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L'Estate di Bellezza (A Beautiful Summer)

The summer of 2013 has been very good for our gemellaggio. There have been several visits between Medford and Alba and the students from Alba have just arrived in Medford for a two week student exchange. In May and June Doug Snider made his sixth visit to Alba, staying for sixteen days. Sister City board chairman Brent Barry made his inaugural visit to Alba and spent six days in our sister city.

The highlight of the summer was undoubtedly the visit of Biancrosa Casavecchia (Demaria) and Giorgio Sordo to Medford in August. Joined by Giorgio’s daughter Erika Sordo and her friend Alessia Sorba, the visitors did much to broaden and strengthen the ties that bind our two cities. Photos

This was Giorgio’s seventh time in Medford. For Biancarosa it was her third trip and a very special occasion, the fiftieth anniversary of her late husband Enrico Demaria’s pioneering visit to Medford in August of 1963. The City of Medford and the many friends of Alba in Medford made the celebration memorable and emotional.

 On August 8, the City unveiled a newly installed plaque at the base of a tree that was planted in Enrico’s memory.  Biancarosa expressed her appreciation and that of her family with this beautiful and heartfelt statement: 

“I am not used to making speeches and you must excuse me for my emotion and for my not speaking your language. It is very difficult to excess our sentiments in words but, believe me, to be here in Medford with all of you to remember dear Enrico is truly a great emotion.

Enrico, from the first day that he arrived in Medford, exactly the 5th of August, 1963, became quickly attached to your city and to all the people that he had the occasion to know. Every two days I would receive his letter. He was always happy to be in this city and to have many beautiful encounters. He remembered often these places and spoke always of you all with much joy.

We married the year after his visit and he always said that as soon as we could, he would like to return to Medford with me. We came in 1969 and it was an unforgettable journey. Enrico promised his dear friend John Snider that the next time it would be with the whole family. Sadly in 1980 he left us. But, remembering his wish and the great joy we had with John and all of his marvelous family, we returned; Nicoletta, Paolo and I in 1984.
We planted this beautiful tree. I remember always the beautiful words spoken by Doug Snider in his address: “This tree will flower as beautiful as the smile of Enrico”.

Thank you so much for your affection and especially for your great and sincere friendship with our city. I am of Alba for three generations and therefore am very fond of my city and therefore also of Medford.

Many thanks for what I am experiencing in these days and I am very convinced that in this moment John, Enrico and other persons in heaven are watching us and thanking you all for this beautiful and emotional event. Thanks also in the name of my children, Nicoletta and Paolo. We love you. Ciao, Enrico.”

The groundwork that Enrico had laid as Alba’s second ambassador to Medford helped build one of the most successful sister and enduring sister city programs in existence.  The City of Medford has honored that special relationship with the dedication of two pathways in Alba Park to the two mayors who had done so much to bring Medford and Alba together, Mayor Osvaldo Cagnasso of Alba and Mayor John Snider of Medford.  During this special week of remembrance, the City of Medford also unveiled the new street light banners that recognize the special link between our two cities. The message is clear. Medford loves Alba.