The (almost) true story of a man called Jack, is a fictionalised memoir about my father, John Frederick Lingard Fowlds. He was such a character, I decided to make him one in his own story. Altering names and events, was freeing, enabling me write my family as ‘other’. I loved that. The story recounts Jack McPhee’s life through the 1950s and 60s with his family in Silverstream, in the Hutt Valley north of Wellington. The McPhees live in a dilapidated old villa, which would be in today’s terms be known as ‘the worst house in the best street’. Thigh-high weeds are the garden, crazed concrete is the front yard. The four children share the one bedroom and the parents sleep in the lounge. But Jack has a plan to renovate. Jack always has a plan. He tries his hand at sign-writing, singing, acting and art. He is funny, playful, and just loves life. But he is also hard-working; running bookstalls, bookshops and a travelling library during his short life. The (almost) true story of a man called Jack, will likely make you laugh, and cry, but it is certainly going to wish that you had known the man called Jack.