The Caswells have known each other nearly their entire lives. In 1936, new students arrived in Roosterville (located southwest of Carrolton in Herd County) after the school board established new routes. Hall and his friends went to school early to greet them.
“Finally she walked out on the steps of the school bus — pretty clean hair and fine eyes, clean dress. I said, ‘that’s another I can look at and talk to,’” Hall, 89, said chuckling as Avis, 87, gave him a playful punch.
“I guess it all started then,” he said.
Avis and Hall were 12 and 13 years old when they formally met. Hall recalled that Avis sat under a large shade tree while he played basketball on a dirt court. “The girls sat over there watching us practice. I noticed (Avis) was watching me. I decided I’d go over and speak to her,” said Hall with a twinkle in his eye. Within weeks, the two regularly ate lunch together under the tree.
Hall, who enjoys making mischief, described himself as a “timid, bashful fellow.” The following school year he remembered a mischievous boy took his hand and hit Avis on her fanny.
“She turned around and stuck a sharp leaded pencil in my shoulder, broke it off and it’s still there,” Hall said amused.
Despite the injury, for six years the couple courted. “It was 3 miles over there to her house and 3 miles back. At 9 o’clock you’d have to leave,” Hall said.
He described the challenges he faced on his visits to Avis’ home such as dirt roads, woods, the elements, dogs and his boyish imagination.
“I would go through the forest with three rocks in my hands. I’d hear boogers. I’d throw a rock down there and then run, just as hard as I can. That went on for a long time,” Hall said.
A memorable evening was at a “candy pulling” at the home of Miss Alma Coleman during December. After pulling taffy, the couple walked outside and Hall recalled that Avis asked, “Will you marry me?” After much discussion concerning who asked whom Hall declared chuckling, “That’s the way I saw it.”
Laughter and a good sense of humor is clearly a key to this couple’s long success. Hall enjoys telling amusing stories about their courtship and marriage with an occasional nudge or look of disbelief from Avis to keep him in line.
When they were 18 and 19, Avis and Hall tied the knot after getting permission to wed while in high school. After they married, the young Caswells split their time between their parents home until Hall left to serve in WWII in February 1943.
When he returned from the war, the Caswells moved to Marietta to join Hall’s parents who moved to Cobb County after his father went to work at Bell Bomber Plant. Hall worked for his father during the day who started a remodeling business and for Georgia Power at night.
“We didn’t have any money, I mean none,” Hall said smiling.
Hall eventually took a job at Lockheed where he was employed 33 years in project management for aircrafts. He has been retired 29 years.
The Caswells always lived a frugal lifestyle. They saved enough money to purchase the land where their home sits today.
“We lived in this same house 57 years. I cut the yard for 56 years,” Hall said.
The Caswells both played important roles in the family life. Avis stayed at home caring for the children and house. Hall remembered telling Avis, “You take care of the house and I’ll work to bring in money.”
When their daughters, Suanne and Caron of Kennesaw, were born he told Avis, “They’re girls. You take care of them. If you need any help just let me know.”
“I didn’t tell her what to do. She knew what to do. She kept this house. She cooked all the food. She made all the dresses for the girls. She could make some beautiful clothes,” he said lovingly.
The Caswell home is a happy home. There is laughter. There is joy. There is love.
“We’ve had a great life,” Hall said.