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


Sophie Barrett in China p 7 #53 {S} {9}
Sophie was fond of John Greenleaf Whittier's lines "I'm sorry that I spelled the word - I hate to go above you - The brown eyes lower fell - Because, you see, I love you." Iat the Brown school in Hartford she memorized these lines and William Cullen Bryant "So live that when thy summons comes To join the innumerable caravan You go as one whom wraps the draperies of his couch about him And lies down to eternal rest." Mount Holyoke had a long tradition of missionary activities epecially in China.Mount Holyoke President Mary Woolley one of the "ten most admired American women" of her time in polls made an extended visit to China in l922.Sophie's classmate Becky Smaltz recalled Miss Woolley boisterous welcome back to the South Hadley campus. Students composed a song "Will we be your rickshaw coolies, Miss Woolley?" A friend Mrs. Faison Jordon on Sophie's arrival at Tientsin November l4, l930 put her in touch with Mrs. Evans of the Mount Holyoke Club of North China. Through Mrs. Evans Sophie found her former student Grace Liang Mount Holyoke l925. Sophie and Jack Barrett had first tea and then dinner at the home of Grace's father and mother in Tientsin. Grace's father was known as M.T. Liang, though that was not his original name. He had attended Hartford Public High School, Connecticut, graduating about l880, but then a change of Chinese government polict required his return hom. He had a career in North China railroads and customs service and them diplomatically. Sophie understood he was the first Chinese to be invited to speak to theUnited States Congress. Apparently this was at the time of the Nine Power Conference l922.Some material is in files at Williston College Liobrary Historical section Mount Holyoke. Then Jack Barrett invited Mr. and Mrs. Liang to be guests aboard the gunboat TULSA at the docks in TIENTSIN. This was a rare and unusual honor for a Chionese in those days, to have dinner on a U.S. ship. Word womehow got around, and a large and respectful crowd cme to the dock to watch them go aboard. The crowd kept at a distance out of the way. Soon Grace was married to Dan Yapp of Shanghai. After World War II she taught high school in Connecticut and around l970 lived on Kalakaua Avenue, Waikiki, Hawaii.Sophie corresponded with her in l970's.
Subject: Sophie Barrett in China
Year: 1931