Posted by: David Giacalone | August 8, 2009

a sunset without Pete Polachek

. . a farewell to Pete Polachek . .

. .

Stockade sunset at Riverside Park - 06Aug09 . . Paul W. “Pete” Polachek died on August 6, 2009.  I learned of his death through a comment at our earlier post “Polachek Square unveiled” (June 13, 2009), which celebrated the centrality of the Polachek family and Arthur’s Market to our Stockade neighborhood.  Pete’s death at age 60 from cancer is a grave loss for his family, and his many friends and acquaintances.  [click for Pete’s obituary in the Schenectady Gazette.]  You did not have to know Pete well to know and feel his goodwill and caring for his Stockade neighbors and our community.

Pete’s daughter, Tiffany Brace, told the Gazette her dad would have wanted us to remember his sense of humor.  See “Retired owner of Arthur’s Market dies; Polachek was a Stockade institution” (Schenectady Gazette, Aug. 8, 2009).  Pete told Tiffany:

Don’t let anyone feel sorry for me.  I’m happy, I’m 60, I had a good run.

At Suns Along the Mohawk, we often celebrate life through the beauty of sunsets.  Therefore, I took my camera to Riverside Park on the day Pete Polachek died, to capture our first sunset without him.  Here are a few of the photos I took that evening (click on them for a larger version):

early sunset at Riverside Park - 06Aug09

Mohawk sunset from the Riverside Park esplanade - 06Aug09 . . . . . . . . Sunset Silouette along the Mohawk 06Aug09

Isle of the Cayuguas at sunset, Mohawk River - 06Aug09

. . . This is the sunset view on August 6, 2009, as seen from the memorial marker for Emily Polachek, Pete’s daughter, near North Street, along the Mohawk River, in Riverside Park:

sunset seen from Emily Polachek's market at Riverside Park 06Aug09

memorial marker for Emily Rachael Polachek - 06Aug09 . . .   sunset with Emily Polachek's Riverside marker on the day of Peter Polachek's death - 06Aug09

Yes, Peter] Polachek “had a good run” (while owning hundreds of running shoes).  But, his neighbors, friends and family wish he could have run with us, and sat with us, for a few more decades.

update (August 10, 2009):  According to Pete’s obituary, A memorial service will be held in his honor, Friday, August 14, 2009 at 11 AM at St. George’s Episcopal Church, 30 N. Ferry St, across from Arthur’s Market.

p.s. Just two years ago, on July 4, 2007, the family and friends of Pete’s dad Arthur Polachek came together to celebrate Art’s life.  That day, as is the custom in the haiku-poet community in order to memorialize a beloved friend, I posted at my weblog f/k/a the Arthur Polachek Celebration — a collection of haiku in his honor by a number of well-known haiku poets.  (It is formatted so that it can be printed on two sides of a letter-size sheet and folded into a tri-fold brochure.) That haiku collection seems equally relevant today to celebrate the life of our grocer-friend and neighbor, Pete  Polachek.


  1. What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful friend; he would have loved it. Peter had the kindest heart I have ever known.

  2. Emily, Arthur, and now Pete–all missed by a neighborhood who loved and appreciated them.

  3. I just moved across the street from Arthur’s a few months. Pete was one of the first people I met when I moved here. He made me feel like I’d been here all along.
    I can’t help thinking about something that he said to me about a month after getting to know him; “I look forward to years of being neighbors with you”.
    The last time I saw him, a week or so before he passed, he was being helped up his front stairs by his daughter and I asked him how he was doing, he said that he was doing great, and he said it with that big Pete grin of his.
    After reading his obit I see how many things, if I had known at the time, we had in common.
    Going to miss him.

  4. Oh, what a tribute to a wonderful family. I knew Arthur and his father since they owned the store across the street where the law officrs are now. On the corner of this building was a Shoe Repair Shop which moved to Upper Union Street this owned by the same family.
    Your pictures were gorgeous even an artist couldn’t do paint them as beautiful. My favorite artist was Bob Ross who did scenery pictures and he couldn’t compete. I took oil painting classes by teachers of his. I did many painting on canvas and ended painting saws both metal and wood. The metal saws are antiques.
    Please send more beautiful pictures so we could admire them. Thank You for Them—–helen

    • Thank you, Helen, for your generous words. I wish I had the talent to create lovely sunset images as a painter. Luckily, digital cameras make it easy to snap and share our sunsets.

  5. First and formost I would really like to thank everyone for all their kind words in this very difficult time. I not only lost my father, but my hero and my bestfriend. Along with my sister Emily, my father Pete Polachek left behind a beautiful art collection that I plan on showcasing this coming spring 2010 in the stockade. I will post the date and location early next year. Thank you all! Very soon I plan on posting a date. thank you, Tiffany Brace

    • Tiffany, you are most welcome. Thank you for taking the time to leave your comment. I’m looking forward to seeing the art collection. My very best wishes to you and your family.

  6. Peter was a great man,person,n friend.I was looking 4 him 2 say hello.That i was getting closer 2 schenectady.I am saddend to find out about his death.I no its late but i just found out on my b-day 9-27-11.God bless u Tiffany n u r family. I remember u when u was younger.Be blessed in all that u do 4 peter is still checking everything out!Hallejuah hollerbac

  7. Grandpa was very humoros mommy !

    • Dont be sad its better to laugh than cry ;)

      • Thanks for visiting, Azaria. Your grandfather made many friends here in the Stockade.

    • Praise the Lord!~Perter took great pictures himself i will always remember that picture of johhny doing his thing if u know u know!

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