After 70 years in the furniture business, his business is currently shutting down.
Ruth got his start driving a delivery truck and receiving his neighborhood buddies to help him haul mattresses. Health issues are forcing him to shut down his Gerard's Furniture store.
"I'm gonna continue functioning. I must deliver this furniture all "
This is the second time that Ruth has had a sale. Twenty-two years ago, when he turned 65, Ruth brought to help the inventory is sold off by him.
Paradoxically, the identical firm that assisted him in 1996 back with all the retirement sale is currently assisting him with this sale.
87, ruth does business like he did. His shop does not have a site. "I don't text and I don't email," he explained. "Only been a couple of years ago we have a computer for bookkeeping."
Gerard's has a focus on American-made furniture created out of premium leather.
"All that stuff on the internet, it's like going into the boats. It's gambling. You do not know exactly what you are going to get," he explained. "A number of the leather is seconds, some of it is rejects."
Ruth started working at the furniture industry during his senior year in Baton Rouge High in Lloyd Furniture Co., then at 1126 North Blvd.. After graduation, he attended LSU, then joined the Coast Guard.
Back in 1953, he returned with the furniture shop to Baton Rouge and also to his job.
Throughout that time he was a salesman in Hemenway's, Ruth got into hydroplane racing. He was a catalyst for the Tom Cat Baby, a ship with a Corvette engine that won the most prestigious and dangerous Pan American race Lake Pontchartrain in 1958.
Throughout the boat races, Ruth became friends with Lewis Gottlieb. Some teams that were rushing were backed by gottlieb.
Ruth got a call. The proprietor of Simon Furniture Co. had died and his children were not interested in taking over the business. Can Ruth be interested in having a furniture store?
Gottlieb advised him to check the shop out, and when he had been interested, he would help him finance the offer.
"It was a great store, and I knew I could do some good on the market," Ruth said. The problem was money. But he did have a life insurance coverage he purchased from a fellow member of the Red Stick Kiwanis Club.
"Mr. Gottlieb told me to bring him that insurance coverage into the lender," Ruth explained. "He told me'You're going to make it."
Gerard's Furniture started in 1530 Foster Drive in 1966. There were three employees: the Ruths and a bookkeeper. At the shop, Ruth sold furniture Throughout the day. In the evenings, he delivered the items he sold.
At that time, the hottest 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 store to ensure it is effective. Ruth told the man he did not have the money to purchase the furnitureso that he phoned a Virginia manufacturer and got them to send three suites of furniture on credit to Gerard's. "That cranked up business," Ruth explained. "We sold the hell out of the furniture"
A couple of decades later, Ruth heard about a store.
The loan was so large, it was split between CNB and St. Landry Bank in Opelousas.
The Florida Boulevard place of the Furniture of Gerard opened around 1975. The store won acclaim for its completeness of the selection, which included fabrics, artwork, furniture, rugs and decorative accessories. One area is filled in the early 1970s with George Rodrigue prints. His son Larry prints at a different part of the shop and includes a gallery of original Louisiana art.
To round out the selection Ruth visits the significant furniture markets in North Carolina every six months to locate items.
"Baton Rouge has always been interested in great taste and traditional furniture," he explained. "The men and women who buy fine furniture want to sit in it, want to feel it, and here when they have any knowledge in any way, unzip it and see what is inside it."
Recently, he had been diagnosed with lung disease. That led the store to close after meeting with his wife and four kids.
The choice was made to liquidate the business, because his children have professional occupations.
"I never got rich, but I was able to raise four children, send them all off to college -- and not need to pay any associations or attorneys to get them out of trouble," he explained.
Regardless of his years in business, Ruth stated he decided to close the store.
"My Click This Link family would go crazy trying to work out everything in the furniture shop," he explained.
He also made a point of helping his kids and eight grandchildren find items in the store to help decorate their own homes.
Plans are to spend selling off all the inventory . When all is gone, the shop will close.
Ruth said he has seen a increase in clients since declaring he was shutting down his organization. The day after it was announced he was closing, 500 people showed up in the shop. The following day about 400 people were there.
"It has been rewarding."