In Episode number two of the television series entitled The Old Motorcycle Fiasco, Jim Bronson rides into Wilson, Wyoming on fumes. In fact, his Harley stalls and he rolls into the lot of a country store. In an unfortunate mix up, the store owner�s wife fills his gas tank with weed killer instead of gasoline!
The townspeople, however, are quick to assist this unusual stranger, and Bronson has his bike towed to the home of an ex-motorcycle racer named Alex. There in his garage are all the tools Jim will need to drain his bike�s system of the weed killer and get his trusty two-wheeler back on the road.
Jim is invited into Alex�s home where he meets Alex�s loving wife, Nora. It is at breakfast the next morning while Alex is away from home that Jim and Nora get to know a little bit about each other. It is, in fact, a Sunday morning and Nora is preparing to go to church soon after breakfast and she begins to inquire, as best she can under the circumstances, to find out where Jim Bronson is in his spiritual life.
Nora asks Jim, �I guess you probably don�t have much chance to go to church do you... I mean, traveling around the country and all that?� Jim pauses for a moment obviously searching for the right words in which to respond and then says, �Well sometimes, I... I do thank God everyday I�m alive... in one way or another, yuh know?� Nora appreciated his answer, probably not so much for the words themselves, but more likely for the sincerity of which they were spoken.
Bronson�s actions also lead the viewer to believe that his feelings for God are genuine. In virtually every episode, we find him helping or encouraging other people in a beneficial manner. In Amid Splinters of the Thunderbolt, we learn much more about Jim Bronson�s faith. In that episode he seeks out an old friend who had apparently left the priesthood. As they are together repairing a roof in that episode, Jim says to Bucky O�Neill, �I helped you build a church once, remember? I�ll bet its still standing.� Later in the episode Bucky bad mouths other priests and the church as he offers a toast over a meal. Jim refuses to go along with the toast, but rather quotes the words of Jesus from the cross, �Forgive them, for they know not what they do.�
In one of the last episodes of the series, Jim Bronson sits down to eat with an Amish family in the episode That undiscovered country . . . , and as the prayer over the meal ends he �crosses� himself. In other words, he makes the sign of the cross from shoulders to forehead. Although it is evident that he is searching for some answers to life, Bronson does have a strong foundation in the Christian faith which is almost surely Roman Catholic. The more the viewer watches the series, the more obvious it becomes that Jim Bronson is satisfied with that faith. Although it may not be perfect and has not given him all the answers that seem to trouble him, he never strays from that foundation though he is often tempted by other religions such as Buddhism, Amish, Native American beliefs and even witchcraft (which had become quite popular in California at that time).
So when it comes to religion, our hero, although a bit eccentric in some ways, remains quite traditional. In fact, when we exam his attitudes and actions throughout the series, we find that he really is a rather traditional American male. He loves Country and Folk music, he prefers beer to illicit drugs and he loves baseball.
The viewer never does find out what becomes of Jim Bronson in the end, but my guess is that� �After he sees his part of the world clearly� (quote from the movie), he returns to a career as a writer, he marries, has children (whom he raises in the Christian Faith), and lives a fairly traditional American life. He is ever concerned about his fellow man and the condition of humanity and he does his best to make the world a better place. I�ll also bet yuh, he keeps a Harley Davidson in his garage and rides it as often as he can.
Until next time, hang in there.