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My families geographical background is something that I have always been interested in. Every year we have a Breen Family Reunion and I love hearing stories of where my certain relatives grew up and well as the times they lived in. My mom is the one who has sparked my interest my families life stories. She was born on an army base in Honolulu Hawaii as my grandfather was a colonel in the marines. From the time she was born up until she went to college, my mom never lived in one place longer than 5 years. From the mid 1960’s to the mid 1970’s, my grandfather was serving multiple tours in Vietnam. This caused my mom and her two sister to move around a lot. From Kindergarten up until 8th grade, she lived in Virginia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Jersey and back to Virginia. At the end of eight grade her mom and dad divorced and she moved back to Hawaii where she spent all of high school. She was accepted to Penn State among other school, but she chose PSU in particular because she spent her summers with her grandmother in Pennsylvania. By her senior year she became close friends with my father, Ken Breen. Unlike my mom, my dad was born and raised in once town, and that was Montclair New Jersey. The youngest of three brothers, my dad grew up in a very happy childhood. He went to Mt. Hebron Elementary school and went to church every Sunday at St. Cassian’s. From the time he was 6 years old up until he graduated high school, my dad spent his summers on Sebec Lake in Maine (the same placer where I spend my summers). From 6th to 8th grade, my dad went to The Montclair Academy. At the Montclair Academy my dad was friends the fathers of my friends who attend MKA now such as Kyle Duca and Nick Donatello. He also had Mrs. Dancy as his homeroom advisor. During his time in middle school my dad had older brothers at the upper school. He served as the water boy for the Academy football team (the team where Mr. Hrab was the defensive coordinator). From the time he was 6 years old up until he graduated high school, my dad spent his summers on Sebec Lake in Maine (the same placer where I spend my summers). His freshman year would be the first year that The Montclair Academy and The Kimberley Academy would merge into MKA. This made my Grandparents uneasy, so my dad was sent to Delbarton for high school. My dad boarded at Delbarton year-round where he would be an all-state cross country runner. Like my mom he was accepted to Penn State were he also ran cross country his freshman year. However, his cross country career ended as he could not keep up with Penn States 17 mile a day regimen. Interestingly enough, my mom and my dad never crossed paths at Penn State until their senior year. They shared a political science class together and became good friends. After they’re graduation in 1984, my mom and dad parted both ways but both lived in New York City for some time. A few years after graduation they, ran into each other again. My mom’s apartment roommate was friends my dads apartment roommate and after seeing each other again they began dating. After three years of dating they married in the summer of 1990. For their first year and a half of marriage, they lived in Hoboken New Jersey. My mom was working for Woman’s Day magazine and my dad was working for a small advertising company called Sauchi & Sauchi. After my mom became pregnant with me, she quit her job and she and my dad moved to Bloomfield New Jersey. In 1992, I was born into the house on 17 Parkview Drive, which was right down the street from Brookdale Park. I spent the first 7 years of my childhood in that house in Bloomfield, during which time my brother Liam was born. In 1999, as a kindergartener at MKA, my family moved to Essex Fells where I would start first grade at EFS the next year. I have since lived in Essex Fells, and transferred back to MKA after my EFS 6th grade graduation. I have been at MKA since 7th grade and next year I plan on attending Ohio Wesleyan. I feel like my family’s background has had a huge influence on me. My mom coming from such a diverse geographical background has allowed me to become a more worldly person. My dad on the other hand lived in one place his entire life, but has taught me to thrive in the surroundings you find yourself in. I would not change a thing in my family’s background; I love them just the way they are. They have molded me into the person I am today.

One Response to “The Breen’s Migration Story”

  1. know this is coming from left field , and I hope I have the right Ken Breen. I recently heard of the passing away of your Mom and
    it absolutely hit me like a ton of bricks. The data bank in my brain just filled up with so many wonderful memories.Although I have not seen Bill and Helen since 1973? My warm feelings still remain and I am sure you realize what treasures your parents are, and there will always be a special fondness in my heart for them no matter how much time passes by. Our mom’s put up with our never ending antics on Geenview Way,Yanticaw Brook Park,Northeast School,Brookdale Park, and I sometimes wonder if I spent more time at your house than I did my own? What stands out in my mind the most are the unbelievable Mischief Night parties at 24 Greenview Way.(need I say more?)

    Any way I hope you get this Email and I would love to one day catch up with you in NJ. My wife Georgene and I own two wineries,
    one on Hilton Head Island SC named Island Winery, and one in Montague NJ on my Dads farm named Westfall Winery.Wouldn’t you know it your old buddy found a way to make a living by manufacturing and drinking vino! (Thats why extracurricular activities at college are so important.) We come up to NJ in June and stay until mid October, perhaps this summer maybe we could lure you up to beautiful Sussex County for a reunion and some good vino! My Dad is still going strong at 86 and he sends his regards and condolences as well! Please pass on to the rest of your family, especially your Dad, our deepest sympathies. As for you- God bless you! I do think of you and it always brings a big smile to my face.

    Your old long lost pal
    Loren B Mortimer

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