Rockton doesn't really exist anymore, having been absorbed by the city of Hamilton, but there was hardly any "there" there, even in the 1970's, when we would make the long drive to see Grandma.
Grandma was born in Fores, Scotland, and I loved the way she rolled the R at the start of my name, Robbie. She was kind, in her way, but seemed alien to me, and not just because of her accent and her "party line" phone and antique toaster (she also had an ashtray shaped like a coiled snake that scared me, and a ceramic boy's head on the wall near the bathroom that dispensed string from his mouth, ditto).
We called her house The Farm, since that's how my mother referred to it: when Mom was growing up, it was the place they stayed in the summers, when they weren't in Toronto. When I visited, there was a ramshackle barn with an old Studebaker, idle for years. And an outbuilding with stacks of old sheet music written by my mother's great uncle, Andrew Kernighan--correction: it was Robert Kirkland Kernighan--who was known as The Khan. He was a poet of some dubious renown, who had once lived in a cabin on the property. Actually, the sheet music said "Words by The Khan, Music by His Sister" under the title. Anyway, my father and I used to walk the property on visits, in search of the ruins of The Khan's cabin (which in fact we did find more than once).
This is Grandma's house today, courtesy of Google Streetview (the stone wall was uncrowded by shrubs when I was a boy):
Rockton may be part of Hamilton now, but this is hardly a cityscape.
Grandma Mason died when I was in college Out West, and due to a mixup with a funeral home in Hamilton, there was no place to bury her. As I understand it, my cousins (and perhaps my Uncle Bob) improvised a solution that required hand-digging a grave for her in the churchyard down the road. Then they carried her coffin on their shoulders--a half mile down the way, past the site of the rinkydink "Rockton World's Fair"--and buried her themselves outside of this little stone church (again, this image is from Google Streetview).
I learned just now that The Rockton World's Fair was named as such because (according to the fair's website)
In 1878, Mrs. Andrew Kernighan commented that the fair should be called The World’s Fair because all of the world comes to it. The next day, local newspapers carried an article about the fair with the headline "The World’s Fair at Rockton."
"Mrs. Andrew Kernighan" was The Khan's mother, apparently. Nomenclature aside, it's a pretty small fair.
Grandma Mason was my last living grandmother (my Father's mother had died--suddenly, I think--when I was a young boy), and I swooned, in a way, when I heard that Grandma Mason had died, and that her grandchildren had carried her, on foot, down the road to a grave they had dug by hand. But I was in college in Washington state at the time, and my parents didn't tell me Grandma had died until several weeks after she was buried. They said they didn't want to interfere with my studies. I'm not sure I ever forgave them for that.