Dr. V wears thick-soled black sandals. His toes, like his fingers, have been twisted permanently out of shape by rheumatoid arthritis, so something as simple as slipping in and out of his footwear proves no small feat. Using the end of his walking stick, he spear-holds the top of each sandal in place to ease his foot in. A bright green rubber band has been snapped, twisted, and tied around the toe-hold. He alternates this pair of footwear with a nearly identical one that sports a red rubber band. Dr. V is careful not to wear out either pair too soon, hence the rubber-band ID tags—a trivial detail loaded with his distinct personality: his utter lack of vanity, his frugality, his passion for order and discipline ...

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