Sunday, January 25, 2015

Bull Creek member Greg Levish highlighted (along with his turtle soup) in Tribune - Review article!!

By Ed Phillipps Pittsburgh Tribune Review

It was about 30 years ago when Greg Levish and his then-9-year-old son, Jason, set out on a simple mission to catch a turtle. All it was, Levish says, was a little adventure for the two to get up close and personal with the reptile.

Nowadays, Levish is still trapping turtles, and anyone who wants to check out his catch can take it home in a Tupperware container.

Levish and a slew of other vendors will be at the Tri-County Trout Club Sport Show and Flea Market on Jan. 24 at the Arnold No. 2 Volunteer Fire Department social hall.

Items new and old — encompassing hunting, fishing, camping and trapping — will be on hand. Firearms are not available.

One of the most popular vendors is Levish, whose homemade turtle soup is something of a delicacy at the show. Levish spends countless hours trapping and cleaning about 40 turtles before cooking, freezing and packaging the soup — made with vegetables grown in his garden — in quart containers that are sold for $6 apiece.

“It's a lot of work making the soup,” says the 65-year-old Sarver resident, who keeps his secret-spice recipe closely guarded. “I don't claim to have the best of all, but the way I make it is the way people around here are accustomed to eating it.”

Treasures that are hard to find elsewhere, like Levish's soup, are what make the event unique.

“It is nostalgia that drives some of it, like holding a bamboo rod like your grandad used, or collecting old, wooden lures you used to see in your dad or uncle's tackle box when you were a little kid,” says the Lower Burrell club's president, Steve Hegedus. “But there are also people that live right in this area that make quality fishing tackle and really beautiful, unique and effective turkey calls. This show gives them a chance to promote and sell their handiwork.”

Larry Boland is one of those vendors who produces his own product. He uses different methods to sell his wing-bone turkey calls, but for him, nothing beats a sports show.
“They get to see exactly what they're getting and how to use it,” says the 66-year-old Franklin Park resident. “On the Internet, you can't do that. It's a little easier if they stop out and see it done.”

Classic items are also a big hit. Vintage magazines, books, lanterns and other camping supplies dating back as far as the 1950s are expected to be for sale.

This is the club's 11th annual event and the second at its current location. An influx of vendors and customer interest have not only kept the show going, but helped it grow.
“From the early days, where it was just club members, we had maybe 20 to 30 people attend,” Hegedus says. “Last year, we were up near 300 people attending.”

The event still has a club atmosphere to it, as many of the vendors enjoy chatting and seeing what everyone else has to offer.

“I don't do it for the money; I just do it for the fun,” Boland says. “I usually end up buying more stuff than I sell.”

Ed Phillipps is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.

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