kitchen table

After 70 years in furniture business, his business is being shut down by Gerard Ruth.

Ruth got his start at the furniture business getting his neighborhood buddies to assist him haul mattresses and 70 years ago driving a delivery truck. Now, health issues are currently forcing him to close down his Gerard's Furniture shop.

"I'm going to keep on working. I got to deliver all this furniture"

Twenty-two decades back, when he turned 65, Ruth brought to help him sell the stock off.

Paradoxically, the identical firm that assisted him in 1996 back with the retirement sale is currently assisting him with this sale.

Like he did, ruth, 87, nevertheless does business. His shop does not have a website. "I don't text and I do not email," he explained. "Just been a few years ago we got a computer for bookkeeping."

Gerard's includes a focus on American-made furniture.

"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 get," he said. "Some of this leather is seconds, some of it is rejects."

Ruth started working in the furniture business during his senior year at 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 his job and also to Baton Rouge.

He was a salesman in Hemenway's, Ruth got into hydroplane racing. He was a driver for your Tom Cat Baby, a boat with a Corvette engine which won the prestigious and dangerous Pan American race Lake Pontchartrain in 1958.

With Lewis Gottlieb, president of City National Bank, Ruth became buddies through the ship races. Some teams were endorsed by gottlieb.

Ruth got a call, one afternoon. The owner of Simon Furniture Co. had died and his kids weren't interested in taking over the enterprise. Can Ruth be interested in owning a furniture shop?

Gottlieb advised him to check the shop out, and he'd help him finance the deal if he had been interested.

"It was a nice store, and that I knew I could do some good over there," Ruth said. The issue was money. Ruth along with his wife, Selma, had just had their second child, and that he just had a few hundred bucks after paying the hospital bill. However he'd have a $10,000 life insurance policy he bought from a member of the Red Stick Kiwanis Club.

"Mr. Gottlieb advised me to deliver him that insurance policy to the lender," Ruth said. "He told me'You're going to make it."

The Furniture of gerard started at 1530 Foster Drive in 1966. There were three employees: the Ruths and a bookkeeper. At the shop, Ruth sold furniture Throughout the afternoon. In the evenings, he also delivered the items he sold.

At that time, the hottest trend in furniture was Mediterranean- and Spanish-style furniture. A Atlanta furniture salesman detected Gerard's Furniture and advised Ruth, he had to find a few of those things in the shop to ensure it is successful. Ruth told the man he didn't have the money to buy the furniture, so that he got them to send three suites of Mediterranean-style furniture on credit to Gerard's and phoned a Virginia manufacturer. "That cranked business up," Ruth explained. "We offered out the hell of that furniture."

Ruth discovered about a store.

"It cost $2 million to restore the whole construction," he explained.

Gerard's Furniture's Florida Boulevard place opened around 1975. The store won acclaim for its completeness of the selection, which included furniture, artwork, fabrics, rugs and decorative accessories. 1 room is filled with George Rodrigue prints in the early 1970s. His son Larry has a bunch of original Louisiana art and prints in a different part of the shop.

To round out the selection in Gerard's, the furniture markets are visited by Ruth in North Carolina.

"Baton Rouge has always been interested in good taste and standard furniture," he said. "The men and women who buy nice furniture want to take a seat inside, want to feel this, and if they have any understanding at all, unzip it and see what's inside ."

Recently, he had been diagnosed with lung disease. That led the shop to close after meeting with his wife and four kids.

The decision was made to liquidate the organization Since his children have professional jobs.

"I never got rich, but I was able to raise four kids, send them off to school -- top article and not need to pay any associations or lawyers to get them out of trouble," he said.

Regardless of his years in business, Ruth stated he chose overnight to shut the shop.

"My family would go mad trying to figure out everything at the furniture store," he said.

He also made a point of helping eight grandchildren and his children find items in the store to help decorate their own houses.

Plans are to spend the upcoming few months promoting all of the stock off . The shop will close when all is gone.

Ruth said he has seen a increase in customers, since announcing he was shutting down his organization. The day after it was announced he was view website shutting, 500 people showed up in the store. The next day about 400 people were there.

"We had them come from 20, 30, 40, even 50 years ago to purchase things on our economy," he said. "It's been rewarding."

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