Selected Talks & Interviews

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lk speaking about the Flynn-de Havilland “Santa Fe Trail” junket to Santa Fe, N. Mex., in December 1940 at the Festival of the West in Scottsdale, Ariz., in spring 2005. This turned out to be one of my favorite talks, but it will never happen again and it will never see print as a magazine article. Reason: It is a key piece in Errol & Olivia, and as such needs to fade into the background until the book is published. Photo by Johnny Boggs.

Although the website is live, this page is a work in progress. There are talks that have been filmed that are long shots and way out of focus. Other filmed talks have been promised but have never materialized; I assume lost to the mists of time, never to see the light of day. I’m certain that there’s a reason for this, but it will remain unspoken.

There are videos that have good quality, but, unfortunately my learning curve is extreme. Read that I have several first class films on DVD but that I haven’t been able to figure out how to place them on this page. I’ve got queries out, and, as always with me, hope burns eternal that I’ll be put in contact with people who can show me how to solve the problem. … But, isn’t this what life is all about? Learning? Doing? Yes, the process of learning and doing. Sometimes it is good, sometimes it is hell. Hell is always more challenging, … confronting it, conquering it! Now that’s worth a huge smile, and one I can’t wait to enjoy.

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lk talking about Gatewood finding Geronimo in Mexico in 1886 and talking him and the rest of the Apaches into returning to the United States and ending the last Apache war at the Festival of the West in Scottsdale, Ariz., on March 20, 2004 (I also spoke about this subject on March 18, and on March 19 I spoke about Custer finding the Southern Cheyenne mystic Stone Forehead on Sweetwater Creek in the Texas Panhandle in March 1869 and talking him into returning to the reservation. This was not a fun three days for my brain was pounding, pounding with Custer/Stone Forehead and Gatewood/Geronimo. I survived, but I probably sweat off 10 pounds. I’ll never schedule dueling talks again, never. (art © Louis Kraft 2012)

The process is ongoing. If all goes well in the coming days and I talk to the right people and learn how to do what I need to do, I’ll add a few more talks to this page.

Talks, talks, and more talks. Believe it or not, there are more talks than articles. Custer, Gatewood, Geronimo & Apaches, Wynkoop, Cheyennes, Flynn & de Havilland, and so on. Although seemingly in the background taling about them is what I really like doing. Sometimes a talk or a series of talks will make a good article, and conversely sometimes there are articles that are a good basis for a talk. Talks are one-shot experiences. I never know what is going to happen, or how the audience will respond. I’m alive—totally alive, watching, listening, concentrating, struggling to survive.

It feels like a century has passed since I have spoken to an audience. Not close to that absurd time, but for me it feels close.

With Sand Creek and the Tragic End of a Lifeway streaking toward publication in 2019 I pitched some talks for the following year. The COVID-19 pandemic killed some of what I hoped to do.

Art of LK talking during the October 21, 2020 UNM talk. (art © Louis Kraft 2020)

I thought that for certain my talk on the Sand Creek Massacre at the University of New Mexico would be one of the casualties. It wasn’t, for Tomas Jahen, director of the UNM University Libraries Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections, gave my talk new life when he moved the it from live in N. Mex. to a Zoom talk. My October 2020 talk became reality.

Always willing to attempt something new I prepped the talk to be a number bullets in my mind that would address a live action presentation of a brutal massacre in real time. Successful? I don’t don’t know. Will I try this again? Probably. What if I’m not thrilled with the second round of results? This is an easy answer: No mas (in English, no more).

Life is what it is, and as I walk forward with my life I must try doing things. Hopefully I’m successful, but if not I’ll turn my back on my failures and walk away.

Selected filmed talks*

“An Attempt to Kill Every Man, Woman, and Child: the Sand Creek Massacre, Colorado Territory, 1864”

UNM University Libraries Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections Fall Virtual Lecture Series using Zoom, October 21, 2020. … My apologies for my voice and lips are not in sync. Also, I tried something different than I had done in my previous talks, and that was to have a list of thoughts in my head and attempt to simply talk about the attack on the peaceful village.

An Attempt to Kill Every Man, Woman, and Child: the Sand Creek Massacre, Colorado Territory, 1864

* There have been numerous talks over the years, but many weren’t filmed or the quality was so bad that is was unusable. To see the complete list, select the second tab under the Talks tab above or click here: List of Talks and Interviews.

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“Gatewood’s Assignment: Geronimo”

34th Annual Assembly of the Order of the Indian Wars Geronimo Symposium that was followed by a tour tracking Geronimo in the United States, Tucson, Az., September 26, 2013.

Gatewood’s Assignment: Geronimo

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“Ned Wynkoop Lashing Out Against the Murder of Cheyennes”

Order of the Indian Wars Symposium, Centennial, Co., April 20, 2013

Ned Wynkoop Lashing Out Against the Murder of Cheyennes

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“Ned Wynkoop’s Gamble to End War”

Order of the Indian Wars Symposium, Centennial, Co., May 8, 2010

Ned Wynkoop’s Gamble to End War

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“Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, They Died with Their Boots On, and a fellow named Custer”

Burbank Historical Society, Ca., October 18, 2008

I’ve spoken about Flynn in Missouri, Texas, Montana, Arizona, and of course, California. Often I’ve added George Armstrong Custer to the mix, but not always. Certainly the lovely Olivia de Havilland has a major presence in the talks. I view these talks as both explorations and advertising.

Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, They Died with Their Boots On, and a fellow Named Custer

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“Ned Wynkoop’s Indian Years”

Upton and Sons Publishers Indian Wars of the American West Symposium, Hacienda Hotel, 525 N. Sepulveda Blvd., El Segundo, Ca., March 8, 2008

Good friend and terrific Indian wars historian/writer John Monnett caught an error that I repeat in this talk, and that is that the Dog Soldiers (Dog Men) didn’t break away from from the Cheyennes in 1856. This happened in the 1830s.

Ned Wynkoop’s Indian Years

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“Errol Flynn’s George Armstrong Custer”

Upton and Sons Publishers Voices of the West Symposium, Hacienda Hotel, 525 N. Sepulveda Blvd., El Segundo, Ca., December 2, 2006

Errol Flynn’s George Armstrong Custer

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Selected radio & online interviews

At times it is difficult to obtain copies of radio interviews, or, in some cases they are conducted via a long distance phone call and the recording isn’t as good as it should be. I’ve decided to only place two interviews on this page. Both were recorded in the studio with terrific radio hosts (Deb Goodrich and Jack Marino). It is so much easier to have a microphone inches away and the radio personality a few feet away, wherein you can react to them up close.

Note that the screen turns black during the interviews. Press the Back arrow to return to the website, or to continue exploring the website while listening to the radio broadcasts open it in a New Tab.

Louis Kraft interview by Bob Reese

This December 2020 interview for the Custer Battlefield Historical and Museum Association in December 2020 was not filmed. This said, Bob Reese’s interview of LK is major. It was published on the Custer Battlefield Historical and Museum Association website; here’s the link:

Bob Reese interview of Louis Kraft (December 2020)

Errol Flynn on LA Talk Radio*

* This show takes about 29 seconds to get their sound going properly.

This is an hour long visit on Jack Marino’s radio show on June 11, 2010. Have patience, for even though I am the lone guest, this marked Jack’s return to his show after an extended vacation, and he talks about what is going on in his life for a full six minutes before he introduces me. Although I thought I was going to speak about the frontier and Ned Wynkoop, this interview slipped into the topic of Errol Flynn and never left. Okay with me, as Flynn is always a fun subject.

A couple of comments. I mention a former girlfriend, who, I’m certain wouldn’t be pleased to know that this interview isn’t dead and buried. Also, once you get to know me you’ll realize that I have little tolerance for racial prejudice. After the broadcast Jack and I went out to eat with a third person. It didn’t take long before I couldn’t hold back a smile, a smile that perturbed this person. Finally he interrupted himself to say, “What’s your problem?” “You,” I replied. “You’re racially prejudiced.” My comment didn’t go over very well. I’ve documented the incident, but the sharing isn’t for here.

I hope the interview gives you some insight into Flynn.

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Ned Wynkoop & Errol Flynn on Topeka Talk Radio

LK interview with Deb Goodrich at the KMAJ 1440 Talk Radio studio in Topeka, Kansas, on May 29, 2008. Note that there are two pieces to the broadcast, which includes commercials. Also, the first segment ends with the previous guest’s exit.

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Louis Kraft writer © Louis Kraft 2013–2020