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Snapshot: George Guidera

Published: November 4, 2016

The Newtown Bee
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Occupation: I’m a lawyer. I practiced law in Weston for about 40 years. I have been semiretired since 2013. I’m what you call a general practitioner; I do just about everything. I did criminal, civil trials, probate, divorce work, real estate, contracts of all kinds, and I enjoyed that.

I went to local schools down in Weston, then went off to Colgate University and Georgetown University Law School. Came back and wanted to practice in Weston, because I wanted to be a hometown lawyer. I was also always interested in government and politics. When I was 28, I ran for the State House of Representatives and got elected. Then ran three times for the State Senate and got elected to that. Then in 1978, I ran for Congress, and had the closest race in America that year, but lost. So, I thought I’m done with government and politics. Then about seven or eight years after, I ran for first selectman for Weston and got elected six times in a row.

Also, I have been on the Newtown Commission on Aging since January of 2016. Over the last year and a half before that I was on the Charter Revision Commission.

Family: I had terrific parents. I was adopted as a child. My mother had a sixth grade education and was very poor. My father was a brick layer and met her when he was working at a job. They got married and lived in the Bronx, then moved to Weston.

When I was going to Colgate, my wife, Linda, was going to Cazenovia Junior College, about 20 miles away. She was going out with the star of the Colgate football team. One of my fraternity brothers said, “My girlfriend is her roommate at Cazenovia” and I said “Oh, really?” So, he arranged a date, and it has been history since then. We have been married 51 years.

We have three daughters and a son. My eldest daughter, Karen Magee, lives in Weston and has three daughters. She and her husband own Peter’s Weston Market. My son, George Guidera, Jr, is the second oldest, and he has two sons. He lives in Redding. My third child is Barbara Guidera, she lives in Newtown. She has two daughters. My daughter Suzanne Guidera is an attorney and lives in Newtown.

Pets: I have a 3-year-old dachshund name Louie, and he is a sweetheart. He is so lovable.
How long have you lived in Newtown? I grew up in Weston and lived there for 71 years. I’m 74 now, so I have lived in Newtown for three years. I always liked Newtown. The people are very friendly.
What do you like to do in your free time? I love to go to historical places like the Adams Homestead and Mount Vernon in Virginia.

How long have you lived in Newtown? I grew up in Weston and lived there for 71 years. I’m 74 now, so I have lived in Newtown for three years. I always liked Newtown. The people are very friendly.

What do you like to do in your free time? I love to go to historical places like the Adams Homestead and Mount Vernon in Virginia.

Do you have a favorite author? Willa Cather. She wrote O Pioneers! and My Antonia.

Do you have a favorite travel destination? Arizona. My family and I have been river rafting at the Grand Canyon. It is absolutely spectacular.

What is the best thing about Newtown? Its people. Everywhere you go people are friendly and nice. When we moved here, one of my daughters said to me, “You are going to be driving down the street and people are going to be getting their mail, and they are going to wave to you.” And I said, “They aren’t going to do that.” Then two days later, I’m driving and there’s a woman down the street waving to me.

Who has been the greatest influence in your life? My mother. I would not have been adopted by my parents if it wasn’t for my mother. She was always encouraging, saying “You can do that” and “Don’t give up.” She could read me like a book. When I wasn’t having a good day I could deny it all I wanted to, but she would still know. My dad died when I was 13. He was killed by a drunk driver. She had to be mother and father to me. When I had children she was the best grandmother, the kids adored her.

If you could spend the day with anyone who would you choose? My dad, without a doubt. He missed seeing me graduate from college, law school, become a lawyer, and he never got to meet his grandchildren. He would have been thrilled that I was a state senator. He was a great, wonderful guy. Having my father’s twin brother, my Uncle John, was a help growing up as a kid. Although he wasn’t exactly my father, he looked like my father.

What is your favorite TV show? Miami Vice. It was cool.

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