Coffee and the Man
John Rigo liked to pose as the lovable curmudgeon. "That's Mr. Rigo to you," he would say, when somebody wanted something.
His two great loves were his wife, Elizabeth, and his work as senior vice president at Marsh & McLennan, where he specialized in workers' compensation claims, and put in 50- to 60-hour work weeks.
Mr. Rigo, 48, and his wife had no children, and they were particularly fond of their nieces and nephews. Mr. Rigo loved to play the subversive uncle. Last summer, the Rigos took Mrs. Rigo's nephew, Jackson Meredith, 10, to Rome and Paris.
Jackson was too young for many things he would have liked to do, among them drinking coffee. But every morning, Mr. Rigo and Jackson would sneak out of the hotel, arms around one another, and have a cup together, man to man. On the plane back, the stewardesses were enchanted with young Jackson, Mrs. Rigo said.
Jackson wanted to know how come he could attract older women, "but I can't get the girls in my class interested in me," he said.
"Come back to me in a couple of years and I'll give you a couple of tips," Mr. Rigo
Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 9, 2001.