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


69-1201-Jack Barrett photo June 1947 Yosemite Falls - one of group of three.
#1201 p 69 Yosemite Falls - one of group of three photos by Jack Barrett June 1947 showing substantial changes in shape of upper fall because of wind. Sophie visited Yosemite Valley late September 1930 while en route to Tientsin China on transport HENDERSON, but falls were seasonally dry at that time. She prchased a handcolored photo of Bridal Veils Falls that was stolen 1993. #65A with p. l20 added summer l947#65 for disk summer l947 Crater Lake Ch. 24 O-V-E-R T-H-E M-O-U-N-T-A-I-N page 120 On the GENERAL RANDALL en route from Honolulu to San Francsico we had some very congenial Navy people at the table with us I I enjoyed having someone else prepare & serve our food.I well remember a most kindly Navy Captain who remarked after we had been at sea for three days that he had been concerned about the state of my health when he first saw me (after my operation) but was delighted to see how well I looked.It was an uneventful trip. Jack took complete charge of John as I was recuperating from major surgery performed only a week previously.As we had reservations at the Hotel Californian June 10-17 in central San Francisco, we registered there to await our car & to wait for the arrival of Jack's sister Mary Barrett-John's aunt Mollie -to arrive by plane from Boston to join us for our tour of the National Parks & for the trip across the country to her home in South Boston, where we planned to live until we could find our own quarters.Our first meal at the Californian was lunch - without Jack, who was off trying to locate our Lincoln Zephyr on the San Francisco dock- that car had to take us across the country to Boston.John & I enjoyed the fish & vegetables served at lunchat a most reasonable price-about sixty-five cents.The Californian was an excellent hotel.We stayed there a week while Mollie came from Boston & Jack got the car ready for the long trip. We drove all around San Francisco- up the Twin Peaks for the View,around the coastline & the Presidio- & at the Golden Gate Park we saw rabbits,which do not run wild in Honolulu. Also there was white clover - not found where we lived in Hawaii. John picked a clover leaf at random- which proved to be a four-leafed clover.We enjoyed riding the cable cars. One afternoon after telephoning we went to a San Francisco hospital where Marion Taylor my oldest brother Harry's sister in law, a native of Hartford Connecticut, was a nurse.She was delighted to see us. We (p. l2l....insert later. p. l22": The next morning we had breakfast at a pleasant restaurant of the Pine Cone Doughnut chain.We drove to Yosemite that day taking our time on the uphill route to avoid overheating.Jack bought a special water can to keep in the car with an excess supply of water for the radiator.The Wawona hotel was twenty-two miles south of Yosemite Valley,& we had engaged it on the American plan. The Ahwanee in Yosemite seemed out of our price range (I had stayed there September l930 while the HENDERSON was being overhauled ar Mare Island before its journey to China) & everything else was booked up, so we became quite familiar with the road back & forth from Wawona to the vallley.We visited Hetch Hetchy Valley one day on the Tuolumne River - flooded l9l3- but a painting in Mount Holyoke art museum shows it as it was in l880's.We looked around the sequoia grove near Wawona- the road went through one of the big trees-& twice we visited Glacier Point high on the South rim above the valley.Jack took photos ofVernal & Nevada Falls.We had the Sawyer's Viewmaster stereo photo of the Fire Fall,which formerly was produced by dumping glowing charcoal off Glacier Point, but we did not see it on our visit.We had though of visiting Lake Tahoe,but the Tioga Pass Road across the Sierra Nevada crest was still blocked by snow.We drove in for a close look at BridalVeil Falls & photographed El Capitan, Yosemite Falls,the foot bridges on the Merced River, Half Dome, the Three Brothers,, Mirror Lake and Mount Watkins. We hiked to the Happy Isles area on the Merced River, and Jack& Mollie went up further for a view of Vernal Falls.Our troubles with the radiator were by no means over. On the ride into Yosemite it was necessary several times to fill the water can from the Merced River.As Jack's left shoulder was stiff & painful, Mollie gallantly went to the river to fill the water can.Going to Monterey we left Yosemite by a different road.Jack was interested in the agricultural area around Salinas & the Monterey peninsula with its seventeen-mile drive & Carmel.There was a special development for retired naval officers at Monterey,& Jack thought about settling there.After a very lovely day we arrived at San Francisco the evening of June twenty-fourth.The California Hotel had no room that night,but I think we ate there while sleeping at a less well-known hotel nearby.The next day we drove across the Golden Gate casting a look out to sea toward Hawaii-& proceeded up the Redwood highway.Jack stopped to see friends, & that night we got as far as Ukiah,which we remember for its amber sodium lights.The next day we drove as far as Crescent City.On the way we stopped to see a redwood which in l947 was the tallest tree yet discovered.Other taller redwoods were discovered -also in Northern California-in the early l960's- so that tree cannot longer be considered the tallest.June 27 we left Crescent City & drove into Oregon after stopping at the California border agricultural inspection station.We proceeded to Crater Lake,encountering huge lumber trucks, one of which forced us into a ditch north of Grants Pass.Eventually with the help of the truck driver & a lot of passing motorists we got back on the road. After we arrived at Crater Lake National Park we began to see flakes of falling snow & accumulations in shaded area under trees along the road.Jack stopped the car to let John go over & look at the snow, because we had not seen snow since we left Brooklyn six years earlier.As it turned out, we need not have stopped,because we soon found ourselves in a full-fledged snowstorm that afternoon of June 27,l947,.Jack had to stop & ask questions for fear of driving over the rim & into the Crater lake (never having been there).Using our chains we had no great difficulty arriving at the Crater Lake Lodge, a cheerful large building that claimed to have the largest fireplace in the state of Oregon.Our rooms were satisfactory,& the food was good.Only the southern third of the Crater Lake Rim Road was open,but we enjoyed some fine views & good weather the next three days.We got a very good photo of Mollie over near Kerr Notch on the southeastern side of the Lake, with the Lake & Phantom Ship a small twisted lava island in the background.We also saw the symmetrical cone of Wizard Island (with whitebark pines), & the "Old man of the Lake" (a tree stump which floats in a vertical position) & numerous ground squirrels.About June 30 or July l we headed for Portland Oregon reminiscing that in Eagle l9 days l932-3 in Maine we once drove a long ways back from Bar Harbor with a hitchiking passenger who kept asking "Do you think we'll get to Portland tonight?"- this became a standing family joke.We retraced our steps to Grants Pass & went up the Williamette Valley through Eugene & Salem, the state capital.We stayed at the Portland Rose Motel, and Portland, the Rose City,certainly had its flower gardens in full bloom.Jack & John had scheduled a swing over toward the Olympic Peninsula for a couple of days hoping to visit Olympic National Park near the Washington coast.Mollie &I voted for a couple of quiet days doing washing, so this was the first major departurefrom the trip plan.One day we did take a short drive down the Columbia river toward its mouth aT Astoria.Then July 3 we made a leisurely drive along the Columbia River Highway to the Dalles, where we had reservations over the third & Fourth of July. As planned we took a careful look at the remarkable series of waterfalls along the Oregon side.Multnomah Falls is the highest, but many of the smaller falls such as Horsetail & Latourette have highly individual features & can be approached closely.The Columbia River was one of the earliest scenic highways dating from l927. Many of the waterfalls are shown in the Sawyer Viewmaster stereo series.We looked at the fish ladders at Bonneville Dam. There were a rodeo & parade & fireworks at The Dalles & American Indians in the parade.Jack was impressed by the cherry & apple orchards near Mount Hood.July five to seven we visited the southwest section of Mount Rainier National Park. We had only about seventy-five minutes of clear weather in two & a half days, but Jack was ready when the opportunity came and took a few good color pictures of Mount Rainier.The rest of the time the mountain was obscured by clouds. Subalpine firs show iin the photos.About July 8 we went through Olympia & Tacoma to Seattle where an old Navy friend Adolph Bloom then in the lumber business in Tacoma came to see us at our Seattle motel. July 9 we drove east across lava flats into the Inland Empire region of rich soil & excellent crops around Spokane.In cooler weather the region would be attractive. We hit it on a very hot day & kept our eyes on the radiator gage.To avoid planning an excessive mileage in one day we took reservations at a small motel in Ritzville rather than trying to drive to Spokane to the east.The four of us competed to get into the shower first.After supper we took a walk around the town & remember the many hollyhocks.We made a start at daybreak & had breakfast in Spokane.I think this is the town where Jack reached in the sugar bowl at breakfast & found after a bit that he had put flour in his coffee rather than sugar. With the early start we made substantial mileage that day-over three huhndred miles.The Pend Oreille lake region of the Idaho panhandle was cool &pleasant, but we pushed on through Thompson Falls to Kalispell, Montana.A bright yellow mustard plant covered large areas of the grazing land in this part of western Montana.It provided a refreshing change of view.The roads from Spokane to Glacier Park are very roundabout as they follow stream contours- but this would be interesting country to explore at leisure.A restaurant called Hennessy's in Kalispell served fish & hamburger of excellent quality. Jack enjoyed the fish.The next day we drove across the Continental Divide on the spectacular Going=-to-the Sun Highway in Glacier Park.We stayed at Swift Current cabins on the northeast slope of the park, where the rivers drain toward the Arctic through Hudson Bay. One day John & Mollie hiked to the blue-green cold waters of Iceberg Lake. on a ranger-conducted tour.Mollie & I had some clothes on the line outside the cabins,& two women artists included them in their paintings.When we started to take the clothes in,they asked us to wait until they had completed their painting- in a couple of hours.Jack & I enjoyed the lovely wild spring flowers that grew atop a tall hill near our cabins & talking with the Minneapolis school teacher who ran the cabins. After a leisurely stay till about July l4we proceeded toward Yellowstone,spending a night near Helena & driving over to look at Butte, the city on "the richest hill in the world," a great hill of copper mixed with gold and silver.We stayed about three nights at Mammoth Hot Springs near the North Yellowstone entrance. summer l947, #66 Yellowstone l947:Our first full day at Yellowstone was an extremely full one.We began by looking at the brightly colored travertine limestone terrace at Mammoth Hot Springs, drove by the obsidian cliff of black glass,& sampled some Apollinaris spring mineral water.We looked at the Riverside & Old Faithful geysers in eruption & steaming Grotto Geyser ( where another day we observed extremely brilliant sunset orange colors).We continued down the west side of the main figure-eight loop road to the South Entrance & arrived near Grand Teton National Park & Jackson Hole in good early afternoon weather for spectacular views & started back in late afternoon.Somewhat apprehensively Jack acquiesced in the wishes of the family to return via the east side of the figure-eight loop.We passed by West Thumb & saw Yellowstone Lake briefly & enjoyed gorgeous volcanic dust effects in the sunsets.We observed the very last rays of the Sunset at Artists Point on the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Already we had put in a very full day.After losing some time on a side road used mostly by Park staff,thinking we were on the forty-mile road north back to Mammoth, we found ourselves making a small loop & reversing direction in total darkness.Jack was thoroughly baffled. At this point another car appeared, and Jack asked directions.The other driver replied,"I'm just as lost as you are." It turned out that both cars had taken a turn onto the spur road to Inspiration Point, a blind alley road that leads only to a rise which is one of the two main viewing points for tourists at the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone (Artist's Point in the other] At the parking area here the road ends in a loop designed for reversing direction, & here it was we found ourselves.The other drtiver needed gasoline,& fortunately we were able to direct him to a gasoline station a short way south.When we asked him the way to Mammoth, he said,"You have to go over the mountain."We did drive over the mountain, a disxtance of forty-four miles to Mammoth Hot Springs,with only one intersection, the Tower Junction about half way along the route- which was the only place we saw people in the forty-four mile drive.There was spectacular lightning along the highest part of the route above eight thousand feet.Jack remembered seeing the eyes of animals along the road reflecting the light of the headlights- often we did not know if they were snunks or bears.Mollie kept talking to Jack because she thought he might be sleepy. No major difficulties were encountered.The next day wee retraced the unfamiliar >road we had driven that night,stopping to see the pertified tree in the northern part of the park, then spending considerable time at Inspiration Point,which has a very fine view by day of Yellowstone Falls & the bright cliffs around it- although we had not found it particularly attractive by night far from our quarters.We revisited Old Faithful & saw Morning Glory Pool and the Fountain Paint Pots.We climbed a hill to get a good view & I asked Mollie to go over to see what a small sign on the hill said.She came right back when the sign said, "Danger, keep off."This may have been the afternoon of the spectacular sunset at Grotto Geyser,with its high steam cloud.One night Mollie had an unsettling experience with black bears when coming back to her cabin from the separate toilets. Jack had advised her to make a loud noise in the event of encountering bears, and sure enough they went away when she clapped her hands and spoke loudly.We left the park via the Northeast entrance & l0,942 foot Beartooth Mountain pass with its many hairpin turns & steady uphill climbs. We had to stop frequently & attend our thirsty radiator.We continued down the Yellowstone River route as far as Forsyth,Montana that Saturday night July l9.Having no reservations & being in a very thinly populated area we made inquiry at Forsyth & found that certain church groups arranged to have people stay as paying guests of private families.We were very fond of Mr. & Mrs. Guy Gray who took us in for the night for five dollars & gave us without charge some bread, butter & tea when I said I was too hungry to sleep.John played the theme of the first movement of the Mozart A major piano sonata K. 33l, a piece which he had memorized for Miss Canafax [Punahou School sixth grade].Mollie went to church n Forsyth on the morning of July 20, & we proceeded to Dickinson, North Dakota, where we had reservations at a small motel recommended by the American Automobile Association.As this country was thinly populated we were glad to have advance reservations.We were adhering rigidly to an eastward schedule during the trip because Mollie was an employee of more than four years standing at the Metropolitan Life branch office in South Boston, & her six weeks would be up about July 28.On Tuesday July 22 Jack drove our car to a stop at the main intersection of Mandan,North Dakota on the west bank of the Missouri River.A loud CLANK was heard.When he tried to start up again,the speedometer needle climbed cheerfully to thirty-five miles per hour, but the car sat still.A gasoline station was alongside us at our right hand, & we had to be towed in there with a broken rear axle.Mollie caught a train to Boston, arriving at work on time by the next Monday.We stayed about three days in Mandan,-a new axle cost six dollars,but telegrams to obtain it from Minneapolis cost more than the axle itself.We made one long day's trip through Fargo,North Dakota to Brainerd. Minnesota, where baffling radiator difficulties stmped the experts while we sweltered in local-record high temperatures of l04 degrees for more than a week.We were about ready to walk east but finally proceeded into cooler terrain around Duluth & Superior,Wisconsin.We spent three nights in Michigan at Ironwood & Saint Ignace on the upper peninsula & at Port Huron near the Canadian border north of Lake St. Clair.We cut across from Port Huron to Buffalo.The generator conked out,& a new one was installed in London,Ontario.Canada was observing beefless days at this time because of the postwar shortages in Europe,& we had a very good chicken dinner at Niagara Falls O ntario.In the late afternoon we observed the Falls from the Canadian side.After dark we enjoyed the American falls in colored lights until about ten pm. We planned to drive east to Rochester but found that streets were blocked off because of an American Legion convention, & all traffic was forced south to Buffalo.We were thoroughly exhausted & found ouselves foced to rent extravangtly expenbsive rooms at an ancient Buffalo hotel about three A.M.In the morning we attempted to leave Buffalo & found the urban streets incredibly confusing.Finally we pointed the car east,& by nightfall were in West Winfield, New York where we took a chance on a local inn recommended by Duncan Hines.From here the next day we drove through Albany & Great Barrington, Massachusetts & surprised my folks in Hartford by stopping in at Babe & Getter's home at 92 Fern Street.It was the first of many pleasant visits there.Before we went to Babe's house we stopped in at Swift & Company to see my oldest sister Esther, still working there as an accountant.That night after stopping aT THE OLDEST ORIGINAL HOWARD JOHNSON'S RESTAURANT in Quincy,we arrived at Mollie's home at 640 East Seventh Street South Boston. It was probably around August eleven, early in the evening.We stayed there a little over three months until Thanksgiving Day l947.We soon became acquainted with Mr. & Mrs. Alphonse & Catherine Roche dowstairs & their sons Raymond, Alphonse, & Donnie ages about ten, eight & four- alsi Billy Sullivan & Bobby Adams in neighboring houses.They would come in the kitchen & play "high'low-jack"& other card games including an unusual variant of whist & "slapjack"{ & "fish."Frequently Mr. Roche would provide Mollie with fresh fish on Friday from his catch as a fisherman.Mollie often baked chocolate brownies.We would take the neighbors on rides to the Arnold Arboretum or Castle Island.The Arnold Arboretum at that time had beautiful exhibits of flowering cherry, >apple & other fruit trees, -lilacs, azaleas,rhododendrons, >magnolias,daffodils, jonquils,narcissus, honeysuckle & bright-leaved >copper beeches.In the autumn the blue-purple berries of Callicarpa japonica attracted our notice the first autumn, l947.
Subject: (Y)
Year: 1947JuneYosemite