In life’s relationships, success or failure often hinges upon critical first impressions. The people of Alba took no chances when they sent their first ambassador to Medford. They chose a well spoken young university graduate who already had a great appreciation of American culture. On August 1, 1962, five days after the historical Telstar phone call between the mayors of Medford and Alba, Giuseppe “Pino” Dutto arrived in Medford after a five day bus trip from Washington, D.C., Medford’s first face to face contact with our sister city. In spite of “bus lag” Pino immediately captivated the community with his charm and gracious appreciation of the hospitality he received. His stay in Medford built the foundation of the wonderful network of personal and family friendships that we enjoy today.
Pino Meets Angus Bowmer Founder of the
Oregon Shakespeare Festival
Pino Welcomed to City Hall by Mayor John
Snider and his Secretary Dorothy Snedden
Pino Arrives at the Greyhound Depot in Medford
August 1, 1962
For a number of years after his first visit to Medford, Pino worked for the International Monetary Fund in Washington D.C. He traveled all over central and south America and frequently managed to arrange a travel itinerary that included a stop in Medford. Pino has been in Medford on sixteen occasions. After his IMF service, he returned to Italy where he was an executive with Olivetti for over twenty years. After the fall of the Soviet Union he joined a team of economists who assisted Russia other former Soviet states in making the transition from communism to capitalism. He lectured as a professor at the University of Turin where his students were often young Americans. He has been involved is establishing university programs in former soviet bloc countries and frequently travels throughout central and eastern Europe.
Medford Mayor John Snider was an excellent judge of character and, even though he was not able to host Pino that first year, he determined that Pino was indeed a very special person. Upon learning that Pino had lost his father at a very early age, Snider decided that Pino would be part of his family. Mayor Snider traveled to Alba and took the place of Pino’s father at his wedding. For more than fifty-two years Pino has not only been a great friend of Medford but an important part of the Snider family. When John Snider’s son Doug was in Alba for an extended stay in 1972, Pino went out of his way to ensure that his experience was as special as it was. Pino’s mother was for several months Snider’s Italian "mother", cooking wonderful meals and tactfully reminding him to write home to his parents in Medford. Both of Pino’s two sons and his daughter have visited Medford. His younger son Giovanni has made two trips and spent three months in Medford in 2001 learning American business practices and improving his already excellent English.
Pino with John Snider in Governor Mark Hatfield's Office
Pino has always opened his home to visitors from Medford in the gracious manner that is so typical of the Albesi. Most recently he hosted John Snider’s grandson Sean who was in Alba for several months teaching in Alba’s Liceo Scientifico. Pino’s hospitality has been made even more attractive by the excellent cuisine provided by his cousin Dina whose recipes and culinary artistry rival the great restaurants of Alba and the Langhe.
Pino with his Mother and Son Giovanni
In addition to his kindness and generosity Pino offers his American visitors his unique and well traveled perspective on the world. Italians tend to travel much more than most Americans but few have as many stamps in their passport as Pino. If there is a place Pino has not visited, it is probably not worth the trip. In many ways Pino has a greater appreciation of the United Sates than most Americans. His English is beyond excellent and his grasp of the nuances of American culture make him uniquely qualified to bring sister citizens together. Having a sister city is a learning experience and having a cosmopolitan teacher like Pino should count for university credit in economics, geopolitics, history and many other subjects. Perhaps the subject he knows and teaches best is friendship.
Pino with Sean Snider on Via John Snider