connected with an unpretentious way of life, especially that of rural peoples or areas;
“some good down-home cooking”
Paradoxically my introduction to the expression “down-home” was not in the least rustic though we did have some decidedly good food. The occasion arose when I attended Dalhousie Law School in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It was an extemporaneous visit to ancient friends of my late father in Port Dufferin, Nova Scotia. Eric Balcolm and his partner Earl Hubley lived there in retirement. They called their estate overlooking the Atlantic Ocean “Down Home”, proclaimed by a tastefully engraved monument at the entry to the driveway. My understanding is that when Mr. Balcolm was a Member of Parliament in the provincial legislature – and while my father was Commanding Officer of Greenwood Nova Scotia Royal Canadian Air Force Base in the Annapolis Valley – my father would arrange flights for Mr. Balcolm and his entourage when needed.
Port Dufferin is a rural community on the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia, Canada, in the Halifax Regional Municipality. The community is located on the Marine Drive on Trunk 7 approximately 15 km (9.3 mi) east of Sheet Harbour. The community was formerly known as Salmon River and was renamed in 1899 by an Act of Parliament for Frederick Blackwood, the 1st Marquis of Dufferin and Governor General of Canada from 1872 to 1878. Settlement likely began in the early nineteenth century, and nine families lived in the area by 1827. An Anglican church began construction in the early 1840s, and was consecrated on August 11, 1852. The church was destroyed in the 1890s and a new church was built soon after, which was consecrated in late 1894. A schoolhouse was built in the 1860s. A Presbyterian church opened on March 20, 1904. A two-room school was opened in the 1940s.
To give an example of the sophistication of the home we were told of a garden tea party hosted there for the then current Premier of the Province of Nova Scotia. He arrived by helicopter on the back lawn. When one of the guests had the pluck to enquire where Balcolm had rented 500 tea cups he drew himself up and answered, “They are ours!” What he didn’t however bother to share with the woman was that he used to own the Wolfville Hotel! The funny account was but one of many we heard that weekend including some fairly ripe reflections upon the visit of Bishop Fulton J. Sheen to the household. I should remark that notwithstanding Bishop Sheen’s Roman Catholic association, Mr. Balcolm was an inveterate Anglican. From what I could tell of Mr. Balcolm’s activities, Anglicanism was a faith practiced by him with the signature industry of the best. Mr. Balcolm and his partner wintered in Palm Springs, Florida whence derived another glacier of entertaining tales!