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Frank Guinta: The definition of a real man
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The true measure of a man is not on how much wealth he amasses.

Nor is it on whether he attains the proverbial 15 minutes of fame.

It is based on how he lives his life day in and day out.

And when you apply that measuring stick to Frank Guinta you get what counts - honesty, integrity, hardworking, generosity, dedication, and loyalty. There is also one other thing you get from Frank - the willingness to help shape the lives of young people over the years and steer them down the right path.

Frank is a businessman. Actually, he is more than that. He is the epitome of good, old-fashioned American entrepreneurship. Shortcuts and passing the buck aren’t his forte. Nor is quick profits at the expense of others.

At one time Frank was Manteca’s Mr. Gasoline with ownership of six gas stations where he not only provided the lowest priced fuel in town day in and day out but he willingly hired teens when most others wouldn’t. His philosophy is simple. The only way a teen is going to learn the value of hard work is to give them a chance. 

Frank also had a restaurant one time known as Frank’s Family Dining on North Main Street. When it started to go south and the bills piled up, he was advised to file bankruptcy. Frank would hear nothing of it. He figured those who loaned him money or extended him credit made a commitment to him and that he needed to honor that trust. It took awhile but he paid them all back.

Frank is now known for Chez Shari’s and the snack bar at the Manteca Golf Course. He is actually the third operator of the restaurant. The first two ripped off the city to the tune of over $100,000. One by pocketing money that was supposed to go to improvements and the other by amassing bills in excess of $30,000 and leaving the city holding the bag.

Frank stepped up. Not only did he put out good food at honest prices but he also more than lived up to his commitment to the city. It’s been tough of late thanks to the economy but Frank won’t stray from his principles.

Frank also gives what he can and then more to the community. In proportion to what he grosses and nets, Frank is hundreds times more generous than  the big guys who trade on Wall Street and make a big deal out of contributions to non-profits they make. Besides giving more in terms of percentage of his income he also does it without beating his own drum.

Equally as impressive as his 45 years as a businessman is the 30-plus years he gave of his time to coach football, baseball, and basketball at the youth and high school levels. And it was more than just coach. Talk to some of his former athletes and they will to the person tell you that Frank had an immeasurable impact on their lives.

Typical are the following comments:

• “Frank taught his players about the basics of life. He also ‘coached’ parents who wanted so much for their children, but who needed to understand there was ‘life after sports’.” - Mick Founts, former player and San Joaquin Superintendent of Schools.

• “Frank did a lot more than just coach the team the game of baseball. He developed men. He taught us to be good citizens of the community by taking the team to restaurants and the races and demanding the team act responsibly and respectively.”
- Dan Cunial, Sierra High teacher/coach and former player

• "He gave my son his first job and taught him a lot about responsibilities. I know of many other young men who Frank has helped besides my son. I see many of the young athletes we have coached in years past. They all speak very highly of Frank.” - Larry Shimel, Big Valley Christian High head football coach who had Frank as an assistant at Modesto Christian High.

• "He instills positive characteristics, a work ethic, loyalty, and generosity to the lives he touches.”
- Greg Leland, Sierra High vice principal and former player.

• "I was severely injured in the line of duty, almost lost my life to a major surgery, I have been beat up, broke down, broke to my last penny, I walk funny, I am old and I have buried a son before he could bury me but here I stand. I am in love. I am successful, I am a mentor to some, I am a friend to others, I am a coach, I am a cop, I am happy, I have a beautiful family and I am still his friend to this day. All of this because he taught me character and discipline, love and compassion, self-worth and family.”
- Jim Anderson, former player.

Come next Saturday, May 12, Frank will be recognized for the life he has led. He is being inducted into the Manteca Hall of Fame. Tickets to the dinner are $45 and must be purchased by 5 p.m. this Monday. Tickets are available at the Boys & Girls Club, 545 W. Alameda St., or by calling 239-KIDS.

This column is the opinion of managing editor, Dennis Wyatt, and does not necessarily represent the opinion of The Bulletin or Morris Newspaper Corp. of CA.  He can be contacted at or 209-249-3519.