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?”


“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 🙂


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GLIDE Instagram
#BryanStevenson and Rev. Cecil Williams came together last night at the @jccsf. These two people know very well the "power of proximity," having dedicated their lives to working for and with some of the most disenfranchised individuals and communities in our country. Despite the pain of violence and injustice, they stress the importance of staying #hopeful and loving. "It is the broken among us that know and appreciate the power of compassion."--Bryan Stevenson @eji_org @artsjccsf @supersoul @nyulaw @glidesflegacy @harvardlaw @randomhouse #justmercy #unconditionallove Maya Angelou and Isabel Allende join a Sunday Celebration at GLIDE in January 1996. Check out the 2nd installment of our #womenshistorymonth blog series (link in profile) to learn about some of the amazing #WomenOfGLIDE who keep this place runnin' and thrivin'! @glidesflegacy #mayaangelou @allendeisabel @oprahmagazine @sfchronicle @tenderloinmuseum GLIDE on the Move: A Sacramento Day of Action! Click the link in our profile to learn more about why GLIDE supports #SB54, "The California Values Act"! #nobannowall #sanctuary #nomassdeportations @feliciahorowitz @michaelfranti @msmichellearce @ninjagaiden78 @wholefoodssanfrancisco @zendesk @mglide @amygardner9 @glidesflegacy @bewhatspossible @tndcsf @codetenderloin @tenderloinmuseum @laurenbennettsmith The SF Board of Supervisors Rocks! GLIDE sends a special shout-out to the SF Board of Supervisors President, @londonbreed, and our District 6 Supervisor, @supejanekim, for their swift response to our call to help. When a water pressure problem threatened GLIDE's ability to serve the 2000 meals needed daily by our community, these stellar Supervisors got the problem fixed overnight! Much love and gratitude to the SF Board of Supervisors for being great partners in serving our communities! #localgov #publicservice

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