Earle Beckham may be slowing down, but he has no intention of stopping.
When The Blythe Company approached Beckham with an offer to help train and advise meter testing and M&R activities as well as performing testing himself, he knew he was going to say yes.
It probably has something to do with the fact that he’s known of The Blythe Company over the course of his career in the natural gas and utility industry that started in 1959.
“I had known them and about them for a long time. In fact, Henry Blythe, the guy that started the company, used to call on us when I was at Piedmont [Natural Gas Company],” Beckham said. “So I knew their reputation, I knew they sold good products and stood behind what they do so when they made me that offer, I figured I don’t have anything to lose there.”
If he hadn’t accepted the offer with The Blythe Company, then he probably would’ve wound down the operations at his former company, eventually closing it. It might not have been ideal, considering Beckham really likes working — what other reason would one have to keep working at 83 years old?
“I don’t mind working, really,” he stated. “I enjoy it.”
Of course, he doesn’t mind having some time off, and his position as a part-time employee with The Blythe Company allows it. When he does have free time, he enjoys playing with a band as a drummer, traveling around the Southeast to perform for large crowds.
When he is working, he clearly enjoys the people he interacts with and noted that the gas and utility industries have great people to work with.
“Interacting with the people we deal with with the gas companies, so there’s a lot of good people in the gas business, when they tell you something, they mean it,” Earle Beckham said. “Pretty truthful people, for the most part, in the gas business, that makes it enjoyable really.”
As a meter tester and trainer for The Blythe Company, he responds to calls from companies needing maintenance and of course, testing. A typical day on the job for Beckham includes showing up to a site and “testing meters, and instruments, the pressure and temperature and instruments that go on top of a lot of industrial meters,” according to him.
Furthermore, his team has begun to roll out relief valve regulator testing and plans to do more of that type of service for gas and utility companies in the future.
The relationship between The Blythe Company and Beckham is, of course, mutually beneficial. Beckham is helping the company expand its services into regions that he’s already familiar with over his 50-year career, and Beckham himself enjoys working with The Blythe Company.
“The Blythe Company’s easy to get along with, as long as you need a job, they’re happy,” he said. “It’s a friendly group, really.”