Gus Szamboti - GST This is a very early cue, one of the few Titlists made by Gus before he figured out how to make his own blanks in late 1972. Four rosewood points have the traditional four veneers of purple, turquoise, brown, and maple, with a mother-of-pearl dot in each point. Rosewood butt sleeve has pearlized acrylic bands with black plastic veneer rings at top and bottom. The delrin butt cap is attached with a steel screw. There is no butt cap; Gus didn't put bumpers on his earliest cues. The piloted stainless steel joint has a steel 5/16-14 pin (later cues were 5/16-18).
The cue was meticulously restored and authenticated by Barry Szamboti in 2003. Barry refinished the cue using a lacquer finish, same as the original. He was able to retain the original Cortland wrap, which he cleaned and pressed “like new”. There was only one original shaft (not what you'd call dead straight) with a black linen collar decorated by a single white LBF ring, so I had Barry make a new 13mm shaft with ivory ferrule. He used some of his Dad's old linen phenolic to perfectly match the original shaft collar.
The collector from whom I bought it (Ed Boado) had it for 14 years; he got it from one of Gus Szamboti's oldest friends, Gus DeStefano. In a letter Boado relates, “I purchased this and another cue on 3/1/89 from Gus DeStefano of Philly. When I purchased the cue from Gus he indicated that this was one of Gus Szamboti's original cues, and had been one of his personal cues until he either gave it or lost it to his friend Nicky, whom I believe was his barber. Nicky, Gus D. and Gus S. were best friends who hung together for years.”
I got the best part of the story in a recent e-mail from Barry Szamboti: “I remember Gus DeStefano selling Ed Boado his and Nicky's cues, and it was around 1989. There is more to the story for you. My Dad made this cue for Nicky to replace the one he cut in half. Dad, Gus D. and Nicky are playing pool at Dad's and Nicky (who was not a player of Dad or Gus's caliber) was playing too good. So, just to tease him, Dad takes his cue downstairs and cuts it in half! He brings it up and hands it to Nicky, who is in shock, as he and Gus D. laugh hysterically. Then Dad made Nicky this cue.”
57 ½ inches. Approximately 19.5 oz. 2 shafts with ivory ferrules. Includes authenticating documents from Barry Szamboti and Eduardo P. Boado.