The Story of Boats, Bow Ties & Freedom

Picture this. You wake up, early enough that the heat of the summer hasn’t yet taken away the cool morning air that fills your home, especially as you open the door to the second story porch. You survey the sky- all is clear but a few clouds in the distance. The street around you is calm and peaceful- all that can be heard is the faint hum of a lawn mower in the distance, and the lazy panting of the neighbor’s dog, barely visible through their fenced in yard. It couldn’t be a more peaceful start to the day, and you know it will only get better.

You receive a call from one of your closest friends, while having an essential cup of coffee on the balcony. They know a friend of a friend who wants to get a group together to make the most of this perfect American summer day. And what makes it so American? They have a boat, of course. Ripe for the taking, and ready to be taken out for a day on the water. It’s a no-brainer to say yes immediately, of course. This is exactly why you chose to move to Charleston, South Carolina, land of the harbor, the high-class, and the ultimate southern American lifestyle.

You’ll be picked up right outside your house in a half hour- can’t waste the day, and the perfect sailing weather. You head back inside to get ready, and it’s a given that you throw on your new United Tees Boats, Bowties, and Freedom tank over your bathing suit, paired with a baseball cap. It’s perfectly appropriate for a day at sea, and you know you’ll stay cool and comfortable.

boats bow ties freedom american tank ladies
A red Jeep Wrangler pulls up into your drive right on time. As you climb in the back, there are a couple faces you recognize, but a couple that are unfamiliar. You aren’t worried-you know you’ll all be friends by the end of this adventure. As you pull up to the dock at the harbor where this elusive friend of a friend’s boat is waiting, you’re filled with excited anticipation- the boats that are kept at this particular area are bigger and nicer than anything you’ve ever encountered.

With coolers and koozies at hand, you follow the group to- of course- the very biggest and most impressive boat of them all. You’re greeted by a handsome, youthful guy at the bow, waving at you with one hand, a Bud Light in the other. You read the name of the boat off the side- Freedom Rider, it’s called. Perfect.

The rest of the day flies by in a blur of expert sailing, a perfect breeze, and plenty of good ol’ American beer to go around. At one point you stand alone at the side, surveying the amazing view of the city from afar, with Luke Bryan playing faintly from the other end of the boat. You can’t imagine how this day, or your summer, can get any better than this.

Just as you have that thought, the owner of the boat comes up and throws his arm around you, letting you know that this day in paradise won’t be quite over just yet. He knows of a party being thrown that evening in a house on the Battery, overlooking the very water you’re sailing in. It’s going to be filled with the upper-class of Charleston, he warns you, and you all have to get back right away so you have time to get dressed in your very best attire. Are you interested?

Of course.

After pulling the boat back into the marina and docking it, you all run back to the car, wanting plenty of time to get ready and prepared for what’s promised to be one of the biggest parties of the summer. After making sure every hair is in place and every dress and suit are left unwrinkled, you are all ready to go just in time for the cab to pick you up- not quite a limo, but close enough for you.

As you enter the party, immediately you are blinded by the brightness and glitter of the outfits of the immaculately dressed socialites, paired perfectly with their dates’ flawless smiles. There are men in bowties and seersucker galore, and you feel that you couldn’t create a more stunning southern American display if you tried. You are immediately handed a glass of champagne, and whisked away to the third story, where you are promised the most amazing view of the harbor available in the entire city.

You aren’t even slightly disappointed. As you stand with a crowd of your new friends of southern royalty, you soak in the view of the harbor, somehow looking even more brilliant than it had earlier that day. As you admire the view, suddenly you see fireworks go off in the distance, coming from across the water  Though you know that there is no major holiday to be celebrated, the fireworks somehow make perfect sense. Every day in this city is a day to be celebrated, and what’s a better American way to do so than with fireworks? 


You know you’re going to need at least a few days to process how incredible this summer day has been for you. You've truly lived the American dream- complete with boats, bow ties, and freedom.


  • DustiLynn

    My perfect summer would be to grab some friends, hitch the boat and jet ski’s up and head out to the lake. Turn on some good jams, pop some tops on a hot Texas summer and float all day.


  • Michelle

    I slowly blink my eyes open as the bright summer breeze streams in through the shades and the birds chirp, excitedly discussing their plans for the day. When I lean over to check my phone, I notice a few missed messages from my closest friends with an invitation to their lake house for the weekend. I quickly load up my bag, spray on a light layer of sunscreen, and tie my hair back in a high pony tail.

    I tap my foot anxiously on the floor as I wait for my ride to arrive. When I hear the honk of a familiar horn outside my garage door, I grab my bag and have to hold myself back from sprinting to the door with anticipation. The car ride seems to take much less time than I expected, mostly because of the rolled down windows letting in the summer air and the overly-loud country music blaring from the stereo.

    When we finally arrive at the house, we throw our bags in the kitchen and race down the wooden dock to the end of the water. The blue-green foam tickles our toes as we walk further out into the lake. The rafts that trail behind us have been warmed by the rays of the summer sun and gently heat our bronze skin as we bask in the perfect day.

    The only thing that could possibly drag us away from the gentle flow of relaxing in the breeze is the buzz of the speedboat’s engine. We take turns behind the wheel and on the tube, attempting to see who can hold on the longest as the sea foam sprays in their face. When the tubing has been exhausted, we lounge around on the boat as we pass small, uninhabited islands overflowing with vines and branches.

    We arrive back at the dock to the smell of grilled hot dogs and burgers. We can’t help but grab a plate and sit down in the lawn chairs as we watch the sun set across the water. It’s reflection on the mirror-like surface shows the changing colors as the sky grows darker. The playing cards come out and the games begin. The competition is only broken when the sky is too dark to read the values on the cards.

    The bonfire is lit and marshmallows are shared around the circle. Just as we have each had our fill of s’more’s and our yawns have become more noticeable, we are all shaken by the sound of a loud pop across the water. A bright firework lights up the sky and is soon joined by many others. The “ooohs” and “aaahs” eventually form a song in unison as the fireworks are reflected in glowing eyes. When the show has ended and the bonfire is extinguished, we head inside to go to sleep with the hopes of another summer day to come.

  • Richard

    My perfect summer day starts by waking up and going to the pool to swim a few laps. Then when I come home I go out on an adventure with a few friends to find a new exotic place to hang up our eno’s and relax. We grab a cookout tray on the way there of course for lunch. Then later in the afternoon we go fishing down at the lake. At dusk we start a campfire and cook hotdogs and marshmallows.

  • Bella

    Wake up on a summer day the cool breeze blow in my face. I get ready to go on the boat and I put my boats, bow ties, and freedom shirt.??I will ride the American dream boat and have my United tees koozie for my drink. I’ll call my friends and we will hang out. We will ride the boat chill out for a while and then it’s already late. When the sets down I will watch the horizon? after the Sun already set I will head back home cheer on USA basketball. That’s how I would spend my American Dream summer.

  • Alexis Porter

    A great summer day would be spent anywhere in the greatest nation on earth, but a perfect one would actually be spent in Rio, Brazil. My perfect summer day would be spent a top the podium at the 2016 Olympic Games. My perfect summer day would be spent representing my homeland and earning a medal in the name of the American people. It would be spent hearing the thundering chants of “USA USA USA” as flags wave elegantly through the air and my national anthem is played. My perfect summer day is spent on a wrestling mat kicking every other countries butt so that I can have those beautiful Stars and Stripes raised above my competitors heads. Representing something bigger and more important than myself, now that’s a perfect summer day to me. Best part is, this is America, so this dream can be a reality. All it takes is some good old fashioned Mercian hard work. God bless America!

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