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Vows: It helps to have the numbers perfectly aligned

Lisa Suber and Grey Garland

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Saturday, March 23, 2013

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Lisa Suber and Grey Garland improvised their wedding plans.

Scott Stevens

Lisa Suber and Grey Garland improvised their wedding plans. "We put very little effort into the planning. That was the most enjoyable thing of all about it. It just happened," Lisa said.



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Lisa's wedding dress hung in the back of her closet for four years – not intended to be worn on her wedding day. Grey wore a traditional Scotland Highland kilt with a sporran and tuxedo jacket.

Scott Stevens

Lisa's wedding dress hung in the back of her closet for four years – not intended to be worn on her wedding day. Grey wore a traditional Scotland Highland kilt with a sporran and tuxedo jacket.



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Through misty eyes Grey described his memory of seeing Lisa for the first time.

Scott Stevens

Through misty eyes Grey described his memory of seeing Lisa for the first time. "My eyes locked on her as soon as I walked in the door. The first thing I saw was this cute little blond behind the counter."

"I am a numbers person. Since school the numbers 1-1-3 have followed me,” Lisa said. “113 was my bus number, my locker was 113, my first cashier’s number was 113 . . . everything I touched was 113.”

Lisa laughed when she described her grandfather’s emotional tie to 1-1-7. “We had 117 engraved on his gravesite, as a joke.”

By the numbers, Lisa has associated her life’s path as it relates to her favorite numbers.

If love came knocking on her heart again and she would remarry, it would have to be in the numbers, Lisa reckoned.

There wasn’t time in Lisa’s life for a social relationship, she said, raising a young son and running The Stomping Grounds, a coffee and wine hangout on Trade Street.

Then Grey Garland walked into her life at the coffee shop one evening and ordered a grilled pimento cheese sandwich. “I remember that because Grey wanted turkey on it and I told him I should name that after him.” Grey wouldn’t be the first sandwich with a local name. Cliff Harpst, a World War II veteran who has settled in Greer, has a sandwich named in his honor on the menu board.

Grey, from Spartanburg, happened to Greer to hear Danny Z (Daniel Anthony) perform. “I remember Grey sat at the end of the bar, maybe because he caught my eye,” Lisa said. Grey remembers it more succinctly. “My eyes locked on her as soon as I walked in the door,” he said. “The first thing I saw was this cute little blond behind the counter. I nodded my head to Lisa and went to say hi to Daniel.”

At the end of the evening, as Grey was paying his check, Lisa asked him to look at her computer screen to show him the house she had grown up in that was now for sale.  “I thought, ‘oh wow’ this girl is asking me to look at a house she lived in Eden (N.C).” As the conversation continued Grey told Lisa he grew up 45 miles away in Winston-Salem.

Grey found an opportunity to turn Lisa’s attention to her current status. “I asked Lisa if she had a boyfriend and when she said no I asked her out,” he said.\

Lisa made it clear, “I didn’t have time for dating but I had a small window on Sunday afternoons if he wanted to see me. Other than that he had to come to the Stomping Grounds.”

That was better than nothing, Grey said. During a Sunday afternoon visit Grey said he had a trip planned – he would be flying to Wyoming to meet a friend and they would drive back pulling a horse trailer.

The Stomping Grounds staff is a tight-knit group and the staff sensed something brewing in the relationship between Lisa and Grey. “I didn’t know the girls from Adam,” Grey said. “The day I left was Lisa’s birthday (Sept. 25).”

Grey and Lisa texted during the return trip and one messaged related how he planned to be at the coffee shop when the doors opened at 7 a.m. Saturday morning to see her. That appeared unlikely when he was 1,000 miles from Greer, sitting in a Waffle House on Friday evening. The men decided to drive overnight.

“We left Lincoln, Nebraska Friday morning and my whole mindset was arriving at the Stomping Grounds at 7 a.m.,” Grey said. “I didn’t make it. I came through the door at 8 a.m.

“I will never forget how Lisa lit up and, like it was in slow motion, she ran over and hugged me. It was like in slow motion. I never felt that way in my entire life,” Grey said.

Their relationship had blossomed in two weeks. “We kind of fell for each other when he was on that trip,” Lisa said.

Grey made the trip to Greer every night. Lisa’s most dismal part of her job is washing dishes, Grey learned. So he made a point to put on an apron, roll up his sleeves and wash dishes every evening.

During one late night visit after the store closed, Lisa and Grey began talking about getting married. That settled, they subsequently began making their wedding plans – simple, private and small.

CONTINUED ON PAGE 2 >>

Businesses mentioned in this article.

Stomping Grounds

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