Thursday, February 23, 2012

Visiting Celebrity

After watching Max Keeping on TV for the past 40 years, I finally got to see him in person this week. Though he has retired from the news desk at CJOH, he has continued to act as the station's ambassador and still makes a good many public appearances.  On this occasion he came to talk to a seniors group in my area, though he arrived close to an hour later than expected.  He did phone to say he was running 20 minutes late, but then he got lost and couldn't find the village where the event was to take place.  Mind you, he's always had a driver until recently, so though he got around to a lot of places, he didn't have to pay particular attention to how to find his way.

All week I wondered what the subject of his talk would be.  Actually, he didn't have a subject, and you could tell the talk was not preplanned.  He came in and apologized for being late, then told us what he had done so far that day, and why it was he arrived later than expected.   He wasn't making excuses, just telling the story.  He then proceeded to tell us what a typical day in his life was like. That led to how he came to be parenting a teenage boy at this stage of life. Then Max told us a bit about CJOH and the people there.  There were a few cute stories about things like how they did the first live broadcasts from railway stations across the area by hooking up to the fibre optics that ran beneath the railway lines, and how poor J.J. Clarke almost drowned in the Saint Lawrence River during a weather forecast in Brockville.  That's not funny, but the way Max told it, we couldn't help but laugh. 

Max touched on his upbringing on The Rock and how, in the boonies, it's necessary for everyone to pull together as a community to look after everyone else. This is why it seems so natural for him to always be involved in so many charities. He's helped raise over 100 million dollars so far, and has even established a charity in his own name, to help out those who would normally fall through the cracks. 

He was finished his talk, and was asked if he would stay for refreshments. He said he had spotted the goodies at the back of the room and had not grown to this size (patting his belly) by turning down desserts.  I'm not at all sure he got any though, as people kept trying to talk to him.  In fact they managed to keep him at the front of the room for several more minutes answering questions. He wears rings on every finger and it took a few minutes just to explain what each of them were. The best one was like an old fashioned TV set, with a diamond embedded on the screen. 

Newfoundlanders are known to be great story tellers, and Max Keeping is no exception.


  1. I was wondering how he was getting around these days - so he's driving himself?

  2. Yep. I worried after he left that it might be harder for him to find his way back to the highway than it was for him to find the village. I hope he didn't get too lost trying to get home. Perhaps he should invest in a GPS.