HALLOCK (AP) -- It's not hard to find the man many call Sweden's most dedicated son in this town.
Just look for the Volvo. The brown diesel is the only one in Hallock.
"Features are nice, but it was probably 90 percent because it was a Swedish car," Lyndon Johnson said, explaining his 1986 purchase.
Johnson traces his Swedish roots to 1883, when his great-grandfather left the old country for America. He lived and studied for a year in Sweden, taught classes in Swedish language and culture in Hallock, helped organize local celebrations of traditional holidays and plans his eighth visit to the country this summer, when his sister Lynnae, a pastor, marries.
His fascination with the culture has made Johnson, 45, the acknowledged Swedish expert in the nation's most Swedish area. One in three people living in Hallock claim some Swedish ancestry, according to the 2000 Census, and the share is the same for surrounding Kittson County in Minnesota's far northwest corner.
This part of the country has long been known for a Scandinavian stereotype, and the latest figures still rank Minnesota first with about 10 percent of its nearly 5 million residents claiming some Swedish blood. North Dakota was second, with 5 percent. And Norwegian ancestry actually outstrips Swedish in both states.
In tiny Hallock, population 1,196, thick Scandinavian accents and family names on downtown businesses are outward reminders of the community's heritage.
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