Doc Frye (pictured above) was inducted into the 2019 International Cuemakers Hall of Fame in the deceased cuemaker category. He started building cues in the early 1960’s and continued until his passing in 1978. He made pool cues in the Philadelphia area (Feasterville) and was a Pharmacist as his main occupation and picked up the nickname Doc from that. Most of his cues were fairly simple with colorful sleeve rings. He inspired Gus Szamboti who was from the Philadelphia area also to start building cues. Any pointed cues from Doc were most likely using Gus forearms. He was famous for putting a shiny new penny inside the butt plate with the year the cue was made on it. This makes his cues easier to identify.
Pete Tascarella (pictured below with Pete Jr.) was inducted into the 2019 International Cuemakers Hall of Fame in the living cuemaker category. Pete bought his first cue from George Balabushka and used to hang out in George’s shop watching him work. His fascination with cuemaking developed to the point that he bought George’s shop in 1975 after George passed away. Some months later he produced his first cue. Although he builds cues with various joints, his traditional style pointed cue with veneers and piloted joint are his main claim to fame. He has become one of the most sought after traditional style cuemakers in the world. He still uses the same equipment he bought from the Balabushka family to build his cues today.
Pete is considered to be one of the foremost authorities on Balabushka cues and his letters of authentication are a must for many collectors. Pete is a retired police officer and his son Pete Jr. has also followed him in serving his state in that capacity. Pete Jr. also joined Pete in the cue shop and they have been building cues together for over 30 years. Many proclaim their Tascarella cues to be among the best playing cues around.
The International Cuemakers Hall of Fame was established in 2004 with 6 legendary cuemakers and has now grown to 35 members. To view the whole membership visit the web site at www.internationalcuemakers.com
By: Chris Hightower