More Bad News

May 13, 1999
I just received the following:



For those of you who find mass email offensive, I apologize for this
intrusion into your mailbox, however it was felt by those of us in Park
Rapids that this is the quickest way to pass on the news you are

You are receiving this email because when I was given access to Mel's
computer I located email of some sort with your email address on it, and
the family requested that I contact as many of his friends as I can with
this sad news. This message is also being sent to his ICQ contact list.

My name is Roger Smith, and I have known Mel as a friend, neighbor and
the manager of my apartment complex for a little better than a year.
Should you desire information not contained in this email, please feel
free to contact me.

As many of you already know, Mel turned off his computer Saturday night
and shortly thereafter disappeared. On Saturday, those of us who live in
the building noticed him gone and reported this to the owner of the
building. Nothing was done at that time, as it was felt he may have
gone to the State fair to set up and try to sell some of his knives.
When he had not returned by Monday, the local authorities were notified
and on Tuesday local authorities entered his apartment, concerned for
his safety.

On Wednesday, it was requested that I access Mel's computer in hopes of
finding information which would assist authorities in locating him, and
at approximately 4:00 PM Mel was found deceased in the woods of Akeley,
Minnesota, at one of his favorite deer hunting locations.

I have not yet been provided with information regarding the
circumstances of his passing and funeral arrangements have not yet been
announced. As I will no doubt be informed of such arrangements, please
feel free to contact me via email if you desire further information. I
will NOT send further blanket correspondence to his email list, and this
is the only mass email I will be sending. I will be home all day today
sending this sad news, and I will also be on ICQ (ICQ # 11161530) for
those who desire such communication. To receive ICQ authorization,
state "MEL" as the reason for requesting.

Once again, I apologize for this intrusion. I only request that you join
me in praying for those he has left behind.

Roger D. Smith,Sr.
ICQ #11161530

---- END ----

Madpoet, I'll miss you. I'll treasure the knife you made for me, and you'll be in my thoughts as it spends my life with me. RIP


Although I posted this kind of prematurely, I now have confirmation from Gunbunny that this notice should be forwarded to any parties that Mel's friends think appropriate. Please help to make sure that none of Madpoet's many friends online are left missing him and wondering why. Thanks.

[This message has been edited by Brian_Turner (edited 09 September 1999).]
I am sorry to hear that.
My prayers are with his family and friends.

"Worst of all my foes, I fear the enemy within"
*John Wesley*

Romans 10:9-10

"Military" Fans Unite!!

All day, I have had a bad feeling. Now I know why. I never met Mel in person. I know him through interent correspondence. I consider him a friend. A friend that will be greatly missed. He was a nice guy, and a great knifemaker.

Lynn Griffith-Tactical Knifemaker
Winner of "Best Tactical Knife" at 1999 PKA show
My website
See my award winning "Spec Ops Tanto" in Gallery 3 of my website

This is a very sad week indeed. I met Mel at a knife show in WI about earlier in the year. He was a very friendly man and very interesting to talk to. He will surely be missed.


Tom Carey

This is indeed tragic news. Mel's parents live not too far from where I do, and we had always planned on meeting to discuss knives. It's funny how the time that we have on this planet seems so short, and so full of uncertainy. Perhaps we should always take full advantage of that time. Mel, may the Happy Hunting Ground be abundant to you. My condolescences to your family.

Take care,
John Johnson
I'd only corresponded with him briefly, but he was a straightforward and friendly man whose forum presence will be sorely missed. His reputation as a maker speaks for itself. I hope that where he is now, he is still able to hunt and make knives.

What a bummer...

Mel was one of those knowledgeable guys who mad good working, practical knives tempered with experience and character.

He was always willing to offer advice and assistance and was known for bending over backwards to suit his customers/friends.

It's a damn shame. His stuff seemed to really take off as of late.

He will be sorely missed.
I just can't belive it. How many member have left us now?

I was going to say how much I wanted a knife from him and now I can't get it, but that sounds kind of selfish. So All I will say is
How sad I feel for him and his family.

Brian_Turner if you are in contact with his family please tell them we feel for them.

And they will be in your thoughts.

-Greg Johnson

My prayers go out to him, and to the lives of those which he had touched. Our time is 'short': may we live, love, and cry together. A moment of silence for a fallen brother. My deepest sympathy to his family, and friends. Madpoet will be missed

Ray 'md2020'

[This message has been edited by maddog2020 (edited 09 September 1999).]
Greg and All -

Contact Mel's family through Gunbunny, his particulars are in his post.

A personal memory -
I've known Mel for around two years through TKC-L. We saw each other at the Badger and Edgerton shows. As my tastes tend to be more "artsy", I had never bought a Madpoet knife. At the last Badger show, I was standing by Mel's table, always a gathering spot for TKC-L'ers gabbing with Mel, when I looked down and said "You know, I've known you for too long not to have one of your knives. Sell me something.". We picked out a beautiful persian hunter, with a great ironwood handle. It's so smooth. So comfortable. I'm so glad that I realized how special he was in time to get a piece of his work.
Please extend my deepest condolences to both his friends and family. I'm sorry to hear of his passing.

"Earth has its boundaries, but human stupidity is limitless."

R.I.P. Madpoet.
I pray you are in a far better place.

If it's stupid but works, then it isn't stupid.

This is very sad indeed.

My first exposure to Mel was when we were argueing back and forth on Rec.Knives over something trivial. Eventually we came to see things from the same side of the fence and I considered his views valuable indeed.

We'll miss him and hope for the best for his family.


Kevin Jon Schlossberg
SysOp and Administrator for

Insert witty quip here
This is tragic.
We will miss you, Mel, as all Poets (especially the mad one) are so rare in that world...

Toutes mes condoléances à sa famille.

Ohhhh man...he was one of the good guys, for certain. I only talked to him in private mail once or twice long ago but he's always stood out as articulate and a polite yet firm debater.


Say hell to Bob for us, Madpoet.

Jim March
Mel was definately one of the good ones. I always enjoyed the verbal sparring we used to do.

Mel, if your reading this, I'm sorry we never got to trade recipes for "hunters stew".

Ach, what a bummer!

~ JerryO ~