(Shown above, Max in 1982 - note the smoke!)
He took community news to the Max.
Last night, Max Keeping said farewell after 37 years (and 7,000 broadcasts) at the anchor desk of CTV News in Ottawa, better known to Valley folk as CJOH-TV.
Most of us grew up with him on our TVs, keeping us up to speed on what was happening in our neighbourhoods.
Recognized in all corners of the Valley - and beloved by many - Max seldom turned down a chance to visit and support a worthwhile cause. In fact, while chatting with him over dinner at an Arnprior Rotary Club meeting last fall, he told me he that he attends more than 200 such engagements each year. That's mind blowing.
He lends his name and punch to help charities, in particular children's charities, whenever he can. He has a Foundation named after him. He's the main face at the CHEO telethon each year. And he managed to handle anchor duties and oversee the news department at Ottawa's top community TV station.
He did so with class. Dignity. And professionalism.
He understood the importance of thinking 'local first.' He was all about community. He put his focus squarely on the issues affecting area residents.
And that's why folks in the Valley respected him so much.
His priorities had a truly Valley flavour.
And he loved coming to visit "up the line," as he said at the Rotary meeting.
A Newfie by birth and a Valley lad by choice, he was a good friend to the late Mac Beattie, one of the Valley's most famous ambassadors. And that's how he became familiar with the small towns and villages around the region. And with a few of the watering holes.
Max has been known to tip back a pint at various stops around the Valley, including a few just down the road from my place at the old T-Bell in White Lake.
If you want to win favour with people from the Valley, take a page out of Max's book.
Think locally. Work hard. Help your neighbours. Make a difference. Do so with class. And don't shy away from a cold pint when offered.
Check out this video from CTV Ottawa following last night's broadcast. Note another Valley connection in the video - Carp's own Catherine Lathem, a reporter with CTV.
Max Keeping with Yoko Ono and John Lennon in 1968.