Thanks are in order to those people who helped make this short book possible. A belated thank you to my mother, Ruth Rens. It was a discussion with Mom about six years ago that sparked the idea for this book. I only regret that I never found the time to put pen to paper until after she died. Perhaps she has read it anyway. A special thank you to Matt Rens' son, my Uncle Willard Rens. Most of the historical pictures included in the book come from Willard's files as do most of the newspaper articles and bulletins used in researching the history of the hemp industry. In addition, a 1940 film about the hemp production process that was produced by Willard was invaluable to understanding. Most important of all, Willard took the time to fill both sides of two audio tapes with his recollections of the hemp industry and its chronological history. Those tapes resulted in twenty pages of notes without which this book would not have been written. Thanks are also due to my Aunt Eleanor and Uncle John DeBoer for providing pictures, articles and insight and to the Reverend Harold Bossenbroek, a one-time hemp mill worker, for sharing materials and memories. Finally, a loving thank you is in order to Sandi, my unique and special wife, who somehow found it in her to accept and encourage a "young" husband to abandon the world of work and spend six weeks in relative seclusion at the lake while working on this project in between occasional lapses into poetry and fishing.