When I heard the news that Tom Testa had died in May of 2011 it jolted me. At the time, I hadn’t seen or spoken to him for almost 40 years but that didn’t matter. We all have people in our lives who we absolutely enjoyed being with and even if we don’t get to see them for very long stretches of time we just take for granted that the next time we do it will be as if we never lost touch with each other. The friendship will pick up exactly where we left it off. That’s how I felt about Tom Testa. I knew I would run into him again some day and I knew when we did, we would hug each other, instantly catch up on each other’s lives and begin reminiscing and laughing about great times we shared together. As I read that damn obituary almost five years ago it was knowing that I’d waited too long to reconnect with my friend that truly saddened me.
Tom and I started school together at Guy Park Avenue Elementary in 1959 and we were classmates all the way through grade school, junior and senior high. He was a natural athlete, physically strong with great coordination and if kickball, dodgeball and snowball fights were Olympic competitions, Tommy Testa would have been Amsterdam’s Jim Thorpe.
In high school, Tom became the kicking specialist on two consecutive Amsterdam Rugged Ram Class A Football Championship teams in…
I’ve already started work on the second volume of “A Year’s Worth of Amsterdam Birthdays” and Tom’s complete story will be featured in it. I will be sharing the complete posts of some of the Volume II birthday celebrants in future issues of the Amsterdam Birthday Blog Newsletter. If you are not yet a newsletter subscriber, you can sign up for free here.
Tom shares his February 27th birthday with one of the greatest all-around athletes in Amsterdam High School history.