SMETHPORT — Kenneth J. Serfass, a retired gunnery sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps and a first-person impressionist of his childhood hero, Gen. Ulysses Grant, presented a program sponsored by the Smethport American Legion and held Monday at the Hamlin Memorial Library.
His program about Grant’s life concluded with the year 1866, prior to his two-terms as president.
Serfass is a former Civil War re-enactor. With nearly 50 years of studying Grant, he now works full-time as a professional historian portraying the general, presenting between 11 and as many as 23 appearances each month between February and November annually in his work season.
Serfass has spoken on Grant’s Vicksburg campaign to the Gettysburg Licensed Battlefield Guide Association to develop broader Civil War study among their guides. He is the only Grant impressionist to present his own topical programs at the General Grant National Monument in New York City, presenting first person public interactive addresses as Grant and also as president and has developed Junior Ranger programs for NPS, bringing America’s youth closer to history.
Serfass is a native of Bethlehem. He joined the Marines in 1984, and his final tour was with the 1st Marine Division Band during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He retired from the Marines in 2004 to become a music teacher.