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Moments in Time: Louis Scherer
Louis Scherer (Times photo: Marissa Weiher)
MONROE - When Louis Scherer was a youngster, he often used to watch his mother make homemade bread. He said she never followed a recipe; she could tell by touch while she kneaded the dough if more flour or milk was required.

He said the moving business is similar, in a way: There's little shop talk with his wife or his longtime employee, and after 40 years, they simply know what works and what doesn't. The fine-tuned job is something he still enjoys each day and allows him to be fulfilled, look forward to his days and even see the country.

Scherer was raised with an entrepreneurial spirit. He received a strong background in hard work as the eldest of 10 children. The family lived north of Monroe for a few years on a dairy farm his grandfather purchased in the 1940s. It was an old stage stop, known as The Prairie Stop.

His family then moved between Brodhead and Juda, where Scherer attended Round Grove Country School through sixth grade. He has fond memories of the school, ice skating at a nearby pond, taking nature walks and sledding in the wintertime. He was expected to help on the farm as well, raking hay by the time he was 7.

He attended Monroe High School and said he was an OK student who was mostly involved in the library. He had an interest in cooking early on after watching his mother in the kitchen and even signed up for home economics, but it wasn't allowed and he was moved to FFA instead.

He played tennis, but by the time he was a sophomore, he worked alongside his father at Swiss Colony, helped neighbors mow yards and worked at the gas station in the evenings.

After graduation in 1969, Scherer said he didn't really have a plan. He worked for his father, who had his own moving business with another man in town, but also used the truck to haul trash or deliver goods to businesses when needed.

Eventually, he and his father took over the business and worked together for eight years. They worked with another business with moving authority on the east side of Monroe often, and eventually bought that authority as well.

In 1977, when he and his wife Gloria married, he branched off from his father but still worked closely with him, sharing duties and jobs. It was the official start of Scherer Moving & Storage.

"We always figured it out," Scherer said of working with his father. "I had the big truck and he had the small truck, and it just worked out."

Businesses changed over time, and slowly, Scherer's business changed too. His father kept up with the garbage routes and his moving business was taking off. Word of mouth was great advertising, and more jobs were taking him further from home.

That job is still what Scherer does today - traveling sometimes thousands of miles to move people who know and trust him.

"It makes it easier and less stressful from the customer's side," Scherer said. "I've heard so many horror stories."

After 40 years in the business, it's impossible to track how many miles Scherer has put on. When he started the business, he said he stayed within about 100 miles for years. Today, he travels all over. He has one longtime employee and Gloria, who has always helped.

"It's fun now," Scherer said. "We have gone back to several places many times to move people. We must be doing something right."

He's also done some neat things during his career, including moving the miniature White House, a replica that has toured the entire United States and several foreign countries, the last six times. He's proud to be trusted with the historic, fragile piece.

"I don't think it's easier to move than the actual White House," he said, laughing. "(The job) is definitely a big change from what it was in the beginning. I'm doing things I never dreamed I'd do."

Scherer spends a lot of time on the road and although a lot of the time he's looking to get to the next job, lately he's taking time to stop a little along the way. He said he has a hard time saying no, especially to faithful customers who have become friends.

"They keep paying me to drive around to see the country, so I go," he said with a smile. "I could never sit around a desk."

Despite his busy schedule, Scherer has found time to be involved in the community and often uses his business to give back. He delivers tables for the Monroe Women's Stocking Club; helps move tables and furniture for Loaves and Fishes, a community meal once a month at Grace Lutheran Church; and delivers racks for the Pennies for Prom dress event. He and Gloria also used to often set up for a community event at the fairgrounds welcoming bands long ago.

He and Gloria have been actively involved in Family Promise for six years, also through the church. He has been a member of Grace Lutheran Church since he was a child and serves on the church council and the property committee.

Scherer often comes across furniture people don't want or leave behind and said he finds local people or organizations to donate to.

When Scherer does find moments at home, he still loves to be in the kitchen and cook for his family. He has no recipes but loves experimenting. His family often attests to his culinary success.

As he and Gloria are celebrating both 40 years of business and marriage this year, they feel they have much to be thankful for. The couple has two daughters and seven grandchildren, and spending time with family is important to them. Scherer enjoys watching his young grandsons pretend play "moving" and enjoys visiting his mom at the home farm whenever he can.

Scherer said he was raised to do things for others and learned early on it was just something he was supposed to do. Having a successful business in town makes him feel the need to give back to the community that has supported him for so many years.

"I like doing things behind the scenes," Scherer said. "You don't always have to be up front about everything."