1-24  The First Twenty-Four
25-48  The Second Twenty-Four
49-72  The Third Twenty-Four
73-96  The Fourth Twenty-Four
97-120  The Fifth Twenty-Four
121-144  The Sixth Twenty-Four
145-168  The Seventh Twenty-Four
169-on  The Eighth Twenty-Four

97  A Family Visit, part 2
98  Wunderkammer XI
99  Wunderkammer XII
100  Ponogram Index
101  Michigan Outlines
102  Hawaiiana 9
103  Kids of Maine - 1
104  Kids of Maine - 2
105  Clarence Sandin
106  Tech House
107  Hawksbill Hatching
108  Facial Recognition
109  Hawaiiana 10
110  Spring in Maine - 1
111  Spring in Maine - 2
112  Wunderkammer XIII
113  Wunderkammer XIV
114  Wunderkammer XV
115  JOVIAL Programming Language
116  "Big Like a Soldier Officer"
117  TV Shows That Never Were - 1
118  Gecko Rejects Moth
119  TV Shows That Never Were - 2
120  The Story of Four




I don’t know how it started.  It’s really hard to trace the history of something as stupid as this.  But the fact is that “four” is now a significant and irreplaceable part of our family history.


Four fingers - palm   Four fingers - back hand   

The earliest manifestation of the syndrome that I remember was when JR and Stuart were about 7 and 10.  For an unknown reason, when asked something that required a numeric answer, I would hold up four fingers, move the hand front and back and say “fo-o-our”.  The kids would laugh, and probably more significant, my wife Clae would express disgust.

This has gone on ever since then, to the laughter of some and the disgust of others.  Last time I was in Bar Harbor with JR and his family, I introduced it to the granddaughters, but I think they were too young for it to take.

When JR and Stuart were about 9 and 12, we vacationed in Hawaii.  We took a guided tour with just the four of us and an elderly couple.  At some point someone wondered what brand of vehicle we were in.  The old gentleman said “Fo-o-ord” and we just cracked up (even Clae).  Of course the couple had no idea what was up and there was no way we could explain it, but we just couldn’t stop snickering!  The old lady allowed that he did say it kind of funny, but they never knew and the incident cemented the four syndrome to our family.

At about the same period, I would share restaurant bills with the kids.  Remarkably, nearly every one of them turned out to end in one or two 4s!  To this day, they are still amazed by that phenomenon, but I think they now understand that I’m just careful what I order.  I don’t think they understand how the gasoline bills end in 4 yet though.

I’ve run across many examples of the number four in my history, and have been surprised and amused by seeing them.  To begin with, I was the fourth and last birth to my parents. 


 I am number four

I didn’t watch the TV show “I Am Number Four” but perhaps I should have.


 1955-56 ABC membership card

I think the above is the first of many bowling league membership cards I had.  My American Bowling Congress membership number in 1955-56 was an appropriate 44001.

Pono - Army - Position 44    Pono badge

A random picture of me in the Army, on the firing range, at Ft. Hood, TX, at position 44.

On one assignment in my work career, I was identified by this badge with 400-004 and IV on it.


At one point when I was working at Abacus, management decided to assign employee numbers.  They arranged all the current employees according to start dates and started the numbers with 10001.  I, of course, was awarded 10004.

For about 20 years while here in Hawaii, my phone number has been 879-5442.

When I first moved to Hawaii, I needed a travel agent.  How could I not choose Kathy with the phone number 244-1414?

The other day I called customer service at my bank and noticed that the number to report lost or stolen number cards was 844-4444.


 UH Baseball 44

I watch University of Hawaii men’s baseball and Kyle Von Ruden, number 44, is one of their top pitchers.


 Maglio   UH Beach Volleyball

I watch University of Hawaii women’s beach volleyball and Emily Maglio, number 44, is one of my favorites.


I found a four  I bought a four 

Walking one morning, I found a four.  It still had a bit of frosting on it, but I took it home, cleaned it up, and added it to my collection of junk.  Another time, I couldn’t resist buying a house number brass four.


 Wendy's 444   Dial telephone from California

A set of Wendy’s commercials revolves around 444 NEWS (coverage of Wendy’s 4 for $4 Meal) and always catches my eye.  In Maui, I’ll bet it is more like 4 for $5.

For about 20 years while living in California, our phone number was 344-1981.  The dial phone instrument is 44 years old and still has our old number in place.


 Health Plan Group

My father ends up getting the ““four” record with his health plan group number – 4444444 !

So, how does the four thing manifest itself?  Any time an estimate is needed, it is apt to be quoted as the nearest number ending in 4 or 44.  Whenever I arrange to meet someone the time will be 1044a, 1204p, or 434p

You’ll find lots of examples in other Ponograms.  Look for the phrase “144 meters” in this one.  Or the phrase “444 Hawaiian words” in this one.



"Four is the only cardinal numeral in the English language that has the same number of letters as its number value. (Quotation from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4.  You will find many, many pages of equally intriguing info about 4 at this site.)

As I write this, my oldest son Kim is 64 years old.  JR and I were both born in Chinese Years of the Rooster.  I will be 84 years old next birthday and JR will be 48.  I will complete my seventh (12 year) life cycle and he will complete his fourth life cycle.  Stuart and Jen are in their 44th years.

A reminder to everyone on this distribution list.  ALL previous Ponograms are available online.  Here are the links to Ponogram #14 and Ponogram #44, in the spirit of this one, and you can get to all others by navigating the menus.  If you have been with me from the beginning, you may remember that #4 was the first Ponogram because I saw no reason to start with #1 and I never dreamed that I would still be distributing this junk ten years later!






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