CHICAGO (CBS) — The Palmer House Hilton rolled out the red carpet and gave star treatment today, not to a movie star or dignitary from a foreign country, but to a banquet waiter who recently retired after 53 years.

Bobbe Hellom is known for his smile. Guests ask for him because it’s contagious. He was honored with a special luncheon and invited his closest friends, most of them former coworkers.

“I had no trouble here. Everyone here was like a brother, sister, father and so forth. I am going to miss this place.

The 78-year-old has served presidents and so many famous people he can’t remember them all. He says Elizabeth Taylor is one he’ll never forget, but will not reveal what drink he served her.

As far as his “last meal”, he got to choose the menu. Executive Chef Steven Henry says he could have had anything he wanted but, “He likes the chicken wings with the bleu cheese and hot sauce.”

Watch & Listen LIVE