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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Do you care about building community and advancing social justice in San Francisco? Are you searching for ways to serve and advocate for our city's most vulnerable people? The GLIDE Legacy Committee is recruiting new members through November 3! .
Join a group of motivated young professionals who are committed to GLIDE's mission to create a radically inclusive, just and loving community mobilized to alleviate suffering and break the cycles of poverty and marginalization. To apply or request more info, please send your resume and a statement of interest to Moses Ike and Kevin Pong via youngprofessionals@glide.org .
We look forward to hearing from you! #unconditionallove #community @glidesflegacy @wyattmm @brentongieser @amygardner9 @lauranthom @like_theres_no_tamara @krayjay_ @msemmyhelene @sublimerubbish @alissagrier @just_faffing @sldowd Check our homepage for a message of hope and recovery from GLIDE's leadership team. Link in profile. #northbayfires #recovery #disasterrelief #wednesdaywisdom TOMORROW, 2:00 pm, Freedom Hall: Join the GLIDE community for a free performance by Golden Thread Productions of "Oh My Sweet Land." Check out our interview with the director, Torange Yeghiazarian, to learn about this moving and timely story and why she chose GLIDE as a venue (link in profile)! Following the performance, there will be home-cooked Syrian food and community conversation. All are welcome! 
#sftheatre #bayareaarts #realtalk #community #discussion #syrianconflict #middleeast #refugeecrisis @cuttingball @zendesk @tndcsf @stanthonysf @projectopenhand @counterpulse @odcikin Did you know that October is #domesticviolenceawarenessmonth? Stay tuned for news on how GLIDE recognizes and addresses this important issue. #repost from @anewyearsrevolution  #takeastand

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