Hope Floats… all the way to Alaska!

by Joyce Sood, Communications Manager

About a year ago, I had the great fortune of vacationing in Alaska. My fiance and I spent time backpacking in Denali, then rented a car and drove down to Seward. Along the way we stopped in a little town called Hope, population 137.

In this quaint, picturesque town, there is one Main Street where two “tourist spots” reside: The Seaview Cafe & Bar and Sourdough Dru’s Gold & Gifts shop.

We ventured into Dru’s and were greeted by the friendly owner with the namesake. Upon learning that we were from San Francisco, he told us that he had something special to show us, and pulled out a big box. In this box, was his personal collection of pro-Obama tschotskes. Mind you, we were in Alaska, Palin country — here, these trinkets were as good as gold!

After sharing a conspiratorial few laughs, Dru told us that he had been to San Francisco once, in the early 1980’s when he was in his early 20’s. (And with absolutely no prompting whatsoever…) He told us that while he was there he  remembered going to a church!

Dru said at this church, there was an African-American preacher who gave a sermon that he never forgot. To the full congregation, he asked “Do you think I want to be remembered for being the best preacher there ever was?”

The crowd roared “No.”

“Do you think I want be remembered as the best father or husband or son?”

(Heads shook from left to right.)

“Well, what do you think I want to be remembered for?”

(Silence.)

“I want to be remembered for being the most human.”

Dru shared this story with the type of passion and sincerity that one takes on when they are describing something truly inspiring, something life-changing.

Right away, I knew the church he was talking about was GLIDE. And, the preacher, Reverend Cecil Williams.

Here we were, 2000 miles from San Francisco… and GLIDE had found its way to Hope!

(View from Polychrome Mountains, Denali National Park)

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2 comments on “Hope Floats… all the way to Alaska!
  1. Janet Thomas says:

    FYI – The town you visited was “SEWARD”

  2. glidesf says:

    Hi Janet,
    We were in Hope, Alaska about 70 miles North of Seward. It’s a super small town, very easy to miss.
    About Hope: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hope,_Alaska
    We did end up in Seward eventually 🙂

    Cheers,
    Joyce

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A Tenderloin rooftop becomes a child's obstacle course during playtime @glidefycc ❤️🤸🏽‍♂️ original photo credit: @alainmclaughlin #GLIDEkids #affordablechildcare #youthdevelopment Where in the world is @thevernonbush? At #GLIDEChurch, singing and dancing in the aisles is always part of the Celebration! .
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#WokeUpBlessed #sundaycelebration #GLIDEensemble #gospelmusic #SundayMorning with the #GLIDEEnsemble & @thevernonbush! .
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#WokeUpBlessed #gospelmusic #sundaycelebration #GLIDEChurch Artist Kate Haug talks about her #SummerOfLove poster series for SF's bus shelters--and one very hip poster in particular, featuring Janice Mirikitani & Rev. Cecil Williams! Read more about her project:
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glidesf.wordpress.com/2017/07/07/bus-stop-in-the-name-of-love/
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#SFhistory #groovy #JoanBaez #BobbySeale
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Cecil Williams and Janice Mirikitani, Summer of Love Trading Cards
Kate Haug/Ivan Urania 2017
Original Photo: The Glide Foundation

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