Family First A Father's Legacy
This compilation of 83 years of wisdom is light and fun to read, showcasing Casey's unique, unfiltered brand of humor. No subject is sacred. Every aspect of his life is examined and reflected upon, including growing up in the 1930s in Nevada, working on the railroad, his various political campaigns, raising seven children and serving in the Navy during World War II.
Senator Casey (D-Northglenn) served in the Colorado General Assembly from 1993 through 1996 and now lives in Dublin, Ohio. Casey championed many progressive political causes that were too controversial for other legislators to touch. He became famous as the first legislator in the U.S. to introduce a bill to re-legalize industrial hemp, a low-THC variety of the Cannabis plant that is used for fiber, paper, and hundreds of other products. Casey was familiar with hemp's many uses as line on Navy ships during WWII. In 1942, the USDA had produced a film called "Hemp for Victory", encouraging farmers to grow hemp for the war effort. Casey encountered strong opposition to his bill and was often quoted as saying, "Will it take another World War to make this plant legal again?"
Although his attempts to bring back industrial hemp as a cash crop for Colorado farmers failed, he gave the impetus to legislators in other states to follow in his footsteps. Due to Casey's courageous pioneering in the field, 26 states have now introduced pro-hemp legislation and 14 states have passed it.
The book is filled with stories and anecdotes written over a span of more than 20 years. The writings show how Casey's thoughts, goals and priorities changed over time, yet also show how Casey's idealism and compassion for others always remained strong, despite the many challenges he faced.
In his book, Casey discusses everything in down-to-earth, matter-of-fact fashion.
The sex education I got from my Dad was a one liner at age 17 as I was boarding a train in Las Vegas to go to the navy boot camp in Farragut, Idaho. The line was, 'Stay off the hard liquor and keep your pecker in your pants.'
A year and a half later, while visiting my grandfather Casey in Norfolk, Virginia, I learned where Dad got the advice he had given me. Grandpa became seriously concerned whether Dad had given me any needed advice prior to joining the Navy. I told him if Dad had given me any, I couldn't remember what it was. He then went on at some length telling me about the human misery he had seen in various ports in India, China and South America. He attributed much of it to drinking and sexual promiscuity. He told me he had some advice for my Dad when Dad joined the Navy in 1916. The advice was, "Stay off the hard liquor and keep your pecker in your pants."
Lloyd Aloysius Casey - born December 18, 1926 in Anaheim, California; will die anytime from June 12, 2007 to perhaps 2016 in Dublin, Ohio.
Casey married Mary Grace Wells of Baltimore, Maryland on September 3, 1949. Charles Mark was born on June 28, 1950, Kevin Emmett on May 27, 1952, John Patrick on March 15, 1954, Paul Francis on July 11, 1956, Colleen Ann on March 14, 1959, Christopher Wells on August 7, 1963 and Kathleen Mary on January 14, 1969.
In January 1980, Casey considering that he might be dead by 1981, made an effort to write some thoughts about life to be given to his and Gracie's children as a Christmas present. Still being alive in 1990 he did another Christmas present and then again in 2000. He quit but did write special requests. This book, to be given to each of the seven in 2007 is the last of such Christmas presents.
Other than trying to be an acceptable father, he had numerous adventures. If he becomes what society considers "mature" before he dies it will be a surprise to himself and those who know him. His signature sign off on correspondence, love, peace, joy, pretty well sums up what he has valued.
2007 is a year to end this. Gracie and Casey are alive and in reasonably good health. All seven are alive and making the best of their lives. We have thirteen grandchildren and seven great grandchildren. What more could anyone want?
Senator Casey sponsored the Industrial Hemp Production Act of Colorado in 1995 and again in 1996. In 1995, it was railroaded in the Agriculture Committee by a last-minute fax from the DEA (see below). In 1996, the bill passed the Senate Agriculture Committee and then the full Senate, only to be railroaded again in the House Agriculture Committee by the DEA (anyone every heard of the Hatch Act?). In 1997, the bill was taken up again by Rep. Kay Alexander (R-Montrose), having received an endorsement from the conservative Farm Bureau. This bill amazingly passed the House Agriculture Committee that had killed it in 1996, but failed in a vote of the full House. The bill again received intense pressure on law makers from law enforcement, who claimed they would be incapable of telling industrial hemp and medicinal cannabis appart, even though they look completely different and are grown in a completely different manner.
This letter was sent in response to a last-minute fax sent by the DEA just before Casey's hemp bill was to be debated in the Senate Agriculture committee. The DEA threatened the committee members with violating federal law if they passed Casey's bill.
February 28, 1995
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration
Attn: Philip W. Perry
Rocky Mountain Division Field Headquarters
115 Inverness Drive East
Englewood, CO 80112
Dear Mr. Perry:
On page three of your February 16, 1995 faxed letter at 10:56 am your words are, in part,
"...my 31 years as a federal drug agent...this legislation is no more than a shallow ruse...the people of Colorado deserve to be protected from this sort of subterfuge."
You had been invited in December to participate in an open forum concerning the bill I had agreed to sponsor which would allow a crop of industrial hemp. I had spent five months of investigating the history of hemp as an industrial crop. My expectation was that the D.E.A. would accord me the courtesy of two or three hours to find out if the D.E.A. would or would not accept the honesty of my decision to sponsor the bill.
You chose to cancel the day prior to the scheduled meeting, time and place. You had a draft of the bill. Your words, quoted above, would have been graciously received in January. Your words, arriving by fax just 2 1/2 hours prior to the committee vote, are arrogant and insulting.
You have been on the taxpayer's payroll for so long, you have become like many bureaucrats who have forgotten the basic employer - employee relationship. You are the employee and the taxpayers are the employer.
To paraphrase your arrogance, mine is; I believe my 68 years, which includes WWII service on a destroyer in the South Pacific, a master's degree in Theology, seven children, twelve grandchildren and forty-six years of community service, make me an expert in recognizing a shallow person playing the role of a bureaucratic big shot.
Three and one half years ago I was sure I would have nothing more to write. I was wrong. Having read the following books, I have more to write.
By John Shelby Spong - Sins of Scripture, Here I stand, Jesus for the Non Religious
By John Dominic Crossan - A Long Way to Tipperary, The Birth of Christianity
By Albert Nolan - Jesus Before Christianity
By Ronald Rollheiser - Holy Longing
By Marcus Borg - Jesus
By Robert Wright - Non Zero the logic of Human Destiny, The Evolution of God
The career change I had at age 37 from life insurance sales to teaching adult Catholics about the changes inaugurated by Vatican II has influenced me all the way to age 83. The teaching of adult Catholics only lasted ten years. The desire to understand the meaning of life never diminished.
Robert Wright's book The Evolution of God was like opening a door I had been trying to get through. From childhood to age 83, as a Catholic, I felt I had to accept the virgin birth of Jesus, the miraculous healings of Jesus, his resurrection from the grave and his ascension into heaven. What I had learned of how the planet Earth came to be billions of years ago and how life slowly evolved and continues to evolve caused me to question those beliefs. Nothing like them have ever re-occurred. We homo sapiens evolved into consciousness and in trying to determine why we were so different from all the other animals got to thinking there has to be a power existing beyond our ability to understand. At least four thousand years ago they made up a story to fit their imagination. The story is recorded in the book of Genesis. It is such a good story there are some people these four thousand years later who give it some credibility. It is just a story.
By the time our species evolved another two thousand years some of them decided the god they had been expecting came as a baby born to a young girl who had been impregnated by a supernatural spirit which was part of god.
Everything written about this baby who was given the name Jesus was written between twenty to seventy years after he had been executed by the Romans. The written accounts attributed to Paul, Mark, Matthew, Luke and John were all done to convince the reader that Jesus was the God they had been expecting for a thousand or more years. They agreed he emphasized forgiveness, compassion, patience and kindness. Paul wrote time and time again saying we people are temples of the Holy Spirit. So where to find God; find Him in ourselves when we exercise forgiveness, compassion, patience and kindness. I believe in the dignity and value of human life. This belief is god enough for me.
Email Lloyd Casey
<< caseylac [at] att.net >>