Editor’s Note: The Best of Bud is a compilation of advice and recipes gathered by the late Ralph W. “Bud” Leavitt, who retired as the Bangor Daily News executive sports editor and outdoor editor in the fall of 1988. He continued to write a weekly column until his death on Dec. 20, 1994. During his nearly half-century as the BDN’s outdoor columnist he penned more than 13,000 columns and one book, “Twelve Months in Maine.” He starred in his own TV program, “The Bud Leavitt Show,” which aired on the Hildreth Network for 20 years and the nationally acclaimed “Woods and Waters” outdoor program on the Public Broadcasting System. While some of the folks Bud interviewed have died, their contributions and memories remain with us.


Who’s the Big O? The man with the locomotive-wide shoulders at North Ellsworth, who’d take the pleasures of fishing over work anytime.

George Ovseychik’s the Big O. He is the husband of a delightful woman, Jed.

It is a time-proven fact Jed’d rather have George fishing than stumbling beneath the soles of her fast moving feet at their general store and tackle shop.

When George goes fishing, he usually has a thermos filled with a favorite of his called the Big O’s Branch Pond Soup. Jed says it is nothing more than an old-fashioned corn soup, but if George wants it called the Big O’s Branch Pond Soup, that’s fine with her. George has yet to learn about ERA.

Here, fill your thermos:

Big O’s Branch Pond Soup

1 pound brisket

½ cup chopped, pickled pork, boiled to remove salt

5-7 ears of fresh corn, cut from cob

1 stick celery, chopped

1 large can tomatoes

Put meat in Dutch oven, fill with water and let boil. Skim off foam, add tomatoes, onions and celery.

Allow to simmer as you would for vegetable soup.

In a small fry pan, smother cut corn in margarine until tender. After soup has simmered about 1 hour, and meat is tender, add corn and simmer another 30 minutes. Good?

“It hasn’t helped George’s fishing,” says Jed, “but he never comes off the lake hungry, that I know.”