This is a post Thomas made about me in 1999. Funny how things change in a decade.
help with case purchase – overeaction to idiocy
>Apology to rest of group; there´s just a wee bit of history and pent up
>frustration here. Thanks for listening.
Just weighing in with an uninvited and possibly unwelcome opinion
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On occasion a thread gets started regarding the "top" list of
cuemakers and who they might be. For the most part I've stayed out of
those discussions, but when I have weighed in, I've pretty much stuck
to my fundamental belief – that when you reach the upper level of the
upper level of the top floor in ANY pursuit, the "A" list is usually
just too close to rank. That's why I don't believe there is, or ever
can be a clearly defined 'best' cuemaker.
That being said, John Collins and I have known each other for many
years, and there are lots of little personal and business issues that
we (frankly) don't agree on, sometimes passionately. But I have
watched his products evolve and grow both in style and quality over
the years, and I have to say that there really is none better. Now
that is not to say that John's products are specifically "the best",
but rather that they are so good as to be in that ranking that defies
In my never-humble opinion, one mark of success in your field is when
you are copied and imitated by the 'knock-off artists'. This is a
sure indication that you have developed a product that stands out. In
the field of cue cases, I've noticed a small group of makers who have
been mercilessly ripped off over the years. That short list is:
Fellini (now defunct)
Instroke (John Collins)
Interestingly enough, each of these makers seems (to me) to have a
particular area of excellence that makes their product worthy of
owning – and desirable for the product thieves to copy. Skipping the
long-gone Fellini, those qualities are:
Joe Porper – Joe invented the closed-cell foam cored case and has
consistently produced one of the finest, most durable and protective
(not to mention affordable) cases ever made. I have watched him
continually devise new and improved versions of his original classic
design, and his latest all-leather 2×4, with its patented top closure
is, IMO, world class stuff.
Jack Justis – one of the nicest guys you'd ever want to meet, Jack has
consistantly built some of the most beautiful and downright pretty cue
cases I've ever seen. His devotion to quality materials, meticulous
attention to detail and masterful leather work remain unmatched in
Dan Whitten – Like his peers, Dan's devotion to quality materials and
clean workmanship results in a product that impressively stands out in
any crowd. Pretty much every casemaker offers various accessory
pouches, handles, shoulder straps and other doodads, and Dan is no
exception to that practice. But his benchmark product, for my taste
at least, is his classic 1×2, no handles, pouches or other
whatchamacallits. Sleek and streamlined, easy to grab in one hand,
this basic frontrunner just oozes simple ellegance. Even decked out
in a Nicole Miller tux and Italian shoes, carrying my black leather
Whitten makes me feel just a bit underdressed.
John Collins – John's stuff is okay too.
Alright already, just a little poke in the ribs there.
Actually, the Instroke cases, from John Collins, are some of the most
original and innovative creations I've ever seen. His very original
eye for design and practicality have led the field, and thus spawned
more than his share of imitators. I am proud to have a few of his
cases – as well as every maker mentioned here – and I know first hand
they are as good as it gets.
Now, John, if I could just get you to pull yor head out of your ass
long enough to see everything ELSE my way, we'd get along great…