Alex Halvorsen (Character)

Alex Halvorsen was 53 when Jim Bronson rolled into his life that fateful day in Wilson, Wyoming. Alex had grown up the son of a New York City taxi cab mechanic; he learned to work on anything mechanical. His love of motorcycles came from seeing Willard "Red" Bryan at the AMA National Hill climb Championships in 1938. Red beat the legendary factory rider Joe Petrali in the (750cc) Class A division by a scant 0.08 seconds. Alex met Red after the race. Red offered him a job as mechanic and all around helper for the hill climbing tour which was coming up for the next season. Alex took the job and left New York City. When Red was hurt six months later Alex stepped up to ride for Red, and soon he won a factory ride on a Rudge Ulster. Alex was off to race in the 1939 Isle of Man Tourist Trophy race (500cc) in England, he finished 3rd, came home proud and got to keep the bike, a Rudge Ulster.

In 1941 Alex joined the Army and won a Bronze Star during the invasion of Italy. When he came home he worked at several motorcycle repair shops, and rode his Rudge Ulster often. He wrangled a job at the flat tracks in Ohio, Indiana, and then moved out west to Kansas, he met his future wife Nora in Dickinson, North Dakota. He left town that fall on the racing circuit. One year later he was racing for Harley-Davidson and BSA. He became friends with Earl Buck and Al Burke, great champions of the day.

Then one night at the Topeka Speedway, Alex left the track on his Rudge Ulster and was hit by a car which had blown a tire. When he went down he was run over by the bike behind him, with his leg caught in the chain of his own bike. Alex would spend the next year in the hospital. When Nora heard he was hurt, she rushed to his side and they were married the following year, 1952.

With Alex's career now gone in racing, Nora and he moved out west to Wilson, Wyoming. With their combined savings they bought a small ranch house and Alex worked in town at the local gas station and farm equipment garage. Nora took in sewing and volunteered at the local school and church. Alex promised Nora, he would never ride a "cycle" again or do dangerous things.

However, after Jim Bronson came to town, Alex and Nora reached a new understanding and the old Rudge Ulster was brought out of the shed now and again; Nora and Alex would ride the back roads which crisscrossed the long lonesome highway that passed by their door.

Nora Halvorsen (Character)

Nora Halvorsen was born in 1925 and was 9 years younger than Alex. She fell in love with him the first time she saw him, which was at the Stark County fairgrounds in Dickinson, North Dakota during the Mid-West Flat-Track championships. Alex won the prize trophy on that hot Saturday night in August 1950, defeating Al Burke.

Nora grew up in Omaha, Nebraska her father was a stockyards auctioneer and her mother was a school teacher. The family moved to Dickinson, North Dakota after the war because her father held that Omaha was becoming a big city. Nora completed a two year program in business and worked with a farm insurance company, until she married Alex.

The Pump Jockey (Character)

The Pump Jockey; named Alfred Buttondorffer and won a scholarship at Wilson High school in 1968 to attend the University of Wyoming for one semester, free. He went on to be accepted at Stanford University graduating in 1975. For the past 30 years he has lived and worked in Cupertino, California for Apple Computers. The design of the Apple logo was his brainchild!

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