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Perhaps it was growing up in a town made by railroad and highway rather than river that unfitted me to appreciate fog for what it is. The piney woods of my youth in South Alabama were rarely mist-shrouded, and that simple fact may have rendered to fog the mantle of the exotic. In my youth, fog was the province of England (especially London) or the Pacific Northwest. It was a sensibility fed, no doubt, by my taste in reading and love of Arthur Conan Doyle and Jack London. Although I haunted the Gulf Coast from Panama City to Mobile, my first memorable encounter with fog did not occur until a high school football game just over the Florida line, the second in a European meadow while I was a rising college junior, and the third during my second year in graduate school while driving through extreme southwestern Georgia toward Tallahassee. I mention all this to indicate a possible reason for the evocative effect that weather phenomenon has on me, and why its appearance on a gray day in Huntsville set me to recalling Christmases far from home and the connection between the season and geography.


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