Ernie Markle: Sandblasted Billiard
A smooth, smartly striated rim, presides over a perfect Billiard shank-length-to bowl-height ratio of 1:1. Ernie then follows with a relatively short-throw saddle bit, imbuing the totality with that not-uncertain sense of cool & compact which we have come to associate (and love) with not only the American School, but in more than a few recent Danish presentations as well. Much of the popularity of this interpretation lies in its ability to appeal both to our sense of traditional, as well as the "I want to hold it" part of our brains, something made possible by a hard to pin down charm which few staunchly traditional straight Billiards can boast. From crown, to a bit of such remarkable comfort that you will scarcely know it's there, Mr. Markle has (yet again) created a briar which seems all but certain to find a favored place in a rotation. The fact that he did so with beautifully subtle blasted birdseye on the sides, as well as a cross on the front and back that is tighter than a Stevie Ray Vaughn riff, doesn't hurt its cause a bit.
--R. 'Bear' Graves