Just a small gathering of good buddies for some burgers and sparklers. Jon also brought a fancy salad: watermelon, stilton cheese, tomatoes, and parsley. The sun was blazing and we ate on the deck, trying to actually steer clear of the heat for a change. The city exploded at night with the booms and cracks of a thousand pyromaniacs. We lit some sparklers, which for me had the effect of taking my mind away from the point of the Fourth. The freedom and independence which the holiday celebrates seems masked by all the fireworks. Or maybe it conjures up the warfare involved to secure that liberty?