New­ton County cou­ple Frank and Ear­line Seale will cel­e­brate 70 years of mar­riage next month

The Covington News - - Front page - RACHEL GOFF rgoff@cov­news.com

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.” Set­tling down

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.”

Rachel Goff /The Cov­ing­ton News

Frank said he loved Ear­line when he first saw her in her light blue dress at a dance club in the early 1940s.

Rachel Goff /The Cov­ing­ton News

Frank and Ear­line say the key to a suc­cess­ful mar­riage is un­der­stand­ing one an­other.

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