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He was born during the Roaring ’20s, but a Rockwall man is still revved up and ready to hit the road.
Henry Beckham Jr., who has longest consecutive driving record in Texas, has never been one to take a back seat.
“Driving is a serious business,” he said.
Beckham has been behind the wheel since 1937. Now at 89, he’s had a Texas driver license longer than anyone in the state.
“I suppose I’m a pretty good driver,” he said. “I wouldn’t drive for 75 years without getting killed.”
To put his driving history in perspective, a driver who got a license today would not match his record until 2087.
The Waxahachie native said he first set foot in a car in his father’s Ford Model T.
The World War II Army veteran always focused on the road and was driven by hard work.
“My mother told me, if you don’t stay in school, you’re going to pick cotton for the rest of your life, and I had two or three weeks from sun up to sundown thinking I was going to do that the rest of my life if I didn’t stay in school,” he said.
The Department of Public Safety is rewarding his driving and his spirit with some special recognition.
“To have your license that long is really an amazing feat for Mr. Beckham,” DPS spokesman Lonny Haschel.
“It’s a big rat race,” Beckham said.
Even though drivers nowadays move a lot faster, he still likes to take things slow, he said.
“I’m just happy to still be alive and be of good health and of sound mind,” Beckham said.
Beckham said he hopes to keep wracking up miles both on and off the road.