NEW BRITAIN – From the quaint splendor of the town of Kent in the northwest hills to the great restaurants that dot the shoreline of Westbrook to New Britain’s industrial roots, travel and history author Martin “Marty” Podskoch is hoping to give residents and tourists a view of every municipality in the state with his new book “Connecticut 169 Club: Your Guide and Passport to Adventure”.
Podskoch, a retired reading teacher who now lives in East Hampton, is in the process of compiling interesting information on every town, city and village in the state in the hopes of encouraging people to visit them all.
The book will come out this summer. But in the coming weeks and months, Podskoch will provide a preview of a municipality in his weekly column in The New Britain Herald, The Bristol Press and the Willimantic Chronicle, giving readers a first-hand look at the splendor that every nook and cranny in Connecticut has to offer.
“It doesn’t matter what age people are or what means of transportation people use to get there,” the 74-year-old author said. “The whole idea is to get people to see the many beautiful places in our state.”
Podskoch’s work is based on the premise that many people will continually visit one or two places in a state or generally hang out in their town or city, which causes them to miss the beauty and the interesting stories of other places right in their own state.
As a published author who has written six books on the history of the Adirondacks, fire towers and Civilian Conservation Corps camps, Podskoch decided to write a book about all 102 of the area’s towns based on the “Vermont 251 Club” formed in the 1950s. The club encouraged people to “take the road less traveled and get to know all of Vermont” he explains in the request for information forms that he sends to historical societies, libraries and town halls.
Calling the book the “Adirondack 102 Club,” Podskoch included a space for journaling and a place where readers could get the stamp, sticker or a signature from a business or location indicating they had been at a particular town. “The whole thing is to make sure people visit and talk to people and not just drive through,” he said. The reward for visiting all 102 towns was the “Vagabond” patch. In the first year after the ook was released in 2014 more than 4,000 copies were sold, Podskoch said. By 2015, five people had received their “Vagabond” patch during a dinner organized by ladies from the area who liked the idea of the club.
Podskoch is hoping to replicate the popularity of his idea of traveling to every town, city and village in the state with the “Connecticut 169 Club.” Like its predecessor, the book will have a space for journaling and a place to gather a stamp, sticker or signature, from every municipality visited. He’s still in the process of seeking information from local libraries, town halls, historical societies and others to touch on all 169 municipalities in the state. Each will have a write-up which will include interesting facts about the locale, great places to eat or visit and more.
The reward for visiting all 169 towns, cities and villages will be a “Leatherman” patch, named after the famed Leatherman who traveled to many areas of Connecticut.
He suggests that the whole family, including grandparents, can enjoy the adventure of exploring all 169 municipalities together. “Let’s all take the road less traveled,” he said.