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In Memorium - Bill Martino and Rusty Slate

Discussion in 'H.I. Cantina' started by Howard Wallace, Mar 29, 2005.

  1. Howard Wallace

    Howard Wallace . Moderator

    Feb 23, 1999
    [Added in edit - We lost two loved and respected members of this forum, Bill Martino and Rusty Slate. Rusty first posted of Bill's passing in this post. http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=340713 It was Rusty's last post on the forum, and within a few hours he was dead himself. It took a little while for news of Rusty's passing to reach the forum. Posts from their two memorial threads are merged in this thread. News of Rusty's passing comes in at post 67 of this merged thread.

    If you would like to share your memories of Bill or Rusty, this is a good place to do so. Feel free to add to it as you wish. - Howard Wallace]


    This thread is for you to post a favorite quote and/or a picture that captures a little of who Bill was, from your perspective.


    Quiet Storm likes this.
  2. PZ93C


    May 12, 2003
    "Great stuff, and thanks."

  3. DannyinJapan


    Oct 9, 2003
    We have to keep Himalayan Imports alive.
    We have to keep Birghorka hammering away!
  4. miguet

    miguet Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 7, 2001
    Great story. Bill Martino is obviously "guter Mensch"
  5. Yvsa


    May 18, 1999
    "Holy Toledo."
  6. Svashtar


    Dec 28, 2003
    "Namaste Norm. Done deal and many thanks. Will ship tomorrow."
    Howard Wallace likes this.
  7. Steven Roos

    Steven Roos

    Jun 29, 2002
    I don't have a quote, but I'll always remember Uncle Bill as a man who had a positive outlook on everything, no matter what.

    He made this world a better place, and I hope his memory will continue to.
  8. ArchAngel

    ArchAngel Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Feb 13, 2000
    I most remember when I first started buying from Uncle Bill in 2000 or so. My first purchase was sent out to me before we had even discussed how I was going to pay for it. Treating people so honestly and fairly was common practice for Bill. It is an example I try to emulate whenever I deal on the forums. He was a very good presence on these forums. I will miss him. :(
    Howard Wallace likes this.
  9. Nasty

    Nasty Chief Cook & Bottle Wash

    Nov 11, 2003
    My all time favorite picture of Bill
    Howard Wallace likes this.
  10. Mr.BadExample


    Sep 11, 2002
    Nasty, thanks for re-posting that photo... I think that grin our friend is wearing just says it all.
  11. CARman


    Dec 11, 2003
    "Ok and thanks. Send money when it is convenient for you."
    Quiet Storm likes this.
  12. depusm12


    Jan 17, 2005
    I remember the first time I bought a Khukri from UB he told me that the right Khuk would find me and he was right of course. My first was a 12 inch Ak and I'll always cherish it cause it was what UB recommended to me. Fair winds and following seas Uncle Bill.

    Bamboo and Howard Wallace like this.
  13. Sharks_Edge


    Jul 8, 2004
    I found Uncle Bill to be one of the nicest people I have ever met online and a true man of honor who strived to bring good fortune to others. The HI knives I have will now have even more importance in the fact that they came from a people loved and cared for by a true saint. Rest in peace Uncle Bill, your spirit shall live within the blade.
    Bamboo and Howard Wallace like this.
  14. jim_l_clifton


    Mar 31, 2000
    Who was Uncle Bill!! Simple....HE was my friend!
    THE DUCK! :cool:
  15. sleiman


    Apr 19, 2004
    I would just like to offer my condolences to the family of Uncle Bill as well as to those that knew him best. I am sorry to hear of his passing.

    May he rest in peace.

    - Sleiman Azizi -
    Bamboo likes this.
  16. Spectre


    Nov 3, 1998
    Uncle Bill was the man with similar beliefs to mine that took time to give me kind advice when my world was crumbling and I felt lost and alone. Not too many Buddhists in the Deep South.
    45-70 and Howard Wallace like this.
  17. ferguson


    Feb 21, 2001
    I compiled this when Bill first got sick. It still makes me laugh, and cry.

    Steve Ferguson

    Blessings from the computer shack in Reno.
    Can't help.
    Always good help.
    Thanks for good help.
    It's old Uncle Bill back at the screen.
    Some beautiful stuff and thanks.
    More good help and thanks. The forumites know more than I do.
    Great stuff and thanks.
    Have a happy.
    Grainline is just that and not a crack. Might develop into crack but doubt it. Superglue should fix it if it does.
    The dust bunnies are not the least bit interested but I think this is good stuff and thanks.

    "We're all brothers and sisters that walk on this planet no matter our race, creed, religion, ignorance, or what."
    That's the way we should live our lives and the way we should behave on this forum....

    Bruise has a ten pound hammer you might borrow to try to loosen it up.

    "Probably because we're all conditioned to want whatever we see on TV."
    Especially some of the girls.

    Nice stuff and thanks.
    Good stuff and thanks.
    Always good and expert help around. Thanks.
    Mine go under the bed, too, cared for by the infamous dust bunnies.
    Hell, you're just a kid.
    Interesting stuff and thanks.

    Too bad it's only the cajones.
    I had fantasies about retiring out as the world's oldest porn star but had to give them up as I hear parts transplanted from elephants do not work well on humans.

    That's the way most people did business when I was a kid. I just never grew up.
    Many thanks for report from the field.
    Beautiful work, Sarge, and thanks for sharing.
    That which was lost is found.
    Pen, you are a man of many talents.
    Good stuff from one of the good guys.
    Advice from dust bunnies -- leave everything alone. Nice pix.
    Fine, detailed report from the field.
    The dust bunnies said they'd take it when you got tired of it.
    It's a hell of a world we live in today.
    Today's the day that changed our lives forever.
    What do I know?
    Prayers work.
    First things first.
    I'll leave the humping to the younger set.
    What the hell's wrong with the pictures? Back to the drawing board.

    I have this special trail clearing khukuri........
    I have this special Hanshee........
    I have this special villagerÂ…Â…..
    Brendan, you won't like it
    Can't find a thing wrong with it, but Yangdu says it's a blem, so it is.t.
    Five minutes worth of rust removal saves you $100.
    Good for a hundred years.
    Thirty cents a day and all the rice you can eat.
    No thanks to the Nepali shipping staff.
    The kamis probably used it to fire the forge.

    Sorry. GTT = gone to Texas.
    Debt is good.
    One more time -- debt is good.
    Can't remember that far back.
    The dust bunnies are experts.
    Holy Toledo!

    It looks like the Caveman is back full force.
    Your problem is you like everything -- even one legged dancing girls - and once in a great while even me.

    Remember, many times what we view as a curse in the present turns out to be a blessing in the future. Don't worry about it a lot. Things have a way of working out. Trust me on this one.

    It may take me out but I'll be damned if I'm going to let it scare me. Just pass the Camels, Heineken and the morphine and I'll be fine.
    Just live the adventure with me and try to benefit in some way from it.

    What has this to do with khukuris? Everything!

    All gone. Stay tuned.
    Quiet Storm, Bamboo, Spectre and 3 others like this.
  18. PherrousWeal


    Mar 15, 2005
    ferg got it all.

    Bill was so inspirational, some of us midwesterners who couldn't make it out to Reno held a Khuk Khon in Ohio! We' all tossed in, Nasty offered up his place, everyone contributed, we had all sorts of classes, seminars, show-and-tells, and such put on by some talented forumites! (not to mention the HI deals table, raffle, discussions, DIJH video, shirts)

    I believe it was Bill's spirit of adventure, his caring, etc, that drew such a group of diverse folks together for that time, in his honor (Well, HI's honor, we all know Uncle well enuf to know that he would defer many such personal compliments). He even sent Pen a bunch of really wonderful 'blems' for us to buy, and I think we bought up all of the stuff he sent. Some of us brought friends to that gathering, and made sure to give 'em a heapin' helpin' of HIKV ;)

    Anyhow, Bill's soft bio-machine body may be at rest, but that adventurous spirit is still flitting about, and its bonds of love and compassion shall not break or fail so easily.

    Bill is a tough one, and favored by the Gods, fer sure. Y'all remember when he grew his own heart bypass??!?! I laughed and was amazed at this! He's a colorful one, that Uncle Bill. How about those guitars his dad made? Bill'd sell anything anyone needed him to. Remember the handbags and other Nepali knick-knacks he'd sell for some folks, just because they asked it? Or Bura's wood carvings while he recovered from his illness?
    Bill is dynamic. I doubt not having a corporeal form will really slow him down much. When your heart and mind are at ease, clear and undisturbed, you may feel him out there at the edge, smoking and laughing. I have many contacts like that...you may have some contacts like that as well...some might say that feeling is only illusion, but I'd say death is the illusion, a dark blanket thrown over the gossamer ties that bind us all, only for a moment, and then it is lifted, leaving all revealed.

    Enjoy the great mystery, Uncle. Keep the light on for us!

    Barkeep! This is Uncles Wake! A round for all cantanistas, and crack a Heine for UB! His ship sails!

    Quiet Storm, Bamboo and Kismet like this.
  19. Steely_Gunz

    Steely_Gunz Got the Khukuri fevah Moderator

    May 9, 2002
    Bravo, Steve, bravo!
    Danny's right. We have to keep the hammers at BirGorka a'hammerin'. Howard's story is my all time favorite Uncle Bill story. It just sums the man up. So much compassion and what great business ethics. The man that does business on a handshake will not be the richest businessman, but he'll be the best businessman. I handle my office in Uncle Bill's style, and I have yet to lose a night's sleep for how I have conducted business with my customers.

    "...I like to be able to look at myself in the mirror when I shave." --Uncle Bill
    I use this line all the time when i explain my business practices with my potential customers. I never knew where I got that line until today.

    Howard Wallace likes this.
  20. Aardvark


    Nov 26, 2002
    This is a bit long, but it's something that Bill posted back in July of 2004, when things were a little rocky here. It kind of summarizes HI's reason for being, and Bill's code of conduct. I have it printed out and hanging on my wall at work. Couldn't ask for a better example for living.

    Forum rules and philosophy revisited.


    I am hesitant to make this post but I think it's necessary to reiterate the philosophy which sets the modus operandi of Himalayan Imports, BirGorkha and the HI forum. Seems it is time.

    When I sold our first khukuri in 1988 I did not do it with any hope of fame or fortune. I did it because I knew that the sale meant some kami in Nepal would be paid for work done. The first ad which sold this khukuri cost $135. The khukuri sold for $150. Another ad was placed, two khukuris were sold. Another ad in another magazine, and a couple more khukuris sold. Finally, ads in 3 or 4 magazines, sales generated from articles about our khukuris made Himalayan Imports a viable business. Advertising cost at that time was about 50% of gross sales.

    Then onto the internet and everything turned around and today we are able to provide for the welfare of perhaps 150 of Nepal's lowest caste and the poorest of the poor. Khukuris have done it and therefore they are related to almost everything in life -- eating rather than starving, having shelter rather than sleeping under a bridge, the basics needs of life, and an offer of hope for the future. And, I think very importantly, the effort is not charity but simply an opportunity. Remember, under and unemployment combined in Nepal is near 80%. Having an honest job is a blessing in such an environment and this is what we do. We provide work and opportunity.

    So, the driving force behind Himalayan Imports and BirGorkha is dharma, duty, an effort to make the lives of some of the less fortunate somewhat more tolerable. Fame, fortune, profit, the normal motivations which drive most businesses do not drive us. Seeing that a family has enough to eat is more important than making a profit. I see Yangdu sell knives at cost on a regular basis when we have a decent inventory -- this to keep the kamis working.

    When our village sarki recently sliced a foot long gash in his thigh we took him to the hospital, got him fixed up, and paid him his "workmans' comp" for a couple of weeks until he was able to return to duty. This is standard practice for BirGorkha. Our social services fund could easily be turned to profit but we don't do it. Dharma comes first. The Dharma path is the one that I have chosen in this life and Pala, Yangdu, Pradeep, all associated with HI and BirGorkha honor my decision and participate gladly.

    When I was asked to moderate a forum on Knife Forums I agreed and said I would have only these basic rules -- no profanity, no personal attacks, no badmouthing of competitors products. Anything else was fair game. We started over on the old knife forums and our forum soon became the most popular on that site. I think the reason for this was we were an oddity. I followed my own rule of "do unto others as you would have them do unto you," and this seemed to attract people. And I was younger and stronger then and could give a good deal of time to moderating very "iffy" discussions. I don't think I ever deleted a post, almost never edited a post, and never banned anybody although at times I was sorely tempted to do so. I used my Buddhist philosophy to good advantage and we waded through some very difficult discussions.

    Then I was asked to moderate this forum on Blade Forums and agreed. Same philosophy as the Knife Forums HI forum. As you can see the forum has been and is still pretty popular. Because of my very firm belief in free speech and expression I allowed some posts which most would have banned. There were trying times when politics, religion, customs, entered into the discussion, especially if driven by zealots and fanatics and we had a few. But we survived and the forum became a place where anybody could say just about anything and it remains that way today to a high degree.

    Along the way Rusty and I became good friends and visited personally. Rusty became pals with Pala and Yangdu. As he came to know me he began to understand what I was trying to do with both HI and the forum so when it became necessary due to health problems to get help in moderating Rusty was a natural. I am indebted to Rusty and grateful beyong description for the great effort and fine job he has done.

    I wanted the forum to be not just a place to discuss khukuris and blades in general but a place where somebody in trouble could come, state his trouble and ask for help in the form of prayer or even money. I wanted it to be a place where help and advice could be solicited. I wanted it to be a place where ideas, philosophies, could be discussed. However, I wanted it to be a place motivated by the first rule, "Love God and love thy neighbor as thyself." I never wanted to see hate or loathing as part of the discussion or posts made simply to stir up contentions and discontent.

    And here is the secret to making a decent, meaningful post: No matter what subject you might be posting about if you do so with the basic rules in mind, "Love God and love thy neighbor as thyself" and "do unto others as you would have them do unto you" you'll end up with a good, meaningful post that will probably be of some kind of benefit to all. Check your motives before making your post. As my old guru used to advise me, "if you can't do it with love don't do it at all."

    If we follow the rules this can be a fine and worthwhile place so let's all give it the old college try.
    Blessings from the computer shack in Reno.

    Uncle Bill

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