Question: This may get me fitted for a straitjacket, but I seem to recall a show from the early 1970s that went something like this: A father, daughter and possibly someone else lived together in a house after the mother died, I think. The father was an architect, or cartoonist, which required that he have a large sketch pad in his attic where he would retreat when searching for solace. When he contemplated his life's issues, a sketch of his house would take the features of a human face, turn and look at him and have a conversation with him. No one else would see this drawing but the dad. Feel free to send the wagon over to my house to collect me, as people think I'm absolutely crazy, especially when I mention the talking-house part.


Answer: Instead of a straitjacket, might I suggest something a little more freeing, perhaps a windbreaker, blazer or even a nice sweater vest, Martin? There's no need for restraint — I believe the show you're talking about is My World and Welcome to It, which ran for a season on NBC beginning in September 1969, then ran in reruns on CBS for a few months in 1972.

Playing a fictionalized version of famed New Yorker writer, editor and cartoonist James Thurber, William Windom was John Monroe, a middle-aged father and husband who could only stand straight and tall in his imaginary cartoon life. Nearly completely flummoxed by the fairer sex, Monroe faced a real life in which he submitted to the will of his wife (Joan Hotchkis), feared his daughter (Lisa Gerritsen), and spent time with his publisher (Harold J. Stone) and his writer pal (Henry Morgan).

In reality, Windom, who you may also remember from the "Doomsday Machine" episode of Star Trek or from guest appearances on such shows as Night Gallery, Dallas and All in the Family, welcomed many a woman to his world. By the time he appeared on World, he was on his fourth wife (an anonymous acquaintance was charitable enough to blab to TV Guide that the actor "uses women up like Kleenex"), but was prepared to address the issue in an interview.

"I don't think of myself as flighty," Windom said at the time, "but there's the record. I guess the record tells us something else."