ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The Sunbelt Ag Expo and the Exchange Club Fair were two places where Ruthie always made an appearance.
She did thousands of live interviews there, and got to know lots of people who became more like family. Gina McDonald, Director of Marketing and Public Relations, did her first interview with Ruthie in 1998 and has done many since then. “Having grown up watching Ruthie on TV, that was extremely intimidating, that's big time TV."
McDonald and many others have gotten to know Ruthie over the years. “People come up to her and talk to her, just like they know her, just part of the family.”
Some memorable moments including an interview with McDonald's younger brother, and this green and yellow toilet. "He came on and he has a very big personality. And her told her that, on live TV you could paint a toilet green and yellow, and it would sell."
That interview resulted in this toilet showing up at her brother's house. "It was probably one of the highest rated interviews we ever did and although Ruthie didn't have anything to do with it, a green and yellow toilet showed up in my brother's yard."
Ruthie also spent a lot of time at the Exchange Club Fairgrounds. Skip Nichols, with the Exchange Club, knows Ruthie by another name.
“I don't think I have enough toes multiplied by 50 or 60 in order to come up with the number of interviews with Futhie, not Ruthie, Futhie.”
And says she'll be missed. “She has given us a lot of great exposure for the Exchange Club Fair over the many years that she has been doing it.”
Not just by the Exchange Club, but by the entire Community. “She has just been a tremendous asset not only to us, not only to WALB, Channel 10, but to the community as well.”
Of course all of us at WALB will miss Ruthie terribly, but we'll also miss... her candy jar.
She keeps everyone's sweet tooth satisfied. That big jar in front of her desk starts every day filled with treats. Sometimes we can empty it out pretty quick.
Ruthie is always concerned about others. Her loving and caring nature has turned her into a bit of a mother figure for some of our younger co-workers.
"Well, when Ruthie isn't accidentally calling me Stephen, her son's name, which by the way she does that to everyone, she calls me her little brother. And every time she says that it makes me smile because I love it that she thinks of me like that because everybody here thinks of Ruthie as a member of their family," said WALB Anchor Ben Roberts.
"A lot of young reporters go through the doors of WALB and since the beginning Ruthie always like a mother figure to everyone. And she's been like a mother to me over the past three years and it's been so great to have her here, especially when so many people who work here are far from home," said WALB Anchor Tara Herrschaft.
Ruthie will be greatly missed by everyone... especially her office mate and partner in crime. Karla Heath Sands and Ruthie Garner met when Karla began working at WALB 18 years ago.
The singers are both are from Brunswick. Karla says work won't be the same without her office mate of 15 years.