tales of the hotel st crispian, chapter 14: "Aunt Caroline"
by Horace P. Sternwall
edited by Dan Leo *
illustrated by rhoda penmarq and roy dismas
*Ass’t Professor of Classics and Geography, instructor in Home Ec., Olney Community College; editor of Hitting It Hard: The Memoirs of Horace P. Sternwall, Vol. 3.
Conrad Collinson was not quite sure exactly when it dawned upon him that his Aunt Caroline Charlton (actually his great aunt) was certifiably insane.
Was it really not until that time she came to visit him at the end of his second year at Andover, on Boat Race Day? Arriving in her burgundy red 1922 Duesenberg Model A Phaeton convertible? (A car she still to this day took out on the odd excursion to Coney Island or Atlantic City or even all the way down to Cape May to visit Mrs. Biddle.)
Not that she was the one driving the Duesenberg. Conrad wasn’t quite sure if she even knew how to drive or if she had a driver’s license. No, she always got one of her cronies to drive, and on Boat Race Day it had been that Lord Wolverington fellow, another resident of the St Crispian, although Conrad had serious doubts about whether the man really was a Lord.
Aunt Caroline had worn a flaming red scarf and she had flirted shamelessly and drunkenly with all of Conrad’s pals and just about all of his teachers too, and the headmaster and the chaplain to boot.