Potts ready to ‘take it to the house’

‘Part of me is ready’ to retire

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

ROCKINGHAM — Yvette Potts was all aflutter.

Though visitors to the Richmond County Judicial Center had, over the years, become accustomed to having her welcome them to the Office of the Superior Court Clerk, her normal chair was just about the last place she was to be found Friday afternoon.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Yvette Potts, right, greets Barbara Cato inside the Richmond County Clerk of Superior Court's office Friday afternoon during Potts' retirement ceremony.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Yvette Potts, right, greets Barbara Cato inside the Richmond County Clerk of Superior Court’s office Friday afternoon during Potts’ retirement ceremony.

“I don’t know what to do,” she said to no one in particular. “I don’t know where to stand.”

Potts was the center of attention during her retirement party and there were simply too many details to oversee — and far too many attorneys, judges, police officers, colleagues and the like to greet, hug or share a smile with  — to have more than a moment to rest her weary feet.

Friday was her last day after starting work in 1986 as a temporary part-time worker. Though she left Richmond County for a time to work in Mecklenburg County, Potts returned in December 1998 and finished her career with friends. Potts’ experience runs the entire range of what a clerk can do.

“I’ve done a little of everything,” Potts said, recalling her work in district small claims court, district criminal court and district civil court.

She was, Potts said, “one of the last original clerks” who toiled for former Clerk of Superior Court Cathy Wilson.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

With her mother near her, Potts stopped for a moment to share her thoughts on her work over the years and what might be next.

“I am so humbled” at the outpouring of support, she said.

Many jokes were made at Potts’ experience. The most popular one was trying to keep Potts at her regular desk, even if in a part-time status — an opportunity boss Vickie Daniel, clerk of court, was ready to seize.

“You don’t look nearly old enough to retire,” Rep. Ken Goodman told Potts in an informal receiving line.

But even if Potts’ body is only partially ready to retire, her heart is completely prepared. That’s because retiring now fulfills a promise to her father, the late Heath Potts Jr. Her father was Richmond County’s first black deputy sheriff, Potts said, but he always put family first.

“Part of me is ready, yes,” Potts said when asked if she’s ready to retire. “I made a promise to my dad. I will miss working with the public” but it’s time “to take it to the house.”

Potts, an active member of Mt. Pisgah A.M.E. Zion Church in Rockingham, said she plans to take a break for about a month before she decides on what might be next. Whatever that is, though, would be only in a part-time status.

Friends and colleagues enjoyed light refreshments inside the office meeting room and were treated to a video of photos put together by fellow deputy clerk Crystal Hunsucker.

Potts recounted the changes in the industry since the mid-1980s. Technology certainly has come a long way, she said — and with it, an increase in efficiency. She remembered Wednesdays and Thursdays were “very long days” in court and all the work was completed manually.

“There was no such thing as getting off at 5 o’clock,” Potts said.

Daniel, for her part, spoke for the dozens who stopped by to wish Potts well.

“We’re sure gonna miss her,” Daniel said.

 

 

 

She was

“I don’t know what to

 

Barbara Cato

 

Filed in: Featured News, Latest Headlines, News, Public safety

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