Do you remember the book 'Sir Machinery' by Thomas E. McGowen?

Batfish, come on, stalker? Are you serious? If it was easy to look up a childhood author from nearly four decades ago this would not seem so “stalking” like. I simply found it a challenge to make an attempt to locate and send my regards and gratitude. . . nothing more. After re-tracing my steps, for what started out as an innocent gesture, I now know that most of my information was accurate but discovered that Mr. McGowen has moved from Chicago and now indeed resides in Florida with relatives. I indeed, was being played ,as Number1girl (as hard as that is to admit)stated, by someone connected to Mr. McGowen (I’ve been asked not to elaborate). My letter to Mr. McGowen did indeed reach the address that once was his but it feel into the wrong hands and evidently became fodder for an elaborate hoax/scam…something. I’m still not sure what it was because, as I said earlier, someone playing the role of Mr. McGowen talked to me in detail as I interviewed him about his life, literary inspiration, etc., and I must say, convincingly so. Since no money was ever mentioned, I can only assume that the topic was intended for later, after some amount of trust was gained (which would never work since I don’t give money to people I don’t know personally).

So, thanks to “you know who you are” for setting me straight and giving me the missing information needed to verify everything ( a big help).

NUMBER1Girl, sorry for questioning you. I think you know now that it was never my intention to irk you in anyway. My sincere apologies.

Lastly, and I agree with Number1girl — Please do not have any contact with this address or the cons living there. If they don’t get your money, they will at least waste your time – as they did mine.

The crazy thing is that this all started just so I could have a little chat and get the ‘Sir Machinery’ book signed for my son (whom I’m passing it down too).

Oh well, gives a whole new perspective on the saying - “No good deed goes unpunished” lol. Sorry for wasting everyone’s time. ---- RConard


Seems the outer scions of the McGowen clan were taking our OP for a bit of a ride.

In any case, I hope they got the poor guy a signed book for his kid. Be sad for all his enthusiasm to come to naught.

Thanks Simplicio,
As it turns out…Maybe. I will see if the real Tom McGowen will inscribe the book.
My 7 year old would enjoy that a lot. If not, then at least I made the attempt.

Spoke to TM family member last wk. Informed me that I actually did speak to the author (not an impostor) but that he had left for Florida shortly afterword, thus the misunderstanding. Still advising no one to send books for signature to previous address – its a ruse to get hands on the author’s collector books. Good news though that I’ll finally get that copy signed for my son and I. Sometimes, things do end better than expected.

I’ve removed the address from your post.

I’d never heard of “Sir Machinery”, but I’ve read (and enjoyed) several of his books–all in the “Album” series: “Album of Sharks” (which I own), “Album of Dinosaurs”, and “Album of Prehistoric Creatures.”

I remember Sir MacHinery well. My original copy of the book came through a neighborhood yard sale in New Haven, IN back in the mid to late 70’s. My Mother read the book to us kids first and later my two older brothers wore through the book after several readings each. Finally, when I was a little older, I read it several times myself (I think the first time when I was home sick from school). The book was held together by tape and re-taping and still falling apart. At some point it was tossed out, but not the childhood memories. Years later, with E-bay available, and after several recollections with my brothers about “whatever happened to…?” overheard by my wife, I found myself the proud owner of not just one, but two copies of old Sir MacHinery once again. One was a rebound copy (like you would find in a public or school library) – she found this at a very good price and wanted to get at least something I could read. But the second book was more special as it was an original copy in good condition, much better than the yard sale copy bought years ago which deteriorated over many readings. It took awhile for her to snag this one at a reasonable price (some go as high as $200). I immediately read the book including a second time out loud to our younger children, just like my mother had done. Now, if the kids want to read the book, they get the re-bound copy. The original is for me!

Now here it is several years later and my oldest child is in college studying computer animation and graphic arts. I have been encouraging her for several years to use Sir MacHinery as a subject matter that would culminate her college experience and give here something to show to potential employers (maybe one of which remembers the book from childhood!) I have been trying to get her to storyboard the book, maybe sketch some costumes, add some drawings (unfortunately the book left this mostly to the imagination), and finally even attempt to roughly animate a couple of scenes. In other words put together a portfolio as if she were trying to pitch a movie plot to investors. So far, I just get a few comments and laughs, but hopefully if I keep prodding, maybe we will get to see Sir MacHinery up on the big screen someday!.

Paul H.

Yes, it would be great to see the book in movie form but I’ve been told that its tied up with a literary agent that’s just sitting on it doing nothing.

Thanks Moderator. Couldn’t do it myself and will be a big help in keeping others from sending to wrong address.

But…he did it 3 years ago…? He did it so long ago he’s no longer moderating the board.

This is a hilarious zombie thread.

But add me to those who remember the book quite fondly…

Sadly, Mr. McGowen passed away September 30th, 2015 at age 88.
He authored what was perhaps one of the best beloved young adult books of all time – ‘Sir Machinery’.