That's how long Earl Simpson has dressed head to toe in Irish green to walk Fort Mill's Main Street on St. Patrick's Day.
"He's the lone leprechaun of Fort Mill," said his wife, Peggy Simpson.
For nearly 40 years, Earl Simpson walked both sides of Main Street, stopping briefly to dole out candy and gold pieces.
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"It's fool's gold," Peggy Simpson quipped. "He paints rocks gold."
The U.S. Navy sailor and World War II veteran did not paint rocks this year. And Tuesday marked the last time Simpson suited up for the much celebrated Irish holiday.
"Mother Nature and Father Time took its toil," Earl Simpson, 84, of Fort Mill, said.
And so, the 39-year tradition came to an end. It had to because, doctors said, dementia is stealing Simpson's short-term memory, Peggy Simpson said.
"I can remember a lot that happened when I was knee-high, but sometimes I can't remember from yesterday," Earl Simpson said.
But make no mistake: He remembers passing out gold pieces years ago.
"I give away butterscotch candy," said Simpson, who pulled a green wagon holding a sidekick, Jameson, on treks up and down Main Street. "Kids like that."
And to merchants behind downtown Main Street counters, Simpson gave his signature gold rocks.
Simpson smiled as his face clouded with the memory.
The father of three inherited his leprechaun duties in 1970 after the baton passed from Pat Rogers -- a round little fellow with a bulbous nose that grew quite red on occasion, according to William Bradford Jr.'s "Out of the Past, A History of Fort Mill."
Simpson stands six feet tall -- too tall to be a real leprechaun -- but he has the spirit.
"Had it in my blood, I guess," he said.
On Tuesday, Simpson insisted on walking, though his steps are slower and his strength has waned.
"I am closer to the people when I'm walking rather than riding in the vehicle," he said. "Course, I may have to ride in the vehicle. Getting old."
But the Simpsons had a plan: Peggy Simpson tagged along.
"I'm going to wear my green jeans and my shirt that says, 'Patrick was a saint. I ain't,'" Peggy Simpson said. "Hope my pastor doesn't see me."
Yet, Earl Simpson knows he must pass his leprechaun duties to Fort Mill's next green one.
"I will try to find someone to take my place and give him my equipment," he said.
Yet, doing so will be bittersweet, he said.
"I get joy out of the kids seeing me being a leprechaun and seeing the smiles on their faces," he said.