SANTA MARIA, Calif. -

Bob Eakes isn't your typical Walmart greeter.

Now 72, he moved to Santa Maria when he was 24 as an Airman on Vandenberg Air Force Base.

He met his wife and decided to stay and open an appliance repair business.

After retiring from that in 1999, he and his wife saw Walmart's opening as a perfect opportunity to keep themselves busy; they began work as greeters.

One day, Eakes found some guitars in the toy section and brought them to the front to help sell.

He picked one up and learned to play one too.

He was soon playing and making up songs for customers and his wife.

His wife died a few years later from a brain tumor.  

After a year off, he returned to Walmart with his guitar.

Today he greets customers at the door with tunes, and directs them to items on their shopping list.

Eakes says he's happy greeting Walmart customers with his guitar for the rest of his life.