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Box of decades old photos found in California returned home to Maine


“This is the box,” said Valerie Guevara, historian for the American Legion Post 40 in Winthrop as she handed it over to Karen Breton.”This is my grandmother and my great-grandmother on my dad’s side,” Breton said. “This means so much because my dad’s not with us anymore,” she said.The two women met Thursday in a parking lot near the Maine Mall in South Portland, weeks after the Legion Post 40 received the old cigar box full photos. It was mailed to them from a man in California, another legion member, who saved the box from a junk pile during a renovation project two years ago. The box sat in his garage until he noticed an inscription that mentioned the American Legion Post 40 in Winthrop, ME.It turns out Breton’s brother, Russell Mundi, lived in Orange County, California. years ago. She said when her brother moved, he must have left behind the box of old family pictures. Mundi lives in Sebago now.WMTW featured a story about the box of photos, which ran prior to Memorial Day. When Guevara, the historian, said she was trying to locate the Mundi family, they received a phone call that put them in touch with Breton who was thrilled to receive such a gift.”With all the sadness out there going on in the world, there are people from California to Maine that made this happen,” Breton said. “It means the world to me and my family for this to come to where it belongs.”“You’re going to have a lot of tears in that box because there are a lot of beautiful memories in there,” Guevara said.The two women shared a hug before heading off to lunch.”This is our heritage. This is our family. This could have been tossed so easily and it’s where it belongs,” Breton said.”I really hoped it would come to this and just to see her tears and her joy – that’s what I wanted,” Guevara said.Breton said she will return home to Standish and go through that box of photos with her brother and her mother who will turn 90-years-old soon.”It’s just a miracle that folks out there really do care. I can’t thank you enough. I can’t thank you enough,” Breton said.

“This is the box,” said Valerie Guevara, historian for the American Legion Post 40 in Winthrop as she handed it over to Karen Breton.

“This is my grandmother and my great-grandmother on my dad’s side,” Breton said. “This means so much because my dad’s not with us anymore,” she said.

The two women met Thursday in a parking lot near the Maine Mall in South Portland, weeks after the Legion Post 40 received the old cigar box full photos. It was mailed to them from a man in California, another legion member, who saved the box from a junk pile during a renovation project two years ago. The box sat in his garage until he noticed an inscription that mentioned the American Legion Post 40 in Winthrop, ME.

It turns out Breton’s brother, Russell Mundi, lived in Orange County, California. years ago. She said when her brother moved, he must have left behind the box of old family pictures. Mundi lives in Sebago now.

WMTW featured a story about the box of photos, which ran prior to Memorial Day. When Guevara, the historian, said she was trying to locate the Mundi family, they received a phone call that put them in touch with Breton who was thrilled to receive such a gift.

“With all the sadness out there going on in the world, there are people from California to Maine that made this happen,” Breton said. “It means the world to me and my family for this to come to where it belongs.”

“You’re going to have a lot of tears in that box because there are a lot of beautiful memories in there,” Guevara said.

The two women shared a hug before heading off to lunch.

“This is our heritage. This is our family. This could have been tossed so easily and it’s where it belongs,” Breton said.

“I really hoped it would come to this and just to see her tears and her joy – that’s what I wanted,” Guevara said.

Breton said she will return home to Standish and go through that box of photos with her brother and her mother who will turn 90-years-old soon.

“It’s just a miracle that folks out there really do care. I can’t thank you enough. I can’t thank you enough,” Breton said.

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