and 5 times 250 is
1,000". I sat at awe and wonder at how obtuse he was.
What was to say that I didn't do 5 spread sheets a day for a
year? What would happen to his logic if I created a
spread sheet on my day off? Who cares how many spread
sheets ANYONE has EVER created?
He revisited his tirade
about how "American students don't learn s*it
in school". He told me that 85% of all elementary school
and middle school teachers are criminals. He
determined that because 85% of all teachers are women, and women
don't know what "...a little boy wants". He said
"a little boy wants to go into business for himself".
I thought that he hasn't spent much time lately with little
boys, because most of the boys that I know don't even know what
it means to go into business for themselves. He said that
"women can't teach a boy how to go into business for
themselves (because they are women, I guess), therefore little
boys have to learn that on the job". The inference I
extrapolated was that "women can't teach boys, because boys
want to go into business and since women are not boys, they
can't teach boys - anything. By far, I found that to be
the lost lopsided syllogism I have ever heard.
I had another call come in and
I clicked over. When I went back, he hung up. When I
called him back, he told me he had thrown my resume away,
assuming that I "...didn't want to hear (his) voice
anymore". Something tells me that a lot of other
people got tired of listening to his insane machinations and
hung up on him.
I couldn't pass up the
opportunity to meet this enigmatic man. I accomplished my
goal by sitting mute while he rambled through an insane
diatribes for two and a half hours. He drove me
around his entire farm, a massive piece of land west of the
Shireland property. Like the "little boy" that
he claims to be, he seems to enjoy buying things, playing with
them for a while and then abandoning them. Although, just
like another insane genius (Howard Hughes), he never disposes of
anything - he puts them in storage. We passed the massive
sheds that contained the dragons from Shireland. I asked
what the 6 or 7 trailers were that we passed. He told me
they were "...the sh*t houses from Shireland".
Why he kept that stuff, I do not know. The property was
littered with trucks, plows and even houses on ponds that he
alleged built - that no one lives in.
Our conversation would go from
how he wants to create DVDs that will promote family values and
send them to non-profit organizations all over the world to how
the Moslems are trying to take over the world by having 6 to 7
children, while we in the United States cap off our child
production at 2 or 3.
He talked about being in
the Army in the 1950's, donating horses to the military in the
1980's and the present day as through they were all happened at
the same time. He told me how he grew up with
no father and how his mother was "cock-crazy" which
led to him having a series of of stepfathers. One
stepfather in particular who would tie him up and gag him and
hang him and his 3-years old sister upside down in a closet
(heck of a thing to tell someone in a job interview!).
I had to tread lightly when it
came to asking questions about Shireland, because Smrt is a very
volatile man. He did say that "Shireland broke me
emotionally and every other way". He said that one
thing that led to his emotional break-down was the protesters
that there were at the park at the day it opened. It
seemed that a rival group of horse breeders tried to quash
his efforts (according to him. That was the first time I
had ever heard such a story). I asked him how many people
worked at Shireland and he answered "100". When
I acted surprised, he said, "well, maybe 50." I
concluded that dealing with the employees and general public was
more than he was willing to take. He concluded by saying
that he wants to make videos about Shireland, but didn't
know what he would do with it once it was completed.
What Did I
Many things made
more sense to me after meeting Thomas Smrt. The first
thing was that he had an unhappy childhood, which explains why
he created an idyllic settings like Shireland. He had an
unhappy school experience, largely because he needed to learn in
an alternative learning environment, where he could be involved
in "problem-based learning" - type scenarios.
Having said that, I don't think such practices existed when he
was in school. He is a self-made man, and has been able to
make his millions on his own terms, a condition that he does not
want to sacrifice in anything that he does. That is a
consideration that has alienated him from many opportunities.
He, however, doesn't realize that he is unique and that most
people don't have his intelligence, his fortitude or his
iconoclasm to want to forge their way into the world alone as he
has. Finally, he is so intelligent that his mind is
restless. He has to be involved in things to keep himself
occupied and happy.
biggest thing that I learned through all of this is that if Smrt
would have closed the park in 1991 and yanked down all of the
buildings, none of these web sites (mine included) would have
never been created. Shireland would have been a distant
memory, like Garfield Goose or Commando Cody. The
abandoned buildings themselves was the very thing that kept
Shireland alive in our minds. Sadly, Shireland, like George
Bailey from "It's a Wonderful Life" is more popular
dead than alive!
Anyone who is so brash,
so needy to spread his bizarre message and so powerful, due to
his wealth, is going to step on toes. The following pages
will document other peoples' experiences. Read