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Miller Rounding Third





It all started with Liam Miller, a sainted yet simple man. He was born in 1722 to Peter and Mary Miller in the seaside village of Wicklow, on the Southeastern shore of Ireland, approximately 50 miles down the coast from Dublin. The family moved to Ballinalee, County Longford when he was three and a half years old. Rumor has it the farming was better, and the lands were larger. There was more to be had for the money. An idea that has motivated many a man throughout time.


Peter Miller and Mary McGuiness were born and raised in Wicklow. They were lifelong friends owing to their families living across the road from each other. Every Friday night their dads would stroll half a mile to Fiddlers Elbow, the local pub, for a couple of pints of lager. The families congregated on Saturday nights for dinner and good cheer.


As far anyone knew, since records predating Peter and Mary's births in 1690 are not easy to find, it is considered fact that both families originated in Wicklow. Since when, and for how long? That's a tough nut to crack. Upon further investigation, "as long as we all can remember", is the response most likely to be heard at Fiddlers Elbow or the local farmer's market.


Moving his family to County Longford worked out fantastically for Peter Miller. So much so that he became the unofficial mayor of Ballinalee. A large part of his popularity is ascribed to his wit and charm, an abundance of which has been found in the Irish since time immemorial.


Peter came to County Longford without many Irish pounds to his name and worked hard cultivating his fields. His determination, especially after two near bankruptcies by the age of thirty, steeled his character. It is said a man is born with a certain number of traits, and that is that. The thought being, character can only be developed to a certain extent, up to a pre-ordained level. Well, that is one school of thought.


The other side of the coin proclaims that a man is born with certain strengths and foibles, the positives can be made greater and the weaknesses can be diminished, if not entirely erased. It is an example of the classic "nature vs. nurture" argument, or some combination thereof.


It is this latter theory that describes the person of Peter Miller. He certainly was not born, nor did he grow up to be, the biggest kid in Wicklow. Standing a robust but stout 5'7", Peter was as tough as they came. A large majority of the Millers were, in fact, first in line as the class members headed down the center aisle for their first Holy Communion.


Thus began a long line of vertically challenged Millers, which did not get in the way of their achieving great things. Despite being a tad short, he developed into quite a strong lad. After unsuccessfully trying to grow both carrots and tomatoes in Wicklow (the two near bankruptcies), and the near loss of his farm, Peter decided to change course. His change of course kept him among the green fields of Erin, but led him to a new town in a different county.