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Custodian bids farewell with final flag raise

February 1, 2013

SARASOTA, FL — Custodian Ben Brown's day starts at 1:30 a.m. when he wakes up, puts on a meticulously clean, ironed blue uniform and leaves for the downtown U.S. Postal Service office, according to the Herald-Tribune.

ben brownFor the past 38 years, Brown has mopped floors, emptied trash and picked up after the homeless that take refuge at the building, knowing who is who by what gets left behind, the article stated.

According to the article, when 7 a.m. rolls around, he unfurls an American flag and raises it in the parking lot; while it's not a formal practice, there is something ceremonial in the repetition: Attach the flag to a rope and, hand over hand, run it up the pole.

Today, however, there will be a changing of the post office guard; Brown, who his wife calls "a creature of habit," left work yesterday at 11:30 a.m., a newly minted retiree, the article noted.

Brown plans to play golf, tend to his lemon and grapefruit trees and spend time with his wife, Cameal — a cook who packed the lunches he ate at 8 a.m. every day, the article added.

Click here to read the article in its entirety.