I’ve only recently learned that Madeleine Page has died.
Madeleine, or Madders from Hell, as she was known to users of my former computer bulletin board The Jungle, was an amazing woman. Brilliant, hilarious, vivacious, well-read, well travelled and sharp like a razor.
A convenor, a gatherer, her messages had actual presence and energy that most people don’t have in real life. In real life she was every bit as engaging and joyful.
But boy, you wouldn’t want to get on her bad side. Well… there was the playful, I’m ridiculing you because I like you bad side and then there was, I imagine, the real bad side.
Madders moved from Ottawa on or around 1996 to pursue a career in psychiatry in Philadelphia. She was always reinventing herself. Never complacent, never bored, always looking for something new, something else.
While part of the Jungle’s community, Madders became part of the alt.folklore.urban community and developed friendships and connections across the globe with people who engaged in life on UseNet.
It became clear to me that Madeleine, the online presence had grown too big for a dorky little BBS.
I lost touch with Madeleine after she moved to Philadelphia. But you could always see her online. Still can, actually. No, it’s not a casket cam, you idiot.
Though I wonder what Madders would have thought about that.
Evan found her real memorial site, filled like her life with wonderful people who cared deeply for her and were all around her when she died.