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Samuel Hawley is a writer of narrative nonfiction and fiction. His books are highly eclectic. He has written about 16th-century East Asian history, 19th-century Korean-American relations, Olympic sprinting and land speed racing and a circus elephant named Topsy who was electrocuted in 1903. He lives in Kingston, Ontario.


Sports Illustrated writer Jack Olsen made a series of audio recordings in 1965 that I found extremely useful in writing the later chapters of Speed Duel. Here is the bibliographic entry for the tapes that the publisher was obliged to drop from the final version of the book--again, for reasons of space.

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Jack Olsen Tapes

University of Oregon Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives, Jack Olsen Papers, Collection Number Ax 322, Series VII:  Sound recordings, Boxes 12 and 13, Reels 93–102. (These audio recordings, totaling more than ten hours, were made by writer Jack Olsen in 1965 for his Sports Illustrated features on Art and Walt Arfons: “My Brother, My Enemy, in Speedland” and “Enemies in Speedland, Part II: Duel on the Salt.”)


Reel 93: Conversation in Akron with Walt Arfons’ wife Gertrude and son Terry.


Reel 94: Interview with Firestone president in Akron, followed by interview with Humpy Wheeler; Side B contains oral notes recorded by Olsen as he walks around Walt’s and Art’s shops on Pickle Road, followed by a conversation with Art Arfons.


Reel 95: Interview with Humpy Wheeler; recorded soundtrack of Art Arfons documentary Challenge, screened by Firestone for Olsen; conversation between Olsen and Wheeler over dinner in Olsen’s Akron hotel room.


Reel 96: Continuation of dinner conversation between Olsen and Wheeler.


Reel 97: Recording at Bonneville of Art Arfons making quarter-mile speed runs; Q and A session between Wheeler and reporters at the Western Motel in Wendover; final nine minutes of Side B taken up with oral notes by Olsen.


Reel 98: Oral notes by Olsen as he walks through Wendover; recording of voices and sounds on the salt flats on Nov. 7, 1965, when Art Arfons set his 576-mph record; Q and A session with Art Arfons and Ed Snyder in Wendover later that day; sound track of the documentary The Long Black Line fills most of Side B, followed by a conversation with Walt Arfons.


Reel 99: Continuation from Reel 98 of Art Arfons Q and A session; Olsen on the salt flats talking about the Arfons brothers to two of their friends; oral notes by Olsen.


Reel 100: Conversation in Wendover motel room with Art Arfons and Humpy Wheeler.


Reel 101: Conversation in Wendover motel room with Art Arfons and Humpy Wheeler on Side A; Side B is blank.


Reel 102: Conversation in Wendover motel room with Walt and Gertrude Arfons.

Speed Duel land speed record

copyright 2011 Samuel Hawley