Stan Ellsworth, sporting long hair and leathers, appears to be a rather unlikely patriot. Over 6 feet tall, pushing 300 pounds and straddling a Harley Davidson, he looks and sounds more like a bad-news biker than a loyal flag-waver.
But, as is often the case, looks can be deceiving.
This larger-than-life, motorcycle-riding teacher turned actor has a passion for American history and a love for this country that would put a presidential candidate to shame.
Ellsworth is the host and creator of BYUtv’s popular history series, “American Ride,” and was in Box Elder County, specifically the Golden Spike National Historic Site, Saturday to film the beginning segments of the program’s fourth season, “The American West.”
“It will be the transcontinental railroad story,” he said of the shoot, “not just the driving of the golden spike, although that was a great day. But a lot went into that whole adventure. We’ll tell the stories of (Thomas) Durant and (Leland) Stanford; talk about the Chinese and Irish laborers.”
Storytelling is Ellsworth’s forte and when the stories are about America’s past and its effects on the future, he is eager and amply suited to share it with his audience.
His knowledge and love of that history is a product of his upbringing. Although he was born in Salt Lake City, (in the LDS Hospital, next to my mother,”) he was raised in the eastern part of the country, the birthplace of the very history he delights in revisiting on “American Ride.”
For more on this story pick up a copy of this week’s Leader.