Deductive reasonings

Published 10:18 pm Wednesday, May 2, 2018

I had the special opportunity to witness something historic last week when I covered the luncheon at Riverside Cafe held in honor of retiring circuit court clerks Malcolm Booker Jr., Machelle J. Eppes and Sarah “Kate” Spry.

Attorney James Ghee, who was on the committee that organized the luncheon, confirmed some of the people that attended. He said the four sitting judges of the 10th Judicial Circuit of Virginia were all present, as well as five retired circuit court judges. He also noted that six of the eight circuit court clerks were present. All of the retiring clerks’ successors were on hand.

All three retiring clerks mentioned being moved by the people who came to the luncheon to recognize them.

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Booker, who retires as the Buckingham Circuit Court clerk June 30, said, after reflecting on the group attending as a whole, “To get them all together in one location, I don’t think this is going to happen any time for the next couple decades. It’s just very rare.”

I’ll confess that as I covered this event, I didn’t know exactly what circuit court clerks do. The article was about the luncheon and the honorees’ reaction to it, so that is what I focused on, but I was able to make some important deductions about a clerk’s impact.

It was clear by those who took the time out of their busy professional lives to attend that Booker, Eppes and Spry were people who commanded the respect of the court and its officials, serving them with distinction. Some in the rare assembly at that luncheon stood and gave testimony to how the retiring clerks had helped them and their colleagues, as well as the public.

According to, “Circuit clerks are elected officials who keep records for court cases. Clerks act as liaisons to the public in regard to judicial matters, answering questions about fines, payments, court appearances and warrants.”

As the honorees of last week’s luncheon retire with a combined 95 years of service to the court across the clerk, chief deputy clerk and deputy clerk positions, it is clear that Buckingham was well served by Booker, Prince Edward and Lunenburg were well served by Eppes and Cumberland was well served by Spry.

Titus Mohler is the sports editor for The Farmville Herald and Farmville Newsmedia LLC. His email address is