View Full Version : POW-MIA Cue

03-04-2008, 07:07 PM
About three years ago I asked Mike Bender of Delta Junction Alaska to build me a cue using the POW-MIA logo and military ribbon to honor all of our soldiers and to remember the POW's and MIA soldiers. I had thought for several years how I could honor all of our soldiers in my small world that I live in and realized that I could share my passion for pool and the remembrances of the POW's and MIA's through a unique cue design honoring all of our soldiers. As a Vietnam veteran, who is only here by the grace of God, or tragic twist of fate, it was the least I could do. I first discussed this idea with Joe Ezell (a cuemaker in his own right and a friend) just after the start of the new millenium.

At that time, I had already owned a couple of Bender cues and after I realized the extent to which Mike Bender and Tracey Dunham go with their cues, I knew they were the ones to build it.

The cue took quite some time to build (three years) and some of you who have met me, have seen the cue. I play with it in all of the tournaments I compete in.

When it was completed at the beginning of 2007, I decided to have a professional photographer take pictures of it, along with the matching case that Jack Justis built.

To say that I'm happy with the cue and case is an understatement and I thank both Jack, Mike and Tracey for building this memorial of a cue/case.

I thought I would share the pictures of the cue to my world by asking one of the billiard magazines if they would be interested in publishing pictures of it.

I went straight to the managing editor of Billiards Digest and asked him if Billiards Digest would be interested. Mason King, the managing editor said that he and Billiard Digest were VERY INTERESTED in publishing pictures of our cue and that it could easily be worked into their WAND WORKSHOP, which is a part of their magazine where they showcase cues of special proportions. On May 21, 2007, after Mason King reviewed my pictures he emailed me and said that he thought they could definitely find room in the next issue of Billiard Digest to showcase the cue in their WAND WORKSHOP section. Each month that passed, I would either call Mason or send him an email inquiring politely as always, as to the status of the publishing of my cue. Each and every time Mason King responded that they were defintely interested in publishing the POW-MIA CUE that I designed with Mike Bender and Tracey Dunham.

It seemed strange that each month there were no pictures of my POW-MIA cue in the magazine and so I would check in just to make sure they were still interested in publishing pictures of my one of a kind cue. Mason assured me each and every time that they were definitely still interested and once even remarked that their business was really good and that they couldn't squeeze it in at the moment but would do so surely in the very near future, maybe the next issue.

Never once did I show any anger or animosity for the procrastination. Afterall, I am in business and understand that making a profit comes before any philanthropic or civic efforts can be made by any business who cares about remaining in business.

Even as recent as the end of 2007, actually December 27, 2007, I received an email from Mason assuring me that there was a very good chance that it would make the next month's issue in the WING SHOT/WAND WORKSHOP. That would have been February's issue..

Each month I would keep my fingers crossed hoping for the best, when lo and behold in March's issue there it is, the POW-MIA cue, just not my cue. It was someone else's POW-MIA cue.

It shocked me to see that Billiards Digest had slipped in someone else's POW-MIA cue in place of mine and I called to ask them to destroy all of my high resolution photos.

I am glad that our soliders got some of the recognition for the sacrifices that they all make and hope that the POW's and MIA's will never be forgotten.

It is unfortunate that after all of the assurances I received that the managing editor chose to change his mind without even telling me.

If Mason had been honest with me and told me that they weren't interested, I could easily have asked another billiard magazine if they would like to publish pictures of the cue.

Since I heard only assurances that my POW-MIA pool cue would be published in Billiard Digest, I could not in good conscience ask another pool magazine if they would be interested in publishing the pictures regardless of the delay.

I think Billiards Digest and Mason King did a deep injustice to me, Mike Bender and Tracey Dunham.

I cannot fathom how I could ever renew my subscription to their magazine.

It bothers me greatly when people do not keep their word to me. I make every effort to keep my word. If circumstances change that prevent me from keeping a committment I will make every effort to at least inform those affected as to what those changes are and why.

The way that Mason King & Billiards Digest have deceived me, disgusts me and makes me very angry.