On Sunday’s The Last Alaskans, it’s a farewell to an old friend for patriarch and survivalist Heimo Korth, who takes us on a bit of a walk to recall his friend Bob Harte, a trapper who arrived in the area and befriended him back in the 1970s, and who has since passed on.
One of the hardest things about getting older is losing those you cared about. And Korth is pretty stoic about this old friend who he remembers with great affection.
In the end, it’s all the memories you make with the people who liked and loved you that last and are retold in stories and in thought, regardless of how important you are.
And Bob Harte made a real impact on Heimo Korth’s life up in Alaska.
As our exclusive clip opens, Korth is on a rocky shoreline and in a wistful and reflective mood, as he recalls his old pal, Bob.
Originally from New Jersey, Bob Harte died in the summer of 2017, up in Fairbanks, Alaska. Harte, who had cancer, was just 66.
“It is with a heavy heart that we announce Bob Harte has passed away,” Discovery said in a press statement. “He was a beloved member of the Discovery family, and our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time.”
Picking up a jagged piece of scrap metal washed on the shore, Heimo says: “What is that? Oh yeah, that’s part of an airplane…probably that airplane that Bob crashed.”
Moving through the edge of the water he points out the very spot his friend went down.
Heimo says: “He crashed an airplane right at the on this bank here…I remember a pilot coming to tell me he saw the plane on the bank with one wing [which] was in the water and one wing was sticking way up in the air like that, and Bob lived through it like just… he went through a lot of things. I got to hand it to him I mean all their plane crashes I mean the normal person been long dead and gone but he just kept on plugging along you know.”
Heimo’s voiceover tells of their history. “March of 1976 that’s when I first met Bob. And Bob came in a couple days after I got into town there was seven of us trappers there, and we all loved hunting and trapping and so we had that in common…and what Bob is the first to go from him, you know, the first to die. Now that Bob’s passed on and there’s not gonna be a pilot flying up here and say, ‘no no I saw Bob’s down there or I saw his plane there… it’s, you know, kind of a void down, there… [it’s] pretty sad.”
Another friend who was a pilot, Rick Schikora, had a close call on his way to pick up Heimo and his wife back in 2010. The Fairbanks Daily News Miner wrote about the incident which nearly took his life.
Make sure to tune in as this episode will surely bring back loads of memories,
The Last Alaskans airs Sundays at 10 pm ET/PT on Discovery Channel. Watch live or catch up on the Discovery Go app.