Kugler-Nicholson Sporting Goods Store had everything

Published 4:46 pm Monday, March 4, 2024

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When I was growing up, my favorite store downtown was Kugler- Nicholson. You could put on a baseball glove to see if your hand was a good fit inside it. You could also pick up their bats and swing them to test them out. My bat was a Brooks Robinson model, made by Louisville Slugger. They were made of wood back then and you better hit with the trademark facing you or you would break it if you hit the ball on that particular spot.

They were not made of aluminum like today’s bats but were wooden with real wood. I do know that when I purchased one, how much tire tape that I bought. You could drive a few nails in the handle and wrap tire tape around it for temporary use after it was broken. In a sandlot game, we used different players bats and you never wanted someone else to break your bat because then you had to buy a new one. One time on 11th Street, Joe Stalls broke my bat and replaced it. That was very unusual.

The Rawlings baseball was what we all used. Nothing felt better than a new Rawlings baseball. You couldn’t hit on asphalt because it would smear a new baseball up. Bill Nolley and I used to stand in his backyard and play pitcher and catcher and Bill had a catcher’s mitt too.

The only thing we could not purchase from Kugler-Nicholson was a pair of Chuck Taylor All-Star basketball shoes. Converse must have sold many pairs of Chuck’s! We had to buy them through the school and for only $3.00 if you made the basketball team. Phil Edwards was the first person to get a pair of Chuck’s in our neighborhood. They were high tops too. The basketball coach didn’t want him to turn an ankle, that was how good he was. They didn’t start making low cuts till later and only guards got them.

Daddy bought me a jacket like Coach Wagner used to wear when I was five years old. At least that’s what he told me. I probably needed to wear it because it was the warmest jacket I owned at that time.

Kugler-Nicholson is torn down now, but it was the sporting goods store that had everything you could. Thank you, Mr. Doc for having the patience of Job with me!

They were the best of times with the best of friends and the best of places, Washington, N.C. The Original Washington!

Harold Jr.