One of our family’s oldest and greatest friends, Max McCrohon, died yesterday. He’d been sick a long time with emphysema (I remember him as an unregenerate smoker of unfiltered Camels) and, for the past three or four years, with lung cancer. There’s a lot I could say — that everyone in my family could say — about Max (and about all the McCrohons). For now, just this: He was the one who inspired me to become a journalist and who gave me my first opportunity to work in a newsroom. And he and his wife Nancy somehow were always welcoming to the Brekke kids; their home was always, always open to us. I honestly can’t imagine what my life would have been like without him, and them.