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Fog Comes Like Little Cat's Feet

Updated on May 1, 2017

Foggy Morning

As I peered out my bedroom window this morning I noticed there was a heavy blanket of fog which had settled over our mountain valley. Seeing this fog I was reminded of the poetry of Carl Sandburg. Mr Sandburg purchased a large farm in our county and lived here until his death.

A relative of mine was caretaker of the Sandburg estate during Sandburg's lifetime caring for the goat herd. The estate was named Connemara and includes several hundred acres of mountain properties encompasses the area just across from our state theater, The Flat Rock Playhouse. Formerly, this was the summer home of Captain Ellison Adger Smyth who founded Balfour Mills. Captain Smyth like many neighboring Flat Rock residents had built a summer home and lived in the area during the hot summer months escaping the balmy climate of Charleston, SC.

My great uncle, Ulysses Ballard, was also caretaker for General Smyth and lived in the tenement house hired my dad and some of his brothers to clear the pasture land to clear the trees and grub stumps. The estate of Sandburg is now in the National Registry and most if not all the buildings and property remain as they were when Sandburg was living.

The estate is open most of the year for visitors with walking trails and events held on site regularly including educational programs. Sandburg's poem that came into my mind stored so many years ago as memory work in an English class is short and captures his thought in such a special way on something so simple most will overlook the simplicity and consider a minor inconvenience.


THE fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on


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    • profile image

      torrey hudson 5 years ago

      Well it seems your uncle and my great great grand father happen to be one in the same. Ule

      So I would like to know more about him. Contact at

    • Cousin Fudd profile image

      RobertElias Ballard 5 years ago from From the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina

      GClark Thank you for stopping in to read and comment.

      b. Malin, your comments are always appreciated.

    • b. Malin profile image

      b. Malin 5 years ago

      You always write such Interesting Hubs Fiddleman...A little Homespun and some Interesting Facts, like Carl Sandburg...and your great Uncle, Ulysses Ballard...Loved it!

    • GClark profile image

      GClark 5 years ago from United States

      Have always loved that quote from Carl Sandburgh - so much great imagery in it. Enjoyed the family history integrated in this interesting Hub.

    • diogenes profile image

      diogenes 5 years ago from UK and Mexico

      Two! You're pushing it bud! Bobx

    • Fiddleman profile image

      Robert Elias Ballard 5 years ago from Zirconia, North Carolina

      Lol I had the good fortune I suppose, to have both my great grandfathers with this name.

    • diogenes profile image

      diogenes 5 years ago from UK and Mexico

      Hi I was always rather fond of that little verse. I wish I had an uncle called Ulysses Ballard! Bunch of imaginative stodgy folk who named me "Bob."

      Interesting Bob (Ugh!)