|Albers is Border Days grand marshal
By Lorie PalmerThis year’s Border Days grand marshal is one who will be familiar to many county residents: Dennis Albers of Grangeville will serve as the 2021 Border Days marshal.
Idaho County Free Press
Albers has a long history with Border Days, having spent 30 years on the committee, where he served in a variety of capacities, including as president for 1995-96.
Albers was born in Cottonwood and raised outside of Nezperce on a dairy farm until he was 7.
“It was a grade A dairy, and we hauled milk to Orofino,” he recalled, adding he always felt the worst businesses were “a motel-bar combo or a dairy — because you can basically never leave.”
At the age of 6, his father died and when his mother, Lois, remarried (Dick Rivers), they moved to Lewiston where the Rivers’ ran the Hells Canyon river mail route from 1958-1984.
“They had four boats in all, two jet boats and two prop boats, for the mail and tourist river trips, so I grew up on the Snake River,” he said. During time off from school, he worked as a deck hand and cook, and whatever else needed done at the family business. His parents eventually sold the business to Beamers.
He graduated from Lewiston High School, where he met his bride, Margaret. They have now been married for 51 years.
“We got married in Lewiston on a 108-degree day in a church where there was no air conditioning. I think it was the shortest Catholic wedding on record — eight minutes,” he laughed.
Oddly enough, on the couple’s one-year-anniversary, celebrated where they were living on the family ranch near Nezperce, it was 108 degrees again.
“Too hot,” he shook his head.
Albers attended the University of Idaho, majoring in chemistry, originally planning to go into the mining industry.
“Unfortunately, at about that time, the bottom was falling out of mining in Idaho, and I didn’t want to leave the state,” he said.
He did utilize his chemistry degree when he worked two summers at Potlatch Forest Industries (now Clearwater Paper Mill) in Lewiston.
He made the decision to go and attend law school, and upon graduation, worked for attorney Paul Keeton for a year.
“I learned a lot — it was a great experience,” he said.
He heard the county prosecutor job was opening up in Grangeville and was ready to make the move for that position when plans changed, and Grangeville attorney Bill Taylor remained as prosecuting attorney. However, he accepted the title of deputy prosecuting attorney, and he, Margaret and their 1-year-old daughter, Kimberly, made the move to Grangeville in 1973. Their family would later be joined by son, Matthew.
“Grangeville is a wonderful place to raise a family,” Albers stated. “Especially when you can hunt out your back door.”
He was deputy prosecutor for three years, then was elected to four two-year terms as prosecutor.
“I tried the first Lankford case, in 1984, as well as the retrial in Wallace in 2008,” he said of the well-known case where brothers Bryan and Mark Lankford were accused of killing a Texas couple camping in Idaho County.
He became the Grangeville city attorney, a position he held for 35 years, and throughout the years also served as city attorney for Kamiah, Stites, Riggins and Reubens and also as counsel for the Grangeville Highway District.
In 1976, he and Margaret opened Idaho County Title Company, where Margaret (who had a degree in history from the U of I with a minor in geology) worked and then later managed. They sold the business to Paul Eimers in 2005. All the while, Albers also ran his own civil practice. He did another stint as deputy prosecutor from 2008-12.
Throughout his life, Albers has been an avid horseman.
“My dad had been a pro roper for a little while, and we always had horses,” he said. “I’ve been on a horse most of my life.”
He and his family have spent years pleasure riding horses and mules, as well as hunting and trail riding in the backcountry and throughout Idaho County and the region.
Joining the Border Days committee all those years ago was pretty much a given.
“I thought about, with my skill set, where I could fit into the community and serve, and the Border Days committee seemed like kind of a natural place,” he said.
Albers also served as the Grangeville Arts, Inc., president and on the board for a number of years, and said he was able to bring that expertise to the Border Days committee.
During his tenure, the committee built the stage at the Border Days Arena and also brought in several years of big-name entertainment.
“I’m proud of that,” he said. “It was very successful, and the stage is well-used,” he said.
During rodeos for a number of years, one of Albers’ jobs was to take scores and hold them up on a slate for the announcer.
“There was just enough danger and adrenaline to make it fun,” he laughed.
He admitted picking up benches post-Border Days was his least favorite job.
“No one likes that bit of necessary cleanup,” he shook his head.
Not only did he ride a horse in the parades for years, but he also brought in his own horses for other committee members to ride.
In addition, his daughter, Kim, was a Border Days royalty princess in the 1990s. He’s even had grandsons ride in the parade, so the annual event has spanned generations for him.
Kim Albers and her husband, Rick Siavrakas, are both employed by the Veterans Administration and live in Salt Lake City with their 12-year-old son. Matthew Albers and wife Christina Michel-Albers live in Sacramento where he is a construction manager, and she is a speech-language pathologist. They have two sons who are 18 and 15. The families regularly attend Border Days and enjoy many activities, including the rodeos, egg toss and parades.
For this special year, Albers will be seeking a “bullet proof” horse.
“I’ve had two hip replacements and have metal parts,” he patted his left hip. “I’m good, but I should be careful — according to my doctor, anyway.”
The Albers enjoy traveling, visiting their kids and grandsons, and hunting.
“Border Days is a great time, and I’m honored to be grand marshal,” Albers said. “The whole family is looking forward to it.”