Ben was a true product of Victorian upbringing. He shaved every day using a straight razor which he honed on a razor strop. Summer and winter he wore a long-sleeved shirt, a vest to carry his large pocket watch, and a tie. Year by year, his ties became more food stained, greasy and shapeless, but as a tie was part of his “uniform” he wouldn’t abandon it. In October he donned his winter underwear and didn’t remove it until May or June of the following year. I don’t know how my mother could bear to touch it when he gave it to her for washing. In the beginning he also bathed at this time, but as he got older and more frail, he gave up bathing all together. It became increasingly more difficult to be anywhere near him.

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