Author's Comments

It was that discussion with my More, Ruth Rens, about six years ago that got me to thinking about how we tend to lose our family histories and stories along the way because we don't often enough ask our elders to talk about themselves and their lives, Not only that, we almost never make a record of their memories when we are fortunate enough to get them talking, On this particular evening we were sitting around the table after dinner when Mom began to talk about the days when she and Dad were first married, She inevitably wandered into a sketchy monologue about Grandpa Rens and the hemp business and how she and Dad were involved in that, I was struck and saddened by the fact that this whole interesting area of the hemp business and the role that it played in the life of my parents and my grandparents and, therefore, my own life, was not in some way captured or documented, Indeed, it was nearly lost as I knew very little about it except for some early, insignificant memories; and my own children knew nothing, It was then that I became the self-appointed Rens Family Hemp Historian! This short book is, then, an effort to capture the history of the Matt Rens Hemp Company business and to preserve it for family records,

While a serious effort has been made to make this a factually accurate book, the reader should realize that the facts are all based on either newspaper articles, research bulletins, reference books, interviews, and personal recollections, These sources are listed at the back of the book, and they must share in the responsibility for the accuracy of this reconstructed history. However, regardless of the accuracy of some individual piece of data or name or fact, the book does present a generally accurate picture of the hemp business from 1914-1957. You are encouraged to enjoy it as a small but significant piece of Rens' family history.

                            Dennis Rens, February, 1995