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Hugo and Hattie Kundinger


"Mr. Hugo & Miss Hattie"

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Memories of Mr. Hugo & Miss Hattie



Remembering Mr. Hugo and Miss Hattie

Hattie’s great niece, Mary Lee, tells about their visits to Collegeport.

Uncle Hugo was always such a quiet man.  I remember him as always sitting at his rolltop desk in the back corner of the store or out pumping gas.  The first thing that he did when we got to their house was to make us a Collegeport Special which I think was grape juice and grapefruit juice combined.  For supper that night we always had a big pot of boiled eggs!

Aunt Hattie was the outgoing one of the two.  She was always bustling around doing something or visiting with the customers.  She was really a good cook, too.

We girls always had such a good time going to Collegeport.  Aunt Hattie would let us help at the fountain some and always brag on us. Uncle Hugo used to have a dunking bird sitting up on one of the showcases and we thought that was such a neat thing.  We usually ended up with having one go home with us.  When we were getting ready to go home.  Uncle Hugo would go fill three bags with candy for our trip home. We always looked forward to that!

The ice cream was always so good that Aunt Hattie made or maybe Uncle Hugo made it.  I can't remember which one but it was delicious.

Our grandparents lived in Colorado and other western states so Uncle Hugo and Aunt Hattie were the nearest thing to grandparents that we had. I feel sure that they thought of us as grandchildren as well. They were much loved by our family."

Hugo’s nephew remembers Hugo and Hattie. “He remembers Hugo and Hattie very well and often visited their store. My aunts all recalled visiting the store too and coming home with a little bag of candy. This was such a treat for a family with 5 kids in post-Depression Houston.”

Mary Lee Walzel

November 22, 2010

"Miss Hattie and Mr. Hugo were such a stabilizing force in our community. They shared their vocation and mutual interest with all of us.

World War II years brought serious rationing to so many things. One of my early remembrances of the Drug Store was of Miss Hattie—on rare occasions, and it was such a treat—of her reaching into one of the glass cabinets and bringing out a box of Hersheys. Sometimes, she had Hershey Kisses to parcel out. They were much larger and much more milk chocolate then.

One summer our Aunt Margaret took a sabbatical leave for a year from her Chicago school eight grade class to spend time at her home on the Bay building shutters for all the windows, preparing for Gulf Storms. She formed an arts and crafts class for all the town children at Miss Hattie’s to paint wooden bracelets and weave wicker trays and baskets then painting and lacquering them in bright colors. Mr. Hugo displayed all the pretty art work in the glass show cases. They stayed on display most of the summer there. Everyone seemed proud to see all the hard work there the class had completed.

During the teen years our church choir loved going to the Drug Store after Christian Endeavor and choir practice every Wednesday night. It was our favorite hang out! Miss Hattie and Mr. Hugo, with his signature twirl, would serve us one of our favorite sodas or ice cream. Mr. Hugo introduced my family to Baby Percy. It is not doubt the best medicine or tonic for an upset stomach or heart burn.

In 1952 Mr. Hugo passed away. I was a senior in High School by then. Although I knew Miss Hattie in her role as owner of the Drug Store, our relationship soon became one as fast friends. We went to see all of the Mr. Ed, the talking horse movies, and her favorite eating-out destination was the El Campo Restaurant. Occasionally we would drive to Rock Port to visit Faye and girls. I had spent the night with Miss Hattie for the following six weeks after Mr. Hugo’s death, and every morning before I left her house for school, there would be a huge breakfast waiting for me to eat. We laughed with one another when we discovered neither of us ate much breakfast!

Ironically, the 1961 Carla Gulf Storm completely destroyed the Drug Store and her home. Jesse, my husband and a friend had driven down after the storm to see the damages. On the way back to Waco they stopped at the El Campo Restaurant to eat and there sat Miss Hattie hovered in a booth. Jesse brought her home to Waco and she stayed several days with us. Soon she was back to her old self and drive and the rest is history. She was able to build a new home right over the space where the Drug Store stood.

As we all know, their kindness endeared them to us all. She will forever be in my memories."

Phyllis Holsworth Derrick

May 17, 2012

George Hubert Jr., son of Hugo's sister, Clara, and her husband, George Hubert, Sr.,  remembered visiting Hugo and Hattie. “When we got ready to leave, Aunt Hattie said, ‘You kids can get all [the candy] you can hold in one hand.’”

May 28, 2011

"[My parents], Roy & Carrie Belle Shuey Nelson came to Collegeport in 1909 from Alton, Kansas. I was born June 4 in Dr. Loos’ Hospital in Bay City.

I guess I’m one of the oldest Collegeport residents living so I have many fond memories of Mr. Hugo and Mrs. Hattie.

I guess my first memory goes back when Hattie had the only telephone and she brought good and bad messages from our kinsmen, long distance. Also, evening meeting at the drug store for the mail!

I don’t remember very much about the Drug Store having the mail. My most vivid memories are at the Post Office down town with Dad Corse as postmaster and Mrs. Crane had a store there. Later Ben Mowery at store a few stores down.

The  [drug] store had a counter on west side and at the end there was a jewelry shelf (all glass). I loved the jewelry and still have a couple of pieces from there. This was when I was a teen-ager that I finally bought the rings I had so admired for so long.

The fig factory isn’t mentioned very often. You see, my folks came to raise Satsuma oranges and figs.

Mr. Hugo was my doctor. From a very early age, being overly active, I had many accidents that didn’t require Mom bringing me to Bay City to Dr. Loos.

We, Sis and I, the Guyer girls and others played in the water below the Hurd home. The men made us a raft. It helped because of the many oyster shells. Well, to this day, at 88 years, I still carry a huge scar on my right foot from an oyster shell cut. Mom took me to Mr. Hugo’s and he cleaned the wound and filled the gash with Unguentine. No water on the wound he said. Well, it didn’t heal fast enough for me, so I went across the road to my dearest friends Stanley and Mother (Rena) Wright. I wanted some horse medicine Stanley had used on his mare when she cut her foot, Balsam of Myrrh. We got a chicken feather out of the chicken yard and applied the Rx  in, out and around the wound. It healed pretty quickly.

The wonderful ice cream—however it was served was the best. My favorite was Coke Float. The stools were so special to sit on and lean on the fountain so clean and cold. Sometimes the fizzer wouldn’t work, but we just made a substitute.

Wonderful Memories. Caring and loving couple."

Ethel Nelson Williams

June 10, 2011

Photo courtesy of Chris Murat, great-granddaughter of Hugo's sister, Clara Kundinger Hubert.


Copyright 2011 - Present by Carol Sue Gibbs
All rights reserved

Jun. 13, 2011
Jun. 13, 2011