Family Photos

The Puch Women

This is a picture of my mother and her sisters taken at my Aunt Anna’s. From left to right, Anna Emhof, Irene Padykula, Stella Berecka, Henrietta Gentile and Helen Puch. The little girl is my Aunt’s great-grand daughter Darcy Seated Mary Puch my Grandmother. This photo was taken sometime in the late 60’s before my mother’s prolonged illnesses

Taken at Kyle Graves' Wedding
This photo is of my father, Albert Berecka, my sister Janis Graves, and me. It was taken at Janis’s son Kyle and his wife Andy’s wedding reception. My father has appeared often in my poetry. I often wonder now if my memories of him are true or if he has become the literary character. I suppose this doubt is the price of mining one’s life for poems. My sister Janis doesn’t laugh when she reads the poems I’ve written about our childhood; as a matter of fact, she often cries and would have entitled my first book the The Tragic Flaw.

Albert in his youth


Judging from his left hand, this was take before my parents were married.  My father always works in blue collar jobs, but was a dapper man away from the job.
The Eagle has Landed
This one of my favorite pictures of my father.  He was always dapper and cantankerous.  Here he is giving the look, which every one in the family mastered, including his grandson Jason Graves who is mirroring it behind him.  When we were kids, after Apollo 11, anytime he stared over that long nose of his, my sister and I would say to each other. “Oh no, the Eagle has landed.”  When my dad visited Poland with his second wife, he brought a wooden eagle for me and told me, “There the Eagle has landed for good.”
Albert’s House
Aaron, me, Rachael, BJ, and Alice

McMansion, hell, I grew up in a Happy Meal Box.  It actually was a three bedroom house, but my bedroom was about the size of my wife’s walk in closet.





Our family has had very few pictures taken as a group.  Guess that’s why so many of these are taken at weddings, but here we are.  BJ and Rachael now live in Berlin