Barbara Maderson, of Kenner, tells how to handle a hungry bear:

“My husband and I were in the Great Smoky Mountains to see the fall foliage last month.

“The cabins are usually equipped with bear-proof garbage cans, but ours had two galvanized cans with lids attached with ropes to the handles.

“After eating a delicious rotisserie chicken, we decided to put the bones, skin, etc., in a plastic bag and place it outside in the garbage can so the cabin wouldn’t smell in the morning.

“Shortly thereafter I heard what sounded like tin hitting tin. I told my husband, ‘Something just got in the garbage.’

“He stepped outside and said, ‘The plastic bag is gone!’

“He picked up the lid and placed it back on the garbage can and began to hammer it down so it would be shut tight.

“He looked up and there were two big eyes staring at him on the other side of the cans!

“He said, ‘There is a bear right here!’

“With that he came up the steps — but I was so frightened that the bear would follow him inside I was shutting the door as he was trying to get in.

“We got the door locked and looked out the window. The bear was walking down the road. We have been going to the Smokies for the last 50 years, and this was the biggest bear we have ever seen.

“He stopped at the next cabin, sniffed at their garbage can, but just walked on.

“We can laugh about this now …”

So that’s how you handle a hungry bear — run like hell …

Fond food memories

Dudley Lehew, of Denham Springs, says, “Your mention of Joe D’s made me pause and reflect on the Great GAStronomical Giants no longer around.

“Like everybody of our generation, I miss Hopper’s mashed flat and toasted barbecue poboy and thick chocolate malt.’

“And I miss Muffoletto’s hot tamales — wrapped in paper to contain their grease.”

Great Literature Dept.

I’ll be signing copies of my books “Smiley! A Laughing Matter” and “Best of Smiley” Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Barnes & Noble in CitiPlace.

Happy anniversary

De’ann Wells, of Baker, says on Saturday her daughter Jenna celebrates the third anniversary of her double lung transplant.

Jenna, who has cystic fibrosis, had the transplant at St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital in Houston when she was 27.

She and her mother lived in Houston two years waiting for the transplant.

Be a star

Want to star in your own music video? LPB and the Lieutenant Governor’s Office have a video contest in connection with the “Sunshine by the Stars: Celebrating Louisiana’s Music” special premiering Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. on LPB.

It features Harry Connick Jr., Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Guy, Tim McGraw, Irma Thomas and many more artists, singing “You Are My Sunshine.”

Record you or your group singing the first verse and chorus of “You Are My Sunshine” on YouTube by Nov. 30.

Grand prize is a two-night stay in New Orleans and more.

Visit and click on the “Sunshine by the Stars” icon.

Musical memories

After I mentioned old phonographs and needles, I heard from Charmian Kendrick:

“My father was a HUGE Beniamoni Gigli fan (Italian opera singer) and had a large collection of his records (78s).

“I remember playing them on his HMV record player (the wind-up kind).

“You just sat back, relaxed and listened to the opera — until it started winding down, at which point you had to jump up, rush over and wind it up.

“Thanks for bringing back some fond memories of my childhood in London!”

Special People Dept.

  • Belle Guidry, of Morgan City, celebrates her 93rd birthday Sunday. She was featured on WBRZ-TV cooking shows with Jean Wheeler and Walter Hill. You can check out the website for her cookbooks on Facebook at “Belle’s Bayou Bounty.”
  • Anthony “Tony” and Nora Melancon celebrate 64 years of marriage Saturday.

A whole other country

“Sherwood Forester” says he was driving back from Atlanta when “just a couple of miles past the Mississippi state line I spotted a vehicle in my rear view mirror that I thought was a police van.

“Not that I was speeding, but I eased off the gas pedal a bit — and was surprised to see a Border Patrol van pass me by.

“I know Ole Miss is coming to town this weekend — but Border Patrol units?”

Life imitates art

Robert Bourgeois, of New Roads, says, “When my wife Karen and I retired earlier this year, we thought we would be settling into a life of relaxing walks, reading good novels, leisurely drives and enjoying our grandchildren. Au contraire!

“With everything going on in Washington — the election, the events in Benghazi, the CIA director, the four-star generals and the FBI, I feel like we’re living in a Tom Clancy novel, an episode of ‘The Young and the Restless,’ ‘General Hospital,’ ‘M*A*S*H,’ and ‘Honey Boo Boo’ all at the same time!

“I think we need a vacation.”

Write Smiley at He can also be reached by fax at (225) 388-0351 or mail at P.O. Box 588, Baton Rouge, LA 70821.