Prankster With a Heart
With a top broker's panache, John Bocchi presented himself as if to say, Either you love me or you don't.
He would pull up next to you in his Porsche — a 911 — flip the bird, grin, and take off in the wind. Once, Mr. Bocchi drove by as a friend was loading his golf clubs into his car. Friend goes into the house. Comes out: clubs gone! The two search frantically. Friend calls the New Vernon, N.J., police. They take one long look at their buddy, John. Who grins and finally produces the clubs from his trunk.
Michele Bocchi loved him through 16 years of pranks, parties, Ferrari and Porsche shows, moves around New Jersey, Wall Street promotions (at 38, a managing director at Cantor Fitzgerald) and this year's 35-pound weight loss. Loved the father in him, who came home Friday nights with pizza for Matthew, 9; Nicholas, 7; Michael, 3; and Paul, the baby. His suggestion for the new license plate: "Boys 'R' Us." Only one thing she wanted to change: he chewed ice. Drove her nuts.
"And now that's what I miss," she says. "The nights are lonely. I would give anything to hear that chomp, chomp, chomp again."
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 30, 2001.