In a little more than two weeks, Newton County residents Frank and Earline Seale will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary, a feat that speaks for itself.
Seventy years doesn't seem like a long time for the couple as Earline said she can recall the first time they met as if it were yesterday.
Earline, a spunky Southern girl from a suburb outside of Atlanta, and Frank, a reserved military boy visiting from Texas, met at a downtown club in the early 1940s, and, as they recall, it was an instant attraction.
"When I saw him come in, I said to my cousin, ‘That's the best looking man coming there that I've ever seen," Earline said. Frank echoed her sentiments, "I tell you what, she was the prettiest darn woman I ever saw.
The club called "Scadlows," (the couple is not sure on the spelling) was a dance club in the heart of Atlanta where singles in their 20s would hang out. Earline said she came with her cousin and some coworkers to listen to their friend's band when she saw Frank.
However, Earline wasn't the only one attracted to Frank that night - so was her cousin Hazel.
"She (Hazel) said, ‘Oh, I'm going to get him' and I said, ‘Oh no you're not either,'" Earline said. "So as soon as the band started, he came over and asked me to dance with him, and I told her, I said, ‘I told you I was going to get him now didn't I?
Frank and Earline spent the rest of the night dancing and the next day, Frank couldn't wait to see her.
"I asked her for a date, but she wouldn't give me one," he said. "I just had to see her."
Earline had already made plans to go bowling with a group of friends, but after Frank's persistence, she told him she would meet him at a restaurant that night.
"I didn't know what to do, because I wanted to see him too you see, so when we went bowling, I told my friends, ‘You guys have got to take me home, I am so sick.' I was lying like a dog," she said.
Instead of having her friends drive her home, she told them to drop her off by the restaurant where she was to meet Frank.
"By this point, I was mad because I thought I was too late, and I thought that I was going to have to walk home," she said.
However, Frank was still there waiting. They talked some and then he drove her home to where her father was waiting for her outside.
"When I went inside he said ‘Wait a minute little lady, it's a little late for you to be coming in' and I said, ‘Daddy, I can do anything bad before midnight as I can after midnight, so what difference does it make that I'm a little late, now I'm sorry," she said.
Her father didn't say another word about Frank, Earline said and the couple was inseparable.
"I never gave her a day off," Frank said.
Marriage and war
Frank and Earline were married Sept. 5, 1942, nine months after they met.
Frank was enlisted in the Army at the time as a surgical technician and was stationed at Fort McPherson at the height of World War II.
Subsequently, Frank was drafted to go overseas shortly after their wedding to fight in the war. He was gone for 33 months, and during that time, Earline worked at the Highland Bakery and then as Atlanta's first woman streetcar driver.
"That was exciting, the AJC did an article about me too," she said while pointing to a photo of her in the newspaper. "I used to be a looker, but now I've got all these lines on my face. But, I'll tell ya, each one of these mean something."
Frank served in Korea twice and was gone for a total of six years during their marriage. During that time, he also worked as a streetcar driver and at Colonial Bakery until 1983, when he retired.
"I did everything she did," Frank said. "She worked at the bakery, I worked there, she was a streetcar driver, I was one too."
Frank and Earline have two sons, Dan and Frank Seale, and lived in Decatur until the mid-90s when they decided to move to Newton County for a more peaceful life and to be closer to family.
Earline said the key to their long and successful marriage is understanding.
"We have an understanding between each other; we always tell the truth and we always kiss each other goodnight."
The couple also has four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren and will celebrate their 70th wedding anniversary with family.
"We want something a little bit quieter this year; last year, we celebrate at our church (Salem Methodist); it was fun, but we want it to be small this time," she said. "On our 80th, we'll do something big again."