7.01.2011

A Family Tree With Many Colorful Leaves

Top L to R: Michelle, Tara, Peter, Marie
Bottom: Me and Nancy (I am pouting so I must have gotten yelled at)


A lot of you noted that you wanted a "family tree" so you could understand the relationship between the family members who have posted here and others that are talked about. So here we go with the basic family:

So, Peter's creators as he commonly referred to his parents were Annette Pallon and Peter Ratajczyk

Nettie had four sisters: Victoria, Helen, Patricia, RoseMary & two brothers: Thomas and Louis.

Peter had 1 brother: Joseph

Nettie and Peter had 5 daughters: Annette, Barbara, Patricia, Pamela, Cathy. Of course you know the only son was Peter.

Some of Peter's aunts/uncles had children close to the time Peter was born. So, he had cousins Susan and Katie very close in age to him and older cousins who were closer to his sister's age: Steve, George, Peter, Roger. At the same time, Peter's own sisters were having children, so Pete has neices like Nancy and Michelle who are similar in age, and then younger neices like me, Tara and Marie who straddle 6 + more years younger than him.  Just a few years ago, we totalled about 30 family members (which includes wives/husbands/children of the above).

I don't know who started the tradition - it may have started when everyone lived in Red Hook - but every Fourth of July my patriotic family gets together, everyone, bringing along friends and in-laws to a designated house. For years when we were young, we all went to Peter's aunt RoseMary (who we call Pinky) and her husband "Little" Louie's house in Long Island. Here is a photo of Nettie's brother Louie (the one from the song) along with his wife and our aunt Dee dressed up as George and Martha Washington during Fourth Of July. They walked around the neighborhood dressed like that waving the flag. (taken in the 1970s - ignore date on photo)



Then, when Peter's eldest sister, Annette bought a house in West Islip with her husband Robert, we all flocked there. Parties would have between 30 and 45 guests on a given Fourth of July weekend. We would play "Blind Man's Bluff" in the pool, ride aboard a giant inflatable dragon on the Long Island Sound, drive around the neighborhood on Nancy's motorcycle in patriotic outfits, and the older uncles and aunts would light up fireworks while the kids all got sparklers (remember those?).

Pete with his sisters
As you can tell from Pete's expression this was
probably the 10th photo he was forced to stand for,
 in this position with various family members.
He looks like he wants to kill the photographer.


28 comments:

  1. It must have been fun growing up in a big family like this...And those private pictures of Peter, I love them! They are so genuin.

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  2. Great photos and stories. Thanks for posting.

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  3. Thank you for so many information.

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  4. Oh, awesome! All my siblings and cousins were all grown up when I was born, so I was just "that child" or "the nuisances" who had to amuse herself quietly a corner. I can't conceive of what it must be to actually have close family.

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  5. Truly a family tree with many colorful and unique leaves - thank you for this overview and the lovely pics. I love Pete's expressions on both pics ;-)plus the pic of your aunt Dee and uncle Louie. These family parties are something great - great moments, great memories. Once again thank you so much for sharing this with us.
    Much love & respect
    -Sabine-

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  6. @Nerine: We are your family now ... everyone here on this site is your family. Yes, it's nice to have a big family, but your friends can become your family too. And Peter had lots of friends who cared for him and bandmates who acted like brothers (when they weren't fighting like children). Thanks for commenting. Big Hugs !

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  7. OMG! the 3rd photo, if you look in the left hand corner there is a green and orange folding chair. I had those too growing up and my parents STILL have them and sit in them when they go down the block to watch the 4th of July parade! how funny!
    -Kristen

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  8. I didn't get to grow up with any siblings. I was always alone. No holidays, no birthdays. This is giving me ideas for my own family. Thank you. Your family is so cool and does such great things to celebrate the passing of time. Peace.x

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  9. This is awesome! Having a big family is wonderful the more the merrier. Thank you for sharing ...I love the pictures they are lovely :)

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  10. oh what a wonderful family to grow up in! I have barely any close family at all so I agree that our friends are the family we choose to love and share our lives with. The pictures are amazing (love Peter pulling faces ahahahahah) and so are the stories. Thanks so much for sharing :)

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  11. I wish we could have gotten our family together like this for pictures....couldn't keep alot of em straight enough for family gatherings. Alot of stupidity went down. That's why these pics make me happy. I know that it actually CAN be accomplished!! LOL.

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  12. This is wonderful. Every year on the Fourth my crazy clan gets together as well (they are scattered all over the country these days, so we really only get one day a year) for a huge cook out at my mom's house. Aside from being a little more current in things like clothing, I'll bet our pics look quite a bit like these (of course, we don't have anyone dressed up as the Washingtons, but how cool is that?!). This post makes me feel just a little more connected with you guys. Thanks, I needed the pick-me-up this morning! :)

    Crys

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  13. Love the pictures and stories you share, they make me happy. Much love N respect to the family

    Amy Wigle

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  14. I really loved this post!! BIG lovely family!
    I can relate to Peter growing up surrounded by older people (I have three older siblings, my dad has five siblings and my mom four) and although I am not very close with my aunts and uncles in general, my siblings and I really stuck together even when the closest in age to me is 8 years older. I was too the crazy little kid and I loved playing jokes on them!

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  15. my family use to have big picnics a couple of times a year. aunts, uncles, their kids, grammaw, granpas, my brothers and sisters. it was fun. we didnt have a pool so we played baseball. gosh that was so fun. we just recently had one of those picnics with a few family members gone now, but it was still fun. i can not get my happy butt out there now to play ball. i use to love it. but i understand the memories you have from spending time with loved ones on special days. i miss those childhood days. love the story hun. thank you once again.

    i hope your 4th is full of fond and happy memories from the past but also fun and happy memories for the future.

    much love & respect always. its absolutely wonderful to be a part of this family!! thank you.

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  16. The 4th of July is a big deal for my family as well, besides halloween it's my favorite holiday. I have $500 worth of fireworks ready to set off, one in particular called the Green Monster which I'm setting off in Pete's honor. I wish the whole Ratajczyk family and everyone here a happy and safe 4th of July! (-)

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  17. Hi Darcie/Pat--

    Ah yes, the lawn chairs with the webbing...we still have several of those. Thanks for the insight into your family. It helps clarify who's who. (And I'm the one who gets to keep OUR family tree up-to-date--no easy task!) We also
    had family picnics, especially on the Fourth of July, but nobody dressed as George and Martha. What a hoot that must've been! Now I know what Uncle Louie looks like. Fun story with great photos. Love the expressions on Peter's face! Have a great weekend and holiday. :)
    Love & Gratitude--Patty P

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  18. Deborah Fischer4:35 PM, July 01, 2011

    Great pics, thank you so much ! have a great 4th of July

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  19. I used to have a big family that we spent all of the holidays with, but now most are either dead or moved far away. Your stories remind me a lot of the good ol' days and I'd like to thank you (again) for sharing so much with all of us. Although I've never met any of you, I feel like I know you and that's cool..and the pictures are a big help. It's nice to be able to put a face to the name. Hope you all have a nice holiday weekend!

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  20. So nice to have a large close family and thanks for continuing to share the photos of Peter.
    One advantage... you didnt have to worry about if anyone was going to come to your parties, there is so many family members you were always guaranteed a crowd. Love how you all celebrated the different events and holidays..helps to keeps life fun. We all know how much Peter loved Halloween. P.S Sparklers are fun!

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  21. These stories of your family and Pete make me smile. I love you girls. Thank you for being you. Hugs

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  22. hi my name is Brenda..was wondering where I could email you, what I wrote earlier was too long to post on here and was wondering where I could personally email you or where the fans can email a bit more than 300 hundred characters. if you could post that and let me and or other fans know I and we'd greatly appreciate it.thanks.
    hope to hear from you soon on that, and even though its been over a year..my deepest condolences go out to you and your family..Peter was a very special one in a million kind of guy and he is still very well missed.hope you keep this site going.I enjoy the stories and the pictures.wishing you all the best over there.you all take good care.
    Sincerely,
    Brenda B.

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  23. my dad came from a big family he was the baby of the family..just like Peter was.cept he only had a few sisters.
    love this site hope you keep it going.love all the good stories and pictures.reminds me of when our family would get together and share stories and pics. sad we dont do that anymore..most is gone now. I think the family should write a book on the life and times of Peter Steele with all the stories and pictures. just a thought. also was thinking about a movie about his life but cant think of who would play Peter cept for himself.can you imagine if he was still alive and his thought on that?lol.still its a thought.its been a thought for awhile now.could it be a possibility? hmmmmm.anyways thanks for sharing with us that loved and still love Peter and still miss him alot everyday.

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  24. just wanted to wish you all a Happy 4th. hope you still have the same fun you did when Peter was there.and as each firework goes off he'll probably be watching from above.maybe give you a sign that hes ok up there with the rest of your loved ones. when you go to talk to him again please tell him that we still love him and is missed very much down here.thanks.
    you all take care over there.play and stay safe.
    Sincerely,
    Brenda B.

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  25. Wow, I am very happy that you're posting these things so cool about Peter and family! Thanks!

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  26. I never heard Type O...I heard OF them, but never the music. The other day, I HEARD it. Since then I have scoured the internet to learn more about this band with the singer that has the voice that wraps itself into your brain and doesn't let you go. I see the singer has the looks that go along with the voice and then I see that he is gone. I have ordered the cd's and wait anxiously for their arrival. I am so sorry for your loss, Peter was definetly a one of a kind, and in the short time I have looked to see who he is, I wonder if he ever really knew how amazing he was, is and shall forever be. May he rest in Peace. :(

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  27. I LOVE this! LOVE the photos!!!! When you think of someone like Peter, it's hard to believe that he was human, just like us! So nice to know that he came from such a loving family! My family used to have a big family reunion every year for 30yrs. After most of the older ones passed away, we stopped. Guess we'll all be reuinted again in Heaven! God Bless you, and thank you for sharing!!! :) <3

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  28. It so funny how every family has family traditions. There are five of us kids so when we all get together at my mom's house (where we all grew up) we take a photo on the front steps. All lining up on the exact step as the very first photo and we have 6 photos now. It's so funny to see how much we all changed through out the years. When I saw these pictures of all of you on the steps it brought back a lot of good memories too of my family tree. =)
    Gypsyadair

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