American Idols

February 17th, 2016 by prranch

American Idols mean many things to different people.  Some of us use athletes, movie stars, political figures, or singers from certain TV shows.  Others use role models in their life; teachers, mentors, and other adults close to them.  We are missing the people we should use as our idols; mothers, fathers, grandfathers, grandmothers, brothers, and sisters.

I was fortunate in my life to have two father figures who learned lessons from their fathers that they have passed down to me.

My American Idols


Les and Carol


Richard and Andrea









Both of my fathers taught me work ethic, believing in yourself, being willing to take chances to make a difference, teaching others, work hard and don’t accept handouts, find good friends, take care of your family, and don’t be afraid to ask questions if you don’t understand something.



This morning I lost my last grandpa.

Gpa Olsen

Grandpa Olsen and family

Looking back on the stories that he told and that my father passed down to me I see the same ideals.  From working hard on a farm, being willing to take a chance to get ahead in life even if the odds seem insurmountable, taking care of family members that need help and/or guidance, not watching the clock to see when the work day is complete but finishing the job that needs completed, playing hard (whether that was fishing in Alaska, hunting in Eastern Washington, or seeing the United States or the world), and always believing in what you do.

These lessons are the same that I learned from my other grandpas and my other father.  These are the true American Idols.  People who work hard, raise good families, and give the United States the strength it can show the world.  These American Idols don’t flaunt their money, take advantage of a system, speak poorly of others to get to the front of the line, or worry about what others are saying or doing.  They put their head down and go to work every day.  They start a grocery business where others say it can’t work and make it successful enough to pass on to their sons, they work on the B-52 during WWII and make sure that America can defend itself, they work in a small port that changed from a fishing port to a key port of entry from Canada and Alaska that specializes in building some of our best ships, they build bridges, monuments, and housing with the Civilian Conservation Corps that survive and are used to this day.

These are the American Idols that I look up to.  These are the men that shaped my fathers who in turn took the time and the energy to shape me.  These are the men that determined from a long time ago that I would be willing to step into my own small business and succeed by being able to repair, care for, transform, and put a special touch on a state historic site.  These are the men that taught me those skills through their sons.  These are the men that deserve to rest easy, enjoy whatever afterlife awaits each of us, watch the fruits of their labor pass on these ideals to their offspring and others that want to learn, and know that they did well for themselves and others.  These are my American Idols.

We celebrate our American Idols everyday at Pine River Ranch by following these ideals to make our guests comfortable at the B&B and to make our couples happy on their special wedding day as they celebrate the start of their families.  Please feel free to come stay a couple of nights and tell us a story of your American Idol.  Better yet, bring your family for a wedding celebration and start your story, with your American Idol, this summer or fall at Pine River Ranch.