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Tom Mix, Published January 02 2014

Where Are They Now? Longtime TV personality Jim Adelson's legacy remains strong in F-M area

Editor's note: As a new year begins, The Forum is checking back on former subjects of stories who’ve made us cry, smile, laugh – or all three. They’re people who made a mark on the region in one way or another. We’ll tell you where they are now.

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - Jim Adelson made nightly appearances on television sets across the Red River Valley on Fargo’s KXJB-Channel 4 for more than 25 years.

That longevity made Adelson, KXJB’s sports director, a household name in Fargo-Moorhead and helped cement a legacy that remains strong despite the fact he has been retired for 27 years.

“I had a lot of fun doing my job,” said Adelson, who is 88 and lives in Scottsdale. “I made some kind of a mark in Fargo because I was different.”

Adelson was indeed one of a kind, branching out from the anchor desk to providing play-by-play televised broadcasts for the East Region boys basketball tournament and hosting his popular “Hole-in-One Show,” which aired on Sunday nights for more than 20 years.

“We did a lot of original stuff that at the time not everyone wanted to do,” Adelson said. “Now everyone does it. I was a small-town Howard Cosell. Nobody today has an opinion anymore. I used to have a commentary every night and I picked the games.”

His “Hole-in-One Show” is still remembered fondly by many.

“It was a dumb show, but everyone watched it,” said Adelson. Two cars – the prize for hitting a hole-in-one – were awarded in the time he hosted the program.

“People loved to see themselves on TV,” he said. “It was a joy for me to host. We did a survey one time and found about half the viewing audience watched it on a weekly basis. That’s crazy.”

The avid golfer also organized the first KX Amateur golf tournament in 1964 – an event that is celebrating its golden anniversary this summer.

“I can’t believe it,” Adelson said of the tournament’s staying power. “They want me to come up and play in it, too. My sons (Steve and Tom) also may play in it.”

Golf still and always will be a passion for Adelson.

“I play about once a week at a public golf course near my house,” he said. “I still enjoy golf, but I’m playing so badly lately. I used to be a 4 handicap, now I’m a 24.”

He’s played countless rounds of golf over the years and has hit the links with the likes of Roger Maris, Mickey Mantle and Bobby Knight.

Adelson’s three children – Sally, Tom and Steve – all live in Arizona, and Adelson said he enjoys spending time with his eight grandchildren.

Adelson keeps in touch with the Fargo-Moorhead sports scene as a bi-monthly guest on a KFGO radio show hosted by Derek Hanson.

“I miss the people,” he said. “The people of Fargo-Moorhead were very good to me and my family during the time I was there. I met a lot of good people and made a lot of great memories.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562