View Full Version : Introduction and cue question
02-04-2005, 04:51 PM
Hi all - I just discovered this forum a couple of days ago and have now joined. I have a question about my cue and hope that someone can help me identify it, but I'll also give a little background about myself and my cue. I grew up on Long Island and played pool in the late 60's in an upstairs pool room on Northern Blvd, in Little Neck, run by a guy named George. Anyone remember it? In 1967 I bought a cue from him for $85. I went to college in Albany, NY at SUNY, actually attended at the same time as Paul Dayton, who was also a student there. I worked at the campus pool room, played with Paul a few times, and also shot pool at the Albany Golden Cue, on Central Ave., which Dick Leonard, one the forum members, ran. Paul Dayton also worked there. Anyway, back to my cue. Everywhere I played at that time other players would want to look at it. I remember attending an exhibition at the Golden Cue probably in 1970-71 between Joe Balsis and Dick Leonard. After the exhibition was over, I was shooting with my cue, and both Joe and Dick came over and asked to look at it. In fact, Dick shot about a rack with it and told me that it was a great cue. Unfortunately he didn't tell me who had made it. Dick, I'm sure you remember none of this. The cue looks a lot like a Balabushka, but on the shaft there are the small words "master cuestick co." A few years ago I sent pictures and a description to Brad Simpson, of The Blue Book of Cues, and he couldn't help me. I'm hoping that someone can help me with this, or maybe has heard of the "master cuestick co." from that time period. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Dick, your posts have brought back a lot of fond memories of pool in the Albany area in that era. I haven't shot serious pool since then, but still go out for some fun shooting. Hope to be an active participant of this forum. Thanks in advance for any help identifying my cue.
02-04-2005, 06:27 PM
Welcome to the board Bob,
My experiences are mainly located in the Mid-West part of the country. Dick Leonard has blessed the CCB members with lots of great stories from the New York area.
Good luck finding info on your cue... $85 in 1960 dollars is a lot of money now.
02-04-2005, 06:39 PM
First, you might be surprised what Dick remembers <g>. Second, can you post some pictures on a host site and publish the link on the board? There were cues being imported from Europe and sold under various names here in the states, during the period you're talking about. I had a cue that was branded a Cue King, but was actually a Frinck from Germany. European cues from that period may have had a pin-in-shaft type joint and red rubber, half-spherical bumpers. Just some thoughts. Welcome to the board.
Don't be surprised if #### does remember! He's amazing. He SHOULD write a book!! /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif
Welcome to the CCB.
Dick used to call himself #### on this forum as the word "Dick" was seen by the software as profanity. We've grown up since then. /ccboard/images/graemlins/tongue.gif
02-04-2005, 07:05 PM
After reading your post, I immediately wore out my knees, kicking myself in the butt.
I love old cues and try to buy up anything I find interesting.
I paased up on a cue from the same company that I saw at a yard sale a few weeks ago.
The one I saw wasn't fanvy, no inlays or points. A very simple design.
I'm sure it's long gone now. I don't even remeber where I saw it, but I do remember seeing one.
02-05-2005, 01:18 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote rhoffman:</font><hr> Hi all - I just discovered this forum a couple of days ago and have now joined. I have a question about my cue and hope that someone can help me identify it, but I'll also give a little background about myself and my cue. I grew up on Long Island and played pool in the late 60's in an upstairs pool room on Northern Blvd, in Little Neck, run by a guy named George. Anyone remember it? In 1967 I bought a cue from him for $85. I went to college in Albany, NY at SUNY, actually attended at the same time as Paul Dayton, who was also a student there. I worked at the campus pool room, played with Paul a few times, and also shot pool at the Albany Golden Cue, on Central Ave., which Dick Leonard, one the forum members, ran. Paul Dayton also worked there. Anyway, back to my cue. Everywhere I played at that time other players would want to look at it. I remember attending an exhibition at the Golden Cue probably in 1970-71 between Joe Balsis and Dick Leonard. After the exhibition was over, I was shooting with my cue, and both Joe and Dick came over and asked to look at it. In fact, Dick shot about a rack with it and told me that it was a great cue. Unfortunately he didn't tell me who had made it. Dick, I'm sure you remember none of this. The cue looks a lot like a Balabushka, but on the shaft there are the small words "master cuestick co." A few years ago I sent pictures and a description to Brad Simpson, of The Blue Book of Cues, and he couldn't help me. I'm hoping that someone can help me with this, or maybe has heard of the "master cuestick co." from that time period. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Dick, your posts have brought back a lot of fond memories of pool in the Albany area in that era. I haven't shot serious pool since then, but still go out for some fun shooting. Hope to be an active participant of this forum. Thanks in advance for any help identifying my cue.
Bob <hr /></blockquote>
I know that there is a UK company called M.C.M MasterCue that makes snooker cues, maybe they make or at one time made pool cues also. There is also a company in Thailand that makes snooker cues called Mastercue. I played with their cues in Thailand. I don't know if they make pool cues or not.
02-05-2005, 12:46 PM
Thanks to those of you who have responded to my post. I'm hoping that I'll hear from Dick Leonard at some point. Is he still active on the forum? Unfortunately I am computer inept, so I cannot at this time post pictures of my cue. When I contacted Brad Simpson a few years ago, I mailed him some pictures and, based on those, his best guess was that it could be a Palmer. If any of you are familiar with Willie Mosconi's book, Winning Pocket Billiards, my cue looks almost exactly like the one he is using in the pictures in that book. Also, the words on the cue are actually "master cue stick co." not "master cuestick co." as I had posted. Not that that would make much difference. All of this reading about pool on this forum has got me excited to go out and start playing again.
02-06-2005, 07:40 AM
Bob I didn't play Joe Balsis, he played Irving Crane when he appeared there. The only players I played there was Steve Mizerak and we split and Art "Babe" Cranfield and I beat him 800 to 797.
Paul Dayton is making cues in Ft.Pierce Florida and his website can be reached from the AmericanCue Makers site.####
02-06-2005, 02:23 PM
Dick - Thanks for the response. Yes, I do remember Joe Balsis playing Irving Crane, but I also thought I remembered you playing Joe Balsis. It must be the Crane/Balsis exhibition that I remember, but I certainly remember you being there, and shooting with my cue. A couple of years ago I contacted Paul Dayton via his website, and we exchanged a couple of emails. It sounds like he is making terrific cues. I assume you have no thoughts regarding my cue. Great to hear from you. Did you by any chance know Nils Swart, who ran the pool room at SUNY at that time? I know he was good friends with Paul.
02-12-2005, 09:49 AM
Ok I've had my "MASTER CUE STICK CO." cue since about 1976. I haven't been able to find out much either. The butt does look something like a Palmer but I haven't found anything to identify it with greater certainty. I'm going to try to post a couple of pictures:
02-12-2005, 10:03 AM
Talk about timing. I just got on the forum to take a break from yard work, and you posted a reply to my cue question. You are the only person I've ever found who also had a Master Cue Stick Co. cue. It would be great if you could post some pictures, as I am computer illiterate enough not to be able to do that (hard to believe, since I have my own commercial website). Pizza Bob graciously offered to post some pictures if I could email him some, but I don't even know how to do that! Anyway, I hope some pictures will help others identify the cue or at least give us some leads. As I said, I paid $85 in 1967-8, which is over $500 in today's dollars, so it is probably not just an assembly line cue. Where did you buy your cue? Thanks for responding.
02-12-2005, 10:16 AM
Ask and ye shall receive. I bought my cue in Ann Arbor- probably at a garage sale for 5 or 10 bucks. I used to eat at Pizza Bob's all the time (Don't know if this Pizza Bob has any thing to do with that Pizza Bob).
Does this lool like your cue?
02-12-2005, 12:41 PM
Thanks for posting the pictures of your cue. Mine looks a little like it, but mine has much lighter wood on the butt. Mine also has black bands where yours seems to have steel ones. As I said in a previous post, if you or anyone else has Willie Mosconi's book, Winning Pocket Billiards, mine looks almost exactly like the one he is using in all the pictures. The colors and design are almost exactly the same. If you can get hold of that, you'll see what my cue looks like. As to Pizza Bob, you'll have to ask him about his location. He is on this forum.
I have been told by Sue (Martine) from Chalkers in SF, that she will do an origin search on my cue for $100. I don't think I feel like spending the money. She also has never heard of Master Cue Stick Co. I also asked Robert Byrne a few years ago, and he had never heard of it either.
02-12-2005, 09:18 PM
I checked with sue and with brad simpson (blue book of pool cues) but got nothing useful. The butt is turned out of a single piece of wood, I think. The wood is a rich reddish brown with strong grain and figuration, The closest match I could find is this image of cocobolo:
02-13-2005, 06:06 AM
Sorry, not me. I've had this monniker for about 12 years - being christened by a 14.1 nemesis.
Pizza Bob<---never far from a pizza restaurant
02-14-2005, 12:21 PM
Bob I think Paul had me go to UAlb to meet Nils Swart. I can't remember if I recovered his tables for him or got someone to do it for him. I think the State wanted someone that was a bonafide business.
UAlb is fast becoming a Basketball Powerhouse they destroyed Siena this year.####
02-14-2005, 12:44 PM
Dick - Funny that you should mention recovering the pool tables at SUNY. I think during my Christmas break of 1971, I helped Nils recover all the tables. I really had no idea what I was doing, but Nils seemed to know what to do, and the tables came out ok. It was quite an experience!
If you followed the basketball, one of my good friends on the faculty was Doc Sauers, who of course was the legendary basketball coach. He took me under his wing in 4-wall handball, as he was one of the best in the country at that sport. I was one of 2 or 3 best at the school, but none of us could touch Doc. I was at school at the same time as Rich Margison, who may still be the scoring leader in SUNY basketball.
02-14-2005, 01:23 PM
I did a quick internet search and found this 1998 newsgroup posting by another "Master Cue Stick" owner. You might try to contact him to see if he ever found any additional information:
Don Zirulnik / Winifred Von Ehrenburg Nov 1 1998, 12:00 am hide options
From: Don Zirulnik / Winifred Von Ehrenburg <zirul...@sirius.com> - Find messages by this author
Subject: Master cue stick co
Reply to Author | Forward | Print | Individual Message | Show original | Report Abuse
I've been using a cue manufactured by the "Master Cue Stick Co" for the
last 25 years or so.. Can anybody provide info re my stick? Is it any
good? How much is it worth?
I'm just beginning league 8-ball. I used to play passable snooker but I
don't have any idea how I rate. I'd like to get a better cue if it would
help my game. Any recommendations? I'm not interested in a "pretty" cue-
I want my money to go towards quality of construction, not style.
02-14-2005, 02:10 PM
Wont be hard to track me down.
02-14-2005, 03:00 PM
The online billiards community is indeed a small minority /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif
02-15-2005, 06:23 AM
Bob if my memory serves me Doc was a scratch Golfer too. When he was coaching there wasn't the money in the program that there is now. They come close to filling the Pepsi Arena while Siena program has fallen on hard times. They are letting their Coach go at the end of this season.
In my youth one year Siena was ranked in the top 10 in the Country. Their coach Dan Cunha had them play nothing but defense. Some of their scores were 20 -16 etc. Then they change the rules and the shot clock was born.####
02-15-2005, 07:12 AM
Since you are in my age range and from Long Island I was wondering if you heard of a gentleman named Basil who ran a room in Amityville village behind his barbershop? A hint he was a world champion in his younger days! /ccboard/images/graemlins/cool.gif
02-15-2005, 08:39 AM
Dick - I'd forgotten about Doc's golf game, but you're right, he was also a scratch golfer. The guy was pretty amazing. I used to see him in the weight room when I was working out, and he would have an incline board set up almost vertical so that he was almost upside down, and he would knock off 100 sit-ups and carry on a conversation with me while he was doing them! His intensity was incredible, but he was a super nice guy. I will say that I never saw him play pool!
I located one of the emails that Paul Dayton sent me a couple years ago, and he mentioned that he had just sent you a Willie Hoppe cue that he had worked on for you. Is that the cue you use now, or is it just a collector's item? Do you still get over to the Golden Cue to play?
Do you remember the Varsity Inn in Colonie, that opened in 1972, huge bar and dancing place? Maybe out on Wolf Road. I was hired as a bouncer there when it opened - pretty strange job, but a lot of money for a college kid. I would take home $200-300 a week as lead bouncer, pretty good money for that time. Fortunately never hurt my hands, so continued to shoot pool. Haven't thought about those Albany memories in a long time. Thanks for bringing them back, Dick.
02-15-2005, 08:43 AM
No, I never shot any pool in Amityville, and don't remember a Basil. I grew up in Manhasset, shot most of my pool in Little Neck, in Queens on Northern Blvd., but also played in a couple of places in I believe Hempstead and Valley Stream, can't remember their names.
02-15-2005, 09:07 AM
The joint in Hempstead was a spot I remember The one I went to was near the bus terminal and always smoky as hell! LOL! I played a lot at Hofstra in the Rathskeller also! not much on the North Shore but I do know the pool place on Northern Blvd but did not go there till I was in College! /ccboard/images/graemlins/laugh.gif
02-15-2005, 09:22 AM
MrLucky I think his name was Basil Menecke, I know the spelling is wrong. I played in a few World Qualifiers that he was in.####
02-15-2005, 09:37 AM
<font color="purple">Yep that was him!!!!!! I think it is spelled Minicke he was polish he used to tell us stories when I was in high school about his life and when he was in a concentration camp as a youth! He and my uncle used to have some great battles in straight pool late at night in his pool room! /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif </font color>
02-24-2005, 01:23 PM
Mr. Lucky - I also remember playing at a place in Massapequa, pretty modern place. Did you ever play there? Didn't the Jets have their summer training camp at Hofstra back around 1970? I remember I used to go to a bar near there after shooting pool and be absolutely dwarfed by all the football players hanging out there, and I was a bouncer! They were huge!
02-24-2005, 06:46 PM
Bob the New York Giants have been practicing at UAlb for the last 6 years or so, I think they just reupped their contract for a few more years. I think they charge a few bucks to see them practice. It gives the local TV and newspapers something to grab onto.####
02-25-2005, 01:47 PM
Dick - I've read about the Giants practicing at UAlb in the alumni material I get. I believe they did just extend the contract. It doesn't sound like you've gone over to watch them. I haven't been back to the campus in at least 25 years, although I do fly into Albany airport everytime I come back east to visit my mom, who lives in Delhi. Do they still have the pool room on campus?
02-25-2005, 04:22 PM
Nope I don't remember the Massapequa spot, where was it? is it still there? , I left long Island and transferred to Atalnta in 1980 ! Yep, I was at Hofstra in 78 -79 and those guys were huge ! though they did not hang around campus much.
it was still The good ole days back then!!!! /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif
02-25-2005, 07:40 PM
Mr Lucky - Okay, this is going back more than 30 years so my memory is not the best. But it seems like the pool room might have been on East Meadow Parkway, or something like that, but I don't think it was actually in East Meadow, but I might be wrong on Massapequa. Ring any bells? Hope you like Atlanta. I left Long Island in 1968 to go to college in Albany, and just came back for summers until about 1972, then moved to the West Coast. Haven't really been back to Long Island since then.
03-02-2005, 11:24 AM
donzeeus - You mentioned that you checked with Sue (Martyne) Bachmen regarding your Master Cue Stick Co. cue, but nothing came of it. Since no one on CCB has been able to help me out, I really doubt that Sue will be able to come up with anything on my cue for the $100 search fee she is requesting. I'm tempted to let her try, though, since I can show her my cue, as she is only about 30 minutes from my home in Northern CA. I just hate to spend the money. I'll let you know if I decide to do it and learn anything.
03-02-2005, 11:49 AM
Its not the same anymore! /ccboard/images/graemlins/frown.gif water pollution, crime and cost of living have all sky rocketed and made it change for the worse! IMHO! when I go there now I can't wait to go back to Atlanta /ccboard/images/graemlins/mad.gif
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