For some reason or other, I remember people I knew 60 or 70 years ago as looking exactly the way they did then. When I accidentally run across one of those folks in the grocery or the doctorís waiting room, Iím shocked.

I went to a high school reunion about 10 years ago and I was amazed that all the good-looking girls I attended school with looked like their mothers.

I canít believe that anybody could age that much in such a short time. I sure didnít. I still look exactly as I looked when I was 30. I have always managed to take good care of myself, never staying out at night past 10 and always eating a good balanced diet.

I have no bad habits at all. Well, maybe I did at some point in my life but I canít remember when that might have been. Was it just last week? Time does fly.

I do admit that something rather strange happened to me about four or five years ago. An old man showed up here one day and moved in with me. He looks a lot like the folks I knew 70 years ago. He has a face that resembles 25 miles of bad road.

Iím not sure where he came from. I just figured one of those government agencies sent him over to sort of look after me and help with the lawn mowing. I had no idea he was going to stay.

Actually, he is rather worthless. He canít start the lawn mower and is not a good cook. With a little assistance from me, he makes a fair pot of coffee if Iím able to get him up in the mornings. He likes to sleep late and Iím an early riser.

He has another fault too ó he falls a lot. It is all I can do to get him up from the floor when he falls. Once when I was trying to plant some peppers, he fell in the garden. Luckily, my daughter had just tilled it and the ground was soft and he didnít break anything.

I have tried to be nice to him and once, I let him drive my pickup. He backed into a tree and bent my bumper.

I have enough problems of my own without looking after some clumsy old man. Actually, if I knew where he came from I might call whoever sent him to come by and take him back and send me a later model.

I donít think he would like that. I pretty much let him do what he wants. He reads a lot and I get him the best books from the library and donít say a word when he reads until the wee hours of the morning. I also buy him Blue Bell ice cream.

The most puzzling thing about the whole deal is that nobody can see him but me. I have visitors on occasion and he sits right there at the dining room table and nobody sees him. That, I donít understand. Even my Pit Chihuahua, Bitsy, doesnít see him.

Once, not long ago, he fell in the bathroom and Bitsy went in and licked his face, thinking it was me. Actually, he does favor me a lot except Iím still 30 and he is at least 83. I sympathize with him but I canít do a thing about it.

I guess that one of these days, Iíll come home from the grocery and heíll be gone but Iíll be here a long time yet.

After all, Iím just 30.

Harry Marlinís column is featured every Tuesday on the Brownwood Bulletinís Viewpoint page. E-mail him at