Our Littlest Ambassadors

Many people think they know George Guidera. A prominent attorney, former selectman and state legislator, tooling around in a red Corvette, Guidera is, at age sixty, one of Weston’s most highly visible residents. A family man who still lives in his childhood home, where he and his wife, the former Linda Anne Gmelch, raised their four children, Guidera appears every inch a major success story in the Italian-American community.

Guidera, however, has a point of difference: He came into this world as George Clarence Applebey. He was adopted at birth in 1942 by George and Janet Guidera. “I am what my parents and what this town have made me,” Guidera says modestly. “I grew up surrounded by relatives in Weston. That’s the Italian in me. If you don’t have a family, you don’t have anything. Money is nice. Fame is nice. But what good does it do to have the big house if you don’t have anybody to share it with?”

Guidera’s adoption is actually typical of his generation. Like many adoptive couples in the 1940s, Guidera’s parents looked no further than a local hospital for a baby in need of a home. Close-to-home adoptions were also the norm in the 1960s, when Westport resident Mary Grace Dembeck and her husband, John, adopted a daughter and son from Catholic agencies in Bridgeport and New York State. Today, this grandmother of six describes her life as “blessed.”

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