Ruth got his start receiving his neighborhood buddies to help him haul mattresses for 50 cents an hour and driving a delivery truck. Health problems are currently forcing him to shut down his Gerard's Furniture store.
"I ain’t going house to mope about it," Ruth said, sitting at the center of the Florida Boulevard showroom. "I am going to continue working. I got to deliver all this furniture."
This is actually the second time that Ruth has had a sale. Twenty-two decades back, when he turned 65, Ruth brought to help the stock is sold off by him.
"So I came back."
Ironically, the same company that helped him in 1996 back with the retirement sale is assisting him with this going-out-of-business sale.
87, ruth , still does business like he always did. His store doesn't have a site. "I really don't text and that I don't email," he explained. "Just been a few years ago we got a computer for accounting."
Gerard's includes a focus on high-end furniture made with premium leather.
"All that stuff on the world wide web, it is like going into the boats. It's gambling. You do not understand what you going to have," he explained. "Some of the leather is seconds, some of it's rejects."
Ruth started working in the furniture industry during his senior year in Baton Rouge High at Lloyd Furniture Co., then at 1126 North Blvd.. After graduation, he attended LSU joined the Coast Guard.
He returned to Baton Rouge and also to his job with the furniture store.
He was a salesman at Hemenway's, Ruth got into racing. He was a driver for the Tom Cat Baby, a boat with a Corvette engine that won the prestigious and dangerous Pan American race Lake Pontchartrain in 1958.
With Lewis Gottlieb, Ruth became friends Throughout the boat races. Some teams that were rushing were backed by gottlieb.
Ruth got a call from Gottlieb, 1 day. The owner of Simon Furniture Co. had expired and his children were not interested in taking over the business. Can Ruth be interested in owning a furniture shop?
Gottlieb advised the store to be checked out by him, and he'd help him finance the deal, when he was interested.
"It was a great store, and that I knew I could do some good on the market," Ruth said. The problem was money. Selma, his wife and ruth, had just had their second child, and he needed a couple hundred dollars after paying the hospital bill. But he did have a life insurance coverage he bought from a fellow member of the Red Stick Kiwanis Club.
"Mr. Gottlieb told me to deliver him that insurance coverage into the bank," Ruth said. "He told me'You're going to create it."
The Furniture of gerard started in 1966. There were three employees: a bookkeeper and the Ruths. Ruth sold furniture. In the evenings, he delivered.
At that time, the trend in furniture was Mediterranean- and Spanish-style furniture. An effective Atlanta furniture salesman detected Gerard's Furniture and advised Ruth, he had to find a few of those things in the shop. Ruth told the guy he did not have the money so that he called a Virginia manufacturer and got them to send three suites of furniture on credit to Gerard's. "That cranked business up," Ruth explained. "We offered out the hell of that furniture."
Ruth heard about a shop.
"It cost $2 million to revive the whole construction," he explained. The loan was so big, it was divided between CNB and St. Landry Bank in Opelousas.
Gerard's Furniture's Florida Boulevard place opened around 1975. The store won nationwide acclaim for its completeness of the choice, which included art furniture, fabrics, rugs and decorative accessories. 1 area is filled in the early 1970s with George Rodrigue prints. His son Larry includes a gallery of original Louisiana art and prints in a different part of the shop.
To round out the selection in Gerard's, Ruth visits the significant furniture markets in North Carolina.
"Baton Rouge has always been interested in good taste and standard furniture," he explained. "The men and women who purchase fine furniture want to take a seat inside, want to feel it, and if they have any knowledge at all, unzip it and see what's inside it."
Recently, he was diagnosed with lung disease. That led him to shut the shop after meeting with four children and his wife.
"I got outvoted," he explained. The choice was made to liquidate the business because his kids have professional occupations.
"I never got rich, but I was able to raise four children, send them all off to school -- and not need to pay any associations or attorneys to get them out of trouble," he said.
Despite his years in business, Ruth stated he chose overnight to close the store.
"My family would go mad trying to work out everything at the furniture store," he said.
He also made a point of helping eight grandchildren More about the author and his children find things in the shop to help decorate their houses.
Plans are to spend selling all the stock off . The shop will close, when all is gone.
Ruth said This Site he's seen a boost in customers since announcing he was shutting down his business. The day after it was announced he was shutting, 500 people showed up in the store. The next day about 400 people were there.
"It has been rewarding."