Watching over the merchandise in the LVMC Gift Shop, Lola Day feels right at home. For more than three decades, the personable Lompoc Hospital Auxiliary volunteer has been a presence of some sort or another at both the old hospital and LVMC.

Lola, who was reared in Vidalia, Georgia moved to Lompoc with her military husband. When the couple first moved to Lompoc, she assumed as a military family, “we’d be here three years and then we’d be gone. But we are still here.”

From 1964 to 1998, Lola was an LVMC employee. She began as a Certified Nursing Assistant in the pediatrics ward and later became a Ward Clerk for 18 years in the Medical-Surgical unit. At the end of her working life, she staffed Central Supply.

“I enjoyed what I did,” she says. “I felt I was appreciated for it. I didn’t feel like it was a job.”

Though it’s harder to relate to the “new” hospital after spending so much time at the building on C Street, Lola recalls, “This place was my life. I always said when I retired, I’d work in the gift shop.”

The mother of four is now the grandmother of eight and great-grandmother to 18. She enjoys the beauty of the current hospital, and volunteering she’ll often see familiar faces — including her granddaughter, Tiffany Mamane, a Purchasing Department buyer.

Once Lola became a volunteer right after retirement, it felt as if she hadn’t even left.

“My husband said I was crazy to come to work at the hospital and not get paid for it. But I was happy every year I worked at the hospital and I’m very happy volunteering. It’s like my second home.”