I’m a word butcher, not a number cruncher, so I had to think a bit about a recent e-mail from fraternity brother Jeff Weir.
Weir is a successful attorney and real estate investor in northern Wisconsin. He also has authored a well-written novel. When I knew him years ago, he was struggling a little. It’s great to learn how he has progressed since then.
Weir said he was rummaging through a drawer and discovered his old Sigma Nu Fraternity membership card. He wondered how many of the brethren would remember their initiation numbers and the Greek letters designating the chapter.
I still can recite the Greek alphabet (I’m good at that kind of stuff), so the chapter designation came to mind easily—Gamma Lambda. However, I’ve spent more than two years trying to engrave my latest phone number in my memory. The initiation digits could have been trouble. They weren’t though. My initiation number is unforgettable. It is 714.
Anyone who recalls the long-running television show “Dragnet” would know that Sergeant Joe Friday carried Badge 714. What are commonly called fraternity pins more formally are known as badges. Thus, I have always had only to think of the indomitable cop Friday to remember my badge also is 714.
Number recollection must vary considerably among individuals, and perhaps the numbers themselves. I easily bring my social security number to mind. BW (beautiful wife) Sandy cannot remember hers no matter how hard she tries, although she easily recalls many more other numbers than I do.
The only other number of any importance I can readily recall is my military serial number. I was forced to memorize it 53 years ago. Why it still often leaps to mind completely escapes me. Perhaps I dream of being captured by some horrible enemy and remember my training company sergeant yelling: “Don’t tell 'em a damn thing but name, rank, and serial number,” and I want to be ready to do just that.
What strange numbers come to your mind?