Most of the leads that I do for the Vote Hemp Weekly News Update
relate to hemp news. Some are a little more personal. This lead was to be one of those, but it ended up being too personal. So, I am making it a blog post here instead. Late last month my grandfather passed away at the age of 98. He was a very important person in my life and I would not be where I am now without him. I live where I do and do the work that I do because of his influence. Among many other things he loved to build boats and tell stories. "Grandaddy, please tell us a story" was a phrase that we all knew well.
I feel very lucky to have recordings of my grandparents. Here is an MP3 of his story The Hanna
about a model ship that he built that's in the Smithsonian. The other two voices are my grandmother, who has also passed away, and my sister, who recorded it in 2002. The schooner Hanna was the first ship in the U.S. Navy
and like most ships of the day she was probably rigged with Russian hemp. Alfred W. Crosby, Jr. wrote in America, Russia, Hemp, and Napoleon
"Without Russia's hempen hawsers and rope, her flax sails and fittings and fastenings made from her iron, our sailing vessels would have been immobile piles of lumber."
The first hemp product that I ever bought was some Merry Hempsters
lip balm that I got at Whole Foods in Berkeley
in the late 1990's. I really wanted a product that was not made out of petroleum products. I didn't really think much about it as I did not have any negative connotations about hemp. After I moved to Maine in 1999 my grandfather and I were having a talk about something, probably boats, and he mentioned something to me about hemp. I wish that I could remember what it was exactly, but I can't. Anyway, I started doing research on hemp on the Internet. There was a lot of good information and a lot of dreck. Nothing was all in one place, though. I started bookmarking sites that were useful.
I decided to start my own industrial hemp Web site and as luck would have it the domain name industrialhemp.net was available. Originally the site started out as a bookmark dump as my collection of industrial hemp related links grew so large that my Netscape browser bookmarks pull-down would not work. IndustrialHemp.net
went live on April 28, 2000. I became a partner and webmaster for The Hemp Report
on January 19, 2001 and I continue to serve in that capacity. I was elected to the Board of Directors of Vote Hemp
on September 14, 2003 and I have served Vote Hemp as their National Coordinator and now as National Outreach Coordinator.
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