Twenty years ago, Lee Lightner and his star employee, Tammy Towery, decided it was fate when The Rental Show was scheduled to be held in Las Vegas in 1993.
Lightner, president and second-generation owner of ABC Equipment Rental, Catonsville, Md., had been in the business 10 years. He and Tammy, who initially worked for an equipment manufacturer, had met while on the job. When show time came around, they were ready to make the relationship official.
“We got a limo and went to the courthouse and then to the chapel. It was the Little Chapel of Flowers. Tom, the limo driver, was the
witness and a girl by the name of Annette married us. She talked to us a bit, told us that they did accept tips and then we got married,” Lightner says.
The couple married on Feb. 4, 1993. “We told our parents and friends, but nobody was there, and then, afterwards, all the vendors took us out,” he says.
“I can remember when Tammy and I later walked down the aisle at The Rental Show, someone stopped and said to her, “Hey, did you hear Lee got married?’ They didn’t know it was to her,” he laughs.
Today, Lee and Tammy, who is vice president of the company, work together every day, in offices across from each other. Their youngest child just turned 18 and so the college search has begun. “We’ve gone full circle,” he says.
At The Rental Show 2013, Lightner says they might take a drive to celebrate their 20th anniversary. “I think we’re going to go back there and renew our vows,” he says, adding that after all, the last 20 years have been pretty good.
“It goes fast. You’re only on this planet for a short period of time, so you might as well have some fun,” he says.