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In Memorium - Bill Martino and Rusty Slate

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

  1. bullfrog99


    Sep 4, 2002
    Note: this message is being re-posted from another area at the request of Howard Wallace; the questions contained herein are being addressed within that area. This is only meant to be a tribute to Uncle Bill and requires no reply.


    Though this is, I believe, my first post on BladeForums.com, I have been a ghost on this server for quite a while, and have spent a lot of time searching through the old posts, looking up the various bits of information I wanted or needed as the questions popped into my head. I have learned a lot, thanks to this forum and its members. Though I used to be quite a regular on thefiringline.com, I don't post on forums too much these days, but I feel it is time for me to speak out. First of all, I know it has been a while, and I don't wish to open old wounds, but it was only a couple of weeks ago that I read about the passing of Uncle Bill Martino. I had shortly before that spent quite a lot of time reading the FAQ's on the HI website, and became immensely impressed with the man, his life, his service in the Peace Corps, and with his service to the people of Nepal. I was so inspired by what I read that I found myself drifting to websites devoted to the Nepali language and have even considered joining the Peace Corps, but more on that later... I wish to voice the pain I felt upon learning of the passing of such a great man. I am truly sorry for his loss. He was the kind of man I would have liked to have known in life, and hope to meet in the next world. I am glad that, at least, there is some legacy of his life to be found on this board. Though it saddened me to learn of his loss, I am glad that I was given the opportunity to know him at least in the limited capacity of one who has read his legacy... As I mentioned earlier, I have spent a bit of time learning more about the Peace Corps and Nepal, but yesterday I read the fine print and found out that the two don't mix anymore. Being, I suppose pathetically, kept up to date on news only like the average American, I really had no Idea that there was a communist revolution going on in Nepal. The Peace Corps has pulled out and according to my reading, travel to many areas, including Katmandu is advised against. I had no Idea that there was this level of political turmoil in the country. I myself am torn. From what I have read, I have grown fond of the people of Nepal. They seem proud without being arrogant, strong, yet internally at peace. The thought of a Communist/Marxist Nepal turns my stomach, but on the other hand I can understand why the people are joining this revolution, they have nothing. The people are poor and have little or no chance of changing their situation. The whole situation doesn't sit well with me. I was hoping one of you can give me some your views on the current situation, and maybe share some bit of news that has not reached my ears which will abate my unease.



    Jan 26, 2006
    Dont know much about you Bill but here all are prayers and i wish you well.
  3. Phaedrus54


    Aug 28, 2002
    Though smitten with a strong HIKV, I only had the finances to order one blem 15" BSA back in 2002. From the stories of his life posted in the forums and the contact I had over email I was firmly impressed by Uncle Bill's spirit, an honorable man with a huge heart. I fantasized during my college years about travelling to Nepal to witness and perhaps learn some of the native khukuri smithing technique. I'm thrilled to see that HI is continuing and though I've never met you, Yangdu, if I can be of help in any capacity, I'll try.

    Where's that knife now? I passed the gift of that BSA on to a martial arts instructor who had touched my life.


    Aug 10, 2001
    A little smoke to go your Bill and Rusty.:( Hope it'll reach.Prayers sent via the Lord.:)
  5. 408serrada


    Jan 3, 2007
    This is a very personal story. I am new to the forum, but have been a student of Philippine Combat Arts for about 3 1/2 - 4 years now. About 2 years ago more or less, I called Uncle Bill to inquire about these Khukris I had read about online!
    What I got was the friendliest person I had EVER spoken to. Knowing that I wanted a working long Khukri for work in my martial arts, he was ready to send it out asap! At the time I had lost my grandfather, a deeply loving, caring, and compassionate person who became a father to me when my own father couldn't. Well, simply speaking to Uncle Bill brought light into my life during a time when I was experiencing serious physical symptoms of depression. I will never forget that inspiration for as long as I live.

    May you rest in peace Uncle Bill, and may your legacy and life's work live on thru those left holding the reins.

    Blessings, ~John.
  6. Bill Sanders

    Bill Sanders

    Aug 18, 2003
    UB, Uncle Bill, Bill Martino left us and went on to his next adventure, 2 years ago today. Has it really been two years?
    Without him, many of us here at BF would never have even talked to one another, or if we had, the conversation would probably have been much different. Without him, my take on life would have been much different, and much darker. He was a man to ride the river and range with. You always knew where he stood on most any issue.
    He is still influencing the way I live my life in many ways. He will always be a part of my life, even while he is not here.
    Bill, save me a seat at the table, when I've learned what the Gods want me to learn, I'll join you for a Heiniken. I'm buying.

    Bill Sanders
  7. nwallis


    Feb 6, 2007
    As a recent newcomer to this (or any other) forum I arrived after Uncle Bills passing,I am starting to realize just how big a priviledge I have missed out on.The more I read the more poignant I feel.Rest peacefully for now lads,and when it's my turn, I shall look forward to meeting you.

    <>< Matt 25:21
  8. CaffeinatedViking


    Mar 15, 2007
    Just another newbie here, seeing that they missed out on being acquainted with a couple o' fellas who apparently were "all that and a bag o' chips".

    I didn't know ya, guys, but I'm glad to know that there really are people on Earth who can influence others in such a positive way. May the gods be with you.
  9. Nismo


    Jun 27, 2002
    I haven't posted here in a couple years but just wanted to stop by to remember UB.
  10. kiltman


    Jun 8, 2007
    I never knew Mr. Martino, not personally. i've heard his name mentioned several times in my early knifemaking career, and his reputation gives other knifemakers a good set of boots to try on and attempt to fill.
    The world seems a dimmer place with another knife enthusiast gone. and its a damn shame, as people normally see knife collectors as scary people, and arent given their due until its too late. may the endevours he has set into motion spin with the sands of time, god speed Bill Martino.
  11. Jaeger


    Feb 27, 1999
    Hard to believe it's been 2 years. Uncle Bill and Rusty were both one of the good guys. UB always treated me well (as he did everyone). I fondly recall his satisfaction with some local beer I sent him. And Rusty's enthusiasm for a fine .41 magnum. :) That was a long time ago.
    Rest well my friends!
  12. Rustam Bana

    Rustam Bana

    Feb 21, 2001
    I have not been a regular member of this forum though I had joined it in early 2001 - http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=157487

    Some time last November, I visited the forum after a very long hiatus and was literally stunned to read of uncle Bill's passing away. At that time I just did not know what to say.

    I don't know what brings me here again today but here I am and I hope you will bear with me for a while.

    The problem of importing a khukuri into India, as mentioned in the attached link, turned out to be worse than I had imagined.

    To start with, the money I had sent for the BAS and a 21" Sirupati (the latter for a good friend of mine in the U.K.) was stolen in the post (I was stupid enough to send cash). However, I had to have a HI khukuri and the payment was sent again.

    Since some of the HI boys were coming to India to pick up steel, the khukuris were sent with them but they had to take them back because Indian customs did not permit their entry.

    I finally had to request a senior Indian government official to bring them back for me. However, he was based in Dharan and getting the khukuris to him proved to be a problem because of the Marxist problem and the massacre of the royal family. The khukuris finally reached me after something like 18 to 24 months.

    During this entire period uncle Bill stayed in touch and never turned his back on me. It is not often that one meets such people and it was a privilege to have known him.

    I am afraid I did not know Rusty Slate but I am sure he was an equally nice person.

    My belated but sincere condolences to both families.

  13. StmmZaum


    Dec 12, 2003
    Just wanted to add my condolences, I've not been on over the last couple of years due to other committments but I was saddened to learn of the deaths of Bill and Rusty. They will be sorely missed be anyone who's lives they touched, even a little.
  14. Sushil


    Dec 21, 2007
    I only now stumbled across this threat about the sad passing of Uncle Bill some years ago. I happen to have some experience with an ancient chinese Oracle called "The Book of Changes" or Yijing (I Ching). Perhaps its answer about the summary of Uncle Bills live eases your heart. At least it eased mine, because I was also sad never to have the possibility to have any contact with him.

    The ancient kings inspected the whole country
    They contemplated the people and set up education

    The heron sits immovable for hours &#8211; and in a split second he grasps a fish.
    In order to see, one&#8217;s own inner world has to be still. Every inner sound overrules the signals, or colors them and distorts them. One can only see under water when the surface is quiet.
    And to be as vigilant after hours like in the first minutes, that is also only possible with inner stillness. Time does not exist, every minute is a new minute.
    Who does not exist himself can see the world, because he does not look, he sees.

    Seeing can make consciousness, or understanding, or helping others, solving trouble, whatever. Seeing goes farther than the eyes.

    Creativity can do a lot with few possibilities, if one refrains from a predetermined course, always ready to answer to the moment.

    He looked onto his own life and its needs, and let his advancing and withdrawing be decided by that. Not by rules, custom, demands of others, fear, reactions, whatever. He lived, and made sure that he really lived.

  15. HiramRanger


    Mar 3, 2008
    Wow... before I ordered a Khuk I placed an order with another company (still has not arrived). I wondered why HI was so expensive compared to everyone else... the post quoted on page 1 sums it up. I would gladly pay HI's prices and Yangdu has been a gracious and patient presence as I have delved into the HI experience... ok, I dove in, no dipping my toes. Ten blades in two weeks... no regrets at all. I will continue to buy here, refer people here and try to make HI a success in honor of a man I never had the privilege of knowing. I wondered what the story was with UB... I am glad I found this thread.
  16. Munchi Kool

    Munchi Kool

    Jun 13, 2007
    I have been 'out' of khuhuri's for a couple of years and am saddened to learn of Uncle Bill's passing.

    I too am glad I found this thread and the tributes to him. Thanks UB for your knowledge, understanding and development of the Khuhuri you brought to folks in the Western nations.
  17. gunhou


    Jan 20, 1999
    And still the tributes continue to trickle in. People who never knew Bill; those who pride themselves on having something as tenuous as an e-mail exchange with the man; and those of us who were fortunate enough to speak and be with him.
    I remember my first call to HI. I was surprised (but later would not have been) that Bill himself answered the phone. We spoke to my questions, and Bill excused himself to fetch a sirupati in which I was interested, so that he could give me a personal and leisurely description of the piece (which I ordered.)
    But then I was surprised when Bill went on to ask me about myself; my area of the country, and we went on for several minutes, getting into areas of more individual importance, feelings and opinion. I was struck by the feeling then, which has never abated, that I was speaking with a saint. Yes, I use the term. Call it 'fully realized person', or what you will. Here was a man who was human in all the silly ways we are, as animals, yet wholly without the burden of the Wheel, without Self as we here in the West think of it. I was amazed then, and am now. We had only a few other contacts, and my conviction of his simple yet powerful and overwhelming GOODness was never shaken. A saint, in the most basic meaning of the word. I told him I wouldn't call him 'Uncle', because I was older than he was, and he laughed and agreed that this would be best "… for you". You could sense that he got the joke that is the Universe. An extraordinary, ordinary man.
    All of you who read this, and were never privileged to have personal contact with Bill: believe what you read about him. He really was…
    Time has passed, and I'm getting closer myself to that moment when we all learn the final Truth. When that moment comes, I'll not be surprised to find him at my Table, and we can speak again of unimportant things, and laugh.
  18. titus010782

    titus010782 Banned BANNED

    Feb 6, 2009
    I think there are many people like this in the world.
    The problem is that there are more people of the opposite kind and that seems to diminish the good people's desire to STAND UP.
    I am only 26 years old, but I see so many GOOD people afraid to say what they feel for fear of being judged by others
  19. Nicholas


    Apr 1, 2009
    Good morning, everyone. I'm not (yet) an HI customer, but I offer my sincere condolences on the passing of your friend. Based on testimony like I've read here, I was looking forward to meeting him (or at least hearing from him) when I got around to my order.

    And for those of you worried that there aren't enough good people, look hard enough, and you'll find them. Meanwhile, a lot of us really are trying to be that good; please don't give up on us.
  20. ironmike86

    ironmike86 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 5, 2006
    I know it's a Global Economy but I always try to buy US and pay extra for a fair wage. If I buy Foreign it's from a fair contractor. No Walmarts. I would have never bought a Kukri if it wasn't for the first post. I'm willing to spent more for a fair wage. PPL take care of ppl I will include HI in my knife purchases.

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