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Nobody in newspapers in America in 2013 wrote better short than the Times' John Woodrow Cox

Diamond Jim in Sun City Center.


Diamond Jim in Sun City Center.



This, according to the Society for Features Journalism, was the second-best short feature of the year, and this was the first:

SUN CITY CENTER — He reached for a round brush next to a green box of Polident. The bristles glided through his fading, feathery blond hair. From his medicine cabinet, beneath a shelf of pill bottles for blood pressure and cholesterol, he plucked a glass jar of 212 Sexy Men cologne. Nine puffs draped him in a bouquet of vanilla, mandarin and self-assurance.

He stood before his bathroom mirror at the threshold of another night out, a voyage of mischievous one-liners and kisses on cheeks and, perhaps, a woman to bring home to the "playpen."

"Diamond Jim" Kopernick is approaching 70 and among Sun City Center's most eligible single men. The former printers union president in New York has an accent that's pure Yonkers. He once stood 5 feet 8, but time has reclaimed an inch. He has light blue eyes that wink at anything with curves. In 2009, he was Mr. January and sported a white tuxedo in the town's inaugural Senior Bachelor Calendar. He sold at auction for $275.

He has been divorced and single for three decades. He wonders what his parents would think of him now. They were married for 57 years. He knows they were in love, and he knows he never has been. He has yet to cry over a woman. His ex-wife once told him he would die a lonely old man. Maybe, but he doubts it. Read it all.

[Last modified: Tuesday, June 17, 2014 1:47pm]


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