Laurence Michael Polatsch, 32, who grew up in Woodbury and lived in Manhattan, was a partner in equities sales at Cantor Fitzgerald on the 104th floor of the north tower. His remains were found.

His parents remember

Laurence Polatsch's escapades through the years are the stuff of family legend.

The lawyer turned investment banker had crashed the wedding of Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones, sipping a cocktail while they took photos. Once, he ran into actress Julia Roberts in a magazine store and used the chance encounter to ask her on a date. She declined, but a few months later mentioned the meeting on "Entertainment Tonight."

Polatsch called the show, which broadcast a re-enacting of his proposition to the actress at the same store. "She came in the front door and I saw her. My heart started pounding," he said. "I said to her, 'Listen. I don't mean to bite. I don't mean to bother you, but I want to know if, maybe, one day we could go out for a cup of coffee."

Polatsch, who graduated from Syracuse Law School, had abandoned a legal career because he didn't like the adversarial nature of the job, said his parents, Linda Bodian of Melville and Bernard "Buddy" Polatsch of Woodbury.

"I used speak to him five to seven times a day, exchange jokes and humor, and that's gone from my life," his father recalled. "We were as close as any son and father could be."

Polatsch spoke to his mother just as often. "He was a talker," she said. "I feel like I lost a beat of my heart."

He was a natural at sales and enjoyed his job at Cantor Fitzgerald. "Laurence had found his calling, as he absolutely loved the challenge and the excitement the financial world afforded him," his mother said.

His zest for life was infectious, as was his humor, even in tough times.

In January 2001, he was hospitalized with a pulmonary embolism. His younger brother Danny was at his bedside every day, and when Polatsch recovered, he sent his brother a pair of Prada shoes along with a note of thanks. It read: "I'm so 'prada' you!" -- Chau Lam

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