Remembering James Mattis...

Nov 23, 1999
Gosh, I've been away for over a year and just got to thinking about James Mattis. What a terrific man he was.
i miss his thoughtful posts.

Anybody remember him?
-Redleg out.
I remember. Nice Guy. Answered my email about some questions I had.
Who could forget him? I've still got several knives I purchased from him. For all orders over $50 he would ask who your favorite charity was. He'd then make out a check to that charity for 10% of your order amount, then send the check and an addressed and stamped envelope to you along with your knives so you could contribute to a worthy cause. This alone made me want to buy knives from him.

If that weren't enough, he would personally inspect every knife for flaws, fit and finish, lockup, etc... He would even call you on his dime to tell you exactly what was right and wrong with the knife. You could always be sure you'd get your knife in the exact condition James described.

I had the fortune of spending some time with James on the phone and in chat, and met him at the 1999 Blade Show. He and his wife were quite the characters - perfectly matched for each other.

He was probably the best moderator BFC has ever had, and certainly one of its best citizens. New members of this forum would do well to search the archives and reads some of James' contributions. Everyone who crossed paths with him liked him. He was a super person. I'm proud to have known him. James and Chai Cutlery live on in memory.
Not just to the industry, but to everyone here as well. I came across one of his posts yesterday, looking for a Spydie picture. I miss his gentle way, and his simple, down home intelligence, the most.
there was a titanium handled folder made by him at one of the pawnshops here, that I regret not jumping on :( , It was a really quality piece.
I had the priviledge of being a co-moderator with James way-back-when on the General Forum. I too also bought from him (Spydie kitchen knives among others :)). His practice of donating 10% of the sale to charity of the buyers choice or his certainly elevated his cutlery enterprise above his peers. Definately one of the good guys and why I've been adding what I do below my signature.


Never to be forgotten: James Mattis, Walt "Doc" Welch, Rob Simonich
I miss James, and Walt Welch. Those two guys were terrific. James could keep a calm even keel in the middle of an all out flame war; a virtual online firefighter and a great knife guy. He was one of the first guy to welcome me into this place.

Dr. Welch, probably helped more people on these forums then we will ever know. For a while there, it seemed that every week someone would mangle themselves; and, we could always count on Walt to jump in and help steer them in the right direction. There are at least a half dozen people on these forums who would have suffered some level of permanent disability if Walt hadn't stepped in with some timely advice.

James helped me choose my first Spyderco knife way back in the days of (anybody remember that). He was one of nature's true gentlemen and I deeply miss his presence on the net. I was only thinking of him a few minutes ago when I was showing my little bloke some of my knives and he pulled out the PE Worker that I had engraved with a "chai" in James' memory.

Here are a couple of his famous 'blue background' scans which he used to post reguarly!




I think I have some more, one with a set of SS spydies. I'll try to find it.

James' posts always were a joy to read, and I still use his arguments for "why are you carrying a knife?!"

" My good reason to carry a knife is that God gave me rather weak teeth and rudimentary claws in an evolutionary trade-off. The hairy-armed person who figured out how to put an edge on a suitable rock made it possible for us to be recognizably human in the first place. I wear a wristwatch whether or not I have an appointment to keep, and I carry a pen and/or pencil because I am a literate person whether or not I have a specific writing task ahead of me, and I carry a knife because I am a human and not an ape.

A knife comes in handy for all sorts of random tasks that involve separating matter. Like cutting a string, or making a sandwich, or opening a package. It can also come in handy in an emergency, which need not involve a human assailant, and emergencies are by their nature unforseen, so one should carry a knife all the time . " - James Mattis

I still miss him around, he would have loved the latest generation of Spyderco's

Ted, thanks for posting "A swarm of Crickets". When he first put that up, I immediately e-mailed him to find out if the Almite Cricket in the lower left was for sale. It was! and I still have it :D
If BladeForums.Com had a Wall of Remembrance, James Mattis would have to be there, as well as Bob Irons, Dr. Walt Welch, Gadi Blilious and of course Rob Simonich. All dearly missed, all very special people that added so much to these fourms.

Kelly, thanks for posting the link to James' memorial thread. It's wonderful and sad to read the comments of some of the members that used to post here, but don't any longer and some that are gone forever.

For those that believe that the Internet is cold and impersonal, they probably haven't spent any time on a forum like this.

You can't have the Cricket in the scan because I emailed him at the same time and I'm sure I got it :). Guess he must have had two. Not that it matters, it's still one knife I'll never part with.

Clay, I don't know that I got that one -- I wouldn't doubt he had a supply of them :) I wrote him that I'd take a serrated or a plain, but I wanted the plainedge more.

I found his website in a Blade magazine ad. I was overwhelmed by how much more it was than just an online store. I read though everything, and at the very end saw a note that he was a moderator on something called Bladeforums. That's what got me here.

The good that he did has marked these forums indelibly, even for people who never heard of him.