Look at that tusk! This is a cool shot of a display of materials used early on in the evolution of Black Boar. Tony was so proud of the quality of materials and construction methods he wanted to show-and-tell.
This a rare photo of Dick Helmstetter of Adams Cues praising Black Boar at the second Black Boar trade show exhibit in July of 1989.
Dick Helmstetter’s cue making career began in the early 1960’s, while he was still in college at the University of Wisconsin. By the time he graduated college he had succeeded in making very basic playing cues, and had spent some time researching and making shafts for Rollie Welch of Milwaukee. In 1966, he moved to Washington, DC and took up with Red Jones and Ed Sharp, owners of The Golden Cue in Bladensburg, MD. It was there his career really took off, by the end of the year he had orders for 100 custom cues. Later, around 1987, in the beginning of Tony’s cue making career he would also use The Golden Cue as a stepping stone.
From Bladensburg to Chicago in 1967, Helmstetter next set up facilities and oversaw the development of the cue division for the National Tournament Chalk Company teamed with Bob Meucci, Craig Petersen and Ricco Cervantes. Their efforts produced 600 cues the first year. In 1968, Dick teamed up with David Forman, who was responsible for the Sutra and Royal cue lines, made in Japan. Their distribution arrangements quickly lead to Helmstetter’s move to Japan in 1969, which resulted in the birth of Adam Custom Cues. By 1973, Adam Custom Cues produced sixty different models, and approximately 100,000 cues a year. In just three years time, Adam Custom Cues the Adam lion logo was widely recognizable, and the cues the cue of choice throughout the world. Helmstetter could boast a large advisory board of 30 professional players, including endorsements from Jim Rempe and Allen Hopkins.
By July of 1989 (when the photo above was taken), Dick Helmstetter was already one of the most accomplished cue makers in cue making history. As it happened, Dick did a double take on his way past the first Black Boar trade show exhibit. He approached the booth and asked to handle a cue. Tony knew of Dick’s impressive reputation because of their mutual association with The Golden Cue. Helmstetter raved about the Black Boar. He said it was off the charts for a fledgling endeavor! Tony was so excited at the high praise he had to snap this shot to capture the memory!
Worth noting, Dick Helmstetter is also responsible for the Big Bertha Calloway Golf Club, famed all over the world.
Mark Kulangin, seen here with Tony, was one of the first Black Boar dealers.