Frank Testa 8 mm film ; Testa Home Movie Collection: Christmas Day 1973
8mm film taken by Frank Testa. Film collected as part of the Italians of Colorado documentation project. The film was donated with permissions and accessioned into the History Colorado collection as part of the CIAPA archive.
Italians of Colorado project description:
In 2002, the Colorado Historical Society (now known as History Colorado) founded the Colorado Italian American Preservation Association (CIAPA). A volunteer organization, CIAPA’s mission is to work collaboratively with the Society and other organizations to develop, support and coordinate projects that preserve, promote and celebrate Italian American culture and heritage. Since 2002, CIAPA has carried out its mission by meeting with people from the Colorado Italian American community, recording their stories and creating an archive of research materials that includes oral histories, photographs, moving images, sound recordings and artifacts. To date, CIAPA has helped the Society acquire over 200 oral histories, 600 artifacts and nearly 6,000 photographs. Since 2002, CIAPA has developed over 4,000 research files, all of which document the history, culture and traditions of Italian American families in Colorado.
See MSS.02595 Frank and Ange Testa and Gerry Pergola files for additional information and images related to the film.
Film Type: 8mm
Film Date: 12/25/1973
Film Numbers (see Pergola index and History Colorado RFD #): R.33.2017.25; FT #39
Subjects on this film included: Xmas day 1973 at Frank & Ang Testa's.
This film is held in the moving image collection of History Colorado (R.33.2017). History Colorado holds the rights to this footage. The footage may not be reproduced or used in any form without permission from History Colorado. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org fro more information.
Notes about the Testa Films:
The Testa films cover activities of four Italian American families ( Testa, Leprino, Pergola, and Videtto) during the years 1949-1984.
Son of Italian immigrants and eldest of eleven children, Frank Testa (1914-1984) grew up in the North Denver Italian community where he attended Horace Mann Junior High School. In 1940 he married Angelina Leprino, eldest daughter of Sue and Mike Leprino. Frank worked as a tool and dye maker and later for the Samsonite Corporation owned by the Shwayder family, an employer of many Italian Americans.
Angelina was a marvelous cook with an entrepreneurial spirit which led to the launching of a family business, Frangi’s Raviolis ( from the names Frank and Angie) in 1950. The business grew rapidly selling a variety of products to supermarkets, first in the Denver area, and later throughout Colorado. Frank was the business manager while Angelina had charge of manufacturing their various products. Their daughter, Lynn Cheatham, joined the business in 1979.
While working full time the Testas somehow managed to find time to entertain and vacation with family and friends. Fortunately Frank recorded these times over 35 years: 1949-1984 with his 8 millimeter camera. These films serve as a visual record of how Italian Americans celebrated major holidays and special events in their lives. Frequent picnics show children’s activities and dress, automobile, etc. styles of the day. The films also provide a look at recreational areas in Colorado as these families went on road trips throughout the state, especially enjoying fishing opportunities along the way.
Family and holiday celebrations reflect traditions brought from Italy as well as the assimilation of established American customs. Hundreds of Italian American men, women and children joined the procession on St. Rocco’s Feast Day following behind the statue of Saint Rocco (and other Italian American organization banners) winding their way through the streets of north Denver and ending Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church on Navajo Street. Picnics in backyards or city parks showed the continued popularity of Bocce while children entertained themselves with foot races, egg toss, sack races, etc. The Potenza Lodge provided a place for banquets and special events as well as a gathering place for those with relatives originating in Potenza, Italy. Families always joined to celebrate baptisms, birthdays, and weddings. Christmas Eve celebrations often followed Italian traditions and involved the entire family as did Easter celebrations. The lack of commercialization of these festivities is especially noteworthy. People relied on their own resources for entertainment.
Common destinations for road trips included Idaho Springs, South Park, Lake city, Vail, etc. Often families stopped for several days to fish, hike, picnic, or just enjoy the scenery. Often a family dog accompanied them on hikes. On arriving back home, fish displayed in a backyard showed the success of the trip. A day trip might involve visiting the new Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.
Finally these films offer a view of customs and practices in America over a period of 35 years. While these four families reflect their Italian heritage, they were second generation Italians who also embraced American culture. This is evident by looking at prevailing styles of the day. It was the age of the very popular and functional station wagon (replaced now by minivans and SUVs) which they took on road trips. In the 1950s women generally wore dresses whether travelling or on picnics and certainly to parties…by the 1960s women started wearing pants and pantsuits. Hair styles also underwent change from the permed look to the more casual look. And smoking was the norm for men and women. These are but a few of the observations one gains by viewing Frank Testa’s homemade movies from 1949-1984
Birth: Dec. 19, 1914, USA
Death: Aug. 27, 1984
The Denver Post, Thursday, Aug. 30, 1984:
Frank M. Testa, Denver, Husband of Angelina Testa; Father of Lynette Cheatham; Father-in-law of Sam Cheatham; Brother of Christina LaGuardia, Regina Winter, Albert and Henry Testa all of Denver, Yolanda Mauro, El Paso, TX and George Testa, Seattle, WA; Brother-in-law of Vincent LaGuardia, Ernest Mauro, Louis and Nila Leprino, Marie and Jimmy Videtto, Mike and Joan Leprino and Jim and Donna Leprino; Grandfather of Leann Cheatham; Also survived by Numerous Nieces and Nephews. Committal Services and interment MOUNT OLIVET CEMETERY, Thursday 9:00 a.m. Friends who wish may make contributions to Colorado Heart Association, 4521 East Virginia Avenue, Denver 80222.
Fiore Testa (1884 - 1966)
Mary Testa (1890 - 1954)
Angelina Leprino Testa (1921 - 2017)*
Frank Mathew Testa (1914 - 1984)
Donald Testa (1931 - 1966)*
Mount Olivet Cemetery
Plot: Madonna Mausoleum Sec L-2 Tier D, Crypt 373
Created by: Michael Larsen
Record added: Jul 01, 2015
Find A Grave Memorial# 148522354
See the record for Mss.02595 for full project details including how the documentation project came to be and a complete list of materials in the collection including artifacts, archive files, photographs and oral histories collected during the project. Note: some of the footage from the Testa films was used in the Italians of Denver exhibit at History Colorado; this led to the donation of the films.