This has been a terribly sad week in Grand Forks, made all the sadder by the passing of Jim Bollman.
If you never got to hear Jim’s morning program on KNOX radio, I feel badly for you. You missed something.
I know I’m dating myself when I say Jim’s work always reminded me of the legendary broadcaster and entertainer Arthur Godfrey’s. Google him. Especially on radio, Arthur Godfrey always sounded as if he was talking to you, and you alone. Jim had that exact same quality. If it seems like it would be an easy thing to do, please believe me when I say, it is not.
Everyone seems to have a favorite Jim Bollman story. Mine goes back to 1972. I had just gotten out of the Army and was looking for a job in radio. I went to see Jim who, I believe, was KNOX’s program director then.
He was very gracious with his time and after listening to my audition tape he told me I had an “adequate” voice for radio.
He didn’t give me a job, probably for good reason. But over the years, I never let him forget it.
Jim treated everybody the same. He was friendly, funny and kind. The word classy comes to mind. I never heard him say an unkind word about anybody. Ever. And this is the gossipy world of broadcasting we’re talking about.
Jim’s contributions to the mornings of so many of us over the decades would certainly be enough to have earned him the status of icon, but he also worked tirelessly and cheerfully for his community, the Park District and his church.
The Jim Bollmans of the world are rare.