Joe Parker might not be in a band, but he’s been a big part of the summer music scene in Williamsburg for years. Parker ran the Slip ‘N Slide at the McCarren Park Pool Parties, where countless revelers peeled off their clothes and tossed themselves down the slick runway, and this year he’ll be back at the parties’ new location in East River State Park. What is it, besides the free beer, that keeps him coming back? Henry Melcher investigates.
How did you get involved with the Slip ‘N Slide?
It just started out as a volunteer thing, and this will be my third year doing it.
What kinds of people come to the slide?
Around 2 or 3 [in the afternoon] it’s usually families and young kids. In the afternoon it’s mostly 18 to 35 [year olds]. By the end there are lots of drunk people.
What was the funniest or most ridiculous thing that you’ve seen while operating the slide?
When this guy came on—he was big—and he was wearing one of those Coney Island shirts with a bikini lady on the front and ‘70s gym shorts. He did a run and they came off, everything was hanging out of his gym shorts. There were 200 or 300 people hanging around.
What else do you besides the slide?
I’m getting my master’s and I’ve been teaching a GED class.
Any advice for people attempting the slide?
There’s a long line but it can be fun. Have a beer and enjoy. Be nice to me.