This opens with a Civil War battle, and then with a discussion of how a veteran of it is one hundred and twenty-four years old.
And then we come to him. He lives in a shack off his father's old home. This is because the home has been transformed into a way station. Aliens from all over transmit to it, to go on. Sometimes they bring him gifts, or they can talk.
Meanwhile, his human contacts are pretty much limited to the mailman. He ages only when he is not in the house, which is about an hour a day.
This results in a plot involving a deaf-mute girl who would not go to a school for the deaf; the threat of World War III; a funeral he had had to perform for an alien; an object of great importance to galactic civilization; accusations of witchcraft; and more.