Dates and MS Access

I'm converting an app from using Paradox to using MS Access (97) and
having trouble with date fields displaying crazy date values. For
example, with a one-record table called CONFIG containing a DateTime
filed called RepToDate - I used MS Access to convert this table from the
Paradox table. After I open the table in my app, and stop it with the
de{*word*81}, the expression

evaluates to 661351078 with the MS Access table, which evaluates to some
crazy date with a 5-digit year in the future.

The same expression using the Paradox table evaluates to 36387, the
correct date (Aug 15,1999).

I thought the data got messed up in the conversion. But when I open the
MS Access table in Database Desktop, the date is correct - Aug 15, 1999.
So the data is OK, but why can't I get my app to see the dates correctly
if Database Desktop can? Do Access and Paradox use a different offset
for their base year or something, and is that something I can set
Any ideas appreciated!

Shakya Jones