I just thought I'd introduce you to cousin Bob today. For those of you without the close family connection, I'm speaking about Robert Goulet, of course.
Back in the late 60s, when Robert Goulet was making quite a name for himself, there was talk on my dad's side of the family that we were related. My dear old Italian grandmother swore it was true, and I kind of half believed her. My mom was pretty doubtful, but then it wasn't HER side of the family, so what did she know?
I remember when I was little, I used to LOVE spending the weekend at my grandma's house. And not because grandma would bake cookies or do any of those other "grandma things." The highlight of any weekend visit was when grandma let me wear one of her "sexy" nightgowns. Her nightgowns were usually in pretty colors and were made out of filmy nylon with a satiny underlayer, and I felt like a movie star wearing them. The red one was my favorite. Grandma was a large woman and not particularly attractive; thinking back now, as an adult, I kind of have to wonder about those "racy" nightgowns, but grandma's long gone, so I can't ask the questions that come to mind. I'm not sure I would have anyway. But my mom never wore anything like that--most of my mom's nightgowns were white cotton--pretty boring, I thought. So those nightgowns were different and special!
A weekend at grandma's invariably involved watching Lawrence Welk, a long-standing tradition. Everything would stop on Saturday nights, and for once, grandma would sit down and relax, engrossed in the show. Of course, I was bored to death, but I passed the time wrapped up in a sexy red nightie, dreaming of movie stardom.
Grandma loved music, and when Robert Goulet became popular, grandma recalled that she was related in some remote way to someone in Canada with the same last name. Although Goulet was born in the U.S., his parents were from Canada. I'm not sure grandma had a real good grasp on stuff like geography and population, but she was certain that the fact that Robert Goulet's parents came from Canadian "proved" we were related.
As far as I ever knew, grandma and grandpa both had their roots in Italy with Italian-born parents, so how a French Canadian snuck into the family, I don't know. It was fun, for awhile, though to believe that we were related to a famous person. The kids at school probably thought I was a total nerd when I told everyone that Robert Goulet was my cousin six times removed, but in my heart, I knew that being related to Robert Goulet was pretty cool. Well, that and getting to wear sexy red nighties at grandma's house!