Nine years out of ten in Philadelphia, the weather sucks on the Fourth of July. It's usually hot as hell, or else there are thunderstorms or hurricanes.
This year the weather was outstanding. Low humidity, temperatures topping out in the mid-80s, sunshine from horizon to horizon.
Philadelphia always hosts this big ass "Welcome America" festival on the Fourth. The city closes down the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and has a concert and fireworks overtop the Art Museum.
I've never gone to this festivity. I don't like heat, and I don't like crowds. I do like fireworks, but this year I didn't even have the appetite to see them.
So about an hour before Philly's firework show was scheduled to start, I settled into the La-z-boy recliner for another evening of "American Carnage: Active Shooter." Otherwise known as CNN.
I entered into a text conversation with a friend of mine named Nicole.
Nicole: You always pop into my head on July 4 remembering the time we sat and watched the fireworks together
Anne: Aw, I didn't even see any this year!
Nicole: I'm at the Art Museum now waiting
[Nicole sends crowd photo]
Anne: Here I sit at home. I've never done it!
Nicole: I was here two years ago and it's the best I've ever seen by far. I believe Channel 10 is broadcasting them should start in a few minutes
Anne: Next year I will go with you
[Nicole sends a smiling emoji.]
18 hours passed before Nicole and I exchanged a few more texts.
Anne: Almost afraid to ask you about last night ...
Nicole: All good, just a lot of panicking people. I thought of you in the middle of it and glad you weren't there
Anne: I'm glad you're ok!!!
In case you missed it, there was a shooting on the Ben Franklin Parkway at the height of the fireworks display. Two cops were injured. The shooting sparked a panic, needless to say, and people -- thousands of them -- ran for their lives.
I'm glad I wasn't there. I can't run very fast anymore.
Stick a fork in America. It's done.