Last April I posted a story about how I came across an advertisement for a documentary film I was part of during the US Bicentennial in 1976 (https://johngtesta.wordpress.com/2012/04/22/strange-how-these-things-happen). The organization I have belonged to since 1969 is called The Brigade of the American Revolution. My unit is called the First New York Regiment. The Brigade has been used in countless such documentaries and films due to the absolute authenticity of the uniforms, accoutrements and depiction of the military of the time. Filmmakers know that by using our group they have the historical accuracy covered, as well as the cost savings of not having to produce all the uniforms that would be needed or training random actors.
This 3:47 minute clip is from the larger 1-hour documentary called “Don’t Tread on Me!” by producer Jack Ofield. For whatever reason, I suspect it was my young age, the director chose to focus on me during the filming. I had no idea this was happening and as I stated in my earlier post, I was surprised to see my photo used as on the promotional material for the film. To be able to finally see the finished product 36 years later brings back many fond memories. My family got a kick out of it too!
Most of this clip was filmed at The New Windsor Cantonment in New Windsor, New York, which is a NY State historic site and the location where Gen. George Washington disbanded the continental army in 1783 (http://nysparks.com/historic-sites/22/details.aspx).
Hope you enjoy the clip. Hint: Start paying close attention at the 2:02 mark!
Former District 1 County Legislator, John G. Testa is served five terms at the Westchester County Board of Legislators, spending the last 3 terms as BOL Minority Leader.
John G. Testa is a lifelong resident of Peekskill who first entered elected public service as a member of the Peekskill Common Council in 1998 and then served three terms as Mayor. He previously served on the Conservation and Parks Advisory Board and Zoning Board of Appeals. John became an elected official eager to improve the City in which his family has lived for more than a century and quickly earned a reputation as a strong, independent, nonpartisan voice for fiscal responsibility.
John received a BS degree in Technology from SUNY Oswego, where his academic achievements gained him induction into Epsilon Pi Tau, the International Honorary Fraternity of Technology. He earned his MS degree in Technology from the City College of New York. He began his teaching career in 1980 at Peekskill High School, his alma mater, as an instructor in Technology and Social Studies, retiring in 2013 after 33 years teaching.
John has been a leader in support for the Arts Community in Westchester. He presided over the construction of the Peekskill Art Lofts, the establishment of the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art, and the complete restoration of the Paramount Center for the Arts, originally a 1930’s movie house and helped bring critical funding to many Westchester programs. Legislator Testa received the “Advancing the Arts in Westchester Award” by ArtsWestchester.
John has a been a leader on environmental issues for two decades and has a long record of initiatives he has supported and spearheaded. His active involvement in developing and promoting environmentally friendly policies began as mayor and continued throughout his time as Westchester County Legislator. His efforts consistently earned John the endorsement of the NY League of Conservation Voters.
John’s most recognizable accomplishment has been his promotion and preservation of local history and historic landmarks, bringing an unprecedented focus on the region’s rich history, and its legacy of historic Victorian architecture. His roots in historical preservation stem from his experience as a Revolutionary War re-enactor and member of The Brigade of the American Revolution for 50 years.
John was instrumental in securing the preservation of the Lincoln Depot, now the Lincoln Depot Museum, where he now serves as President. The museum was recognized in 2015 as one of The Best Museums in Westchester. He also secured the preservation of historic Fort Hill as parkland, a 40-acre parcel that was originally a Revolutionary War encampment site. Under his leadership, the United States Dept. of the Interior declared Peekskill a “Preserve America Community.”
John was able to establish a record number of National Register designations of local structures, including the first Downtown and Neighborhood Historic Districts and supported the preservation of the historic Miller House in North White Plains. In 2017 John was named a “Champion of History” by the Lincoln Society in Peekskill.
John and his wife of 37 years, Nancy, live in Peekskill and have two adult children, John, Jr. (fiancé Courtney Kelly) and Katy (husband Mike Mearon). John and Nancy recently welcomed the arrival of their first grandchild, Lacey Mae, in 2019.