Showing posts with label Twitter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Twitter. Show all posts

Friday, February 1, 2013

The REAL Jeff Ruby (Part III)

Jeff Ruby getting makeup done for his upcoming reality show with one of his signature Ruby-brand cigars. No details have been released yet, but be sure to check back on for that and other Ruby updates. 

Jeff Ruby ran away at 15 years old. He had no father in his life. His mother wasn't interested in being a mother to him, so he packed up and moved on. He spent one night in the local YMCA, then checked in to a simple apartment-type sleeping quarters under the name Larry Brockton.

Why Larry Brockton?

"My mother was like a CIA agent when she was trying to track down her husbands who went missing," said Ruby. "She had a knack for finding them. When I had run away, I saw a Brockton St and I just picked Larry out of the air. Larry Brockton."

Enter Jeep Bednarik. The brother of Hall of Fame Philadelphia Eagle and NCAA Defensive Player of the Year Award namesake, Chuck Bednarik, took it upon himself to mentor a young Ruby. "He made Mike Ditka look like Mr. Rogers," Ruby said of Bednarik.  

Ruby was living on his own in New Jersey. Getting straight A's. Undefeated in wrestling. Captain of his football team. Living by himself and working. No doubt 99 out of 100 kids would fail in that situation. Couple Ruby's determination to succeed with Bednarik's mentoring relationship and you can now come to some conclusion why that 15-year old runaway now has one of the most successful steakhouses in the world.

"He looked after me. Let me know what it meant to be a man. Made me feel good about myself. That's why I do what I do now. I get so much more making these kids feel good about themselves," said Ruby. 

The Boomerang Effect

In The REAL Jeff Ruby (which is his Twitter handle) Part I and Part II I delved into his relationship with some of his Highlands' Tribesmen. These are kids who look up to Ruby for a number of reasons: his entrepreneurial spirit, his inspirational quotes, his real-world experience or for some, they look up to him as a father figure like Ruby looked up to Bednarik. 

Ruby's intentions are not self-serving. I think it's almost an homage to Bednarik. He calls it the "boomerang effect."

From his Twitter account @TheRealJeffRuby. Ruby sums up "The Boomerang Effect:

Highlands Sophomore, Griffin Urlage has a unique relationship with Ruby. "I have a great relationship with Mr. Ruby. It's so good I sometimes call him Dad," said Griffin. "I wasn't really able to have a relationship with my real dad as he passed when I was 14 months old. Mr. Ruby just really stepped into my brother's life before mine. We just fell in love with the man since that day. He's become a father to me."

So what's it like to have him in his life?

"It's the greatest feeling in the world (to have Jeff Ruby as a pseudo-father-type)," said Griffin. "It's like knowing the man that owns the city of Cincinnati. It's great."

Griffin's two older brothers, Jake and Nick also went to Highlands and talked about their relationship with Ruby.

Jake Urlage, now 24, played football with Ruby's son Dillon at Highlands. "It means a lot to us having a father figure. It's great that he does (for us) what any father would do with their own."

Ruby almost gets misty eyed when he talks about his relationship with these kids. You can tell that he truly cares about how they are being brought up. He does his best and steps in when he can. Twitter paves the way to help him do that. 


When I started researching Ruby for the article series I took to Twitter. Inevitably I came across multiple inspirational quotes. Some were very similar to one another, almost repeats with maybe just one word changed or phrases rearranged. When he writes his quotes on Twitter, I almost imagine a writer sitting at his desk painstakingly agonizing over a sentence. He simply improves his "Rubyisms" over time.

"They are all 100% original. I don't know a computer from a commuter, but all my sayings are my own. I put them on Twitter to try to help or inspire my followers," Ruby said.

A Jeff Rubyism. He loves his work. 

Another example of a Rubyism from @TheRealJeffRuby on Twitter.

He's had years of experience to craft these Rubyisms. Take the first example about passion and fulfillment. That's real-life experience showing through. You know him now as upper-echelon steak restaurateur. But he was in the 7th grade at Ocean Grove Elementary when Ruby got some of his first experience running and operating a successful food operation.

"I was working for free in my mother and Sidney Goldstein's restaurant. At lunch I'd go home and make myself an Italian sub. Salami, Capocola (which he pronounces like Tony Soprano; "gobbo-goul"), Provolone. When I brought it back to eat it at school, my friends all wanted one. So the next day I made some and brought them to school. I sold them for $.65. Our school lunches were $.35, so I was making a little money."

Long story short, the principal called Ruby in. The lunch ladies weren't happy that he was peeling off some of their business. He was told to stop.

As Ruby remembers it though, "I walked into the principal's office and when I came out, I was still allowed to sell my sandwiches."

Passion. Self confidence. Believing in yourself. That's what these Rubyisms bring to the kids that follow him in Twitter and in life.

Beau Hoge, also a Sophomore at Highlands, also details his tutelage under Ruby and follows him on Twitter. "He and my dad (ESPN football analyst and ex-Steeler Merril Hoge) have been good friends for a while, so I've known him since I was about 11. I knew about his restaurants and a general idea of who Jeff Ruby was, but I had no clue about his background and what a great guy he was. He seemed a little intimidating the first time I met him but he is a great guy and just  likes to have fun."

Beau went on, "Knowing him through Griffin, he's now my Uncle Jeff and takes me under his wing when my dad is working. It's cool how he takes time out to talk to guys like me. It means  alot that he cares what we have to say. He's a great leader and respect is important to him. He always reminds us to listen to our parents, which I find cool."

How to Save a Life

Perhaps the most important thing Jeff Ruby has done on Twitter involved a young man, troubled, without a real purpose in life. His twitter avatar, according to Ruby, had him in "saggy pants, smoking a cigarette and on a skateboard."

Jared had been using drugs for the majority of his adolescent and entire adult life. According to him, "At first because I thought it was cool and that graduated into me using them just to feel okay with myself."

After his obligatory "welcome" tweet to Jared after he followed him, a few back-and-forth tweets, Jared asked him what it would take to work for him at one of his restaurants.

"He immediately came out of himself and began asking me about my life and my background which I thought was pretty awesome considering he probably had a million other things that were going on in his life that he could be worrying about," said Jared. "He told me to call him and eventually I had the courage to do so. We talked briefly and he set up a lunch meeting for me to meet with his director of training and his daughter Britney."  

Ruby picked him up in his jet black Cadillac Escalade, took him on a few errands, and personally brought him to interview with his son, Brandon at The Precinct for a Server's Assistant position. 

"The job meant a lot to me and I thought it was just what I needed to pull myself out of the slump that I had dug myself into and I tried but was just not able to stop using," Jared said. 

As he glanced up, remembering the conversation like it was yesterday, Ruby's icy blue eyes focused in during our interview, "He admitted to having a drug problem. He needed help and so we called his dad together. He cried his eyes out and so did I. I talked to his dad on the phone. I told him that he'd have his job back when he finished getting help. His past wasn't clean, but his future could be spotless. "It was important to me to keep that job open for him. I knew it could help save his life."

Jared remembers the day when it became apparent that his job performance was suffering because of his drug problem, "Mr. Ruby saw that I was not living up to my full potential and called me outside. He knew something was wrong and strongly guided me towards a decision that has completely saved my life."

With the help of his family, Jared left his job at The Precinct to get the help he needed to save his life. He checked into "The Healing Place" in Louisville- a homeless shelter equipped with a treatment program for alcoholics and drug addicts.

"It was a very humbling experience and has allowed me to look back on my life and learn from those mistakes, as well as learn from the mistakes of others who have gone through this struggle for many years without finding a solution," said Jared. "This experience has also brought me closer to my wonderful family who has done nothing but support me in every positive decision I have made since day one."

Say the name Jeff Ruby and it'll no doubt conjure up images of steaks, wine, cigars, Italian suits. When he got onto Twitter last March, the last thing he thought he'd do was save a life. 

"I like cigars. I like creamed spinach. I like my car. I love my employees," said Ruby. "I love them like family."

"Mr. Ruby and Brandon (his son and GM at The Precinct) have promised me another chance when I return home and it amazes me that I ever even got a first chance and blew it," said Jared. "I have not seen him since the day I left The Precinct but am looking forward to thanking him personally for helping to guide me to a better life where I don't have to lean on drugs or other external things to make me happy."

Jared's Twitter avatar isn't a kid with saggy pants, smoking a cigarette and on a skateboard anymore. It's him , cleanly shaven, wry smile, proudly boasting his Precinct uniform. 

Jeff Ruby may not know a commuter from a computer, but the man gets how to use Twitter. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

The REAL Jeff Ruby Part II

Jeff Ruby reading his @ mentions to me on Twitter. In our 2-hour meeting at his office, each time someone tweeted at him, he'd reach for his phone without exception to see what people were saying to him.


Shout out to the best attorney that Lexington, Kentucky has to offer: Nick Nicholson. This article was obliterated from the internet due to technology being a fickle lady. Nick had it archived and sent it over to me this morning. 

The many monikers of Jeff Ruby

Depending on who he's conversing with, Jeff Ruby is addressed by many different names. Reds Second Basemen Brandon Phillips, who Ruby had to "unfollow" on Twitter because "he tweeted too much (BS)", calls Ruby "Bossman." Highlands students call him Uncle Jeff, Pops or Dad. Whatever they decide to call him, the Highlands students that "follow" Ruby on Twitter are part of a self-proclaimed "Tribe."

"I don't know why these kids follow me," Ruby said as he adroitly scrolled his thumb across his phone screen. "I guess they like my inspirational quotes,"which Ruby noted were all originals.

"It's very therapeutic to me and if they need a mentor, I can do that. I'm a better mentor than I am a husband."

A Twitter conversation between Ruby and Highlands student and Wide-Receiver, Brandon Hergott. Hergott goes on to explain to Ruby that being in his "tribe" is more exclusive than being at Augusta National.

Obviously the connection to Fort Thomas and Highlands started with his relationship with Cris Collinsworth, who Ruby went into business with with his restaurants. At Ruby's restaurants, a Steak Collinsworth was a steak accompanied with lump crab meat. Ruby played semi-pro football with Gino Guidugli's father, Dave, as well.

His son, Dillon, went to Highlands for a portion of his high school career. And if you've been to David A, Cecil Memorial Stadium since their (at the time) state-of-the-art field turf went down, it's impossible to watch a game without glancing up and seeing the biggest Jeff Ruby Culinary Entertainment advertisement you've ever seen posted on the the red-bricked backside of the school. Collinsworth was instrumental in collaborating with Ruby to ensure Highlands was one of the first schools in the area with the artificial playing surface.

The Highlands "Tribe" are sometimes treated to a corporate box at a Bengals game, or maybe a Bone-In Filet and Freddie salad by Ruby. But when I asked some of the Highlands "Tribesmen," about what they can tell me about the bond they've formed with Ruby over Twitter, every single one of them mentioned his leadership, his knack for saying exactly what he believes, and his caring nature over the ancillary benefits to being inside of the "Ruby Ring."

Junior Defensive Lineman, Seth Hope, of his relationship with Ruby said, "His story is so interesting. For me, it's just cool to hear about all the stuff he does, the people he gets to meet and the stuff he does to help people."

Junior Wide Receiver, Brandon Hergott, said, "It's awesome because Mr. Ruby is looked up to by so many people in the area for the success he's had and the fact that he takes time to interact with students at Highlands and get involved with the football team just displays what a great person he is."

I get it. As a high school kid, being able to hob-knob with Jeff Ruby is cool as hell. That end of the equation is easy to comprehend. But to me, the more interesting part of this relationship is what Ruby gets out of it. Why does he feel the need to go out of his way to help mentor these kids? One look at the way he grew up and you'd know exactly why.

Monday, December 3, 2012

The REAL Jeff Ruby (Part I)

Jeff Ruby "Tweeting" from his @TheRealJeffRuby Account in offices above Jeff Ruby's Steakhouse on 7th and Walnut. During our 2 hour meeting in his office, this was the most common scene during the interview. 

Hall of Fame Cincinnati Reds announcer, Marty Brennaman, said that Cincinnati icon and restaurateur Jeff Ruby was "spit out of the mouth of New Jersey."  

"I actually take that as a compliment and sign of respect," Ruby said as he jostled an unlit Jeff-Ruby-label cigar between his fingers which also boast a University of Kentucky National Championship ring and a diamond-laden "R" pinky ring.

@TheRealJeffRuby is Ruby's Twitter handle, which he uses almost as often as people turn out at his highly-rated Zagat steak restaurants in Cincinnati, Louisville and at Belterra Casino.

Odds are if you are trying to contact Ruby, the best way is through his Twitter account.

I had planned on interviewing Ruby over the phone and blocked off 15 minutes on a Wednesday. I was hoping I might be able to keep him on the phone for at least 30 minutes to get all the questions I had prepared for him.

I happened to tweet at Ruby, who has been on Twitter since April, that I was looking forward to our interview. Ruby, who is constantly interacting with his followers, tweeted back that he'd like to "talk eye to eye instead."

After talking with him for what ended up being 4 hours and learning more about him and his life, the fact that he took the time to engage a know-nothing, pseudo-journalist didn't surprise me in the slightest. In fact, looking back on it, if I were to interview him on the phone, I don't think I would have gotten much out of it.

You see, Ruby has a way of telling stories. A unique way of communicating which simply wouldn't have translated well over the phone. He may start a story and not get to its punchline for 10 minutes. All the while, you find yourself wondering how it all fits together. But it always does. And by the time the story is concluded, you learn a lot about how Ruby got to where he is and you understand why the anecdote, chock full of "Jerseyisms" took all the twists that it did. That's how Ruby's life was and still is today. A jumbled thought process that just seems to work.

Besides, if I interviewed him on the phone, I wouldn't have gotten to see his custom made, Cadillac Escalade desk.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Van Damme It's Friday (Walk to School, School Lunches, #BeatColonels, Old Media)

My man Van Damme, pounding some Coors Light. FTM is not a sponsor for Miller Coors.... but we could be. 

- Superintendent Gene Kirchner checked in with Fort Thomas Matters regarding walk to school day. This is what he said:
The walk to school marquee has to do with encouraging students to be active and fit while reducing pollution and waste due to driving. It is something that our middle school health teachers have embraced and is part of a national initiative. I believe that staff members are also taking part by walking to school with students from various locations. While reduced traffic is not the primary goal, it would certainly be side benefit. 
- On that same note, FTM also checked in with Gina Sawma, Food and Nutrition Director at Fort Thomas Independent Schools. She's going to give us a rundown next week of how Highlands lunches throughout the district has changed recently.

I had seen a funny spoof on YouTube from students at a Kansas high school, remaking FUN's, "We Are Young" into "We Are Hungry." In the video, students take a stand that the federally instituted lunch guidelines are just not enough food.

Highlands students have more options than most kids in high school around the nation, as they still have the privilege for going off campus for lunch, but I think mandating what you can eat and what you can't is the start of a slippery slope.

Here's the video:

- Highlands continues to #BeatColonels. Highlands Soccer defeated Cov Cath and former HHS coach, Jeremy Robertson 1-0 last night at Tower Park in front of a raucous crowd. Highlands won their 3rd game in a row and improved to 9-6-2 on the year. Cov Cath fell to 11-5-2.

If you haven't yet, remember to click on the sports tab at the top of the Fort Thomas Matters to check in with G. Michael Graham's updates. 

- DDAY for online enquirer access is Monday, October 1. It's kind of like Y2K. Not sure how it'll change, but everyone is bracing for the worst. Who's pumped to pay to view content online? I know I'm psyched.

- What's Fort Thomas selling on Craigslist?
It's UK. Check. 3x? Hmmm. Mens or Womens? Double Hmmmm.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Highlands/Cov Cath Rivalry Playing Out on Twitter

I can't believe this Highlands teacher didn't give partial credit on this. Via Twitter.

Image being sent around Twitter via Covington Catholic students.

It's no secret FTM has been on the new media/social media bandwagon for a while now. Twitter is probably my go-to source for breaking news, more so than anywhere else. Sure, you have to occasionally wade through the "look-what-I'm-eating tweet" or "look-how-cute-my-dog/baby-is tweet" but when something breaks on twitter, you're almost forced to ride the wave of information.

You can find me on twitter at @MLorenCollier.

After the final whistle sounded in their respective games this past weekend, Highlands and Cov Cath immediately moved their collective attentions to their matchup on Friday. There's definitely no love lost between the two schools, and students at both institutions have taken to Twitter to build up momentum for the game.

A quick Twitter tutorial for those who haven't made the jump yet:

A "hashtag" on Twitter is a clickable and searchable phrase that accompanies someone's thoughts on a particular tweet. By putting an asterisk at the beginning of the hashtag, Twitter collects all of these phrases and groups them together in order to see what everyone is saying
about a particular subject.

For instance, if I were going to tweet about Fort Thomas Matters, I might say something like: Fort Thomas Matters just had 3,500 page views today. #FortThomasMatters

Now, if you were to search twitter and click the hashtag #FortThomasMatters, you could see
any time anyone had mentioned #FortThomasMatters.

Highlands students are using the hashtag, #BeatColonels. Football team members, the student body, even ESPN analyst Merril Hoge and University of Cincinnati guard, Cashmere Wright, got into the act.

I think it's a pretty cool way to show team spirit throughout the student body and the community.

Cov Cath has taken it a step further, however. You'd think the natural response would be #BeatBluebirds, right? Nope. We're a PG website and it's very NSFW, so you'll have to search it yourself via my twitter, but their hashtag is #F---Highlands.

Classy, huh? I'm glad our coaches, teachers and students have a little more respect than that. Bravo, kids. Stay above the fray.

If nothing else, it adds a little more spark to this already heated rivalry. Highlands leads the all-time series 41-17.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Smoking Ban Public Reading Twitter Feed

Via Amanda VanBenschoten (follow her here)
  • Campbell Co Fiscal Court meeting packed for first reading of indoor smoking ban. All sides here: pro-ban & anti-ban tea party, biz owners.
  • First biz item at Campbell Fiscal Court meeting: Duke Energy giving county $19K grant to buy iPads to go paperless for FC meetings.
  • Public hearing underway now at Campbell Fiscal Court meeting on proposed indoor smoking ban. Just a 1st reading; no vote to be held tonight.
  • Jim Cline of Cline's on the River: "We're ekeing it out now, and this (smoking) ban will wipe us out."
  • Much like a wedding, the room appears to be divided, with ban supporters on the left & opponents on right. At least 120 people in audience.
  • Several speakers at public hearing have called proposed indoor smoking ban "socialist", "communist".
  • Tim Nolan doing a head count now at smoke ban hearing - we might be at or over fire code.
  • @avbnky But is smoking allowed at the meeting? / Nope - smoking already banned in gov't buildings.
  • 10 speakers in at indoor smoke ban public hearing, half oppose and half support - but just one of the supporters is a Campbell Co resident.
  • Pat Carroll of Buckeye Liquor Permit Holders Assn. says OH smoking ban has driven mom-and-pop bars out of business there.
  • 50 min. & 21 speakers in to smoke ban hearing, supporters say it's a pub health issue & opponents say it's a property rights issue.
  • An hour in to smoke ban public hearing, every ban supporter has thanked Fiscal Ct for taking the issue up & every biz owner opposes ban.
  • Another indoor smoke ban public hearing fun fact: Nearly every supporter has urged Fiscal Ct to pass a *comprehensive* ban w/no exemptions.
  • Tom Murphy of Cold Spring to Campbell Fiscal Ct on smoke ban: "Gary Moore and Ralph Drees owe you guys big time" for taking political heat.
  • Of the 30 speakers at smoke ban public hearing, 14 oppose it (13 of them live or own biz in Campbell) & 13 support ban (4 live in Campbell)
  • William Baxter, a jukebox vendor from Anderson Twp, says his biz down 34%, has had to lay off 4 due to OH smoking ban.
  • Nolan needles Pendery; now in a spat with Dave Otto over comments during election.
  • Campbell Co public hearing on indoor smoke ban just hit 2 hrs & 45 speakers.
  • Smoke ban fun fact: 38% of Campbell Co bizn are now smoke-free. NKY-wide, 75% of restaurants (not incl. bars-only) are smoke-free.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Fort Thomas News - Cinco de Mayo

A few quick updates on some stories of interest to you:

  1. The Enquirer confirmed what I have reported in the past which is that there is no hope for progress anytime soon on the Newport Pavilion development.  Despite high hopes by the city manager that things will be resolved and back on track in 4 months - any progress has to be a pipe dream.  A new detail emerged in the story that includes the cost of the repairs at $3 million which will be split $1 by Sanitation District 1 and $2 million by Bear Creek.  Who in their right mind would think Bear Creek is going to find $2 million to fix the drainage situation when they have been sued by every contractor and bank in the area?
  2. Grant opportunity for Fort Thomas: This week's Soapbox Media profiles a funding opportunity for green buildings by local communities looking to improve their energy efficiency.  This is a great opportunity for the city to upgrade facilities such as the city building or some innovative uses of funds for park structures.
  3. Shane Ruffin leaving the Campbell County YMCA and headed for a position in Dallas as an Executive Director at a branch in that Texas city.  Wish him well the next time you see him.
  4. Now that I have the Twitter for Blackberry application I plan to start updating with interesting pictures / thoughts from around town that may not warrant a post on the blog.  You can see my posts on the right hand menu bar.  Follow me to get up to the minute thoughts.
  5. Speaking of which, I have included a picture in a recent twitter post of a sign for a business in town promoting a service to help you contest your property valuation.  When I wrote this post a couple weeks ago about the new assessments I must not have been the only one that noticed how ridiculous the counties assessments were.  
  6. The concept of going after high value homes as a revenue source for municipalities is not confined to Campbell County either.  Hamilton County is reviewing a proposal by David Pepper to add an additional assessment on properties valued over $153,000.  All this makes me wonder where our governments are going to find an end to ridiculous revenue schemes.  With tax receipts way down and governments from Greece to Campbell County avoiding hard decisions I am sure we have not seen the end of outrageous tax ideas. 

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Top Twitter Follows from Fort Thomas Kentucky

I have to admit I stole this idea from a recent top 10 Cincinnati twitter follows from Soapbox Media in a recent issue.  Having said that, I thought many of you could find this beneficial as well.

Here is my list of the top Twitter follows in Fort Thomas and why following them can help you keep a pulse on the community:

1.Kevin Keith - Kevin is a wine buyer for Liquor Direct in Fort Thomas.  He has over 1,000 followers and provides good updates on the regular tastings in the Fort Thomas Plaza store.  He always has good insights if you are a fan of the tastings and want some advance insight.

2. Merril Hoge / Andre Caldwell - not much Ft Thomas news here but if you are a football fan follow our famous Fort Thomas residents as they break down all the NFL or updates on the Bengals.

3. Jennifer Specht is an example of the great un-discovered talents in our community through her art in polymer clay.  I don't even know what polymer clay is but one look at a couple of examples on her profile page and I am instantly interested.

4. My former neighbor Mark Collier who recently bought a house on North Fort Thomas Ave is a great follow for me not just because I know and like him but because he is from the area originally and has some good friends still in town and is just getting started with a family in Fort Thomas.  Wish him and his new bride Lindsay best of luck.  Mark tweets more than anyone I know and has some good witty thoughts - enjoy.

5. Peggy Murriner - I know this is a little self serving but I had a difficult time finding a better 5th option and given the connections she has not just in Fort but in Greater Cincinnati she makes a great pick.  Peggy works under the BabysitEase (her business) name but tweets great information on deals she finds or great area places to shop and visit.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

News on Twitter

I have added a new Twitter Search feature on the right hand side that shows the latest Tweets on Fort Thomas (limited to the last 5 tweets - interested in more then click here). There are some truly fascinating comments about people working in places around town, eating at restaurants, and even running in the Firecracker. Be sure to glance over on the right hand side of the page from time to time for some updates and who knows you may even find somebody you are interested in connecting with.

Speaking of Tweets, I noticed one recently regarding the news that Vito's and the Midway had filed for brew pub licenses. The feed however was for a site called Hoperatives that is all about promoting beer in the Cincinnati area. You really just never know what you are going to find and this is a great example of a community and site for all interests.

Since we are talking Twitter... if you are interested in getting more immediate updates from me then feel free to follow me.