This oral history interview with Clement M. Risberg was conducted by Linda Watkins at Risberg's home in Sherwood, Oregon, from August 26 to October 13, 1993. The interview was conducted in three sessions. In the first session, Risberg's cousin, Erik Åkerberg, was also present and frequently contributed to the interview.
In the first interview session, conducted on August 26, 1993, Åkerberg discusses the Risberg family background and his early life in Sweden in the early 20th century. Risberg talks about the reasons his parents immigrated to the United States.
In the second interview session, conducted on October 12, 1993, Risberg discusses his father's journey from Sweden to Portland, Oregon, in the early 20th century. He talks about his parents' marriage, and his early life in the Sellwood neighborhood of Portland, including his recreational activities, his family life and vacations, and his education. He also briefly talks about his service in the Oregon National Guard. He describes the various jobs he held after dropping out of high school, talks about cars and motorcycles he owned, and discusses his marriage to and divorce from Lucille Foster. He talks about working at Vandekamp's Bakery at the time it was bought out by Fred Meyer, Inc., and describes how that led to his starting a trucking business, Risberg Truck Service. He discusses working with Fred Meyer, Inc., and speaks about trucking logistics and innovations he instituted to streamline the shipment of goods. He talks about his marriage to Virginia Emma Karther, as well as how World War II affected his business.
In the third and final interview session, conducted on October 13, 1993, Risberg continues discussing his marriage to Virginia Emma Karther, their social life, and raising a family. He talks about expanding his trucking business to include truck rentals, warehouses, and distribution; buying out other trucking companies; and expanding the company to encompass all of Western Oregon. He speaks about his children, their families, and their careers. He also talks about his horse riding hobby. He then returns to the topic of expanding and running his trucking business, until its sale in 1978. He speaks about other businesses he started, including Commercial Employers Inc. and Risberg Investment, and talks about his continued involvement with Risberg Truck Service, Inc. He then talks about his marriage to Mary Courtney James. He discusses selling off his trucking contracts and businesses in the 1980s and 1990s; describes changes in the trucking industry since he began in 1934; and shares his thoughts about the future of trucking. He talks about his family life and activities at the time of the interview in 1993; reflects on his accomplishments and regrets; and talks about his health and hopes for the future. He closes the interview by talking about Mary Risberg's children and grandchildren.
Risberg, Clement M. (Clement Magnus), 1911-1996