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Spirit of Acadiana: The wisdom of Miss Ruby

Local Legend Shares Life Lessons
Ruby Charlot cooking.PNG
Posted at 10:42 AM, Feb 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-09 11:48:19-05

SUNSET, La.  — "She's the most appreciative person of what we do in the cooking part," says Tim Sharlow, as he thinks about his mom, the legendary Ruby Sharlow. "But I am a part of her legacy. I'll never fulfill it; I'll never overcome it."

"She'll always be 'Miss Ruby'."
"And all I am is 'Miss Ruby's son'."

In Part One, we told you something you already know. Miss Ruby? Ruby's Restaurant? Fabulous food. What you may not know is some of the wisdom Miss Ruby has passed on, to people like her son, Tim. He own's Tim's kitchen.

"I'm proud of him, I really am," smiles Ruby. "Timothy is a very hard worker. He really, really is. He's a wonderful cook. He watched me, and he did what I did, and now he's doing better."

She's proud of all of her kids, even if they didn't go into the restaurant business. Ruby and her husband Jack had seven children, and while she's lived through and understands the challenges of life...

"...being a woman is hard, but being a black woman is much harder..."

She's never wanted her children to use their gender, or more so, their race, as an excuse. When her eldest son, who's a doctor, wanted to attend a certain college, "....I said, 'You want to go there, that's predominantly white, don't you ever come home and tell me I didn't get it because I'm black. I know what color you are and so do you; you didn't get it because you didn't try hard enough'."

And if you try, and people aren't listening? "If they don't listen to you, stand on a chair; if they still don't listen, stand on a table. Don't give up'. And he didn't."

She's 85-years old, proud of being a businesswoman. "I always said, 'If you're a good woman, all good women go to heaven'. Because if they gotta have children and put up with a husband, they're going to heaven," she laughs.

And my final question: With years of feeding school children and then serving the general public delicious comfort food, does Miss Ruby consider herself a legend?

"I hope so. I hope so," she laughs. "I really do."

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