of all is to hear the bugler call,":You gotta get up,you gotta get up,you gotta get up this morning!Someday I'm going to murder the bugler. Someday they're going to find him dead.I'll put my uniform away,I'll move to Philadelphi-ay & spend the rest of my time in bed."She also liked(with slight variations)to sing his:"I give the moon above To those in love when I leave the world behind,I'll leave the song birds to the blind.."and "Cohen owes me ninety-seven dollars. It's up to you to see that Cohen pays.I have a bill of goods from Rosenstein & sons On an I-O-you-ou-ou for ninety days.If you'll promise me my son, you'll collect from everyone, I'll die with a smile upon my face."From l9l7 also were comic songs music by Bert Grant & lyrics by Sam Lewis & Joe Young"Pat McCarthy hale &hearty Living in Oregon-He heard a lot of talk about the great New York-So he left the farm where all was calm,And he landed on old Broadway- He took the little Mary Ann into a swell cafe: 'Arrah go wan I want to go back to Oregon.I want to go back to stay.I could feed the horses many a bale of hay for all that it costs to feed one chick on old Broadway.Arrah go wan gowichagowaygowan arrah go wan I want to go back to Oregon!'" and "Timothy Kelly who owned a big store Wanted the name painted over the door.One day Pat Clancy the painterman came Tried to be fancy & misspelled the name. Instead of a Kelly with a double L, Y, he painted "Kely" but one L was shy.Pat says 'it looks right,but I want no pay -I figured it out in my own little way.If I knock the "L" out of Kelly. It would still be Kelly to me.Sure a single L, Y or a double L, Y, Should look the same to any Irishmans eye--Knock out the L from Killarney, Sure Killarney it always would be,But if I knock the L out of Kelly,He'll knock the "l" out of me."From early Hartford days Sophie sang "Moving day, moving day. Take you oil stove from the floor.Take your stove,and There's the door." "Oil,oil,kerosene oil- My oil is better than Finnegan's oil. Finnegan's oil is water. Mine's kerosene oil." To the tune "Love me & the World is mine" l907 hit she sang_"I care not for the Hartford Times I dare not read the Evening Post-I do not want the Journal-One cent & the WORLD (newspaper) is mine." She liked Alfred Gumble's l9l3 " When the honeysuckle vine Comes a-creeping round the door A sweetheart mine Is waiting patiently for me-You can hear the Whipporwill Sounding softly from the hill Her memory haunts you Rebecca wants you Come on back to Sunnybrook Farm." A minor key phrase in this song also appears in l9l5 "Are you from Dixie? Are you from Dixie? Where the fields of cotton beckon to me. I'm glad to see you Tell me how be you And the friends I'm longing to see? Are you from Alabama, Tennessee or Caroline? Anywhere below the Mason-Dixon line?Then you"re from Dixie! Hurrah for Dixie! 'Cause I'm from Dix-ie too."(George Cobb-Harry Yellen) Also "In the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia In the Trail of the Lonesome Pine. In the pale moon shine our hearts entwine Where You carved your name & I carved mine-O June in the mountains of blue Like the pine I am pining for you.In the Blue .Ridge Mountains of Virginia, in the trail of the lonesome pine." Particularly when her younger brother Pete courted and married a Baltimore belle Jeanette Goldberg, she was fond of the chorus "There's a girl in the heart of Maryland With a heart that belongs to ME When I told her of my love the ORIOLE above Sang from the old apple tree And Maryland was fairyland when she prmised my bride she"d be There's a girl in the heart of Maryland With a heart that belongs to me." To the same melody & rhyme pattern she sang a curious parody:"'There's a man in my room',cried Mary Ann -'Put him out,put him out' cried Sue."I'm afraid,I'm afraid',cried another little maid,'What shall we all ever do? '....'who do you suppose that he may be?' 'No you DON'T put him out', cried Mary Ann-'What's in my ro-oom belongs to ME.'"' end of NOTE} Sophie narrative:-_ ' _ Commencement day my father and mother -24-came to the graduation exercises where President Meiklejohn of Amherst was the main speaker. After his talk at Miss Hewes's luncheon, my father said,"They'll throw him out." Sure enough a year later President Meiklejohn was forced to resign from Amherst because of his controversial views, My father and mother were invited by Miss Hewes to have lunch with her at her table in Brigham Hall. Then we drove home. I have some good snapshots [[stolen 1993]] of me and some classmates taken Commencement Day.Miss Hewes in 1970 when this was written was ninety-two years old and was living in OssiningNew York with Madeleine Grant, another Mount Holyoke professsor. [Every four years Mount Holyoke put on a Faculty play, which usually related to college history. Alzada Comstock of the Economics and Sociology Department had a major role in the 1924 play while Sophie was junior faculty. That play dealt with a Mount Holyoke faculty in episodes twenty-five years apart, - 1874-1899-1924. President Mary Woolley was a highly successful fund-raiser up until the 1930s Great Depression, and she articulated the need for career opportunities for women in Education, business, and government. She had a very active public speaking schedule and spent much of 1922 in China touring on missionary-related activities. She made a point of knowing every student and faculty member, though Sophie's personal contacts with her were not numerous outside of the Sunday chapel, in which Miss Woolley usually spoke and introduced speakers.Miss Woollley was a strong opponent of smoking "a dirty habit." The college was founded as a seminary by Mary Lyon in 1837. Miss Lyon had a major interest in botany as well as religion. Although the seminary was very small, until developed into a women's college in 1889, there was a strong tradition of scholarship, including science. One faculty member found a fossil dinosaur skeleton in the Mesozoic rocks of the Connecticut Valley, but it was destroyed in a 1917 fire. Many of the best-known faculty such as organist -choir director Professor Hammond dated from the 1890s, as did biologist Cornelia Clapp, who had affiliations at Woods Hole marine biology, so Miss Woolley was not entirely responsible for the development of a strong faculty. English was the largest field of study, but there were many concentrators in Economics and Sociology, a combined department organized around the time Ames Hewes came to the faculty in1907 and reflecting her interests as a labor economist and statistician. She was friendly with Dr. Louis Dublin of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company an actuary and pioneer of statistical research in public health and accident prevention - he made studies of tuberculosis and venereal disease. Others in the Department included Alzada Comstock and Ethel Dietrich, who tended to be on the Economic side- and Aryness Joy, who went to the Children's Bureau, United States Department of Labor, where Sophie Meranski worked summer 1924 in Detroit and June-November 1935, with extensive travel. Of Sophie's friends from freshman year in Pearsons Hall, Clara Michalopoulos born Symrna Asia Minor home in Springfield Massachusetts became a social worker in Detroit, Boston, and New Haven - and Rebecca Glover Smaltz was in State Labor Department of Pennsylvania and active in Young Womens Christian Association in Philadelphia. These two remained among Sophie's clostest friends more than sixty-seven years 1919-1987 and saw her at 1933,1948, 1978, 1983 reunions. Becky's friend and roommate Frances David was also in social work and statistics. She compiled an amusing colllection of comic songs "College Crackers 1923" and as an unpaid voluneer she continued the Statistical Reporting Sophie began at the Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic.Sophie was junior faculty in 1924 in the Statstics Lab under May Hewes. In1988 College History librarian gave John Barrett junior a very interesting photo of Sophie standing in the lab with five students of the class of 1925 seating at typewriters and accounting machines. Unfortunately it disappeared in 1993 thefts. Students included Frances Manning, Emily Miller Noss, Emily Barrows. A member of the 1925 class Ruth Muskrat was a Cherokee Indian from Oklahoma who became for many years an official of the Indian Affairs Bureau of the U.S. government. In Detroit summer 1924 Sophie lived with the Patterson family while doing statistical research on adults who had graduated from schools for the Retarded -they generally were self-supporting and had good family life. Mary and Ruth Patterson were in the classes of 1923 and 1925. Ruth was in the statistics course and invited Sophie's younger brother Pete to the 1925 Senior Prom as her own fiance was far away to attend. It was an opportunity for Pete to see his sister's college, and in 1926 he returned the courtesy by inviting Sophie to a dance at his fraternity at University of Maryland Medical School, and she stayed with the family of his future wife, Jeannette Goldberg and got to know the Goldbergs.] Notebook One page 30- In September 1923 when I returned to Mount Holyoke College to assist in the Department of Economics and Sociology I had a lovely big room on the first floor of Hitchcock Cottage, occupied by sophomores only.They were pleasant girls who gave me no trouble. We had our meals in the large cottage next door where I headed a table and was served by a waitress for the first time as I had waited on table all four of my undergraduate years. I tried to lead the conversation and make sure the girls got enough to eat. One of the girls at my table was Anna Mary Wells, who had just entered the class of 1926 with sophomore standing. She became of professor of English at Rutgers and writer of many New Yorker articles and the 1963 "Dear Preceptor," a life of Thomas Wentworth Higginson 1822-1911 that emphasizes his interest in women's education and careers and his editing and preservation of the poetry of Emily Dickinson, the innovative woman poet who lived in Amherst, Massachusetts and spent a year at Mount Holyoke. Dickinson and Higginson corresponded many years on literature, with the older well-known clergymen in role of tutor and mentor, though they met only twice briefly. Then in the 1970s I friendly correspondence with Anna Mary after I learned from Elaine Trehub that she was researching a second book on Miss Woolley. The second year 1924-5 I lived at Cowles Lodge.,also occupied by sophomores. My classmate Betty Gilman, an assistant in chemistry, lived there too. There was a kindly, elderly house mother. Betty made a pretty red dress for me, with white collars and cuffs, and she even did a good job cutting my long hair into a stylish bob. I still have a fine picture of the two of us taken in academic cap and gown on Commencement Day 1925 when both of us received Master's Degrees. Betty went to Yale in New Haven on a fellowship and received a Ph.D in Chemistry. She married Elliott Roberts Ph.D Yale soon after, - raised two girls and a boy and has lived many years in Westport, Connecticut. When a senior at Mount Holyoke College she was president of the Student Government and has taken as an alumna a vital interest in the development of the college. One of her daughters attended Cornell, another Tufts, and her son completed a five year course for a master's degree at MIT. I sat next to her at Alumnae meeting at our twenty-fifth reunion, and we had a good chance to talk while we ate our lunch there - the box lunch. We also rode together in Ruth Peck's car to our banquet at a Holyoke hotel. I have a real note fron her every year at Christmas time. Soon (1973) we will have our fifty year reunion.END Chapter One Text John Barrett note: One of Sophie's stories possibly from Morgan Street Hartford or else from social work days concerns a woman who frequently got drunk and when being escorted into the police patrol would holler loudly, "Make room, make room." Amy Hewes [1877-1970] was the chair of Mount Holyoke's large department of Economics and Sociology. She invited Sophie to be her assistant in the department and statistics lab 1923-1925, advised her on her master's thesis, and helped her find jobs 1924-5 at Children's Bureau, U.S. Department of Labor; at Commonwealth Fund NewYork-Philadelphia 1926-9 and as Director of Personnel Research Macy's stores 1929-30. One of her characteristic sayings was "This well to know when 'tis done." Mount Holyoke President Mary Woolley took a great interest in individual students and remembered them all long after graduation.Some students did not find converation easy going through reception lines at college functions.There was a story that no matter what you said, you would get a perfunctory reply, "How nice". Supposedly one girl decided to tell the hostesses "My grandmother died last night," as she went through. Sophie told this story once or twice. She liked to quote a saying "Character is resistance ro environment" and another "Reputation is what others think of you. Character is what you think of yourself." During the early years of World War 2 she wrote sayings of this sort lightly on the paint above the kitchen sink at 2415 Ala Wai Boulevard Waikiki. Sopihe TEXT from notebook one p. 203;- When Jack was in Nanking he met Harriet Cogswell- SHE WAS "QUEEN OF THE MAY" AT MOUNT HOLYOKE IN 1922 AND WAS TEACHING AT GIN-Ling college,-- Dec l8, l974 Sophie letter to Elaine Trehub Mount Holyoke, "Dear Miss Trehub In July I sent to Miss Green at Mount Holyoke college my 1919-1925 recollections of President Woolley to comply with a request fom my l923 classmate Clara Michal, who felt MEW should be brought out of the shadows.At our fiftieth reunion in l973 (which I did not attend) that matter came up that more data on our l923 honorary member MEW should be gathered while people still live who knew her.So, when Clara wrote to me as a close friend,I reluctantly wrote up my three personal sharp memories of MEW and sent them in July 1974 to Miss Green at MHC -in the summer before I read in Quarterly that she had just retired.Although I had to wander far from MHC as a Navy wife of a senior line officer in a storybook existence the world over, MHC and MEW remained close to me as I was not only in the class of l923, but I was the assistant in Economics (and Sociology) Department l923-l925 under Amy Hewes - took free courses too and was granted a Masters degree with no cost to me and much guidance by Amy Hewes,who gave freely of her time and affection for Sophie Meranski and got me every one of the fine jobs I had until I left for China to join my husband in l930.Even in far North China in l930-31, we had three Mary Woolley (era) alumnae in the Mount Holyoke Club of North China, and I sent in my small annual contribution from Peking, Tientsin, and even Shanghai.Grace Liang classs of l925 of the Woolley era was one of the three members of the club.Her father had been in the Foreign ministry under the Empress Dowager at the time of the Boxer rebellion and (early l920's) addressed both House of Congress for funds for China. While we were there (he and his wife) invited Jack and me to dinner at their Tientsin compound and then even came to dinner with us on our gunboat. GRACE LIANG MARRIED DAN YAPP OF SHANGHAI ,barely escaped with her life when the Communists took over- came to U.S. to teach after losing all possessions.She now lives in Waikiki, Hawaii as Mrs. Daniel Yapp. I have her address if Alumnae Office does not. My son knows many Mount Holyoke alumnae as we have traveled so widely, and I have always sought out MHC people,,as I was a happy sergeant-at-arms of my class- outgoing -knew all the faculty and most of the students in my era, and like MEW I knew names and faces, and my unusual name (Meranski) made me conspicuous!Because Clara asked my help in getting MEW data, John Barrett read the (Jeanette) Marks book (on Miss Woolley) and practically forced me to study it too.When I wrote to my successor ion Economics, Helen Demond, she spoke disparagingly of Marks's book but said archivists advised her there was not enough new material to warrant a new biography of MEW.I accepted that and rested. But John wrote to (MHC) President David Truman and to ?McClung?,and I signed the letter reluctantly.President Truman replied at once that he favored a volume that did justice to Miss Woolley's tenure in office. He said he had released Green from some teaching time to make an oral history and that a well-received alumna author had been making inquiry about her doing a MEW book.He said college had no funds to commission the job but he said he would encourage the alumna to do the job on her own with full cooperation from him.When Betty Gilman Roberts l9l9-1923BA l923-l925 AM in chemistry visited her in July l974 she talked about Woolley with John.- agreed to write to President Truman and to send her own memoir of MEW to Miss Green - which she did in Auguast l974.When roberts was told by alumnae secretary that Anna Mary Wells l926 was researching Woolley, I immediately wrote to Anna Mary who was a student at my table in Byron Smith Halll923-l924 - lovely sophomore.I wrote in great detail to Anna Mary - even about my father's reaction to President Meiklejohn of Ahmerst to whom MEW gave a Ph.d. He was commencement speaker to us in l923 with my father present. studying him and MEW on the platform.My fatheer remarked, "They will throw him out. He is too liberal for conservative Amherst and even for MHC, but I approve the man." Shortly after that the trustees demanded his resignation,and he went to the University of Chicago.MEW admired him, as did my father , and he took University of Chicago out of the dark ages. It was Mary Woolley who abolished the sororities at MHC and made enemies of many soroity members. In my day Amherst college was exclusive, very fraternity-oriented,very opposed to minority groups, to woman students - to all the things MEW was accepting with the changing times as she was open minded even though ... to required church and chapel, to ten o'clock lights out and to required walks in all weather.Had I been allowed to sing in choir I would have accepted church and chapel but I was NO sponge to sit through monotonous services, to listen to others have the joy of singing or to listen to Woolley read from Bible I knew so well from home training. So my mind would concentrate on her peculiar glasses, on her hairdo, on her ample bosom, on her ramrod figure (ample) and even on her New England manner of speech. To this day I can hear her in chapel saying, "Don't be cheap, girls, unutterably cheap." In my China days and in my Panama days she was always at my shoulder whispering to me "No Sophie be aU.S. ambassadress of how fine American women can be.Do not smoke cigarettes, do not take cocktails, hard drinks, champagne, liquers, do not accept light flirtations, do not go to dances with young Navy officers in Chefoo Club in China under the lanterns or in Panama City 4 when the Fleet is in, and your Jack's ship is at sea AND YOU ARE ALONE IN STRANGE PORTS.Wait for him to come back before you dance, and don't drink even with him.Serve your country in every land - don't be cheap."She never said those things to me directly. But she had preached to me so successfully that I could actually hear her admonish me to be a lady.It is true that in Panama- where everything goes -my Navy friends used to say, "Sophie let your back hair down and don't be so superior and saintly. Join in the fun with the Fleet in and our men out on the survey grounds months on end. Jack was Executive officer in very dangerous surf, but I sat home alone - with young Navy officers anxious to dance and have a few drinks in really harmlesss recreation. But MEW stopped me cold.She probably saved my marriage as Jack never wanted me to go out on the town when he was at sea!It wasa MEW Woolley on a Pullman train from New York city to Springfield Massss Sunday morning June 16, l929 who told Jack Barrett he was too complimentary of all Mount Holyoke girls but not really complimentary of Sophie.She remembered my name four years after she gave me my Master's degree! Jack was then only a friend of mine going to my sister's wedding that day In Hartford, Connecticut. When I told my friend Jack that the lady who smiled and nodded to me in the Pullman was MEW of MHC, he jumped up, asked me to present him to her, and launched into praises of all MHC girls. He had met a number through me in New York City l928-l929. She stopped him cold to tell him it was not complimentary to me for him yo say he could date any MHC girl with equal pleasure. I repeat that was Sunday June 16. He must have gotten a marriage license the next day without proposing, as we were married on the twenty-first, two hours before he shoved off for Manila in the Philippines for nearly three years of sea duty in the Orient! MEW was my Cupid- no doubt of that!I do not believe the handsome redhead ever -5- thought of me as anything but a girl at Columbia working on her Ph.d and going placed in the field of research in psychiatric research with problem children!MEW was the agent who sent me the world over even to Pearl Harbor December 7, l941 and took me forever out of good paying jobs that copuld make me liberal (financially) to MHC. We together could contribute very little. But what publicity we gave MHC - what fine students we sent, because - though my own niece was not admitted by Harreit Newhall who told me that (my niece's ) overall picture (academic record) was not good - my niece went to Connecticut College for Women,met and married a Yale man of great wealth, got her Master's degree at New York School of Social Work, and they contribute nothing to MHC but only to Yale and Connecticut College for Women. I try to interest her in Mount Holyoke College for my two great-niece Jessica and Hilary Price. She says, "no, aunt Sophie,No child of mine will have the heartache the whole family suffered when your college turned me down with NO reason given after .. all led me to believe MHC would be gald to have your niece.She refused me at the last minute, and I would have been out in the cold if Dad (Dr. Isadore Geetter MD) had not gone to see the President of Connecticut College for Women." Her father was Trinity and Jefferson Medical School and director of Mount Sinai Hospital in Hartford., father of two surgeons who had gone to Trinity - a tradition in his family and mine! But Jack and I decided Mount Holyoke knew the score and we went right on sending very bright girls there, and one got an Emily Dickinson scholarship - Sally Hey, and one got a $2200 annual scholarship that covered the cost of tuition and board and room and even travel from Boston to South Hadley (Marilyn Donovan). I enclose a letter from Becky Smaltz l923. I had sent it to Anna Mary Wells with Becky's consent but asked Anna Mary to retrurn init to me for Archives. Yesterday a second shorter letter came from Becky, which I sent to Anna Mary in the hope she will eventually send tit to you. She prefers npon-confidenbtrial material go to you rather than her as she has access to all your Woolley data. RuthDouglass l923 has been a generous gold mine of material about Mary Woolley and graciously gave me permisssion to give her many points to Anna Mary Wells and I did before I read in Quarterly that material is collected and indexed by Mount Holyoke archivists. I now tell people to write to you rather than to me or to Anna Mary Wells.And I have asked Anna Mary Wells to give you all my material NOT marked "personal" and ofno relation to Mary Woolley I hope you will thank the Editor of Quarterly for quoting from my letter of July and for her fine editorial comment. She pleased a lot of older alumnae including Becky Smaltz, who wrote methat the whole write-up in Fall Quarterly is fine. Free publicity is expensive for Quarterly, so I hope you receive some valuable new data on Mary Woolley.In respons from letters from me to folks in classes of l935, l936, the reply is "Mary Woolley was away a lot and remote but we respected her and hope someone will in our time write something worthy of her." I do not envy AnnaMary Wells.To please many alumnae of the Woolley era is not an enviable job.There are those who wanted changes and those who resisted changes. I favored changes. I knew Etherl Barbara Dietrich fairly well when she lived in President's Home and was a member of Department of Economics. and Sociology in my student days l919-l923 (I had an Economics course with her), and she was kind to me as an asssitant in thgye department l923-l925.. I understand she lives in a nursing home and is mentally keen (source is Anna Mary Wells).But Anna Mary can find NO address for her. Can college sendm her address to me so I can send her Greetings of the season? Douglass thought Helen Demond had her address, but I get no reply from Demond, who may be away.I shall not intrude ondietrich's right to privacy nor question her about Mary Woolley. I would send her address to Anna Mary if I get it and let her take it from there. Anna Mary [6-10 words obsvure on [photocopy) can't find her address. I do not know how she learned Dietrich is alive and in a rest home and won't guess. My job is done about Mary Woolley and I do not intrude on Doug or Anna Mary Wells. They read Quarterly and love me. Very best wishes for a good collection of data on Mary Woolley, a pioneer in many fields. - Sophie Meranski Barrett Marginal notes - to be fitted in proper places page one archives they are lost but I wrote them in greater detail to Anna Mary Wells and hope you will ask her for them for archives. I now go Emeritus.! p. 2 Betty Gilman Roberts and Ruth Douglass wrote Anna Mary too./Some of my closest frienhds complain the concerts there now are noise! 3. I suppose the present students get the music they want not intended for older alumnae. Better not to perform for them! p. 3 Ruth Douglass would allow Anna Mary Wells to send you her material if you do not have it. I not longer contact anybody about Mary Woolley. McClung did the job perfectly (refers to material in Fall l974 Quarterly) p. 4 Mary Woolley called me by name in l924, when she had NEVER spoken to me or I to her." END letter Sophie to archivist Elaine Trehub.. SOPHIE BARRETT introduction + published letter: "July 18, 1974 [to]Editor Mount Holyoke Alumnae Quarterly South Hadley Massachusetts Several of my classmates (1923) fifty-year class Becky Smaltz, Clara Michal, Ruth Peck Doyle, Marion Lewis Smart, Ruth Douglass, Mim Clarke, Betty Gilman Roberts and I would like to see a new biography of President Mary E Woolley while there are enough older alumni around to contribute first hand recollections. If you could publish the following letter in the Quarterly, it might get things moving to establish more of a Mary Woolley archive. Do you know a qualified person to write a more complete Mary Woolley biography than now exists? Any assistance will be appreciated. sincerely, Sophie Meranski Barrett AB 1923 AM 1925. LETTER TO MOUNT HOLYOKE QUARTERLY - TO THE EDITORS July 18, 1974 This letter is addressed to those older alumnae who had personal contacts with Mary E. Woolley. So far as I know the only major biography of President Woolley is by Professor Jeannette Marks of the Mount Holyoke English department. That book is a very personal memoir of their friendship and correspondence,with useful data on Mary Woolley's family, childhood, travels, and efforts for world peace and women's achievement. If there is a gap in Jeannette Marks's book, I believe it is the extreme brevity of the treatment of Mary Woolley's actual life and work on campus at Mount Holyoke developing the faculty and curriculum and traditions of the college. Several of my classmates have been told that there is not much material about this on file now in the Mount Holyoke Library or Archive. I would urge the older alumnae to write down their memories of personal experiences with Miss Woolley so that posterity will have a reasonably complete picture of one of the most remarkable women in the history of higher education. Maybe class scribes of the years 1900 to 1937 could organize a coordinated effort in cooperation perhaps with the Library, archivist, history or English departments and Alumnae office. I think the memories of pre-1920 alumnae would be exceptionally helpful since they knew Mary Woolley in her prime. Perhaps someone reading this would be willing to undertake a new biography of Mary E. Woolley in book form, a long overdue enterprise. sincerely yours, Sophie Meranski Barrett (Mrs. John B. Barrett) A.B. 1923 AM 1925 - July 18, 1974 - 52 Emmonsdale Road, West Roxbury, Massachusetts 02132 BLACK NOTEBOOK EIGHT p 194-5 {{John Barrett note July 2000 - Following this Anna Mary Wells wrote a 1978 biography "Miss Marks and Miss Woolley", which did not entirely achieve the objective, as it focused on the personal relation of Miss Marks and Miss Woolley and the struggle over Mary Woolley male successor in 1937. Anna Mary was a personal friend of Sophie Ruth Meranski, having sat at her table 1923-4 when Anna Mary was a sophomore and Sophie was junior faculty in Economics and Sociology and statistics lab. They had considerable 1970s correspondence, but a study of the growth of the coooege was not entirely achieved. Over many years from 1940 onward I heard my mother speak most reverently of Miss Woolley, of her talks in chapel and her interest in China and women's opportunity and world peace. I knew she recognized every student and faculty member and played a role in my mother's 1929 marriage "Cupid" my mother said. Mount Holyoke was founded 1837 as a women's seminary with religious emphasis, but grew slowly, though there was an early emphasis on science - the founder Mary Lyon had a particular interest in botany. However, many of the outstanding long-term faculty came to Mount Holyoke in the 1890s before Mary Woolley in 1901. Organist music teacher Mr. Hammond was one, and I think biologist Cornelia Clapp and chemist Emma Carr - I will check sources and perhaps add names here. On the other hand Amy Hewes arrived 1907 early in the Woolley tenure and put her personal stamp upon the large Economic and Sociology Department, which was the largest department,along with the English and English Literature Departments, which were separate. There was a strong demand for women's education, and a limited supply of good colleges, and Mount Holyoke had strong trustees and local business and community support and active alumni. Women who wanted academic careers in those decades pretty much had to forego marriage and families. Mary Woolley became one of the ten most admired women in American, a memorable public speaker, stressing opportunities for women. In the 1930s she began to experience an age gap, and the Great Depression affected college financing, and more women were looking to combine marriage and career or simply get general education in preparation for family life. After 1937 Mount Holyoke had three men presidents Ham, Gettell, and David Truman, who were popular and raised funds, but some alumnae particularly career working women were concerned about a "glass ceiling" problem, since all seven of the leading eastern women's college had men presidents in the 1970s. The situation was balanced in 1978 when an alumna, the distinguished classicist Elizabeth Topham Kennan became President, which pleased many of Sophie's 1923 friends.


 


RED HEADED STEPCHILD Part I Sophie Meranski early years Chapter Two SOCIAL WORK, STATISTICS & PERSONNEL 1923- 1930 New York + Philadelphia and Chapter THREE "GREENWICH VILLAGE ROMANCE 1929" p 55-1082

 

RED HEADED STEPCHILD Part I Sophie Meranski early years New York + Philadelphia CHAPTER TWO SOCIAL WORK, STATISTICS & PERSONNEL 1923-1930 and CHAPTER THREE GREENWICH VILLAGE ROMANCE 1929 Partial sequence of text: summer 1923 Lower East Side NY Edelschick-sausages- doctor. at clinic +cousin+-Hewes and thesis-Pollacks Dorchester- canneries 1925- +ANNETaylor+ Mother- +Hewes-to Clark+ BeckySmaltz p 178- Stokowski- Josephine Dana and Agnes Drummond Spring Garden - cattle -Knitter Jean Morton - "Pinafore" Dr. Strecker- Almena Dawley -Frances David- +Baltimore+ Emmanuel Lyons- Jack Barrett 27 Commerce Bill Nuremberg law - Esther- sinus- Finn Papp Brill Abe Perkins Marie Nelson Pete + Jen Woolley= shack Babe-Geetter weddingJune 16 train Macy's Cogswell Hu TEXT " I was well acquainted with Professor Amy Hewes through her course on statistics & waiting on her table.She secured a job for me with the United Hebrew Charities of New York,where I was to be a family case worker & live in the Christie Street settlement house on the Lower East Side.The job was to be permanent,but a week after the l923 Commencement I received a telegram "Would you accept position as department secretary & my assistant for two years? Letter follows.Wire reply at once.Amy Hewes."I wired acceptance & asked the United Hebrew Charities if they would accept me for summer work only.I did social work in the slums of the East Side & in the evenings taught citizenship for naturalization papers in exchange for board & room. In the morning I walked to Cherry Street to work.The men, women & children had matresses on the fire escapes to sleep & occupied them earlier in the evening to get a breath of cool outdoor air.Women hung laundry on the escapes.I had some photographs (stolen l993) of Christie Street showing the fire escapes crowded with people.As I walked back to the settlement house for lunch,I passed hundreds of pushcarts,which sold everything, usually just parked in the street up against the curb.There were very long thin Italian breads,pungent Italian cheeses & a large assortment of sausages-spaghetti & macaroni in every shape & size-I was amazed at the variety offered. Miss Minnie Edelshick,supervisor of family care work at the United Hebrew Charities in New York City gave me three families to care for-not new cases because I was scheduled to work there only two & a half months.One of my families consisted of a widow & her three children ranging in age from ten to four.Since she complained of stomach pains,my supervisor advised me to get advice at the free clinic for women held from ten to twelve each morning at the Bellevue Hospital.I gave the woman the trolley fare & told her to meet me at the clinic at ten o'clock the next morning,but she failed to appear.I went to her house (very small,dark tenement on Cherry Street) that afternoon-very hot-& she told me that by the time she had gotten the three children up & to the clinic it was closed.Also that her clock was old,unreliable=-that it was slow & she would not agree to meet me at the clinic the next morning because she couldn't see how she could get there on time.She told me that other women in that neighborhood had gone to that clinic repeatedly but had not received treatment because of the crowds.The next morning I went to her home at nine o'clock sharp, found the four of them in one bed,all sleeping in their stockings & underwear.The good-natured mother cooperated with me- they all got dressed-had a little bread & milk,& the four of us went off,by trolley car, to the Bellevue Hospital's free clinic for women where we arrived about ten fifteen. The receptionist gave us a card with a number on it,& we sat down in the waiting room, crowded with women & children pl77 I watched the hands of the clock as the time passed.My woman was patient & pleasant, but the three children were uncomforable & restless-& I don't blame them. About quarter to twelve,the receptionist announced that the doctors would take no more patients that day & told us to leave.I was hungry,hot discouraged & near tears,when I realized that the woman & her children were so much more bewildered than I was.I went alone toward the doctors' offices,& when I saw a woman emerge from one office at twelve o'clock,I just walked into find a young doctor taking off his white, starched robe, getting ready to leave.I asked him to examine my patient,explaining that I was a social worker who had waited the whole morning for service,& that the woman's three young children had waited too.He told me that he had just given two hours of free service to the clinic,wanted to go out to lunch & then to his own office.But I explained that the woman was in pain, told him I had gone to her house at nine that morning- & when I offered to take him out to lunch & pay for it if he would examine her,he smiled (that unbearably hot afternoon),put the white coat on again,& examined the woman.He gave me a prescription for medicine which he said should clear up an acid stomach condition, & I gave the woman the price of a trolley ride home.Then I asked him to take me to a very inexpensive restaurant because I did not know that neighborhood, always had lunch in my settlement house.-p178- and the truth was that I had less than two dollars in my pocket. Again this kindly doctor smiled, took me to a good nearby restaurant, ordered good lunches for two, encouraged me to talk about family case work and the settlement house, paid the bill and the tip, and listened patiently when I said the people were treated like cattle in the free clinics.[then] Consulting his watch, he said he was due at his office, and as we parted in front of the restaurant he remarked, "If I wasn't a married man and if you were not so young and attractive, I'd show you that New York is more than slums and free clinics. Bit if that medicine does not clear up Mrs. ----'s acid condition, I'll see her again at my office free of charge." So we parted, and I did not see him again as the woman's condition improved.I knew no one in New York. I had very little money to spend because I was in debt to Mount Holyoke College, so I spent many evenings just walkng along Broadway and Fifth Avenues looking in the shop windows and watching the people. One evening when I was having dinner in the Settlement House - deserted that hot August night- the cook told me that a young man was there to see me. He explained that he was graduated from Columbia Medical School in June - that he was a new intern at the Bellevue Hospital, that the doctor who had treated the woman and taken me to lunch was his cousin- and that his cousin suggested that he call on me. We had a pleasant visit, and he invited me to see the show"Seventh Heaven". Since I had never seen a Broadway musical comedy, I certainly enjoyed myself, and he took me to several shows and movies before I left New York just before Labor Day. -179- Although my path led into statistical research in the field of social work and I never returned to family case work, I always have - and still do - considered it of vital importance. {In notebook one p. 179 Emmanuel Lyons material follows here]. In the summer of l924 the day before my sister Bee married Sam Pollack in Hartford,my sister Esther saw me off for Detroit,where I was scheduled to work for the U.S. Children's Bureau in a study of retarded people who had attended special classes in Detroit's public schools.I lived with the family of my 1923 classmate Mary Patterson and her younger sister Ruth, who invited my brother Pete to her Senior prom at Mount Holyoke in the spring of 1925, when her fiance' was too far away to attend. Pete was then at senior at Trinity College in Hartford and had an opportunity to see Mount Holyoke and meet some of my frineds. In September I returned to Mount Holyoke College,where I typed book lists,Miss Hewes's letters & the exams-where I was the Statistics lab asssistant. Some of the 1925 students from the Statistics Lab remained friendly many years Emily Miller Noss, Emily Barrows Weber,Frances Manning, Ruth Patterson. I also remember Roberta Teale Swartz Chalmers, an outstanding poet and writer originally from Brooklyn, Grace Liang Yapp from Tientsin, China, and Cherokee Rush Muskrat, who became a top official of Bureau of Indian Affairs. I studied Labor & Psychology & Criminology & in l925 received a Master's degree after oral exams & a thesis: "The Young Offender & the Law in Massachusetts. "Massachusetts innovated in l825, when Reverend Ward, a Rhode Island native, led an effort to segregate juvenile prisoners from hardened older criminals. Around l870 Massachusetts led an effort to reduce prison populations & rehabilitate offenders by supervised probations, and around l906 Judge Baker was active reforming juvenile courts & left money for reseach at a Judge Baker Foundation in Boston. I compiled an extensive bibliography and noted curious ecclesiastical crimes in colonial times. In June l925 working for the federal Children's Bureau I went from Mount Holyoke to Boston to work under Miss Channing,who was making a statistical study of delinquent children whose fathers had police records for drunkenness -she was working there temporarily transcribing at police headquarters information where children were being treated at Judge Baker foundation.We learned about Dr. Healy & Augusta Brenner- two well known personalities in the field of maladjusted children.For two weeks I lived in Dorchester on Canterbury Street with my sister Bee Pollack & her husband, Sam, and this was a chance for me to meet his parents & many of his brothers & sisters - a family of ten, who immigrated from Minsk, Belorussia between l905 & l909. Sam's grandmother Mrs.Hanapolsky led a large contingent when she was over ninety years old, as Sam Pollack's nephew describes in his historical novel, "Yonder is the Dawn," earliest of a sequence.A l920 Harvard Phi Beta Kappa graduate in chemistry in three years, Sam developed the formula for the sweet drink ZAREX & then worked at LaRoux liquers Philadelphia & later at Schenley Liquors in quality control at Cincinnati & later as a vice-president in New York,with an office in the Empire State Buiilding. Bertha & Sam left for a summer cottage on the Winthrop beach, where they rented a small room from a Boston dentist,had kitchen privileges,& ate on the porch. I rented a room at a Winthrop hotel, then was ordered to Washington DC to do statistical work.I was surrounded by congenial co=workers,& I could walk easily from my boarding house,which was a joy.The girls I worked with lived there&were friendly,& the food was excellent- especially the bacon, sausage & the corn fritters.But my Washington duty was very short-lived.Because Caroline Legge had recommended me as an investigator (I had worked for her all the summer of l924 in Detroit) Miss Nathalie Matthews in charge of Children's Bureau research,sent me to Dover,Delaware to investigate the tomato canneries there & in nearby towns.I received my regular salary plus a cost-of-living per diem rate-so financially I was better off that I had been in Boston or Washington.The Hotel Dover was a nice place to live ,but I was lonely.There were two other women investigators in the Dover job,but I saw nothing of them because they were close friends-older than I was & spent evenings in their own room writing up their reports onthe day's findings.The job itself was interesting.I could use public transportation or hire a taxi & be reimbursed.We were interested in the working conditions of the children-their ages,hours of work & wages.The canneries were out in the country as near the fields as possible.The canneries established camps & imported laborers,largely women & children,who sorted.washed & peeled tomatoes.They were engaged by scouts,who sent buses at the beginning of the season (in Delaware about July l5) & returned them home after September 30.When word got to the workers that the "inspector" was present,the children would flee while the women remained at their posts.But often I managed to enter the work rooms before the children got the word,so I saw many of them at work & interviewed many of the older children who then realized I was not there to harm them. Working conditions in Delaware were bad. Women & children stood many long hours on a soggy wet floor-their rubber aprons dripping with tomato juice.The tomatoes are sorted first to remove rotten or green ones,then sorted according to size & peeled before going to the sterilizing & canning machines. Many had cuts on their fingers from the sharp knives they had to use to peel & cut out rotten spots. When I asked one woman how she & her three children could sleep on the blanket that served as their bed in a tent,she answered, "We can't sleep good.It's too tight."We had no legal right at that time to inspect the canneries & talk to the women& children.The proprietors always admitted me.They feared Congress would forbid the employment of women & children in canneries that refused to allow Children's Bureau agents to enter. We always asked permission to go through the plant,& I was never refused.About the fifteenth of August I went to Indianapolis Indiana to inspect children's & womens labor in the corn canneries. My mother had had surgery in l92l for gall bladder cancer, which was mis-diagnosed for a long time, & it was too late to save her. She was told she had "adhesions."Her health gradually declined,though she enjoyed my Mount Holyoke graduation l923 & contined to feed & look after her husband & large family & regular guests, including Julius Aronson,whose mother had passed away,and an Irish boarder who used to sing.Her brother Jacob had some sort of speech problem-perhaps hearing related.He came with her from Austria via Hamburg in l890 or a little earlier, possibly with the Witkower family April l890. The Meiselmanns were also acquaintances from Brody.Judge Saul Seidman of Hartford is a Meiselmann descendant.After my mother passed away, my brother Ben furnished information that her parent's first names were Abel & Bertha, probably deceased before their children emigrated. After my mother's death September 8, l925 - for which I was completely unprepared, I was desperately lonely under the travel and working conditions as a child labor inspector for the Children's Bureau on the eastern shore of Maryland. My best friend there was a Goucher graduate Anne Starr Taylor, who had grown up in State College Pennsylvania. She had to write her child labor reports in the evening, and she was anxious to finish her assigned investigation as soon as possible, because she had an apartment in Greenwich Village at 27 Commerce Street in New York City, and she wanted to go back and find a job in the area. Impulsively I resigned my job and went home planning to take care of my widower father and brother Ben and two sisters Esther and Babe still living at home. In late 1925 for a time I became an unpaid maid, but I did cook the meals and keep the place clean. However, my evenings were a problem. Esther was not allowed to bring her non-Jewish boy friend Charlie Bardous to the house, though they had a serious relation many years and worked together as bookkeepers at the meat company, which became part of Swift and Company. Babe was nearly nineteen and recently out of high school and speding most evenings with her future husband Dr. Geetter, and my brother Ben was unwell. I had been away at college and at work so long [six years] that I had few close friends left in Hartford. [Classmate Joe Paonessa was losing a battle with tuberculosis]. I thought I owed it to my thesis advisor Miss Amy Hewes of Mount Holyoke College to explain why I had resigned the well-paid job she had gotten for me with the Children's Bureau, and I thought she would praise me for looking after my family. I was amazed by the speed with which she answered my letter.She advised me to employ a housekeeper at once and get out of there.She told me to go to New York City to see, by appointment,Miss Mary Augusta Clark, a [1903] Mount Holyoke College Graduate, Statistician for the Commonwealth Fund's Division of Mental Health, and also to see a man who wanted a statistician in the New York Association for Improving the condition of the Poor. I was offered both jobs and took the one with the Commonwealth Fund as Statistical Recorder in the Philadelphia [Demonstration] Child Guidance Clinic. When I wrote to my classmate Rebecca Glover Smaltz of Mount Airy, Pennsylvania to ask her to locate a temporary residence for me in a YWCA or in any inexpensive [p58,181 notebook one] l78 place, she answered immediately that she would meet me at the station in Philadelphia,& drive me to their home,where I could stay until I found permanent quarters.So I lived in their spacious home in Mount Airy, where Becky drove me to work in South Philadelphia every morning & drove me home at night. One evening we we went to hear thePhiladelphia Symphony orchestra-with Leopold Stokowski - the first symphony concert I ever attended. It was a wonderful Stokowski weekend.Although the Smaltzes were perfect hosts,who seemed in no hurry to have me leave,I kept searching for an inexpensive place to live.One of the students at the Child Guidance Clinic,Marion Pierce was living in a Settlement House in South Philadelphia within walking distance of the clinic,& as there was room for me there,I moved in,& received room & board in exchange for some evening tutoring of men about to apply for citizenship papers.Mine was a solitary job-I read records of problem children & made cards fom the records-cards to be used later in statistical studies of maladjustment.Our rooms in the settlement house were tiny.Social life was impossible there.There was no social or recreation room for thee residents.Most of the students living there had to study evenings when they were not on duty. When Josephine Dana & AgnesDrummond, who lived in the Settlement House & worked for the Children's Aid Society asked me to share an apartment with them,I was glad to. It was a small furnished apartment on Spring Garden Street;the three of us were congenial & tried to make it homelike.Josephine invited me to spend a weekend at her family home in Windsor, Vermont,where her elderly mother lived alone. Josephine hitched up the horse & buggy Saturday morning & drove it to a sale of cattle at which her two brothers were present,& they were among the bidders for the cattle auctioned. It was a new experience for me from beginning to end that I always remember wirth great pleasure. They were descendants of Richard Henry Dana author of the Pacific adventure "Two Years before the Mast." It was so interesting to listen to the auctioneer tell the cow's age,weight, when it freshened-milk production- & then listen to the bids.The bidding was lively & competitive. Another time -183-Josephine asked me if I'd like to go with her to Cape Cod for my week's summer vacation. She reserved a place for two at the private home of the Bearses in Centreville.The Bearses were very cordial old Cape Codders who gave us excellent food and played whist with us in the evening. We were within easy walking distance of Craig's Beach, one of the finest beaches in the world.On Saturday evening Walter Washburn drove to Centreville from Windsor,Vermont to visit with Josephine. -184- Soon after our return to Philadelphia, Josephine gave a tea at which Walter was present and at which she announced her engagement. After the party I left for Cleveland to work temporarily at the Cleveland Child Guidance Clinic to help clear up back statistical work piled up by the illness of their recorder. In that clinic I met two well-known psychiatrists, Drs. Carl Menninger and Dr. Lawson Lowry, who were friendly.I had a good time socially there, and when I left Dr. Lowrey, director of the Cleveland Clinic, gave me an unsolicited recommendation. When Josephine Dana married,Agnes Drummond and I continued on at the apartment. Another social worker - from the Children's Aid- joined us. Her name was Helen Goldsborough, and she came from the Deep South.She wanted to see New England in the winter, so Josephine invited Helen and me to spend a weekend in Windsor, Vermont. It was very pleasant, but Josephine gave us a large sled to use on a steep hill. Helen sat in front to steer and unfortunately steered it into a fallen log, throwing me from the sled and injuring my knee. Not long after moving into the apartment I had a telephone call from Carl Knitter,who was introduced to me by my former student at Mount Holyoke, Frances Manning, who became an economist.Carl was a Rutgers graduate attending Hahnemann Medical School, in his senior year.He was an avid fisherman, made his own colored flies for bait and often brought flies to the apartment for me to admire and brought his violin to play. We spent many pleasant evenings and weekends together, but my young sister Babe's boy friend Dr. Isadore Geetter warned me that the Hahnemann was a homeopathic medical school, not then recognized or accredited by most medical institutions such as Jefferson Medical School where he was then studying. After graduation from Hahnemann,Carl went to Oregon,to practice medicine and to fish. About a year later he wrote asking me to go out there and marry him. I refused. Not long after that he returned to New Jersey and telephoned inviting me to dinner at his parents' home. He had given up his practice because of violent headaches.Later I heard that he had died from a brain tumor..---Sophie Black Notebook Two p 200 "When Geetter was a student a Jefferson Medical School [1925-1929] he was in class one day when an obnoxious professor talked at length about his accomplishments in his field - when Geetter suddenly was horrified to hear his own voice saying "You cockeyed wonder!" - followed by an ominous silence in which the professor glared at him and during which Geetter quaked in his boots with apprehension. For the rest of that semester Geetter was in the professor's dog house and altho he passed the course, he had an awful time because the professor gave him such difficult slides to diagnose under his microscope. He had to spend many hours puzzling over those slides - hours which might more profitably have been spent on his other medical subjects. But he was relieved to pass the course and be able to complete his medical subjects for his degree. -= When Geetter was in his second year at Jefferson, he invited me to see his small room on the top floor of his fraternity house.I was then working at the Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic. I told him I was being courted by a senior medical student at Hahneman Medical School, and he immediately disappointed me- saying the school was not accredited as were Jefferson Medical School and the medical school at University of Maryland. He must have alarmed my sister Babe, his fiancee, because she wrote successfully urging me to drop him. A few years later when my Hahneman friend was some sort of doctor in Oregon, he wrote asking me to marry him. I asked Jack Barrett's advice. [1928 or early 1929]. After reading the letter he said "no" - "that man is too selfish just looking for someone to answer his phone and cook his meals." Hahneman was homeopathic - Carl Knitter died of a brain tumor not long after." Jean Morton, of Morton Avenue, Morton, Pennsylvania,was Executive Secretary of the Child Guidance Clinic.Her father was a doctor. One evening she invited me to be her guest at a performance of Gilbert & Sullivan,in which both she & her father sang.I knew nothing of Gilbert & Sullivan but was charmed by that amateur production of "Pinafore." & have since attended many Gilbert & Sullivan productions,especially at Camp Kabeyun,,Alton Bay,New Hampshire in the l950's.Jean & I usually had lunch together at Hughes cafeteria, where I never tired of the egg salad sandwiches. The head of the Child Guidance Clinic,Dr.Allen,encouraged me to attend Dr. Strecker's class in psychiatry at the Pennsylvania Medical School.I attended without cost & learned a great deal from that well-known psychiatrist,who was conscientiously teaching young medical students.He usually had one or two mental patients from the Pennsylvania Hospital at the class to discuss their symptoms & treatment.Although I was a statistician, not a psychiatric social worker,Miss Almena Dawley,head of the department of social work in the clinic,gave me a real case to handle-from taking the application & the social history,to arranging for psychiatric interview & the psychological tests through carrying out the treatment measures.The child guidance clinics in Philadelphia,Cleveland,Baltimore & Los Angeles were two year Demonstration Clinics paid for by the Commonwealth Fund of New York & administered by the National Committee for Mental Hygiene (also supported by the Commonwealth Fund).The Commonwealth Fund had the income of Mr. Harkness's thirty-eight million dollars to use "for the betterment of mankind."Each clinic had the services of two or three full time psychiatrists,two psychologists,six psychiatric social workers,an executive secretary, a statistical recorder,a telephone operator,& a staff of clerical & stenographic workers.The director of each clinic, a psychiatrist,had the responsibility of trying of trying to get the community to support a child guidance clinic after the demonstration clinic closed in two years.The Philadelphia clinic had a social worker & two students from the Smith School of Social Work in Northampton,Massachusetts.The clinic examined & treated children up to sixteen years of age= delinquent children & children who had personality difficulties & bad habits.These children were referred to the clinic either by their parents, by their school, by a social agency or by a juvenile court judge.A social worker investigated the family history & home & school conditions - a psychiatrist gave the child a thorough physical examination, a psychologist tested the child for I.Q., mental age,& school attainment,& the psychiatrist gave the child a careful psychiatric interview.Then there was a staff meeting of the social worker, psychiatrist, psychologist & chief social worker-also the statistical recorder, and the treatment of the child was initiated.Our Philadelphia clinic was taken over by the community on a reduced scale,& one of my Mount Holyoke classmates, Frances David, took over my job as statistical recorder as an unpaid volunteer. She had put together when we were undergraduates a collection of comic songs,"l923 College Crackers." Two I often sang for my family were: "I had a fat twin brother.We looked like one another.You ought to see the way he'd laugh At the lickings I would get. He tought it very funny To go & borrow money & watch the people chasing me do make me pay his debts.The girl I was to marry Couldn't tell us two apart.She went & married brother Jim & she nearly broke my heart.But you betcha I got even With my brother Jim.I died about a week ago & they went & buried. him." 2."Pull the shades down,Mary Ann,Pull the shades down Mary Ann-Last night by the pale moon light I saw you I saw you You were combing your auburn hair On the back of a Morris chair.If you want to keep your secrets from your future men, Pull the shades down,Mary A-aan." p.182] It was while I was working at the United Hebrew Charities l923 that I met Mr Emmanuel Lyons.He lived in Jersey City , commuted daily to his mid-Manhattan office, where he worked for an advertising firm. (He lost money publishing two books, "l00l Retailing Ideas" and its sequel "2222 Retailing Ideas") Lost photos showed me in deep snowdrifts February,l926 at his western New Jersey farm in Pittstown, New Jersey.The farm had two farm houses,one for the tenant farmer & one for Mr. Lyons & his guests.Each summer he offered the United Hebrew Charities a chance to send a family to live at his farmhouse, & on weekends he took a few social workers to the farm with him.One Friday afternoon I joined him at the railroad station with two other case workers.He paid our fare to Pittstown.where we walked from the station to the farm,where we had an abundance of fresh vegetables & milk & enjoyed good conversation at meals.It was a most welcome change after the heat & pavements of New York City,& when I wrote him a thank you note, he answered, ""For bread and butter you return cake." He became a close friend (much older) of both myself & my future husband Jack Barrett, especially when I returned to live in New York City in l927,l928, l929, in in l930 he selected my diamond ring after I hurriedly married two hours before Jack left for the Philippines.Mr Lyons visited in Philadelphia at 1927 New Year's Day, when we saw the mummer's parade, an annual Philadelphia tradition with huge numbers of festive floats. Becky Smaltz's paternal aunt "Auntie" invited me to [1926] Thanksgiving dinner at her home and also invited my brother Pete to come up from the University of Maryland Medical School, Baltimore, where he was in his second year. "Auntie" Smaltz had an excellent cook and maid, and after dinner we were taken to a football game - my first "big college" game. While still in his first year at Medical School in Baltimore, my brother met his future wife, Jeanette Goldberg. Since he wanted me to know her, he invited me to a formal dance at his fraternity house - I wore my sister Babe's white formal gown with feathers at the bottom, and I stayed as a guest in Jen's home. I liked her and her family very much. I thought and still do that she should have attended that dance together. They were very much in love, and it was a real sacrifice for both of them not to be together [that evening]. {John Barrett note- earlier there is an account that spring 1925 Pete attended the Mount Holyoke Senior Prom with one of the Patterson girls of Detroit, at whose home Sophie lived summer 1924. Her fiance was too far away to attend, and Pete had an opportunity to see Mount Holyoke - this was in the year prior to meeting Jen. CHAPTER THREE: - GREENWICH VILLAGE ROMANCE--In the summer of 1927 -184-185- I transferred to New York City to Miss Clark's office on Forty-Second Street near Fifth Avenue. I was then in Publications. We worked on statistical data for the Division of Mental Hygiene of the Commonwealth Fund. My research at the Philadelphia Demonstration Clinic was the basis of Miss Clark's book "Statistical Reporting Techniques for Child Guidance Clinics". Although we remained good friends, and my assistance was acknowledged in the introduction, I did not get formal credit, and it was largely my work. I was unable to use the material as a subject for a doctoral thesis at Columbia University as I had planned, because they considered the material had already been published under Miss Clark's name.I also assisted on other projects, including proof-reading a textbook "The Problem Child at Home" by another author, who was grateful for the many typographical and other mistakes I removed. For a few days I occupied the apartment of one of Miss Clark's friends in Brooklyn, but the friend was returning Monday, and I had to leave. I remembered that Anne Taylor, who had worked with me on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, said she had an apartment in New York. I found her in the telephone book Saturday evening, and when I telephoned to ask her if she knew of a place where I might live, she said she could not think of one at that moment but that she would come out to see me in Brooklyn right way and bring her date with her.She came with Ivan McCormack,and when she heard my predicament,she explained that she had a small apartment with only two bedrooms- one very small. She occupied the large bedroom- her sister Eleanor occupied the small bedroom, and her sister Betty slept on a couch in the lving room.But she helped me pack that evening,saying that I could sleep in the bed with her until we found a suitable place for me. Anne worked as Executive Secretary of the Joint Vocational Service. As Anne was to be married in two weeks, Eleanor a schoolteacher and Betty a nurse moved into a tiny apartment on Twelfth Street.I liked it with Anne at 27 Commerce Street, Greenwich Village, and didn't diligently search for a place to live. Anne married, went off on her honeymoon,and when she returned I was comfortably located in Eleanor's [former] small bedroom, and Anne agreed to let me stay there for half the rent- just the room and use of the bathroom- no food and no kitchen privileges. I was very glad to stay there. Soon after Agnes Drummond called me up inviting me to join her and two men for dinner.Her -186- dinner partner was an old friend from her home in St. Louis, while my dinner partner was Bill Nuremberg, a lumber salesman with an office in the Grand Central Terminal Building.My loneliness then came to an end. Bill's office was very near mine, so we had lunch together every noon- a much better lunch than I could afford.Often we had dinner together, and every Sunday he drove me over Storm King Highway to an inn where we enjoyed dinner and then drove home in his big Packard.Bill N'irnberg (Nuremberg) owned a moving picture camera & wasted many expensive films & much time taking my picture. He ws everlastingly telling me to act natural & was very critical of my dress,which he considered too short & too stylish.He hung a sheet in Anne's apartment,where he showed us his movies.He lived at the McAlpin Hotel. But Miss Clark moved her office to Fifty-Seventh Street into the quarters of the division of Publications of the Commonwealth Fund and took me with her- too far away for me to have daily lunch with Bill,although I continued to see him every Sunday and had dinner with him two nights a week.Miss Clark was writing a book "Reporting and Recording for Child Guidance Clinics". I wrote the first draft of nearly every chapter of that book because I had the first hand knowledge of the subject from my work in the Philadelphia and Cleveland Clinics.Miss Clark re-wrote the material in her own style, and the book was ready for publication in June 1928. Miss Clark had written the book at the suggestion of one of the first statistical public health epidemiologists, actuary Dr. Louis Dublin of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, who made early contributions to understanding tuberculosis, industrial safety, and venereal diseases. From time to time as I was working on the book, the Commonwealth Fund loaned me to the New York Board of Education to advise them on records too.I also served as chairman of the committee investigating the qualifications of New York Social Workers [and developing standards]= a study being made for Walter West of the New York Association of Social Workers and for Ralph Hurlin of the Russell Sage Foundation.Harry Hopkins was a valuable member of my committee. He was then working at the Association for Improving the Condition of the Poor in New York City. I began to wonder what I was going to do next, but Miss Clark was ahead of me in planning for me.Unknown to me she had interviewed Mr. [Taylor?] Smith, director of the Commonwealth Fund; and had interested him in me so that they offered to pay my salary and my tuition for the summer session of 1928 at Columbia University, - and when the summer was over I was to be a statisticain at the Institute of Child Guidance in New York, operated by the Commonwealth Fund. So I entered summer school, registered for a Ph.d and took courses in Advanced Statistics and Social Science. Anne Taylor had a young friend Harold Nelson, who came to the apartment nearly every evening lookng for a bridge game.Anne told me that Harold was the brother of her social worker friend Marie Nelson,who came from Charleston, South Carolina,and was now Mrs. Harman Rowe of Philadelphia.One Saturday afternoon late in August 1928 I was at home in my room studying for a final exam Monday morning. Anne told me that she expected Marie Nelson Rowe and Jack Barrett that afternoon- just for the afternoon, as Marie and "Barrett" expected to join another couple for dinner and the evening.-188- "Barrett" was an old friend of the Nelson family from his Naval duty in Charleston, South Carolina in the early 1920s on the USS TOUCEY. Ordinarily I would never be at home on a Saturday afternoon in New York City,but I was determined to study all weekend for the two courses,as the exams were on the following Monday & Tuesday.So I took off my street clothes after lunch (out- as I took no meals with the McCormacks with whom I lived .I put on a deep red, long kimono sent to me by a Mount Holyoke college friend who made it for me,and I told Anne McCormack that I planned to spend the afternoon in my room working on my course.Anne then told me that she expected her friend Marie Nelson from Philadelphia at any moment, because Marie was to meet "Barrett" there & go out with him later for dinner & for the evening.Hardly had I begun to work when when Anne came in to tell me I had a male caller,and she was immediately followed by "Van" - husband of one of my social worker acquaintances. I was surprised to see him,,as he had never called before, & neither he nor his wife were particular friends of mine.Also I was embarassed to be caught wearing a kimono as I rarely stopped long enough to put one on.He explained that his wife was on vacation ((like Irving Berlin's l9l0 "My wife has gone to the country=hurray,hurray! She thought it best I take a rest & so she went away.") -& that he had a bottle of Prohibition whiskey,which he would be glad to share with me. When I explained that I did not drink,I thought that he would leave,but he was lonesome & lingered without drinking or urging me to drink.As we talked,Marie arrived-I had never seen her,& a little later I heard them greet "Barrett."When Van finally decided to leave,I walked to the door with him at the exact moment that Marie & Barrett arrived at the door to depart,&I saw a beautiful Charleston (South Carolina) belle attended by a sweet looking slender redhaired man.Neither one spoke to me as they followed Van out.Van had wasted most of my afternoon & it was hot,so I went off for a walk & had my dinner before returning home for a little serious studying in my hot room.On Sunday morning I slept late,donned an old cotton dress & decided to sweep the kitchen floor about noon-anything to keep from settling down to study. As I was sweeping,the doorbell rang,& I called,"Come in."In stepped Barrett, amused to see me sweeping the floor, but I merely said to him,"Anne & Ivan are not home."Whereupon he told me that he was calling on me &that I seemed to be very much at home. Desperately I told him how pressed I was for time,how embarassed I would be if I failed those two courses,but he calmly sat down in the kitchen & took out his wallet & showed me a picture of a child about five years old, saying, "This is my baby."I was surprised, as I believed he was courting Marie Nelson,& I said,"I didn't know you were married." He said,"I'm not married,but this is an Australian child,Sheila Craig.whom I knew in l925 whe I made the Australian cruise on the Marblehead,& I have kept in touch with Dr Craig & his family ever since."He visited for some time,& when I inquired about Marie,he said she had gone back to Philadelphia.Nothing would get him out of that apartment as he insisted I would have to have Sunday dinner somewhere, sometime-so why not with him? after which I would be free to study.Whe I told him I believed he was courting Marie,he told me that Marie was married,separated from her husband,but not free to marry anyone.Barrett was living uptown at the Knights of Columbus Hotel. he was in his second year at Fordham Law School uptown campus.In the early fall of l928 I saw little of Jack. I returned to work & steady dating of Bill Nuremberg,who had spent most of the summer in Europe, which explained why I was free to go to dinner with Barrett that Sunday afternoon. But occasionally Barrett dropped into the apartment about ten o'clock at night after school & once or twice took me to dinner but complained bitterly that he couldn't spare the time from his studies to entertain me at night.So he began to appear at the subway exit nearest my office before nine most mornings, would walk to the office with me & then telephone to me during the morning to make a luncheon date. .One weekend early that fall Bill Nuremberg told me he planned on doctor's advice to spend the weekend in bed because of an ulcer.I spent the weekend with Frances Manning (Mount Holyoke l925) in Maplewood New Jersey & returned to New York after dinner Sunday evening.As I was close to Bill's hotel,I telephoned to ask if he was well enough to have me call on him,& Bill said"Yes." His tone was not cordial-his greeting was not enthusiastic,& before I could ask him how he was, he complained that someone named Barrett had telephoned twice to try to find me & wanted me to telephone him. After a short visit,I went home,& Anne also told me Barrett wanted me to call him.It was eleven o'clock.On the telephone I said, "This is Sophie,"- he sleepily replied,"What do you want?"I told him both Bill & Anne said he wanted me to telephone,but he was just too sleepy to make conversation.In December or January Barrett moved into a small sixty-dollar-a-month apartment very close to me at 48 Commerce Street.He shared it with a mouse,which he rarely saw but which certainly lived there,because it always helped itself to peanuts Jack kept in a copper bowl. The mouse would leave the empty peanut shells. About the only furniture besides the couch was a set of nested carved Chinese tables from the Jack's Shanghai visit on the MARBLEHEAD in 1927. One afternoon he telephoned to say he was feeling too poorly to go to school that night & wanted to meet me in front of my apartment, that evening at 5:30 so we could eat dinner in the Village & he could go to his hotel room to bed.So we met as arranged, & as we stood there discussing where to dine,Bill (Nuremberg) drove up in his big car & had a male guest in his front seat. Evidently Bill planned to take me to dinner,but when he saw me talking to Barrett,he stepped on the gas & took off fast, & after more than a year of dating I never saw Bill again.Jack had tried to be friendly. My father had called on Bill & liked him, but I considered him too old to be a good marriage for me. One time he gave me an excellent investment idea: he asked for a thousand dollars to buy me stock in General America Insurance Company & returned half, as it was fully subscribed. The name of the company was later changed to Safeco of Seattle.I held the stock, which in the l960's suddenly soared in value. My initial five hundred dollar investment was sold for over thirty-two thousand dollars in l972. (A l976 letter to Ivan McCormack says that Sophie's father opposed marriage of his daughters outside the Jewish faith.Sophie's sister Esther for many years had a very happy romance with a fellow accountant at Swift & Company Hartford. but "Pa" Meranski would never let him come to the house at Wooster Street. His opposition would not have prevented Esther's marriage, except for the fact that his elderly mother was highly dependent & possessive & feared any interference with her relation with her son.Her objection was not religious - she lived to a considerable age, & Esther had a long friendship with the son but never married.She lived with her brother Abe's family on Hawkins Street for many years & after World War II with the Geetters when they moved to 92 Fern St. & Babe had five young children to look after with a busy doctor husband(David l933) Albert l935 Thalia l938 Harold l940 Suzanne l942.) Pa Meranski often came to New York to buy merchandise for his grocery, & one time he was robbed of considerable cash after visiting his son Pete & wife Jen in Baltimore in l929 or l930.He often stopped to see me, I that time I had to lend him money to get home. Jack had sinus trouble & trouble with his tonsils & planned to enter the Navy Hospital in Brooklyn for surgery.To my amazement he gave me a copy of his will in which he bequeathed to me the proceeds of his ten thousand dollar government life insurance policy.It was unbelievable.But he had the surgery & I visited him in the hospital.One night he was very uncomfortable because he was propped up too high with two pillows - the extra pillow was placed there for supper, buit the nurse forgot to remove it later - but he had good results & relief of his sinus difficulties.One of Jack's professors was John F.X. Finn. The proximate cause doctrine in torts was a subject of active study, as the New York courts had severely restricted plaintiffs' rights. Judges Carzozo & Cuthbert Pound were influential. Ivan McCormack in later years sent us news of some of Jack's law school friends, especially Joe Brill, who once tried to date me, =in later years he was associated with Roy Cohn. Another classmate John Papp, helped us find an excellent apartment overlooking the Narrows in southwest Brooklyn in September l939.Late in l928 when I chaired a committee on standards for social workers in New York City for an American social workers' association, I got to know Harry Hopkins (Roosevelt friend), who took a great interest & did a lot of work.Ann Taylor McCormack my friend and landlady kept in touch with him for many years.She was with Travelers Aid later, Ivan eventually bought a pig farm in Salem, New York, near Arlington, Vermont, where John visited Anne & Ivan in June, l97l) Although I no longer dated Bill,I had other escorts & often came home to find that Barrett had preceded me & left a note inviting me to a late supper.I usually accepted,but then he complained bitterly I was using up his time & his grades were suffering.On Saturday nights we went to movies in the Village & once he took me to a long play on Broadway "Strange Interlude" but most nights he went to Fordham's law school campus school far up in the Bronx - the school declined to let him transfer his second year to their Manhattan campus-and he studied long hours as he seriously wanted to be a lawyer- probably a Navy lawyer in the Judge Advocate's office.Jack's work in New York was concerned with War Plans & the training of Reserves,& he often went off to nearby communities & to Washington,New Haven & even to Hartford, where he called on my father & my brother Abe & became acquainted with most members of my family. When in Washington DC he addressed a letter to me which he mailed with only my name & "27 Commerce." No city at all was on the envelope,but I received it in a few days. I accused him of drinking,but he said he had been interrupted when addressing the envelope & then failed to complete it.(He liked to quote the opening of Oliver Wendell Holmes "Autocrat of the Breakfast Table": "I was just going to say-when I was interrupted...". At the Institute of Child Guidance my work was too simple and routine, although my salary in 1928-1929 was seventy-five a dollars a week. It was a small statistical office with only a director and another girl who planned to go on working after marriage. I was there only a few weeks when I received a telephone call from Mary Langhead, a social worker I had known in the Philadelphia Child Guidance Clinic,-who told me that she was working in Macy's and that there was an opening for me as Director of Personnel Research . I went at noon to see Mr. Walker, the Personnel director,- later Sales Manager at Macy's, and I was hired. I had two excellent assistants, Miss Willie Kennedy and Mildred Forman - also a labor turnover clerk who was most efficient. My primary concern was labor turnover - how to reduce it and keep the figure low. After Jack left for the Orient, Willie Kennedy sublet his apartment, and I attended her 1930 marriage to Marshall Verniaud. Anne and Ivan kept in touch with them up to the 1970s. They also kept track of our friend Jimmy Jemail, who wrote the "Inquiring Reporter" column for the New York Post and became an editor there. Willie Kennedy visited me in Boston in 1932 when Macy's sent her to brief Filene's executive Lincoln Kirstein on the methods we had developed to improve employee motivation and reduce turnover.The store was at 34th Street and Seventh Avenue in New York City. Miss Sally Yarnall, who had been my student in the statistical laboratory at Mount Holyoke College in 1925, was the buyer for Macy's bookstore. Macy's book department occupied a lot of space in Macy's main floor- did a lot of business- and it must have been a real challenge for such a young woman to be the Head Buyer of such a large department. When Jack's orders came through in May l929 for duty on the destroyer Truxtun in the Philippines,he asked the Navy for a year's delay so that he could complete his law course,which he was taking at his own expense.But the Navy refused,& Jack was so upset he tried to get a civilian job with the Department of Labor & applied to Frances Perkins (a Mount Holyoke alumna later President Roosevelt's Secretary of Labor),but she had no opening for him at the time.With his full time job with the Reserves & his evening law course & his effort to compete with my "dates", the man was fully occupied & now knew he was scheduled for two-and-a-half to three years sea duty in the Orient.He went over to Philadelphia to see Marie Nelson one weekend. On Sunday June 9, l929 I went alone to Baltimore to attend the wedding of my youngest brother Pete,who had just been graduated from the University of Maryland Medical School.Pete & my youngest sister Babe's fiance Dr. Isadore Geetter had been classmates at Hartford Public High School l9l7-l92l, where Pete was active in debating, & at Trinity College l92l-25, where Pete was graduated l925,but for some reason his picture appeared in l926 yearbook. He was active many years in Trinity Maryland alumni. In l925 Pete visited Mount Holyoke college as senior prom escort for one of the Patterson sisters from Detroit,because her fiance was too far away to attend.(I had stayed at their parents' home summer l924 when I worked there for Children's Bureau U.S. Department of Labor.) On the train going up to Hartford for the wedding Sunday June l6 of my youngest sister "Babe" (Rebekah} to Dr.Isadore Geetter, who had just graduated from Jefferson Medical Schhol & was to study anesthesiology,we were greeted by Mary Woolley the l90l-l937 president of Mount Holyoke College, who was widely traveled as a speaker & one of the ten most admired women in the country according to polls. She had made an extended visit to China in l922 & later was appointed by President Herbert Hoover to a naval disarmament delegation of the United States at Geneva. Miss Woolley recognized & greeted me as I had been junior faculty l923-5 in the Statistics lab, Department of Economics & Sociology. Jack had met many of my Mount Holyoke friends during our ten months acquaintance, & he remarked to Miss Woolley, "These Mount Holyoke women are wonderful- you could put them all in a bag & pick any one, & you'd do all right."Miss Woolley replied,"That isn't a very INDIVIDUAL compliment for Sophie." Babe & Geetter had a wedding reception at "the Shack" (Snug Harbor)- a property near the FarmingtonRiver in Windsor, which my brothers Ben & Abe & their friend Julius Aronson then owned, & which the Geetters later kept in the family.Besides Jack & myself, the guests included the large Geetter family,of which Dr.Geetter was the eldest son, my brother Harry & his wife Sade (Taylor),and their son Arthur & daughter Pearl, my brother Abe & his wife Ethyle (Berenson) & their son Ted & their friend Julius Aronson,my sister Esther, my sister Bertha & her husband Samuel Pollack, a l920 Phi Beta Kappa Harvard alumnus in chemistry and their young son Jason & my newly-wed youngest brother Pete & his new wife Jen Goldberg of Baltimore,whose family had helped Pete greatly at University of Maryland in Baltimore..They were on their honeymoon. Jack was scheduled to leave New York for Chicago & San Francisco on Friday June 2l, so when he was at my sister's wedding, he invited my brother & his bride to have dinner with him at Longchamp's Restaurant on Fifth Avenue on Thursday evening June 20,as Pete & Jen had theatre reservations for that evening in New York City..We had a pleasant dionner,& when Pete & Jen left,Jack & I walked the few blocks to my apartment building when he said goodbye as he was leaving the next afternoon & still had a lot of packing "I'll be at your office at noon sharp to take you to lunch before I shove off at three."I had recently changed jobs & became Director of Personnel Research at Macy's stores at 34th Street.Jack came into my private office as my assistants were out to lunch that Friday noon..Without a word of warning he asked,"Will you marry me?" Unknown to me he had previously obtained a marriage license, listing his occupation as "seaman." He told me about the vicissitudes of the service for the wife of a Navy line officer, saying he liked the life at sea, but that frequent separations were hard on many wives and that he had seen the marriages of some very fine Navy line couples founder on the rocks, principally because the wife had to make so many adjustments.If she had a profession or a job, she couldn't readily follow him from station to station, and if she gave up her job, she had too much leisure. Also if she refused invitations to social events when he was at sea,the Navy wife suffered intolerable loneliness. He warned too that Naval officers pay was very moderate and that his expenses for white uniforms and for blue uniforms were prohibitive.. Even more important than any of these causes was the uncertainty of the line officer's promotion and his ultimate retired pay.But he did say a Navy wife could have a lot of fun and adventure if she had the right attitude and zest for adventure.Though he candidly discussed many frustrations and problems in the lives of Navy wives,he convinced me to marry him,& I made no reply except to suggest that we go to lunch.We went to the Hotel McAlpin. Suddenly he got up,paid the waiter,took me by the hand. It was 1:30 in the afternoon, and he was to leave for Chicago by train at three p.m. to make connections already reserved for San Francisco, where he had to sail on the NITRO for Manila on June 25. We rushed off into the subway for New York City Hall, where we were married about two o'clock, with two strange passersby as witnesses. Then Jack rushed for the subway for the railroad station, arriving at 2:45. He had to get his suitcase and spent a few moments telephoning his brother at the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company in New York. He told Bill that he was leaving for China but did not say he was married. As he emerged from the booth, the porter was yelling "Last call for the three o'clock train for Chicago". Jack grabbed his bag and rushed off.He left without a kiss or even a handshake. I returned to Macy's secretly Mrs. John B.Barrett. I did not see him again for for nearly seventeen months,until November l3,l930 at Chingwantao in desolate North China, near Manchuria,(& when I finally arrived there, he told me that his ship would sail again at crack of dawn the next day for several weeks of fleet maneuvers.)Dazed after Jack left New York.I took a walk around and then returned to my office, where I said no word about my marriage until I resigned in August,l930.But my younger sister Babe read in the Hartford paper that I had married a seaman named Barrett,&they sent best wishes.Romantic-no! But after we really joined forces,life was one long romantic adventure,I would do it again if given the choice. So my sister in Hartford knew I was married,but very few of my friends in New York knew of the marriage except Anne and Ivan and Mr.Lyons. People asked me for dates - I declined to date Jack's law school classmate Joe Brill,- but a youing dentist persuaded me to have Thanksgiving dinner 1929 at his mother's home. The lady took a liking to me and tried to promote a romance, so I cut back on accepting social invitations. In my work at Macys, I had considerable contact with Jesse Straus & one of his brothers,who together managed the store at that time. They advised & assisted New York governor Franklin Roosevelt on many projects.Their parents Mr. & Mrs. Isador Straus were victims of the sinking of the TITANIC in l9l2 when Mrs. Straus would not go in a lifeboat without her husband, & he refused to take a seat from young women & children.A sister of my Mount Holyoke l922 friend Harriet Cogswell was working at Macy"s & corresponded with Harriet who was teaching at Gin=Ling missionary college Nanking & later married consular diplomat Paul Meyer.Jack Barrett later met Harriet & her fiance when the destroyer TRUXTUN was at Nanking on Yangtze River patrol in February-March l930,. & the TRUXTUN officers were guests at the American embassy.One of Harriet's students Dr. S.Y. Hu later did Ph.d work at Radcliffe on hollies & became Harvard's herbarium curator of Chinese plants for many years & wrote widely on Hong Kong flora,daylilies, & Chinese food plants & the rediscovered Metasequoia glyptostroboides. Harriet's sister in l980's gave Mount Holyoke College twelve boxes of historically interesting photos of Chinese live in l920's & l930's. mainly around Nanking & Peking.In May l930 the New York Times published an extended article on the personnel policies of Macy's stores. The main objective was to increase efficiency by reducing employee turnover.The report quoted psychologist Dr. V.V.Thompson on the effort to match the employee talents to the job & not "put a round peg in a square hole."


 


p 55-1083 RED HEADED STEPCHILD Part I Sophie Meranski Barrett early years 1901-1930 Chapter FOUR Master's Thesis 1925 THE YOUNG OFFENDER AND THE CRIMINAL LAW IN MASSACHUSETTS

 

Sophie Meranski 1925 thesis The Young Offender and the Criminal Law In Massachusetts "THE YOUNG OFFENDER AND THE CRIMINAL LAW IN MASSACHUSETTS" 1925 Master's Thesis SOPHIE RUTH MERANSKI (BARRETT) Mount Holyoke College South Hadley Mass. Department of Economics and Sociology [Professor Amy Hewes advisor] CONTENTS Introduction -p one Definition of Crime -p two Statistics of Crime -p three The Monetary Cost of Crime -p five Scope of the Study - p six Punishments in Colonial and Revolutionary Massachusetts -p six Juvenile Prisoners after the Revolution -p ten Separation of Juvenile Offenders and the Establishment of the House of Reformation in Boston in 1824 -p fourteen Other Juvenile Reform Schools -p seventeen Early Legislation Restricted to Juveniles -p eighteen Juvenile Delinquency in the Twentieth Century -p twenty The Era of the Clinical Criminologist -p twenty-nine Conclusions and Recommendations -p thirty-one BIBLIOGRAPHY - BOOKS Boies, Henry M., The Science of Penology (1901) Drucker, Saul, and Marurice B. Hexter, Children Astray (1923). Earle, Alice M., Curious Punishments of Bygone Days (1896) Eliot, Thomas D. , The Juvenile Court and the Community (1914) Ford, James, Social Problems and Social Policy 1923). Glueck, S.Sheldon, Mental Disorder and the Criminal Law (1925) Hart, Hastings H. ed., Juvenile Court Laws in the United States Summarized. Russell Sage Foundation (1910). Healy, William, The Individual Delinquent (1922) Henderson, Charles R. ed Prison Reform and Criminal Law. Correction and Prevention Series. Russell Sage Foundation (1910). Judge Baker Foundation., "Harvey Humphrey Baker, upbuilder of the Juvenile Court". Publication No. 1. [1920] Lewis, Orlando F., The development of American prisons and prison customs 1776-1845 [1922] Parmalee, Maurice F., Criminology [1919]. Robinson, Louis N., Penology in the United States [1921] Snedden, David S., Administration and educational work of American juvenile reform schools [1907] Stewart, Alexander H.., American bad boys in the making [1912]. Sutherland, Edwin H.,, Criminology [1924]. Thomas, William I., The unadjusted girl [1923]. Van Waters, Miriam, Youth in conflict [1925]. White, William A., Insanity and the Criminal law [1923]. Wines, Frederick H., Punishment and reformation [1919]. ARTICLES and PAMPHLETS Bailey,William B. Children before the courts in Connecticut. United States Children's Bureau,Publication No. 43 [1918]. Belden, Evelina, Courts in the United States hearing children's cases. United States Children's Bureau, Publication No. 65 [1920]. Breckenridge, Sophonisba P. and Helen R. Jeter, A summary of juvenile court legislation in the United States. United States Children's Bureau, Publication No. 70 [1920].Chute, Charles L. ,Probation in children's courts. United States Children's Bureau,Publication No. 80 [1921]. Flexner, Bernard and Reuben Oppenheimer, The legal aspect of the juvenile court. United States Children's Bureau, Publication No. 99 [1922]. Healy, William, Honesty: A study of the causes and treatment of dishonesty among children [1915]. Healy, William, The practical value of scientific study of juvenile delinquents. United States Children's Bureau, Publication No. 96 [1922] Healy, William and Augusta F. Bronner [Brenner?], "Youthful offenders: A comparative study of two groups, each of 1,000 young recidivists". The American Journal of Sociology, Vol. XXII, No. 1 [July 1916]. Journal of the American Institute of Criminal Law and Criminology 1911-1925.Kirchwey,George W., "Parole", The Survey, Vol. LIII, No. 12 (March 15, 1925) pp. 729-731. Massachusetts Commission on Probation, Probation Manual [1916]. REPORTS AND STATUTES: Connecticut, Revised Statutes, 1672 Massachusetts, Acts and Resolves,1692-1924 Massachusetts, Board of State Charities,Annual Reports, 1865-1878 Massachusetts, Board of Health, Lunacy, and Charity, Annual Reports, 1879-1886 Massachusetts, Board of Lunacy and Charity, Annual Reports 1886-1898 Massachusetts, Board of Charity,Annual Reports, 1899-1919 Massachusetts, Department of Public Welfare,Annual Reports 1920-1922 Massachusetts Commission on Probation, Annual Reports, 1909-1921 National Probation Association, Probation and the prevention of delinquency. Proceedings, 1923. National Probation Association, Community treatment of delinquency. Proceedings, 1924. United States Bureau of the census: Prisoners and juvenile delinquents in the United States, 1910 [1918]. United States Bureau of the Census: Statistical directory of state institutions for defective, dependent, and delinquent classes [1919]. TEXT PAGE ONE Crime is essentially a problem of youth in colflict with authority. The steady stream of persons who are constantly re-enforcing the ranks of the criminal class are for the most part human beings who have not reached their maturity. [Footnote ONE "Seventy-five per cent of all the prisoners in Sing Sing in 1923 were under twenty-one years of age." Miriam van Waters, YOUTH IN CONFLICT [1925] p. V.] They fail to conform to the demands of society, and consequently, pass through our courts, jails, prisons, and reform schools and comprise our incorrigible, neglected, and delinquent groups. Through these institutions they drift back into society. For hundreds of years the courts and the whole machinery of criminal law have dealt with the problem of crime without any resulting diminution in the number of criminal acts and prisoners.For this reason it has become a pressing obligation to find out what has been done in the past and what is being done at the present time to throw light upon the causes of this antisocial behavior.Such a search will show sharply contrasting changes of method. In the past the delinquent classes were dealt with en masse. Today, Dr. William Healy of the Judge Baker Foundation maintains that each case should be given separate study. [Footnote TWO William Healy, THE INDIVIDUAL DEFENDANT [1915] p. 5.] The history of medical science shows us why similar symptoms should not be assumed as arising from the same causes and why, consequently, generalizations PAGE TWO- as to treatment should be cautiously made. In the early days of medicine,superstition and a rough trial-and-error method were the guides for handling cases of disease. Cures were aimed for, but causes were not sought after.Similar symptoms received the same treatment regardless of the source of the disorder. A general treatment for headache was "letting blood", as the process was termed. Today, physicians make a careful investigation to learn the real nature of the cause of the headache, which may be due to any disorder from eyestrain to poor digestion.The causes of the similar symptoms may be absolutely different, and no scientific treatment can be rendered until the cause of the malady is ascertained. Careful study has, to a large extent, dispensed with the method of trial-and-error in the field of medicine; general classifications of symptoms, causes, and cures have been compiled, but each new case still demands individual diagnosis and prognosis. Only when the fundamental cause in the case of each individual is made known and the resulting symptoms noted can the results of past investigations and experience be brought into play. Similarly, proper treatment of offenders can never be attained unless their problems are understood. The slow, expensive purely inductive method of procedure is sound in practice. A scientific starting point is found only in knowledge 0of the fundamental causes of delinquency. The effort to understand and direct each criminal is worth the time and expense necessary because checking at the source is the only effective method. DEFINITION of CRIME --A crime is any act, or omission PUNISHABLE BY LAW. Since the laws of countries differ and since the laws of the same nation undergo alteration from -PAGE THREE- time to time, a corresponding change in the proportion of criminals may be brought about by the laws themselves. Many acts which once entailed severe punishments are no longer regarded as crimes, and many new crimes have been created. In bringing out the changing content of crime Edwin H. Sutherland, Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Illinois, says: "Many of the early crimes were primarily religious offenses, and until comparatively recent times these remained important; few religious offenses are now included. It was a crime in Iceland in the Viking age for a person to write verses about another, even if the sentiment was complimentary, if the verses exceeded four strophes in length......The English villain in the fourteenth century was not allowed to send his son to school, and no one lower than a freeholder was permitted by law to keep a dog.The following have at different times been crimes: printing a book, professing the medical doctrine of the circulation of the blood, driving with reins, the sale of coin to foreigners....On the other hand, many of our present laws were not known to earlier generations - quarantine laws, sanitation laws, factory laws, prohibition of intoxicating liquors." [page THREE footnote ONE: Edwin H. Sutherland, CRIMINOLOGY [1924] pp. 28,29.] New inventions and new contacts bring with them the possibility of the creation of new crimes and draw presumptive criminals into the criminal class. With the use of the check came forgery and the passing of bad checks, and the automobile increased arrests for reckless driving and seduction. Thus the repeal of old laws relating to crime and the drafting of new ones determine the composition of the criminal class. STATISTICS 0F CRIME The decennial enumerations of prisoners comprise the only statistics of crime for the entire United States. As an index of crime the value of such a census has been greatly over-rated. Although it is true that each sentenced prisoner -page FOUR- represents a crime that has been committted, it is not possible to judge from the number of prisoners in confinement at a given time just what the rate of crime is at that time because an increase in prison population may result from an increase in the average length of sentence just as certainly as from an increase in the number of persons sentenced. Therefore a mere census of the prison population can result in no very definite conclusion regarding the prevalence of crime. The record of prison commitments during a given period is a better index. From the latter the conclusion sems justified that the increase in the number of prisoners is not much more than keeping pace with the growth of population.... The figures do not indicate that crime is increasing at an alarming rate in the United States. [Footnote ONE page FOUR : United States Bureau of the Census PRISONERS AND JUVENILE DELINQUENTS IN THE UNITED STATES, 1910. [1918] P. 17]. Sufficient grounds for apprehension, however, are disclosed by Dr. S. Sheldon Glueck, Instructor of Criminology and Penology at Harvard Universiuty, who states that according to the 1923 report of the Law Enforcement Committee of the American Bar Association the general population of the United States increased 14.9 per cent for the years 1910 to1922, and the criminal population increased 16.6 per cent during the same period. This report added that "the criminal situation in the United States so far as crimes of violence are concerned, is worse than in any other civilized country." {Footnote TWO: S. Sheldon Glueck MENTAL DISORDER AND THE CRIMINAL LAW (1925) p. ix.] p FIVE- THE MONETARY COST OF CRIME Statistics of the cost of crime reveal the disproportionate tax inflicted upon society by a comparatively insignificant group. Sutherland presents figures of the financial loss suffered by the victims of crime and by the general public. It is estimated that the annual loss from the takings of different criminal classes is as follows: Burglars $225,000,000 Bandits $50,000,000 Common thieves $150,000,000 Embezzlers $125,000,000 Fraudulent bankrupts and credit swindlers $100,000,000 Bad checks cashed $100,000,000 Forgers and raisers $25,000,000 Stock and land frauds and confidence games $2,000,000,000 Political graft Incalculable -[ page FIVE Note ONE Edwin h. Sutherland OP. CIT. p 66] In Boston in 1920 thefts amounted to more than a million dollars,-in Chiacgo in the same year to more than four million dollars, and in Philadelphia in 1921 to seven million dollars.It is estimated that thefts cost railroads, express companies, and other transportation companies $100,000,000 per year. In 1920 thirty insurance companies paid claims for burglary amounting to $10,000,000 and for embezzlement, approximately $5,000,000. The average loss reported per theft in 1920 was $79.00 in Rochester, $63.00 in Detroit, and $94.00 in Toronto. [Note TWO IBID. p. 65, 66. ] The Institute of Economics estimates that the total financial cost of crime in the United States is $5,000,000,000 [five billion] [Note THREE IBID. p. 68] Sutherland calls attention to the fact that five billion dollars annually [small GAP] p SIX the cost of education,which is estimated at one billion dollars. Thus the enormous financial burden, added to the human cost of crime, justifies a critical examination of our criminal code and its execution. SCOPE OF THE STUDY. The present study deals with the history and problems of juvenile delinquency in Massachusetts. The subject of juvenile delinquency calls for separate considerationsince its causes and the resulting problems, as well as the methods for its treatment, differ from those of adult delinquency. The primary consideration in the former case is the re-education and the reformation of the offender, still in the formative period of life, while there yet remains the possibility of directing his energy into socially useful channels. The initial steps in the punishment and reformation of youthful offenders have often in the past been taken by Massachusetts, and this state has served as a pattern for the procedure in many others. The review of its experience is here undertaken because the history in this Commonwealth affords the longest and perhaps most continuous efforts in this field. PUNISHMENTS IN COLONIAL AND REVOLUTIONARY MASSACHUSETTS Physical torture characterized the treatment of juvenile offenders in Massachusetts during the Colonial and Revolutionary periods,when the motive of punishment was clearly vindictive. Corporal punishment was general and included mutilations and branding. The ducking stool, the stocks, the pillory, the brank, and other devices were punishments dreaded less because of physical injury than because of the public shame which attended them. Design or intent was not considered, and there was little interest in the question of responsiblity. It was often assumed that an evil -p.seven- spirit or the devil was the motivating force, and that an individual influenced by the devil should be punished. The statutes of 1692 provided that "if any person or persons of the age of discretion (which is accounted fourteen years or upwards) shall wittingly and willingly make or publish any lye or libel ... and being duly convicted therefof ... shall be fined according to the degree of such offense not exceeding the sum of twenty shillings for the first conviction ...and if the party be unable to pay said fine, then to be set in the stocks not exceeding three hours, or be corporally punished by whipping at the discretion of the justice or justices before whom the conviction shall be." [p seven NOTE ONE Massachusetts Acts and Resolves, Vol. I, 1692. p. 53] In the case of burglary, treble damages were assessed, and the offender was branded on the forehead with the letter B for the first conviction and for the second, was set upon the gallows for one hour with a rope around his neck and severely whipped. In the case of a third offense he was put to death as incorrigible. The stocks and fines were used as punishments for swearing and cursing. The "pains of death" were inflicted by an act of 1692 (though this was revoked by the Privy Council in August 1695) for all offenses declared to be felonies. The list of felonies, for which children were equally liable with adults, included: idolatry, witchcraft, blasphemy, high treason, murder, poisoning, concealment of the death of a bastard child, sodomy, bestiality, incest, rape, and piracy. The laws relating to proper behavior on the Sabbath day must have weighed heavily on many a red-blooded "Tom Sawyer" who would have loved to spend Sunday in the old swimming hole. A statute of 1692 restrained all persons from swimming in the water on that day. p8-16 Sophie Meranski thesis 1925 #1171 p 65 Edit Thesis p 8 rom: John Barrett Add to Address Book Subject: page eight to middle tenSophie thesis Young Offender To: woostermorgan@yahoo.com PAGE EIGHT- It also restricted all unnecessary and unseasonable walking in the streets or fields in the town of Boston or other places on Sunday and prohibited recreations in the evening preceding the Lord's Day or any part of that day or the following evening.Minors were forbidden to frequent public house and taverns on the Sabbath, and parents were held responsible for their children's transgressions.= Dr. William Bailey [p. EIGHT-Note ONE William B. Bailey CHILDREN BEFORE THE COURTS IN CONNECTICUT. United States Children's Bureau, Publication No. 43 (1918) p. 15] calls attention to the strong similarity of conditions, population, and point of view in the Massachusetts and Connecticut colonies. A Connecticut act of 1672 was copied literally from the Massachusetts act of 1642, indicating that the legislation of Massachusetts was the basis of subsequent legislation in other Colonies and later in other states The act which Connecticut copied pertained to the care and behavior of children and is reflected in the compulsory education of present-day legislation. The act reads as follows: = Selectmen ... shall have a vigilant eye over their Brethren and Neighbors to see that none of them shall suffer so much Barbarism in any of their families as not to teach their children and servants the English language and especially the Bible; all Masters of families do once a week at least catechize their children and servants in the Grounds and Principles of Religion, and such children and servants might be questioned by any selectman to ascertain whether they had learned their orthodox catchism without book....And if any of the selectmen, after admonition by them given to such Masters of Families, shall find them still negligent of their duties in the particulars aforementioned,, whereby Children and Servants grow rude, stubborn, and unruly,, {then the} selectmen with the help of two magistrates [shall place] such children and apprentices -p. NINE- with some masters for years, Boys till they come to 21, and Girls 18 years of age compleat, which will more strictly look into and force them to submit unto Government, according to the Rules of this Order." [P. NINE fotnote ONE Connecticut, Revised Statutes, 1672. p. 13.] =This era in the treatment of young offenders in Massachusetts was marked by efforts to cut off the criminal groups by socially degrading those accused of petty offenses, by corporal punishment for the serious offenses, and by the death penalty for the more serious offenses. The criminal as such was absolutely disregarded; only the crime was taken into account, and the offender was often looked upon as being "possessed of the devil". No attempt to reform the offender was made, but the severity of the laws and punishments were relied upon to deter. If these failed to prevent criminal acts, the evil-doer, young or old, had to take the consequences prescribed by rigid, inflexible laws. Results and symptoms were classified and treated accordingly. Causes, on the other hand, were entirely disregarded. The brutal punishments of early days in Massachusetts are valuable only to draw attention to the inefficacy of the many "thou shalt nots" which characterized the means used to cope with the problem of the young offender of the period. = Confinement in institutions went hand in hand with the infliction of corporal punishment, and their use for the punishment and "reformation" of juvenile delinquents became increasingly prevalent with the passing of time. Prior to 1699, each town or county in Massachusetts had its jail, in which were confined minor and adult offenders of both sexes. All persons had to bear charges for conveying them to the jail and for the payment of those appointed to guard them there. While in jail they had to support themselves, and their estates were attached for this purpose.If they had no estates, service to the amount of the bill was required. = In 1699 the General Court ordered that " there should be erected, built or otherwise provided in every county within this province at the charge of such county, a fit and convenient house of correction to be used for the keeping, correcting, and setting to work of rogues, vagabonds, common beggars, and other lewd, idle, and disorderly persons, and until such house or houses of correction be erected,built, or otherwise provided, the common prison of each county may be made use of for such purpose...The master of such houses of corrrection have power and authority to set all such persons to work (if they are able) and to punish them by putting fetters or shackles upon them and by moderate whipping, not to exceed ten stripes at once, or abridge them of their food." [p. TEN note ONE Massachusetts Acts and Resolves, 1699. p. 378] These "houses of correction" may or may not have had a good influence upon the rogues, beggars, and vagabonds, but there is little doubt that they really harmed the stubborn and rebellious children whom they also housed.The early institutions for adult and juvenile offenders not only failed to correct the maladjusted and show them the error of their ways, but served in fact, as excellent preparatory schools for lives of crime.=JUVENILE PRISONERS AFTER THE REVOLUTION =Massachusetts had only local and county jails or houses of correction for the imprisonment of convicts prior to 1785. In that year a state prison was built on Castle Island in Boston Harbor. In 1804 Massachusetts gave up Castle-p ELEVEN- Island to the United States and built a state prison in Charlestown which was to be "for the reformation as well as the punishment of convicts".It was opened on the twelfth of December 1805 and cost $170,000. [Note ONE page ELEVEN Orlando F. Lewis, THE DEVELOPMENT OF AMERICAN PRISON AND PRISON CUSTOMS, 1776-1845 (1922) p. 69. + From the first, severity of treatment was marked. One feature was a basement "refractory room" in which the prisoners were chained. A punishment in this prison savoring of the old Colonial days in Masachusetts is reflected in an order of the prison board of visitors that "a gallows be erected in the prison yard, at an elevation of twenty feet, on which certain prisoners, seven in number,shall be placed, and sit with a rope around their neck for one hour, once a week, for three successive weeks; that for sixty days they wear an iron collar and chain as the warden shall direct; and that they wear a yellow cap, with asses' ears, for sixty days, and that they eat at a table by themselves; ... The sentence shall be read in the hall at breakfast in the presence of all the prisoners." [Note TWO IBID. p. 71]= Efforts were made to grade the prisoners Until 1812 the garb of convicts was half red and half blue.Second termers were clothed in three colored garments alternating red, yellow and blue. They ate at separate tables and "had only two warm meals a day and for the other only bread and water except on Sundays". Third termers were dressed in four colors, yellow, red, blue, and black. In general, the inmates were deplorable objects, and the prison discipline itself accomplished their humiliation and degradation. The re-taken convict who had escaped was compelled to wear an iron ring on the left leg to which a clog, attached by a chain, was suspended during the entire term of the imprisonment.-12- Due to the extreme severity and the solitary cells, there were continued efforts to regain freedom. One of the prisoners, who attmpted to escape, was made to wear an iron jacket for eight days, and to "stand in the broad aisle of the chapel with it on for two successive Sundays, to sleep in solitary confinement for ninety days,and to wear a clog with an iron chain for 52 days afterwards."In these examples of punishments within the prison we find reflected the public punishments before the days of state prisons.=-In 1815 The board of visitors stated their theory of prison discipline as follows: "It should be as severe as the principles of humanity will possibly permit. His (the prisoner's) clothes ought to be a means of punishment. He should be cut off from the world,and know nothing of what is happening outside. Whenever a prisoner transgresses, he should be punished until his mind is conquered. ...The guards should consider the prisoner as a volcano, containing lava, which if not kept in subjection, will destroy friends and foe." [P TWELVE note ONE -IBID. p. 73.] =In 1816 the congestion in the prison was marked. Three hundred convicts were living promiscuouly in the prison. In that year the records of the institution showed the presence of four children under fourteen years of age. In some of the rooms four convicts and in others eight were lodged without any supervision at night. Ninety persons were under commitment for a second, third, or fourth time.Juvenile prisoners slept on the bare ground of the prison floor, or, at best, in a hard board bunk unless they were fortunate enough to have parents able to provide them with blankets.Heating during the cold months was very inadequate, and there was no real ventilation during the heat of summer.Morbidity and mortality rates were high even among those with short sentences. -p. THIRTEEN- = Radical reorganization of the prison was necessary,and in 1817 a legislative committee recommended that the prison be abandoned because of the intolerable conditions that prevailed there at the time. Segregation of children and women from adult hardened criminals had as yet not been effected, and the prison held old and young alike. Reformatory measures were subordinated for economy.= In 1827 a representative of the Prison Discipline Society of Boston found forty convicts scattered in different apartments without any keeper or inspector. The keeper could not approach the cells at night without giving warning by moving heavy doors. Recidivism remained unchecked. A prisoner who had been sentenced seven different times, twice for life, was in 1827 at the head of the kitchen squad with ten young convicts associated with him. The manufacture of counterfeit money within the prison was a common occurence. [p THIRTEEN note ONE. IBID., p. 159] The prison was not proving an agency for reform and was by no means a success, as it neither reformed prisoners nor prevented recidivism. =, At the end of the first quarter of the nineteenth century the state prison still contained the old and the young, the novice and the old-timer, the white and the colored, the men and the women. They all associated promiscuously, and the glamour of the stories told to the young by men well versed in crime and by hardened women were conducive to even greater crime on the part of minor offenders upon their release. Prison reformers were appalled by the "tender" years of some of the prisoners. One in every six prisoners was under twenty-one years of age, and children under twelve years of age had been in prison many months. Confinement of a young offender in a penitentiary of this period was about as effective for his reformation as putting a man in a pest house to cure him of a headache. -page FOURTEEN- SEPARATION OF JUVENILE OFFENDERS and the Establishment of the House of Reformation in Boston in 1826:: =The Massachusetts Legislature in 1826 gave to Boston City Council authority to send juvenile delinquents, who had formerly been committed to state prison, "to an institution which should be provided at South Boston". This was the first indication of the growing sentiment that youthful offenders should not be associated with those steeped in the ways of crime, sin, and vice.The founding of a school for the reformation of juvenile delinquents marks a positive step forward in the handling of youthful offenders in Masachusetts.= A large building was provided in an extensive field of about forty acres in South Boston. The government of this House of Reformation was vested in a board of seven directors, and the City of Boston undertook the entire support of the institution. The first superintendant was the Reverend E.M.P. Wells, a young minister. A serious episiode in his college career at Brown serves to throw light on his attitude toward the inmates of the institution. While a student at Brown, he was called before the faculty to give information about a student prank. Mr. Wells stated that he had no part in it, and, upon his continued refusal to give names, was expelled. One of the rules of the House of Reformation was that no boy should be required to give information of the faults of another. = This rule was but one of many enlightened regulations which placed the House of Reformation in Boston temporarily ahead of all American institutions in the matter of administrative methods. The rules were made with a view to the reformation of the charges. Mr. Wells's philosophy of boyhood is summed up in his statement, " However bad a boy may be, he can always be reformed while he is under fifteen years of age, and he who has been reckoned and treated as incapable of anything like honesty and honor, may be worth the most entire confidence.... We live happily together as a family of brethren, cheerful, happy, confiding, and I trust, to a greater or less degree pious.." -p. FIFTEEN- =In a period when repression and punitive treatment of children would have ben natural, the administrative methods of the Boston House of Reformation were surprisingly enlightened. Corporal punishments were entirely excluded, and methods of self-government were introduced. By a vote of the children, the instruments of physical punishment had been abandoned, and as a substitute, they offered their own word of honor to behave. Nobody was punished for a fault "sincerely avowed." A book of conduct was kept in which each child had his account of good and bad marks, and each child, in the evening assembly, was called upon to judge himself and to assign his own marks. Twelve jurymen from among the children condemned or acquited the accused. The children elected their own monitors.The manner in which these electors and jurymen carried on their work was that of utmost seriousness and solemnity. = Privileges were enjoyed by children whose conduct was good. In descending scale, discipline was secured by a systematic withdrawal of privileges until the limit was reached. After that, positive punishments, but not of a corporal nature, were administered. Under these methods, not only was the sense of justice and personal interest appealed to, but the responsibility was shifted to the young offender himself. If he were bad, it was not because of conduct forced upon him by the administration. The knowledge and anticipation of the pleasure awaiting the one who maintained good conduct were relied upon to yield the desired results. p. SIXTEEN- = The self-government features of the establishment were apparent to the newcomer at his very entrance. After the customary physical examination,bath, and the assignment of a room, the new inmate was introduced to the other boys and received a copy of the laws. He was then placed in the Second or Third "Mal" Grade where he remained for a week on "probation." If his conduct was good during this period, it was reported to the boys, who took a vote as to whether he should be received into the community.If he were voted against, he was sent back into further probation. If the conduct of a community member were exceptionally bad, he was expelled from the community and could be readmitted only after a period of probation. = Physical development and academic training were emphasized. The daily schedule gave five and a half hours to labor, four hours to school, two and a quarter hours to recreation, and one and a quarter hours to religious exercises. The day time was divided fairly equally between labor and academic instruction. The school gave mainly primary school subjects, and the manual labor was the same as in prison except for quantity and intensity. The House of Reformation succeeded in teaching the young delinquents respect for and obedience to law..= In 1832 a committee of the Boston Common Council visited officially the House of Reformation and found Wells very hard to understand. The devotional exercises were excellent, but the scholastic instruction was poor, and the financial returns from the labor of the children were inadequate.The boys, they felt, needed more care and attention and were not properly employed.They were sometimes detained too long for their own good, were not working enough, earning enough or inconspicuous enough to conform to the old standard. Since the Common Council's committe wanted system and Wells wanted .self expression and the development of personality, a parting of the ways was inevitable. -p. SEVENTEEN [continued]


 


p 55-1084 RED HEADED STEPCHILD Part I Chapter FOUR continued "Young Offender and the Criminal Law in Massachusetts" p 17-34

 

THESIS p17 a break was inevitable,and Wells, far ahead of his day in penological philosophy, resigned. The idea of juvenile delinquency as a problem in education was, however, destined to live.Simultaneously with Mr. Wells' retirement,an "association of gentlemen of great respectability" purchased Thompson's Island in Boston Harbor containing about twenty acres of land, where they erected a farm school for the education and reformation of boys who were exposed to extraordinary temptations and "who were in danger of becoming vicious and dangerous."Another charitable association, the boston Asylum, had been incorporated in 1814 to receive, instruct, and employ indigent boys of Boston, and in 1835 this institution was merged with the new Farm School on Thompson's Island under the title of the boston Asylum and Farm School for Indigent Boys. Since this establishment received only such boys as had not yet committed crime, its function was wholly preventive, and in fact, the number of inmates of the Boston House of Reformation was reduced as a result of the work of this institution. OTHER JUVENILE REFORM SCHOOLS The impetus for the establishment of the House of Reformation in boston in 1826, for the New York House of Refuge in 1824, and for the House of Refuge in Philadelphia in 1826, came from England. The agitation of the public conscience in Great Britain in the eighteen twenties resulted in the English Society for the Improvement of Prison Discipline and for the Reformation of Juvenile Delinquents.The spirit of this work spread both to continental Europe and America.After this, the movement for the reformation of young offenders lagged for about twenty years.Before 1850 there was established in addition to those mentioned above only the State Reform School of Massachusetts in 1848 [now the Lyman School] , the Western House of Refuge at Rochester, New York, in 1846, and a few privately supported homes, mostly for girls. About 1850 there was a renewal of interest, which led to the founding of many of the strongest schools, which have carried their work down to the present time.These reform schools include the Massachusetts Reformatiory [for boys], the Industrial School for Boys at Shirley, the Suffolk School [for Boys], the Lyman School [for boys], the Industrial School for Girls at Lancaster, and the Plummer Farm School at Salem. Industrial work was provided, with the idea of future use in the community, and education was stressed.These schools have largely taken the place of the walled prisons for juvenile delinquents. Today, whenever possible, they are located in the country, and wholesome outdoor life is relied upon as a factor in reformation. EARLY LEGISLATION RESTRICTED TO JUVENILES Laws with special reference to young offenders were enacted in Massachusetts before similar legislation was passed in other states. By an act of 1847 the first state reformatory in the United States was established in Westboro, Massachusetts (now the Lyman School for boys). In 1870 it was provided that in the county of Suffolk (mainly Boston) all children under seventeen years of age who were brought before the court should "have the complaints against them heard and determined by themselves, separate from the general and ordinary criminal business." (UNDERLINED) This measure was the first provision of its kind passed in the United States. The first legislative action in the United States with regard to the appointment of a judicial official for the trial of children appeared in 1872 when the executive was authorized to "designate and commission such number of justices of the peace as the public interest and convenience may require to try juvenile offenders."The provision was repealed in 1877.Perhaps the first statutory use of the term "session for juvenile offenders" appeared in the act of 1877 which provided that juvenile offenders should be tried apart from the trial of other criminal cases, at suitable times.These hearings were to be known as the session for juvenile offenders, and a separate record and docket were to be kept. Massachusetts boasts of the fact that it is known as "the home of probation." In 1870 a visiting agent of the board of state charities, whose function corresponds to that of the probation officer today, was authorized. This agent was to be notified of complaints pending against children under seventeen years of age, was to investigate their cases, attend their trials,and protect their interests in general.. He stood between the child and the reformatory, and his recommendation might result in placing the child in a house with a private family or in any other disposal which seemed to him desirable.Thus what was in effect juvenile probation was frequently used in the period from 1870 to 1880 in Massachusetts.Its good results were, in fact,responsible for the probation system for adults, which was created by a law in 1878, and 1880, when paid probation officers were authorized throughout the state.The probation law of 1891 provided a paid probation officer for each municipal,police, or district court.Under these circumstances, the former provision for the primary intervention in juvenile cases by the agent of the state board of charity proved cumbrous and was superseded by the provisions of the Delinquent Children Act of 1906. The basis of the present court procedure so far as young offenders are concerned is to be found in an "Act Relative to Delinquent Children" which was passed on May 24th, 1906. [Footnote ONE Massachusetts Acts and Resolves,1906. Chapter 413.] Definitions indicating changed points of view are contained in this act. A delinquent is defined in this statute as anyone between seven and seventeen years of age who has violated a city ordinance or town by-law or committed an offense not punishable by death or by imprisonment for life.A wayward child is designated as one between seven and seventeen who habitually associates with the vicious or immoral or who is growing up in circumstances inducing an immoral,vicious, or criminal life. It is emphasized that the law should be liberally construed and that the chiuldren should be treated not as criominals but as in need of aid,encouragement, and guidance.It was made the aim of the court to approximate the care which the children should have received from the parents. The proceedings against children under this act are not to be regarded as criminal in character.No child under fourteen may be committed to a lockup either in default of bail or fine or upon conviction of any offense not punishable by death or by imprisonment for life. The parent or guardian is to be summoned to the hearing, and the child may appeal to the Superior Court. This act stresses the importance of having the session for children at a separate time and when practicable in a separate place from that of criminal trials and forbids any minor to attend a hearing unless he is needed. It further stipulates that it is the duty of the probation officer to investigate each case of waywardness or delinquency and to report on the character, record, and environment of his charge. He is required to attend the trial, to be ready to assist the court with information, and at the end of the probation period to report the conduct of trhe child under his supervision.A delinquent child's case may be placed on file, or the child may be placed under the care of a probation officer.If he proves unmanageable, he is to be committed until twenty-one years of age, if a boy under fifteen, to the Lyman School for Boys, and if a girl under seventeen, to the State Industrial School for Girls. It is the privilege of the court to commit any delinquent child to any institution excepting a jail or house of correction. If it is found that the parent is in any way responsible for the juvenile delinquency, he may be fined not more thasn $50.00 or imprisoned not more than six months. In an "Act Authorizing Probation Officers for Children" in 1908 [Footnote ONE Massachusetts Acts and Resolves ; 1908. Chapter 637.] each inferior court whose district has a population of 30,000 to 125,000 is authorized to appoint a paid probation officer for wayward and delinquent children. The Massachusetts Commission on Probation was created by law in the same year. It has supervision of the probation officers in all the courts of the state. The Commission consists of five members appointed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court. Its powers consist of prescribing records to be kept by the probation officers and to require the reports which it deems necessary.Beyond these items, its powers are only advisory,but it is charged with the responsibility of coordinating the work and promoting an exchange of information between officers. [Footnote TWO National Probation Association, Proceedings 1923 (underlined), (1924) p. 208] The juvenile court movement is one of the most important developments in the history of penology. It affords marked contrasts with the earlier methodd of identical treatment for both young and old offenders. The first juvenile court was established in Chicago in 1899. After that date others followed rapidly. Within ten years, twenty-two states had passed similar laws to that of Illinois, and by 1920 all but three states - Maine, Wyoming, and Connecticut had done so. In these three states some features of the method of procedure used in the juvenile court were to be found. The Boston Juvenile Court is the only Juvenile Court in Massachusetts which was established by a special law and which has "independent jurisdiction." [p 22 Footnote One Evelina Belden, (underlined) "Couts in the United States hearing children's cases." United States Children's Bureau. Publication No. 65 (1920) p. 76] The remaining courts hearing children's cases come under the police, district, or municipal court systems. In 1918 [Footnote TWOibid. p. 28] there were seventy-one courts in the state which were reported as hearing children's cases. Two-fifths of these had a significant amount "of specialization and organization for work with children." The others were "general courts" and did not report specially organized juvenile work. In the latter cases, the judges devoted most of their time to other court duties. All of the courts made use of probation. The act "to establish the Boston Juvenile Court" was approved on June 15, 1906 [Footnote THREE Massachusetts Acts and Resolves. 1906. CHAPTER 489.] It provides for one justice and two special justices to be appointed by the executive. All complaints which relate to children under seventeen are to be transferred p.23 to this court, and so far as possible the court is ordered to hear all cases in chambers. All unnecessary persons are to be excluded. The Boston Juvenile Court was largely determined by the personality of its presideing officer. Mr. Roy H. Cushman, for eight years a probation officer of the court, has portrayed the character of Harvey Humphrey Baker, the court's first judge. He has made it evident that the court WAS Judge Baker and attributes the high rank of the boston court to the "work and eminent service" of its first magistrate. When the Governor appointed Mr. Baker judge, there was open speculation as to whether he would be a successful worker with boys because it was assumed that such a position required a man who was informal, able to meet boys on their own level, and a man whose boyhood was somewhat similar to that of the children's whom he aimed to guide. Judge Baker was a bachelor, a man who had led a life free from care in the matter of earning a living, and was a citizen carefully trained in self discipline.He proved to be very successful, and his success has been attributed to "his sense of fairness, his untiring devotion to duty, his great patience, his firmness when occasion demanded, his judicial turn of mind, his profound legal sense and knowledge of the law, his keen intelligence, his tactfulness - but above all to the beauty, simplicity, and genuineness of his personal character. Such a nature as his conquered by force of its sincerity. All who came in contact with him were enobled." [p 23 FOOTNOTE ONE Judge Baker Foundation, "underlined HARVEY HUMPHREY BAKER: MAN AND JUDGE." Publication No. One (1920) p 4. ]. Judge Baker took into account the problems of the parents as well as those of the child and invariably insisted upon seeing at least one of the parents of every child who came before him. If it were inconvenient for the parents to appear in the daytime, he arranged to see them in the evening.Before Judge Baker accepted the judgeship. he traveled about the country and visited many of the already existing juvenile courts and institutions for delinquent children and industrial schools. He witnessed the operation of methods which were proving successful and availed himself of every opportunity to talk with any expert whose advice might be valuable to him. When he committed a child, he knew the institution to which he was sending him, sometimes visited him at the institution, and even watched his career while there and after parole Since its establishment the Boston Juvenile Court has been "administered on the assumption that the fundamental function of a juvenile court is to put each child who comes before it in a normal relation to society as promptly and as permanently as possible, and that while punishment is not by any means to be dispensed with, it is to be made subsidiary and subordinate to that function." [p 24 footnote ONE Ibid. p. 109.] Every effort is made to realize this goal. The quarters of the court are in the main courthouse of the city in a quiet, removed corner. The young offenders, their parents, and all others concerned with the case, are required to wait in a large room until the case is called. The keynote to the entire procedure is simplicity. The judge interviews the child alone, with sometimes the probation officer present. All newspaper men and persons not directly connected with the case are not allowed admittance, but exceptions are sometimes made in the case of officers of reform schools, officers of agencies interested primarily in children, and social workers. No more than two at a time are ever allowed to be present at the proceedings. p 25 When the case is called, the probation officer takes the child before the judge, who sits behind the desk on a low platform.While talking to the child, the judge carefully examines his general appearance and makeup, and although he holds the formal papers in his hand, he rarely reads the complaint. The child is not asked to plead either "guilty" or "not guilty." The procedure takes the form of an interview between the judge and the child. In every case the court tries to make clear that is will do everything possible to promote the interests of the child. If this interview has been a success, the parents, the police officer in charge of the case, and sometimes the aggrieved parties are brought in, and the case is stated to them. If the judge feels that the parents are to blame for the child's delinquency, the child and the police officer are sent out, and the judge admonishes the parents without running the risk of lowering them in the estimation of the child. The offender is then brought before the judge again, informed of the disposition of the case, and after friendly advice is dismissed. If, on the other hand,the judge can make no headway in the private interview with the child who absolutely denies any share in delinquency, the parents and officer are asked to return to the chamber, and the case is carried on in the usual way. The child has the right to be represented by counsel, bit it is generally understood that the judge's decision is the wisest for promoting the child's welfare. Probation is one of the most important features of the Boston Juvenile Court. The Massachusetts Commission on Probation defines probation as " a process by which the court, pending disposition of the case or under suspension of sentence, places a person convicted of crime n the care of a probation officer with a view to reformation". [p 25 Footnote ONE Massachusetts Commission on Probation "Probation Manual" (1916) p. 15] Probation may be granted to any person convicted of a crime, but the welfare of both the offender and society must be taken into consideration. p 26----Although the terms of probation are left to the discretion of the court, they generally include all or some of the following: The defendant shall 1. Comply with such orders as the court may make; 2.Report promptly to the probation officer as required; 3. Work regularly; 4. Keep good company and indulge in no bad habits'; 5. Refrain from violating any law, statute, ordinance, by-law or regulation, the violation whereof is punishable; 6. Pay to the probation officer before 191 , $ as costs 7. Pay to the probation officer before 191 , $ as restitution or reparation. [Footnote ONE p 26 "ibid." p 17] The probation officer is required by law to investigate each case brought before the court. His report to the judge includes information regarding the family from which the child comes, the nature of his environment, personal history, school record, the gang to which he belongs,and especially the circumstances of the offense in question. When the court decides on an order of probation, the probation officer is required to return the child to court if, in his opinion, the child's conduct does not warrant further probation. In addition to probation and commitment in the disposition of cases, the court may fine the culprit although it is the aim today to discourage the fine of children under fourteen. Probation has many advantages over fining. After the offender has paid his fine, the court loses all control over him until a new charge can be brought against him. If, however, the child is on probation, he can be committed without proving a charge against him, and if his conduct is unsatisfactory, he can be surrendered to the court and committed at any time. In this way the court has a hold on the child for many months and in some cases for a number of years. Many offenders would immensely prefer to pay a fine and "be done with it all." The court also makes use of the suspended sentence. The term of suspension and the term of sentence imposed are to be distinguished. A child may be sentenced to a reformatory until he is twenty-one years of age and the sentence suspended for one year, and if, during the period of suspension, the offender's conduct is beyond reproach. the case may be dismissed. If the defendant violates any laws during the period of suspension, the court may revoke the suspension and inflict the penalty. Dispositions are made by the court according to the nature of the delinquency and the attendant circumstances. They vary from the task of copying the State regulations for several hours to commitment in an institution until majority has been reached. The aim in each case is to adjust the child to his social environment. The very fact that the child has appeared before the court is an indication to the judge that an adjustment is needed. When a girl is brought to the courthouse,she is immediately put under the care of a woman unless her parents arrive promptly and are thought by the court to be capable of taking care of her until the case is called. The judge never interviews a girl alone, and after the case has been heard, every effort is made to keep the girl away from the court house. The Massachusetts Commission on Probation asked the Legislature in 1923 to make a special appropriation to enable the Commission to make a study of the subsequent careers of persons who had been on probation. The Commission wanted to find out whether probation was justified by the conduct of the persons after the period of probation had expired and whether its efforts actually "returned people in the community with security to the community and with benefit to themselves". The Legislature granted the request and appropriated $4,000.00 for the investigation, [Footnote ONE p 28 National Probation Association "Proceedings 1923" (1924) pp. 252,253.] The study made included 312 juvenile delinquents, from several cities exclusive of Boston, who were placed on probation in the ordinary district courts in the first half of the year 1915. The majority (294) were boys ranging in age from eight to seventeen whose offenses consisted for the most part of larceny, breaking and entering, stubbornness, and assault and battery. [Footnote TWO "Ibid." "Proceedings 1924" (1924) p. 46] When placed on probation, the boys averaged fourteen years of age, and at the time of the investigation, they averaged twenty-three years of age. Over four-fifths (82.0 per cent) of the boys who were eligible for commitment at the time they were put on probation avoided that experience throughout the nine years since the offense was committed.The remaining fifth were committed to institutions. The importance of home conditions in relation to the efficacy of probation was made clear. Boys from homes with both parents present and no bad conditions failed to the extent of ten per cent, those from broken homes to the extent of thirty per cent, and those from homes where one or both parents drank, to the extent of forty per cent. As a result of this study, the Commission felt that probation had been more than justified as a method. The fact is that the big majority of young people for whom probation had been an alternative for commitment were never commited was accepted as clear evidence. Even in the cases where probation had seemingly failed, notably the cases of broken homes and other unfavorable home conditions, the Commission concluded that probation developed along lines to suit the special needs of these cases - rather than its abandonment- was the best course to take. THE ERA OF THE CLINICAL CRIMINOLOGIST Judge Baker realized the inadequacy of treatment based wholly on the observations of the judge and his probation officers. He voiced the need of a clinic to diagnose problem cases.After his death, his associates raised a fund to establish a memorial of his work, which is called the Judge Baker Foundation, and which provides the kind of scientific assistance to the Juvenile Court which Judge Baker advocated. The Foundation was organized in April, l917. Its function has been to cooperate not only with the court but with all agencies dealing with problem cases of children and their families to bring about a better understanding of the human material with which the juvenile court deals. Since its establishment, four thousand boys and girls have been studied. The majority of these children were referred to the Foundation by the Boston Juvenile Court. The rest came to its attention through the schools, hospitals, and child agencies. The information which has been gathered during the years of its operation has been published in the form of case records. Medical, social and psychological studies of the children are made under the supervision of Dr. William Healy. Probation officers, the field worker, and the workers of cooperating agencies are enlisted to carry on the social investigations of the heredity, home conditions, and school and street life of the individual in question. The psychological examination aims to bring to light the underlying causes of the child's delinquency as well as his special aptitudes and interests. The child's own story, including an analysis of his experiences, is appended to the results of the mental and physical examination and to the information which has been gathered to throw light on heredity and environment. At the staff conference which is held twice a week and which is attended by the doctors,the psychologists, and the social worker, the findings are related to get the interplay of causes. The best method of procedure is discussed, and the recommendations to be presented to the interested parties are drawn up. Each case is carefully followed up, and, if necessary, a re-study and new recommendations are made. The most recent development in the work of the Foundation is its emphasis on preventive work. It now studies the aptitudes and capabilities of presumptive criminals before they are allowed to join the ranks of the criminal class. The schools, hospitals, and social agencies, as well as the juvenile court, are sending children in increasing numbers to the Foundation for diagnosis with a view to vocational guidance, and recommenations are made as to the type of education and training advisable. Although it formerly dealt almost exclusively with children presenting behavior problems, it is now recruiting its clients to a high degree from the ranks of those who have committed no crime as defined by the law but who, without expert advice and training, would in all probability drift into vice sooner or later. Just as the problem of poverty in society has come to be regarded as not merely the relief of the poor already in existence, but the more fundamental problem of the distribution of the social income, so the basic problem of juvenile delinquency is seen to be not only the reformation of bad boys and girls,,but the larger and far more important undertaking of the social control of those factors in the environment which bring bad boys and girls into existence. One of the best services which the juvenile court and other institutions can render to-day is to make such a study of the individuals entrusted to their care as will bring to light the causes of delinquency and so make possible a program of prevention. The evolution of the care of the young offender in Massachusetts, and in the country as a whole,has been a slow process often characterized by failures but one in which a very real advance is also seen. Although many of our juvenile courts still fail to understand the individuals whose fate they must decide, the work of a few enlightened institutions makes the outlook for the future brighter.The beginnings,. as reflected in the corporal punishments of the seventeenth century, which aroused in many cases a desire for vengance on the part of the offender,have no counterpart today. The next step, that of housing youngsters in jails and houses of correction, too often resulted in a hatred for society and in a life of continued crime. The transition period brought with it reforming and educational measures, but since the seat of the difficulty was not sought after nor understood, the old urges recurred when the child was released from the reformatory, and very little from the point of view of preventing delinquency or checking recidivism was effected.The modern period, with its juvenile courts and diagnostic clinics, marks a real step forward in its effort to understand the motive and driving forces and to supply normal outlets for repressed wishes, but the children are reached by these institutions only after they have committed an offense which is punished by law.The most, consequently, that can be hoped from the juvenile court is the checking of recidivism. If the juvenile court forced back upon the preventive agencies all cases properly belonging to them and if the schools, churches,playgrounds, habit-clinics, placement, and relief organizations reched their maximum efficiency, there would be little work for the juvenile courts to do.The formula for the prevention of delinquency is the perfection of the agencies which come in contact with the child before he has committed his first offense. The juvenile courts of Massachusetts, and of other parts of the world, are at best only remedial instituiions, and as they are at present organized are not capable of combating delinquency at its source. The most that can be expected of them is the checking, and ultimately, the prevention of recidivism.Since the court can do very little to avert first offenses, and since it is only after the offense has been committed that the child appears before the court,there is very evident need of better work from the preventive institutions. All agencies whose primary function is to see that nothing goes wrong in the first place should be much more effective than the juvenile court in preventing crime because they are nearer the heart of the difficulty. Since, however, it is too much to hope for the present, at least, that complete successs will be attained in preventing delinquency through the agencies suggested above,the juvenile court will continue to hold an important place in effecting cures and in curbing recidivism. Because the juvenile court is the best agency at present for dealing with the problem of the young offender, every effort shoulod be expended to strengthen its work. An increase in the number of diagnostic clinics for problem cases which do not respond normally to the method of treatment prescribed by the court is strongly recommended. The establishment of such research institutions would be costly, it is true,but if the work were extended so as to include children who are potential criminals, and if they were set upon the highway of life capable of self-support and free from any history of delinquency, the investment would repay the public with a high rate of interest, and the juvenile courts would be near the realization of their maximum efficiency. The work of the juvenile courts throughout the state suffers because of the small number of probation officers attached to each court. The accepted maximum cases to be carried by one probation officer for careful work has been stated to be seventy-five cases per worker,The officers of the Boston Juvenile Court have carried from 125 to 150 cases. The juvenile court will defeat its own purpose if it does not have an adequate and well-trained force to carry out its policies. Further, the work of these courts could be reduced if something were done to prevent the overlapping of the work of visiting teachers, truant officers,social case vistors,and probation oofficers, which often results in neglect because the fields of each agency are not carefully defined.The placing agency shoud relieve the court of the necessity of placing children; the relief agency should take full responsibility for all dependent children,, and the school should take care of its truants.The probation officers would then be free to concentrate all their efforts on the rehabilitation of the delinquent child and not be forced to be "Jack of all trades". By limiting the field of their activities and by decreasing the number of their active cases, the officers could make more use of preventive measures. There is need at the present time in reform schools for teachers who understand the problems of offenders with abnormal mental and nervous habits, defective speech,and physical defects of all varieties, and who are suffering from conflicts which are not immediately apparent. We are continually losing sight of the fact that the chief function of the reformatories is to help children tide over the period of adolescent instability and to provide an environment which is educational and reformative. After the most marked cases of mental defect have ben sifted out and sent to the institutions for defective delinquents, then by means of intelligent vocational training, reformatories guided by the recommendations of state-supported diagnostic clinics might have a chance to return useful citizebs to society. Finally, further study and comparison of the experience of the juvenile courts is recommended.At present the successes and failures are not avaiable in such a way as to guide further procedure. The standardization of methods of record keeping is important. Only accurate, complete, and comparable statistics can be relied upon to make general trends clear and to point out the interplay of cause and result. THIRTY FOUR PAGES PLUS CONTENTS and BIBLIOGRAPHY end of text.


 


p 55-1085 RED HEADED STEPCHILD Part One Sophie Meranski Barrett early years 1901-1930 Chapter FIVE Letters about Meranski family and Hartford, Connecticut

 

Letters from ARTHUR MERANSKI, JASON POLLACK 1973, REBEKAH GEETTER 1974, SOPHIE BARRETT 1986. Letter from Notebook Eight pages136-138 Postmarked l Oct l973 received 3 Octobor l973 The Rouse Company Columbia, Maryland 21043 Mr. Arthur M.Meranski Rural Route 2, Box 505, Aberdeen, Maryland, .: 21001 Dear Aunt Sophie, Needless to say, I was quite surprised to receive your long, interesting, and informative letter. Upon reflection I don't think I have seen you since childhood, and I have never seen your son.So many years have passed, and so much has happened.My record as a correspondent is no better than yours, and my handwriting has never improved, but I do want to answer your letter.It is very difficult to find a place to begin, but possibly the best way would be for me to briefly review my somewhat unusual life since World War II. -I came out of the war as a Captain - Armor- and got myself out of the Army in July l946 with several decorations, two wounds, and a gorgeous case of hepatitis, as you know. For a while I took a fling at the restauant and bar business in Bantamm, Connecticut, but it had no appeal.Therefore, it was back to the Army in l948 at Fort Bliss,Texas. While in Bantamm,I met a female from Texas who was working in Hartford,and on 21 September l949, we were married at Fort Bliss. So,a week or so ago we celebrated our twenty-fourth wedding anniversary,which strikes me as an awfully long time with the same woman. We have quite a brood, of whom more later.From Bliss we moved to Fort Lewis, Washington State.Then my luck caught up with me- two years in Korea from the Inchon landing on. Another wound.Then two years in San Francisco on ROTC duty, three in Germany, many at Fort Sill, Oklahoma,where I was a gunnery instructor and a battalion commander. From there I went to Laos,where I nobly contracted hepatitis again and was rewarded by going to Vietnam. I put in three years as Chief of Combat Instruction at the Engineer School at Fort Belvoir (spelling?) Virginia and three years as Inspector General at Aberdeen Proving Grounds. Twenty-eight years all told in the Army. sounds dry and matter-of fact, but I enjoyed every minute except for those all too frequent periods when I was scared silly. Anyway in l968 I got orders for my fifth war. Right then and there Betty and I decided that the Colonel business had no future.I flat-out retired. Since then, I have been working as a manager for theRouse Company in Columbia. It is as different from the Army as anything can get.I have an interesting job with an even more interesting salary.My responsibilities include scheduling about twenty million dollars in construction plus handling all remodelling, telephones, movies, microfilms, and blueprints.I have seventeen people to do the work. The company is very large, progressive, and interested in the personnel.We live on an acre lot just outside of Aberdeen.Our house is a five-bedroom brick rancher. Trees and a brook in the back of our lot.Very pleasant, and we enjoy it.Most importantly, we have four children: Stephan Michael aged 21, Harry (Hank) aged l9, and twins Paula Jane and Thomas Arthur now eighteen. Tommy is a senior in high school. Paula is a freshman at Harford Community College and intends to teach.Hank is in the Army, having enlisted a year ago. He will not make a career of it - just serve his three years.He will probably marry a local belle, Linda Jones next June. Stephan, the oldest, has an excellent job with a home construction firm.He has been married quite a while - almost four years.His wife's name is Linda too, and we are proud to have her as a daughter-in-law.Not only that, but we have an extremely beautiful granddaughter, Amy Lisa, who will be three on October 25th.She is the biggest morale-boosterI have ever known, totally charming,well-behaved, and humorous. A living doll, even from a very prejudiced grandfather, which of course, I am. So there you are.I have led a full and interesting life with very few regrets.I would indeed like to hear from you again- even to enter a regular correspondence. We understand you are writing a book about Uncle John.This would interest us tremendously, and we would appreciate hearing from you on it.From all eight of us to you and your son John,the best of everything,and please let us hear from you.If you wish, we will have some photographs of our tribe taken and send them to you.By the way my mother saw her great-granddaughter many times before she died, and we are very grateful for that. Again, Please do write. The address: Rural Route 2,Box 505, Aberdeen Maryland 21001. Also should you come this way we'd love to have you. Just call (301) 272-4516 Your middle-aged (but spry nephew - Art(Meranski)- John Barrett note - Arthur was in Normandy invasion June l944 France in fast-moving tanks under General Patton His parents were Harry Meranski and Sarah ("Sade") Taylor of Hartford.He called his wife Betty "The War Department" and "the Ball and Chain" He later was a fraud investigator for state of Maryland. He wrote humorous letters to his aunt Sophie until she passed away in l987. His granddaughter Amy Lisa invited John Barrett to her graduation from Aberdeen High School May l988, and John met cousin Arthur and his wife Betty and their sons Tom and Steve and Steve's family at that time. Sophie was invited to Hank Meranski's wedding October l985 but was unable to make the trip. :Second Arthur Meranski l973 letter to Aunt Sophie Barrett Notebook Eight VIII p. 145 Excerpt from letter from Colonel ArthurMeranski 15 Oct l973 Stephen Linda and Amy Lisa live in Havre de Grace, about eight miles from us. You ask me about such things as the Inchon landing,but after twenty-three years, all I retain are a sewer of impressions.I do remember a British cruiser (HMS JAMAICA?) firing overhead with me wishing the noise would stop, and then when it did cease, hoping it would start again. (It did). Then the landing craft didn't land, so we dove off it into shallow water before reaching shore. I also recall all of us trying to stop the milling around and finally getting our armored vehicles into a column and moving inland. That night on shore we split our time between shooting at North Koreans and trying to stop the local civilians from massacring supposed collaborators. My most vivid memory is of a Military Police officer who came to our outpost line the next day and said he was going to check out the next town to the south.He was told the next town was definitely not ours,but chose not to believe it.Later that day we attacked, captured the place, and got his jeep back .Never found a trace of him. More on our family. The frau, Betty, is quite tall for a woman and was red-haired before it turned gray.Our children are all somewhat outsized.Steve and Hank are both over six feet and slender. Tommy, one twin, is also tall and very solidly built, going close to two hundred pounds. His twin, Paula, is as tall as her mother and is on a fairly constant diet to keep her weight down. As for me I ended up at six feet, and my weight has never varied much fron one hundred ninety pounds." Jason Pollack letter Jason S. Pollack 4A Rose Avenue, Great Neck NY 11021 Nov. 8, l973 Dear aunt Sophie,The mail today brought your long, newsy, and most interesting letter. It also caused a pang of shame, as I have been meaning to thank John for sending the letter from Arthur Meranski I do intend to write to Arthur, but first I must answer you.First of all, we are all fine. As you know Jon,who will be twenty in March is in his second year at Yale.He is a physics major and is working very hard, although he does seem to love it.Richie will be seventeen in February and is still in his junior year of high school.He will be starting to apply to college soon, probably to study Biology which seems to be his main interest.Ann expects to get her degree in Art history in June of l975.She loves the subject and is doing very well..Now in regard to your letter. I will send it to Teddy,but first must re-read it myself,.I found your anecdotes fascinating, and do think you should consider putting them in book form if it would be possible to disguise some of the names. I enjoyed most of all your comments on the family and the family history.I have only the slightest memory of my grandfather, and really had no previous knowledge of the historical facts you supplied. I would appreciate any further information that you could supply. I didn't know my grandmother at all, and really don't know anything about her. I was lucky enough to know and be very close to your brother "Pete" I do remember Ben, but know almost nothing about the others. Perhaps you could write more about the family.The cousins are scattered all about, and some of us hardly know some of the others.You could help to pull all of us together.I must confess that my boys are at the age where they shy away from the camera, and that I have no recent shots. i will try to take some and pass them along to you. They are both very good kids, and I am very proud of them. Many thanks for the great letter, and even though I hate writing I do promise to keep in touch. Love from all of us - Jay. + Black Notebook Eight VIII p 158 Nov 20,1973 excerpts Arthur Meranski "Yesterday I called aunt Jeanette in Pikesville. It was a trifle strange to talk to someone you haven't seen in so long and who doesn't know what you look like, but we got along quite well. I asked them up for Thanksgiving, but she had already made other arrangements with her son and a cousin. So I think Betty and I will invite her on a weekend even if we go to Pikesville - about thirty miles - to get her and bring her back. She told me that her daughter is in the process of gettig a divorce. Also during the past week I received a letter from Jason Pollack. = have been ransacking my memory concerning my grandfather Taylor. It seems to me that he came from some hick town in the Ukraine - the name Uman and Bernichen Berndichen seem to ring a bell. For most of the time I was old enough to know him he didn't do too much due to diabetes and I think heart trouble. = Betty just gave me a sort of combination Christmas and birthday present - to wit - a piano. I use eight fingers and one thumb, since my right thumb has a fine collection of twnety-millimeter fragments in it and is not exactly flexible. = I never supposed I would have a granddaughter who is composed of varying fractions - Scotch-Irish, Jewish, Virginia mountaineer, and Indian. Being prejudiced I think that this combination - plus whatever admixture I forgot- has really produced quite a female. = Tell John I still will write to him presently. We get a large charge from your stories and await the next one, so write when you can. Paula and Tommy - twins are intrigued with their Naval great-aunt.-Arthur Meranski Nov 29, 1973 Dear John, My sister came down for the weekend and had a good time doing nothing. Things were almost too quiet and relaxed, but then our granddaughter arrived. With her in the house there is always an uproar. She helps Betty in the kitchen.Betty appreciates this as the assistance adds only about two hours to the time normally required. = Eire is one place not familiar to me. My only time there was a four hour layover at Shannon airport in 1954.My main recollection is the incredible green of the countryside, but that is a common impression. I am far better acquainted with Scotland, northern England, and the Channel coast of England. My unit spent a long time in the Cairrigorum Mountains in England [check spellng]. Of course I got to know the Channel almost as well as I know Long Island Sound. Also spent a lot of time in Staffordshire in glider training. I like both the country and the people. I remember the British as a hard, tough, and hospitable nation and would prefer to have them on my side than against me. Bad enemy! = I have been chasing Amy up and down the banks of Corsin's [?] run at the rear of the property. Now that's tiring ..... Art" + pages 147-148 notebook Eight: Excerpts of letter from Babe Geetter dated January 17, l974 First off I do want to acknowledge your letter which most certainly did contain information that you received from Mrs. Witkower as well as the second letter from Saul Seidman. I called the elderly Mrs. Witkower just before starting this note. She was most gracious and offered the information that Meema Saura had lost her husband before leaving for America and in all probability went back to Brody from Vienna as a widow - knew Mom in Brody, and together they left for the United States. Israel Witkower was born in Europe and was a year old when he came here with his mother. Mrs. Witkower was sure that Meema was a widow when she arrived here and that Israel was less than a year old. So you see "meema" had no husband with whom to travel, and bears out my own conviction that Momma really had no connection with Vienna and that the two women and Yonkel the infant boy travelled here from Brody. They came here to stay with the Meiselmann family and Ma remained with them until she married Pa. Also the name and address of the young Adelman girl is now Mrs. Albert Shulman, 856 Prospect Avenue, Hartford Connecticut She was Rachel Adelman and was very young when Pa remarried."[end Rebekah Geetter letter. [Rachel was eight years old, Sophie Barrett note:] Jacob "Yonkel" Ma's brother came with her at an early age. They may have traveled with widowed Meema Sura Witkower and infant Israel from Brody. John Barrett note: Records show the ship on which Mrs. Witkower and her two sons arrived in new York April l890. No one has searched whether Tolley and Jacob Goldfeld were on that same ship. They may have arrived earlier. The older Witkower boy was born in Brody l880's and his younger brother Israel in Vienna l889. Tolley or Thalia Goldfeld married Daivd Meranski at Germania Hall, Hartford August 8, l890, said to be age twenty, which agrees with her l925 death certificate in placing her birth in l870 or l869. [Sophie Meranski's birth certificate indicated she was somewhat older, born about 1865l to be thirty-sic in October, l90l. Rebekah Meranski stated her mother came to USA via Hamburg Germany. SOPHIE BARRETT letter text: draft of letter to niece Thalia and Bob Klein: Friday 27 June, 1986 Dear Teddy and Bob, On Friday June 20 Babe [was]busy packing for two weeks of fishing at Belgrade lakes in Maine she and Geetter enjoy so much with Harold, Ava, and their girls Jennifer nine and Lauren seven there for one week. The girls are good students, even at summer school, play piano, clarinet and cello. - Babe wrote me an informative letter of thanks for my June 10 letter for her 57th wedding anniversary June 16.[round robin] She mailed my long account of Meranski, Pollack, Geetter weddings mostly in June to Buzzy Price for aunt Jen in Baltimore and for my nephew in Aberdeen, Maryland, Colonel Arthur Meranski and wife Betty. Arthur is sixty-six, lives at 836 Randolph Drive, Aberdeen, Maryland, 21001. Jen is at 20 Warren Park Drive, Baltimore, Maryland - her son Dan's wife works in governor's office, and child, baby Diane, is a gem. Dan is a psychologist working with problem boys. In writing Babe for her fifty-seventh Jen enclosed a newspaper account of "remarkable Ph.d candidate at NYU Deborah Meranski Sonnenstrahl, zealous worker, public speaker and writer for benefit of deaf." The article has a good picture of Debbie, whom we admire. Ask Jen for a copy. = I wrote Babe that about 1919 our oldest, loved brother Harry married privately his longtime sweetheart Sadie Taylor. We were not present because her mother had health problems, but I loved her Dad. My brother Ben and sister Esther never married. Abe married lovely Ethyle Berenson privately as her working widowed mother could not afford a formal marriage reception. Harry had two children, Colonel Arthur, and Pearl, who never married.On a June Sunday in 1924 in our Wooster Street home Bee [Bertha] Meranski married Sam Pollack 1920 Harvard junior Phi Beta Kappa. She was lovely, beautiful - he very happy. On Sunday June 9, 1929 I enjoyed Jen and Pete's well-attended formal wedding [in Baltimore]. I saw them soon again on their honeymooon June 16, 1929 when Jack and I attended Babe's wedding [traveling] from New York. At Babe's outdoor wedding [at 'The Shack' near the Farmington River] Lieutenant Jack Barrett met honeymooning Jen and Pete and invited them to dinner in New York the following Thursday night June 20, when they had theater tickets. He took them to Longchamps Restaurant. Jack and I afterward walked to my apartment [27 Commerce Street]. When I invited him in, he said, "I still have a lot of packing to do as I leave by train at three [pm] tomorrow for the west coast and sail for three years sea duty." I expected sadly never to see him again. But he said, "I'll take you to lunch tomorrow". At noon he entered my office - Friday June 21, 1929. He asked, "Will you marry me?" Stunned, I was silent. We went to a hotel for lunch, then by subway to City Hall. He had a license. We hurried to the railroad station just in time for his train.One year and five months later we met in North China. In 1957 we went to Baltimore for June wedding of Jen and Pete's girl Debbie [to Alfred Sonnenstrahl]. In Brooklyn New York twenty-eight years ago we saw David Geetter marry Joan Trouboff. They have two girls {Darya and Erica] in graudate study.Twenty-five years ago June 10, 1961 in Hartford I saw Buzzy [Thalia] Geetter marry Michael Price- three children Eric 22, Jessica 18, Hilary 15. I did not attend weddings of Albert, Harold or Suzy Geetter but know their mates and children [from Thanksgiving 1984]. Albert's son Josh is climing Andes i Peru. We hope you both and Ken's family [Klein], Keith [Klein], Anne, Jason, Jon, Richard and wife are well [Pollacks]. Buzzy's family go to Cape Cod very soon. Love - aunt Sophie (and John). P.S. Darya Geetter David's older girl - a second year New York University Law student- is happy this summer in Philadelphia working for a distinguished appellate judge. David's younger girl Erika Yale 1985 summa cum laude Phi Beta Kappa is in Heidelberg University for a full year free on a fellowship and all expenses paid.On June 21 David -married twenty-eight years- left with Joan to vist her in Germany and to travel in the area the week of June 21. Buzzy and Michael relaxed and rested in their Maine wilderness home while Eric -Yale 1985 -worked on reume/s in applying for a job. Jessica Price 18 and Hilary 15 work on Cape Cod, keep house, until parents arrive this weekend before the Fourth of July traffic jam the following Saturday. Jessica is a Colgate sophomore, - Hilary a Concord Academy junior- both ski, play soccer, and wind instruments. The Price family scuba-dive in Bahamas. Suzie Geetter Kashdan's girl Sarah is a three-year-old now in Shirley, Massachusetts. Norman Kashdan is Suzie's fine husband. At the town pool three-year-old Sarah Kashdan will learn to swim, with Suzie in the pool while Dad- Norman- often goes to California to teach computing and digitial equiment at college there in California. Kashdan is a worthy family kin - good for Suzie and Sarah. All Geetters are fine folks. In mid-June Babe hired help to serve and clean up for a family dinner party for her fifty-seventh wedding anniversary, and Albert's birthday, and David and Buzzy's twenty-eighth and twenty-fifth wedding anniversaries. The house was filled with good talk and food. Eric Price, 22,who played rugby for Yale, drove a [Coronado?]van- he wants bank work - fine young man." Draft of June 1986 Sophie Barrett letter to her niece Thalia Klein in Florida and Thalia's husband orthodontist Bob Klein, many years in practice in Mansfield, Ohio. NOTE by --- 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. He was told she had adhesions. She wa 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.


 


#1089 p 55 RED HEADED STEPCHILD Part I Sophie Meranski Barrett early years Chapter FIVE letters Rebekah Geetter, Mollie Aronson, Rose Witkower

 

Letter from Rebekah Geetter August 25,l970-92 Fern Street,Hartford Connectict Dearest Sophie & John, 8:30 in the morning We all went off on our yearly summer vacation for a week up in the Belgrade Lakes region of Maine fishing, swimming & spending a good deal of time in the rowboat on the lake.Now it's "back to the salt mines' again,but the change of pace was just great.On contacting the Bureau of Vital Statistics here I learned that Mother & Dad were married on August 8, l890 here iin Hartford by a Rabbi M. Elkins.Mother was 20 years old, & Dad was 24..The original spelling of the name at the time the marriage license was issued was David Merenisky & Tally Goldfield.The spelling of the last name on the mariage certificate signed by the Rabbi is shown as Meirinski,which is slightly different from that of the marriage license.Dad was shown as having been born in Russia & Mother in Austria.We have no way of determining what Mother did before she was married since all her contemporaries have passed away.It is entirely possible that she helped some of the local tailors & in that way might have been introduced to Dad.There are no records of (her brother Jacob Goldfield but I think he was a few years younger than Mother & of course always lived at our house (25 Morgan Street, where Hartford directories indicated he remained with a group of tailors after David Meranski & family autumn l9l6 moved to 4 Wooster Street..He spent his late years as a resident of the local Hebrew Home for the Aged (then on Washington Street,,later Tower Avenue).In Maine Geetter,Sis (Esther) & I occupied a cottage.David,Joan,Darya & Erica were nearby.Geetter's brother Nathan & his wife Lillian had a cottage,& Joan's mother (Mrs. Trouboff occupied a fourth cottage.Albert,Millie,Joshua,Adam & Thora will go to Martha's Vineyard the week after Labor Day.Note by John Barrett There was a large exodus from Russia in l882, when David Meranski was seventeen years old.He may have lefty Brest (Litovsk) at this time -he spoke of Odessa, where he may have lived for a time or passed through in route to Turkey & Egypt. Pete Meranski's father-in-law came from Odessa probably l890's for foot surgery in Baltimore. His wife was born in Baltimore. They lived with Pete,Jen, Deborah, & Danny on Dolfield Avenue Baltimore,where I saw trhem September l960.One of Jen's aunt lived there also.Brody was the site of an American mission to aid Jewish refugees from Russia in l882- it was in Austrian Galicia near the border.The Geetter family emigrated from Stryj, Lemberg province Galicia after their eldest son Isadore was born January l902. Letter from Rebekah Geetter "Thursday afternoon September 3,l970 92 Fern Street,Hartford Connecticut 06l05"Dearest Sophie & John- I called the Hartford Public Library & learned that Pa was listed in the l890 directory as having a business address at 8 American Row in Hartford (listed as tailor) & living at 224 Front Street.There was no information as to who he boarded with at the Front Street address before he was married.There is no information at all about Mother,but it is very posssible she lived with the Meisselman family on Charles Street before she was married.Both Sis (Esther) & I recall that Mother came over on the ship with a Mrs. Meisselman,& it was under her wing that both she & "Yonkel"(her younger brother Jacob Goldfeld,who was resident of Hebrew Home in l930) made the voyage.The 1890 directory lists a Solomon Meisselman at 46 Charles Street,which as you might recall was in the same East Side neighborhood as Front Street.The whole East Side neighborhood has been demolished for redevelopment & is now called Constitution Plaza- a large complex of insurance buildings,banks, Broadcasting station & elegant shops. That shoud answer your feeling of curiosity about her crossing the ocean at such a young age,especially with a handicapped young brother.(Note by John Barrett l998: Fire destroyed immigration records for New York for this period-Ellis Island opened l892 Meiselmann descendants in Hartford l970's included bankruptcy judge Saul Seidman & Mrs. Silverberg -both family friends, who recollected the Meisselmans were from Brody Galicia, as were other friends, the Witkowers, who came over in April l890 = the older Witkower boy was born in Brody, but his younger brother, Rose Rosenblatt & was a publisher at Witkower Press was born in Vienna -he published a book on nutritional value of cod liver oil- Mrs.Witkower sent us a copy in l974.)-Sis remembers visiting with Mrs. Meisselman on Warren Street when she was a young girl (before either you or I were born apparently).Warren Street is several streets away from the Wooster Street area,& is now part of a slum clearance project.As you can see, Hartford as you knew it is fast changing,& many of the streets are no longer in existence.Sade Meranski (Mrs. Harry Meranski) is at the Hebrew Home for the Aged. I talked with Minnie Deutsch a couple of days ago (Sade's older sister),& she said that she and"Sister"(Pearl Meranski,daughter of Harry & Sade) visit with Sade practically every day.Sister lives alone but as you know has worked many,many years in the printing (later photo laboratory) department of the Travelers Insurance Company.Minnie's address is 11 Miamis Road, West Hartford, Ct. I learned from her that the Rausch company where Arthur (Lieutentant Colonel Arthur Meranski retired from Army l967 after 28 years service mainly tanks -Normandy invasion l944 & Inchon landing Korea September l950) works is in Columbia, Maryland. That's all the address she had.Also Arthur's home is in Aberdeen, Maryland,& she thought mail would reach him there.Incidentally I do know that Harry's birthdate was May 20,l89l.Perhaps Minnie could tell you when he & Sade were married.I know that he was serving in the Army at the time during World War I.As for Pa's remarriage,I think it was either l926 or l927, since Mother died in September of l925.He married Mrs. Anna Adelman, a widow with two children whose names were Rachel -about 8-eight& Eva about eleven.(Two grown boys did not live with the family).Pa kept the store till about l930, when he quitclaimed the house & store to the bank,since he was unable to keep up with the mortgage payments.His tenants were shiftless & unreliable,& it was torment for him to try to collect the rents.Anna was always out of the house tending to her business of credit buying (her customers would charge merchandise to her account & then she was always out collecting from the on installments.He minally moved out & went to live with a friend of his,Mr. Fishman (8 Magnolia Street).We helped to pay for his board & room & what little he needed for clothing.He left everything in the house at #4 Wooster Street for Mrs. Adelman to do with as she wishes, & I guess she sold everything=even our cherished red plush album which had pricelesss pictures of Pa in his fez in Turkey.& other memorabilia of Pa & Ma.In June of l929 I moved out of #4 at the time of my marriage.After about l93l for two years before his death Pa lived with his friend Mr. Fishman & spent considerable time with Sam & Bee (Pollack) in Philadelphia.A trip to Baltimore to attend the birth of Pete & Jen's first son Arthur resulted in his catching (lobar) pneumonia,& he passed away at the New Britain General Hospital on March 29,l933.(Ben & Abe's friend) Julius Aronson is doing very well,& I understand his (cataract) operations have been successful. I talk with him over the phone practically every week.I do know that he & Abe & Ben used to go to the Good Will Club Camp at Lake Terramugus in Marlboro,Connecticut & spent many happy summers there. You will recall that Mary Hall & her brother (I think his name was Bill) founded the Good Will Club for Boys in Hartford, & that many of our leading citizens in the community were at one time members in their youth.I must get off now & fix something for dinner this evening or I'll probably be ruled out of the party.Stay well-hugs & kisses from all. All our love.-Babe."(Abe Meranski stated his father David Meranski was born in Russia,March,l865-buried Zion Hill Cemetery.) ++Mollie Aronson information received Oct 4,l973 =written Oct 1 Julius's [Aronson's] brother who married Catherine Cooper was Sam. Died many years ago. Meyer only one left at eighty-one. Lives with a son in Hartford. "You mentioned Mrs. Witkower in your letter, and they had a bookstore on Asylum Avenue. St. Mr. Witkower passed away, and she lived on the next street to us, and now lives in California with a sister. Mrs. Witkower is Charlie Rosenblatt's sister. I also knew the Meiselmann's girl and the Seidmans from Sunday school. Saul Seidman is an attorney and his mother passed away a short time ago. Thought you might like the enclosed pictures taken at the Shack and you would know some of them like Celia, Rosenblatt, Charlie Rosenblatt, Jack Noll, Dora Johnson and Julius. When Julius and I were in Florida one year we spent the day wuth Teddiee and Aleen and their children and had a nice time. Can't imagine that they have married children. Julius and I went to their wedding at the Bond Hotel. Of course I knew Abe and also Ben and Charlie Rosenblatt and Julius owned the Shack on the river at Windsor and had many good times there. Yes, Babe is a wonder and she does so much and has such a large house to take care of and is always the same. I saw Albert recently, and he looks good and both he and David have nice practices. Julius used to get such a kick when at the hospital and Dr. David, Dr. Albert, and Dr. Isadore Geetter would come in to visit Uncle Julius. I knew that Harold and Ava had bought a home in West Hartford and were staying with Babe. Now they are in their own home. I knew that Bee and Sam had gone to Boston to a bar mitzvah and had gone to visit you.They both look good, and I saw them last year when I was in Florida.They drove up to see Babe and family from Great Neck and tried to call me.I think I was at my sister's home and missed them. They love being in Florida and have a lovely apartment. Guess Julius used to call Bee(looks like) Mrs. Vanderbit, and she always looks stunning and is so bubbly. I stopped by to see Babe,Esther, and the doctor on Saturday to wish them a Happy New Year-and all look good. I also took your letter along for Babe to read. We keep in touch with each other and speak on the phone each week. (Oc l,l970 [[TRANSFERSeparate item. -, PO=Oc 8, l9l5 JBB postcard to Bill - Wa never mind about the Remsen's Must get a later edition.- ... Rear Adm & Mrs. Williams invited Barrett to a tea for the War College class of l924 Friday July 6, l923]] Dec31'73 Rose Rosenblatt Witkower letter to Sophie Mrs. Rose Witkower 14 Regency Drive Bloomfield Connecticut 06002 - "Shalom Monday December 31, l973 My dear Sophia- Your letter came as a golden nugget today, a cold blear December day.for it brought back to me a rush of memories of days that were priceless- Days when one never heard of welfare- the poor- housing or all the other dismal "isms."for we lived in the midst of all of them and still found that all was Good.How vividly you wrote of my dear mother-in-law Saura Witkower. I wish I had the sense of value then as I now have for if I had been more patient and interested, my mother-in-law would have told me all about her experiences in Europe and in America.But I a busy mother of two children had no desire or time to listen.'Twas the same when my father a Civil War Veteran tried to tell us about some of his experiences such as when he became Representative of San Francisco, California in l879 Legislature and the arrival of the Jewish people in Hartford- but we were not interested.How well I remember the many, many times my mother-in-law went over to see Mrs. Meranski- where she knew she would find a kindred soul who loved her and would listen to her chatter-there in the brick housae on the corner of Canton and Wooster Street.She would be served with home made chicken soup,with fresh noodles, a pice pof chick and szimar and of course tea and kuchen.Hundreds of times - and what love she received from the whole family- the children eagerly waiting for the peppermint lozenges she took from her handbag.- and your Mother- how I remember the day I drove my mother-in-law to your home.She prevailed on me to go upstairs to say "hello" to her dear friends.Up I went and was rewarded with such a gush of love that it warmed the heart of an American girl who was losing the warmth of expressive love. Then we had tea-in--a-glass and butter coffee-cake.As I looked around the room I saw a number of children - her's and neighbors' children.That must have been about l9l5 (actually after Meranskis moved to Wooster Street autumn l9l6).The joy of her eyes sparkled when she spoke of her daughter Sophie who was going to graduate from high school and go on to college.Well, that was something that keenly interested me.Learning was my goal, and thus far I had only received seventh grade schooling.My mother-in-law kept me posted on your achievements- as proud of you as if she was your Mother.Mrs. Meiselman was a small, very active woman who helped her husband in their small grocery store.A finer person never lived.She gave to everyone who needed help;So did her children. They adopted my mother-in-law as their own.Not blood relations.There were two boys born to my mother-in-law.As I remember the story, she married a man who worked in a bank in Vienna.I believe she was born in Brody, Austria.That name rings a bell.Am quite sure thast your mother was not born there (?) They may have met on the boat coming over to America, and my mother-in law took care of her after they landed.I called Jennie Weinstein to find out what she knew, but she knew nothing.She sends her love.She told me of meeting your dear family - hopes you all are well.Israel Witkower (ROSE'S HUSBAND) was owner of a bookstore for fifty years on Asylum Street -formerly Warfield's.He started as an errand boy- later became the owner. am sure you traded in the store. Israel spoke very highly of the Meranski family. Charlie Rosenblatt (Rose's brother) told me much about the summer house down near the river.The gang had much fun there.He dearly loved Ben.We have two children - Irma and Bernard (Witkower).- five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.Thank god! Israel was born March 27,l889 - passed away on September 2,l968.- After spending four extremely happy, restful years in lovely Leisure World, California, a perfect community for Seniors, on my eighty-fourth birthday I decided to return home - West Hartford- to be close to my children.I have a very cozy three room apartment just a five minute drive from my daughter Irma, wife of Dr. Albert Reiner Deulert SPELLING??? Deutcib? Sorry I could not give you more information, but I am sure your dear mother was not born in Austria(cum granu salis). Thank you for the interesting letter. May God bless you- Yours - Rose Witkower. Sophie Barrett note l974 "Charles Rosenblatt married Celia Weinstein - Esther's chum." + Black Notebook Eight p. 169 Mrs. Rose Witkower "14 Regency Drive, Bloomfield, Connecticut 06002 Thursday, January 10, 1974 - Many thanks Sophie, for sending me the snapshots, - they are very attractive ones. What a kindly, loving man your husband must have been. 'Menchlichheit' seems to flow out from his picture and from the love you reveal in your writing of John, junior, he must be a fine person, too. If I had a snapshot to send you of myself when I was in my twenties, you would see that we looked much alike - only I was more serious then. Well, almost sixty-five years have passed since then. We lived on Market Street next to the Rumaisha School. We had roses growing on the front of the house - across from 'Meema Suarah". Now to answer a few of your questions- 'Meema Suarah's' married name was Mrs. Mazer. Her three stepsons lived in Brooklyn, New York, where they established the Hudson Paper Company. All became wealthy. They were fine men - had wonderful, charitable wives. I am proud to write that the elder son became very wealthy and gave much money to charity. His son is carrying on that good work and gives much to Israel and had a large building erected at the Hebrew Uinversity in honor of his father, Abraham Mazer. I saw it when I was in Israel almost fifteen years ago. Now to go on: Sarah Witkower Mazer lived with us for seventeen years. She was a gentle, kind person who did her own cooking and never gave us a bit of trouble. She had a number of good friends. Of course the Meiselmanns and the Meranskis headed the list. She was buried in our burial plot at the Emanuel Synagogue Cemetery in 1928. Her casket of red roses was given by our dear Christian frined, Harry Ney, owner of the Ney gold sheeting company on Pearl Street. She was born in Brody, Galicia, Austria. My daughter told me that she read the older [Witkower] son's birth certificate, and it stated that he was born in Brody. Israel [Rose's husband, the younger of the two immigrant Witkower brothers]was born in Vienna, Austria, in 1889 on March 27. Evidently she [Sarah Witkower] had lived a short time of her married life in Brody [and] then moved on to Vienna. That would make it 1890 for the trip to America. She was eighty-three years old when she passed away. Before she passed on, she was made happy when [her son] Israel told her that he had become the owner of the book-sstore where had had the good fortune to be hired as an errand boy at age thirteen many years ago. He passed over when he was seventy-nine. Israel was considered the best book-knowing man in New England and much respected by the publishers in New York. He published the book 'ARTHRITIS AND COMMON SENSE' that had a terrific sale until stopped by the American Medical Association. During that time he had received thousands of letters from people who had been helped. The American Medical Association will not permit any idea or thing, person or book to keep people away from the 'Doctor's' office. Many of the suggestions and prayers that eased my arthritis came from that book. It is still selling. Israel was a charter member of the Emanuel Synagogue. As for me I have made my purpose in life one of Service to Humanity - have borne two children been president of several organizations, served on many committees, such as forming the inter-racial group with Anna Fisher - Judge Saul Berman opening doors for the Negroes. My happiest days - ten years - were serving on a Feeding project during the Depression 1933-1943 at the Shiloh Baptist Church on Albany Avenue. - Children from the Arsenal Scool, mostly Negro.We served a free lunch to as many as one hundred chldren every school day - happy, constructive days for me. I also started several Senior Golden Age groups, and now I am finishing up my term on this earth making books for children who are in the hospitals and retarded children. Through the Red Cross I made fifteen hundred booklets last year- used fifteen thousand cards.So be it! Wonderful work to steady the hands and eyes. = Important - I called Linette Seidman Silverberg 31 Woodland Street, Hartford, daughter of the Meiselmanns of Brody - and [I] spoke to Ben Silverberg, who by the way said that attended school with you. Ben told me that his wife Linette Silverberg was too ill to talk to me. I asked him to ask Linette about [the] birthplaces of the Meiselmanns and my mother-in-law - Brody-Galicia-Austria. I am sure that if you would write NOW to Linette you could get all the information you want. Don't wait! Do it now. Linette was very close to her mother and must know. Now, my overworked fingers are telling me that it is time for me to put down the pen, but I won't until I say, 'Do come to see me in the spring.' I live about three miles from 92 Fern Street [the Geetter home]. I would have liked to know the two brave ladies who traveled to San Francisco [the Barretts 1854]. Auf wiedersehn. Rose" +Postcard from Rose Witkower : received Feb 26, l974 (recommended book): Hartford Jews 1659-l970 by Rabbi Morris Silverman - mentions Capital City Lodge #119 - 1900 David Meranski Treasurer. Dr. Geetter's picture and factual item is in this book on page 351(John Barrett note July l998- Rose Witkower's recollection of Sophie's mother at Wooster Street is of great interest, but she clearly did not know whether Thalia Goldfeld Meranski was born in Vienna or Brody, Austrian Galicia, now in Ukraine. In Boston l970's Sophie and John spoke with a widow Celia Goldfield of Milton (employed at Jordan Marsh Boston)- Celia's husband was from Rovno on the same railroad line as Brody. Goldfeld or Goldfield is not a common name, but I found about thirty in a survey of telephone directories of larger American cities.On Portland Street, Hartford l909 accoring to directories a newly arrived Goldfield family lived near the Meranskis for about a year. Any connection is unknown.Sophie said her mother's parents were deceased when her mother came to Hartford along with her younger brother Jack, who was hard of hearing, worked as a tailor, added a letter i to his name changing from Goldfeld to Goldfield l9l6. if directory is accurate. He lived at 25 Morgan Street with Meranskis l9l0-l9l6 and stayed there according to directories for several years when they moeved to Wooster Street late l9l6. He was a resident of Hebrew Home l931 accding to directory.It was the custom to name children for deceased relatives , so Thalia's parents Abel and Bertha Goldfeld in Austria would have been deceased when their grandson Abe was born l896 and granddaughter Bertha July 23, l898. Notebook Eight p. 179 January 21, 1974 Excerpts of letter from Rose Witkower to John Barrett, jr. "My dear John, I am writing this letter as I read your letter, for I want to answer all of your questions according to my recollection.Today is a nasty day, - just the right kind of day to sit in a warm cozy chair and write. Know that these are my recollections and may not be 'so' to someone else, but to me they are. = The Jewish people were always looking for more knowledge in all phases of life. They have been known for thousands of years as the People of the Book. Always desirous of giving to their sons more learning. The parents would work much - very, very hard to save enough to send him to the Yeshiva Temple in Jerusalem or college at home or abroad. There have always been disturbing conditions for Jews even before Jesus's time. In 1880 [1881?] the rumbling of a pogrom was being heard in Russia and through the other nations.Many Jews were leaving the land they lived in for America- the country where one could be free and safe from fear, tyranny, and the police- and of greater importance where one's son could possibly become a Doctor, lawyer, even a high class businessman.In the European countries there were some brilliant Jewish boys who through bribery or changing their religion had attained great places for themselves in arious professions, but the masses were limiited to [be] home and synagogue teachers. As you know Jesus, Peter, and all of the disciples taught at home or at Yeshivas.The daughters of the families were taught at home- some were taught religion, but most were taught how to keep a clean, harmonious home,- for marriage was their goal. Yes - question One - the Jews were looking for Freedom and Learning- I believe you wil find Dreyfus in France - Disraeli in England - the great Jewish actress Isadora Duse - the Rothschilds - Hersechel and Zionists in 1800s. Where a Jewish family decided to come to America - a [180][it was] dangerous trip full of hardships and hunger.They would get in touch with a family relation, -relative or friend or friend of a friend who was in America. Then they would obtain visas - called a 'Paper' from these people - called 'Lansmen' and start this journey - stealing away at night hidden in a load of hay, cattle, or merchandise - fearing every moment that they would be stopped by Police or Soldiers. Penalty: Exile to Siberia- many times death- yes the Jew had to suffer much before he reached American or any other country.There was a 'hush before the storm' when your mother's mother and Mrs. Witkower and Israel left Austria headed for America to their Lansmen - the Meiselmanns- who had a tiny store on Green Street- a short distance from Bellevue Street. No doubt Sophie as a small child was carried there or wheeled there by her mother or father. = My father Bernard Rosenblatt,['1845' appears- may be date of birth?--'Prussian and Russian in 1800s'] who stole away from Poland and sailed into Charleston, South Carolina when he was sixteen years old-arrived there in the midst of the Civil War. After he disembarked, he was handed a gun and told to go along with the Southern Army. 'What for?' he asked - when told why "To kill the niggers and Northerners' - he rebelled [from the Southern Army] and joined the First Irish Artillery of New York - my father fought in sixteen engagements and was at Gettysburg and the surrender. After the war he traveled extensively, ending up in San Francisco in the Gold Rush[181]He had built a large building- a barber shop and a hot bath parlor.Barney Rosenblatt became a representative from San Francisco and was nominated for Governor of California by the Greenback party. Of course he lost out. He then returned to New York with three small children - wife had passed on - to find himself a wife. Then he married my mother, Paulina, a newly arrived widow from Germany, [who came] to her sister in New York. After a few years they came to Hartford- then a small town with a very few Jewish families- perhpas fifteen families - some on their way to wealth` via cattle, tobacco, the store G. Fox and Company - I am writing all this to answer Question Three.=Bernard Rosenblatt - a well educated and fearless person - well educated in Poland, a glib speaker of several languages,-was a man of great understanding and sympathy for people, all kinds.He had much of the Christ nature in his dealings with his fellow men.He seemed to know that trouble was brewing in Russia for the Jewish people. soon after he had settled his family - now six children- in Hartford - he went over to see the other Jewish families.He found them all living humbly down near the Connecticut River on Front Street.No synagogue, no charitable organization, and no burial-grounds - a must for the Jewish people. The poor people could not speak English, and they asked my father to help them.He gladly consented. First he went to the police court for the permission to act as their interpreter and semi-lawyer in case one of them broke the law unknowingly. Due to his charm and his being a Civil War veteran the Irish police consented - also due to the tales he could tell them.[p. 182] I was born in Hartford in 1889 on North Front Street a lovely country type street, gardens, farmers, pigstys, chicken, trains etc. Soon after that the terror of a pogrom (massacre) happened in Kief, Russia {Kiev]. Many many Jews - men, women children- were slaughtered in their homes and on the streets. Then came the rush to America.Most stayed with relatives and friends in New York. Some came to Hartford.My father would meet the poor, tired, frightened family at the Hartford boat landing and would pile them and their worldly goods into a wagon and drive them to their friends' or relatives' home. = A while later my father placed a long basket with some notions, needles, pins, etc and told them to go from door to door selling them. He told the peddlers to use their fingers to tell the price (for they could not speak English). The wealthy German Jews paid for the baskets. Next came the push cart trade, then the horse and wagon trade = tailors, jewelers, tanners, house builders, sewing-machine workers, men and women - up, up, up that was how mayn fortunes began. . = No, I did not know the Meranski family. Only heard about them from Mrs. Witkower [her mother-in-law] and my brother Charlie. Heard they were a fine family. [Sophie Barrett note "She DID visit them on Wooster Street" - as she subsequently recollected]. Your Question Seven. That may be so: Thousands of Jewish boys did. My father was sixteen when he arrived in Charleston, South Carolina. He arrived in Hartford 1887 or 1888 [directories seem to list him in 1885.] Mr. Meranski may have been here. Try the old Directory. The Immigration officers at Ellis Island were often mistaken- they could not understand the Jew language and would misspell or even change the name. [My] Israel's name was Aaron - they wrote down Israel. = 9. my father came from Warsaw, Poland - ruled by Russians. He was well educated, had fine mind and manners - made a good name for himself as a humanitarian in Hartford. He was a true organizer and started much of the Jewish affairs in Hartford.He was a politician - Republican. Knowing how important it was for them to become citizens,he insisted on their getting their citizenship papers. made them all Republicans. Of course they changed their party later.When Dad was buried [1903] almost the entire Jewish community walked to the cemetery- a long walk on Zion Street from Market Street. I grew up with many a coming first-rate dcotor, lawyer, businessman. = Mother Paulina - a quiet lady-like woman gentle and very helpful to her friends and neighbors. Born near Frankfurt Germany. Brought up nine children - three of Dad's, six of her own. One becamse first Jewish mailman - Ben Rosenblatt- lived on Bellevue Street near Canton. Had son Joe- a holy terror. Now he writes music for Frank Sinatra - Flip etc in California. First Jewish policeman - Abe Rosenblatt - first radio and electrical store Joe and Charlie. Rachel married. Rose - me- followed my father's ideals. First to organize clubs for the elderly.Past President of Emanuel Synagogue Sisterhood.On the board of many organizations.= The Council of Jewish Women - [its] purpose[is] to elevate the Jewish race.The members paid two dollars a year dues.Ella Meiselmann Seidman and I were [184]members. I was on the board. Money was pouring in. Much good work was being done for all races. = Girls [were]forbidden to sell newspapers -law enforced. I told Mrs. Mary McCloud Bethune to form such a group from the black women all over the United States -write to the to the top level first- they would lend the others. That was in 1933. In 1935 the National Council of Negro Women was formed. Today they have four million members.Headquarters are in Washington, D.C. and the whole idea was mine. A few years ago I had the job of inspiring a falling-apart Hartford group to get going again. I am a life member. The college stands in Daytona, Florida. I do wish you would read her book 'The Autobiography of Mary McCloud Bethune' also the Rothschilds (brothers)- both inspiring books. I believe the idea for lunches for school children came from the lunches we served - the City of Hartford sent people to watch us.= Israel's brother came to America many years after 'Meema Saura' came. He was not a pleasant person.Lived in Chicago for some time - moved to Hartford - lived here on Pliny Street for a short while. Did not like Hartford - moved away out of our lives. = I have served on some Christmas Club boards opening the way for others -a member of the first interfaith group - saw that Rabbi Morris Silverman -Rabbi of the Emanuel [185] Synagogue was made chairman. A brilliant open-minded man.He did well. I invited many clergymen to speak at the Emanuel.Rabbi [Silverman] passed on in 1973 but left behind him a warm feeling of friendship between all denominations. I married a fine man - Israel Witkower- 62 years ago. [I have been a] widow for five years- two children Irma, Bernard and five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren (one in Israel). Esther [exact relation not clear] passed on. I hope I have answered all the questions. Mrs. Aronson and Mrs. Geetter called me -we had a nice chat.= No I don't know Israel's father's name or his mother's maiden name. G.Fox and Company was owned by Moses Fox 1910. then his daughter Fanny Fox married Mr. Auerbach. - Rose Witkower" Note to Sophie "What a hectic life you have had - not for me. I am sure the book you are preparing will be an interesting one.What a lot of work it must be to write a book, but one learns as one delves into past occurances.My son was stationed in Honolulu during the war.Thank God we now live in peace.May I finish my life here in "Peace",and may Peace come to all the world. I am keen about spiritual psychology. I have read many books on different religions. Please return pictures. Much love. Rose Witkower." John Barrett note June 2000 Time has proved the Witkowers right on the health value of fish oil though it is primarily for the Omega three polyunsaturated oil more than for the Vitmin D.


 


p 55#1090 p RED HEADED STEPCHILD Part I Sophie Meranski Barrett early years 1901-1930 Chapter FIVE LETTERS of Judge Seidman and Sophie Barrett (to Ivan McCormack) and Carol Jane Gitlen

 

Notebook Eight p 160 U.S District Court District of Connecticut Chambers of Saul Seidman Bankruptcy Judge U.S.Courthouse 450 Main Street Hartford, Connecticut 06103 [tel. 244-2480] December 21, 1973 Dear Mrs. Barrett, Please forgive my not having answered your letter prior to this time. I have made a few inquiries in an effort to answer the specific questions which you asked. Unfortunately the people who could answer your questions are no longer with us. I can, however, give you my own recollection, which is based on what I recall from conversations with my mother. Unfortunately, Mrs. Witkower was not my grandmother, but she was a very close friend and practically a part of the family.I know that my mother's family came from Austria, and I am sure that the Witkowers were from the same community. = You remembered the town of Brod, and my recollection is that that is the town my mother mentioned. I suspect that the Meranskis came from the same locality. = Rose Witkower did live in California, but she recently returned to our community and is living at Apartment 14-7, Regency Drive, Bloomfield, Connecticut. I am sure that she might be able to give you some additinal information.Others whom you might communicate with are Mrs. Morris (Emma) Cohen, 24 Terry Plains Road, Bloomfield, Connecticut,- she and Mrs. Fanchon Hartman Title are active in a local Jewish Historical Society. Mrs. Title's address is 26 High Ridge Road, West Hartford, Connecticut. Sincerely, Saul Seidman."[Notebook Eight p 167]United States District Court District of Connecticut -U.S. courthouse 450 Main Street, Hartford, Connecticut 16103 Chambers of Saul Seidman, Bankruptcy Judge January 4, 1974 Dear Mr. Barrett: In your letter you mentioned that your grandmother had lived with a family named Meiselmann in Hartford.That was the name of my mother's parents, and they were the only family of that name in Hartford at the time, so you can safely assume that your grandmother lived with my grandparents when she first came to this country. I know that my grandmother was friendly with your grandparents. I have a recollection of having visited their home with my mother. If my recollection is correct,they lived on the corner of Canton and Bellevue Streeets, which is where your grandfather had his store. [actually 2-4 Wooster Street at Canton St. - perhaps name change.]Sincerely, Saul Seidman." Sophie Barrett note: Seidmans are grandchildren of Meiselmanns who housed Ma. At that time it was Canton and Wooster Street -when the store was in the house, we lived on second floor 4 Wooster St. Now probably it is Bellevue Street in a large redevelopment program. When I left for Mount Holyoke Colege, we lived on Canton and Woosters Streets. +Sophie Barrett letter to Ivan McCormack in Salem New York (Sophie sublet from Mrs. McCormack l927-l930 at 27Commerce St, Greenwich Village) (1973) November 2, 1973 Friday morning VITAMIN enclosed. Dear Ivan, As Esther's birthday approaches on the nineteenth of November it occurs to me that I have neglected her shamefully in my accounts of the four sisters in my family. That is unfaiur as she was as interesting as any of us-taller than the other three with jet black hair like my mother, jet black eyes and with a better figure than Bee, Babe or me.- and from an early age she mothered us as we were eight by birth and more than fourteen by additions of motherless children who actually lived with us.Esther had more close girl friends and boy friends than we did, and with the first money she earned she bought a piano for the family as well as a record player and many records - and paid for a telephone when so few people we knew had telephones that ours rarely rang.She did well professionally because she was smart and went to a fine business college for bookkeeping, typing, and shorthand- at which she was a whiz.But her first job was at Vogel and son,a Hartford wholesale grocer. To preserve their stock there was no heat in the place - not even in her office as the men wore overcoats and sweaters at worlk and warm gloves. It was a big, profitable business that Esther enjoyed,but because she had to do bookkeeping,typing and stenography, she couldn't wear gloves while working and got frostbitten hands as well as feet! Her boss liked her, so she stayed despite the cold, but when she confided to her best girl friend that her married boss was trying to make love to her- that friend told my father, who would not let her return to that job- not even to collect her pay and her sweater!Soon the business college got her a job at the H.L. Handy Company,-wholesale dealer in meats, poultry and eggs. In the (p.2) office was Charles Bardous the head bookkeeper, one other male bookkeeper, and Esther.She really liked that job, was a happy girl with a piano record player, telephone,and always treated us to "college ices" -sundaes of chocolate sauce and nuts and always had a pound box of chocolates in her bureau drawer.I used to steal a few candies, which she never complained about if she knew they were gone.One night Pete was reading in bed at age fifteen, and I said to him,"Don't drop those apple cores on the floor- throw them out."-And as he chewed Esther's candies, he replied with a gleam in his eye,"Sis, there are no cores in these apples!"Esther must have known we were eating her candies, but she never stopped us or let us know she realized we were at her drawer.And when I could not see how I could pay the colllege fees, Esther and Al told me to go ahead - they would meet the expenses! Esther gave me her suitcase, her winter coat, and a lot more , and Al took me right to my room at the college (September l9l9). =And Esther was at the station to see me off in HER best clothes I was wearing. In my freshman year she came to visit and won the hearts of my classmates, who gave supper parties in their rooms for her, and the house mother invited Esther to sit with her at the head table while I waited on that table for one hundred dollars that year.Esther was so proud of me as very few women from Hartford went to the five best women's colleges in those days- certainly none of our friends except one older one who went to Brown University in Providence (earlier) but was working in Washington when I was growing up. And when I came home, Esther had a grand job for me (l921) for the summer in HER office- so we walked to and from work together every day and across the street near the lad I eventually invited to my junior prom (p 3) for a fabulously delightful weekend- a prom date with a car and a tux of his own!I was blind to the charms of Esther because she never seemed to have men come to the house for a date but yet she went out every evening, and I thought she was walking with her girl friends - who by then had telephones.One night I went to an outdoor summer dance with a girl Esther's age and was startled when she told me she was sorry for Esther. Only then did I learn that Esther and her young boss in the office were deeply in love and had been for years, but Esther would not marry him.What I did not know is that my father REFUSED to allow it and would not let Charlie come to the house, so she met him every evening on Main Street - had no place to entertain him in any weather, and that bothered Esther's close friend, as Esther told her it would be Charlie Bardous or no one. My father objected to Charles only because he was not Jewish. This went on for years while Esther saw me through college after Al married, and then Esther began to see Pete through college and medical school and mother Babe when I was away and when my mother died.Even then my father would not see Charlie.H.L. Handy sold out to Swift and Company, so Esther and Charlie were transferred to a big office force where they were never alone. Charlie then lived with his aged mother, who was as opposed to a Jewish daughter-in-law (beautiful and generous and wise and kind and musical and in love with Charlie to the exclusion )(p.4) of all other men) Julius Aronson loved her for years before he finally married Mollie at an advanced age.So it went on.My father died in l933, so Esther was free to follow her heart, but Charlie's mother stayed alive.- and by the time she grudgingly agreed that Esther could live with them Esther would not marry Charlie and live with that old witch -whom even Charlie thought to be a witch- and he supported her as his duty and not for love of her.Esther could not bring herself to live under the same roof as she knew the mother would make her true love's life miserable. That mother lived until she was close to one hundred (years).I don't know what finally happened to Charles as I was so rarely in Hartford- but Esther never dated dany other men! She went to live with Babe and with Geetter to help them with the five children when Geetter went to war.She lugged home the meat and eggs after work from Swift and Company and stayed with the five babies while Babe shopped in the evening- and helped with the washing and the housework in addition to her job. Geetter said to me, "I think so much of Esther I don't know which one I married - Babe or Esther." She was always "Nan" to the children and should have had a flock of her own! Now her birthday approaches- about seventy-nine and Geetter will send the the big yellow chrysanthemum he sends every year - the flowers that will still be fresh on Thanksgiving Day. Esther and I were very close, but never once did she breathe to me the sadness of her broken romance. Maybe now you will know why I was so secretive about my marriage (p5) to Jack - an Irish Catholic and a devout one.I knew about Esther's broken romance with a Christian, and I feared for mine even though I learned about Esther's only from her best friend who later told me Esther wept bitterly often over my father's attitude before Charles ever told his mother about Esther.So I kept my marriage secret until I was about to sail, and then I did NOT go to Hartford to see my good Dad before I sailed.I did not want to see him hurt that his daughter who had been so sought after by fine Jewish men should marry a Christian- even one as fine as Jack Barrett. Esther's life had been ruined, and no one was going to ruin life for Jack and me.I saw my father only once after that in l932 shortly before he died, but Jack was not with me.Pa ignored my marriage and made no effort to see me in Boston and died some months later (March 29, l933).All Hartford was there (at his funeral) to hear the rabbi say "David gave his life to the unfortunate in Hartford after the expense of his own chldren, who numbered eight by birth but countless by his big heart." Esther loved him always, so she disregarded Charlie's pleas that she elope with him as she had no desire to hurt Pa.What a person. Greater than I could ever hope to be. I was headstrong. Even when my father came to New York to urge me to accept Bill Nuremberg and to forget the charming but poor Irish naval officer of a different faith.He came to New York only to dissuade me from Jack long before Jack proposed.What I did not know was that Jack (p.6) went (December l928) to New Haven and to Hartford to inspect Naval Reserves at the armories there, had found my brother Al's home had dinner there and left Al with the impression that he was seriously interested in me.Al told Pa, who came rushing to New York to put a stop to the nonsense.She had NOT met Jack but did meet him at your apartment (27 Commerce Street) the night he lost his money to thieves in the subway.There is no doubt Pa liked Jack BUT vastly preferred Bill (Nuremberg) whom he had called on at Grand Central Building that afternoon without my knowledge or consent.The father watched his daughters closely - could run Esther, Bee, Babe but found me always headstrong attractive to the Italian and Irish boys.He moved away from 25 Morgan Street (l9l6) because of the attentions of Joe Paonessa- a rich builder's son from Holy Cross who lived across the street. And on Wooster Street he told Justin McCarthy a United States sailor, that his daughter could not go out with him and could NOT accept thebeaded bag Justin had brought to me all the way from the Mediterranean. Justin went off with that bag really scared, and I never saw him again.My father was very tall- powerful, and even an Irish sailor feared his wrath.He did like Sam Pollack Dr. Geetter, and his three good Jewish daughter-in-law! All (except Pete and Jen in Baltimore) were married in his living room except Babe, who was married in his summer home ("The Shack" or "Snug Harbor" near Windsor) with Jack present (June l6, l929).A really wonderful man of principle. He did not just blindly object to marriage outsidethe faith. He believed firmly that the chance of happiness in mixed marriages was slight but p7 above all he believed such marriage a great injustice to the children.I had a very good father and a very good mother.I believe Esther would be the first to agree.Charles Bardous was not her only chance for happiness.Julius Aronson loved her, Jack Fine loved her,Charlie Rosenblatt loved her - all had sense enough to make happy marriages with other girls- all were successful, happy men - all would have made Esther happy,and my father knew it. But she was in love with Charlie when she knew his mother objected and knew that after their elopement she would have to live with her as Charlie would never desert that mother who tied him so closely for her own support.He did not earn enough as one employed bookkeeper to support two households.She was happy (later) to live with Babe and Geetter and her five nieces and nephews who adore her as she approaches her birthday on November l9. But isn't it strange that p8- she never talked to Bee or to me or to Babe about her broken romance and that I never heard it discussed by any of my sisters or brothers? I got it in bits and piece from her friends and from my father.One of her friends married Julis Aronson and another close friend married Charles Rosenblatt.... Phil and Peggy Dahlquist loyally support (President Nixon) Phil liked stories about my family - please send this to him (Round robin letters were a Meranski family tradition - also among Mount Holyoke l23classmates, and Sophie often sent round robin letters l970's to Ivan McCormack, Phil and Peggy Dahlquist, Admiral Stika USCG retired, to Sophie's nephew Colonel Arthur Meranki in Aberdeen, Maryland, to Gertrude and Paul Rice in Pasadena and separately a group of HANNIBAL friends - Mary Boyd, Mary Ascherfeld, Adm. Visser, Captain Mervin Halstead, the Lehmans, Candlers, and others.) Of the others my father and mother cared for in their home I have only sketchy information except for Julius Aronson and Catherine Cooper, who for years I believed were my blood sister and brother. And Catherine married Sam Aronson! He was Julius's brother -9- who almost lived with us when his mother died but went home only to sleep as we had run out of bedspace! All of us slept two in a bed- four in a room, but we ran out of space even when my two oldest brothers Harry and Ben offered to sleep on the living room floor if my parents would only keep a few of their motherless friends. One day Al stepped on Ben's hand while Ben was sleeping on the floor, and his hand was broken.Ben needed that hand to play the saxophone when he had the vaudeville bug at an early age and left the good job in the drug store and then added gray hairs to my father's fine head of jet black hair!My father put Ben out of the house for giving up that job.Then he sent me out with fod for Ben and shut his eyes when Ben sneaked in to bed at night! - And poor Pete had the earache, and Ma got Dr. Kaitz to come in. He asked her what she had done for the boy, and Ma said she had heated sweet oil and put a spoonful or two in the ear.The doctor turned on Ma - a very Jewish doctor and said, "I don't want no 'hoil' in 'dat h'ear."Poor Pete was in pain, but he roared laughing, and after that we would mimic"I don't want no 'hoil' in that h'ear." I forget what he prescribed, but he did clear it up. I suppose my mother could have clogged the ear and hurt the hearing permanently. When I was small my father owned a good-sized restaurant He had a big coal stove and loved to stand near it. At times one of his customers would brew tea- strong tea there and -p 10- put it into small bottles. he claimed to be a drug salesman. I learned later that he sold that tea as eye drops from his pack of patent medicines he sold to druggists. That was about 1909.(After recent Halloween activity in West Roxbury) I am remind of l907 the one year we lived on 27th Street in the heart of the East Side of New York city in the Panic of l906 when I was five or six.In terror I stood at the window on the second floor of the tenement house and watched the boys with long stockings - wmen's black- filled with flour hit poor passing men and other boys across the back- hit them so hard white flour showed on their overcoats. I was petrified and did not go out all day. It was traditional then just as trick or treat is here." [This round robin letter was probably forwarded by Ivan from his farm in Salem New York to Phil and Peggy Dalhquist in Eugene Oregon and then to Admiral Joseph Stika in Fort Worth Texas.]Notebook Eight p. 172 Letter from Mrs. Herbert Gitlen niece of Sophie Meranski Barrett "11 Barn Hill Road Bloomfield, Connecticut 06002 January 14, 1974 Dear Aunt Sophie, I'm afraid I think in shorthand, and write the same way. I envy you and others who can put down a 'complete' thought - maybe I don't have 'complete' thoughts - only outlines. Anyway, I am finally answering your last letter that enclosed one of my better snapshots. Yes, I do have a copy in the house and so I am returning your as you requested. Just to pretty-up the contents, I also enclose a recent picture of my daughter Andy. Her brother took it one Sunday when we all booked over to Ne York. She is a high school senior, doing quite well, and has applied to colleges. We wait -with crossed fingers! Ted called me last week - in fifteen years he's written no more than five times. He's fine and told me expressly to remember him to you. He loves living in the warm climate, and even though I constantly invite him up to visit, he fears it might be too cold - even in July! Tomorrow the fifteenth is a 'no-school' day in the area. We (Bloomfield) observe the birthday of Martin Luther King. My son Jess will spent it skiing in Vermont. Last year he broke a leg on this very same trip. We are hoping for a more successful outing this year. I have never been a winter person, and someday Herb and I (Herb loves the winter) will move to the shore in a warmer zone. If I didn't have to get up every morning to go to the office, I doubt I'd leave the house at all on some days. On February seventeen along with another couple, we're flying to Acapulco for a week in 'guaranteed sunshine'. It will be a welcome break from winter. Do you get to see Buzzy or Suzanne? Aren't they both in your area? Arthur writes a helluva letter. His hadwriting, by the way, is identical to Ted's if I remember correctly. Take care, aunt Sophie - say 'hi' to John, and write when you have time.Love - Carol" ( 1975 Sophie note "Daughter is Andrea; son is Jess. In 1975 Andrea is at University of Connecticut"). BABE REBEKAH GEETTER letter excerpts transcribed by her sister Sophie Barrett: " Rebekah Geetter's letters copied by her sister Sophie Barrett in Notebook EightVIII- p 192 "February 18, 1974 Saul Seidman is married has one married son [Peter?] a lawyer -Ella Meiselmann's grandson. Also that Ella Meiselmann's son Jerry Silverberg, son of Linette Silverberg, lives at home with his parents at Woodland, Hartford. He works somewhere but has a congested muscular disorder that affects his arm and leg. p80 Nov 27, 1973 On your question about our stepmother, her name was Mrs. Anna Adelman, and as you know she passed away a few years ago (1961). She had two daughters, Eva and Rachel. Eva Adelman's name was Katzman- there were no children. Rachel's name is Mrs. Albert Shulman and she lives in West Hartford [actually 856 Prospect Avenue on Hartford side of line] Rachel has four children. Occasionally I meet her in the supermarket - she is cordial, but our paths are divergent." p. 155 "November 19, 1973 I took the time to contact the children's librarian here at the Hartford Public Library and made inquiry about Caroline Hewins. The preent children's librarian Miss Canfield was most pleased at your interest and suggested that you write to her directly for any information you might want, and she would be happy to give you background material. She remembers having gone to a memorial reception for Miss Hewins in the big house across the way on Emmonsdale Road about twelve years ago, at which time there were many people who knew Miss Hewins and were protege/s of hers one way or another. She wonders if the West Roxbury Historical Society has a copy of a biography of Miss Hewins by Jennie Lindquist put out by Horn Books of Boston, who also publish the Horn Books Magazine.Miss Canfield has biographical material and also possibly a photo of Miss Hewins, but again she suggested that you write to her directly and address your envelope to the Hartford Public Library, 500 Main Street, Hartford Connecticut 06103. She was very gracious and willing to help. I spoke to Mollie Aronson yesterday. She has not been well - suffering from very painful osteo-arthritis of the knee and has had to go to her doctor several times to have the fluid tapped. She is on medidcation but manages to get about." [Sophie Barrett extracts and comment: "Esther had a dozen white and yellow chrysanthemums from Geetter on her seventy-ninth birthday November 19, 1973. Babe baked a birthday cake for dinner that night." p. 186 January 28, 1974 "You asked the streets on which our sisters and brothers were born. I asked Esther, and we both know that Pete was born on Orchard Street [November 1903]. I was born on Pleasant Street [November 1, 1906] and Esther says she was born on Morgan Street, close to Front Street [November 19, 1894]. She knows you were born on Front Street {October 4, 1901] but has no recollection of Bee [July 1898] Abe [1896] Ben [November 1892] or Harry {May 1891] Maybe Bee could shed some light on the matter." ROSE WITKOWER copied by Sophie Barrett Black Notebook Eight p. 192 "Feb 19, 1974 Rose Witkower sent another copy of the Meiselmann family. - Mr. and Mrs. Meiselmann - [apparently four children are listed - Wolf, Jennie Ella, Charles] Wolf Meiselmann: two daughters - Hannah and ----? Jennie Meiselmann was Mrs. Joe Bernstein - [they had] two daughters Sadie deceased and Helen and two sons Judge William Bernstein and another son -name?- deceased. Ella Seidman was Mrs. Nathan Seidman - one daughter Linette Silverberg - her son is Jerry Silverberg, living at home with parents. Congenital muscular disorder in arm and leg. and {Ella and Nathan] one son Judge Saul Seidman: one son Peter? married about 40 a lawyer. Charles Meiselmann not of Harford five children? All four Meiselman children [older generation] have passed on. Sadie Bernstein is deceased. Jennie Bernstein [and] other son, name unknown also deceased." SOPHIE BARRETT black notebook two: [1970] p 268 "8. Rebekah Meranski was the eighth and last born child in Hartford Connecticut. After graduating from high school while we were on Wooster Street, she went to work as a secretary for a mid-town lumber company where she worked until the birth of her first child. Her beau was always Isadore Stolper Geetter, our neighbor who was my brother Pete's close friend at Trinity and through life. Babe spent her leisure time practising the piano and writing to "Geetter" who was at Jefferson Medical School in Philadelphia. She spent her evenings writing long letters to Geetter. She took lessons at the Hart School of Music, where she appeared in recitals. Right after his medical graduation on June 16, 1929, Dr. Geetter and Babe were married at Snug Harbor in Windsor, Connecticut, lived in New Britain, where Dr. Geetter interned at the New Britain General Hospital, - and Babe worked in Hartford, commuting daily until David was born in 1933. Geetter became an anesthetist and resident physician of the New Britain General Hospital. They had five children. All learned to play the piano or violin, and all appeared at recitals in Hartford. Dr. Geetter was a Lieutenant Commander in the Navy in World War II and was stationed in the Philippines 1945, where he was commended by the Army and became a Commander on leaving the service and returned to Hartford to become director of Mount Sinai Hospital. Two sons, David and Albert, are doctors in Hartford, graduates of Jefferson Medical and University of Pennsylvania Medical School. David is a neurosurgeon, and Albert a surgeon. Harold works in computers.Their two daughters Thalia and Suzanne Ruth were graduated from Connecticut College for women. Thalia did graduate work at New York School of Social Work, Suzanne Ruth at Simmons College. Dr. Geetter is raising funds for a new hospital building, and Babe is taking courses for credit evenings at the University of Hartford. Esther lives with them, but the five chldren are no longer at home. My memories [p. 287] of Babe are very clear and very dear. I first saw her as a new born infant in my mother's arms in ourm living room on Pleasant Street {November, 1906} when I was five years old. She was still only an infant when my mother covered her with a blanket to hide her measles and took her on the train to New York, where we went in the Panic of 1907. My father had found a temporary job in New York and a tenement on the East Side there on Twenty-Seventh Street near Third Avenue. My mother followed with eight children, one an infant in arms with the measles. I remember Babe well as a four year old child on Morgan Street suffering agonies of pain from inflammatory rheumatic fever. I shared her cot in the kitchen, where we could get some warmth winter nights from the kitchen stove in the unheated flat, and I remember well her screams of pain from that rheumatic fever. She had to wear glasses at an early age to correct nearsightedness, but she was most attractive with her red cheeks, lovely lips, and bright eyes and wonderful disposition. At a very early age, Dr. Geetter courted her and won her. Her physical woes continued. She was determined to have each one of her five children even though she suffered physically each time. After much pain she had her gall bladder removed and later had a second major abdominal operation. But what scared us most was her detached retina, which required superlative surgery to avoid blindness and then required a long period of bed rest with both eyes bandaged. When those bandages were removed and she could see with each eye, our joy was unbounded. She has been through the years the pillar of strength and of courage for all the family. And very close behind her always has been Dr. Geetter, who has been host to the Meranski family for many happy Thanksgiving dinners. I remember one Thanksgiving when the Geetter boys were in [uncertain if next page extant]


 

 

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