In my last book, I had neglected to tell of my Nordic family relations. I had spoken of my great-uncle and how he had obtained his business. Yet, I did not go into much depth on the other. My great-uncle was named "Nicholas Carraway". His brother, Peter had married a Finnish immigrant called, "Hellevi Somer". I do not know much about this strange grandmother for she had died a year prior to my birth. All that I am aware of was that she had short black hair, piercing blue eyes and an amiable spirit. She had worked as a teacher when marrying the younger Carraway. From this union, Hellevi bore him seven children.
Clovia was the eldest. Cheerful as her mother, she inherited her father's brown eyes and brown hair. These traits had managed to attract the attention of Mr. Henry Irving. In no time the two were married when she was 20 and he was 31. A year later, they had their daughter, Priscilla. Bearing her father's strawberry blonde hair and mother's brown eyes, she would flaunt her looks to any bachelor. One of those fools was none other than Benjamin Faye. With much coy courting along with failed pleadings, 22-year-old Mr. Faye had managed to get 18-year-old Priscilla to be his wife. A winter, or two later, Daisy Faye came into the world. With her, one is aware of her later life. As for Clovia and Henry, they had moved back to the Midwest to be close to the mediate relatives.
Franklin was the second child of the first Carraways. Not to mention, the first-born son. With Clovia married off to Irving's Louisville estate, her brother was left as the Peter's sole heir. By this prophecy, Franklin was given the best education in New Haven. Once graduating in 1890, the 23-year-old had felt the need to find a wife. Enter Miss. Emma Jane Coolidge. Fair of face, she had worn her light-brown hair in a bun with her eyes being of a hazel color. Despite being a beautiful woman, Franklin's choice in her was shocking. Emma was a low-class woman of Polish ancestry. And because her father had been said to have fled to either Chicago or Boston, young Emma was born to a single mother. Despite such facts in her biography, Franklin, out of all girls, wedded her when she was 21. When he was 25 and she, 23, a son was born. Even as a minute old infant, relatives had immediately foreshadowed the boy's appearance. Knowing that he would resemble his strange great-uncle. A man who had died during Franklin's college years. In consequence, the infant was given a similar name to "Nicholas"; "Nick".
After Franklin, came the brunette Gretchen. In her development, she was a proper, polite young lady. More mature than her older sister. This must have been the very reason why the equally old-fashioned, platinum-blonde Richard Harvey. They were 19 and 26 when married. And 24 and 31 when golden-haired Marjorie came into the world. Just nine years after my entrance.
With Gretchen, came her twin sister, Greta. While Gretchen's hair was brown as mud, Greta's was the color of sand. As Gretchen had brown eyes, Greta had piercing blue. And while Gretchen was obedient, Greta was rebellious. Especially where romance was involved. When 24 years old, Greta had wandered off to the woods. There, she had stumbled upon a humble, shed-like house. Taking notice of the owner; a lonely fellow her age. His father was French as his mother was of the Ho-Chunk tribe. After much hesitance, the man, William "Silent-Cloud" Bouvier, was fond of young Greta. Too fond, in my family's eyes. The pair married four months later with Bernice showing up not even a year after the wedding. From such things, Peter had disinherited his unlawful daughter to Hillevi's tears. Thanks to this, and Silent-Cloud's sudden illness, the small family had struggles immensely. I could not even blame Hillevi and Gretchen for going behind the patriarch's back to help them. Still, poor Silent-Cloud had succumbed to the disease at only 26. Leaving behind a grieving wife and a beloved toddler. Poor Greta still has not recovered from the tragic loss. She could not even look at her own child for her youthful face was his too. Silent-Cloud had also given Bernice his long, dark hair, his brown eyes, and shy deposition. The only thing Greta bestowed on her was her pale skin. There was also her now conservative values and wealth Peter had returned to her with forgiveness. The poverty-stricken child had grown into a wealthy heiress raised with the old-fashioned values of her aunt Gretchen.
Anyway, three more additions came to the Peter and Hillevi; John, Lydia and Charles. With them being close in age, the trio were mistaken as triplets in childhood. And in adulthood, they could not have been anymore polarizing. John had black hair, blue eyes and a heated temper with little to no respect for the lowlife. The brunette, brown-eyed, Lydia was practical, studious and of a reserved breed. As for Charles, his brown hair and eyes were accompanied by a sensitive, foppish demeanor. He would always find himself being the object of John's ill humor. Only to be saved by Lydia's defenses. All of them were single due to disinterest at best or unrequited love at worse.
These were all the people in my mediate clan. Including Bernice; a cousin who, compared to the others, I had always been close too. How close, I am yet to figure out. It is true I favor her over Daisy or Marjorie. But we had lived in different places; she was in Wisconsin since age three. I had been in Minnesota since birth. As a result, we would hardly see each other.
But now I had chosen her to join me on this vacation, I hoped to regain our long-lost friendship. Maybe, that would help my sanity. After sending a couple reluctant an obliging letter, packing suitcases along with giving or getting some goodbye kisses, the two of us had hopped on the train to Florida. Specifically, to venture to the Miami Biltmore Hotel.