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


Baby John with aunt Mollie Barrett and his mother, at right, in 1936 p 6 #41 {S} {M}


Jack Barrett's sister Mollie holds John .picture, taken in kitchen at Bala Cynwyd west suburb of Philadelphia where Barretts lived November-l936-August l938 = + The Gould's Belt Molecular Clouds: Consequences of a Superbubble D.S. Theil (U. Colorado) I present evidence that a large OB association (Cas-Tau), centered on \alpha Per open cluster, formed about 40 million years ago. The kinetic energy deposited by the massive stars of Cas-Tau generated gravitational instabilities in the Interstellar Medium (ISM). These instabilities became the Giant Molecular Clouds (GMCs) associated with the nearby (< 2 kiloparsecs) star forming regions in Orion, Scorpius-Centaurus, Perseus, Lacertae and the rest of the Gould's Belt stars. The creation of GMCs associated with star forming regions is a long standing, unsolved problem in modern astronomy. The popular theories (Jeans type instabilities in a rotating disk) produce condensations that are at least an order of magnitude too massive to be the seeds of the galactic Giant Molecular Cloud population, and on timescales far longer than the lifetimes of GMCs. Expanding superbubbles (kiloparsec scaled, multiple supernova remnants that form around large clusters) in the ISM sweep up 'supershells' of higher density material. These shells can theoretically become gravitationally unstable over appropriate timescales to GMC mass instabilities. Observational evidence in support of this theory has been lacking until now. The distribution and dynamics of molecular gas predicted by supershell instability theory is clearly evident in my study of local molecular gas using a galactic plane 12CO survey. Results demonstrate the earlier formation (compared to other nearby regions) of the oldest star forming region in Gould's Belt (Orion) is due to the interaction of the Gould's Belt Supershell with the recently discovered nearby supershell GSH238+00+09 (the Vela Supershell). I also discuss possible origins of the Taurus clouds, which are well inside the large low-density volume swept out by the Cas-Tau association superbubble. the Center for Astrophysics and Space Astronomy (CASA) at the University of Colorado. The author(s) of this abstract have provided an email address for comments about the abstract:


Benjamin Franklin Meranski, l892-l961. p 6 #42 {F}


Sophie Barrett's brother Ben in Hartford l920's. As a teenager he worked in a drug store, whose owner promised his father to teach Ben the business, but some time later his father David Meranski came round and found Ben was "still sweeping the floor." Ben (and the whole family) loved music and vaudeville, and his ambition was to play the saxophone. Eventually he quit the job at the drugstore, and his father threw him out of the house for a time, but Sophie would bring him food (with her father's tacit knowledge according to a l973 letter to Ivan McCormack), and eventually he was allowed home again. He and brothers Harry and Abe were drafted in the U.S. Army in the summer of l9l8. Their youngest sister Rebekah Geetter related this event and made their mother so nervous that as she was making jelly she used salt instead of sugar. A photo of Abe at Fort Devens near Shirley Massachusetts was mailed to Ben at Fort Dix, New Jersey. The war ended before they could be sent overseas, but Harry had severe influenza, which affected his health thereafter, and probably Ben also. Ben worked for some years at G. Fox and Company Hartford and later as a hotel desk clerk. When his mother passed away September 8, l925, he furnished information that her parents names in Austria were Abel and Bertha Goldfeld, which apparently was not recorded elsewhere. He remained interested in music and theater, but had no financial success. He used to participate in family round robin latter, in one of which he commented Jack Barrett would probably become a Rear Admiral (intended hummorously). He and Abe met Sohphie's ship in New York when she returned from eighteen months in China via the PRESIDENT PIERCE and VAN BUREN. Ben visited the Barretts in Brooklyn in l940 and was photographed with the Geetter family at "the Shack" about l941. The family added middle names to their original first names - Harry became Harry Uriah - Ben became Benjamin Franklin- Sophie became Sophie Ruth - she loved the book of Ruth in the Bible - Ruth was the great-grandmother of King David -the younger brother Israel born l903 became Israel Peter - known to Sophie at "Pete" - to college friends as "Izzy". Uncle Jacob Goldfeld's name is changed in Hartford directories to Goldfield after l9l5.


Pa & Jack Barrett victory garden l9l8 at 640 E. Seventh Street #43 p 9 {P} {J}


John Robert Barrett l854-l942 and Jack Barrett ten Naval Reserve Lieutenant in back yard victory garden l9l8 640 East Seventh St. In background is very old barn of Kinnaly neighbors at 642East Seventh Street.The Kinnaly home,was moved to Seventh St. in l9l2 when its former site on L St. at Fifth was taken for constru ction of the Emerson School Born Nov.29,l854 John Robert Barrett had less than a year offormal education.His father died Dec. l859 of lung disease and his mother Catherine Daly of tuberculosis Feb.l863.Thie landlod Michael A. Ring and a neighbor Mrs. Welch helped arranged for the children. Her brother Michael A.Thompson was a baker living at 640 East. Seventh Street, where John Robert Barrett went to live. His name appears there is the l870 u.S. census. At some point he went west with his elder brother Michael Barrett, who was a butcher somewhere in the Middle West. John robert paid Boston poll taxes in l875, l876, and l877, and appears in city directories from l883 onward.He was apprenticed to master plumber William S. Locke and had his own shop l890-l926.He once had a curious dream about visiting Yellowstone Park.He married Catherine Agnres Buckley April 29, l884 at Gate of Heaven church, and their son John Berchmans was born August 28,l888.She died June 8, l889, and he went to live with his Buckley in-laws on Park and Baxter Streets, Melrose l889-l894, commuting to his plumbing shop while Minnie and Maggie Buckley looked after Jack during the day. A stolen photo showed Jack in a fine suit outside the house with his aunts at age about three.Jack's father made a second marriage November l894 to Mary Lane of Grove Street Melrose. Their children were William Joseph born October 24, l895. Mary Frances (Mollie) February ll,l898, and Catherine born l899.From l894 to l902 the family lived at 634 East Seventh Street three doors east of L Street.A stolen tintype showed Pa Barrett in the back yard about l900, holding the two small baby girls -with Jack and Bill standing alongside.For several years Pa was trustee of the property at 640 East Seventh Street when michael Thompson was in poor health - he bought the property and lived there May l902 until his decesae August 321, l942 while Jack was on Navy duty at Pearl Harbor.


Christmas l936 Barrett family arrive Stradone road, Bala Cynwyd Pennsylvania.#44 p 9 {S} {J}


Commander John B. Barrett and his wife, with John B., Jr., in November or December 1936. Kitchen in new home Stradone Road, Bala Cynwyd. When John was learning to talk, he would say "Although she ba..." in imitation of a Navy song Jack sang,"She was just a sailor's sweetheart But she loved her sailor lad Though he left her broken-hearted He was all she ever had But she still believes in sailors, And she's TRUE to the Red, White, and Blue, And Although She's Barred From the Navy Yard, She Loves her sailor boy - positively." Composer and lyricist are unknown. Melody is sophisticated with a modulation from C major to G major and back and a melodic "sequence" in the seventh line.


p6-45 Christmas card near Merced River Yosemite Valley - Mollie Barrett at left; Sophie center, Jack at right {M} {S} {J} {Y}


Photo by John Barrett, junior, about June 20, l947 in Yosemite Valley near the Merced River. Commander Barrett and fmaily left Honolulu June 4 on Army transport GENERAL RANDALL and arrived San Francsico June 10.Mollie Barrett took sux weeks leave from Metropolitan Life Insurance South Boston Office and flew to San Francisco. The family stayed at Hotel Californian while Jack made reservations via American Automobile Association and prepared l937 Lincoln Zephyr automobile.Sophie was recovering from surgery.Barretts saw Harry Meranski's sister-in -law Marion Taylor, a nurse then in San Francisco, who had visited several times in Brooklyn l940-l94l.They visited Golden Gate Park, the Presidio, Golden Gate andSan Francisco Bay Bridges, and Twin Peaks.Radiator troubles in the old l937 Lincoln Zephyr delayed the trip one day at Merced, California after hot radiator water spurted up and hit the roof of a service station at Modesto. During the week at Wawona June 17-24 the family visited Hetch Hetchy Valley in the north part of Yosemite Park, where the Tuolumne River created a second valley with wildlife and scenery similar to the better-known Yosemite Valley on the Merced River.Unfornunately in l9l3 over objections of John Muir this Hetch Hetchy Valley was flooded as a reservoir for San Francisco. There is new interest today in restoring Hetch Hetchy and removing the dam.Mount Holyoke College art museum has a fine l880's painting of deer grazing in Hetch Hetchy Valley.Kings Canyon near the General Grant giant sequoia is another deep glaciated valley of the western Sierra Nevada.The name means "shining range" and reflects the earlier-named mountains near Seville, Granada Spain.


Kerr Notch Crater Lake, Mollie, John,Sophie Barrett, Phantom Ship p6-46 {S} {M} {Y}


Jack Barrett photo June 28 or June 29, l947 at Kerr Notch, southeast corner of Crater Lake (which is oval and does not have corners). Phantom Ship lava islet is visible.Barrettt arrived at Lake in heavy snowstorm June 27, l947 froj Cresecent City and Grants Passs after touring redwoods and being forced off highway by logging truck.The nothern sixty pper cent of the Crater Laek Rim Drive was closed with snow deposits, and Kerr Notch was the easternmost point open to cars. After the snowstorm there was pleasant sunny weather.Crater lake Lodge was said to have the largest firp[lace in Oregon. Another larger island in Crater Lake, cone-shaped Wizard Island is covered with whitebark pine, whose indehiscent seeds are spread by Clark's nutcracker, a bird related to the crow family and credited by some researchers with remarkable spatial-visual memory.


Mollie Barrett visiting second cousins Mary Elizabeth and Helen Lynch, Hyde Park p 6-47 {M}


Mollie's second cousin Mary Elizabeth Lynch was a relative of Jack Barrett's stepmother Mary Lane Barrett and wrote out history of the Lane, Lynch, Palmer, and Sullivan-Christian ancestors and cousins of Bill and Mollie Barrett.She taught biology at Boston State College and met Sophie and m family in l947. She was a close friend of Mollie. She and her sister Helen moved to Hatter's Hill Road, Medfield in the l970's.


Three Brothers rock formation east of Yosemite Falls {Y}


Jack Barrett photo June l947- This rock formation on the north wall of Yosemite Valley some distance from Yosemite Falls is part of the "El Capitan granite" about l08 million years old according to THE GEOLOGICAL STORY OF YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK by Norman King Huber l987 U.S.Geological Survey Bulletin #1595. El Capitan granite intruded into older rocks. It dominates the western half of Yosemite Valley and the monoliths of Three Brothers, Turtleback Dome,Cathedral Rocks and El Capitan itself. El Capitan granite contains phenocrysts-large crystals embedded in finer maerial. These are absent from the younger Taft granite, which forms the brow of el Capitan and the upland toward Fireplace Bluffs.Taft granite is finer textured and lighter in color and occurs at Dewey Point and near the Fissures on the south wall of the Valley.Thew oldest rocks in the park date from the Ordovician about 480 million years ago. The Sierra Nevada mountain range is an enormous pluitonic batholith formed deep in the earth in the Mesozoic era 230 to 70 million years ago. Plate tectonics explains how North American pushed westward, and materials subducted beneath the ocean floor were recycled into new mountains. It is believed that admixture of ocean waters with rock materials lowers the melting point and forms molten materials that may solidify deep in the earth as in the Sierra Nevada or come to the surface as volcanoes like the Cascade Range -Rainier, st. Helens,Mt. Hood,Jefferson, Adams,Mazama(Crater Lake)Thielsen, Three Sisters, Shasta, Lassen.The basalts of the Columbia Plateau are another great feature of the American West. Quartz,potassium feldspar,plagioclase (sodium-calcium) feldspar, biotite,and hornblende are the five dominant minerals of the Yosemite region.On fresh surfaces quartz and feldspars are translucent light gray.Feldspars turn chalky white on weathered surfaces, and thier crystals reflect sunlight from strong planes of cleavage.