Dianne’s association with the St. Francis Dam began before she was born. Her grandparents, 2 aunts and her mother visited the dam 2 days before it ruptured. After the dam broke, they visited the site again to view the destruction in the canyon, and of the dam site. Her mother was 6 years old. When Dianne was 6, her mother took her to visit the dam site, and told her stories about the family’s 2 visits to the dam site. When Dr. Alan Pollack approached her to work on the legislation to make the dam site a National Memorial and Monument, it was the memories of her family’s visit to the dam, and the vivid impressions of the aftermath that convinced her to pursue the legislation.
Dianne’s background in land legislation was just what was needed to put forth the bill, to lobby for it and to push it through a less than enthusiastic congress. It was passed 91 years to the day of the failure.
Dianne loves to travel and has visited 75 countries, and speaks 5 languages. She attended La Universidad de Salamanca in Spain, and U.C.L.A to study Spanish and Mandarin Chinese. She attended U.S.C. to study Biology, and C.O.C. to study Intensive French and German. She has made 26 trips to Africa, and boasts a tiny bit of Swahili.
Many of Dianne’s trips abroad have included climbing a mountain or two. She is proud of her 2003 climb of Mt. Everest from Tibet. She has also climbed Cho Oyu, Yufuin, Mt. Fuji, Mt. Everest again from Nepal (and only to Kala Pattar-18,700 ft), “The Snake”, Kilimanjaro and the Inca Trail.
Her mother introduced her to Classical music at a young age, and Dianne fell in love with Beethoven, Mozart and most of all Antonin Dvorak, who is her great-great grandfather. On a trip to the Czech Republic, Dianne was able to visit the Church where Dvorak played the organ every Sunday, and sit on his bench. She also visited his homes that are now museums, and his grand grave site.
It is now Dianne’s mission to raise the funds to create a magnificent visitor’s center for the St. Francis Dam disaster, to honor those who lost their lives, and to remember those who miraculously survived.
Dianne is married and has one daughter, Christina, who is the love of her life.