When Betty Driver walks the streets of Yadkinville she doesn’t see the buildings that most other people are looking at.
She sees what all these historic buildings once were and the memories that are housed in them.
“I used to skate at Allison Oaks. … It was 15 or 20 cents, and you had to bring your own skates,” Driver said.
She has a particularly amusing story about the beauty shop that used to reside in the area above the Bonds location.
“When I started school my mom took me there to get a permanent,” Driver said. “They plugged you up with these leather things in your hair and plugged it in the wall, and when they plugged it in the wall I said: ‘I am out of here.’ I acted real ugly, and she sent me home with a wet head but I never went back for any more perms.”
Driver has been a lifelong resident of Yadkin County.
“I grew up in a rural area on farmland in the South Deep Creek part of Yadkin County,” Driver said. “I was born not too long after the depression and things were very difficult. I think, as a child on I knew that I had to do things to go places and to get things done.”
Driver attended Courtney High School where she played on the basketball team and graduated as valedictorian of her class in 1955.
“The six girls that I played with at that time still get together for lunch about every three months,” Driver said. “We have a fun time when we get together and talk about all the things we can’t do now.”
After Driver graduated she began working for Hanes, where she stayed for two years knowing all the while that this was not the line of work she wanted to be in.
Driver and a friend decided together that they wanted to get jobs with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Both of them applied to go to Washington taking tests and background checks to become fingerprint technicians. Driver made it through, but her friend did not.
“I didn’t want to go to Washington by myself because I had hardly been out of Yadkin County, so I didn’t go,” Driver said.
Instead Driver took a job with Security Life and Trust Company where she worked a clerical position for the first three years. Again, Driver found herself in a position that didn’t feel right to her, and she set her sights higher.
“One day I decided that I could be a supervisor, and they did not have a lot of women supervisors at that time,” Driver said. “Eventually I replaced five supervisors and we combined them all into one job. The most employees I ever supervised were 26. It was a challenge.”
When the company sold to a larger corporation and was relocated to Raleigh, Driver took a job in the corporation and remained with them for seven years until retiring.
The end of Driver’s professional career led to her political career.
Several people in Yadkinville urged her to step in to replace Bobby Todd and complete the remainder of his term as Yadkinville Town Commissioner, a position she has remained in ever since.
“What I contribute is different because I see things that the men don’t normally see,” Driver said. “Then men are totally into the water and sewer and those sorts things that I don’t really know that much about. My goal is to make Yadkinville a cleaner, safer, better place to live when it comes to my position on the town board.”
During her time there she has been a major player in the creation of the town park, and she has helped to create a town ordinance that keeps Yadkinville residents’ yards presentable.
“The politics certainly keep me going,” Driver said. “When you retire you have to have a reason to keep getting up in the mornings and to do something. You can’t go shopping every day, and I’m not going to clean house every day.”
Outside of politics, Driver likes to spend time with her friends. She dedicates her Tuesdays to venturing out to Winston-Salem and Greensboro to grab lunch and do a little shopping.
“When I come back across the river I feel like I have really been somewhere,” Driver said.
Driver says that when she’s home she enjoys taking in her favorite TV programs: ‘CSI: Miami’, ‘Law and Order: SVU’ and ‘Dr. Oz.’ She also likes to venture out to Starbucks and enjoy coffee while listening to blues music.
“I live a simple life, but I enjoy what I do,” Driver said. “I’m just the person I am and everybody knows that person. I have no secrets. I think most people know where I came from and where I’m going.”
Reach Lindsay Craven at 679-2341 or at email@example.com.