A FORMAL MAN. In the fifties, people still spoke of Shanty Irish and Lace Curtain Irish. My father, who was South Side Chicago Irish, always dressed formally. Until the last days of his life he wore a suit and necktie all the time, even when he was cutting the grass with his push mower. My father and mother were once in a hotel in Europe where there was a fire. The alarms went off and soon all the guests in the hotel were in the lobby in their pajamas and bathrobes. Except my father. He insisted on putting on his suit and necktie before he left the hotel room.

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