We here at the City Paper love American Apparel, and it’s not because they run a regular ad on the back page of the paper. Actually, that’s not entirely correct. We love them because they run an ad on the back page, but it’s not because they pay us, although we’re certainly grateful for their patronage. The point is we love their ads. More often than not they’re sexy. Sometimes they’re just bizarre. And nine times out of 10, we think they’re hilarious. Seriously, it’s hard to read the bio on each model and not crack a smile. For this issue of our annual Summer Guide we decided to pay tribute to our favorite ongoing ad campaign. We hope you enjoy it.

Charter boat captain Rick Hiott sails away from a life of cars
Charter boat captain Rick Hiott sails away from a life of cars Grease Monkey Turned Salty Dog

For 30 years, Rick Hiott worked on cars, but 10 years ago he tossed away the monkey wrench and picked up a captain's hat. "Now I am a full-time fishing guide, and I couldn't be happier," he says. — Evan Berke


Ralph Earhart ditches the motor boat for a kayak
Ralph Earhart ditches the motor boat for a kayak Water Bored

Ralph Earhart was an avid motor boater for 15 years. He loved the waters around Charleston. But there was one thing about his motor boat that really ticked him off. His was always on the fritz. That may be all well and good for rich bastards, but it wasn't fine for Earhart. "I gave the boat to the repairman and said, 'Take it. I don't ever want to see it again,'" he says. — Elizabeth Estochen


At James Island County Park, you can learn the ropes of rock climbing
At James Island County Park, you can learn the ropes of rock climbing Rock It Out

Robert Lavarnway wants to clear up a common misconception about rock climbing — one that'll save all of you poor schmucks from having to buy a pair of dumbbells and a case of Beefcake protein powder. "Most people incorrectly think that they have to have good upper body strength to climb. Climbing should be about 70 percent legs and 30 percent arms," Lavarnway, the outdoor recreation coordinator for climbing programs for the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission, says. "That being said, climbing is like a puzzle. A climber looks for the optimal place to put their feet and hands and then has to decide how to move off of that position." — Deanna Kerley


These coaster enthusiasts talk about their favorite rides
These coaster enthusiasts talk about their favorite rides Holy City Rollers

Amanda Hamilton became a roller coaster fiend thanks to her childhood friend, Alex Bransford. And even when they weren't at a park riding coasters, they were obsessed with the fast-and-furious thrill rides. "We would play Roller Coaster Tycoon all day," Hamilton says. They would even watch videos about coasters. "We would get really close to the TV and pretend we were riding the roller coaster," Hamilton says. "I was terrified." Growing up, she often went to Six Flags over Georgia. "Batman was my favorite when I was younger because your feet dangled free." — Amelia Thomson


The Charleston Disc Golf Club's Bob Ley finds love
The Charleston Disc Golf Club's Bob Ley finds love Having a Fling

Bob Ley lives a double life. By day, he is a computer programmer, and by night he is a disc golfing fanatic. Ley first began disc golfing three years ago after he had undergone ankle surgery and was in the process of recovering. "I liked to be competitive, and I was trying to find something to do to start exercising again and get back in shape," he says. — Deanna Kerley


Kiawah Island set to be the center of the golfing world
Kiawah Island set to be the center of the golfing world Fore Play

Herb Whetsell, the Charleston Municipal Golf Course general manager, started golfing later in his life. An ex-police officer for the city, he first began golfing in his 30s when friends from the department invited him to play. But in 2000, Whetsell saw that there was an opening for a manager at the Muni and retired from the police department to pursue his dream job. Like most golf enthusiasts in the area, Whetsell is looking forward to the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island Golf Resort. "People are really starting to get excited about it," he says. "It is something good for Charleston. A lot of people don't realize how big it is. There are a lot of big names. It's a big deal." — Deanna Kerley


Stay in an Edisto treehouse and live it up in the great outdoors
Stay in an Edisto treehouse and live it up in the great outdoors The High Life

If you're feeling outdoorsy, but don't want to sleep on the ground, Carolina Heritage Outfitters on the Edisto River has three treehouses just for you. — Elizabeth Estochen


It's not like the authorities will let you pitch a tent in Marion Square
It's not like the authorities will let you pitch a tent in Marion Square Camping Out of Town

Not everyone can afford to post up in an Edisto treehouse and tweet about how they're becoming one with nature. For those of us who want to get their outdoor adventure on but don't want to break the bank, camping is a pretty cheap option. — Elizabeth Estochen


Your Guide to ID4 fun
Your Guide to ID4 fun May the Fourth Be With You

This year Patriots Point mixes it up. Instead of shooting off fireworks from the deck of the USS Yorktown, they'll be offering the paying public the chance to watch the action from the aircraft carrier. — Evan Berke


Party like it's the end of the world at one of these music fests ... because if the Mayans are right, we're screwed
Party like it's the end of the world at one of these music fests ... because if the Mayans are right, we're screwed Hippies, Ravers, and Insane Clowns Oh My

Music festivals usually consist of three to four days of sweat, body odor, drugs, sun burns, non-perishable survival food, drugs, overpriced water bottles, overflowing porta-johns, unbearable heat, STDs, and, oh and did we mention, drugs? For many festival-goers, these weekenders end up turning into the best party they've been to. Which may or may not have something to do with the drugs. Of course, as anybody knows, the bigger music festivals are not for the poorest of the poor schmucks — that is unless you got a little something-something to trade. — Evan Berke


It's time to put on your skanking shoes
It's time to put on your skanking shoes We're Jamming

The biggest problem with being a poor schmuck is, well, you're a poor schmuck who just can't seem to scrounge up enough money to buy what it takes to make you truly happy for once and for all — you know, like a 75-foot yacht, a mansion in the mountains, a staff of illegal immigrants to take care of all of your household chores, and your own personal Gringotts. Fortunately, you can find good vibes for cheap, at least around these parts. Like Charleston County Park and Recreation's annual Reggae Nights Summer Concert Series. — Evan Berke


Trophy Lakes installs a zipline-like device to keep wakeboarders above water
Trophy Lakes installs a zipline-like device to keep wakeboarders above water Cablebahn Me

So you've always wanted to wakeboard, but every time you jump in the water behind a boat you never seem to be able to get up on your feet. Fortunately, learning how to stand up on two skis just got a lot easier thanks to Trophy Lakes and their newly installed Cablebahn, a zipline-like device high above the heads of skiers, wakeboarders, and kneeboarders that keeps them on their feet, giving them the opportunity to practice their skills without being dragged behind a boat. — Amelia Thomson


Lowcountry lifeguards are put to the test at area waterparks
Lowcountry lifeguards are put to the test at area waterparks A Game of Thrones

Picture this: After a long, cold winter you're finally back in your lifeguard chair. The sun is shining, and from high up on your throne you are scanning all the cheerful swimmers below. Suddenly, you see what appears to be a baby facedown in the water. Immediately, you jump in and grab the baby only to discover it's just a doll. And then your supervisor clicks a stopwatch and says, "25 seconds." A sigh of relief washes over you. You still have your job. More importantly, no one was hurt. Everyone is safe. Which is exactly what you're paid to do. — Amelia Thomson


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