In this oral history, Chau and Tim Leatherman interview together. Chau, born and raised in Vietnam, first came to the United States for her graduate degree, which she obtained from Portland State University. Tim, her husband, was born in Portland and is a 5th generation Oregonian. They met at PSU in 1969 and returned to Vietnam in 1972, where they eventually married. In 1975, right before the fall of Saigon, they were able to evacuate Chau’s family and come back to Portland. Once back in the United States, Chau worked for the Corps of Engineers, as well as the Children Services Division, while Tim developed the Leatherman tool brand. At the time of this interview, they have been together for forty-eight years, and continue to reside in Portland.

They begin this oral history interview by recalling their childhoods. Chau shares memories of growing up in Hanoi and Saigon, and Tim talks about his experience growing up in Portland. Chau then shares what it was like coming to the United States for graduate school, attending Portland State University, and living in downtown Portland. After recalling how they met playing table tennis at PSU, Chau and Tim talk about their early relationship, returning to Vietnam due to the conditions of Chau’s scholarship, and getting married. They then discuss their experiences living in Vietnam until 1975; at that point, they began to make plans to leave the country, and were able to evacuate all twelve of Chau’s family members back to Portland, Oregon. Chau describes the adjustments her family had to make, as well as how the Vietnamese community started to come together. Both talk about the jobs they found in Portland, such as Chau’s work with the Corps of Engineers and Children Services Division up until the birth of their son, and Tim’s work in inventing and marketing the Leatherman tool. They also discuss the experience of raising a child in Portland as well as what it was like returning to visit Vietnam more recently. At the end of the interview, Chau and Tim reflect on their relationship and the many obstacles they have overcome in their lives.