ACA Honors Tad Kohara, Keith Josey
The American Cuemakers Association (ACA) is proud to announce its latest inductee into the prestigious ACA Hall of Fame and its 2011 “Cuemaker of the Year,” Tad Kohara and Keith Josey. The ACA was formed in 1992 to promote the American cue and cue maker, to recognize a standard of excellence in the art of cue-making, to educate the public about cues, and to work with other organizations whose objectives are compatible with the ACA’s to promote pool and especially the American cue.
Considered the most prestigious award in the cue-making industry, the ACA’s Hall of Fame presently has 13 inductees. They include George Balabushka, Herman Rambow, Burton Spain, Ernie Gutierrez, Harvey Martin, Gus Szamboti, Frank Paradise, Eugene and Ilona Balner, Dan Janes, Jerry Franklin, Bill Schick, and Richard Black. The 2011 inductee is Tad Kohara of Tad’s Custom Cues.
Tad began repairing cues in 1963 in a poolroom he owned in Los Angeles. Within a year, because of popular demand, he began making his own cues. Although not a pool player himself, Tad had a lot of input regarding the playability of his cues from the likes of Willie Mosconi, Jimmy Caras, and Joe Balsis. Tad was also influenced by cue makers Harvey Martin, Ernie Gutierrez, Gene Balner, and Doc Fry, three of whom are previous inductees themselves.
Never making more than approximately 100 cues per year, Tad used very little ivory in his cues because of the large numbers going overseas. In 2003, after 40 years of making top-quality, highly collectible cues, Tad Kohara was recognized as a “Master Cuemaker” by his peers and collectors at the “Showcase at the Ritz” in California. Although making very few cues today, the Kohara name carries on as his son, Fred, continues the tradition started by his father.
The “Cuemaker of the Year” award was begun in 2008 to recognize an ACA member who has provided a top quality product in an ethical, honorable, and professional manner through the years. The award is presented annually at the Super Billiards Expo at the Valley Forge Convention Center in King of Prussia, PA. This year’s Expo will be held March 10-13 with the presentations being made at the ACA banquet March 12.
The 2011 ACA “Cuemaker of the Year” is Keith Josey of Josey Custom Cues in Savannah, GA. Keith grew up playing pool and woodworking in his father’s shop. In 1988 Keith opened Josey Cue Repairs in Savannah when he became dissatisfied with local repairs. In 1992 he opened Josey Custom Cues. Known for his elaborate points and inlay designs, many Josey cues have complex floating points with a “medieval” motif.
Also to be recognized at the banquet will be this year’s recipient of the “People’s Choice Award.” This award acknowledges the public’s choice of their favorite cue on display at the ACA booth at the Super Billiards Expo. Every ACA member can display one cue of which they are especially proud. Attendees at the show can then cast their votes for their favorite cue. The cue maker whose cue receives the most votes will be recognized with the “People’s Choice Award. Last year’s winner was Pete Tonkin.
Pictures of the award winners and the winning cue will be posted after the presentations on the ACA website, www.cuemakers.org.