By Jan Gottesman, Item Editor

Marcia Rothwell and Beth Sobiloff visit communities, exploring the history, landscape, culture, commerce, and food scene to share the towns’ treasures with their viewers.

“Two Grannies on the Road” airs on Plymouth Area Community Television as well as other community TV stations across Massachusetts, and on YouTube. The grannies have visited 59 communities now, out of the 351 in the state. The two have also been to Worcester and Marlborough on their quest.

Sobiloff began the quest in 2018, but the show was paused during COVID; Rothwell is her second partner.

“We have had some wonderful surprises, such as finding that a gentleman in Hubbardston has the world’s largest collection of ‘Back to the Future’ memorabilia. Another surprise was finding the Museum of Russian Icons in Clinton. Who would have guessed?” Sobiloff said. “I’m also very surprised that in many towns, there were one or two people who made a huge difference in shaping the history and culture of the town, such as the Bigelow brothers in Clinton.”

On Thursday, Aug. 24, the pair had breakfast at Sunshine Café, with owner Debbie Sargent; talked town history with Terry Ingano at the Holder Memorial; talked to Sunrise Boutique’s Cynthia Cannon about the community she loves, while shopping for some treasures; had lunch at Clintons Bar & Grill before heading to the Museum of Russian Icons and topping the day with ice cream at Zaytoon’s. They also drove by other landmarks, including Fuller Field, Central Park, Bigelow Free Public Library, Bigelow Carpet Mill, St. John’s Church and the Wachusett Dam. They also stopped to take a picture with Council on Aging Director Deb Goodsell at the former Foster Mansion.

Cynthia Cannon (right), owner of Sunrise Boutique, in Clinton, is interviewed by the hosts of 2 Grannies on the Road, Beth Sobiloff and Marcia Rothwell on Aug. 24.
Item photo/Jan Gottesman

“I loved seeing so many beautiful buildings and homes,” Rothwell said after the visit, and the town’s sense of history. “I loved the community spirit and how everyone was proud of their town and supported each other.”

Rothwell said she couldn’t choose her most memorable stop, there were just so many.

“Everyone was very generous and gave us time, even when they were very busy,” Rothwell said.

Sobiloff agreed with Rothwell that the community spirit in Clinton was nice to see,

“Everyone we met was so warm and welcoming. People came up to us and said hello all day long,” Sobiloff said. “It’s a very close-knit community and people really care about each other. All day long, people told us, ‘Did you know yesterday was (Sunshine Café owner) Debbie’s birthday?”

Small videos from the visit will be on their Facebook page, YouTube, Instagram and on their website.

In the future, a full show will be “up and running after it has been edited by Beth, the number one grammy,” Rothwell added. They will post on Clinton’s Facebook page when it is ready to view.

In the past, the grannies have joined the River Rat Race, from Athol to Orange; rode on a dog sled from Hilltown Sled Dogs in Chesterfield; fed alpacas at Plain View Farm, in Hubbardston; ran a hand car at the Trolley Museum in Shelburne; and slept in a caboose at the Chester Train Museum. They have also visited Princeton, Orange and Athol.

Clinton was full of memorable moments, Sobiloff said, including getting a special menu item at Sunshine Café (Two Grannies Waffles Benedict), listening to Terry Ingano’s knowledge on the history of the town and meeting Cynthia Cannon at Sunrise, “a delightful person and very generous in giving back to town.”

“Ilias Kakouris, the chef/owner of Clintons Bar and Grill, made us a lunch to die for, including a white chocolate bread pudding with caramel sauce and vanilla gelato that just melted in your mouth,” Sobiloff said. They were impressed with the museum, which she called “stunning.” She added that Phil Duffy, who heads the town’s economic office, drove them to the reservoir and “the infamous tunnel,” as well as the Council on Aging.

The grannies will pop back up in the area. Rothwell said they are planning to visit Bolton Sept. 14.