Uncle Frank, Chichester, New Hampshire © Jim Korpi

To witness the tears of a grown man is like seeing a nocturnal bird of prey in daylight, someone forced it into a world it has evolved to avoid.
One of the earliest memories I have of life on the farm in New Hampshire was the first evening we drove up the long driveway. The warm yellow light from life in the kitchen spilled onto the wood porch, poured into the lawn and was a beacon in the blue dusk.
The grandfather, I was to know as Dubba, and his oldest son, Uncle Frank, sat in chairs by the wood-fired cook stove with guitars resting on their laps. They were cheerful and loose with words. “My ding-a-ling, your ding-a-ling, won’t you play with my ding-a-ling,” Uncle Frank bellowed and strummed.
A year ago my younger brother celebrated his marriage at the old farmhouse. It was the first time most of the family had been back on the property since we left it.
The wedding ceremony finished and guests filed into the old barn for the next stage of the event.
Uncle Frank walked with his drink to the western edge of what was once the farmhouse garden but was now a manicured ornamental bush bordering the wedding altar.
“I fuckin’ miss this place,” he said softly after I sat beside him. We sat quiet. I agreed without words. I somehow missed it too. A tear made its way from the sadness of his eyes down his nose. I made this portrait of him.
Uncle Frank died one week ago. His funeral is today. I am an ocean away, but here I am remembering him.

Posted October 18th, 2015 in Uncategorized. Tagged: , .


  1. Jeremy Darling:

    Hey jim, you are sorely missed at this solemn occasion. Your words are true and honest. They have a way of summoning memories that resonate in all of us. Uncle frank was a very peculiar man but an honest and charming character to all of us. He will be truly missed but never forgotten. He left a mark on all of us and helped to shape us all into the adults we have become.

  2. Hanna Walton:

    Awesomely touching. ♡

  3. Johanna Sanborn:

    I see that his poetry of life has touched you. That was him. He so loved his family whether it be by birth, team, or friendship! A kind man. He will be missed.

  4. Felicia:

    This is beautiful jim. He is dearly missed, my heart has a empty space without him. Yet this makes me feel closer too.

  5. peggy:

    I was fourteen when Frank came into our lives, he was there through all the good times and all the bad times. He held us and supported the five of us through the loss of our mother and our father. He had an amazing sense of humor. My children didn’t get to spend a lot of time with him, but they remember him with great affection. He will truly be missed by all who know him. Rest in Peace my old friend.

  6. Yvonne Lagomarsino:

    Jimmy Once again I am in awe of my family and the stong ties that bind us all. Made from the bits and peices of our hearts and soles we so freely give to each other that create the memories that will never be taken away. I will miss my brother in the years to come. I do not believe he really knew how much he had made an impact on those he came in contact with. He taught me so much and I fondly look back on many of the firsts in my life that he made possible. He took me to my first movie at a Cinema, we saw 101 Dalmations , he even took me to my first drive-in theater,Billy Jack and the fantaic voyage played on the big screen.. It was soo cool. My big Brother was always willing to twirll me around the dance floor… He played SAX growing up but mostly he loved to play the guitar. Family gatherings , after dinner , or yes just sitting around we all loved the times spent gathered around the kitchen table singing the same ole songs we heard our Dad sing to us when we were little.. Even though as we grew older and times or life kept us apart I always knew he was just a phone call away. I will miss not having his presence of body with us at our family gatherings but take solace in my belief that he is in a world of piece and will continue to watch and care for his family from the heavens above..

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