Hot fun in the summertime

ORSCA summer 2009

Among the throng of sun-soaked students and hyperactive kids, a content father patiently waited. With a small child in one arm and another by his side, he was firmly entrenched in the long lunch line that snaked around the eastern half of Bartlett quad. Free food, free entertainment for him and his family, and a beautiful early summer day—he looked happy.

Then the child holding his hand suddenly broke free and dashed off, answering the siren call of a nearby water slide. He took a step out of line to chase her, but then changed his mind, making a half-hearted cry for his wife and resuming his place in line. Free ribs can do that to you.

Indeed, hundreds were drawn to the Bartlett quad to kick off summer with the Office of the Reynolds Club & Student Activities (ORCSA). The Friday afternoon event was catered by the Hyde Park Barbecue and Bakery, formerly known as Orly’s, and two large water slides, which offered some complications for ORCSA volunteers.

“The very first girl on the very first run of the day sort of went down the slide wrong,” said David Muff, ’10, as he manned his post by the large, inflatable blue slide, corralling kids’ excitement just enough to get them to form a line. “And as she got to the bottom, all the water at the base sort of came spilling out, and the thing partially collapsed. So I had to refill it. Off to a good start.”

The event otherwise went off without a hitch, as attendees sought shade after finally obtaining their plates stacked high with barbecued ribs, chicken kabobs, salad, and dessert. The man behind the pig-out was David Shopiro, U-High’69, who has run Orly’s in Hyde Park for nearly 30 years and recently changed the place’s name, interior, and offerings. Judging by the lines, the barbecue and baked desserts were a hit—Shopiro brought enough to feed 400 people, but 90 minutes in there wasn’t a clean plate left, and he was nearly out of the more than 500 ribs he had prepared. People lined up with tiny dessert plates too small to fit the massive ribs they had their stomachs set on.

The event also featured Willy Chyr, AB’09, a balloon artist known for his installation in the Biological Sciences Learning Center and his sprawling, colorful dresses modeled at May's Festival of the Arts fashion show. Chyr sculpted elaborate balloon animals and bright headdresses for the faculty and staff's children who scampered about during the event, sculpting one balloon every two minutes for two hours straight.

With his two soaking children in tow, balloons in hand, the no-longer-hungry father started to walk off. He looked a little tired, like he had gotten too much sun. But at least he got his ribs.

Luke Fiedler, ’10

Third-year students Lim En and Eileen Ting sample the good eats made by Hyde Park Barbecue and Bakery.

Photo by Lloyd DeGrane.

June 29, 2009