My full name is Thomas Reed Dieffenbach, most students just called me “Dief.” The 2P on my license plate stands for Power County where I live in American Falls, Idaho. I am married to Linda. We have been married for 28 years.
I have three grown children: Cody, Hillary and Max. Cody and Hillary live in Bellevue Idaho and Max lives near Tacoma, Washington.
When I was about 5 years old the family moved from the east to Lake Oswego Oregon where we stayed until I was in 10th grade. Then my father was transferred back east again and we lived in Delaware and Pennsylvania. Following graduation from Kennett Square High School in 1971, I followed my father’s footsteps and went to the University of Maine, graduating with a BS degree in Botany in 1975. It was at the U of M that I started started down the dark path of playing Rugby. I sometimes wonder what would have happened if I had chose Lacrosse.
I came to Idaho in 1977 and started working on a MS degree at Idaho State University in Natural History. While completing this degree I also picked up a teaching certification (never thinking I would really use it). A rugby buddy told me that they were looking for a science teacher in American Falls, said “you ought to interview just for the experience.” They were either very desperate or somehow I impressed them enough that they offered a me a job. And the rest was history…. I taught Biology, Astronomy, and Anatomy for 34 years at American Falls High School, home of the Beavers.
I started rafting and kayaking with some other rugby friends sometime in the 1980’s and did a Main Salmon kayak trip where I met the infamous Jerry Myers of Silver Cloud. He either needed someone to slice onions or a tall volleyball player because he offered to put me through the required training trips to become a real guide. My first guided trips may have begun in 1990 or 1991, so I could have 28 years on the river! You would think I would know it better.
I retired in 2014. I miss my classroom, students, and some teachers and other staff. I don’t miss any administrators or meetings (I bet you hear that from your Dad).
I like to telemark ski and ride my bike when I am not on the river. Maybe this year I will get back into my kayak. I like to read too. Maybe one day I will visit Germany and sail the Pacific.