Converted to Access-now date fields problem

I converted the database my app is using from Paradox to MS Access (97,
using BDE, direct). Now all the date fields display weirdly high- with
5-digit year values -in my app. The FieldByName('MyDate').AsDateTime
returns a huge number like 6253647448, whereas with the Paradox tables
the same expression returned values in the 63242 range. Formatted, the
Access values look like March 9, 25384... with Paradox, they look like
August 15, 1999. BUT (!) - Database Desktop displays correct values for
the converted Access data, same values as it does for the Paradox data.
What would be the difference in my app and Database Desktop for how it
sees date fields? It seems that the internal representation for Access
is different, and Database Desktop knows that but my app doesn't.
Any ideas are welcome!
Thanks, Shakya Jones