Pat Diveney may not be well known in his residential town of West Liberty, but in the sport of pocket billiards the 66 year-old is noted around the world.
Although an accomplished pool player, Diveney's undisputed fame is attached to his handcrafted pool cues, all of which are made in a shop behind his house here in town and shipped to customers as far away as the Philippines.
In fact, several famous pool pros from the Philippines use 'a Diveney', as does Filipino boxer Manny Pacquiao.
His interest in making pool cues began over 15 years ago when he got the idea in his head that he could make a few extra dollars doing something he knew he would enjoy. He use to modify all his store bought cues, in response people began asking him to do the same to their cues.
Later he bought some equipment and began making his own style of pool cues as well as do customizations. His two sons, Danny and Brian, soon followed him into the business with his wife, Josefina, and daughter, Jennifer.
His cues are so popular that they are listed in the 'Blue Book of Pool Cues' and collectors often contact him about buying his cues. When asked if there is a secret to his crafting, Diveney doesn't hold back.
"We think that it is the way we build them," he said. "We think that drilling and corking the wood makes a big difference in how a cue plays. We also think that the way we taper our shafts has a lot to do with our cues 'play' ability."
The look and style of Diveney pool cues also set them apart from others. One cue he makes is called the Sneaky Pete. At first glance it appears to be a generic pool cue. But once in action it performs like a Diveney.
Other cues he crafts may be adorned with things like sterling silver, mother-of -pearl or sometimes ivory. Diveney said he only uses the ivory if the seller can prove it follows the legal criteria under the Ivory ban of 1990.
Diveney's website, diveneyq.com, is an example of how his integrity parallels the pride he has in his work.
"Each cue I build offers the best materials, the finest craftsmanship and high attention to detail," he said. "No cue leaves my shop that my hands have not spent hours machining, polishing, and dressing to perfection."
Even with all the success he has gained and the possible opportunities waiting for him, moving away from West Liberty is not an option he entertains.
"The reason I've stayed in West Liberty - it's our home. We love it here and we love the people," he said.
Diveney, originally from Columbus Junction, said he would like to celebrate West Liberty's 175th Anniversary by hosting a large pool tournament.
"I am just so proud to be a part of West Liberty in this point of my life," he said.
A West Liberty Secret: World famous pool cuesMary Atkinson · Tuesday, August 6, 2013