I grew up watching Kermit and the cast on Sesame Street for years.

It was a huge part of my childhood so I was saddened to hear the news on Sunday that Caroll Spinney, the man who brought Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch alive for nearly 50 years had passed.

But I never knew that his father and grandfather grew up right here in Maine.

According to the BDN ,Spinney's dad and grandfather both lived in Eastport, and there is still family in the town. Even though Caroll didn't grow up in Maine, people in Eastport and surrounding communities consider him an honorary Mainer, the article shared.

A former BDN writer and editorial page assistant named Dick Shaw met and wrote a profile on Spinney back in 1980 after a performance as Big Bird with the Portland Symphony Orchestra, the article reports.

The story goes on to tell how Shaw and Spinney hit it off and became friends who stayed in touch over the years, in fact, Shaw would receive Christmas Cards every year from Big Bird and The Grouch. The cards were even drawn, painted and designed by Spinney.

Check out the full story, and some pictures of the Christmas cards Bangor Daily News here.