My Legacy of Number 28
Who among us doesn’t have a favorite number, a lucky number, or one that simply comes to mind more often than any other? In addition to several other indications of being somewhat obsessive-compulsive, there is a number that’s played a recurring role in my life for as long as I can recall; the number 28. How or why I seem drawn to this particular two-digit beauty is not profoundly clear. I’ve even perused multiple intriguing facts about the number 28 on Wikipedia, but nothing quite speaks to me there.
Notwithstanding any potential cosmic reasons behind this numeric infatuation, I’ve tried to recall how exactly I’ve encountered the number throughout my life. My first recollection of the number 28 is actually my little brother Dave’s birthday in February of 1971. Clearly this is an early and pleasant memory, so I can imagine that the number made a very good first impression. The next link is a bit of a stretch, and it goes back 36 years to my high-school graduation (class of ’82). So yeah, the numbers are reversed here. But how much of our childhood and adolescent lives do we spend fixated on that one golden year when we’ll finally be liberated from the mundane drudgery of the public-school system? Could I have subconsciously latched on to this as a teenager, and just reversed the number? There exists no definitive evidence or recollection either way unfortunately.
Other encounters with my beloved 28 include some past and present sports endeavors. Around 1994 I played some semi-pro football, and proudly wore the number 28 (by choice though, and not by divine intervention). Within a span of three decades I’ve also engaged in organized hockey; again choosing to wear either 28 or 82. Okay this, at most, accentuates the manifestation of my numeric enthusiasm; but not necessarily the source.
Rather suddenly, a few years ago, I had a dramatic moment of discovery. I was scanning some very old documents of my grandfather’s from World War II. Alfredo Bellando was an industrious man doing the best he could to support his family during some very difficult, traumatic years in rural and Nazi-occupied central Italy. My grandad was not in the military, but found his opportunity to work for the Allied Forces as an Italian-English interpreter. He passed away when I was only seven years old, and so the details of his history for me are brief and ambiguous. However, as I was creating a digital copy of one of his army documents, my eyes were immediately drawn to his civilian ID number: 1282282. I mean… really? I’ve read about being able to access the memories of our ancestors via DNA. Could these digits actually be engrained in my very being? Maybe this innate attraction / reaction toward number 28 (and likewise 82) is just a result of something far beyond my control. Ultimately, I’d like to think that somehow my dear old grandad has genetically passed down a story to me that’s worth holding on to.
Regardless of what any of this means, I will henceforth remain consciously devoted to my cherished favorite number. That’s why you may run across it occasionally on this website, and more often than not, within the fabric of my everyday existence. I am forever 28.