WEST SACRAMENTO -- When FOX40 asked Richard Lomax why he started working in the kitchen for the California Highway Patrol Academy in 1966 as a 19-year-old, his answer made it clear why he is still here 50 years later.
"I like food," he said with a wry smile.
Wednesday, Lomax was honored for his half century of service that includes the past seven years of doing it for free.
"This building is just brick and mortar, it's the people that make it special," said CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow.
With the quote it became clear that Farrow was referring to Lomax as the heart beat of the employees that help serve hundreds of academy employees daily.
After starting as a table buser, then in food prep before ultimately becoming a cook, Lomax already had ten years under his belt when the academy moved to West Sacramento.
"I remember the first day, it was a Sunday in July," Lomax recalled with ease.
"We called him slow-low," said friend and old co-worker Doug Webb. "He was never in a hurry, but he always got the job done."
Lomax was honored with a plaque that will hang in the dinning hall long after his volunteering days are over.
As for when that day will come?
"I don't know, I just take it one day at a time," said Lomax