Best and Worst in Boston Sports History!

DATELINE:  Great Rivalry about to be Born

                         Jayson  Curry

                                                    Jayson Tatum & Steph Curry

Are we talking a new major rivalry? Boston and New England has had its fair share of giants in sports history. We have seen loyal opposition, and red coats.

In Boston, some fans believe it is happening again.

We are looking at something special on the famous Garden parquet floor under the green banners.

We can remember Bird & Magic. We know about Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio. Recently there was Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. Some oldsters even remember Bobby Orr & Brad Park. How can we forget Thurman Munson and Carlton Fisk?

We aren’t sure if David wore a Boston jersey when he took on Goliath on the Boston Common.

Yes, Yankees and Red Sox. Lakers and Celtics. Patriots and Broncos. Bruins and Rangers.

Tonight, we add Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics for this generation. We hope Steph Curry and Kyrie Irving can elevate us to sports Nirvana, even if Kyrie looks like the Masked Marvel for this game.

No doubt about it, the thought of a new Boston rivalry makes us giddy.

Throw in Kevin Durant, the man who didn’t like Green shorts. Throw in Jason Tatum, a phenom teenager who is the new Larry Bird.

We cannot emphasize that hyperbole is an understatement in anticipation of this benchmark game in legendary lore.

Yes, Charles Dickens said it best: it was the best of times; it was the worst of times. We had Trump; we had Brady. We had black lives mattering; we had white supremacist dolts. The times are a mess.

We pray that the worst of times will transform this sports moment into the best of times during one little basketball game, Golden State Warriors versus the Boston Celtics. Yummy.

 

 

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Casting Celtics around Batman Kyrie Irving

DATELINE:  Colorblind Mask

 Masked Kyrie Kyrie, Eleison

Kyrie Irving, now playing the Masked Marvel, led the Celtics to their 13th victory in a row. It qualified them to meet the reigning dynasty next in the matchup of the year.

Yes, Golden Boys from California are next on the list to become the Golden Fleece to the Celtics.

Irving won national attention for wearing a mask to his game in New York, not a late Halloween gag, but a medical necessity after a small bone in his face was cracked by a teammate’s elbow. He told Aaron Baynes not to send a fruit basket.

Everyone awaited to see the black mask he wore several years back with Cleveland—but Irving wasn’t in the mood to play the Lone Ranger. Black was out, which seemed ironic, but he explained that the black mask limited his peripheral vision.

Even teammates had to relent: they want a victory and a happy camper in Kyrie, even if he failed the Bruce Wayne as Batman contest.

Fake news expert commentator Brian Scalabrine, redundant in his new fake hair from Dr. Leonard, made the off-hand comment that the NBA had stopped Kyrie from becoming the man in the black iron mask. But, that was untrue. Nor did he wear a high yellow mask for racist Boston fans.

Instead, Irving wore clear plastic with thick black bands. It was not a look or feel he enjoyed, constantly adjusting it and removing it. He even left it on the table before Scalabrine during the game.

Like it or not, Kyrie is the Boston Batman. His Robin is clearly Jayson Tatum, and his Alfred the Butler is the tall drink of water known as Al Horford. Commissioner Gordon Hayward is out with a broken ankle, and Jalen Brown may take on the role as the team joker.

Whatever the facial remedy, short of Tom Brady’s Botox mask, the Celtics went on to victory: setting up the hoop dream as their best team in a decade goes after Steph Curry and Kevin ‘I Don’t Look Good in Green’ Durant.

Curse of Oak Island: Season 5, Starting Gun

DATELINE: On the Money

oak island

Our cruel skepticism has been dumped on its head into the Nova Scotian Bay of Fundy. The Curse of Oak Island is back–and better than ever.

As Season Five opens with the death of young Drake Tester, off Oak Island of some unfair seizure, the pall of mortality hangs on everyone—from 94-year-old Dan Blankenship to the younger generation of treasure hunters. Young men of good character are not supposed to die before old, cynical adventurers.

Yet, this season on the show, there is finally something tangible and within grasp. We are still left with anguish over the enterprise that boasted a seventh person had to die to solve Oak Island’s mystery. The Lagina brothers never expected the youngest of their treasure hunters would be the one.

In the meantime, safety went to the forefront with the notion of sending a diver down 170 feet into a small shaft. With the bends and hypothermia likely dangers, the diver nearly exceeded his safety limits. It made for dramatic reality television, but also made obvious how the obsession for treasure is dangerous.

Metallurgist Gary Drayton, Australian expert, found another artifact that could be as much as 400 years old on an island no inhabited back then—making this season compelling television viewing.

The two-hour premiere seemed to be the most professional in the history of the search. This gives the quest some highly charged foreshadows.  However, at the end of the night, as it has for all their efforts, technology fails for reasons unknown. Call it a curse.

Whatever Oak Island is hiding, it has a deep and abiding reluctance to reveal itself to the nosy eyes of the camera—or to the adventuresome spirit of a team of adult “boys” as they call themselves.

We won’t miss an episode.

Scarecrow Festival for Halloween

 DATELINE:  Jaffrey, NH, the Real Grovers’ Cornersscarecrow2

Around this time each year, small-town Americana in the location of Jaffrey, New Hampshire, holds its Halloween Scarecrow contest.

For one month, residents line up a series of ghoulish scarecrows along the intersection at the center of town, not far from the bandstand and the old White’s Mill that was owned by the famous Massachusetts family that once lived on Old Mill Circle across the state line.

The homemade scarecrows of Jaffrey are judged by a committee during the fall festival, but while they hang on their crosses, it is vaguely reminiscent of Stanley Kubrick’s horror scene at the end of Spartacus when the road to Rome is lined with crucified slaves.

This mishmash of creatures resembles all kinds of people and are equally distracting and disturbing, but within the fun of the Halloween season.

In our opinion, Jaffrey is the real inspiration for Thornton Wilder’s classic play Our

Town. He called his little NH town on the Massachusetts border, Grovers’ Corners.

Some think it is north of Jaffrey in Peterborough, where Wilder lived his summers. Indeed, arty Peterborough even has a plaque to honor itself, but the more modest Jaffrey better fills the bill.

Wilder makes up some coordinates, longitudes and latitudes are off deliberately as the author tried to obscure his inspiration for the setting of Our Town. And, besides, the railroad of 1910 ran over the border in local Winchendon, not far from Jaffrey, and is featured in the play.

You won’t convince us that the place where the scarecrows roost is not Grovers’ Corners where a gothic cemetery scene highlights the 1938 play. The scarecrows are a recent tradition, but make Jaffrey the best bet as Grovers’ Corners.

 scarecrow4

 

 

Lamentations on the Loss of Gordon Hayward

DATELINE:  Hard Break for Celtics

 GH

Gordon Hayward came to Boston to play for the Celtics. He was a superstar ready to write his Destiny today in big letters. Instead, five minutes into his Celtics career, Destiny wrote him off.

If ever you wanted a lesson in how ephemeral are the superstars of sports, this abject lesson is a horror story. Gordon Hayward went down in a senseless act of the cosmos and its mystery waves.

But as terrible, gruesome, and awful is the injury to Gordon Hayward, it’s not as bad as what happened to Len Bias, the Celtics hope of the future so many years ago in the aftermath of the Bird years.

Bias died of a drug overdose that caused a heart attack. Or perhaps it was the other way around. Does it matter? He was an unproven talent.

Unlike Len Bias, Hayward is an established star, not some vague potential. Gordon Hayward will live to play another day.  However, we don’t know how this injury may affect his ability to play at the same level that made him a superstar.

Boston hardly knows him and now may never know him as the new centerpiece of a Big Three to bring more championships to Boston. That dream may have just evaporated five minutes into a new season.

The season will go on for the Celtics. But the heart of players may have gone out with Hayward’s injury. The stomach to move on will settle down.

Grizzled old vets like Al Horford may take the injury of a teammate in such a devastating fashion in stride. It is the nature of the obvious horror that has an impact on the younger players. The Celtics core is young and impressionable. It tells them a message of sobering fright: your days in the sun can be over in a blink, or a twist of an ankle: in the crack of a bone.

Bones can be fragile and can snap like twigs in the wind. There may be no reason that can be discerned as to whom it condemns—and who may escape. The quantum physics of the universe is cruel.

The psychological damage is immeasurable on the psyche of players—and even fans. The tragedy belongs to Gordon Hayward.

Red Sox Players Don’t Like Boston Much

DATELINE:  Boston Not Their Home

fan Red Sox Fan

We heard that Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock considered coming to Fenway Park to bestow the city of Boston with his insane mass murder on the joint. This horrid revelation has not made a ripple with this year’s team of disgruntled, unhappy Red Sox players.

This will be our only piece about the Red Sox this year, as their season is coming to a close soon. Yeah, they are in the playoffs. Not that anyone in Boston gives much of a fig. This bunch is not liked.

Baseball fans love Fenway. They are lukewarm toward these players. If you believe baseball is business, these teammates come to the office, pick up their paychecks, but would rather play in any other city. They have no ties to Boston.

It could have something to do with the media. They hate the media, including homers like former Sox Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley who was berated and attacked earlier in the season by pitcher David Price, a pitcher whose option likely will put him elsewhere in a season ahead.

He hates Boston.

Dustin Pedroia has played his entire career in the city, but has never embraced the town like David Ortiz, the last Sox player to be part of the community.

You figure after a dozen years, Pedroia would have some ties to Boston. He doesn’t.

Perhaps they have heard racial taunts at Fenway. Some fans dispute this allegation, but the players seem stand-offish to the Olde Towne. Most don’t like the liberals around here.

Young players are stuck here, but would rather play elsewhere. For example, Jacoby Ellsbury never embraced Boston, and preferred to move on to the Yankees where he is happier being anonymous than a star in Bean Town.

These Red Sox do not love the Dirty Water. Most probably wouldn’t understand the reference. They don’t want to be here and will disperse quickly next week when their seasonal prison sentence in Boston ends.

Good riddance to this team of apathetic nobodies.

 

Going, Going, Gone in Boston Sports and Trump Politics

DATELINE:  Time to Outline a New Book? 

In the immortal words of Don Corleone in Godfather 3, “Every time I try to get out, they pull me back in.”

Yes, Boston sports humor is like that.

We want to say, “Book’em, Dan-o,” but is there really another book here? Celtics or Pats?

Now, we feel sucked back into calling Trump the cause of turning the Patriots into the most despised team in the NFL, and now we are sucked back into the Celtics who have sent another oddball point guard into the LeBron Twilight Zone. Move over, Rajon Rondo.

Word has filtered out after the fact now that Isaiah Thomas, our dear little cousin IT, was actually not liked on the Celtics team by his mates. What???

Yes, his martyrdom status as midget wrestler and tiny tot grew thin on the nerves of many fellow players. His ego seems to have been bigger than his player status. Hence, he is now playing on the all-ego team with LeBron James, another character we try to avoid in any humor discussion.

Cousin IT was doomed when his closest friend and longtime Celtic player, Avery Bradley, was sent packing earlier in the summer.

Head honcho Danny Ainge was not about to pay big bucks to secondarily big stars. It did not matter that Tom Brady liked IT. Tom Brady likes Donald Trump. In the end, Tom only can save himself in Boston. In Boston, Trump is a lost cause.

We told various sports fans there would be no book this year on the Celtics or on the Patriots, which seemed to bring much relief when it was not greeted with a yawn. But, now, we are cast into the depths of indecision.

We could do a book on Donald Trump’s season in hell, but Bobby Valentine already did it for us. On the other hand, we suspect Mr. Trump will quit in the middle of our book—leaving us with a Charlottesville Web conundrum on whether it’s crypto-Nazi or neo-Nazi. It could be ether, or eye-ther.

Should we just call the whole thing off?

We are offering up a trial balloon on Trump to see if the media shoots it down as more fakery from the news bakery.

Is Trump the newest sports satire?

We know Trump’s on third, because he is going down yet again, but always rises anew like a rally in Phoenix.

Ossurworld has done a series of books of humor on the Celtics and Patriots. He may or may not do another one. His latest is NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS MOST OFF OFF-SEASON EVER. It’s available for smart readers. Just put it on your tab.

 

 

When You Admit Ghosts Haunt Your Home

DATELINE:  Not Exactly Living Here

I don’t see dead people.  But, my home is indeed haunted, and I hear them moving about all the time.

Friends begged me not to reveal to the public that I live in a house with four ghosts (or technically three ghosts and one spirit).

They told me repeatedly that a tell-all book about paranormal will open me up to ridicule and charges of being more than just another eccentric author.

They claimed it would damage my “serious” nonfiction about Hollywood history and biographies (now will be considered another form of channeling).

Since publishing my true story about learning how the spirit world has fingered me, I hear repeatedly the chorus: “Have you had a stroke?”  or “Are you off your meds?”

Some accuse me of demeaning the victims of the Titanic for suggesting that, just because my ghosts used to own my neighborhood (literally, the whole street), as they were rich.

Yet, I have become protective of my friendly ghosts: they include the former housekeeper of the White family for 50 years, named Addie; a 55 year-old well-to-do-businessman, likely another Titanic victim; a young man who was apparently murdered in the neighborhood some time ago; and my main contact, Richard, who went down on the Titanic when he was 21-years old, on a vacation trip after graduating from Bowdoin.

Why me?

As a retired college professor (literally true), I try to tell the reasons in the book, but it may become lost in the sensations of revealing too much. However, I will continue to resist the numerous requests from those who want to visit me to see ghosts.

No, my home will not be an open house on Halloween, and I do not try to contact Houdini by séance regularly.

William Russo is the author of Ghosts of Mill Circle, now available on Amazon in both ebook and paper format. He also wrote Tales of a Titanic Family, Audie Murphy in Vietnam, and numerous other nonfiction biographies.

The Akashic Record and the Ghosts of Mill Circle!

 DATELINE:  My Friend from the Titanic

Richard with Author selfie Author with Richard

Ancient Aliens struck gold again with a recent showing of “The Akashic Record,” the tenth episode of the twelfth season.

In case you missed it, this one raised the issue of a fount of knowledge, from all beings and creatures of the universe, stored like our modern computer cloud, floating out in the shimmering quanta of the universe.

Though Akashic Record has been accessed mostly by mystics, prophets, and artists, using a portion of matter at the back of the brain, Ancient Aliens had its own focus:  strictly focused on the predictive element of the cosmic cloud library.

They saw it strictly as a means to give that crystal ball some legitimacy when you do readings of future events.

They only briefly mentioned, in passing, the ability to draw information from the cosmic library about the past. The Akashic Record may be the best way to explain the memories, ideas, and knowledge, of history being mined by artists, poets, and writers.

Some call it channeling. Others dismiss it as meditation from a swami, but a few of us believe strongly that we have often reached a memory of a past life and a past vision to write down on a page for a book.

For years we were always amazed at our ability to see what some historical person saw and put it in one of our fictional—and lately, nonfictional—books.

We have drawn on Billy the Kid, John Wilkes Booth, and even Dr. Francis Tumblety, who claimed he was the Ripper of Whitechapel.

Those books are available on Amazon.

Lately, we discovered that we have been able to reach a spirit of someone who died on the Titanic. Indeed, we only learned about this after we purchased one of the homes he once lived in. His name was Richard and he was on Titanic, as a gift from his father, for graduating from Bowdoin. He perished with his father.

For years in a college classroom where I taught, there was a little bronze plaque commemorating Richard and his father’s heroism in helping others on the Titanic.

So, it came as a shock when a psychic named Nicole told me that the spirit of Richard was following me around for decades, wanting me to write a book about his life. She saw him hanging over my shoulder. It rattled her. I never see him, though he does make noises to communicate with me in recent years.

How could I write a book about a dead person who left no record of his life?

Richard worked in strange ways, coincidentally bringing people to my attention who had personal papers, photos, and knew his descendants. The result was a book called Tales of a Titanic Family. It’s all true, and Richard directed me to find a treasure trove of info on his life.

Now, it seems my discoveries were based on the Akashic Record.  I have now written a book on my experiences with Richard at my home. It’s called Ghosts of Mill Circle, mainly because the street he lived on, where I now reside, has many spirits clinging to their old haunt.

The recent show on Ancient Aliens has explained, obliquely, why I have been able to write this true account.

So, forgive me for using this blog for something out of the ordinary, but it now seems connected to everything else in the cosmos.

A Quiet Passion: Emily Dickinson Revealed

DATELINE: Dickinson in Amherst

Nixon with Jennifer Ehle

So seldom do we find a movie made out of the epheremal that we want to celebrate. A life of Emily Dickinson is bound to be considered still-born by many modern types.

Cynthia Nixon stars as Miss Dickinson, a reclusive poet whose internal life was as intense as it was empty.

A strong individual, she eschewed church and social niceities for the grandness of her poetry, which was disparaged and ignored during her lifetime.

In an age of movies for noisy and thoughtless audiences, this film will test the true mettle of those with interior lives. It is magnificent in wit, genteel details, and brilliantly directed by Terence Davies who also wrote the script.

This contributes to a singular vision.

Just the bravura scene where they age before a photographer, morphing Emily from Emma Bell to Cynthia Nixon is stunning.

This is a film of nuance, and the actors have the opportunity to show how the lives of the Dickinson family and friends were inspiration enough to make Emily a great poet, unknown to those who lived with her. She considered her life “minor.”

Standouts among the cast certainly must acknowledge Keith Carradine as Emily’s stern, but supportive father—though their differences and debates on God and church are touched by wit and deeper insight.

One might compare this film to the classic great films of Ivory-Merchant so many decades ago. And, those were made for a miniscule audience of literate film lovers. How few of us are left today?

Let’s just feel some joy that a magnificent movie has been given to us: it’s a great gift to enjoy privately. It provides a chance to avoid computerized cartoons based on that weird genre of the “graphic novel” that dominates movie production in the 21st century.

A warning to sunshine poetry lovers, Emily led a most unhappy life–and the film does not flinch from that fact.

 

Is Aaron Hernandez Mansion Haunted?

DATELINE:  Ghosts at Home

armlessinattleboro  Police Remove Hernandez from N. Attleboro Home in 2013.

Realtors hate to answer this question because it puts a damper on buying possibilities.

Shortly after he was taken away on murder charges, his common law wife moved out. The house owned by the convicted killer of Odin Lloyd has basically been empty and on the market since then. This week the house listing price was dropped over $200,000 to the price Hernandez originally paid:  $1.3 million.

The North Attleboro house may indeed be haunted, not only by Hernandez, but by one of his victims who spent time there: Mr. Lloyd, the murder victim.

Having lived in a haunted house, we know something about the likelihood. Unlike the Hernandez case, our realtors did not know that our home was part of the estate of two victims who died on the Titanic. We quickly learned the house was not exactly empty—and investigation showed who might be here exactly.

Our spirits are friendly, probably loved the street they lived on—but true ghosts are bound to a location from their lives. They are likely trapped on Earth, refusing to move on to another astral plane.

Apart from prospective buyers, the only people who have spent time at the Hernandez house in North Attleboro were jurors, judge, and lawyers from the first murder trial. No one wants to give the house an overnight stay. We wonder what could be there to prevent visitors from making a permanent home in the mansion.

Even in our house, there was initial resistance from the spirits who knocked down hanging pictures and made bizarre noises. They still take umbrage at unexpected company. We have had overnight guests who heard footsteps coming to their bed—checking them out before moving away to another part of the house.

Is Aaron Hernandez still stalking the rooms of his North Attleboro manse?  We wait for the brave souls who choose to live there to give us the answer.

 

Author William Russo has written two books on the subject:  The Strange Case of Aaron Hernandez and Haunting Near Virtuous Spring, about ghosts from the Titanic at his own home.

Post Traumatic Patriots Day

Wahlberg

DATELINE:  Boston Under Attack

On occasion, you encounter a movie that is a burden to watch, but you feel utterly compelled to stay the course as your patriotic duty. Such a film is Patriots Day.

We were in our hometown Boston when the horrific Marathon bombing occurred and lived through the four days of wall-to-wall TV coverage in 2013. It seems like living self-torture through post-traumatic stress to watch and relive the movie version produced and starring Mark Wahlberg. As a Bostonian, he wanted to be sure the movie had a Boston perspective.

It does, almost to a point of caricature, with accents flowering and scenes filmed mostly on location. Watertown residents preferred not to relive the mayhem in their backyards, and a different set was used for those climactic scenes of a Wild West shootout with two local residents turned terrorists.

If there is much to admire in this docudrama, police and detective work as well as FBI heroism is top of the list. In a matter of hours, starting from scratch, an entire operation and manhunt was created with tireless work from police, hospital workers, and citizens.

The film probably will best be seen years from now with more perspective on events, like the film Parkland about the Kennedy assassination, made 50 years after it happened. The raw nerves of the Marathon event are too fresh, still, to not feel abused again by what we know as familiar names and places and inevitabilities.

Hollywood fireworks are not missing here: as the shootout with the terrorists is stunning. Performances of J.K. Simmons, John Goodman, and Kevin Bacon, are appropriately underplayed. Red Sox star and local celebrity David Ortiz plays himself.

If any question remains, it is how to handle the people who were most unhelpful: Tamerlane Tsarnaev’s American wife and Dzokhar’s pothead UMass friends. Their reputations should be mud forever, according to this movie. We would say they got off far too easily.

Since this film may be the ultimate history lesson for viewers of the future, it stands as a moment in time, close enough to events, to ensure its accuracy. If we know anything from documentary history, it is that time dilutes, distorts, and changes the perception of the age’s Zeitgeist.

We think this one will pass the test of time.

CASEBOOK FOR OLD MILL CIRCLE

NEW AND NOW AVAILABLE!  Latest book in Mill Circle series!

author OssurworldAuthor Ossurworld

A timeless tale of Nature unfolds among the small denizens of Mill
Circle.
Lurid tales of the survival of fit and unfit emerge at the place where animals could partake of the Yellow Spring long ago, but where now spring water has dried up. You might call these tales of Old Mill Circle macabre, gruesome, or a version of
New England grotesque.
In its own cruel and harsh way, Nature torments a squirrel trying to cross electrical wires, but instead meets his Rubicon. A small frog plays dice with his life –the die say snake eyes. A hairy woodpecker sees the false berries of decoration and finds himself lured like a sailor by a siren. Hawks dispatch squirrels and chipmunks, leaving
only small dogs for their dinner. And, birds find homes elsewhere as the 21st century puts its eerie mark on Old Mill Circle.

This small booklet is another in the Mill Circle series about one of the strangest neighborhoods in New England–where paranormal meets the grotesque, the place where history converges–from the home of Titanic victims, to the place where their ghosts reside.  All stories are true.

Available on Amazon in paperback for library builders, or as ebook for smart readers.

The Mill Circle series

HAUNTING NEAR VIRTUOUS SPRING

TALES OF A TITANIC FAMILY

NATURE TALES OF OLD MILL CIRCLE

A GRAND MAPLE TREE ON MILL CIRCLE

THE GREAT BARN OF MILL CIRCLE

VILLAGE POST OFFICE AT MILL CIRCLE

GHOSTS OF MILL CIRCLE (forthcoming, early Fall 2017)

CASEBOOK FROM OLD MILL CIRCLE

 

 

The Great Barn at Mill Circle

DATELINE:  Recommended book

barn-cover

For the first time in 2016, and for the first time in its 200+ year history, the interior of the Great Barn at Mill Circle was photographed and documented. Mill Circle has been a favorite haunt for generations of residents and visitors, but most have only seen the barn from a distance on the outside.

Impressive as its exterior is, the inside of the fancy horse stable for wealthy owners remains a time capsule of New England life within layers. Built as a utilitariathe Great Barn at Mill Circlen barn before 1800, it underwent two major renovations in 1845 and 1965.

Today we can at last see the hidden interior, visible only to a handful of residents over two centuries. Included in this book are over 100 photographs, many in color—some never seen by the public. This book offers insights and sights of Mill Circle’s barn, the private sanctuary of two important local families—the White’s and LeClerc’s of Winchendon.

This is the third book in a series about the extraordinary neighborhood of Mill Circle. Previous works have looked at the notorious mineral spring and its legendary ghost in HAUNTING NEAR VIRTUOUS SPRING. The second work chronicled the two most famous residents, Percival and Richard White, who perished on the Titanic’s maiden voyage, TALES OF A TITANIC FAMILY. Now comes the story of Mill Circle’s stable, where a governor kept his horses, where a stagecoach line may have been the final stop for murder, and where the glimmering barn still stands.

Dr. William Russo puts together this collection of history and images, based on his personal view to the historic Mill Circle barn and his experiences as a resident of Mill Circle. A biography of The Great Barn at Mill Circle emerges from these pages.

Now available on Amazon.com.The Great Barn at Mill Circle