A few days ago, we were driving slowly through Smoky Mountain National Park, looking for the deer, elk and black bear for which the park is known. Alerted by a cluster of stopped cars ahead, we pulled onto the shoulder and found ourselves attacked from behind by a black bear ... watcher.

Let me clarify: It was a black car containing a couple from Nebraska, both of whom were so engrossed in getting pictures of a real black bear that they neglected steering clear of other cars in the "bear jam" traffic. They almost missed our car, but there is paint missing from both our fenders. We'll need a body shop later.

That was the first of two automotive problems for the day. A very low tire led to the discovery that we had located someone's loose screw, and its removal and repair revealed other damage requiring tire replacement before we could move on to Colonial Williamsburg, Va., our next destination.

A trip to Williamsburg is a step back in American history. Many of its streets and buildings date from colonial times, 1775 and earlier. The preserved town is now "populated" by professionals taking the roles of pre-Revolution townspeople who reveal how they lived, worked, dressed and politicked more than 240 years ago.

Tourists can visit and interact with these stand-ins for our nation's forefathers with sometimes-remarkable results. The visitor can "argue" points of history with a revolutionary leader from 1770.

 

Back one hour: Daylight saving time ended early Sunday, but since I had not set my watch to Eastern saving time, no adjustment was necessary to match my time to Virginia's Eastern standard Time. On the way home, crossing into Alabama, I had to adjust.

 

Vote early: You can vote early 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Saturday at your registrar's office. Photo IDs are essential. Information is available at registrar's offices or at GeauxVote.com.

 

Museum Veterans Day: A barbecue will take placefrom 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday at the Regional Military Museum on Barrow Street in Houma. Food and drinks will be available for veterans and their families. there will be a bounce houses for kids and music. A flag-raising ceremony begins at 11 a.m. Information: 873-8200.

 

Vandebilt Veterans Day: The event is planned for Monday in the Kolb Center. Organizer Gary Phillips recommends veterans and families arrive by 8:30 a.m. Parking is available near Kolb Center. Music will be performed by the school band and choir. There will be patriotic readings and special recognitions. Natural Guard Col. Jacques Thibodeaux will speak. A reception will follow for all guests. Information: 876-2551.

Phillips, long-time Vandy Veterans Day organizer, retires after this year.

 

Round table lecture: On Nov. 21, Nicholls State professors Paul Wilson and Kurt Stiegler will address the round table on America's entry into World War I. The event begins at 6 p.m. at the Terrebonne Main Library. It is free and open to the public.

 

Le Petit: “Moon Over The Brewery,” opens Friday and runs through Nov. 19. Seat reservations are essential. Visit houmalittletheatre.com or call the box office at 876-4278.

 

Books for the Bayou: The event, postponed by Hurricane Nate last month, has been rescheduled 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 18. Readers and writers alike are invited. Local authors will sell signed copies and mingle with library patrons. Aspiring writers are encouraged meet published authors.

Books for the Bayou is sponsored by the Friends of the Terrebonne Public Library and open to the public. Authors must sign up beforehand. Guidelines and registration forms are available at mytpl.org. Information:850-5301 or jsuire@mytpl.org.

 

Responding? Contact Bill Ellzey at 381-6256, at ellzey@viscom.net, billellzey312@gmail.com, or c/o The Courier, P.O. Box 2717, Houma, LA 70361.