I've known David Glidden my whole life. In the summers before my family moved year round to Nantucket in 1977 - I would walk from my grandmother's house on Cliff Road to Glidden's Island's Seafoods on Broad Street (which we just called "Glidden's) and buy 25 cents worth of squid to go fish on Straight Wharf with. David would get my squid - wrap it up in paper - and send me on my way. I got to know David better working summers at Young's Bicycle Shop as the repair shop windows offered a front row seat to the workings of the fish market and David would often be out back lugging fish totes around and occasionally engaging in hilarious arguments with his father Walter.
To be honest, David could be a bit odd and was something of an acquired taste. But only in the sense of being one of our Nantucket "treasures" in the vein of many of the "characters" we've lost over the years - and now miss greatly. Once you got to know David - you appreciated his kindness, his thoughtfulness, his intellect, his honesty and his sense of humor. Seeing David smile and laugh is the way I choose to remember him.
In 2006 I started doing triathlons and I would occasionally be in Glidden's - it having moved out of town - and David would ask about seeing me riding around on my bike or running and ask what I was training for. I always encouraged him to get out and do something - that it was important to challenge yourself, that you should try and dig deep and find something in yourself that you didn't know was there. This must have struck a chord with David because imagine my surprise when one day there was David at the weekly Brant Point Runners 5K huffing and puffing through the course.
Since that time - David became a "regular" at BPR and I always gauged his fitness and racing progress by where I would pass him on the course. Until the day that he was ahead of me and I couldn't catch him. I often told him how proud I was of his progress and improvement and always gave him an "attaboy Dave!" when I saw him running.
In 2009, I started the Nantucket Triathlon. As many may know, getting approvals and permits and working through the bumps and bruises of fitting such a large event into the small summer window was tough. David would see me every now and in his quiet way, offer his support, ask questions and offer his advice which was always on point, well thought-out and sound.
David did the triathlon every year and went on to do many other races both on and off-island. I always sought him out at the tri to offer him encouragement (before, during and after) and David always seemed so happy, smiling - exhausted but fulfilled - when he finished. I feel very, very lucky to have been part of getting David into becoming active and racing.
God bless you David. Heaven just gained a very inspirational person. We will miss you.
- Jamie Ranney