Once again, I was informed of another person from the neighborhood that has left us.
Along with posting positive memories of the neighborhood on the blog, I often get an e-mail, a phone call or even a text message letting me know someone from the neighborhood has passed away.
It saddens me to hear the news but I don’t mind – please keep sending me the messages. Our loyal readers, some as far away as Texas, need to know this information.
My favorite writer, Denis Hamill of the New York Daily News writes about his friend Mickey Breen who recently passed away.
As the years tumble forward from the tie-dyed days of Hippie Hill in Prospect Park when hundreds of us hung out on the grassy knoll just up from the Corinthian columns designed by Stanford White at Bartell Pritchard Square, you just keep on grabbing the black suit from the closet to go see another one of your flower power pals from Woodstock take his turn in the coffin in the front of a flowery room.
Guys like Dennis (Tiny) Reid, John Rice, Red Riley, Tommy Lenahan, Joey Corrar, Bruce Campbell, and my sweet brother, Joe Hamill.
This time, it was Mickey Breen, and he was a kind, funny guy who attended Power Memorial High where he befriended Lew Alcindor, before he became Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Mickey loved his daughter Kelly, his five grandkids, his lady Gladys, his sister Colleen, his cat Cheech, the music of Jeff Beck, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novels, and cold beer and big laughter and this place called Brooklyn that he called home until last week when he was waked in Hanley’s Funeral Home on Staten Island, where a slide show of old photos played on a loop as the Rolling Stones sang his favorite song ever, “Sympathy for the Devil.”
I didn’t know Mickey, but after reading D-Hamill’s story, I feel like I hung out with him on the parkside.
Mickey Breen, R.I.P.